Saturday, August 13, 2011

Client4Cloud: From Vision to Reality

I apologize for not posting for a short while. I have been heads down working on the Client4Cloud (I speak client, cloud, virtualization) series in my free time and hard at work at creating a new market niche with my company (Flexera Software) and industry thought leaders - Licensing as a Service. More to come on this front. Our first webinar with be in September...

After several weekends working to collate and update the information - I am pleased that the project is moving along... stay tuned for review and post dates. Client4Cloud: Desktop Transformation to universal clients is well under way.

The timing is perfect given the current buzz around user virtualization. Client4Cloud is all about the paradigm shift from the machine to the user. Truly a different way of "rethinking" and hopefully retooling IT to adjust to the Digital Native revolution. More to come soon....Citrix's acquisition of Ringcube is truly a step in the universal client direction...

The Visible Ops Private Cloud series has had quite a bit of positive feedback and traction - thank you all. I have appreciated the time that a few individuals have taken to review, comment, and provide feedback. My co-authors and I truly do appreciate all the kindness for those that contributed and those that have read our book. We will be hosting a book signing at CA booth at VMworld on Wednesday at 11:30 - would love to meet you and introduce you to my coauthors - Andi Mann & Kurt Milne.

Stay tuned more to come....


Monday, April 11, 2011

Journey to Client, Cloud, and Virtualization

Like a canvas the blank page stares back waiting to be filled with vibrant colors to create a picture perfect view of how the artist views their world. Although many pictures have been painted of the Client, Cloud and Virtualization with vibrant variation they are still a bit blurred by vendor bias.

The journey I set out a year ago was to create the picture of the Client, Cloud, and Virtualization painted through the clarity of the eyes of the customer. For those that truly know me - I will always be the first to admit that although my opinions may be interesting they are not as relevant as the customers I serve as they are the ones that are the true unsung heroes. The architects, IT Admins, CIOs, CTOs, FTEs, Audit and Security teams that keep our technology dependent world humming.

For those of us that have been around as our society has become more dependent on technology we have seen the sleepless nights, long weekend upgrades, countless hours missed from our families, and problems solved. For those that think it is not critical - think about it the next time you are in the hospital. Look around - see how dependent we are on technology and not just the inventors of it but those that are supporting what we create.

Like so many journeys, mine has been filled with surprises, twists, turns, and mini-destinations along the way. I originally set out to publish a vendor neutral guide for Universal Clients (connecting Client, Cloud, and Virtualization) for and by customers.

Detour: Visible Ops Private Cloud
Suffice to say while I was busy on my journey - I was asked to take a slight detour to work with some old friends and colleagues on creating the next book in the Visible Ops series. Being a big fan of Visible Ops and IT Process Institute, Andi Mann, and Kurt Milne (my co-authors) - it was a worth while detour to explore.

I have rather enjoyed working with Andi and Kurt on creating what we hope to be a culmination of collective customer and implementer feedback on the challenges and lessons learned from some of the leading IT people we know. Visible Ops Private Cloud: From Virtualization to Private Cloud in 4 Practical Steps - was a joy to work on because it was for customer by customers. We stopped at Private Cloud because there appears to be a bifurcation in the market currently. Meaning that public clouds are largely being consumed by Small to Medium Businesses that lack the internal IT, are less regulated, and complicated than their larger Enterprise counterparts. The SMB is full force on public clouds because it provides agility and ability to implement services at a fraction of the costs.

However the Enterprise is proceeding with caution at the moment because neither the Software Producers nor Cloud Providers have all the kinks worked out to provide compliant, cost effective systems for Cloud Bursting and utilization of Public Clouds for highly regulated environments. It is not to say that they are not testing the waters with test and development. They are just not jumping in full force...yet...

Visible Ops Private Cloud captures the much needed foundation of people, processes and technology to enable IT to build to the next level: Cloud Bursting/Hybrid Cloud and eventually Universal Clients.

