JP Morgenthal – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:18:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Dell EMC Services Podcasts JP Morgenthal – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean episodic JP Morgenthal – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services casey.may@emc.com casey.may@emc.com (JP Morgenthal – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services) Dell EMC Services Podcasts JP Morgenthal – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services /wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg https://infocus.dellemc.com Notes From The Field: Inside A Real World Large-Scale Cloud Deployment https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/notes-from-the-field-inside-a-real-world-large-scale-cloud-deployment/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/notes-from-the-field-inside-a-real-world-large-scale-cloud-deployment/#respond Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:51:15 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=11865 I’ve been granted an incredible opportunity. Over the past three and a half months I have gotten to lead a real world large-scale delivery of a cloud solution. The final solution will be delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to the customer via an on-premise managed service. While I have developed SaaS/PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solutions in the past, […]

The post Notes From The Field: Inside A Real World Large-Scale Cloud Deployment appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
I’ve been granted an incredible opportunity. Over the past three and a half months I have gotten to lead a real world large-scale delivery of a cloud solution. The final solution will be delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to the customer via an on-premise managed service. While I have developed SaaS/PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) solutions in the past, I was fortunate enough to have been able to build those on public cloud infrastructures. This has been a rare glimpse into the “making of the sausage” having to orchestrate everything from delivery of the hardware into the data center in four countries to testing and integration with the customer environment.

All I can say about this opportunity is that the term, “it takes a village” applies well. I thought I’d share some important generalities about this type of effort. It’s important to note that this is a Global 100 company with data centers around the globe. Regardless of what the public cloud providers are telling the world, this application is not appropriate for public cloud deployment due to the volume of data traversing the network, the amount of storage required, the types of storage required (e.g. Write-Once-Read-Many), level of integration with internal environments and the requirements for failover.

The following are some observations about deploying cloud solutions at this scale:

  • Data Centers. As part of IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) we talk a lot about convergence, software-defined data centers and general consolidation. All of this has major implications for simplifying management and lowering the total cost of ownership and operations of the data centers. However, we should not forget that it still takes a considerable amount of planning and effort to bring new infrastructure into an existing data center. The most critical of these is that the data center is a living entity that doesn’t stop because work is going on, which means a lot of this effort occurs after hours and in maintenance windows. This particular data center freezes all changes between mid-December till mid-January to ensure that their customers will not have interrupted service during a peak period that includes major holidays and end of year reporting, which had significant impact on attempting to meet certain end-of-year deliverables. On site surveys were critical to planning the organization of the equipment (four racks in total) on the floor to minimize cabling efforts and ensure our equipment was facing in the right direction to meet the needs for hot/cold isles. Additionally, realize that in this type of business, every country may have different rules for accessing, operating in and racking your equipment.
  • Infrastructure. At the end of the day, we can do more with the hardware infrastructure architectures now available. While we leverage virtualization to take advantage of the greater compute power, it does not alleviate the requirements around planning a large-scale virtual environment that must span countries. Sometimes, it’s the smallest details that can be the most difficult to work out, for example, how to manage an on-premise environment, such as this one, as a service. The difficulties here is that the network, power, cooling, etc. are provided for by the customer, which requires considerable efforts to negotiate shared operating procedures, while still attempting to commit to specific service levels. Many of today’s largest businesses do not operate their internal IT organizations with the same penalties for failure to meet a service level agreement (SLA) as they would apply to an external service provider. Hence, service providers that must rely on this foundation face many challenges and hurdles to ensuring their own service levels.
  • Security. Your solution may be reviewed by the internal security team to ensure it is compliant with current security procedures and policies. Since this is most often not the team that procured or built the solution, you should not expect that they will be able to warn you about all the intricacies for deploying a solution for the business. The best advice here would be to ensure you engage the security team early and often once you have completed your design. In US Federal IT, part of deployment usually requires that those implementing the system obtain an Authority to Operate (ATO). Quite often, medium- and large-sized businesses have a similar procedure; it’s just not spelled out so succinctly. Hence, these audits and tests can introduce unexpected expenses due to the need to modify the solution and unexpected delays.
  • Software. Any piece of software can be tested and operated under a modest set of assumptions. When that software must be deployed as part of a service that has requirements to meet certain performance metrics as well as meet certain recovery metrics in the case of an outage, that same software can fall flat on its face. Hence, the long pole in the tent for building out a cloud solution at this scale is testing for disaster recovery and scalability. In addition to requiring time to complete, it often requires a complementary environment for disaster recovery and failover testing, which can be a significant additional cost to the project. I will also note that in a complex environment software license management can become very cumbersome. I recommend starting the license catalog early and ensure that it is maintained throughout the project.
  • Data Flow. A complex cloud-based solution that integrates with existing internal systems operating on different networks across multiple countries will have to cross multiple firewalls, routers and run along paths with varying bandwidth carrying varying levels of traffic. Hence, issues for production operation and remote management can be impacted by multiple factors both during planning and during operation. No matter how much testing is done in a lab, the answer seemingly comes down to, “we’ll just have to see how it performs in production.” So, perhaps, a better title for this bullet might be “Stuff You’re Going To Learn Only After You Start The Engine.” Your team will most likely have a mix of personalities. Some will be okay with this having learned from doing similar projects in their past, others will not be able to get past this point and continually raise objections. Shoot the naysayer! Okay, not really, but seriously, adopt this mandate and make sure everyone on the team understands it.
  • Documentation. I cannot say enough about ensuring you document early and often. Once the train is started, it’s infinitely more difficult to catch up. Start with good highly-reviewed requirements. Review them with the customer. Call to order the ARB and have them review and sign off. This is a complex environment with a lot of interdependencies. It’s not going to be simple to change one link without it affecting many others. The more changes you can avoid the more smoothly the process of getting a system into production will be.

