A quarterly, IT strategy special report
from the experts at IT Pro

THE

IT PRO

REPORT

WINTER 2013

Should you be

scare...
Contents Winter 2013
Stop the
Feature

ering
scaremong

report
A quarterly, IT strategy special
from the experts at IT Pro...
ENABLING A SIMPLE,
OPEN, AND SMART
DATA CENTER.
Visit www.juniper.net/datacenter
Prologue Maggie Holland

Why the cloud changes
nothing yet everything
A quarterly, IT strategy specia
from the experts at ...
Analysis State of the Market

State of the market: Where are
we now when it comes to cloud?
Have the experts been right in...
Analysis State of the Market

Cloud market revenue to reach $20bn in three years
Revenue generated from cloud
computing co...
Analysis State of the Market

Cloud project spending set to grow over next two years
More than two-thirds of organisations...
Feature Stop the scaremongering

Fear and loathing in the cloud
Increasing numbers of us are moving to the cloud, but some...
Feature Stop the scaremongering

nothing new, but the influx of
industry buzzwords to describe
services that have been aro...
Feature Stop the scaremongering

Government snooping
fears put IT managers off

out informed diligence on them, to
integra...
Feature The dinosaurs are still alive

The last days of the dinosaurs
While most people have accepted and in many cases em...
Feature The dinosaurs are still alive

could well be thinking about it in the
wrong way, Petri believes.
In particular, he...
Feature The dinosaurs are still alive

Nosey parkers
In the wake of the PRISM
surveillance scandal, Stallman was
joined by...
Feature Cloud vs the mainframe

Cloud vs the mainframe
Will the cloud rain down on Big Iron? Stephen Pritchard has been in...
Feature Cloud vs the mainframe

have left the market,” says Dennis
O’Flynn, director for mainframe
business at Compuware.
...
Feature Cloud vs the mainframe

QA: Phil Murphy, vice president and principal analyst,
Apps Development and Delivery, Forr...
Feature Cloud vs the mainframe

Mainframe has new lease of life - as a cloud platform
The take-up of cloud computing over
...
MAXIMISE YOUR
DATA CENTER
BY MINIMISING
COMPLEXITY.
Visit www.juniper.net/datacenter
Feature Cloud and your job

Mind the gap: Does cloud
widen the digital skills divide?
How will cloud change the job you do...
Feature Cloud and your job

who was also recently appointed
senior vice president for training and
skills for the Data Cen...
Feature Cloud and your job

Microsoft sheds light on cloud skills shortages
Nearly two million cloud-related jobs
went unf...
Feature Cloud and your job

The ‘perfect’ cloud CV
“A perfect cloud CV today would
demonstrate a perfect blend of
skills a...
QA: Martin Russell, Just Eat

Martin Russell,
Just Eat
Jane McCallion speaks to Martin Russell, head of IT services at tak...
QA: Martin Russell, Just Eat

them was always around thinclients –  so you had thin-client PCs
and a large server farm at ...
Sponsor QA: Brett Ley, Juniper Networks

Brett Ley,
Juniper Networks
We speak to Juniper Networks’ Brett Ley about how clo...
Sponsor QA: Brett Ley, Juniper Networks

How do you think cloud will
evolve and shape our future
from a business perspecti...
Case study: Channel 4

Channel 4 uses cloud to make
more sense of data
The TV company is already a cloud user but is now l...
Case study: Channel 4

big data project. “We’d been looking
at open source data analytics for years
(Hadoop and Hive) runn...
Sponsor Case Study

CASE STUDY

REVloN, INC. MoVES To ThE ClouD
WITh JuNIPER NETWoRkS To INCREASE
GloBAl BuSINESS AGIlITy
...
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!
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Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!

