Thursday, July 31, 2008
"Ballmer highlighted software-plus-service, associating it with a 'platform in the cloud and delivering applications across PCs, phones, TVs, and other devices, at work and in the home' (Microsoft’s Mesh widgetry) and promised 'more about our cloud platform initiatives and the next versions of our Live and Online technologies' at the company’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) at the end of October."
- Industry gadfly John Dvorak is advancing a theory culled from the blogosphere that Microsoft wants Yahoo for some all-important patent or another that would give it an edge in cloud computing, SaaS and portable search advertising.
- Appirio, the two-year-old start-up with products and professional services using software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) from Google and salesforce.com that are supposed to jumpstart enterprises on the on-demand path, has gotten a $5.6 million B round from Sequoia Capital, the VC behind Google, Yahoo, LinkIn and PayPal. Appirio’s widgetry is also supposed to connect the Amazon, Google and salesforce clouds. It got a $1.1 million A round from salesforce.com and angels.
- Apple’s first flirtation with the Cloud has turned stormy. The Wall Street Journal’s great and powerful technology critic Walt Mossberg, a known Apple devotee, has panned its $99-a-year corporate-style synchronization service as unreliable. MobileMe, which includes 20GB of online storage, web-based apps and an online photo gallery, is supposed to synch people’s e-mail, contacts, calendars and bookmarks across Windows computers as well as Mac, iPhones and iPods. Mossberg says it’s problem-ridden and “ragged.”
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
First, I googled "cloud computing" and came up with a little over 1 million documents. I then "and-ed" that term with others I've routinely seen within the cloud computing space. The results were then used to come up with each terms "Cloud Computing Google Mindshare".
I'm sure that this snapshot doesn't say much, but as a baseline for a future Google Mindshare analysis, it could be valuable.
How do you think this could help in understanding the cloud computing marketplace? Please comment.
Term Cloud Computing Google Mindshare
Reuven Cohen 1.60%
Eric Schmidt 1.34%
Lockheed Martin 0.28%
Geva Perry 0.25%
Intelligence Community 0.24%
Northrop Grumman 0.21%
Peter Laird 0.15%
Bob Lozano 0.12%
General Dynamics 0.11%
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
- Well designed cloud computing applications completely hide the underlying software and hardware
- Cloud computing is part of the evolution of the Internet
- Cloud applications scale up to support billions of users, a scale far bigger than what has been done to date
- Cloud computing represents the "industrialization" of IT infrastructures and datacenters
- Enterprises need to embrace cloud-like methodologies now !!
The entire article is well worth your time to read first hand
Monday, July 28, 2008
While this may sounds like a Internet United Nations Better Business Bureau, the underlying questions point right at the important of cloud computing for national security. As the world embraces cloud computing for its ubiquity, efficiency and cost savings, the world economic engine will become evermore dependent on cloud security and the active management of public-private cloud interfaces.
No wonder the US DoD is jumping on the bandwagon so quickly.
Friday, July 25, 2008
To quote from the article:
"In meeting these significant challenges, DISA has actively leveraged the fact that these requirements have parallels in the general information technology industry. This fact has led to the rapid adoption and implementation of many commercial solutions. Service oriented architecture (SOA), hardware virtualization, and grid computing are just a few of these. The latest of these adoptions seems to be Cloud Computing.
First coined by Sun Microsystems’s John Gage over twenty years ago Cloud Computing is now taken hold as the “next step in the Internet’s evolution.  This concept, however, is more than just the provisioning of computing resources (i.e. hardware, software, storage, services, etc.). The basic provisioning of infrastructure is the typical description of grid computing. Cloud computing is more in that it relates to the underlying architecture in which the application services are designed. The application not only runs in the cloud, but the cloud allows for the development, deployment, capacity growth, performance and reliability of the application as well.
When fully employed, cloud computing infrastructures, the middleware and the application platforms, should have the following characteristics:
- Self-healing: In case of failure, there will be a hot backup instance of the application ready to take over without disruption (known as failover). It also means that if a failure causes the backup to become primary, the system will automatically launch a new backup to maintain required reliability policies.
- SLA-driven: The system is dynamically managed by service-level agreements so that if the system is experiencing peaks in load, it will create additional instances of the application on more servers in order to comply with the committed service levels — even at the expense of a low-priority application.
- Multi-tenancy: The system is built to allow the sharing of infrastructure, without the customers being aware of it and without compromising the privacy and security of each customer’s data.