Most importantly, and I cannot stress this enough, is the importance in building a team environment to accomplish the mission. Transforming a concept into a production-ready operational system requires a large number of people to cooperatively work together to address the hurdles. The solution as designed on paper will hardly ever match perfectly what is deployed in the field for the reasons stated above. This project is heavily reliant upon a Program Management Organization with representatives from engineering, managed services, field services, product and executive leadership to stay on track. Developing the sense of team within this group is critical to providing the appropriate leadership to the project as a whole. Subsequently, we also formed an Architecture Review Board (ARB) comprised of key technical individuals related to each aspect of the solution to address and find solutions for major technical issues that emerged throughout the project. In this way we ensure the responses were holistic in nature, not just focused on the specific problem, but also provided alternatives that would work within the scope of the entire project.

Read More and Comment: JP’s The Tech Evangelist Blog

The post Notes From The Field: Inside A Real World Large-Scale Cloud Deployment appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/notes-from-the-field-inside-a-real-world-large-scale-cloud-deployment/feed/ 0
Cloud Computing As A Management By Objective (MBO) https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-as-a-management-by-objective-mbo/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-as-a-management-by-objective-mbo/#respond Fri, 09 Nov 2012 14:58:18 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=10374 I’ve gotten to speak with many IT executives over the past few months many who are telling us that they have an MBO to deliver cloud computing. This is a telling statement of the times, but for those with these MBOs such an objective can be a daunting task and can lead to dissatisfied individuals […]

The post Cloud Computing As A Management By Objective (MBO) appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
I’ve gotten to speak with many IT executives over the past few months many who are telling us that they have an MBO to deliver cloud computing. This is a telling statement of the times, but for those with these MBOs such an objective can be a daunting task and can lead to dissatisfied individuals on both sides of the equation.

The first question I typically ask with regard to hearing this statement is, “what is the underlying driver for this MBO?” MBOs are part of a variable compensation model that is intended to foster greater likelihood for success in business initiatives by holding individuals accountable for execution. They can often be loosely-defined leaving room for management to interpret “success” when the time comes to pay out, or they can be very tightly-defined with the goal to meet a specific target. When the expected outcome is “deliver cloud computing,” the onus is on the individual with the MBO to narrow the scope of this MBO as tightly as possible.

If this was my MBO, this is the types of questions I would provide back to my management to narrow the scope and clearly identify the requirements for meeting acceptance criteria to ensure MBO pay outs:

  • What determines success for this project?
  • What is your definition of cloud computing?
  • Is the intended goal to increase agility or save money?
  • What types of workloads are we considering moving to cloud computing?
  • Are we considering public cloud service providers as an option or are we going to build our own cloud on premise?
  • How much funding will I have for resources and training to support this effort?
  • Is Human Resources, Legal and Accounting being instructed that this is a management initiative and supporting my efforts on this delivery? (watch this one carefully as the last thing you want is for management to see this only as an IT or technical initiative)

Realize that certain questions listed above are loaded questions that are intended to get management considering the value proposition for cloud computing. Some executives are being forced by their Board of Directors to leverage cloud computing simply because of misunderstanding of the market with regard to IT costs and competitiveness in their specific marketplace.

