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The Illiterate of the 21st Century

"How are you defining your strategy?"

“How are you defining your strategy?”

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, un learn and relearn”

I am guilty of this as much as anyone else, in my role we constantly learn new technology, derive that it is the best technology in the world and that it can change everything and then a new shiny object comes along and the focus switches. Throwing technology at an issue or opportunity fills a hole but does it drive a strategy? I would argue no, the IT world has been fed the word “Cloud” now for years and now everyone is on board with cloud and accepts this as a technology and a viable way that the world of IT is heading, most are now looking to IT professionals and asking “How do we get there?”

This is a common question and a vendors immediate response will be “Well this technology can definitely solve this”. My experience so far has taught me a few things, IT roles are changing they will become more strategy driven and service orientated yet most companies I now come across are still defining their strategy and really value input in to this. A strategy is a complex timeline of events to reach a goal which has a direct outcome to the business whether this be something as generic as saving money or generating new business.

The important term here is “business” the people who sign off the cheques and allow business units to pursue technologies. The strategy does not start and end with an IT department for Cloud. It should be transparent across a business yet here is the inherent problem, because “Cloud” is such a common term now people read all about the good and bad stories of cloud which can be positive and negative thus affecting a strategy.

So thinking about “Cloud” we all know the technology is there but how does a business understand the change it will bring?

The approach is simple, a step back from technology needs to be taken. In my experience the one element holding up large organisations moving to a cloud model which ever this may be, is applications. How does a large organisation understand 20 years of their applications, dependancies, landscapes, & feasibility for the cloud? In present years this would have been solved by a large complex consulting engagement which would tag applications, long story short it was a manual process which took 6-12 months. EMC last year purchased a company called “Adaptivity” which automates all of this but goes one step further with data classification, applicable data laws and a modern ranking of the applications suitability to be moved in to a cloud model such as Rack space or ATOS.

It is only when an organisation understands these large application landscapes that they can address the second issue of adopting a cloud utility model to effectively charge back BU’s. This is another common comment, the IT departments want to charge back but the BU’s are not in tune with this. Echoing back to the start of this post I mentioned transparency and it needs to have buy in across the business. Charge back and show back are elements which are desirable and it is only when organisations understand the true needs of the applications that they can streamline for the cloud. If a company takes an approach to “Gold” everything, so fast disks, huge memory in servers, backup, replication etc expect to pay for that in the cloud, this service costs and only once you have classified your applications can the financial areas of the business can explore the costs of keeping this in house or moving to a public cloud.

So stepping away from the technology and looking beyond software and hardware will drastically power conversations surrounding Cloud based technologies.

So back to the start of my comment on learning and re-learning, people want to embrace cloud but need guidance on this. Workshops and gap analysis studies with Cloud Strategy have been hugely popular and effective in this space, the more I run these type of events the more I learn that the cloud conversation struggles are not local but felt across the industry.


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Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) Support for VPLEX

storageous:

Great plugin which should be taken note of!

Originally posted on logicalblock:

Here is a FREE plugin for VPLEX that you should be using if you aren’t already.

What is Virtual Storage Integrator aka VSI?

VSI is a standard EMC plugin for VMware vCenter. Using VSI, you can drill down into specifics for EMC platforms. VPLEX was supported with the Virtual Storage Integrator pretty much from the get go for the storage visibility use-case. In other words, for VPLEX, VSI would allow you to drill down from vCenter to your vmdk to the associated VPLEX storage and then tell you which particular backend storage it was.

So what’s new

With the release of VSI 5.6, the above functionality for VSI was enhanced to now allow provisioning VPLEX virtual volumes directly from within vCenter. You can now go into vCenter and select the VPLEX cluster that you want to provision and then create virtual volumes (local or distributed), choose what consistency groups and…

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Consumer Drones & CIA Cloud?

I was fascinated to read about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos mention two things this week in a press appearance “Consumer Drones” & “Private Cloud”. Amazon as a company still continue to impress me, they are always at the bleeding edge and tend to see or imagine a long time before the remainder of the industry catches up.

Firstly lets take the word private cloud which Amazon go to lengths never to mention. Earlier in the year I blogged about the potential rumours that Amazon were building a CIA private cloud and the implications that this could have on competitors, please see the link below.

CIA Cloud

So it seems that this was not media hype and in fact this is a reality, So if you put two and two together and think if Amazon are embarking on a large scale secure cloud with the CIA they will surely apply the lessons learnt there and be even more formidable in the market place. This is certainly a wake up call for the old school of the industry who will not move PROD & enterprise workloads in to the cloud? It seems more and more now that Amazon are targeting this sector and with their pricing model and success you would not bet against them achieving such a feat. Amazon are the dominant player in this arena but they have mostly focussed on public cloud and if they can make the CIA cloud work then surely others would follow. 

The market share for cloud at the moment seems to be ramping up even more, with VMware announcing at VMworld 2013 the vCloud Hybrid services and drawing a line in the sand to target Amazon. It will be fascinating to see what un folds with this next year. 

Consumer Drones? 

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Secondly Jeff talked about consumer drones, and this fascinated me. Small electrically powered “octocopters” (Amazon Name) will deliver lightweight consumer goods in urban areas with a distance of 10 miles. This is to drastically cut down energy costs from fuel and traffic in built up areas. The whole thing seems like something out of a Sci-Fi movie though, imagine a drone landing on your front garden delivering a package, I think it would be fantastic. Obviously this is all still in the R&D phase right now and there would be endless amounts of testing and red tape to get through but just think if anyone can do this it would be Amazon! 