- Service-oriented: The system allows for the composing of applications out of discrete services that are loosely coupled and independent of each other (mash-ups). It also provides for reuse of services and prevents the changes or failure of one service to disrupt others.
- Virtualized: Applications are decoupled from the underlying hardware. Multiple applications can run on one computer (i.e. VMware) or multiple computers can be used to run one application (grid computing).
- Linearly Scalable: The system will be predictable and efficient in growing the application.
- Data Management: The distribution, partitioning, security and synchronization of the system’s underlying data is actively managed"
Thursday, July 24, 2008
"'One of the thorniest issues' raised by the rise of cloud computing, writes Nicholas Carr, author of The Big Switch, a recent book about the shift of most common computing tasks and applications to the Internet, 'involves the variations in national laws governing the storage and use of personal and other information.'"
Richard also noted an earlier Wall Street Journal report:
"Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence agencies are hesitantly harnessing the power of the cloud to better promote national security. 'Intellipedia lets 37,000 officials at the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other U.S. intelligence agencies share information and even rate one another for accuracy in password-protected wikis, some 'top secret,' reports Gordon Crovitz in The Wall Street Journal. "
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Since cloud computing is all about virtualization and server consolidation these kind of numbers really concern me? Last week during the SOA-R education session, Bob Lozano of Appistry actually talked about how enterprises are integrating public and private clouds today in order to meet virtualization, consolidation and cost cutting goals. His full presentation is available in the SOA-R Interactive Networking Group wiki.
Elastra is also addressing this enerprise need. They are working on a version of Cloud Server for data center VMware environments, their "private clouds." The company's pitch is that IT departments need better tools to specify requirements and configure software to run on physical or virtual servers, regardless of whether the underlying systems are on premises or out in the public cloud. See John Foley's blog on Information Week in The Rise Of Enterprise-Class Cloud Computing.
Sam Charrington is even more definitive in the Open Web Developer's Journal:
"We're still relatively early in the cloud computing hype cycle but I strongly believe that in the future, most if not all server-side software applications will be deployed in a cloud-computing-like manner. That is not to say that all applications will be run in one of exactly five global clouds. On the contrary, every enterprise will have one or more 'clouds' into which they deploy applications."
CIO's should really re-think their views on cloud computing.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
During the exercise, a backpack-sized, Dataline solar powered mobile communications kit (http://www.dataline.com/products.htm) will be used to provide multi-path access to a MEDWEB (http://www.medweb.com/) telemedicine infrastructure. This will be a field test of the communications kit that features mobile, fast, reliable, secure communications capabilities over multiple WAN technologies as a telemedicine tool. During the exercise, patient registration tracking and triage system with subspecialty telemedicine reach back capabilities, and HL7/DICOM integration will be demonstrated.
This exercise is an example of how cloud computing techniques and infrastructures can be use to improve mission effectiveness in the national security arena. Successful deployment and employment of this type of capability in a joint DoD/DHS cloud can lead the way to enhanced homeland security.
For more on cloud computing in support of national security missions please see Cloud Computing in a Net-Centric Environment.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Garing said that he wants to learn all he can from the companies, and that it's important to do so "because most of us are the prisoners of our own experience." From the meetings that have been held thus far, Garing is convinced that cloud-based IT services will be the future of military data processing. Cloud computing is "going to be the way it has to be," he said. "We have to get to this standard environment that is provisionable and scalable."
Friday, July 18, 2008
President & CEO
Co-Founder & Chief Strategist
Manager, Federal Enterprise
Cloud Infrastructure Architect
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The seven key risks are:
- Privileged user access
- Regulatory compliance
- Data location
- Data segregation
- Investigative support; and
- Long-term viability
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
"In a true sense you're right about the definition of net-centric. Truth, however, is in the eyes of your target audience. In the DoD, Homeland Security and Intelligence Community world, net-centric warfare and net-centric operations are not simply about the act of being on-line. It's about applying the information you can glean from being on-line and applying that information to a specific situation.
