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Archive for the tag 'ROI'

 
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A post by Scott Bils, Managing Partner, Leverhawk.

As cloud computing matures and success models emerge, enterprises are now getting serious about using cloud to drive business and IT transformation.  Successful cloud adoption is about more than technology and platforms though – it also will require a more complete understanding of the true economic, organizational and operational implications of the cloud.  Unfortunately these are issues that most IT leaders are ill-prepared to address.

The Cloud IT Executive Summit (CITES) provides an unparalleled opportunity to hear the latest insights from industry experts, thought leaders and enterprise executives who are leveraging cloud and other next generation IT platforms to drive disruptive business strategies and achieve competitive advantage. The Summit will provide an opportunity for forward thinking CIOS and IT decision-makers to engage in peer-level discussions and learn best practices from other executives who are leading the migration to next generation IT models.  The CITES sessions will feature a variety of discussions on cloud-enabled transformation, including:

  • ITaaS – The New Operating Model with Scott Bils, Managing Partner at Leverhawk
  • Cloud Strategy and Economics, with Joe Weinman, Senior VP at Telx
  • CIO perspectives on Cloud Strategy with Bob Gill, Research Director at Gartner
  • The Future of Cloud Computing, with Jamie Goldstein, Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners,
  • Customer Perspectives on Cloud Transformation with Latisys

The Cloud is fundamentally transforming the “business model” of IT, requiring CIOs and their organizations to become service providers themselves.  CITES will provide a roadmap for executives seeking to navigate the strategic, organizational and operational issues on the way to transformation.

Register here and join the conversation!

 
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emilyjohnson

By Emily Johnson

Cloud Connect Chicago 2013 is taking a new approach to the program this year. The focus is on the top cloud computing infrastructure management platforms including: OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus and VMware and the full-fledged stack wars that are currently playing out in the media.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Randy Bias, Cloudscaling’s CEO & CTO and Director of the OpenStack Foundation who organized the Cloud Connect OpenStack track and Boot Camp and he shared his thoughts on how his program is coming together and what he thinks attendees will gain from it. Continue Reading »

 
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Kristi Ibello

The knowledge and best practices you gain at Cloud Connect Chicago will ultimately help your organization maximize their cloud investment. You’ll come back better prepared to help your company develop strategies to increase efficiency and productivity; and ideas on how to test and implement new, transformative technologies.

Need a little help demonstrating the ROI your trip to Cloud Connect will have? Share the below list which helps demonstrate the importance and impact your trip will have on your organization.

  1. Discover innovative ways that the cloud can help you boost productivity and create new revenue streams.
  2. Stay abreast of industry trends and issues, hear industry experts and end users discuss use cases and best practices surrounding their cloud migration.
  3. Evaluate which cloud stacks and platforms are right for your specific challenges, so you can optimize spend in these key areas.
  4. Up-level the skills and experience of your organization with CompTIA Cloud Essential Certification.
  5. Meet with over 30 vendors and find new solutions to your cloud, security, infrastructure or big data questions.
  6. Anticipate emerging cloud trends so you can plan for any impact on your business.
  7. Renegotiate service agreements and/or upgrade to the next version by scheduling one-on-one meetings at Cloud Connect.
  8. Network with like-minded professionals and learn how they are tackling cloud issues in your industry.
  9. Learn from top peers, analysts and other end users in the Cloud Connect Conference sessions including cloud & private clouds, AWS, CloudStack, and OpenStack
  10. Connect with thousands of experts — including leaders from companies like ZipCar, Boeing, Sears, and The Weather Company, the brightest innovators in IT — for guidance and advice on the specific challenges your company is facing.

Leverage the Convince Your Manager tools on the Cloud Connect website to get additional details and justification letters to share with your management team. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

 
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Amazon Web Services is the largest and most successful cloud service provider by a huge margin. Its lead over the competition can be seen in the most recent Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant, where there is enormous white space between it and its nearest competitor in the leader quadrant — with only AWS and that competitor cited as leaders. Everyone else is relegated to other quadrants.

The implication of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is clear: AWS will be important for every company and IT organization. Developing AWS skills is critical. However, AWS is designed and operates quite differently from every other cloud service provider’s offering.

