Thursday, 21 November 2013

I've looked at clouds....

We had a session today from Tim Marshall, CEO of JANET on Cloud.

One of the first things he suggested that we should do,is make sure we know what's going on around us. Don't do things in a particular way just because we always have done.
A wonderful example is TVs coverage of tennis matches which is always for. The end of the court. That's because the aspect ratio of TVs used to be 6 by 4 and the end of court view fitted better. Now the aspect ratio is much wider, so you'd better a better picture if you put the camera in the middle, opposite the umpire. But, they've always done it like that...

We also need to examine our appetite for risk? Is it too low? Can cause innovation inertia.

Cloud doesn't change our business. Our business is not running IT. Our business is teaching, learning, research etc. Cloud is about changing the way we do our business, not the business itself. It's also about IT becoming more service orientated.
Much of the infrastructure is commodity now. If someone can do it better and cheaper why don't we let them.

We have to look at why we might want to keep things out of the cloud. Is it because we love the smell of a hot server in the morning...

the essential characteristics of cloud are:
On demand self service
Broad network access
Resource pooling
Rapid elasticity
Measured service

Tend not to get all of it, but bits here and there.

JANET 6 is our world class network which launches next week. It needs using. We should look at co-location. Get the tin out of the institution and somewhere else. (More than 50 miles away so people can't get in there cars and go and hug it.)

Several options from do nothing, to fully off site, via hybrid

UCAS uses cloud for burst capacity. Doesn't happen by magic. Took a lot of work to prepare UCAS applications to be cloud ready. But benefits huge.

Risk and innovation needs balancing.

What are the advantages of cloud?
Capacity, reliability, flexibility for large scale applications that are peaky
Cost effectiveness. Office 365 and Google are free.
Business Continuity
My comment, it's about service delivery and improvement
Cloud is about value, not cost

Mainly culture.
Some technical, ie getting applications cloud ready. But are lots of tools you can use.

Some competitive reasons eg HPC often kept in house. But why? Maybe culture. A lot of is commodity and people are buying it from amazon on their credit card as we speak.
JANET working on a provisioning portal for amazon

Some barriers are senior management who are concerned about cyber security

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