Posted on March 26, 2012 by Tim Harder
Ok..You Debate…We’ll Innovate….
In his Government Computing News column, Mike Daconta http://bit.ly/GTcsVD , impassionedly argues that the NIST definition for Cloud Computing, with its complexity, is cause for government IT managers to stay the course with business as usual; intonating that you should buy hardware, software, people, property, plant and repeat every 36 months. Your budget cycles and key performance indicators are aligned with this legacy and entrenched model. It worked for a few decades and is well cared for in +$80B worth of budget dollars but it is not without its own complex challenges. The legacy model provided us 2nd order derivatives like misplacing 1000 data centers http://bit.ly/bN3AU3 , a weakened cyber posture and application constructs designed to encourage vendor lock-in. I agree it would be easy to stay the course but I strongly disagree that definition is a compelling enough cause not to innovate.
The good people at NIST, GSA, Leaf, McClure, et. al, have been leading the charge in this definition work and driving innovation in their agencies and the sector writ large. It is absolutely possible and absolutely needed to continue to refine definitions but not at the expense of deploying immediately needed innovation. These folks should be lauded. Not harassed.
Had they waited for debate society work to culminate – innovative projects like Army Private Cloud http://bit.ly/H60zNe and Apps.Gov http://bit.ly/enikBl never would have been started. APC is going to save millions in costs, improve the operating picture for warfighters and do it in a more secure fashion. Apps.gov offers untold levels of transparency and easier procurement models.
It is the promise of Cloud Computing which is being realized today by these innovators and projects.
Don’t we owe it to our constituencies: warfighters, authorizers, civilian services, taxpayers … to refine and innovate?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: acquisition reform, big data, cloud computing, cybersecurity, DoD, federal deficit, Government cloud, GSA, NIST | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 23, 2012 by Tim Harder
You know what’s really cool? An Exabyte.
One of the more interesting (and challenging) parts of working in the cloud storage sector is the sheer volume of data that organizations are attempting to manage. From the first RAMAC in the late 50’s to contemporary 4TB spindles there has been outrageous growth at both the individual drive level and aggregate counts across your organizations. Just a few short years ago it was uncommon for all but the most data intensive companies and government services to exceed more than 1PB of capacity under management. Today – that is about 1 chassis of capacity in the most dense of configurations. This week alone I spoke with 6 organizations that each have +100 Petabytes of capacity under management with a YoY growth rate approaching 50%. Back of the napkin – that means in roughly 24 business quarters these very well run organizations will each roughly have an Exabyte under management.
Where is the data growth and volume coming from?
Unstructured content — Files, Blobs, Rich Media and Consumer Generated (digital images).
In a rough approximation – across the organizations I saw this week the split looks something like this –
Unstructured tiers have eclipsed the combined quantity of DB, Messaging and Backup.
This offers an amazing opportunity for you to control costs and decouple the administrative burden from the growth curve.
Cloud based platforms (on and off-premise) are purposefully designed for these data scales and offers a cost model better suited for unstructured content. When evaluating platforms or applications that benefit from the approach focus in on 4 key themes : Meta Data, Multi-Tenancy, Metering and Mult-Site. If your application stack passes through these screens you should be evaluating cloud storage based architectures (and business models) to help you on the path to an Exabyte under management.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: big data, cloud computing, datacenter consolidation, DoD, FEDRAMP | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 14, 2012 by Tim Harder
Some standing reservations have immeasurable value. Date night with your spouse. Game day with your kids. If you travel frequently you may have a favorite airplane seat or favorite car rental type that you consistently try to reserve. Maybe even a standing lunch or dinner reservation. These types of reservations are beneficial for family, social and business relationships.
Persistent Reservations in the Cloud Computing context offer limited utility. They go by a handful of names; Reserved Instances, Reserved Pools, Standby Capacity, etc. The names are used to describe a portion of your aggregate resource pool that is in a warm-idle state – essentially, waiting for you to have a defined use. It could be for burst/surge capacity, it could be in the context of COOP/DR , support of a periodic batch job or even as part of a Q/A cycle. We all have these type of workloads but if you are leveraging resource reservations to tackle them – consider the alternative – building your application to scale and workload sizing. Given the austere condition of budgets – resources without a defined purpose need to go.
Supply side Vendors, love, love, this model because it allows them to monetize a portion of their infrastructure that would otherwise be without commitment. The expense line to manage them is some small number over zero and the likelihood of you calling on their use is some other number slightly over zero. I think about it almost like one of those insurance premiums you do not really need but continue buying on a yearly basis because it was always included in your binder even though you never knew what it was.
Consider having an open dialogue with your procurement partners about why you have the resource reservations and how often have they been leveraged in the previous calendar year. My guess is not very often. The inspection – I think will lead you down one of two different paths. Either the application that leverages the persistent reservation was not sized correctly or there was a rouge IT project that claimed use of the resource.
Claim it back. Work on sizing the application properly. Tools to help in this regard are plentiful.
That is Anthony Bourdain saying “No Reservations” … No I do not know why he is covered in mud looking like a zombie. I just happen to like the show and tried to get a reservation at his place in NYC recently…..
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Acqusition, Anthony Bourdain, cloud, Government cloud, Persistent Reservations, Reserved Instances | Leave a Comment »