Log Management Authors: Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, Log Management

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Notes From the Cloud Academy

RAIC - Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Cloud services

We have been running the Cloud Academy roundtables in several European countries. I’d like to share some of the more interesting questions, debates and insights around a number of topics, starting today with RAIC—Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Cloud Services. Other topics will include:

  • A TV industry analogy: Competition for the IT department
  • Cloud Shortcuts: Can the Cloud make( internal) IT more agile
  • Service Level Management and the Cloud
  • Cloud R&R - Retained responsibilities for IT
  • Elastic Services: Everybody wants to be a manager

Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Cloud services
Today’s post discusses whether we can ensure performance and availability of public cloud services. I’m not sure we can. Public cloud services are a bit like the weather: we are lucky if we can predict what it is going to be like, but cannot manage or change it as we don’t control the underlying elements. The same holds true trying to “manage” public cloud services.

So what do we do? Give up on public cloud services altogether? No, that would be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Instead, we can follow a method we have been using in IT for a long time. If we cannot count on a certain item to be always available, we make sure we have a fail over option.

The best example comes from storage. At a certain moment, people realized that even the most expensive disks encountered failures now and then. So they developed a strategy where failure of an individual disk is not so important. The result was RAID, a redundant array of inexpensive disks that, transparently tot the user, served the requested data from other disks in the array when one of the disks failed. In typical IT fashion, we used the name RAID 0 for a configuration where we had no raid at all, RAID 2 for 2 disks etc. The benefit of higher raid numbers is is that the predicted availability increases significantly by adding marginally more redundant capacity.

How do we apply a similar “redundant array” approach to cloud services? The idea of contracting for two email services or two CRM systems is counter-intuitive for most IT folks, since for years we strived to standardize on one of each . And the reality is that if half the company uses one email system and the other half another, 50% of the people are still down if one fails. So instead of looking at email in isolation, we should look at all the employee communication options. These may include email, instant messaging , VOIP, even a social media functions similar to Facebook or Twitter. If based on different technologies and sourced from different vendors, the chances of them all being down at the same time is extremely unlikely.

Using chat or instant messaging as a backup for email is not how we traditionally think in IT---- and challenging such traditional thinking is exactly the idea of the Cloud Academy - but it aligns with the next generation of IT users. An example: Teenagers (like the two living in my home) instantly switch from MSN to Google chat or to Hyves or Facebook or even to hotmail or text messaging, if the service they are using is behaving strangely. They are not particularly interested in whether a particular service is down; their only interest is whether they can continue to communicate with their friends.

Of course, since today’s IT departments proactively monitor the infrastructure and know the status of systems, they rarely get a call saying “all systems are down.. But that’s not true with external cloud services. We need to find an alternative early- warning system, something like a weather report on the status of the external cloud services our user depend upon. An interesting site in this context is http://www.unifiedmonitoring.com/.

So what conclusions did we reach in our (sometime heated) Cloud Academy debate?

Using public cloud services is another step in giving up control of the underlying components. Years ago, when companies bought the first computers , they were expected to program these themselves in Assembler. Later, they bought higher- level language compilers, followed by complete off the shelf software packages followed now by infrastructure and software as a service. Along each step, IT has lost some control, but in exchange we are no longer required to do all the work.

We do, however ,have to make conscious decisions when to cede control. This differs by industry, type of application and possible risk. Using public cloud services in many cases already makes sense today. But when using them, we need to have some way to monitor availability and outcome so that we can make smart or pragmatic tradeoffs and precautions when the services are not available.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...