Final Destination: I Speak Client, Cloud, & Virtualization Series Coming Soon...
Suffice to say..prior to writing the Visible Ops Private Cloud, I logged quite a bit of time with customers, conducting interviews, research and writing about the next major paradigm shift that is currently under way: Desktop Transformation to Universal Clients (Client, Cloud, and Virtualization). Although the heavy lifting is done...there are still promises to keep and miles to go before it comes out into the wild.... but rest assured it is not too far off.

With a little help from former colleagues and family expect to see the "I Speak Client, Cloud, and Virtualization" series coming soon. We are working on details of publication. Stealth is about "I Speak Series" created for customers by customers. The series will provide small "bytes" of clarity around people, processes, and technology to help IT cut through the chaos surrounding Desktop Transformation from static systems to Universal Clients in the Cloud. Stay Tuned....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Creating Clarity out of Cloud Fog

For my readers I apologize for not posting more frequently. For the past 6+ months I have been finalizing a book with IT Process Institute on Private Cloud Computing. It will be coming out Mid April. The final copy just was sent to edit YESTERDAY!!! Check out to order in a couple of weeks. Will also be on Amazon.

First and foremost I would like to thank all the 50+ participants from both Vendors and Customers in interviews, reviews, and the overall edit and review process. Most importantly - we want to thank the 30+ customers that did qualitative interviews. The inspiration and purpose of the book was to create something with customers and for customers to reduce the clutter and confusion that has been known as the "Cloud".

Customers struggle and frankly have had enough of vendors being so introspective that we loose sight of what is really important: them. Those that sign the checks and use the products in production are sophisticated, smart and really know what they need. It is refreshing to know that as with Vista - customers just are not buying it. They are looking at what are the benefits for their business and taking baby steps to figure out how to get there. They are NOT buying into any platforms or solutions that promote vendor lock-in so they do not have control over their destiny or costs associated with hosting a web 2.0 solution. They do have options and they know it.

How does one find Clarity in the "Foggy" Cloud?
People and processes not technology at this point that will assist in understanding the various layers and what truly is involved. Meaning - when there are so many different architectures, committees, limited standards across solutions, and opinions that of course point back to the technology of the day - it is best to start with requirements and determine the right blueprint based on that.

  • Juice Worth the Squeeze? Need to understand the true TCO (OpEx and CapEx) to determine if value is really there at this point in time. Will it give you competitive advantage, help transform IT from a Cost Center to a Profit center through extending services, or will you sink millions of man hours and dollars without ever realizing results?

  • Betamax or VHS? There are so many different architectures and new layers for the Platform and from OS stack to the Virtual App that it is really hard at this point to determine what is the best way to go. Most top performers - do pilots with their ISP provider to achieve at least a Software as a Service offering while trying to determine how this will all shake out.

  • Public or Private? Real answer for most is BOTH. Security and Compliance is making it harder to burst into the Public Cloud but not impossible. There are some really interesting technologies out there that enable encryption of the application and data or signing a digital fingerprint to the OS but it doesn't come without some work and lots of planning.

  • Hip or Hype? Part of the reason for the "Fog" is way too much hype and over marketing around cloud. Hard to buy in to one vendor's vision or another when they are attaching for the coolness factor and in some cases may not understand the business problems trying to be solved. Come armed with a list of requirements and demand to talk to architects that can paint a clear picture before even doing a pilot.

  • Vision or Hallucination? Some areas have GREAT ideas but without execution they are merely hallucination. How experienced are these visionaries? Have they actually done a deployment of your magnitude, have the battle scars and lumps to make sure they are not taking your business so far past the bleeding edge that you hemorrhage? There is no crystal ball but when going into new terrain is always better to bring an experienced guide that has been there/done that before.
Start Where You ARE, Know Where You want to Be and Then Jump...Much easier to course correct when you know your destination than to get lost in the fog of marketing, new products, different platforms, and vendor lock in. There are A LOT of new standards coming - stay tuned to the standards will help you shape both custom and out of the box decisions.

Good Luck!

Jeanne Morain