Additionally, some executives are simply driving cloud programs because they hear from their peers that cloud improves IT processes.  Many of these executives don’t fully realize that many process improvements can be obtained without cloud computing. For example, those who have been successful in adopting cloud computing have made great strides in reducing the time for provisioning new environments for applications and data. Meanwhile, provisioning times can be greatly reduced in other ways, such as simply moving to virtualization.

It’s also important to ensure you baseline management’s understanding of cloud computing. Business-oriented individuals may not understand the nuances that separate virtualization from cloud computing. Does the business really require dynamic provisioning and elasticity? I’ve talked to many IT executives that have very static environments and simply need to reduce IT overhead costs. In these cases, introducing cloud computing can have the direct opposite effect of increasing overhead costs because it’s not a one-for-one replacement with the current environment.

Cloud computing as an MBO can really be a major plus for the organization as it may demonstrate a desire and willingness to focus on innovation around delivery of IT. It’s important that IT executives do not blindly accept these missions without a) helping their management to understand the breadth of their request, b) narrow the scope to identify a real business value that the MBO can deliver and c) identify success criteria that will lead to the expected outcome and pay out.

The post Cloud Computing As A Management By Objective (MBO) appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-as-a-management-by-objective-mbo/feed/ 0
Cloud Risks: More Organizational than Operational https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-risks-more-organizational-than-operational/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-risks-more-organizational-than-operational/#respond Fri, 02 Nov 2012 14:00:15 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=10180 A lot has been written about the operational risks of cloud computing and how to guard against these kinds of availability or security concerns, but many business leaders have not been spending as much time thinking about organizational risk: the impact of organizational change that follows when cloud computing streamlines organizational processes, defines new roles […]

The post Cloud Risks: More Organizational than Operational appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
A lot has been written about the operational risks of cloud computing and how to guard against these kinds of availability or security concerns, but many business leaders have not been spending as much time thinking about organizational risk: the impact of organizational change that follows when cloud computing streamlines organizational processes, defines new roles and diminished others.

These organizational risks are not just a concern for CIOs and IT organizations, but should also call for attention from HR executives and financial executives who think about the implications for developing skills and careers of the organization and the corresponding impact on a firm’s financial profile.

The post Cloud Risks: More Organizational than Operational appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-risks-more-organizational-than-operational/feed/ 0
Don’t Think Cloud Stack: Think Data and Applications https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/dont-think-cloud-stack-think-data-and-applications/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/dont-think-cloud-stack-think-data-and-applications/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2012 18:21:23 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=9746 A lot of the discussion around cloud deployment focuses on the various layers described by NIST:  infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service.  While this may be a useful way to think about cloud for those who are building clouds, it’s not necessarily the way in which the business finds it easiest to consume IT. I suggest that […]

The post Don’t Think Cloud Stack: Think Data and Applications appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
A lot of the discussion around cloud deployment focuses on the various layers described by NIST:  infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service.  While this may be a useful way to think about cloud for those who are building clouds, it’s not necessarily the way in which the business finds it easiest to consume IT.

I suggest that a more useful way to think about cloud is to think about the impact on data and applications, which is the more natural way that business thinks about IT and expresses its requirements for IT.

There’s a lot of talk about how cloud changes consumption models, but for this promise to be realized, we may need to think more clearly and simply about the ways in which business wants to leverage IT for innovation and competitive advantage.

Sound interesting?  Click the video above to hear more.

The post Don’t Think Cloud Stack: Think Data and Applications appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/dont-think-cloud-stack-think-data-and-applications/feed/ 0
PaaS on Software Defined Data Center = Elastic Cloud Vision https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/paas-on-software-defined-data-center-elastic-cloud-vision/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/paas-on-software-defined-data-center-elastic-cloud-vision/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2012 14:13:17 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=9178 Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is rapidly garnering attention as a means for rapidly building and deploying scalable and elastic applications. However, there are still many misconceptions regarding what are the characteristics that comprise PaaS and, therefore, how is an application designed for a specific PaaS managed and operated in production. The viewpoint of a “magic container” layered […]

The post PaaS on Software Defined Data Center = Elastic Cloud Vision appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is rapidly garnering attention as a means for rapidly building and deploying scalable and elastic applications. However, there are still many misconceptions regarding what are the characteristics that comprise PaaS and, therefore, how is an application designed for a specific PaaS managed and operated in production. The viewpoint of a “magic container” layered on an elastic virtual machine platform in which you drop your application and expect that the infrastructure will provide all the non-functional requirements, such as scalability, high availability, disaster recovery, without the application needing any specialized knowledge of these features or participating in them seems like a recipe for disaster.