The Net-Centric Environment is a framework for full human and technical connectivity and interoperability that allows all DOD users and mission partners to share the information they need, when they need it, in a form they can understand and act on with confidence, and protects information from those who should not have it. http://www.dtic.mil/futurejointwarfare/concepts/netcentric_jfc.pdf
Network Centric Operations (NCO) involves the development and employment of mission capability packages that are the embodiment of the tenets of Network Centric Warfare (NCW) in operations across the full mission spectrum. These tenets state that a robustly networked force improves information sharing and collaboration, which enhances the quality of information, the quality of awareness, and improves shared situational awareness. This results in enhanced collaboration and enables self-synchronization improving sustainability and increasing the speed of command, which ultimately result in dramatically increased mission effectiveness. …The tenets of NCW address these means and postulate how they can increase mission effectiveness. http://www.mors.org/meetings/oa_nco/oa_definition.htm
Our mission is to facilitate global realization of the benefit inherent in Network Centric Operations. To that end, we seek to enable continuously increasing levels of interoperability across the spectrum of joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational industrial and commercial operations. We will execute this mission in good faith as a global organization with membership open to all enterprises in quest of applying the vast potential of network centric technology to the operational challenges faced by our nations and their citizens. https://www.ncoic.org/about/mission_vision/
So while being connected is a requirement for net-centricity, that in itself is not sufficient to realize the possible benefits of net-centric operations. In some ways, our approach is to take internet connectivity as a given. Our focus is to ascertain and solve the barriers associated with realizing the results of internet connectivity. "
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Steven L Armentrout, PhD
President & CEO
Grids, Clouds and Computation: Getting to Ground Truth under Mostly Cloudy Conditions
For the past decade - under the banners of distributed computing, cluster computing, grid computing and, now, cloud computing - network-centric computing architectures have evolved steadily toward the inevitable: computation delivered as an on-demand service. The economic, temporal and analytical benefits of this utility-style model are, indeed, compelling and now that secure implementations are available, Federal adoption has accelerated, albeit not as swiftly as the hype around it. This presentation will dispel many popular misconceptions about grids, clouds and computation. You will walk away with a greater understanding of the industry, as well as a checklist of considerations designed to help you effectively leverage "computation on demand."
Co-Founder & Chief Strategist
Private Clouds: Cloud Computing for Intelligence, Defense and the Enterprise
Seemingly from nowhere, cloud computing has become one of the hottest IT topics in 2008. For many IT practitioners, cloud computing represents IT services and infrastructure delivered by providers outside the enterprise via the Internet. While this will most certainly happen, many applications within Intelligence, Defense and Commercial Enterprises must remain within the firewall. For these organizations, the true opportunity represented by Cloud Computing is not simply the outsourcing of infrastructure, but the transformative effect the Cloud model will have within the organization. Every IT shop will become a cloud computing provider in its own right, operating a Private Cloud for its own applications. Today’s stove-piped application delivery models will give way to the cloud-based models of tomorrow. The rapid adoption of virtualization in the data center is only the first step.
Manager, Federal Enterprise
Implications of cloud computing
Cloud computing or utility computing is not a new concept but is finally accelerating rapidly in today's marketplace due to a number of developments and forces. Google will demonstrate several examples of capabilities available today in the 'cloud' and where software-as-a-service is headed in the future.
Cloud Infrastructure Architect
What is Cloud Computing?
This presentation will describe how the IBM HiPODS team leverages our world wide cloud centers to work closely with enterprise customers to developed best practices, workload patterns, and reusable assets for cloud computing. We will describe a high-level infrastructure framework and its underlying enablers, such as virtualization, automation, self-service portal, and monitoring. We will describe how IBM has pioneered these technologies and is using them internally in our own cloud implementation. We will also share examples of production cloud data centers that we have built for customers. Finally we will give a demonstration of a actual customer production cloud data center.
"Google does not use a storage area network (SAN). It has no world-wide network-attached storage (NAS) infrastructure. Instead it uses thousands of Linux servers with cheap disks - direct-attached storage (DAS) - and organises their contents inside its own Google File System (GFS).Cloud computing storage is the antithesis of traditional SAN and NAS storage. The good news is that relatively few organisations will have the size needed to build out cloud computing infrastructures. The bad news for SAN and NAS storage vendors is that they could be so incredibly massive as to trigger a significant migration of their customers to using storage-as-a-service on the massive clouds provided by Google, Amazon and others."
Of particular interest to me were his quotes on storage cost.
"Where SAN costs will run in the neighborhood of $20 per gigabyte, the (internal) cost of cloud storage by Google is reported to be about $1 per Gig. At Amazon E3 the cost is about $1.80 per year per Gigabyte of storage."
