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Every Cloud has a Silver Lining… Telstra Lends Strength to Cloud Services April 6, 2010

Posted by Glenn Irvine in Blog, Commentary, Futuring, Media Release, Launch.
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In the Australian today, Telstra finally announced it’s move into Cloud Computing with their Project named “Silver Lining”.

With a long term budget approximating $500M AUD, this is a clear signal to the market that Cloud Computing is well and truly past the “Trough of Disillusionment” on the Technology Adoption Curve.

The article mentions that this is one of the first Tier 1 Telcos to throw some serious weight behind Cloud Services. This could lead to Australia becoming one of the early adopters of Private Cloud solutions outside of the US.

With early announcements of the project in mid-2009, their announcement today explained that they are in the late stages before commercial release of the service due in mid-year 2010.

Regards,

Glenn Irvine
glenn.irvine@collaborativeview.com

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2010: CIO Focus – Cloud, Web2.0/Social, Virtualisation, Mobility January 20, 2010

Posted by Glenn Irvine in Blog, Media, Advocacy, Futuring, Analysts.
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CIO Magazine published an article that has been summarizing the persistent view, and Tech Media interest over the last few weeks as all the pundits do the usual “What are we going to see as the primary focus for the new year in technology” pieces.

In summary, the research by Gartner that has been cited in the article emphasizes the focus on efficiencies that can be gained by leveraging lighter weight solutions like Cloud and Virtualisation, as well as embracing the wave of Web2.0/Social mediums and the greater networking/mobility needs.

Of particular interest is the degree of change of focus towards these technologies (in particular Cloud & Web2.0) as is evidenced in the following snippet…

“CIOs put virtualization as a top priority for 2010, up from the third position in 2009. Yet Cloud Computing  technologies shot up from the 16th slot to the No. 2 priority for CIOs. Web 2.0 technologies moved from 15th position to No. 3, and networking, voice and data communications hopped two spots from sixth position in 2009 to fourth in 2010.”

I’m seeing a stronger and stronger outlook for Cloud and Web2.0/Social technologies over this next year. Another likely disruptive technology on the horizon will be the mix of Google’s initiatives on it’s Nexus One smartphone and the release of Google Voice. While it is early days for the phone, and its maturity will be a work in progress, the powerful combination of the two will be something to watch.

Read the full Article here.

Regards,

Glenn Irvine
glenn.irvine@collaborativeview.com

MS Chief Architect Ray Ozzie discusses Cloud for Corporates May 25, 2009

Posted by Glenn Irvine in Blog, Commentary, Competitive, Media.
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Ray Ozzie was reported in the IDG News Service late last week, in one of his rare outings with the Media on his views of Cloud Computing and the appetite for it by the Enterprise Sector.

In essence he believes that the first wave of adoption by Corporates will be the transition of Email and Collaboration technologies to this mode of operation, and this makes perfect sence.

The competition is clearly eyeing both of these solution spaces with offerings from IBM’s Lotus with Lotus Live – Email, and Lotus Live – Engage; as well as Google with GMail and Google Apps.

Talk to any one of these vendors and they will have their complete “Cloud Ready” spiel at hand, and all of their offerings have their marketing engines winding up well beyond the “Beta” messaging often being used.

Have a look at the article with Ozzie’s comments on ComputerWorld here.

Regards,

Glenn Irvine
glenn.irvine@collaborativeview.com

Twitter Scaling Using Amazon Cloud Services April 6, 2009

Posted by Glenn Irvine in Blog, Commentary, Futuring, Media.
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I was refreshing my twitter page late last week and just happened to notice in the status bar at the bottom of the browser that Amazon S3 and EC2 URLs were whizzing by.

jointlogos

I was intrigued to realise that Twitter was using Amazon’s Cloud Computing technologies under the hood.

Not at all unusual for a Silicon Valley Startup to do… Innovating at the Edge, with a scalable hosting solution, given the nature of the application and the current funding structure of Twitter.

I was also interested to see Google making overtures at Twitter over the weekend, with interest in AdSense streaming for recent Tweets. Google is in Pre-Recovery Acquisition mode, and Twitter makes sense for their product portfolio, so it is worth watching this. Unlike the IBM/Sun acquisition which now looks to be on the ropes, Google/Twitter may get legs.

Regards,

Glenn Irvine
glenn.irvine@collaborativeview.com

Cloud Computing Article – Preview December 3, 2008

Posted by Glenn Irvine in Commentary, Futuring, Review, Survey.
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I was asked to prepare an article on the Cloud Computing phenomenon that has captured the imagination of our industry for the Eos Solutions Newsletter this month.

Thought it wouldn’t hurt providing the readers of this Blog with a sneak preview…

I’ve also added a quick survey poll at the end of the article to see if there is much use of Cloud Computing Services at this point in time.

Cloud Computing – An evolutionary step for our Industry

The ICT industry is awash with talk about Cloud Computing, and depending on who you are talking to, you will see different perceptions about what Cloud Computing actually is, from the simplest web-hosted solutions right through to virtualised processing environments (Hypervisors) with Web-Service initiated provisioning and decommissioning.

A good example of the former is Salesforce.com. Simply put, this is a generic business solution (in this case CRM) provided via the web on a subscription basis. Salesforce.com was an early adopter of this approach and has had it’s share of problems with outages. An early identified problem with hosted services like Salesforce.com was it’s lack of persistence during an outage or inability to connect to the Web. As Broadband services become more of a Critical Infrastructure Utility, redundancy of service provision should address these concerns to at least the same level as other Telco services. Initiatives like the Australian Federal Government’s NBN (National Broadband Network), in principle, are targeted at addressing the need for this.

