Posts Tagged ‘cloud computing’

12 ways the cloud changes everything

Monday, July 18th, 2011

12 Ways The Cloud Changes Everything – #12 Cloud services foster innovation. #Cloud. Read the others @

Despite fears over reliability and security, enterprises are slowly but steadily moving their applications to the cloud, and the migration is going to change those companies in profound ways.

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Adoption of Server Virtualization Widespread: Symantec Report – Midmarket – News & Reviews – eWeek.com

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Here’s an eWeek article highlighting the key findings of a recent Symantec survey on virtualization and cloud computing.

The survey highlighted topics including server, client, and storage virtualization and hybrid/private cloud technologies.

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Journey to the Cloud: Top 5 Tips to Initiate Your 2011 Virtualization Strategy | Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Journey to the Cloud: Here Are The Top 5 Tips to Initiate Your Virtualization Strategy

Virtual Strategy Magazine is an online publication devoted entirely to virtualization technologies.

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Are you ready for Internet Summit 2010?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Our very own Chief Technology Officer Steve Bulmer had the opportunity to chat with Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon about what to expect at Internet Summit 2010 this week. Lee offers insight into the future of cloud computing and what he sees as the latest trends and caveats.

Also, don’t miss a live panel discussion about the “Future of Cloud Computing” hosted by Steve and scheduled to take place at the conference on November 18th at 11:10am to 12:20pm. Participants include:   

  • Lee Congdon – CIO, Red Hat
  • Marc Ferrentino – Chief Technical architect, Safesforce.com
  • Roland Wartenberg – Director of Business Development & Strategic Alliances, Citrix
  • Tom Fisher – VP Cloud, SuccessFactors

Stop by the Consonus booth if you can…booth #8 in the main corridor. Meet our President and CEO Bob McCarthy, and chat with other distinguished members of the Consonus team including: VP, Consulting and Technical Solutions Michael Overton, Senior Account Executive Mike Gleason, Director of Business Development – Managed Services Allan Fisher, and more.

See you at Internet Summit 2010 at the Raleigh Convention Center!

Six Key Virtualization Opportunities

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

As you continue the transition from physical to virtual to automated to cloud, take advantage of the features of virtualization technology that enhance process capabilities and efficiencies. Many of these features are embedded in the solutions that you may have already implemented, but are not yet enabled and integrated with your processes.

#1 – Right-size and protect the Priority O infrastructure.
If your production environment has availability problems, support priority 0 applications and services and concentrate on providing automation to your virtualized environment. Take the opportunity to perfect and stabilize these services.

#2 – Migrate key applications to a hybrid cloud using SaaS and PaaS models.
Focus on delivering core applications, desktop productivity applications and the like through thin-application deployment mechanisms. Insist that your IT staff also consider availability, manageability, and recoverability in the design. Doing so will improve security, limit loss of data and cut new user provisioning to a fraction.

#3 – Transform the IT asset lifecycle through process maturity and automation.
Bring your best people out of the trenches and teach them to consult internally in your organization. Smart and educated IT folks are natural process improvement consultants. Take advantage of this opportunity and start building process capabilities now.

#4 – Strategically design an Operational Continuity model using virtualization.
A few best-practice approaches can help plug the dam on virtualization sprawl. It comes down to a strong combination of IT process methodology and lifecycle management utilizing the ever-maturing tools that enable IT organizations.

#5 – Create a baseline VDI infrastructure for the IT staff.
Delivery of virtual desktops is on the horizon. Now is the time to investigate and build VDI capabilities within your IT operations. Incorporate a combination of careful requirements development and understand how your organization measures ROI and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

#6 – Reclaim your cloud by reclaiming excess capacity.
Process capability is the ability to provide output. Just like maintaining an inventory of product ready to ship when demand requires it, your virtualization inventory must be properly stored, labeled and available to your customers in an efficient and effective way. Inventory planning and making organization decisions under pressure is not the ideal circumstance. Cull your waste now and improve how you stock your warehouse of process capabilities.

VMworld 2010: Pushing Virtualization Forward

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

If you didn’t make VMworld 2010, you missed:  17,000 attendees including business leaders, engineers, product managers, marketers, four days of hands-on labs, partner messages, emerging technologies, highly-processed food, music from the 80s band INXS, and some very bold commentary about an area of IT business that is changing the way we think about how we deploy and support IT assets —Virtualization.

The biggest news comes from VMware and the addition of vCloud Data Center Services for hybrid and public cloud computing to the VMware arsenal, which was available and definitely impressive to those who attended the hands-on labs.  This tool individually sets VMware apart from Microsoft and other virtual cloud vendors via:

  • A formalized delivery of vSphere and all vSphere components in a consumer-style, on-demand provisioning process that is equal to any of the public cloud offerings.
  • A simple and comprehensive tool that installs as an umbrella management tier over vCenter (or a collection of vCenter instances) that allows infrastructure administrators to make demand-based computing real and secure.

