Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Community clouds

Good meeting this morning being brought up to date on YHMAN's virtual shared data centre project.  We're running a pathfinder or pilot service, with machines based in three Universities, hosting virtual services based on VMware to form a community cloud. It's connected by a resilient ring with virtual security in place and is serving the eight universities in the MAN. You can see some slides about it on the YHMAN projects page here.  The technology behind it is all very clever - resilient and secure, and as we move forward with it we'll be looking at the use cases for it. Offsite back up, resilient storage, business continuity and temporary capacity are all possibilities for us. We're one of the current sites where a server is hosted, so we are both a supplier and customer. Quite exciting - will be interesting to see how it develops.

This afternoon we had a Business Continuity Operations group, looking mainly at our work programme for this year, and lessons learned from recent incidents and near misses.

Also had a phone call with a Gartner analyst, an expert in business process management, about some aspects of our implementation of service management. I find these conversations really useful, a they often offer a different perspective, especially as the Gartner analysts have a lot of experience and examples of good practice from all sectors - not just HE. They also know the questions to ask to make you think differently.

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