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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

@ ITLC 2010 Conference: Cloud Computing for the Trucking Industry

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I’m at the Information Technology & Logistics Council (ITLC) conference on Amelia Island in Florida.  I was invited here to speak on SOA.  Now, I’m sitting in on a cloud computing session.  The format is three mini-presentations, followed by a panel discussion.

Steve Chaffee opened quoting the Forrester paper by Gene Leganza on Enterprise Architects and Cloud Computing Adoption.  He also mentioned the citizen development aspect of cloud, as familiarized by Gartner.

First up is Chris Rafter, Logicalis is an IT Services Company.  Chris is starting with some Cloud Computing fundamentals.  After some What is Cloud? Chris is talking about how cloud computing isn’t just an IT topic.  It’s also a business topic and finance topic.  The overall value prop: “Deliver the same application, with “good enough? quality of experience, for dramatically lower cost.?

He’s going over some cost savings details now.  Cites small companies moving over to Google Apps, and companies without dedicated data centers, getting IaaS services from Amazon.  So, not completely “moving? to cloud computing.  But, utilizing cloud services.

Chris says “amazing deals? right now.  The low price is all about a land grab.  He infers this won’t last.  Many people speak to the eventual race to zero.  Chris sees this differently.  More laws of supply and demand, versus just economies of scale.  [I agree with Chris. I don’t see zero as an efficient (market) end goal for providers.  At least those providers with shareholders.]

Now, the requisite Private | Hybrid | Public cloud slide.  He’s giving good information.  For many here, this is an initial exposure.  In general, trucking and logistics organizations are not early adopters. 

[Interesting note, while this session is well attended, the SOA session was fuller.  In other industries, or at Analyst conferences, I see the opposite trend.  More people in Cloud Computing sessions, as SOA is well underway.]

Next up is Dave Teszler of Oracle.  Dave is a Sun guy, datacenter, cloud computing and HPC background. 

Dave has Oracle’s Logistics IT Services Footprint up now.  Talks about the potential need for high performance compute with the “traveling salesman problem?.  What happens when the planned route is interrupted.  How do you re-route with least impact on subsequent appointments.

Dave is going over a Private PaaS Lifecycle:

  1. setup cloud: virtual machine, o/s, database, middleware and management software, with shared service layer
  2. build app
  3. use app
  4. scale up/down
  5. chargeback

Private Cloud Evolution:

silo’d –> grid –> private cloud (self service, policy based) –> hybrid solution, spanning private & public clouds. Hybrid includes virtual private cloud, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

Dave is giving some examples of Cloud Computing within Oracle.  First, Oracle Development is self-service private cloud.  [Sounds like early Amazon AWS driver].  Second, Oracle University.

In closing, Dave does point out there are both “compelling benefits as well as serious concerns?.

Finally, Jackie Barretta, CIO of Con-Way.  Her brief definition: A standardized IT capability (services, software, or infrastructure) delivered via internet technologies. 

Real promise, especially in transportation, is public cloud.  The reason, the spikes of transportation.  Not carrying high cost burden just to meet spikes.  Leverage the public cloud for those spikes.

Biggest benefit, “Cloud Computing allows us to concentrate on our differentiators?. 

Strategic Value compared to Internal vs. External Efficiency.  Differentiators: Business Unit Application design, Integration, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Architecture.  Focus on these things.  Commodities: Help Desk, Development & Support, Infrastructure.

Mapped application categories to 2x2 box, strategic value (X), Internal vs. External proficiency (Y).  High Strategic, Low Internal –> External Novelties. (Salesforce.com)  Upper right box, stays within Con-Way.

SWOT Diagram: Platforms from the Cloud (development platforms).  Only one viable for them, is Force.com.  Con-Way is Java shop.

S: Rapid Ramp Up for developers, rapid application delivery

W: No SLA’s, Will not run existing code (proprietary Java, hopeful of new Force.com release)

O: Faster time to market, rapid scalability

T: Data & Apps may not be secure, Vendor Lock-in (biggest concern)

Moving on to Infrastructure.  Mix of co-location, cloud computing, managed infrastructure and on-premise.  Not confident in cloud computing infrastructure (right now) to fully “move? to the cloud.

Business functions that are core competencies and differentiators are NOT in, or moving to, the cloud. 

Con-Way has always controlled own infrastructure.  Just signed agreement with HP for 6 year outsourcing deal.  There are “shades of cloud? in that agreement.  Co-location, managed services, and SaaS on public cloud (such as email). 

Also pursuing a pilot on Amazon EC2 for one of their “spikiest? applications.  Deal structure allows for movement to public cloud without penalty, if public cloud offers better deal (cost, performance, etc).

Jackie is addressing the renegade (citizen) cloud adoption threat.  Advice: Embrace cloud computing.

Q&A has started.

Jackie on Security in the cloud.  In many ways, cloud computing providers are more secure, because they have more funds to put towards security.  This is a general (industry) statement, not Con-Way specific.

Chris: Encryption.  Insist on encryption: data in flight, PII data at rest.

Good question on application response (latency).  How long do users need to wait for response from cloud.  General agreement from panel of criticality of network architecture as moving to cloud.  Might be big concern for shops with thick client applications.  Shops with “thin client? or “web based architecture? are probably better positioned.

1 Comment


hi can i something how much it will cost if i will buy cloud computing this year?

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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