The platform is not just the application container and the software services it exposes to the application. Indeed, the platform comprises the infrastructure layer and needs to expose certain operational attributes to the application so that the application can respond accordingly. Moreover, as we move away from thinking deploying applications to deploying services, it becomes readily apparent that there needs to be a way to inform the infrastructure about certain operational requirements in order for us to deploy the service in an automated fashion.

When we layer PaaS on top of a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), we gain a significant advantage in agility with regard to allowing the environment to conform to the needs of the service without the need for human intervention. The SDDC is a programmable means of manipulating and configuring a pool of resources—storage, compute, memory and bandwidth—to meet the needs of a particular service. For example, Software Defined Networking (SDN) allows users incredible power over the control plane within switches and routers facilitating the enablement of network services without requiring that they be bound to a particular network interface. Hence, the platform itself can now carry with it the complete recipe for deployment and operation regardless of the underlying physical topology.

This is huge! The service can now be provisioned to operate in any environment that supports SDDC interfaces without significant human intervention. Today’s PaaS environment represent scalability by the ability to increase the number of nodes or instances available based on demand, but the PaaS can only do so much when “land locked” by a particular hardware architecture or resource pool. By enabling the PaaS to control assets, such as the network, directly, we can migrate the service to resources better able to meet the current demand. Moreover, it can do so without requiring the service environment to change its identity, so that the service can continue to operate throughout the migration.

Imagine the ability for an application monitor to recognize that disk I/O is constraining application performance and automatically migrating the workload to a resource pool that uses different storage architectures, such as Solid State Disk (SSD) or even different disk alignment techniques that provide faster retrieval. Now, imagine that all of these resource pools are organized in a tiered fashion, such that the cost of moving between tiers is known and can incorporated into a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for running that particular service or workload at a particular demand level. The results are greater quality of service for the consumers of that application, better capacity management, built in justifications for capital expenditures and better understanding of the costs associated with operating a particular service at a particular demand level. In short, IT being delivered as a service capable of tuning based on acceptable tradeoffs decided by the business.

We are still quite a ways away from the vision proposed in the last paragraph, but it’s also not the type of vision that the enterprise can wake up one day and buy in a box. This vision will need to be developed over time and there are many skills that today’s IT organizations are going to need to acquire in order to make this vision a reality for their organization. For example, a simple first important step is to define the service catalogs and service tiers for various service offerings, such as storage, network, compute, messaging, etc. Users can also start to develop the business models that underlie chargeback/showback around currently deployed services as a means of starting to understand what it costs to operate the services using the current architectures.

The post PaaS on Software Defined Data Center = Elastic Cloud Vision appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/paas-on-software-defined-data-center-elastic-cloud-vision/feed/ 0
If It’s Not Working As Expected, It May Be The Installer https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/if-its-not-working-as-expected-it-may-be-the-installer/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/if-its-not-working-as-expected-it-may-be-the-installer/#respond Tue, 04 Sep 2012 14:16:08 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=8887 For the 1st time in my life after owning three homes I am in the position of having to replace my air conditioning unit. The company I chose to purchase and install the new unit told me the name of the manufacturer for the unit and I set out to read up on customer reviews […]

The post If It’s Not Working As Expected, It May Be The Installer appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
For the 1st time in my life after owning three homes I am in the position of having to replace my air conditioning unit. The company I chose to purchase and install the new unit told me the name of the manufacturer for the unit and I set out to read up on customer reviews about that manufacturer. I found one site that had over 1,000 reviews with a high majority of them being negative (highly unsatisfied). As I began to read through the reviews, one thing became readily apparent, those who understand heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) praised the unit while customers sweating their … well you know what … off, were highly disappointed.