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Cloud computing changes IT – and the world – as we know it. But should you be concerned or celebrating?
elcome to the latest IT Pro
special report. We’ve
covered cloud computing
extensively in two of our
previous special reports, but in this one we take
a slightly different direction and explore its
direct and indirect impact on the world of work
and the job you do.
We look at what the naysayers have
previously exclaimed about cloud computing
to see whether they were actually wrong (they
were!) as well as considering why there are still
For those
working in IT,
cloud computing
represents a
fundamental
shift and
a different
way of doing
things. And
not everyone is
moving in the
same direction.
Prologue Maggie Holland
Maggie Holland
Editor, IT Pro
Why the cloud changes
nothing yet everything
WINTER 2013
IT PRO
THE
REPORT
A quarterly, IT strategy special report
from the experts at IT Pro
Cloud computing
changes IT – and
the world – as we
know it. But should
you be concerned
or celebrating?
AN In association with
PUBLICATION
of the cloud?
Should you bescared
For further insight on cloud computing, visit
www.itpro.co.uk/cloud or www.cloudpro.co.uk
Let us know your thoughts...
We’re keen to hear your feedback on this report and
find out what you’d like to see included in the next
one. Get in touch at report@itpro.co.uk
so many cloud sceptics around.
Stephen Pritchard ponders whether the
mainframe will always be with us or whether
the success of cloud computing is a death knoll
for Big Iron.
We speak to industry experts about how
cloud shakes things up when it comes to work
and try and come up with the perfect cloud CV.
Rene Millman also takes a look at how cloud will
shape the business world of the future and
considers how the digital natives of today will
lead the organisations of tomorrow.
The cloud changes everything and there are
countless companies extolling its virtues and
waxing lyrical about the business benefits. Yet,
as we know, some people fear the unknown.
For those working in IT, cloud computing
represents a fundamental shift and a different
way of doing things. And not everyone is
moving in the same direction.

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Are you scared of the Cloud? Dont' be and here's why!

