Adoption of OpenStacks: Optimize Tech Spends & Be Future-ready for Cutting-edge Tech

Adoption of OpenStacks: Optimize Tech Spends & Be Future-ready for Cutting-edge Tech

Shashank Sathe, CTO, Bajaj Capital

Having completed his PGDCM in Applications Development & High Availability Computing, Shashank boasts of close to two decades of experience during which he has held executive positions across a multitude of companies such as Personiva Corp, Rajshri Media and Suvidha Infoserve to name a few.

Since times immemorial technologists have been at loggerheads, debating about the best(or rather, the most suitable) or the preferred engineering framework. For decades, purists have been going mental, fighting it out about the OpenSource technology framework versus the Proprietary/Paid software development framework even today, this topic or topics related to the above subject, are known to consume a large chunk of tech discussions. This entire discussion is a little ironic.

OpenSource technology stack, for various weird reasons, has always been at the receiving end of things. Despite not having any factual data-points, OpenSource & OpenStacks framework, has always been victimized scandalized, and has been pushed aside, saying it is the preferred model of development only for college kids, for interns and for startups, who cannot afford paid software, who have little regard for the holy grails of the SDLC ethics. The fact of the matter is, every tech innovation happens on OpenSource space first! It then takes a smart human, who then realizes the true might of that innovation> that individual then customizes it/rebrands it & starts selling it as his/her proprietary product! This has been true for almost every single paid software we see of today.

Most of the times, the agenda of maligning Open Stacks is observed to be triggered & fueled by the decades-old monolithic computing giants, who themselves have been leeching, the entire computing industry dry, in their shameless greed trying to push/force feed their own years old technologies/ products to less knowing customers.

Thanks to the ever-shrinking tech budgets & ever increasing expectations of the users/customers, Smart Startup companies started playing the role of the mainstream Technology Transformers, embracing non-conventional models of doing business & even more non-conventional models of computing. A no-nonsense and radical thought process started throwing hard hitting questions, about every aspect in the corporate technology implementation/ solutioning.

The industries/verticals, with ultra-large compute requirements, were some of the supersmart ones to adopt & to adapt with, the changing times. Most new-age tech companies of today whether they be in Social Media, B2B2C, IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS space, were some of the first ones to harness & explore the real power of OpenStacks and its related use cases.

Gone are the days when Perl/Python, Django, JavaScript (Node/React/Angular), MySQL, PostGRESQL, Mongo, Cassandra, Hadoop, Kubernetes, Dockers, and Jenkins were looked at as ‘College Project’ preferred frameworks. Today, almost every company that has been bleeding itself to death on Tech spends, has started adoption of most of the above technology pieces, in some form or other, to get a grip on its engineering management & spend rationalization. M.E.A.N & N.E.R.M are the new defacto preferred development paradigms!

Also, gone are the days when CXOs sitting at their monthly review meeting, tabled their favorite ‘bashing boy’ discussion ‘Should we invest time/efforts/money on cloud adoption?’ In today’s day & age, any company that is not having a defined adoption cum migration strategy to the cloud, will begin its journey to the end!

Times are changing at the speed of thought. What was hygiene yesterday, is the passe of today & what was cutting-edge yesterday, is the new norm of today. IoT, BlockChain + HyperLedger Virtual Currency, Serverless
Compute, Deep Learning + Machine Learning + Artificial Intelligence driven algorithms/Data Modelling, to arrive at a Single View of Customer (SVoC) using DataLake, Robotic Process Automation for operational efficiencies, selflearning & adapting workflows & nearzero scope for errors, and many others, are all the norms of today (even though over 80 percent of the Fintech companies & banks in India are almost completely ignore most of these essential to adopt technologies).

As if all these were not enough, Edge Computing, Quantum Computing, Grid IoT Computing, and Fanatical Commoditized Security Solutions are already being termed as the nextbig tech milestones. With 5G networks knocking on our doors & handheld devices becoming more powerful than most enterprise grade servers, computing as a process, is moving rapidly from on-premise, to in datacenters, to running over absolute serverless compute, to running over edge-compute devices i.e. cellphones & handheld devices.

The need for power-users/advanced-users or developers having their own dedicated workstations is too long gone already

Consolidation, re purposing & re use of as maximum permissible technology assets is already the new norm whether that be for network, hardware, data bases, sandboxing, containerization, presentation layers, UI/UX, or source code. ‘Code Once & Use Multiple Times’ is already the new digital nirvana!

The need for power users/advanced users or developers having their own dedicated workstations is too long gone already. Logging on to a centralized development console, firing up your preferred IDE environment& carrying out your day to day tasks within a completely virtualized devspace, is already the most preferred model as that enhances the productivity by upto 60 percent. The ability to turn ON/OFF every element of the technology piece is offering unprecedented control, power & thereby cost-savings to tech architects. This model also allowed unprecedented flexibility to the entire technology staff. Work from Home? No, work from anywhere is the new reality mantra! So as long as you deliver what’s expected from you for that day, who really cares where you are working from anyway?

Infrastructure, code & data repositories, version control, configuration management, release management, tech asset utilizations & consumptions, perpetually infinite options for deploying the Business Logic Layer, Data Access Layer, Compute + Processing Layer & Consolidated Data Layer is now a reality. Gone are the days of using old-school Enterprise Serial Bus which has already been replaced by an infinitely lightweight, hyperlight weight& easy to develop + maintain & far more secure API gateways.

The times of replacing the Monolithic frameworks with the Microservice based frameworks, ridiculously expensive to own & manage Data Stacks with pay-only-for what you use Hybrid Data models, dated & decade old IDE’s & coding languages with ultra portable & truly future-proof/future-ready development stacks, maintaining multiple separate code repositories & version, for multiple operating systems & end users, with code-once-use & deploy on all-screens known-to-mankind model, from the conventional Scale-up model to a pathbreaking modular Scale out to Edge out model are the harsh realities of the times.

The sooner we adopt these new norms the better is the chance of an organizations longterm survival in these dramatically transforming times. It will be far wiser to build a team of super techsavvy ‘hands-on’ guys, to initiate & drive these transformation initiatives, with a single-track focus. Organization who fail to realize these facts early-on, will imperatively continue to bleed themselves & it’s only their so called ‘consulting partners’ who will reap hay.

Instead of spending crores on ownership costs, licensing costs, maintenance costs, AMC costs, and a dozen other costs, would it not make sense to spend a percentile of that amount on your own assets, i.e. your staff instead for obvious & longterm benefits? Go ahead, adopt OpenStacks + OpenSource + a nearzero cost of ownership compute model instead with a clear intent and vision the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks (if at all any)