The battle of data management
Featuring top cloud architects
Let’s do some intellectual fighting in the realm of data management in Cloud computing, where we have a team of experts representing several leading cloud service providers on our side. The first fighter sponsored by Microsoft Azure was Mr. Saruj Thipsena, Solution Specialist Director. Next is Nassal Leehard, Head of Solutions Architect from Alibaba Cloud (Thailand). And the last one is Nicolas Pierson, the Cloud Architect from Seven Peaks Software.
Throughout the battle, some interesting topics arose and we summarized all of them for you here. You’ll hear directly from all of these experts about the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities. They’ll also help you put that knowledge to work with practical and actionable insights, as well as telling you what’s working in their businesses.
What’s coming in data management for Cloud computing?
What are some of the new things that are coming to the Cloud in the next three to five years?
Microsoft Azure launched the first hook with ‘confidential computing’, and then another punch ‘sustainability’.
Microsoft with confidential computing & sustainability perspective
What’s the definition of ‘confidential computing’?
Mr. Saruj made it clear with his explanation to us “It is the ability to compute, without access to the data set. And that’s very useful in telecommunication, in financial services, and in healthcare. Because those are the industries where they need to be able to compute with a certain framework of the regulation required. It means that people can actually access the data without knowing what data is processed and get some kind of response back. We have a special set of hardware, where we can do all the computation in VMs, without accessing those things.”
Sustainability is another issue that people are discussing, at least in Thailand. Many large technology companies will focus heavily on sustainability. For the reason that they believe running things in the Cloud is the most sustainable way to compute certain things without wasting natural resources. This is beneficial for everyone on the planet.
Turning to the 2nd round, Alibaba entered the stage with ‘DAMO Academy’, ‘Metaverse’, ‘Web 3’, and ‘Decentralized Finance system.’
Alibaba DAMO Academy & Bank of Thailand’s initiative
Alibaba has a dedicated business unit called DAMO Academy that is made up of 300 researchers from all over the world. They research about five different areas of Robotics, Machine Intelligence, X Laboratory, Financial Technology and Quantum Computing. The current highlighted areas of focus are machine learning and data computing. “This is going to be a revolution of the Cloud in the next five years for sure” Nassal claimed.
Currently, the Bank of Thailand is focusing on excellent Fintech. They are making room for new competitors in order to enable virtual banking and to support infrastructure and drive Cloud business in Thailand.
Now it’s Seven Peaks’ turn, Nicolas came up with ‘API’ and ‘IoT device’.
Perspective from development side on the upcoming
What we have and what everybody is trying to build right now is API, and how to bring the data in a system. Now we want to use data basically to do everything like machine learning, or trying to make the data intelligent and use it. And that’s what will come next.
Then we also have IoT devices, which allow us to push data to our data centers, analyze it, and use it. After that we can expand to computing. “What I see is we are going to have more automation in everything” Nicolas expressed.
‘Migrating to the cloud’ versus ‘cloud native’
For many firms, data management in the cloud is without a doubt the way of the future of business, but it’s not always obvious how to get there. Speaking of it, there are two popular ways people chose to use the cloud: ‘cloud migration’ and ‘cloud native.’ But what are they?
What is Cloud migration?
Mr. Nassal gave some idea about this “Cloud migration is like you want to move something that exists in your environment. For example, you may migrate a web hosting like Apache web server on a VMware to the cloud. You can choose either using the cloud base people used or monthly subscription. But clarity is the way it is defined by Cloud relating computing foundation CNCF, to integrate the automation like the coding, the pipeline, the module, the docker and the container.”
What is Cloud native?
While Cloud native refers to the practice of creating and deploying software to make use of cloud computing’s scalable, on-demand computing resources. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation gave us the official definition as following:
Cloud-native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs exemplify this approach.
These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. Combined with robust automation, they allow engineers to make high-impact changes frequently and predictably with minimal toil.
MACH alliance and the role microservices and headless applications play in cloud adoption
MACH Alliance, a new enterprise technology ecosystem, offers businesses a single resource to help them comprehend the complicated world of current technology so they can revolutionize their commerce experience.
Then what’s their exact role in cloud adoption?
Let’s hear it directly from our panelist, Mr. Saruj. “In my experience, I work with Thai enterprises, ranging from 20,000 people down to 500. Accordingly, when it comes to the MACH alliance, the software framework, I think that it depends on each organization and on their existing environment.