  1. 1. A quarterly, IT strategy special report from the experts at IT Pro THE IT PRO REPORT WINTER 2013 Should you be scared of the cloud? AN PUBLICATION In association with Cloud computing changes IT – and the world – as we know it. But should you be concerned or celebrating?
  2. 2. Contents Winter 2013 Stop the Feature ering scaremong report A quarterly, IT strategy special from the experts at IT Pro THE IT PRO REPORT gazing Future Feature WINTER 2013 Should you be ed scarcloud? of the Cloud computing changes IT – and the world – as we in the cloud know it. But should d loathing, butudusers and IT professionals you be concerned C they’ Fear anoferation cloudlo somere scared of. ng to the or celebrating? out thes G ers are movi tries : numben usd, but how do you man what e Increasing zingwary. Caroline Donnelly takesto find... age Future gawillare still ersed in the clouMillman a look be imm ? Rene it. underpinning is technology rational concern “A lot of the third ] reliance on of BT, though. That’s offerings, ne, ex-CTO about...[people’s business on-premise ding cloud critical Peter Cochra analyst and hype surroun parties for , what despite the way to ndent se of the For example now having given indepe says that becau processes. provider goes costs computing it is the cloud futurologist, cloud and how tales of massive happens if real-world and of the performance says. to Caroline Donnelly business impact lace fewer under?” he ng ofcould radically will s [also] need years savings and the workp has been a technology the cause ny director haveseveral cloud that understandi such asand work shaping , the last few has “Compa s will ver is and which improvements. you live service ting security isation journalist for their data technologies IT fewer organ hierarchies. joined the IT about data alter the way cloud compu way we know where years and of subject to. Concerns ental to be credibility they – are the Rene Millman and the recognisable be fundam hes need news five years. Pro team as to forever. law it – and changed nt approac ing service levelsand e to hold back leaders will in March 2012. in the next is already new A former Gartner a logy. It has editor to point the diverge “Cloud years, a Cloud delivery comput on millions of able now this will Thanks to use techno next 10 IDC analyst, we suppliers continu ing cloud. delegators and the EU, impact charge. and But, in the the way by the US having this of CIOs will take embrac hands-off as end direction freelance journalist, better,” lly altered the world, using the some from for all of thethe right to make adds taken in before it gets chairman also radica up Rene has passion generation continue people across grown to web-based people Security Cochrane. He particularl Matt Palmer, y e get worse and will says have turn more likely ngly tion . . things tech, to becom work now is They will users increasi stand back,” Palmer predicts ore be share within Channeand security. Informa the to in the future will have out cloud mobile l Islands changes ant and of and theref e and services also points logies s many that future CIOs those who can these cloud softwar Palmer out busines be the domin rise cloud Forum, believes have aboutat “spotting cloud techno They will and carry e. Cloud will enterp work to roll out information adapt ructur part of the be concerns people with the problems fast and be a key es. infrast Highly rs to also www.itpro.co.uk eartedly permanent to do solve their own says will s process landscape. e has wholeh have nothing t their worke This, he s will proces Not everyon computing also expec from unaided”. data centre a s in the cloud. the shift away be part of automated embraced immersed cloud-enable skill. ads and that the l and that cture. cloud worklo He warns the digita managers scaled archite ch report, chief of will have 2.5 massively Being the s enterprise SKILLS fe” of about ndent resear 8 CLOUD a “half-li An indepe ly cloud native ss skills will these will have with other CIO” recent ned busine a world their jobs, nix exami “The Future But what years in to lead in s by Recon CIOs need s are also commission of IT workers toward future .uk ch es digital native www.itpro.co The resear the attitud where the leadership. s? per current CIO almost half (47 cloud native e that g in IT believ suggests those workin cent) of ce fear to experien ge business inty re everyone t’s natural uncerta In the futu how does it chan during times of little to no if And particularly s CIOs have and people? that today’ change, newer I O AN In association with PUBLICATION 32 CLOUD SKILLS Contents WINTER 2013 Prologue P4 State of the market P5 Stop the scaremongering P8 An introduction by IT Pro editor Maggie Holland. A look at what the experts have predicted and are predicting about cloud computing. Cloud sceptics are still around and being very vocal. Is there any truth in their scaremongering? Caroline Donnelly takes a look. The dinosaurs are still alive P11 Mainframe vs cloud P14 Cloud and your job P19 QA: Martin Russell, Just Eat P23 Sponsor QA P25 Case study: Channel 4 P27 Sponsor case study: Revlon P29 Future gazing P32 Where next? P36 Glossary P38 Many predicted cloud was just a fad and, clearly, they were wrong. Jane McCallion takes a look back on what the naysayers had to say. About our sponsor Juniper Networks is the industry leader in network innovation. Our silicon, systems and software transform the economics and experience of networking for service providers and enterprises worldwide. Juniper enables high-performance networks that combine scale and performance with agility and efficiency, so customers can build the best networks for their businesses. For more information visit: www.juniper.net/uk/en/ Stephen Pritchard considers whether the mainframe really has had its day or whether there’s life in Big Iron yet. How will cloud computing