Cloud Sniff Test: Cutting through the jargon

by David Kang (Red Hat)

Cloud is not software, cloud is not hardware, cloud is not virtualization, and cloud is certainly not a panacea for broken IT. Cloud is an architecture: a set of fundamental tenets that have different implications at different levels of IT, from network, to hardware, to applications, and to the IT process itself. To say you have a cloud is to say that you have a cohesive architecture, technology set, and most importantly processes, that work towards a defined goal under a set of well-understood principals. Building your cloud is as much about defining your goals and governing principals as it is about investing in technology.

Building your cloud and consuming cloud services
Step one is defining your governing principals. This is a crucial step before embarking on your cloud journey as the policies and principals you define will help you navigate your journey through the rapidly expanding cloud ecosystem. This is also an opportunity to ask tough questions and examine what your principals and processes are, and why you have them. Process is ultimately about managing risk, so consider what risks are acceptable under your governance policies and weigh them against the potential benefits cloud can offer. Both Facebook and Google have adopted “deploy to production” models that seem to fly in the face of process conventions such as ITIL or RUP, yet somehow they seem to survive. The penalty for not doing this exercise is ballooning adoption costs, or failed rollouts all together.

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A new view on migrations

by Larry Spangler (Red Hat)

The funny thing about people is that as much as we complain about how bad things are, there’s a natural resistance to actual change. More often than not, the changes we long for come with a good deal of anxiety and a great deal of process pain.

This week, we moved into our new space in the “Red Hat Tower” in downtown Raleigh. There was a lot of excitement leading up to this move – new offices, new space, new neighbors, new opportunities – a fresh start all around. But that was countered by an equal amount of uncertainty and anxiety – would we like the new space, would we be giving up amenities, would the new commutes be a hassle, how long would it take to be productive again?

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What is CloudForms?

by Vinny Valdez (Red Hat)

The following is an excerpt of a post originally published on June 29, 2012, on Vinny’s Tech Garage.

I’m really excited about CloudForms. In my recorded demo at Summit, I showed a RHEL 2-node active/passive cluster with GFS off an iSCSI target. Then I moved all the underlying CloudForms Cloud Engine components to shared storage. I was able to launch instances, fail over Cloud Engine, and see the correct status. After managing the instances, fail back, and all was good. All of this works because the RHEL HA cluster stops the databases and other services first, moves the floating ip over, then starts the services on the active node. This was a very basic deployment, much more could be explored with clustered PostgreSQL and sharded Mongo.

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Reducing friction in agile development using cloud

by Zach Rhoads (Red Hat)

One of the core tenants of agile development is to focus on the tasks that are the highest priority and immediate need. This is sometimes referred to as “Just-in-Time” development. The idea is to focus on the tasks needed to ship the feature now and worry about everything else when it is actually needed. Another tenant that goes hand-in-hand with “Just-in-Time” is the idea of failing early. Basically, a team should know as early as possible if something is going to fail, that way the team does not waste time going down the wrong path. This means the team should develop a feature and solicit feedback in short cycles, allowing the team to quickly understand what works and what does not.

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Transforming Organizational DNA

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Transforming Organizational DNA – sounds like a lofty goal brought down from the ivory towers of an MBA or marketing program, doesn’t it?

While it is a lofty goal, the way companies utilize technology is fundamentally shifting, and savvy organizations realize this transformation is now well under way.  In a recent keynote at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk that highlights this trend. He touched on the explosion of computing power, plummeting costs, and the near ubiquity of technology that was simply not available even a few years ago.

In 2012, most IT executives have already seen aspects of what Jim was talking about. There’s no longer any question that Linux and open source provide real enterprise options — these are not only robust and secure, but are viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. Despite this recognition, a recent Sonatype survey found that over half the respondents didn’t have a corporate open source strategy/policy.  Even this far into the ‘Age of Open Source,’ policies to help corporations effectively and strategically consume open source are not the norm.

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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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Big Data. Big Noise.

by Justin Hayes (Red Hat)

There is a lot of buzz these days around Big Data, and rightfully so. The volume of data produced and the number of sources producing it are growing faster and faster. Similarly, the potential for organizations large and small to harness these data cannot be understated, and should not be overlooked.

There is also a lot of noise when you look closer at the Big Data question, or to get right to the point, when you decide what your organization’s Big Data strategy should be. Here are some things to think about as you navigate the Big Data waters.

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Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Open Source is not only a business model for Red Hat; it’s ingrained into the DNA of the company. Because of this, Red Hatters can generally count on their co-workers understanding both the fundamentals of open source, as well as the ethos and methodologies that go with it. However, within Red Hat Services, the consulting teams often get customer questions around these topics, or hear from employees of our customers who relay things they’ve heard regarding adoption of open source within their enterprise.

So, with apologies to David Letterman, I’d like to share the Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source. While this is meant to be a somewhat humorous look at the topic, I also think it’s an informative way to talk about improving an enterprise’s effective use of open source technologies and methodologies. I’ll break down the list not by rank order, but by three areas that customers typically encounter when dealing with open source: Consumption, Collaboration, and Creation. I’ll also put in a few thoughts about how to address each of these from an improvement perspective.

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