There were plenty of other product announcements during VMware’s huge sales pitch, like VMware View 4.5 and improvements on application delivery but vCloud Data Center Services and the complimentary components is a quantum leap for hosting and IaaS providers, the primary providers and consumers of virtualization technology. 

VMware continues to astound those of us who have long believed in the concept of virtualization and its ability to transform our computing world.

Stan Yarbrough
Sr. Consultant Specialist in Virtualization and IT Strategy

Manage Your Data Center Like Your Household

Friday, May 14th, 2010

There is a lot being said about cloud computing these days and yes, it is darn confusing. Yet, many of us are already equipped with the decision-making experience that applies to cloud services: Look to how you manage your household as a model for managing your data center.

1) Outsource the Crap.
We all have low value activities that bring little or no personal gain, but are facts of life in managing the household. I hate to mow the lawn. Yet I want a decent yard. So I outsource it to someone who actually does a better job and is more regular. If he messes up, I yell at him, so I maintain control. Like cloud computing, it is a pain to change IT providers (but not impossible), so I have to keep him honest, and he gets my business back year after year. My other benefit? I didn’t expend capital for a tractor and I have 3 extra hours a week to make money at my home business.

2) Understand the risk/reward based on the value of the asset.
OK, in the grand scheme of things my lawn is not really that important. I’m going to think differently about my lawn service versus who watches my children. Like cloud services, I’m going to think differently depending on whether I in-source or out-source that service. We have baby sitters in our homes at much younger ages than when we outsource them to someone else’s house for the first time.

3) Consider the impact on internal customers.
Your household has internal “customers” just like your business. Consider how your outsourced decisions affect them too. My wife was guilty for hating laundry until she realized I preferred paying the dry cleaner because they iron better.

4) End the middle management problem.
Managers lament they are saddled with accountability for things they don’t have authority to control, like parents trying to control restless teenagers. Good managed services providers own accountability yet empower their customers through SLA’s with stricter levels of adherence than are found internally. If I could only outsource disciplining my teenager for a few years….oh wait, it’s called boarding school!

Steve Bulmer
Chief Technology Officer

Cloud Computing 101

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Cloud computing can be a cost-saving IT alternative. However, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding this paradigm and how to deploy it to best address business challenges.  Before you can analyze whether cloud computing is right for your business, you must first understand what it is…and is not.

 Cloud Computing Defined
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service power interactive. Cloud models have these characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service – Users provision their own services
  • Elasticity – Capabilities scaled or released rapidly
  • Ubiquitous network access – Standard network or mobile access
  • Resource pooling – Shared resources and location independence
  • Measured service – Metered, monitored, and billed as utility

The cloud model promotes systems availability and business agility and encompasses three service models and four deployment models.

Cloud Service Models

  • Infrastructure as a Service – User access to IT infrastructure
  • Platform as a Service – User deployment using providers’ tools
  • Software as a Service – User access to the application layer

Cloud Deployment Models

  • Private Cloud – Deployed for a single organization or company
  • Community Cloud – Shared by organizations with similar needs
  • Public Cloud – Cloud services available to all and shared
  • Hybrid Cloud – Two or more clouds with operational relationship

 At a high-level, this is what cloud computing is all about. The cloud computing paradigm is ideally suited for organizations with limited budgets because start-up costs are low. And when deployed successfully, cloud computing can definitely reduce IT infrastructure sprawl, increase manageability, add agility, and improve the overall cost-effectiveness of IT. But the key word here is successfully…it takes competence, skill, and experience to get there, so consult industry experts before seeking refuge in the cloud or you run the risk of being left out in the rain.

UNCC SaaS Conference: A Recap

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The second annual SaaS Conference, held last week on the UNC Charlotte campus, was not as well-attended as last year, but it did provide great insight into emerging trends in the SaaS sector as well as cloud computing in general. 

While IT old-timers contend that SaaS is merely the new name for the Application Service Provider (ASP) model of the ‘90s and therefore nothing new, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a firm new home for SaaS within the cloud computing framework, giving it the credibility that ASP never had. 

Gartner, one of the presenters at the event, has been tracking trends and issues in the SaaS sector for nearly a decade and indicated this week that SaaS is more mature than the more recent phenomenon of cloud computing, however both are certainly here to stay.  Gartner also stated that it’s currently unclear whether cloud computing will follow the same trends as SaaS, but SaaS is definitely a healthy and growing business model.  With respect to reduced ROIs, Gartner presented some surprising findings related to the length of time required to deploy SaaS solutions in larger enterprise environments as a result of training and integration delays.

Other topics included a presentation by Womble Carlyle from Sandridge & Rice regarding legal risk and concepts when utilizing third party SaaS providers.  Discussions also focused on hidden costs, management overhead, and operational and security risks.  In addition, some information was presented regarding which cloud service model (IaaS, PaaS, or private) is the most appropriate methodology for various SaaS deployments

Thanks to the UNC-Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics for brining the developers, presenters, practitioners, and service providers together for this informative event.

Daniel S. Milburn, CISSP
SVP, COO of Hosting & Infrastructure Services