Nov 17

ZDNet – Cloud computing: How to build a business case

Like any other major tech project, moving workloads into the cloud needs a solid business case — one that takes into account all the likely costs and benefits — before a company can decide whether it’s the correct move.

Cloud migration may be a tougher proposition than a standard IT project because companies have to consider a wider variety of issues — like what to do with all those servers, or even entire data centers, that may be made redundant by the move.

The business case should calculate the costs of migrating to the cloud — which include the cost of moving systems over, as well as the cost of running services in the cloud after migration — and then compare them to the costs of keeping systems in-house.

More of the ZDNet post from Steve Ranger

Sep 17

Customer Think – Software Developers Fear That A.I. Will Soon Replace Them

Since its inception in the 19th century, Artificial Intelligence is a growing topic of conversation in both science fiction and intellectual debate. To Cut a long story short, AI turns out to be the most disruptive and pervasive technologies of the current digital revolution. Right from automobiles to health care, home automation, aerospace engineering, material science, sports, the technology has been used very creatively, in hitherto unheard of sectors and has the potential to profoundly affect how we interact across the globe. As a result, the tech industry’s interest becomes stronger than ever.

According to the Oxford dictionary “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

More of the Customer Think article from Nishtha Singh

Jun 17

ZDNet – Three ways to survive the rise of the cloud and ‘big software’

Applications that were once simple to manage are now rolled out across thousands of physical and virtual machines.

These sprawling applications include multiple components, with the potential points of integration spread across the enterprise and out into the wider cloud.

So, what are the key challenges CIOs will face as they overhaul their IT departments in readiness for the next stage of enterprise computing? Here are some key lessons for CIOs.

1. Build a platform for business change

Successful companies in the digital age are characterised by their ability to absorb technology into everyday processes and by ensuring there is no division between what might previously have been classed as IT and business professionals.

More of the ZDNet article from Mark Samuels

Jun 17

IT Business Edge – The Devops Chicken or the Agile Infrastructure Egg?

Does devops lead to agile, or does agile lead to devops? Or perhaps they move in tandem as the enterprise gropes its way through digital transition. And if that’s the case, is optimized, automated infrastructure the cause or the effect of this new IT model?

The answers to these questions could be crucial for the enterprise over the next few years because they speak directly to how technology decisions will be made. For instance, if the right infrastructure is required for devops, then what technologies are needed to deliver the appropriate outcomes? But if devops evolves naturally, then how does the enterprise foster an integrated IT environment rather than simply another collection of disjointed point solutions?

According to a recent survey by BMC Software, the top three priorities for IT investment over the next two years are containers, workload automation/scheduling and devops

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole

Jun 17

The Register – So your client’s under-spent on IT for decades and lives in fear of an audit

Infrastructure as code is a buzzword frequently thrown out alongside DevOps and continuous integration as being the modern way of doing things. Proponents cite benefits ranging from an amorphous “agility” to reducing the time to deploy new workloads. I have an argument for infrastructure as code that boils down to “cover your ass”, and have discovered it’s not quite so difficult as we might think.

Recently, a client of mine went through an ownership change. The new owners, appalled at how much was being spent on IT, decided that the best path forward was an external audit. The client in question, of course, is an SMB who had been massively under-spending on IT for 15 years, and there no way they were ready for – or would pass – an audit.

Trying to cram eight months’ worth of migrations, consolidations, R&D, application replacement and so forth into four frantic, sleepless nights of panic ended how you might imagine it ending. The techies focused on making sure their asses were covered when the audit landed. Overall network performance slowed to a crawl and everyone went home angry.

More of The Register article from Trevor Pott

Oct 16

Data Center Knowledge – Hospital Pays $400,000 HIPAA Breach Penalty for Obsolete ‘Business Associate’ Agreement

HIPAA has teeth. Are your BAAs accurate and up to date?

A Rhode Island hospital agreed this month to pay $550,000 in settlements after failing to properly update business associate agreements as required under the privacy and security rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), federal authorities said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) opened an investigation into Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (WIH) after receiving a report of a data breach in November 2012.

WIH told federal authorities it had lost unencrypted backup tapes containing ultrasounds of 14,004 women, including patient names, dates of birth, dates of exams, physician names and, in some cases, Social Security numbers.

