Demystifying the cloud at the Canadian roadshow in Montreal

Best laid plans do not always pan out, which described what happened to me yesterday. After sitting at the airport in Houston for most of the afternoon, my flight connection to take me to the HP Master the Cloud roadshow in Montreal was delayed to where I could not travel. I was a little disappointed, but it has given me the opportunity to try and follow one of these events online. Hopefully you have been able to follow a lot of the tweets that have been coming out from the event #HPCloudCA and have been finding them as useful as I have.

 

Even though I did not hear the presentation in person, I am familiar enough with the material to provide a summary of the keynote that Lu Kabir Vice President, Global Cloud Computing, HP delivered this morning about Demystifying the cloud.

 

Cloud Computing Assembly

The first topic Lu touched on was Cloud Assembly and how to move from solution development to solution assembly using cloud services. Traditional IT typically takes the approach of having to build and deliver everything themselves, which takes time and is typically costly. Even though they use rapid develop practices, the speed needed to compete against their competition sometime falls short.

 

The cloud enables IT to use their existing cloud applications and quickly bring together other cloud services, developing hybrid business solutions using public cloud services and private web services. Businesses can assemble these services and not always needing to develop them.

 

Using Cloud Services to deliver IT

In the Using cloud services to deliver IT section, Lu describes how to speed provisioning of IT services using cloud to achieve much higher service levels. Imagine being able to commit to your businesses that you will be able to quickly provide a wide set of cloud services that run 7x24 100% available. Services that never go down. That is the potential of cloud services.

 

Data Security in the Cloud

The third topic was about how to protect data in the cloud. Some Cloud service providers are not always able to make commitments to companies in this area. They have not been able to prove security level agreements and cannot guarantee that hackers cannot get into your data. This naturally writes off cloud services as a possible solution for most enterprise and governments. To further compound this problem, the US patriot act has allowed the US government the right to examine any data that is in US data Centres. This is seen as a tremendous intrusion into Canadian sovereignty and as a result has caused most Canadian companies and governments to write off all cloud services that are hosted in the US.

 

As a result of this, HP released mission critical enterprise class cloud services that are delivered with full service level and security agreements. In addition, HP is building these services in Canadian data centres for Canadian customers so Canadian data does not have to leave Canada and be exposed to the US patriot act.

 

Lu also illustrated other solutions that some companies have started to use and that integrate data coming from two different sources and present them on the same web page. These companies keep Canadian data in Canadian data centres, but they are using US data centres for delivering services such as images that are not considered to be that sensitive. In this way, a Company gets the best of both worlds.

 

How do I protect my company from Cloud security threats? This is always a topic that attracts a lot of attention and always gets complicated very quickly. To keep thing simple, Lu suggested thinking about asking yourself (as a consumer) these sets of questions:

  • What security is my cloud (provider) providing?
  • What security is my cloud providing?
  • What security assurances do I have?
  • What types of clouds are available to me?
  • Can I live with the risk?
  • Do I need the same security level on all my transactions, systems and data

But most importantly keep two important things in mind:

  • For services that require high levels of security the data should stay in your own data centers or possibly move to enterprise class cloud service providers.
  • Read your SLA with your cloud provider to ensure you are comfortable with the service levels they are providing you.

Building a Business Case for Cloud Computing

The fifth section was about how do I build a good business case to justify the cloud solution?Developing the ROI Model has been one of the most difficult challenges for many companies. Here are some insights:

  • Internal issues are the most important to address: standardization of organizations, roles, responsibilities and processes are critical
    • Establishing cloud governance – who makes strategy decisions, handles issues, escalations?
    • Within companies, IT groups are fragmented. Outside of the CIO level, there is seldom one manager who can make decisions on product strategies, technologies, tools, etc. Hence, standardization and workflow automation becomes extremely difficult.
    • The CEO/CFO are the ones demanding you to get to cloud.
      • You want to say “yes” – use this pressure in order to push for putting a strategy and roadmap in place to get to “yes.”
      • Strategy/roadmap and business case are essential to moving smartly and with confidence. 
      • The majority of the benefits of cloud solutions are not in IT, they are in the business. The Business case is measured in the new ability that the business itself gains.

Reenginner the IT Operational Model

The last section was about how to reengineer the IT operational model to exploit cloud services and build a versatile IT. Lu presented a suggestion for the development of an application transformation to common application architecture – assembling quickly for building a versatile IT.

 

All in all, this was a great session and I think it resonated well with the audience. I think taking more of a practical approach to cloud was a good way to help customers on their journey to the cloud.

There are still 3 stops left on HP Master the Cloud roadshow:

  • Toronto – Jan 31
  • Vancouver – Feb 7
  • Calgary – Feb 9

Please keep these locations in mind, as they will prove to be a great opportunity to help you understand different aspects of the cloud. If you can attend, you can register quickly at this link. If you cannot attend, please keep in mind you can follow the buzz online!!

 

Chris

For more information on HP CloudSystem visit www.hp.co/go/cloudsystem

Follow us on the roadshow @HPenterpriseCA

Comments
Nadhan | ‎01-27-2012 09:55 AM

Sorry you could not attend the conference, Chris.  You were missed !  Thank you for providing a comprehensive overview of the excellent session delivered by Lu and Bill.  Here is my live report from the conference where I have also taken the liberty of sharing my views.  Looking forward to seeing you at one of the remaining Road Show events in Canada and wishing you the best weather conditions to catch your flight !

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