Having worked on installing new HVAC systems in both of my prior homes I was able to assess that the positive reviews were most likely correct. Frankly, the key theme that iterated through the reviews was if you select a knowledgeable and qualified installer, the unit will work perfectly and if you select an unqualified installer chances are you will have issues with the unit as soon as a week into use. The reason I agree with the positive reviewers was because I have some understanding of the components and common elements of these systems. They’re not plug-n-play. You cannot just put the new unit in place of the old unit and expect everything to work as expected. For example, most new units use a new type of refrigerant and if you don’t properly evacuate the system the older refrigerant will corrupt the new compressor lickety-split.

This led me to think about how many customers are dissatisfied with their IT systems and actualizing the promises of cloud computing.

Read More and Comment: JP’s The Tech Evangelist Blog

The post If It’s Not Working As Expected, It May Be The Installer appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/if-its-not-working-as-expected-it-may-be-the-installer/feed/ 0
Computing At The Edge: A Tale of Two Cities https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/computing-at-the-edge-a-tale-of-two-cities/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/computing-at-the-edge-a-tale-of-two-cities/#respond Mon, 13 Aug 2012 14:35:50 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=8477   Many pundits and thought leaders in cloud computing have put forth a solid understanding of the value of cloud computing as well a reasonable way to consider the technical definition for cloud computing. However, it would seem that one aspect that has gotten little representation is the role the cloud plays in formulating edge […]

The post Computing At The Edge: A Tale of Two Cities appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>

 

Many pundits and thought leaders in cloud computing have put forth a solid understanding of the value of cloud computing as well a reasonable way to consider the technical definition for cloud computing. However, it would seem that one aspect that has gotten little representation is the role the cloud plays in formulating edge computing strategy.

For so long we have seen the cloud represented as a centralized entity. That is, we see the image of a cloud sitting in the middle of a number of connected consumers. From the consumer perspective, this representation is valid. However, from a provider perspective, we know that the cloud is only logically centralized, but comprised of a number of distributed components operating in an orchestrated manner.

When talking with customers, I often remind them that IT is there as a tool to scale the business to meet its mission. Without information technology, businesses would spend much more on, expensive, human labor to meet the demands of operating the business. IT allows businesses to operate the business with fewer human resources because key business processes have been automated. Yet, IT itself has too long had to rely on human labor to handle operational tasks that could have easily been automated, if vendors had only made it a priority to enable their products in such a manner to support automation. Clearly cloud computing has demonstrated a hunger for this capability within industry.

With exception of certain industries whose value it is to deliver cloud services, most business’ IT organizations fundamentally are responsible for managing two key assets: data and applications. Infrastructure is a necessity to enable this responsibility, but in actuality, it can reside anywhere that makes the most sense for the business from a risk, function, and financial aspect. We are starting to see the realities of this point in the rise of the use of public cloud service providers within shadow IT. The business does not care about the compute platform to the degree that their data and applications are available and secure. That said, certainly those delivering IT services to the business recognize that sometimes you cannot escape building and managing your own infrastructure, but in many cases, this option is chosen for the wrong reasons.

Real understanding of cloud computing by the IT organization leads to appropriate choices being made about where applications and data will be hosted. Understanding that cloud is not really a centralized infrastructure, but comprised of a distributed set of nodes that can exist in your own data center or a service provider’s data center enables the architects to envision a new set of computing patterns that leverages the best of what the industry has to offer at this time. It is that aspect of cloud computing’s story that still needs to be told, which I will do here using the analogy of two cities: Dataland and Appland.

Appland and Dataland are two cities that reside near each other, but are separated by a non-traversable land mass. Each city is mostly self-sufficient in that it has its own governance, utilities and security—e.g. police, fire, rescue. Still, in order to get work done some Appites need to work in Dataland and, likewise, some Dataites need to work in Appland. Appland and Dataland are connected by a bridge that sometimes becomes very congested and increases commute times, which often entice Appites and Dataites to pick up and move closer to the city that they work in, so, the populations of each of these cities are constantly in flux growing and shrinking.

Congestion Between the Two Cities

Appland and Dataland as described above are the cloud, not individually two clouds, but working together they create the cloud. Sometimes, it’s advantageous to move the data closer to the application and sometimes it’s advantageous to move the application to the data. Having an architecture that is agile enough to support both of these approaches allows IT organizations to optimize resource utilization. The fact that populations of these cities grows and shrinks every day due to migration illustrates the importance of elasticity and the functional requirement to have governance, utilities and security to support these fluctuations. All of this leads to less time being spent “keeping the lights on” and more time focusing on the critical aspect of IT’s mission; managing the data and the applications.

