Prepare the ground for the cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

This post originally appeared here on May 30, 2012, in the Guardian.

To make sure your organisation benefits from cloud computing, lay a solid foundation before making grand plans

Cloud computing is ubiquitous in technology conversations. It’s not just a buzzword, but a catalyst to a new wave of thinking. Cloud is still yet to show its full capabilities as the demands on the world’s datacentres continue to rise – open source and virtualisation are spear-heading this movement.

There are many opportunities for organisations to benefit from cloud computing and slot it into their overall IT strategy. However, instead of getting overwhelmed and “eating too many elephants” it’s important to prepare the groundwork for cloud and pace the business by laying a solid foundation.

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An interview with Red Hat Training’s partner of the quarter

Based outside of Washington, DC, Spectrum Training Brokers is a centralized agent offering a single channel for purchasing computer and business skills training from hundreds of vendors nationwide. As an authorized training supplier of Red Hat, Spectrum has been offering Red Hat Training for over 6 years. Named Red Hat’s Training Partner of the Quarter for Red Hat’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2012 (December 2011 through February 2012), Spectrum had the highest sales and training bookings of any other North American Ready training partner. We recently chatted with Spectrum’s Nat Emery to get his thoughts about today’s training landscape today and where it may be headed tomorrow.

NOTE: The opinions, statements and other information included in this interview/blog are those of the author, and she/he is solely responsible for its content.

Who is getting trained these days?

The majority of my (personal) sector is government related. With the government mandating certifications for a lot of their contractors, that sector – federal contractors, federal government – is really making the investment and spending money on training. That’s not to say private industry is not doing it. To me, the federal sector are the ones driving the need where professionals must have to maintain those levels of certifications to stay in those contracts, and are putting a lot more emphasis on training.

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What’s new with Red Hat Training courses

by Pete Hnath (Red Hat)

Innovate or die. It’s the essence of what successful companies do, especially in the tech space. At Red Hat, there is ongoing innovation in every dimension of the business, with new products like CloudForms, new infrastructure like the Customer Portal and new metrics like Net Promoter.

The Curriculum team is similarly pushing to innovate with our course offerings and course delivery. In the last year we’ve completely changed the way Red Hat courses are taught to ensure the most hands-on experience possible. Gone are hour long, death-by-slide lectures. Students are actively engaged through multiple teaching approaches and near-continuous labs focused on solving problems rather than tools and technologies. Instructors are now armed with comprehensive guides with best practices on how to teach topics, resulting in across-the-board consistency and a more optimal student learning environment.

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Understanding where you are today: Assessing the current state of your datacenter

by Sean Thompson (Red Hat)

As technology consultants, we’re typically brought in by a customer to help them get somewhere specific they can’t reach on their own because of resources, skills, time or a host of other reasons. One of the things I’m most surprised by during these engagements, however, is how many IT organizations know where they want to go, but they don’t necessarily know where they are, or swear they are somewhere else. The knowledge they have about their infrastructure and what’s going on in their datacenter right now is extremely limited, or at best stale due to a lack of realtime data.

The value of understanding where you are today is immense, and is an important first step in realizing your IT goals and to help you move towards your ideal datacenter. Knowing where you stand and having a clear map of your current environment shines a light on opportunities to become leaner, to improve performance and automation, and to drive efficiency. The benchmarks you’ll create will help you conduct TCO/ROI calculations that actually mean something, so it will be clear how to become more agile, and become more responsive to the business.

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