Amazon was an early entrant in the market for the latter example of Cloud Computing, and that is a service utility that allows the user to ‘switch’ on both processing capacity, and storage as required, like any other utility. This is also paid for as a subscription, and new metrics like Giga-Hertz Hours are used for the pricing models.

It is at this level that some of the large vendors see the potential for the future of the software (and to a certain extent, hardware) industries.

Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) allows the imaging of servers and the use of web-services to provision these images on specified virtual platforms. It currently allows a range of basic, to intermediate, to high-performance spec’ed platforms and these are priced on an hourly basis.

Using the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) a complete application environment can be provisioned from the stored images in a short period of time, used for a defined purpose and period, and then decommissioned.

The industry has already started looking at this provisioning model for providing Development Environments on-demand, and it is looking extremely promising from a cost effective perspective. Any significant development-focused organisation is constantly challenged by the lack of infrastructure (due to cost) for all the environments required by their developers. Especially for complex Enterprise type multi-system/server developments. Organisations as large as the New York Times are already using Amazon’s Compute Cloud for archival of news stories.

Major Vendors like IBM and Microsoft see this as the next evolution of the software industry. Both have introduced hosted messaging & collaboration platforms into the market in recent times. IBM’s Bluehouse (now in Beta) will be their first main thrust into this market with a complete Collaboration offering provided in the Cloud, and Microsoft’s recent announcement of Project Azure scheduled for release in late 2010, is one of their Chief Architect’s (Ray Ozzie) Major Initiatives looking at capitalising on being one of the first to market for the operating system for Hypervisors and Cloud Computing Centres across the Globe. IBM’s Virtual Enterprise is looking at a similar initiative using the WebSphere stack.

Online User Identity Management will become an issue, but some vendors are already looking at the ability to share user credentials across separate web applications. Microsoft has Live Mesh in Beta at the moment, there is Facebook Connect , MySpace Data Availability & Google Friend Connect as well. In the Enterprise, IBM has Tivoli Federated Identity Manager.

The main challenges that remain for Cloud Computing before it is likely to enjoy wide-spread adoption are the following:

  • Persistence & Availability – The ability to continue working during outages or the ability to mitigate outages.
  • Privacy and National Security Concerns – The hosting of information outside of your country’s borders does concern Public Sector organisations. The US Patriot Act for example is a concern for some countries in adopting cloud services. It is thought that Country-siloed Clouds may be able to address this.
  • Geo-Political Information Management Concerns – The Political risk a country takes on by housing information for another country.

As this type of delivery mechanism for software services evolves, we will need to address a number of other issues, including the training of developers for Cloud environments (in Universities and Vendor Training), and new privacy, ownership, IP protection and Legal issues will arise.

Is Cloud Computing a novel current trend? The investment in this approach by some of the main players in the industry (IBM have a Cloud Computing Research Centre based at MIT), Microsoft’s Chief Architect is rejigging their complete operations around the Software + Services model, suggests that this is not so.

The Blogosphere and industry analysts like Gartner globally and Longhaus here in Australia have a firm eye on this emerging disruptive technology. Gartner’s 2008 Emerging Technology Hype-Cycle gives Cloud Computing a 2-5 year timeframe to mainstream adoption.

Gartner Emerging Technologies Hype-Cycle 2008

Gartner Emerging Technologies Hype-Cycle 2008

In a recent hypothetical hosted by local industry Analyst, Longhaus, in Brisbane, it would appear that broader adoption by the Public Sector would take longer (up to 10 years) because of the information security and political concerns.

In summary, Cloud Computing is an inevitable evolutionary step for our industry, while it will likely be around 5 years before we see mainstream adoption, it is an area of the IT World that is worth keeping a watching brief upon, and some early experimentation, particularly for development environment purposes, would be well worth considering.

 

Regards,

Glenn Irvine
glenn.irvine@thelotusposition.net

 

What will Microsoft “Midori” mean to Lotus August 5, 2008

Posted by Glenn Irvine in Blog, Commentary, Competitive, Uncategorized.
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Recent discussion around the still somewhat “Under Wraps” project code-named Midori at Microsoft is suggesting a Microsoft Future “Post-Windows”. This, and the rise of industry interest in Virtiualisation, SaaS, and Cloud Computing, all point to a near-term future where consumption of software services will go through a significant disrupting period that will affect us all.

The Midori research is Microsoft’s effort at potentially making significant inroads into market-share for the operating system of a Cloud Future. Many Vendors are already on track to produce offerings for this future. IBM have their Blue House Initiative in the Lotus Space.

If Microsoft can use their Brand power to capture the market with an early Type-1 Hypervisor like Midori, it will have quite a bit of influence on this space going forward. (And the tacit support of Microsoft as a delivery model)

For resellers of products of Microsoft or IBM’s Lotus Brand, it is now time to consider an impending sales model for this “Desktopless” future. It will have a significant impact on their business.

While we have seen the problems inherant in the SaaS models with early adopters like Saleforce.com, it is only a matter of time before Quality of Service via the Internet improves to acceptable levels for greater uptake.

That’s when we will see the build-up of the “Wave”

Regards,

Glenn Irvine
glenn.irvine@thelotusposition.net