change the way you carry out your job? And what is the perfect cloud CV? We take a look… Jane McCallion speaks to the head of IT services at the online takeaway ordering service about how cloud, specifically Google Apps, has shaped the business. Brett Ley, senior director of advanced technologies for Juniper Networks in EMEA, talks about how cloud essentially changes everything. We look at how TV giant Channel 4 is using cloud to transform the way it works. EDITORIAL Editor Maggie Holland maggie_holland@dennis.co.uk 020 7907 6837 Contributors Tom Brewster, Maxwell Cooter, Caroline Donnelly, Jane McCallion, Rene Millman, Stephen  Pritchard, JoVonna Taylor Design and layout Sarah Ratcliffe Editorial Director Tim Danton Associate Publisher Paul Franklin ADVERTISING REPRINTS Advertising Manager Paul Lazarra paul_lazarra@dennis.co.uk 020 7907 6857 LICENSING SYNDICATION International Licensing Dharmesh Mistry +44 20 7907 6100 MANAGEMENT Group Managing Director Ian Westwood Managing Director John Garewal 2 CLOUD SKILLS Managing Director John Garewal MD of Advertising Julian Lloyd-Evans Chief Operating Officer Brett Reynolds Group Finance Director Ian Leggett Chief Executive James Tye Chairman Felix Dennis Makeup giant Revlon is revolutionising its business thanks to a cloud-based partnership with Juniper Networks. Rene Millman takes a look at how the digital natives will lead our future businesses. And what you’ll need to bear in mind if you manage them. What does cloud have in store for us in 2014 and beyond? Maxwell Cooter takes a look and tries to predict where things could go next. We describe what the key cloud acronyms and terms mean when it comes to cloud computing. All material © Dennis Publishing Ltd, licensed by Felden 2013, and may not be reproduced in whole or part without the consent of the publishers. Liability While every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any consequence arising from it. Dennis Publishing Ltd www.itpro.co.uk
  3. 3. ENABLING A SIMPLE, OPEN, AND SMART DATA CENTER. Visit www.juniper.net/datacenter
  4. 4. Prologue Maggie Holland Why the cloud changes nothing yet everything A quarterly, IT strategy specia from the experts at IT Pro THE l report IT PRO REPORT WINTER 2013 Should you be ed scaercloud? th of AN Cloud computing changes IT – and the world – as we know it. But should you be concerned or celebrating? In association with PUBLICATION W elcome to the latest IT Pro special report. We’ve covered cloud computing extensively in two of our previous special reports, but in this one we take a slightly different direction and explore its direct and indirect impact on the world of work and the job you do. We look at what the naysayers have previously exclaimed about cloud computing to see whether they were actually wrong (they were!) as well as considering why there are still so many cloud sceptics around. Stephen Pritchard ponders whether the mainframe will always be with us or whether the success of cloud computing is a death knoll for Big Iron. We speak to industry experts about how cloud shakes things up when it comes to work and try and come up with the perfect cloud CV. Rene Millman also takes a look at how cloud will shape the business world of the future and considers how the digital natives of today will lead the organisations of tomorrow. The cloud changes everything and there are countless companies extolling its virtues and waxing lyrical about the business benefits. Yet, as we know, some people fear the unknown. For those working in IT, cloud computing represents a fundamental shift and a different way of doing things. And not everyone is moving in the same direction. However, as Maxwell Cooter warns, those not onboard will find themselves floating away to a far less successful and fruitful future. As with all previous IT Pro reports, you can read this issue on your PC or at your leisure on a phone or tablet – or simply print it out. We hope you find it useful and informative and we’d love to hear your feedback. Thanks for reading. Editor, IT Pro Let us know your thoughts... We’re keen to hear your feedback on this report and find out what you’d like to see included in the next one. Get in touch at report@itpro.co.uk 4 CLOUD SKILLS Maggie Holland For further insight on cloud computing, visit www.itpro.co.uk/cloud or www.cloudpro.co.uk For those working in IT, cloud computing represents a fundamental shift and a different way of doing things. And not everyone is moving in the same direction. www.itpro.co.uk
  5. 5. Analysis State of the Market State of the market: Where are we now when it comes to cloud? Have the experts been right in their cloud predictions thus far? What did they miss the mark on? And what are they predicting for the coming years? O rganisations in the UK lack the necessary skills and expertise in cloud, according to a recent report. IaaS provider Databarracks said, in its annual Data Health Check report, that 43 per cent of UK IT professionals rate their current competence in cloud implementation and management as either poor or very poor, with only seven per cent rating it as excellent, despite the fact that 64 per cent of organisations questioned are currently using at least one cloudbased service. The survey of more than 400 IT professionals from UK organisations found that 54 per cent of respondents have received no cloud training in the past 12 months and 53 per cent have made no plans for training in 2014. The findings paint a worrying picture, according to Peter Groucutt, managing director at Databarracks. “The survey doesn’t suggest an immediate threat to jobs as a direct result of cloud computing, but as businesses continue to use more cloud services there is clearly a new skill set required to manage them,” he suggests. He also points out that the myth cloud services will eventually replace in-house IT teams is largely unfounded. “What we can expect to see instead is a change in the shape of the job market,” he says. “Our data shows a significant reduction in tape-based backup and continued growth in general cloud adoption, with minimal job losses. IT There is no reason cloud computing should be something for the IT department to fear, but employees must ensure that they remain relevant in today’s changing market by gaining the appropriate skills and qualifications. 