Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 World Summit of Cloud Computing

After a uneventful trip , I'm now in Israel for the World Summit. With over 500 people expected to attend, it promises to be an exciting time. Unfortunately, I arrived to late to attend a reception by Google but the first day's line-up is impressive! Speakers include:

  • Stevie Clifton , Co-Founder & CTO, Animoto - The power of cloud that enables a new business
  • Nir Antebi , Senior Software Engineer, Intel - How Intel's Cloud Computing System Accelerates Chip Design
  • Russ Daniels ,Vice-President & CTO HP Cloud Services Strategy - Designing the Cloud: Services that anticipate our needs
  • Dr. Owen O'Malley , Hadoop Architect and Apache VP for Hadoop, Yahoo! - Yahoo! and Cloud

I'll be blogging on the insights that are sure to come. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NCOIC Cloud Working Group

The NCOIC will be holding a cloud computing working group on December 10th during plenary session in Costa Mesa, CA. The session focus will be "Requirements for Enterprise Cloud Computing". The current agenda is:
  • 8:00 - 9:00 HP, David Ryan (Chief Architect, HP Federal Technology Solution Group)
    "Secure Cloud Computing"
  • 9:00 - 10:00, Peter Coffee (Director of Platform Research)
    "Building Mission-Critical SaaS Applications"
  • 10:00 - 11:00 IBM, David Lindquist (Cloud Computing chief architect and IBM Fellow)
    "IBM's Perspective on Cloud Computing"
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Cisco, Glenn Dasmalchi (Chief of Staff, Cisco CTO Office)
    "Cloud Computing: Trends and Opportunity"

A follow-up session is also planned for December 11th.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

IBM Rating Clouds

According to Cloud Computing Journal, and Red Herring, IBM will now rate other cloud providers. Using the "Resilient Cloud Validation" program, IBM will validate their facilities, applications, data, staff, processes and business strategy in order to weed out untrustworthy providers.

"IBM announced that Allscripts, a leader in delivering innovation technologies that improve the health of patients and the bottom line of physicians and other healthcare organizations, is the first company to begin the certification process. The designation is expected to enable Allscripts to enhance the current online data backup service it provides to better serve the needs of the 150,000 physicians who use the company's electronic health records, e-prescribing and practice management solutions. Next Spring, Allscripts will release a new online backup service, powered by IBM, which will provide a simple, easy to deploy remote data protection service, helping to ensure that sensitive patient information and medical documentation will be encrypted, securely stored away from the customer location, and easily recovered at a moment's notice."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Services

In September, Frank Gens provided an excellent overview of the the new "Cloud Computing Era". In preparing for an upcoming talk, I re-read the post and found myself appreciating it even more. His description of "cloud computing" and "cloud services" really highlights the difference between the commercial cloud computing market and the Federal cloud computing market.

(Paraphrased from Frank Gens' article)

When people talk about “cloud computing”, they are usually referring to things like software-as-a-service (SaaS) and storage or server capacity as a service. They may also talk about the many “non-IT” business and consumer services like shopping, banking, selling, collaborating, communicating and being entertained. In reality, these things represent an on-line delivery and consumption model for business and consumer services. These users are not explicitly buying “cloud computing”, but the “cloud services” that are enabled by cloud computing environments. Cloud computing is actually the emerging IT development, deployment and delivery model that enables real-time delivery of products, services and solutions over the Internet.

Federal government customers do use the Internet, but the vast majority of their business is done using private internets. In the DoD, for instance, we call these private networks NIPRnet, SIPRnet and JWICS. These customers are, however, very interested in learning about how emerging cloud computing models can be used within and between all of these networks.

The epiphany here is that, for the most part, the commercial cloud computing market is about making money providing cloud services while the Federal marketplace is about making money helping Federal customers design and build cloud computing infrastructures.

I may be oversimplifying this, but I welcome your thoughts.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Inaugural "Inside the Cloud" Survey

Appistry and CloudCamp recently released results from the first "Inside the Cloud" survey. Key takeaways were:
  • Amazon perceived as cloud leader, with twice as many votes as Google
  • Infrastructure providers seen as leading the innovation; with apps and business models tied for 2nd place
  • Security, reliability and fulfillment of the scalability promise are most likely to keep cloud developers up at night
  • Cloud most attractive when it is most likely to reduce costs and improve scalability
  • The best-suited app for the cloud is still anybody’s guess

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FIAC Presentation Mentions Cloud Computing

At the recent Federal Information Assurance Conference, Bob Gourley, CTO Crucial Point LLC, and former Defense Intelligence Agency CTO, recently provided his views on the state of Federal IT. His cloud computing related points were:
  • Cloud computing (use of computations services from “the grid”) will accelerate
  • Government IT powerhouses (like NSA, NGA, DIA, DISA, IMO) will deliver more and more capability to users via the grid
As a intelligence community meritorious service award winner and a Infoworld 2007 "Top 25 Most Influential CTO", his presentation  makes for a very interesting read.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sun Cloud Czar