More of the Data Center Knowledge post from Aldrin Brown

May 16

TechTarget – AWS, partners’ balancing act weighs on users, too

AWS partners are a critical part of the growing ecosystem, but the choice between third-party services and the waiting game for native tooling can create problems for users.

There’s a constant balancing act between Amazon and its AWS partners over how best to fill the gaps in its cloud platform — and that creates a set of dilemmas for customers, too.

Amazon has put considerable effort in recent years into expanding its ecosystem, with more than 2,400 AWS partners in technology and consulting. At the same time, it’s constantly churning out improvements to its cloud platform, adding hundreds of upgrades and new services every year. Those parallel efforts can create a strain as both sides try to fill the gaps. For customers, the uncertainty around the ever-changing ecosystem can mean tough decisions for their own environment.

Amazon releases the minimal viable product and iterates from there to add more features, so the challenge often becomes deciding to wait for those additions or go third-party, said Theo Kim, vice president, technical operations and security at Jobvite, Inc., a recruiting software company in San Mateo, Calif. Kim used the example of Web Application Firewall from Amazon which he said has a great price point, but Jobvite is holding out for an expected version that supports Elastic Load Balancing (ELB).

More of the TechTarget article from Trevor Jones

Apr 16

The Register – Successful DevOps? You’ll need some new numbers for that

Dark launches, feature flags and canary launches: They sound like something from science fiction or some new computer game franchise bearing the name of Tom Clancy.

What they are is the face of DevOps – processes that enable projects to run successfully.

And their presence is set to be felt by a good many as numerous industry surveys can attest.

With DevOps on the rise, then, the question becomes one of not just how to implement DevOps but also how to measure the success of that implementation.

Before I get to the measurement, what about how to roll out DevOps? That brings us back to that Tom Clancy trio.

Let’s start with dark launches. This is a technique to which a new generation of enterprises have turned and which is relatively commonplace among startups and giants like Facebook alike.

It’s the practice of releasing new features to a particular section of users to test how the software will behave in production conditions. Key to this process is that the software is released without any UI features.

Canary releases (really another name for dark launches) and feature flags (of feature toggles) work by building in conditional “switches” to the DevOps code using Boolean logic, so different users see different code with different features. The principle is the same as with dark launches: companies can get an idea as to how the implementation is handled without running full production.

More of The Register article from Maxwell Cooter

Jan 16

About Virtualization – The Network is Agile, but Slower with SDN and Microservices

Have you ever moved something in your kitchen because it fits better, only to find that you spend more time having to go and get it where you used to have it closer at hand? This is a simple analogy, but does relate to some confusion that is happening around SDN and microservices implementations.

As new methodologies and technologies come into your organization, we assess what it is that they are meant to achieve. You’ve worked out a list of requirements that you want to see, and from that wish list, you check off which are attained by the product of choice. As we look towards microservices architectures, which I fully agree we should, we have one checklist for the applications. As we look at the challenges that SDN solves, which I fully agree that we should, we have another checklist.

Let’s first approach this by dealing with a couple of myths about SDN and microservices architectures:

More of the About Virtualization post

Jan 16

The Register – IT infrastructure on demand? Yeah right, say devs

IT operations remain completely out of touch with the needs of developers, with CIOs duped into believing a dusting of VMware magic will allow them to construct the sort of whitebox data factories that power the likes of Google, sandbox vendor QualiSystems has declared.

The vendor’s CTO Joan Wrabetz took aim at the industry’s collective self-delusion while unveiling the results of a survey of end-users at this year’s US and European VMworld events, which she said showed IT operations were utterly out of touch with what developers, users and businesses actually need.

The survey found that three-quarters of organisations take at least eight hours to deliver infrastructure to end users, while 43 per cent take more than a week. In 17 per cent of cases, developers can be twiddling their thumbs for more than a month while they wait for ops to carve out some infrastructure for that latest must have release.

Of course, the easy answer is to just spin it all out to the cloud. Except that the respondees reckon it is private cloud where applications are heading. Of the bods taking the survey, 30 per cent of application workloads are running in private cloud, a figure that is expected to grow to 40 per cent over the next two years.

More of The Register post