CloudAsia 2012, Preconference Workshop

CloudAsia 2012 is the second year of the conference co-organized by Singapore’s IDA (Infocomm Development Authority), the summary of 2011 is here and here.  In a later article I’ll review the main conference.  CloudAsia 2012 is a great event to meet the decision makers across the cloud computing eco-system from enterprises, telecom operators, regulators, government agencies, service providers, system integrators and vendors.  The event is much more realistic and practical implementation focused than many other events.  In APAC vendors do not win deals through hype, rather through clear, easy to understand propositions.  IDA’s involvement highlights the strategic importance Asian governments and regulators place on Cloud Computing.  The event runs from 14 to 17 May 2012, I previewed the 2012 conference here.

I ran a pre-conference workshop on “Advanced Cloud Computing 101” where I provided an independent review of cloud computing basics, and this year went into the details of the practical issues in deciding what workloads to migrate into the cloud and the real-world issues of migrating workloads into the cloud.  An enterprise application exists and is well integrated into the enterprise’s infrastructure, to rebuild it in the cloud hits roadblocks such as:

  • Rebuilding the application stack within the cloud;
  • Setting up the network;
  • Adding end-to-end security; and
  • Managing the application in a separate environment.

Some of the key points I made through the workshop include:

  • Cloud is simply IT infrastructure outsourcing.
  • Focus on the business case, its a business decision not a technology decision.
  • Most enterprises are focused on Hybrid cloud, 80:20 Private:Public, with a longer term migration towards public cloud where the real cost savings reside.
  • We’re repeating the mistakes of the past, e.g. SOA (Service Oriented Architecture).  We’re being asked to believe don’t think, focus on technology discussions and strategic visions not tactical business and use cases.
  • Security is not the issue, its the loss of control.
  • Appliances like Cloudswitch (recently bought by Verizon) managing migration issues.
  • Amazon Web Services is reliable, use multiple AZ (Availability Zones).  And similarly use multiple clouds.  Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
  • As with all IT projects “results = people * process * technology.”  So if people do not change and/or process does not change then the result is zero, regardless of the technology change.
  • Migration plan to the cloud needs to be bidirectional, that is apps may be developed in the public cloud then come back into a private cloud for production.
  • TOGAF (The Open Group) have some great tools to evaluate what workloads make sense to migrate to the cloud given an enterprise’s specific situation.
  • Initial workloads to consider are: collaboration, desktop, CRM, and analytics for migration to the cloud.
  • And above all do not believe the hype.

The workshop slide pack is 700 slides and focuses on understanding the real-world issues in migrating workloads / applications into the cloud and below is a sample to give you a feel for the depth and breath covered.

The workshop is independent, it explains the reality behind the hype, the effort required in migrating workloads to the cloud, and provides the tools on how to decide based on your specific situation.

Workshop was divided into 4 sections:
Part 1: Introduction to Cloud Computing

  • Confusion and Cloud-Washing
  • Cloud Consolidation
  • History
  • Vision
  • Definitions – focus on NIST
  • Cloud computing reference architecture
  • Actors, Brokers, Consumers, Auditors,
  • Cloud Types: Public, Private, Community and Hybrid
  • Orchestration and Management
  • Business support, security and privacy
  • Cloud Benefits and Issues
  • Cloud Misconceptions
  • The Open Group Survey 2011

Part 2: Getting into the Details

  • Mapping suppliers and technologies in Cloud Computing
  • Understanding the economics behind the benefits
  • Quantifying the benefits
  • Cloud market taxonomy and market size
  • CSPs and Cloud Computing – AT&T, BT, DT, NTT, Orange, SingTel, Verizon
  • Mapping the workloads
  • SOA and the Cloud
  • Cloud Computing in Asia

Part 3: Understanding the Components

  • Summary: Web 2.0, SaaS, Utility Computing, Virtualization, SLAs, Autonomic computing, Grid technology, Web Services, Service Oriented Architectures, Free and Open Source Software
  • Deep Dive: Virtualization
  • History
  • Issues and Trends
  • Supplier review: Citrix, IBM, Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Symantec, Oracle, VMWare
  • Deep Dive: Data Centers
  • History and the drive for efficiency and availability
  • Changes and pressures on DC – drive for DC management
  • Capex and opex DC costs
  • DC economics drives cloud computing
  • Deep Dive:, Google, Microsoft and Amazon
  • Google App Engine
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Netflix deep dive
  • AWS walk-through

Part 4: Implementation

  • Survey – what workloads others are moving into the cloud?
  • Summary
  • Key points in cloud migration
  • Industry : Workload : Cloudability Space
  • Project Plan – example from IBM
  • Decision Tree for implementing Cloud Computing
  • The Open Group decision tree
  • Security
  • Reviewing SAS70, PCI DSS, ISO27001, NIST, HIPAA, FISMA, CoBIT, Data Protection Directive
  • Architectural Review
  • Concluding Remarks