Monday, October 03, 2011
After a small hiatus we're back with the news of interest and my thoughts on what it means to us.
- Secret SLAs – Pam Baker over at ReadWriteWeb identifies the SLA as one of the key areas holding back the larger market from adopting Cloud solutions. She notes that "Until the cloud industry matures and vendors make it evident that they truly do have skin in the game, enterprises are generally better off going with a hosted version, where SLAs are more meaningful and advantageous, or in building private clouds." I have a couple of issues with that statement, but the rest of the article does make a lot of sense. Those issues? Coming from a hosting background, I know that hoster SLAs are generally appalling possibly even worse than those offered now but "Cloud" vendors, the other thing which Pam mentions is that SLAs are generally shrouded in secrecy, with NDAs being required before the contents are revealed. I happen to know – because I use them as an example in the Private Cloud workshops – that the Azure SLAs are publicly available for anyone to get and read. Pam's article is over here: http://www.readwriteweb.com/solution-series/2011/09/slas-throttle-cloud-adoption.php
- Openstack adds Private Cloud features – The Diablo release of OpenStack provides a couple of specific features aimed at those organisations seeking to deploy a Private Cloud infrastructure. The first is a 'Cloud health dashboard' similar to the Amazon Cloudwatch feature and is designed to provide admins with a view of their running services, the performance and there useful metrics. The second feature is the ability to us Active Directory and LDAP for user authentication, making this more attractive to Enterprise admins. My thoughts are that this shows a direction and highlights a potential opportunity for supporting the Hyper-V stack. The AD auth is built in so we can tick THAT box, the dashboard is currently something which can be constructed using SCOM and the SharePoint dashboards available for it. Info can be found over at http://openstack.com/blog/
- Hyper-V support added to OpenNebula management environment. It's about time we started seeing this, I was getting a little bored talking about the new cross platform management environments and not seeing Hyper-V among the list of supported systems! We are expecting to see support appearing in October of this year and this is very good for everyone as it provides some comfort for those orgs with other hypervisors in use who may have some reticence in having another management system to look after or integrate. IT could also help with migration scenarios where longer timelines for coexistence could be required. There's a post on the OpeNebula blog about this: http://blog.opennebula.org/?p=1991
- Business Intelligence Just Got Personal – I had an article on cloud-based BI recently, but this one is is different in two ways, firstly it's for simple data in Excel sheets and secondly it's free! Of course if you're happy to pay MicroStrategy some money they'll give you a much broader and deeper solution, but the free one could just get folks out of a hole in terms of presenting data in a useable way to a large audience. I'm still thinking that there's an angle here for the presentation of usage, performance, SLA or other information from the systems we implement or help to implement for our customers. http://microstrategy.com/
- Google drops DoI lawsuit – Yep, it seems the big 'G' - no not THAT one! - has decided not to pursue it's suit against the US Department of the Interior "Based on the defendant's agreement to update its market research, a process that may include the issuance of a Request for Information, and then conduct a procurement subject to the availability of appropriated funds and in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation in a manner that will not preclude plaintiffs from fairly competing, " The DoI entered it's own motion the following day stating that it supported Google's decision to withdraw it's suit, but that no 'agreement' had been entered in to. Is it just coincidence that an examination ordered into Googles security was to be carried out by an independent expert who was ordered to report their findings back to the court? This was supposed to give Google a chance to prove it's mettle but I'm guessing that analysis and reporting now simply will not happen. Read into that what you may! I'm guessing that Google is re-analysing it's position and strengths against the Office 365 federal propositions and Amazon's AWS GovCloud (again, very familiar!) to ensure it chooses the right weapons for the next round. Remember this case is now 1 year old and times and technologies have moved on.