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I had the pleasure of attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Canada earlier this month and worldwide it was as 16,000 attendees squeezed into the Air Canada Center for Microsoft’s morning key note speeches. That’s the most that arena has seen inside its snug confines since Vince Carter was dunking on opposing players, or I guess when Vince Carter could dunk period. It was a week where Microsoft spent making some big announcements, covered some important changes and showcased some new products “Eh.”
The phrases "service,” "abstraction,” & "automation & orchestration" are used a lot these days. Over the course of the next few blogs, I am going to describe what I think each phrase means and in the final blog I will describe how they all tie in together.
Having spent the last several blog posts on more serious considerations about cloud computing and the new IT era, I decided to lighten things up a bit. The term “cloud” has bothered me from the first time I heard it uttered, as the concept and definition are as nebulous as, well a cloud. In the intervening years, when thoroughly boring my wife and friends with shop talk about the “cloud,” I came to realize that in order for cloud computing to become mainstream, “it” needs to have some way to translate to the masses.
If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I write a lot about cloud and cloud technologies, specifically around optimizing IT infrastructures and transitioning them from traditional management methodologies and ideals toward dynamic, cloud-based methodologies. Recently, in conversations with customers as well as my colleagues and peers within the industry, it is becoming increasingly clear that the public, at least the subset I deal with, are simply fed up with the massive amount of hype surrounding cloud. Everyone is using that as a selling point and have attached so many different meanings that it has become meaningless…white noise that just hums in the background and adds no value to the conversation. In order to try to cut through that background noise I’m going to cast the conversation in a way that is a lot less buzzy and a little more specific to what people know and are familiar with. Let’s talk about cars (haa ha, again)…and how Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry.
With some of the recent breaches of restaurant chains, I've got to think that many of them were related to poor remote access practices. I say this because in all of my years of consulting, I have found that very weak controls around the remote access is a lot more common than one would think. Even today you will commonly find things like POS Servers directly accessible on the Internet via VNC, RDP, or pcAnywhere. I have even seen SQL databases that contain credit card data made directly accessible over the Internet.
It is estimated by the Project Management Institute that 90% of project management is communication. The tasks involved with setting up a project, identifying sponsors, defining resources, schedules, managing risks, and critical paths are all important elements of large complex projects. Facilitating the team’s communication channels is the single most important effort of a good project manager.
Last week, Cloud Commons hosted a Twitter Chat on the end of Cloud Computing. If you’re not familiar with a tweetchat, they are discussions hosted on Twitter where people can join at a specific time by following a certain hashtag. The Cloud Commons tweetchats usually have around ten panelists and have been kicked off with a few thought-provoking questions. The participants then respond and share ideas in real time. The discussion is focused enough to be useful – 1 hour session, responses limited to 140 characters, but large enough to capture different perspectives.