Food for thought anyway!


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The consumption of digital media

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I recently read a post which talked about are artists dying due to the consumption of digital media, this got me thinking. If you have ever seen the film WALL-E the film it is about an adorable trash robot which in habits an earth. One interesting insight in to the future with this film were the scenes from the cruise spaceship. It featured people floating around on chairs with a screen of some sort in their face and they lived their life through this screen oblivious to their surroundings.  

Got me thinking about how much time I spend with a screen in my face, IPAD, IPHONE, laptop etc, and mostly we all work with computers at work but we interface so much now with others via devices its pretty remarkable. I think that we do live in a golden age of technology at the moment and no more so is it demonstrated by me writing this blog and reaching out to you! We live in a world where we can consume several streams of information, from news, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Candy Crush saga, 4 Pics one word and thats just while we are watching the TV at night time! 

There was recently a programme on the BBC about the golden age of Jet engine technology and how it shaped the world, but our modern jet engine is the internet, it truly is a remarkable time where there are new technology startups and interesting technologies spawned consistently. I would class us all by now as digital natives, we interface with technology on a constant basis and as a trade off to that we learn and develop new skills but also learn that there is choice in what we consume, if something is not good enough we simply seek an alternative. 

 

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How common is the above scene, engrossed in a device communicating to others yet others are stood at the side of you! This constant plug in to the entire world through several different outlets on devices is draining. In my job as in probably most of yours my phone is my life when I am not talking on it I am emailing and at night time we all tend to sit there and use Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter etc communicating even more. We never switch off which I think is why we are slowly heading to consuming information just like the people in WALL-E, we are probably 90% there now anyway! 

For example, next time you go to a concert or even a fireworks show just look at the mass of screens surrounding you, it seems that now the norm is to film and watch through your phone and then replay later, what happened to just living in the moment and enjoying what it is you are experiencing? I have already started to come off Facebook due to its new privacy laws which make your content searchable despite any restrictions you place on there, and started to leave my phone out of reach in the evenings, and you know what it works, life is less stressful and not being plugged in to an online world every waking minute is hugely refreshing! I recommend you give it a go! 


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Amazon partners stake claims in AWS cloud ecosystem

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Amazon(S amzn) Web Services of today bears more than a passing resemblance to Microsoft(s msft)  of 20 years ago. It’s a powerful company that is dominant in its field , surrounded by hundreds (thousands) or smaller software vendors trying to bask in its reflected glow and hopefully make some money filling in the gaps in its product offerings. And, to borrow the phrase of former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner, they are all trying to finesse the dangers of dancing with an elephant.

Day one of the second annual AWS Re:Invent conference was taken up by a hackathon, a raft of training sessions and hundreds of AWS-related press releases. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Mainframe 2, a startup that aims to run thousands of heavy-duty non-web Windows and Linux applications on HTML 5-supporting browsers without plug-ins, now supports Amazon’s fancy new GPU instance. That means customers…

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Amazon gets (more) serious about government cloud

storageous:

Another Step towards cloud security becoming acceptable even for the likes of the Government.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Not that you probably needed it, but here’s more proof that Amazon Web Services(s amzn) is dead serious about getting more government work.

First, CloudFormation, the company’s tool that lets systems administrators manage sets of related AWS services from simple templates, is now available on Amazon’s GovCloud service. GovCloud was built for government agencies and other entities with special compliance and security needs.

And, on Monday, AWS opened a brand new office in Herndon, Virg., near two motherships — Washington D.C. and Amazon’s gigantic US-East data center farm. Amazon plans to add 500 jobs in the space which will be home to engineering, customer support, security and other functions, according to this Washington Business Journal report.

As almost everyone knows by now, Amazon has targeted some mission-critical government cloud applications including the once-secret CIA cloud, where AWS is now challenging an IBM-prompted Government Accountability Office review of its CIA…

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Codeacademy

Only a quick post today….

What does it all mean?

What does it all mean?

When people think about computer science, they imagine people with pocket protectors and thick glasses who code all night. The truth is coding is now in every day life, with the explosion of mobile devices and development of applications it is hard not to have an understanding of coding and everyone should at least give it a go! Coding is shaping the devices we interface on a daily basis and never has the freedom to learn coding been more open. This is the aim of Code Academy. www.codecademy.com

If you have ever had a desire to code and do not know where to start this is the place to go, it is an online learning portal where you can learn languages such as Java script, J Query, PHP, Python, Ruby, API programming, IOS development and much more. Further to the online tutorials and excellent built in programming tools the aim of this site is to develop a community of both learners and teachers exchanging best practices.

I have embarked on learning Ruby and I must say it is quite addictive, the website allows you to put in the practice as you learn either in the web browser or dedicated application such as “Hackety Hack” which I am currently using to learn Ruby.

My experience of this so far is really positive and as a tech guy it is good to learn the foundations of a language I have never had the chance to use before. In my line of work we are encouraged to learn about applications and all aspects of their internal workers. Code Academy allows me to do this and also understand how these applications are constructed and to speak on a level with other coders.

If you have ever thought an App was good or wanted to know how something was put together I encourage you to visit this site and give it a go! www.codecademy.com/

 

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