I hope this analogy has been helpful in understanding cloud computing from the provider’s perspective, a group of which internal IT organizations are definitely included. An interesting addition to this analogy is that the bridge between Appland and Dataland is the network and in cases where hybrid service models are leveraged, that bridge is the Information Superhighway!

The post Computing At The Edge: A Tale of Two Cities appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/computing-at-the-edge-a-tale-of-two-cities/feed/ 0
Cloud Computing Described Through The Analogy of (US) Thanksgiving Dinner https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-described-through-the-analogy-of-us-thanksgiving-dinner/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-described-through-the-analogy-of-us-thanksgiving-dinner/#respond Wed, 25 Jul 2012 15:39:29 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=8078 Ask a technical person what cloud computing is and you will most likely get a boilerplate answer that somewhere in it includes the terms “elastic”, “agility”, “broad network access”, “dynamic”, and “measurable”. However, for most individuals seeking an understanding of the role cloud computing will play in their IT environment, these definitions really don’t answer […]

The post Cloud Computing Described Through The Analogy of (US) Thanksgiving Dinner appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
Ask a technical person what cloud computing is and you will most likely get a boilerplate answer that somewhere in it includes the terms “elastic”, “agility”, “broad network access”, “dynamic”, and “measurable”. However, for most individuals seeking an understanding of the role cloud computing will play in their IT environment, these definitions really don’t answer the mail. That is why I have developed an analogy based on US Thanksgiving dinner to help introduce the concepts of cloud computing. So far, this analogy has worked out pretty well in discussions with customers for creating a visualization of what we are attempting to achieve with cloud and why it’s different than what IT is typically doing today.

Let’s start with the carving the turkey. Every year you invite ten people to Thanksgiving dinner. Since you invite the same people every year, you’ve learned after the first couple of years exactly how to carve up an eighteen pound turkey so that there are enough pieces to feed everyone. Moreover, you know exactly how much white meat there will be and how much dark meat. Additionally, since you invite the same ten people every year, you have an understanding of which pieces each of these individuals prefer. The result is that everyone is, mostly, happy and you have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. The reason I said “mostly happy” is because some people settle for less preferential pieces, but they don’t complain and make due with what’s available.

This pretty much epitomizes today’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings. There’s a set of resources (the turkey) and it gets carved up into small, medium and large sized virtual machines. There’s very little deviation from the template. You get a certain amount of memory, CPU and bandwidth associated with your selection. Carving up the resource pool in this manner means that operations can more easily manage the cloud environment, ensure that there’s enough “turkey” for everyone and it satisfies a well-known audience. Based on this approach, it’s easy to monitor capacity and define rules for expanding the resource pool. Additionally, the pool is expanded in fixed increments facilitating easier acquisition.

The above offering describes a good first step on the road to delivering cloud computing, but it is not cloud computing; it’s virtualization. Moreover, IT organizations applying this approach are typically modeling their physical data center as a virtual entity. So, let’s explore what happens when we move from virtualization to cloud computing continuing our Thanksgiving dinner analogy.

This year, Crazy Uncle Joe returns from abroad and would like to attend your Thanksgiving dinner. Introducing Uncle Joe changes a lot about your environment. For one, Joe always asks for his turkey in a way that totally undermines your method of carving. That is, Joe wants a piece of the bird that you typically carve into two separate pieces. Additionally, Joe can’t get along with Aunt Mimi, which means that the seating for the table must also change. The issue before you is how can you accommodate Uncle Joe, while still being able to ensure there’s enough turkey for all the other guests and ensuring there’s not an all-out brawl in the middle of dinner? Now we’re talking cloud computing!

Restated as an operational problem, how can you carve up your compute resource pool in a dynamic way that ensures that your existing customers continue to be serviced at an expected service level, without adding resources—additional capacity may be required, but for this scenario, we are assuming the resources are there, but you need to approach carving the pool differently—and without allowing processes to co-reside next to each other that have the ability to limit each other’s performance. This is the challenge for IT organizations as they move to cloud computing.