In some organizations, they have the luxury to think about Cloud first. They think about all the modernized stuff. But in some organizations, they can’t afford that. Consequently they need to take a step by step, multi-phasing approach. So my short answer would depend on the organization or the environment.
Apart from that I am lucky to be working with lots of CIO down here. As a result it is like I’m trying to build the best airplane in the world. But if you’re a CIO, that’s not the only consideration that you need to make a decision. You need to wait to check if a team is ready to build the best airplane to fly. Then check if we have a pilot to fly that plane. Also do I have the airport to land that plane?
So that’s beyond the design of the airplane. It is about the operational readiness. The competence of the organization’s personnel is crucial. It comes to the interaction with the legacy system that maybe they can’t touch, at least for the foreseeable timeframe, et cetera.”
Tools for data security and data management
Talking a bit deeper about data security and data management in the Cloud. Nassal mentioned the standard. He showed an example that it is like if we do run a financial industry, we have to consider whether the protocol stock one, stock two, stock three is related to financial reports, and financial crisis requirements. More than the security it is about the ISO 27001. Later we consider the security partner, network security, host security , or outside attack security.
At Alibaba, they have a tool called SDDP (Sensitive Discovery Data Protection). Data detection, categorization, grading, and de-identification are just some of the capabilities offered by this comprehensive data security solution. It is designed to help you adhere to the guidelines laid out by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy laws.
Nicolas added some more upon this topic. All the providers are compliant with a lot of rules. But on AWS, at least there are some tools for data security where they can help you to assess if your setup is correctly done, according to this compliance. All the cloud providers now have built in security services. And because everything is in one location, they can make sure that everything is protected.
Shared responsibilities to the data management
The discussion continued with Saruj offering some new insights. When it comes to managing data in the Cloud today, it’s not the Cloud team’s job. It’s not a problem with the IT team. It’s not up to the chief data officer to deal with it. It’s not up to the chief risk officer to handle. And the chief compliance officer has nothing to do with it.
It’s one issue that fits everyone. It’s everybody’s problem. If you are a DPO, you will go to jail in Thailand if you miss handling your data. The law is going to become effective tomorrow, by the way. So with this being said.
It’s not only about the data that sits in your VMs or sitting in your storage. It’s the entire state, because you should be DPO of the company X, regardless of that company sitting you may have. You may have a company in Thailand that operates in Indonesia.
So in Microsoft, we are talking about a hybrid data estate, not about storage in the cloud, or Microsoft Azure. We are discussing storing your data locally on your own server.
I got a customer who came to me and talked about my frontline worker keeping customer confidential PII information in their own personal hard drive on the laptop. And then every customer in Thailand right now runs on the cloud platform.
Here at Microsoft, we’re looking at the best way to manage access, discovery, and the data in a multi environment.
Furthermore, if you run in an organization, you need to have a data policy. How do you classify your data? How do you know that this is confidential? That policy should be unified across your data. So it’s not like, if I work on my email, this is the second policy.
If I work on my Excel spreadsheet, this is another policy. And if I work on My Oracle Database, that’s another policy. No, it has to be one unified policy that can apply to all the data sets.
Where does ‘cloud outage’ insurance fit in?
Cloud service providers are working with insurance firms and Insurtech startups to create cloud-based applications. As of now, the Alibaba Cloud side offers a joint venture solution or deploys any form of security, including workload protection, recovery, and migration.
In addition, Nassal mentioned that they are thinking about a multi-region solution. However, such a strategy would need to be consistent with the cost and benefit analysis performed by the application’s architect, be it stateless or stateful. Another thing in inventory combination is the multi-cloud platform.
Like Microsoft Azure, they have Azure Arc which is a pretty cool solution. Also Alibaba, they have the hybrid backup recovery solution in order to do a multi-cloud solution.
Nicolas provided an additional intriguing point. When you go to Cloud, you sign a contract with a Cloud provider and they will tell you what the availability for this service is. So if the SLA (service-level agreement) is not achieved, you can ask for some money back. Based on this, builders can say, “Okay, let’s build something a bit more robust and go on all the solutions that you mentioned.”
For this reason that’s kind of an insurance as a Cloud provider is something else.
Can’t get enough of this battle? We are pleased to present you with the complete version of this fight, which is shown below. Enjoy!
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