Understanding how AWS works and how to gain the greatest advantage from it is crucial — and Cloud Connect’s AWS Boot Camp delivers a half-day firehose of information to help get you started on your AWS journey.

The workshop covers core AWS concepts, as well as details of the different AWS services, to prepare you for your initial work with it.

Key areas covered in the AWS Boot Camp include:

  • AWS global architecture and data center locations
  • AWS services
  • In-depth discussion of AWS compute and storage services
  • AWS application design principles to ensure robust and scalable apps
  • AWS service pricing
  • Managing AWS utilization and costs

Past Boot Camp attendees have given it high marks for clearly and simply describing AWS in a manner making it easy for anyone to understand. While technical concepts are presented, it is not necessary to have a deep technical background in order to attend the Boot Camp. No hands-on technical work is expected of students, although a demonstration of the service is included in the Boot Camp, in order to communicate its ease of use.

Register for a Cloud Connect All Access Pass and be on your way to becoming an AWS expert.

 
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Steve Wylie

With Cloud Connect Chicago less than 8 weeks away we have started to take the wraps off our exciting keynote line up.  Our program reflects not only the state of enterprise cloud computing, but more importantly, where we’re going as we begin to understand how cloud computing is reshaping the modern enterprise.

The theme for this year’s conference is Navigating the Cloud for Enterprise Transformation which speaks to two of the most important trends in enterprise cloud adoption:

Enterprise Transformation: We’ve moved beyond defining cloud computing and evangelizing its value proposition.  The Cloud is here to stay and its value to business pretty well understood.  But we need continued focus on exactly how cloud is reshaping business in terms of technology choices, policies and organizational best practices.

Navigating the Cloud:  As companies set a cloud strategy they face a number of decisions around platforms, ecosystems and vendor partners.   Cloud Connect’s Conference Program is uniquely structured to compare and contrast the leading cloud stacks in the market.

With these themes in mind, I’m thrilled to welcome Alistair Croll, VP of CloudOps Research as a featured speaker.  Alistair will most definitely challenge your thinking with his vision for the cloud enabled enterprise. He is a true thought leader, consistently ranks among top speakers at Cloud Connect and i’m thrilled to welcome him back this year.  Here’s a little background on Alistair from the CloudOps Research website:

Alistair Croll is an entrepreneur, analyst, and author. He has founded several companies in the area of network infrastructure, performance management, and web technology, and chairs a number of the tech industry’s largest events on cloud computing, Big Data, and entrepreneurship including Cloud Connect, Strata, Interop, and the International Startup Festival. He is also the creator of the bitnorth conference series. Alistair is the author of three books on performance, operations, and analytics, and is currently working on Lean Analytics, part of the Lean series from O’Reilly Media, which shows startups how to use data to build better startups faster. In 2010, he co-founded Year One Labs, an early stage startup accelerator, and he is an angel investor and hands-on advisor to numerous startups and investor organizations. Most of what Alistair says, passed through notoriously poor filters, can be found on Twitter or his blog, Solve For Interesting.

 

 

 
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This post was co-written by Emily Johnson and Bernard Golden

There is no question that AWS is leading the charge in IaaS with high resiliency, and dynamic development options, especially for those developing SaaS applications in the cloud. However, their API-based features can make standardization of management interfaces difficult for cloud vendors, and though it can quickly evolve to its customer’s needs, does not endorse industry standards. Luckily, there are a number of great management solutions out there and AWS continues to be a prudent financial decision. Continue Reading »

 
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Bernard Golden has been called a “cloud guru” and a “cloud computing rockstar.” He is Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Enstratius, a leading cloud management software company. In this role, he works with large enterprises throughout the world, helping them migrate to cloud computing and gain its full benefits. Formerly, was the CEO of HyperStratus, a Silicon Valley cloud computing consultancy that works with clients throughout the world. Continue Reading »

 
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Cloud computing is exponentially growing and now an assumed part of any infrastructure.  One of the critical needs of this industry is for trained professionals to assure that the cloud is implemented responsibly, and with the appropriate security controls in any organization. Certification is a great way to help advance your career and gain a leg up in the market.

Which types of end users care about this certification?