Traditional approaches to IT rely on dedicated hardware for specific applications. Hence, if an application needs storage, throw a few more disks in the array. If it needs more processors, throw a couple of more blades into the chassis or a few more nodes into the rack. The application stack approach is rarely ever impacted by other applications running in the data center as they are usually separated by subnets with quality-of-service controls placed at the routers. All-in-all, if it wasn’t insanely expensive and wasteful, the simplicity has a sense of beauty. Take all those apps, throw them onto the same resource pool and the cost of power and cooling drops, resource utilization goes up and the overall complexity of managing the environment increases exponentially. That is, assuming you’re delivering cloud computing and not just virtualization.

To move from virtualization to cloud computing requires significant planning, training and new tools. Using our turkey analogy once again, once you lock in the way to carve the turkey, doing it year after year requires no changes. However, now that Uncle Joe is showing up, you need assistance to understand how carving the turkey to support Joe’s request will impact your approach to carving up what’s left. If, somehow, Uncle Joe finds his way to the seat next to Mimi, which happens as people move around to talk more freely, then this will certainly be a Thanksgiving the family will be talking about for many years to come. Hence, you need to play traffic cop as people move around governing where they can move and where they cannot.

The above scenario represents needs for tools to support cloud-based capacity management, governance controls over virtual machine execution, and automation and orchestration tools to simplify these tasks so that they do not consume all the human resources available to administer and operate the environment. In turn, these tools are supported by the likes of service catalogs and cloud managers. As you can see this is a comprehensive change to most existing IT environments.

So, in conclusion, hopefully this piece will be helpful for you in your quest to better understand cloud computing and to be able to explain to others what it is and what it takes to implement. There are great upsides for organizations that can harness this vision and make it work. Meeting workload demands in a dynamic fashion, better utilization of existing resources, and making the organization more agile are some of the key results that can be achieved by implementing cloud computing.

Read More and Comment:  InfoQ

The post Cloud Computing Described Through The Analogy of (US) Thanksgiving Dinner appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-described-through-the-analogy-of-us-thanksgiving-dinner/feed/ 0
Cloud Should Be Defined By What It Will Become, Not What It Is Today https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-should-be-defined-by-what-it-will-become-not-what-it-is-today/ Thu, 12 Jul 2012 18:22:49 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=7816 There’s been a lot of discussion about what makes cloud computing different than other forms of computing that have come before. Some refer to the set of attributes set forth by NIST, while others rely on less succinct qualifications simply satisfied to identify network accessible services as cloud, and others define cloud by applicable business […]

The post Cloud Should Be Defined By What It Will Become, Not What It Is Today appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
There’s been a lot of discussion about what makes cloud computing different than other forms of computing that have come before. Some refer to the set of attributes set forth by NIST, while others rely on less succinct qualifications simply satisfied to identify network accessible services as cloud, and others define cloud by applicable business models. In the past, I have written about scale as a common abstraction based on upon some of these other definitions. However, more recently, I’ve come to the realization that we need to define cloud by where it’s going and not what it is in its infancy.

Cloud computing is following in the vein of the automobile and fast food industries. These industries introduced their first products with little to no customization and then changed and competed on value based upon significant customization. The automobile industry started out offering only a black Ford Model T and today allows buyers to order a completely custom designed car online delivered to their home. Likewise, cloud computing started out as vanilla infrastructure services and is rapidly moving towards greater levels of customization. Ultimately, cloud computing will not be defined by service model monikers, but will be a complete provision, package and deliver (PPD) capability facilitating control over the type of hardware, operating systems, management systems, application platforms and applications.

When building a new home, buyers go through a process of choosing carpeting, fixtures, countertops, etc., but ultimately, their expectations are that they will be moving into a completed house and not showing up to a pile of items that they then need to further assemble themselves. This is the perspective that we should be applying to delivery of cloud computing services. Consumers should have the opportunity to select their needs from a catalog of items and then expect to receive a packaged environment that meets their business needs.

Much of today’s cloud service provider offerings either approximate raw materials that require additional refinement or are a pre-configured environment that meets a subset of the overall requirements needed. The former approach assumes that the consumer for these services will take responsibility for crafting the completed service inclusive of the supporting environment. The latter approach simplifies management and operations, but places restrictions on the possible uses for the cloud service. Both of these outcomes are simply a result of the level of maturity in delivering cloud services. Eventually, the tools and technologies supporting PPD will improve leading to the agility that epitomizes the goals for cloud computing.

