Computing Solutions for Competitive Advantages and Sustainability

Oracle Launches Worldwide Cloud-Computing Tour

Larry and team are off and running with Cloud Computing.

I thought it would take a little longer, but I was expecting this from Oracle, despite the famous clip What the Hell is Cloud Computing? I still find this very funny (laughing with, not at, ... mostly).

Trend and Demand for Cloud Security

Security is still at or near the top of the list of many survey results for barriers to adoption of public Cloud Computing. This presents both a challenge and opportunity for providers of cloud-based services and products.

The insatiable demand for cloud computing solutions will economically drive providers to innovate and create an acceptable answer to security in the cloud.

At the same time, scientists are just as motivated to gain fame in this space.

All Rockets Go for City of LA's Google Cloud

Despite recent hacking attempts on Google, the City of LA is committed to progress with moving their 30,000 users to Google Mail and Apps. It is going to be MORE secure than their current environment and will cost less within a short timeframe. They are serving as a model while 50 other governments are asking them for more information on how they are doing this. Part of the agreement includes liability protection from Google if security is breached. Additionally, all data is stored in the US, encrypted, and managed by City staff. That satisfies many of the typical security and privacy and compliance issues that hinder organizations from adopting the cloud.

Congratulations to those that are making this decision.

Read more here:

Article review - Dec 2009 -

fivefiveReview of :

  • The Cloud explained (again) this time with 5 characteristics.
  • Cloud appliances from IBM and others - usually blade-based systems with virtualization, web services, and chargeback already installed for "cloudlike" manageability of the datacenter and the applications that run in it.
  • Google's Chrome OS - An OS or just a good browser? But if it works as advertised, who cares.
  • Server-based desktops apps like MS Office Web Apps, Google Docs, and Zoho - suitable alternatives in many cases especially when collaborating, but still or maybe never, going to pose a major threat to locally installed office applications. HTML 5 may be the answer. Are thin clients going to make a comeback?
  • Big Data - crunch your data in a non-structured format using MapReduce algorithms with Hadoop or Amazon's Elastic MR.
  • Platforms like and Azure - probably where the real impact can be made with a competitive advantage.

City of Los Angeles Enters the Cloud with Google Apps

Randi Levin, CTO, City of Los Angeles and Kevin Crawford, Assistant GM of the Information Technology Agency (ITA) share their views on why they chose Google Apps for their 30K employees.

The City is currently running at a $400M deficit and needs to increase efficiency and cut costs.

They awarded the multi-year contract to CSC who will get assistance from SADA Systems in North Hollywood, CA.

The 30,000 employees are distributed among its 44 departments and will gain many new capabilities and benefits by moving their Email and Document collaboration into Google Apps. They expect 65-85% of the employees will not need any other email or document collaboration apps.

Right now, The City Email is not available from many mobile devices and the mailbox size (quota) is very limited.

They needed a solution that was No/low training, easy to use, intuitive, accessible from mobile devices. Collaboration, Disaster Recovery, and Archiving are among the main benefits that will come with this solution. Along the way, they pick up better availability, security, maintainability, and remote access - all because of the cloud-based solution.

They expect to save $5.5M over the 5 year contract lifetime. When you count all the time, energy, and efficiency gained or saved, they could see an ROI of $20M.

System Integrators for the Cloud

I post a quick snapshot of some research on the larger System Integrator/System Outsourcers:


Seems to be the furthest along with developing services for cloud computing.
Services: Development and Test, Information Workloads, Desktop Workloads, Collaboration, Infrastructure Services, Business Service, Cloud Consulting Services
Systems: CloudBurst - private cloud; Business Analytics; Archive
"Industrialization of the datacenter"

Contact: Mike Hill, VP of Cloud Services

Read More -

Welcome to the Club Fujistu

Another supplier of cloud infrastructure services has entered into competition with, Google, and Microsoft: Fujitsu, with an expanded, 32,000 square foot data center in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Fujitsu will make servers, networking, and storage in the data center available for use by the hour in the first quarter of 2010, with an emphasis on services that enhance privacy and security in a multi-tenant facility. "We will primarily offer private cloud infrastructure for the enterprise and a platform of choice for independent software vendors," said Daniel Lawson, senior director of solutions offerings and architecture.


Cloud Computing Risks Identified

Reading through this article on CIOZone - - I realize my intuition on most (32 of the 35 points) was right. This is a good checklist for those that are considering incorporating cloud computing into their infrastructure. (Link to full report is below)

How many were you aware of?
How have you addressed them?

The 24 items SPECIFIC to cloud computing are:
Policy and Organizational Risks
Loss of Governance
Compliance Challenges
Reputational Damage
Service Termination
Supply Chain Failure
Technical Risks
Resource Exhaustion
Isolation Failure
Malicious Insider
Interface Compromise
Interception of Data
Data Leakage
Ineffective Data Deletion
Economic DoS
Loss of Encryption Keys
Malicious Probes
Service Engine
Customer Hardening
Legal Risks
Multiple Jurisdictions
Data Protection

This list was created as part of a report from the European Union's European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) last week.

Link to the full 123 page report, including practical recommendations -

CloudExpo Nov 2-4, 2009

I attended the Cloud Computing Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, CA on Nov 2 and 3, 2009. There were 7 tracks with multiple sessions each day. Like many of these conferences, several sessions were presented by paying sponsors that get a chance to "sell" their vision, product, or service. Some were better than others, but there was not much earth-shattering news here.

RightScale Meetup - Nov 2, 2009

RightScaleRightScaleI attended the RightScale meetup in Santa Clara, CA on Nov 2, 2009.

Hundreds of local and far-away customers and partners of RightScale came to hear the latest trends, use cases, and roadmaps directly from the CEO, CTO and several happy customers. With 20,000 users, some of the largest cloud-based websites and grid operations use RightScale.

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