Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Links for 07-31-2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Links for 07-27-2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

State Street's Cloud: It's about going faster

Although it doesn't get into a lot of "cloudy" details, the Wall Street Journal blog "State Street Private Cloud Geared to Make Money, CIO Says" by Clint Boulton gives some good insight into their motivations and overall process.

First, the motivations.

[CIO Chris] Perretta declined to say how much money moving to this cloud would save State Street, though the comprehensive operations and IT overhaul announced in 2010 is expected to deliver “pre-tax, run-rate” savings of between $575 million to $625 million by the end of 2014.  The savings are significant, but Perretta says he is most interested in how quickly and efficiently his staff can move legacy applications to the company’s cloud. “If every CIO in the country asked the CFO what they think about IT, they would say you spend too much money,” Perretta told CIO Journal. “If you ask everyone else in the business, it would be ‘go faster’.”

Sure, money always plays a role. No IT organization doesn't feel cost pressure. Of course, how many groups within an enterprise don't feel that they're under cost pressure? 

But it's noteworthy that the big impetus here was speed--"business agility" to use the marketing-ism. 

This is wholly consistent with what I hear almost every day. Efficiency is important. But cloud is really about opening up new possibilities. This makes it quite unlike many previous technology waves, such as virtualization (at least as first), which primarily lived or died primarily because of the cost efficiencies they supposedly provided. (Whether or not they actually did.)

Centralization, standardization, and rationalization of their infrastructure helped to unperpin the move.

To craft its private cloud, State Street is gradually replacing older computer systems with smaller computers that were bought “bare metal,” which is industry parlance for computers that come without an operating system preloaded. State Street loaded Linux software on the computers, and Windows on others, and began migrating the company’s programs for business analytics, asset servicing and management to the cloud. Once on the cloud, the machines and applications are automated through open source virtualization software, said Sullivan. “We couldn’t turn on a dime the way we needed to, so we wanted to get the cloud platform built, then migrate old applications to cloud,” he said.

At Red Hat, the open, hybrid approach that we've taken with CloudForms helps organizations extend cloud management to legacy infrastructure. But moving from virtualization to cloud nonetheless benefits greatly from process and planning. (We ran a four-part webinar series on the topic together with Kurt Milne of the IT Process Institute.) And, as in the case of State Street, many organizations find that standardizing new deployments on modern volume infrastructure such as Linux on x86 servers is a great first step. 

Social media and contacting me update

It's been a while, so here's a refresh on my social media outlets and inlets together with some other details about contacting me.


I have two primary blogs.

Connections is my "personal" blog. It's mostly (75%+) devoted to topics that fall generally under the umbrella of "tech." I generally keep the blog going with short link-comments when I'm not pushing out anything longer. In addition to more general tech topics, my Red Hat-related content also goes here (other than that which gets pushed out through official channels such as the Red Hat press blog). The opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone and the content, including Red Hat-related content, is solely under my control.

The Pervasive Datacenter is my CNET Blog Network blog. I typically publish once or twice a month on technology topics, nominally with an emphasis on enterprise IT although I do posts on photography and other consumer tech of interest from time to time. I am especially careful about topics that could be perceived as in any way a conflict of interest because of my day job at Red Hat and therefore mostly avoid getting into individual companies, strategies, and products.

Social Networks:

I am active on twitter as @ghaff. As with my blogs, I concentrate on tech topics but no guarantees that I won't get into other topics from time to time.

I mostly view LinkedIn as a sort of professional rolodex. If I've met you and you send me a LinkedIn invite, I'll probably accept though it might help to remind me who you are. I'm most likely to ignore you if you appear to be someone just building up a big network for spammy purposes or I otherwise have no idea who you are or are trying to connect with me.

I'm a pretty casual user of Facebook and I limit it to friend friends. That's not to say that some of them aren't professional acquaintances as well. But if you just met me at a conference somewhere and want to friend me, please understand if I ignore you.

I use Google+ primarily as an additional channel to draw attention to blogs and other material that I have created. I also participate in various conversations there. As with twitter, technology topics predominate on my Google+ stream.

I use flickr extensively for personal photography.

PR pitches, etc:

Lord, do I get a lot of crap sent my way. The redeeming aspect of this is that I periodically get some gem that gives the PR group at Red Hat a chuckle (after any embargo is off of course). If you work for a Red Hat competitor or their agency, you might also want to think twice about offering to pre-brief me on some new announcement.

With that out of the way, I'm interested in a wide variety of tech topics. However, for obvious reasons, I tend to avoid writing about specific companies that closely intersect with my day job whether as competitors or partners. It's also a matter of my bandwidth. I have less time for blogging than when I was an analyst but if I write about one company in a space, it's not really fair to turn down all the inevitable requests that come in from other companies doing something similar.

Bottom line: I'm unlikely to take a briefing, but if you have an interesting report, book, study, or whatever, feel free to send it my way and I may look at and write about it--especially if it's about something broader than an individual company. I'm also open to attending (typically local) conferences and events if I seem likely to learn something useful.

Links for 07-25-2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Links for 07-12-2012