Meeting the goals for PPD entails many prerequisite elements. Chief among these is automation and orchestration. Cloud service providers manage pools of resources that can be ‘carved’ up many different ways. Due to the complexity in pricing and management, most cloud service providers limit the ways this pool is allocated. As the industry matures, service providers will improve at developing pricing algorithms and have greater understanding for what consumers really need. Meanwhile, we will see great improvements in cloud manager software that will facilitate easier management and allocation of resources within the pool allowing for much more dynamic and fluid offerings. Coupled with automation and orchestration, cloud service providers will find it easier to offer consumers greater numbers of options and permutations while still being able to balance costs and performance for consumers.

Defining cloud computing by its nominal foundations is akin to specifying the career choice for a young child. Infrastructure, platform and software services illustrate possibilities and solve some important business problems today. However, most businesses still find cloud environment too limiting for their mission critical applications, such as manufacturing and high-volume transactions. It won’t be long, though, before users can specify the speed of the network, the response requirements for storage, the security profile, number and types of operating system nodes and quality-of-service parameters that the environment must operate under, among many other attributes, and have the service provision, package and deliver to us our requested virtual environment. This is what we should be using as the profile by which we define cloud computing.

Read More and Comment:  JP’s The Tech Evangelist Blog

The post Cloud Should Be Defined By What It Will Become, Not What It Is Today appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
Cloud Computing: Uncovering the Real Risks https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-uncovering-the-real-risks/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-uncovering-the-real-risks/#respond Thu, 31 May 2012 13:29:43 +0000 http://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=6679 There is a lot of chatter these days about cloud and risk.  Most of the discussion focuses on technical questions relating to security.  Can I trust public cloud providers and is my data safe in the cloud? However, the issue of risk is much more comprehensive. Risk is about identifying the factors that endanger us […]

The post Cloud Computing: Uncovering the Real Risks appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
There is a lot of chatter these days about cloud and risk.  Most of the discussion focuses on technical questions relating to security.  Can I trust public cloud providers and is my data safe in the cloud? However, the issue of risk is much more comprehensive. Risk is about identifying the factors that endanger us and identifying how to mitigate those factors. Certainly, security is a key component of risk, but so is law, policy, regulation, use and environment.

Looking at cloud computing, the risks range in type from getting the expected value from investment to understanding the impacts of signing a service level agreement with a service provider. With so much promise, it’s understandable that there’s a high corresponding risk.

First, it’s a question of understanding the business value of cloud. There are lots of aspects to assessing how cloud computing can help your business. However, to appropriately analyze where cloud computing delivers value, you must first understand: a) your business’ goals, b) the current business climate, c) cloud computing and d) what risks are acceptable.   Note that you need the right business context to make the appropriate decisions on risks.

With these pieces of information the business leaders can make a decision for how to proceed. Options for moving forward may include: 1) acquiring software-as-a-service, 2) transforming your infrastructure to support agility, 3) outsourcing some of your infrastructure to a public provider, or 4) doing nothing.

On April 17th my latest book was released entitled, Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks co-authored with Jared Carstensen and Bernard Golden. The book focuses on various aspects of risk surrounding deployment and use for cloud computing, such as financial, organizational, security and operational and is targeted to executives, architects and engineers that are currently engaged in trying to understand how cloud computing impacts their business.

Interestingly, some businesses forget doing nothing is an option if the alternative is making a move without fully understanding the risks in context of your business the outcomes may be very unpleasant. Our book provides a solid foundation for the reader to understand and become knowledgeable in cloud computing and the associated risks. Risk management is a diverse and complex area of study, but I believe we have designed the book to deal with the most pertinent and relative questions being asked of cloud computing.  For example:

  • What are the risks to using cloud computing?
  • What tools are available for managing risk regarding using cloud computing?
  • How do risks align with various service and deployment models?
  • What issues arise when operating across international borders?
  • If something happens, e.g. a breach, how can I get the information I need?
  • What should I ask for in a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
  • How will using cloud computing potentially change my organization?
  • How can cloud computing help ensure greater availability and resilience?

Cloud computing is one tool to help deliver IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) and it needs to be planned for and implemented with adequate protections and assurances; some, which have never been used before due to the nature of delivering shared services on shared resources.

The book is now available for purchase thru Amazon.com. Click on the book image (above) or hit the jump here for a closer look.

The post Cloud Computing: Uncovering the Real Risks appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

]]>
https://infocus.dellemc.com/jp_morgenthal/cloud-computing-uncovering-the-real-risks/feed/ 0