Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: RealWire News Distribution, Elizabeth White, Andreas Grabner, Kevin Benedict, Shelly Palmer

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Apache

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

That Other Single Point of Failure

Unless you’re in publishing or high-tech, it is likely that our entire organization is a single point of failure

When you’re a kid at the beach, you spend a lot of time and effort building a sand castle. It’s cool, a lot of fun, and doomed to destruction. When high tide, or random kids, or hot sun come along, the castle is going to fall apart. It doesn’t matter, kids build them every year by the thousands, probably by the millions across the globe. Each is special and unique, each took time and effort, and each will fall apart.

The thing is, they’re all over the globe, and seasons are different all over the globe, so it is conceivable that there is a sand castle built or being built every minute of every day. Not easily provable, but doesn’t need to be for this discussion. when it is night and middle of winter in the northern reaches of North America, it is summer and daytime in Australia. The opportunity for continuation of sand castles is amazing.

Unless you’re in publishing or high-tech, it is likely that our entire organization is a single point of failure. Distributed applications make sense so that you can minimize risk and maximize uptime, right? The cloud is often  billed as more resistant to downtime precisely because it is distributed.

And your organization? Is it distributed? Really, spread out so that it can’t be impacted by something like Sandy?

There are a good number of organizations that are nearly 100% off-line right now because there is no power in the Northeast. That was not a possibility, it was an inevitability. Power outages happen, and they sometimes happen on a grand scale (remember the cascading midwest/northeast/Canada outage a couple years back – that was not natural disaster, it was design and operator error). And yet, even companies with a presence in the cloud clustered their employees in one geographic area. There is a tendency amongst some to want face-to-face meetings, assuming those are more productive, which leads to desiring everyone be on-site. With increasing globalization, and meetings held around the world - long before I became a remote worker, I held meetings with staff in Africa, Russia, and California, all on the same (very long) day, and all from my home in Green Bay – one would think this tendency would be minimized, but it does not seem to be.

The result is predictable. I once worked as a Strategic Architect for a life insurance company. They had a complete replica of the datacenter in a different geographic region, on the grounds that a disaster so horrible as to take out the datacenter would be exactly the scenario in which that backup would be needed. But guess where the staff was? Yeah,  at the primary. The systems would have been running fine, but the IT knowledge, business knowledge, and claims adjustment would all have been in the middle of a disaster.

Don’t make that mistake. Today, most organizations with multiple datacenters have DR plans that cover shifting all the load away from one of them should there be a problem, but those organizations with a single datacenter don’t have that leisure, and neither of them necessarily have a plan for continuation of actual work. Consider your options, consider how you will get actual business up to speed as quickly as possible. Losing their jobs because the business was not viable for weeks is not a great plan for helping people recover from disaster.

Even with the cloud, there is critical corporate knowledge out there that makes your organization tick. It needs to be geographically distributed. It matter not what systems are in the cloud if all of the personnel to make them work are in the middle of a blackout zone.

In short, think sand castles. If you have multiple datacenters, make certain your IT and business knowledge is split between them well enough to continue operations in a bad scenario. If you don’t have multiple locations, consider remote workers. Some people are just not cut out for telecommuting (I hate that phrase, since telecomm has little to do with the daily work, but it’s what we have), others do fine at it. Find some fine ones that have, or can be trained to have, the knowledge required to keep the organizations’ doors open. It could save the company a lot of money, and people a lot of angst. And your customers will be pleased too.

The key is putting the right people and the right skills out there. Spread them across datacenters or geographies, so you’re distributed as well as your apps. And while you’re at it, broadening the pool of available talent means you can get some hires you might never have gotten if relocation was required.

And all of that is a good thing.

Like sand castles.

Meanwhile, keep America’s northern east coast in your thoughts, that’s a lot of people in a little space without the amenities they’re accustomed to.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is a Technical Marketing Manager at F5 Networks. In this role, he supports outbound marketing, education, and evangelism efforts around development, storage, and IT management topics related to F5 solutions. His role includes authoring technical materials, participating in social and community-based forums, and providing guidance for the development of marketing resources. As an industry veteran, MacVittie has extensive programming experience along with project management, IT management, and systems/network administration expertise.

Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was a Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing, where he conducted product research and evaluated storage and server systems, as well as development and outsourcing solutions. He has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Are you interested in accelerating innovation, simplifying deployments, reducing complexity, and lowering development costs? The cloud is changing the face of application development and deployment, with enterprise-grade infrastructure and platform services making it possible for you to build and rapidly scale enterprise applications. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Gene Eun, Sr. Director, Oracle Cloud at Oracle, will discuss the latest solutions and strategies for application developers and enterprise IT organizations to leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy modern business applications in the cloud.
Hybrid cloud refers to the federation of a public and private cloud environment for the purpose of extending the elastic and flexibility of compute, storage and network capabilities, in an on-demand, pay-as-you go basis. The hybrid approach allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. Hybrid cloud environments involve complex management challenges. First, organizations struggle to maintain control over the resources that lie outside of their managed IT scope. They also need greater infrastructure visibility to help reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their company data and resources are properly handled and secured.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise), cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. At NuoDB we're involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., will cover experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Understanding the future of Big Data is crucial in the early stages of decision making around Big Data architectures. In the enterprise, what stands out is the need to integrate Hadoop smoothly into your existing data warehouse architecture, while taking advantage of existing skills and investments. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marty Gubar, Director of Product Management at Oracle, will present a strategy for enabling integrated data management using both Hadoop and relational technologies. In particular, he'll look at how SQL, long the standard for the data warehouse, is increasingly being used on Hadoop. The real prize, though, is Smart SQL processing, seamlessly integrating the data warehouse and Hadoop into a single, Big Data Management System.
The time has come for humanity’s first interstellar trek to Terranuvem, the cloud planet, and Chief Engineer Cyrus Agarwal has been chosen to ready a ship for the voyage. He must make the right architectural choices to transform the ship for the long journey and be prepared for the unknown. He will be tested and overcome challenges during the mission. Join Cyrus and the crew of the Stratus at Oracle VP Rex Wang’s Day 2 Keynote at 14th Cloud Expo for a unique, sci-fi movie experience while learning key success factors for your own journey to cloud.