Earlier this week it was announced that, Sun, Senior Vice President, Dave Douglas, was appointed to lead the Company's cloud computing efforts. A JDJ Article also stated that, in addition to becoming Sun's Cloud Czar, he will also lead Sun's efforts to capitalize on, the NetBeans developer platform, and the StarOffice portfolio. The unit will build upon Sun's existing online developer community to establish the company as a leader in cloud computing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enomaly: Startup of the Week

Congratulations to Enomaly and Reuven Cohen for being named Startup of the Week byInformationWeek !!! Reuven and I collaborate quite a bit and his blog, Elastic Vapor, is a staple for anyone interested in the latest cloud computing news.  As one of the CloudCamp originators, he was also a welcomed participant in last week's CloudCamp Federal.

If you missed his comments last week on CloudCamp Federal, you should really go and take a read.

"The spooks in the room also had an interesting take on things. The US is being beaten, and beaten badly by upstart cloud programs coming out of China and Russia and the level of red tape on the beltway was doing more harm then good. Also the concept of Russia being able take control of millions of zombie PC's at moment notice seem to be troubling. Another point of contention was that China has been able to create million server clouds with little or no competition from the US. On the flip side they also assured me that there is a lot more going on, but they couldn't talk about it. It was clear the use of distributed cloud technology represented one of the biggest opportunities within the military IT organizationsand the likelihood of some small cloud upstart or even Google or Amazon getting the job was slim."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cloud Computing at DoD, DISA, DIA, CENTCOM and NCOIC

At CloudCamp last week, Military Information Technology distributed free copies of it's November issue to all attendees. The issue contains a very informative article by Cheryl Gerber titled "Computing in the Clouds".  The article is a MUST READ and was written from one-on-one interviews on cloud computing with:
  • Ken Pierce, IT Specialist with DIA-DS/C4ISR
  • Robert Ames, Director and Deputy Chief Technology Officer, IBM Federal
  • Colonel Joe Means, RACE Program Manager at DISA
  • Alfred Rivera, Director DISA Computing Services Directorate
  • Dave Jackson, CEO Cluster Resources
  • Mike Kochanik, CollabNet VP of Worldwide Market Development
  • Tim May, Apptis SVP Corporate Development
  • Phil Horovitz, Apptis CTO
  • Herb Kelsey, Managing Director, SBU Advisors
  • Bob Lozano, Appistry Founder and Chief Strategist
The big take-a-ways are as follows:

  • The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is using cloud computing to streamline operational expenses while providing users with fast, customized self-service.
  • The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is using cloud computing to meet increasing demands to process large data on networks more rapidly while realizing budgetary efficiency
  • Reliability enhancements from cloud computing helped the US Central Command (CENTCOM) mitigate the impact of an unplanned cessation of data transport.
  • Cloud computing is seen by the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) as an obvious way to address enterprise large data problems.
  • The DOD and DISA are leveraging cloud computing technologies for a global application lifecycle management solution and software development collaboration
  • The Network-Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC), a consortium formed to support those who design and deliver systems for warriors, first-responders, and others that seek to maximize information age capabilities, has recently formed an Enterprise Cloud Computing group to address current mission requirements and to identify key areas of concern.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CloudCamp Federal was AWESOME !!

Just got home from CloudCamp Federal. What an event!! The over 100 attendees definitely made the statement that the Fed is interested in cloud computing. As expected, cloud security was a hot topic, but there were also sessions on cloud standards, cloud interoperability, Hadoop, and cloud computing education. Video to follow. Many thanks to the organizers and sponsors. Let's do it again !!

DISA taps CollabNet to manage DoD cloud software development

This week, the Defense information Systems Agency (DISA) announced that they will be using Collabnet tools to manage application development for RACE. The Computerworld article said that DISA will use SourceForge Enterprise ALM service to manage source code, releases and documents in software development projects. Rob Vietmeyer, DISA's Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) Chief Engineer said that the agency also plans to test CollabNet's Cubit tool set to manage the Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE) cloud computing infrastructure. DISA looks to use Cubit to manage and distribute the image libraries in RACE so that images can automatically be moved between development, testing and operational environments.

Collabnet is a key technology of Dataline's SOA-R solution and will be discussing their RACE program activities at today's CloudCamp Federal.

Today is CloudCamp Federal !!

Today we kick of off the first CloudCamp Federal. Reuven Cohen, Bob Lozano, Brand Niemann and over 150 other cloud computing enthusiast are expected to attend. We also plan to do a CloudCamp first by podcasting from the event. More to follow !!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CloudCamp "Sold Out" !! More Tickets Added

We are happy to announce that CloudCamp Federal (aka DC), taking place tomorrow at Apptis headquarters in Chantilly, VA (directions), is sold out. But don't fret, we've added 25 more spots. So tell your friends and co-workers to register right away.