There are hundreds of IT and business positions that require cloud competence. As purchasing decisions shift from IT to the LOB it is important that more and more business functions understand the core competencies of the cloud. If your organization is adopting cloud at any level, or you’re considering advancing your career within the cloud market, one of the best ways to make that transition is with cloud certification.

What types of certification exists?

Many vendor companies are starting their own certification programs, but these only allow you to get certified on vendor programs or technologies. For a third party certification program we recommend CompTIA Cloud Essentials. The Cloud Essentials certification is a general-purpose tool you can use to show you understand all aspects of cloud computing.

Cloud Connect has partnered with CompTIA to bring the Cloud Essential training to Cloud Connect Chicago this October. Register for this one-day course and get educated on all aspects of the cloud. The training includes a voucher so you can complete the certification test at any testing center of your choice. Register by September 16 to lock in Early Bird pricing on the training – just $599.

 
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Cloud Connect and Everest Group conducted a joint survey to coincide with the Cloud Connect conference at Santa Clara, in April 2013.

The objectives of the survey were to:

– Identify broad-based cloud adoption patterns

– Identify barriers to adoption

– Identify decision making patterns for cloud adoption

Below is a visual of some key findings.

 

Learn more at Cloud Connect Chicago.

 

 

 
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This isn’t a simple question to answer.

First of all, cloud computing is hidden behind a fog of abstraction. Whereas IT could once instrument every element of an application, today applications are like Descartes’ brain in a jar—never quite sure if they’re real, or virtual.

Second, on the surface many service providers’ goals aren’t aligned with those of their customers’. Service providers want to maximize revenues, and want the freedom to do with the underlying infrastructure what they will. That’s how they stay in business and make the most of what they have. Without that freedom, they lose economies of scale and skill. By contrast, customers want special treatment, and instrumentation all the way down the stack.

Third, people don’t really understand metrics well. Despite decades of criticism, we still use averages, even though they hide important fluctuations in service quality that can warn of bigger problems before they become disasters.

There’s a bigger problem here, however. For half a century, IT has been about protecting precious resources. The reason you put up with carrying a stack of punched cards to the basement of the computing building at 3AM was because the mainframe was scarce, and the humans abundant. No more: each of us has three screens, one of which is seldom more than a meter from our bodies at any time.

That means we’re less concerned about the consumption of resources and more concerned about the completion of tasks. We shouldn’t really care if the CPU is idle or maxed out, provided that the user accomplish what they set out to do. Proponents of Service Level Agreements have long known this, but cloud monitoring, hiding behind the fog of virtualization, drives it home hard.

Application Performance Management and Real User Monitoring have long been thought of as “advanced” forms of measurement*. These go beyond up/down metrics or numbers related to utilization, and instead look at the success of the application from the user’s point of view. They’ve often languished somewhere between web analytics (which show you what users did) and synthetic monitoring (which shows you whether the site is working.)

Today, however, the real question is: could they do it, well? There’s great evidence that slow applications undermine productivity, cost money, and cut into revenues. Slow clouds need fixing. To do this, I think we need to go beyond APM, and start with the business problem. Too often, IT professionals start at the bottom and work up. “Server 10 is down, which means the support site isn’t working, which means the phone queue is too long, which impacts our customer satisfaction rating.” They begin with the means, and work back to the end.

Instead, I think we need to step back and look at the business model. From that, we can derive the relevant metrics, and what’s considered an acceptable threshold. Then we can measure against those thresholds, and report on violations. That’s a much more palpable approach to measurement for executives. Starting at the model and working down says we say, “7% of visits need to result in an enrollment for us to meet our monthly target.” From that, we can measure the steps of an enrollment, and their performance against the past or response targets.

When we owned the infrastructure, this was considered progressive. But the fog of cloud monitoring means it’s often the only way we can measure. It lets us size cloud consumption, which in turn lets us define budgets—since with the right architecture, you can have any performance you can pay for. And it leads to good metrics, since it’s focused on rates and exceptions rather than averages.

We’ll be talking about how to measure cloud-based applications at this spring’s Cloud Connect event in Santa Clara. In fact, we have a whole track of content dedicated to it, including sessions on WAN, application delivery networks, load-balancing, and choosing the right metrics. Clouds are the IT of abundance, and they fundamentally change how we measure applications. Let’s figure out how.

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