Meanwhile Symantec acquires Swapdrive announces it's new offering for cloud storage providers.
“We’re going to leverage our file system know-how to deliver next generation object storage for cloud computing,” said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of the storage and availability management group. The system will mostly be used as the back end for Symantec Protection Network SaaS offerings, but will also be available to service-provider customers, according to Soderbery. Currently called Symantec Secure Scalable Storage (S4), the new system is slated for an alpha later this year, beta early next year and live availability for SaaS in mid-2009.
Bottom line is that cloud storage as a service is significantly cheaper than "build-your-own" SAN storage
Network-Centric Requirements (2010)
• Downtime (<> 1 Gigabyte/sec);
• Access (<> 8 sigma).
Network-Centric Principles (Google)
1. Build & operate protected information
2. Offer universal connectivity for:
– Collection, processing and storing of
– Provide secured communications.
3. Maintain shared data models;
4. Require continued upgrading & innovation.
Network Centric Architecture
Strategy: Occupy Internet
Labor and capital in network
Infrastructure is universal
Network controls in network
Pay for Use
Data assembled in context
These still ring true today.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
When asked this question, I first describe three layers:
- Layer 1 - Hardware virtualization - This is the "bare metal" layer of storage and CPU virtualization
- Layer 2 - Application virtualization - This is when you use web services or APIs to provide a specific function or capability.
- Layer 3 - Process virtualization - This is when you string web services and APIs together to deliver value (function or capability) to an end user
Different infrastructure terms can then be used to describe how these layers are put together:
- Layer 1 is grid computing, utility computing or IaaS. The specific descriptive term is a function of the business model used to deliver the capability
- Layer 1 delivered with layer 2 is PaaS. A developer uses the platform services or APIs to create value for an end user
- Layer 1 delivered with a software application is SaaS
- When Layer 2 and Layer 3 are designed with web services and layered on top of a hardware infrastructure (virtualized or not), you have a Service Oriented Architecture
- Layer 1, 2 and 3 delivered with services and/or APIs already organized in workflows and delivering value to an end user is Cloud Computing.
As always comments or suggestions for improvement are welcomed. The approach is admittedly simplistic, but it does help me sleep at night :-)
Friday, July 11, 2008
"Warfare is about human behavior in a context of organized violence directed toward political ends. So, network-centric warfare (NCW) is about human behavior within a networked environment. 'The network' is a noun, the information technology, and can only be the enabler. 'To network' is the verb, the human behavior, the action, and the main focus. So, implementation of NCW must look beyond the acquisition of the technical enablers to individual and organizational behavior, e.g., organizational structure, processes, tactics, and the way choices are made. In other words, all elements of the enterprise are in play."
A. K. Cebrowski
Director, Office of Force Transformation
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Thursday, July 10, 2008
According to Grid Today, HP will provide DISA a broad array of HP products, software and services to implement and support the cloud infrastructure. HP software featured in the solution includes HP Operations Orchestration, HP Server Automation, HP Service Manager, HP Operations Manager, HP Systems Insight Manager and HP ProLiant Essentials. HP will also provide ProLiant server blades, implementation services and on-site operations management.
Scheduled speakers and topics for the first SOA-R Cloud Computing Education event are:
Steve Armentrout, Parabon, President & CEO
- Grid to Cloud Computing
Greg Boss, IBM, Lead Cloud Solution Architect
- What is Cloud Computing?
Bob Lozano, Appistry, Founder & Chief Strategist
- Private Clouds: Cloud Computing for Intelligence, Defense and the Enterprise
Todd Wiseman, Google, Manager, Google Federal Enterprise
- Implications of cloud computing
Registration is still available at www.dataline.com/soar.htm
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Applications in the cloud: Software as a Service (SaaS). Examples include gmail, yahoo mail, Hotmail, the various search engines, wikipedia, encyclopedia britannica, etc.