Also note: The directions on Google Maps are incorrect. Visit the Apptis website for accurate directions. More details at: or download the CloudCamp Welcome Guide (pdf)

President-Elect Obama: Good for Cloud Computing

In his article, "What Does Obama Revolution Mean to Cloud Computing", Krishnan Subramanian lays out a rosy picture for cloud computing:
  • Protecting the openness of Internet: crucial for cloud computing innovation and ensuring vendor diversity.
  • Safeguarding our right to Privacy: By safeguarding our right to privacy, Barack Obama's administration can help remove this concern in the minds of users regarding putting their data on the Clouds.
  • Opening up government to its citizens and bringing the government to 21st century: By moving important public government data to the Cloud, it is possible to provide a more transparent form of government.
  • Deploy next generation broadband and extend it to every single American including those who live in rural areas: Ubiquitous availability of broadband is required for the success of Cloud Computing.
  • Broad adoption of standards based health record systems: A healthcare SaaS system. Perfect for the cloud.
  • Climate friendly energy development and deployment: A lower cost of infrastructure means a much higher savings for the customers of Cloud Computing technologies.

If the President-elect follows through on these policies, the Federal marketplace will truly be the place for cloud vendors to thrive.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Only 9 tickets left for CloudCamp Federal !!

Only 9 tickets left from the original allotment of 150 for CloudCamp Federal this week. We're working to free up some more, but don't leave it to chance. Go to to reserve your spot today !!

Valiant Angel - A Perfect PED Application for Cloud Computing

A few weeks ago in an article title "Why the Cloud? Processing, Exploitation and Dissemination", I described two instances where the newspaper industry used cloud computing in order to process, exploit and disseminate information. In that article I postulated that this is one reason why the intelligence community is interested in cloud computing.

Well Signal Magazine has recently highlighted a specific program where the DoD could use a similar approach. In a project called Valiant Angel, the Joint Intelligence Laboratory, located at the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia, is working on a way for commanders to handle massive amounts of full-motion video being provided from unmanned platforms.

In addition to storing, moving, communicating and accessing large amounts of data, Valiant Angel is also addressing full-motion video processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED). Col. Chuck Mehle II, USA, commander of the Joint Transformation Command for Intelligence (JTC-I), JFCOM, notes that this aspect of full-motion video management is important because currently different people have different meanings for PED.

“For some, PED might be sticking yellow stickies on a screen after the event happens, and then taking notes about it as the video is displayed to them. But Valiant Angel gives them the capability—the John Madden-type capability—to drop the icon onto that video frame. Let’s say there is an event such as an IED [improvised explosive device] placement or an IED detonation or defusing. Immediately across the Defense Department, intelligence enterprise alerts will go out to those people who subscribe to that type of event, that geographic region, that timeframe, you name it,” he explains.

Such a requirement is perfect for cloud computing. An ability to meet surge storage and computing requirements by securely scaling into a on-demand cloud computing infrastructure could actually make projects like Valiant Angel affordable. Since it would be costly and impractical to buy the equipment needed to meet all possible tactical situations, a platform with an inherent ability to expand into a commercially provided cloud infrastructure could be ideal. It's very difficult to predict real-time tactical processing, exploitation and dissemination requirements. Cloud computing approaches could definitely provide a better option.

Friday, November 7, 2008

CloudCamp Federal 2008 - Don't miss out !!!

Tickets are going fast for CloudCamp Federal 2008 on November 12th in Chantilly, Virginia !! Representatives from the following organizations are already registered to attend.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Booz Allen Hamilton
Center for Information Policy and E-Government
CollabNet, Inc.
Computer Sciences Corporation
Data Domain, Inc.
Defense Information Systems Agency
Environmental Protection Agency
George Mason University
GIS Enterprise Solutions
Great-Circle Technologies, Inc.
IBM Corporation
Northrop Grumman
Red Hat
Security First Corporation
SI International
The Boeing Company

Register today at !!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Private Clouds

Yesterday in eWeek, Chris Preimesberger, provided a very good read in "Why Private Cloud Computing is Beginning to Get Traction".

"Private cloud computing is a different take on the mainstream version, in that smaller, cloudlike IT systems within a firewall offer similar services, but to a closed internal network. This network may include corporate or division offices, other companies that are also business partners, raw-material suppliers, resellers, production-chain entities and other organizations intimately connected with a corporate mothership."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Important Cloud Computing Events

Mark your calendar for the following cloud computing events. These are specifically targeted to organizations looking to leverage cloud computing technologies and techniques in support of national security requirements.

Also, for my readers in the United States. Please vote today!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Forrester: Embrace Cloud Computing to Cut Costs

"Forrester Research advises CFOs to take a close look at cloud computing for messaging and collaboration and enterprise applications. The payoffs could be noticeable during the current economic downturn."

In a recent report, analyst Ted Schadler support this advice with the following observations:
  • Cloud based SAAS services enables businesses to get up and running "in a flash"
  • Shipping IT tasks to cloud computing specialists, enables your employed staff to focus on more important business processes.
  • CFO's like the by-the-drink payment plans of cloud computing because it keeps cash in the bank longer.