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Posts Tagged ‘cloud’

I love ice cream, especially soft serve ice cream. Traditionally there wasn’t much variation in soft serve ice cream. It was available in three flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and twist. You could change it up a bit by adding chocolate or rainbow sprinkles, but all in all it was pretty straightforward ordering your ice cream. Recently I’ve found ice cream stands offering flavored soft serve. They pour vanilla into a dish, add flavoring and color, and put the mix through a dispenser to create a host of new flavor options. My personal favorite is coconut soft serve with chocolate sprinkles. Yum!

I tell you this story about ice cream because like soft serve, many enterprises believe that there are only three flavors of cloud communications—public cloud, private cloud or hybrid. Pull the lever on the left of the Cloud dispensing machine, and you get private cloud, which usually consists of a customer building their own data center(s) and hosting a communications solution with purchased licenses. Pull the lever on the right, and you’ve got public cloud, typically a communications service managed by a third party, delivered over the public internet in a subscription model. When you use the middle dispenser, a hybrid cloud blends the two solutions together.

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Credit: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Credit: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

For a couple of years now, Cisco CEO John Chambers has been proclaiming that Cisco will be the world’s No. 1 IT vendor. This proclamation has been met with mixed reactions as the IT community has many large, incumbent vendors already. Over the years, though, Cisco has proven to be the master of market transitions by moving into markets with large incumbents and quickly grabbing a leadership position. Voice and servers are two examples where many thought Cisco had no shot, and now the company stands as the dominant provider in both.

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Last Thursday, February 16th, State and Local Government Cloud Commission (SLG-CC) held a conference in Mountain View to discuss best practices and policies for state and local governments.  In conjunction with the conference representatives of state and local government combined with a number of commissioners released a rather lengthy report that documents best practices for governments as they head down the path to cloud.  It’s worth noting that the report was created using input from individuals from many of the leading cloud solution providers such as PG Menon (Brocade), Kevin Paschuck (Oracle) and Bethann Pepoll (EMC).  After reading the rather lengthy report, I thought I would share some of the highlights that can be used by State and Local Governments but also but general enterprises. 

The report recommends a four-step cloud implementation lifecycle.  Those four steps being cloud readiness assessment, assess risk and plan governance, implement the cloud and operate the solution.  This methodology is ideal for process heavy organizations like SLG but should be adhered to by all companies.  Cloud will be new to most organizations and a lifecycle approach can minimize risk and ensure key deployment steps aren’t missed.

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I was on a flight earlier this week and watched one of my favorite movies – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It made me think about how the movie, and even the original TV shows that dated back to the 60, gave us a look into where technology was going and indeed has gone today.  I’d like to point out some of the more advanced technologies in Star Trek.

  • Virtual resource mobility. About a quarter of the way through the movie, the Reliant attacks the Enterprise and Mr. Scott tells Admiral Kirk that he’s diverting all power to life support.  A few moments later he diverts the power to phasers as they attack back.  Juxtapose the fluidity of IT resources that the Enterprise has compared to current IT environment.  Mr. Scott was able to move a compute resource — power — to the system that required it most, as business policy dictates from a centralized management console.  If Mr. Scott had to go manually move from silo to silo, the Enterprise could not have been agile enough to respond competitively.  This is a great example of why organizations should look to virtualization and pooling their own IT resources.
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