Platforms in the cloud: Developers write their application to a open specification and then upload their code into the cloud where the app is run on the cloud infrastructure with automatic scale-up as application usage grows. Examples include Mosso, Google App Engine, and Force.com
Infrastructure in the cloud: Developers and system administrators obtain general compute, storage, queueing, and other resources and run their applications with the fewest limitations. This is the most powerful type of cloud in that virtually any application and any configuration that is fit for the internet can be mapped to this type of service. an example of this is Amazon Web Services
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Microsoft says "Focus on SaaS"
Microsoft CEO Ballmer said he believed "the cloud," applications and other computing services offered by vendors, will grow at a faster pace than hosting opportunities for solution providers. And he said Microsoft can't afford to delay its cloud computing efforts while competitors push ahead. The CEO also said Microsoft has plans to re-engineer its server products as it introduces more cloud computing services, but he didn't offer details other than saying the company would "re-invent" its server technology for cloud computing in such areas as scalability, cost and geocaching capabilities.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
“(1) This memorandum (a) adopts, defines, and institutes "Controlled Unclassified Information" (CUI) as the single, categorical designation henceforth throughout the executive branch for all information within the scope of that definition, which includes most information heretofore referred to as "Sensitive But Unclassified" (SBU) in the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), and (b) establishes a corresponding new CUI Framework for designating, marking, safeguarding, and disseminating information designated as CUI. The memorandum's purpose is to standardize practices and thereby improve the sharing of information, not to classify or declassify new or additional information.”
DHS has been working hard to develop and execute the appropriate business processes and associated workflows across multiple federal, state and local government information walls. Since the department inherited its IT portfolio from it's many predecessor organizations, virtualization of their infrastructure into a cloud seems to be a option worthy of study. Server and storage virtualiztion, however, is only the first step. Data and applications must also be virtualized through the adoption of a department-wide services oriented approach. A cloud platform with the appropriate embedded security capabilities seems appropriate.
In this secure cloud computing environment, access management, device management and user management will also be critical deployment aspect.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
"Are Cloud Computing concepts applicable in secure national security and law enforcement arenas (i.e. Defense, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Justice)? If so, how? If not, why? "
The responses were very interesting:
Software Architect - I think they are certainly applicable. Speaking specifically of Amazon's Web Services, security is one of the main pillars of the platform and all of their services provide the ability to lock down access. ..... Auditing security on well-known cloud computing platforms is actually much simpler than in-house computing as knowledge of the systems in use is much more broad and transparent.
Sr. Advisory Architect - They already are, and have been for quite some time
IT Business Consultant manager - I can image that many business strategists or security architects who are new to the concept will balk at the idea of allowing information to live in a cloud they don't control and will likely propose some sort of "special cloud" of their own - thus defeating the ROI altogether
Senior Computer Systems Engineer - I have been asked to informally consult on this issue and I am a bit skeptical about the storage aspect of cloud computing. The client I was consulting for had some serious legal issues in relation to storing data outside certain geographical boundaries (where the cloud provider(s) where) which was a big obstacle from the very beginning.
Information Assurance Executive - Cloud Computing concepts in secure (trusted) information sharing environments are applicable however, involve some additional complexities that other environments do not. These environments should adhere to published data, security, infrastructure and interoperability standards (e.g. W3C, OASIS) and by default should be cross-domain (e.g. DoD, IC) compliant following prescribed national security requirements.
Team Lead - Compared to "on site" storage - I hear the argument that it is MUCH MORE secure in the cloud.
Serial Entrepreneur - Cloud computing is mainly about scale. Google and Amazon have such massive deployments that the operational costs of the resources dwarf most organizations. If we look at the governmental apparatus and think of it as a client of computational resources it is indeed very big. It would seem to me that given their possession of adequate scale they could simply run a private infrastructure for themselves and have their own cloud.
Director of Strategic Operations - I think we're going to see an increase in grid computing and cloud computing concepts as the costs drop and the benefits become more tangible. I think national security implementations are prime candidates for early adoption of such technologies - beyond whatever may already be in place now - simply because of the massive scale of the computing effort, storage, and general computational requirements of such massive data sets.
Information Technology & Services Consultant - The whiteboard used to iron out all the 'gotchas' in a Cloud Computing environment for secure national security and law enforcement arenas would stretch around the Bronx Zoo (i.e. the baseball stadium)...
All the responses can be read at LinkedIn answers .
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
"The facility in The Dalles is only the latest and most advanced of about two dozen Google data centers, which stretch from Silicon Valley to Dublin. All told, it's a staggering collection of hardware, whose constituent servers number 450,000, according to the lowest estimate.
The extended Googleplex comprises an estimated 200 petabytes of hard disk storage – enough to copy the Net's entire sprawling cornucopia dozens of times – and four petabytes of RAM. To handle the current load of 100 million queries a day, its collective input-output bandwidth must be in the neighborhood of 3 petabits per second."