5 CLOUD SKILLS departments are evolving. In the past, the majority of their time was spent managing internal systems and a smaller portion was spent on using those systems to support the business.” He adds that cloud services allow IT teams to focus the majority of their time on using technology to best serve the business and, to do this successfully, they still need to be firmly backed up by a strong workforce, with an appropriate set of skills and qualifications. “Training in the more commonly used cloud platforms such as VMware’s vCloud and Amazon Web Services will be particularly useful in the current market,” he says. Groucutt says the study should act a warning sign to firms. “Our report suggests that the number of www.itpro.co.uk
  6. 6. Analysis State of the Market Cloud market revenue to reach $20bn in three years Revenue generated from cloud computing could reach almost $20 billion (£12.75 billion) by the end of 2016, according to a projection by Market Monitor, a division of analyst house 451 Research. That’s according to the company’s Cloud-as-a-Service overview report, which forecasts the revenue generated by 309 cloud service providers and technology vendors across 14 sectors. It suggests cloud market revenue will increase at 30 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next three years, bringing it close to the $20 billion mark. The research has also shown that Iaas accounted for the majority organisations who have adopted at least one cloud-based service has risen to 64 per cent in the last 12 months,” he says. “There is no reason cloud computing should be something for the IT department to fear, but employees must ensure that they remain relevant in today’s changing market by gaining the appropriate skills and qualifications.”  While the cloud skills shortage looms large and action is required, tech workers aren’t quite sure where to start. Indeed, the idea that IT professionals are keen to bolster their CVs by developing relevant skills is backed up by research from IT recruitment website CWJobs.co. uk. It suggests 71 per cent of IT pros don’t know how to gain expertise when it comes to cloud. As the popularity of cloud-based services continues to grow, IT professionals are keen to develop cloud expertise, with two thirds (61 per cent) planning to undergo training in this area , the firm’s research suggests. The findings come from a poll conducted by the site that featured responses from 599 IT professionals. 6 CLOUD SKILLS of the total market revenue in 2012 and Market Monitor predicts a 37 per cent CAGR for it between now and the end of 2016. PaaS made up 24 per cent of total 2012 cloud revenue and, according to the organisation, is expected to experience the fastest growth at 41 per cent CAGR to 2016. While only 23 per cent of the companies tracked are publicly traded, they generated 78 per cent of total revenue from cloud services. Furthermore, while most vendors’ revenue is still below $5 million (£3.18 million), 12 of the 309 generated more than $75 million (£47.83 million) each in 2012. Yulitza Peraza, analyst of Richard Nott, website director for CWJobs, claims it is clear that cloud is having a positive impact on the jobs market, despite training opportunities being scarce. “The value of these developments, however, will be lost unless the industry works to promote opportunities for training and further development, necessary to ensure Britain has a workforce equipped with the skills to fulfil vacancies,” says Nott. Currently, 45 per cent of IT professionals have experience in cloud computing, the research shows, while more than half of professionals (52 per cent) believe cloud skills will help job seekers quantitative services at 451 Research and co-author of the report, said: “Cloud computing is on the upswing and demand for public cloud services remains strong. However, public cloud adoption continues to face hurdles including security concerns, transparency and trust issues, workload readiness and internal non-IT-related organisational issues.” Greg Zwakman, research director of quantitative services at 451 Research, added: “It is still early days for the cloud divisions at these vendors, and running the same revenue distribution analysis against our 2016 forecasts paints a different picture.” Credit: Jane McCallion stand out in the market. “With cloud’s continued development in mind, this makes promoting cloud careers even more important to ensure Britain’s position as a leader in the technology industry,” Nott adds. Skills issues aside, there are other factors to consider when it comes to cloud computing. Indeed, leaders are being warned not to base the decisions of tomorrow on the use cases of today. Gartner concurs that enterprise IT decision makers should not base their cloud strategies on the limited number of ways people are embracing the technology today. The market watcher’s study into business attitudes to external IT service providers, and how this affects the technologies organisations use, found a big gap between those using cloud services today and those planning to in the future. This means businesses should be careful when it comes to decision-making, the analyst firm warns. The research revealed just 38 per cent of firms use cloud services today, while 80 per cent said they www.itpro.co.uk
  7. 7. Analysis State of the Market Cloud project spending set to grow over next two years More than two-thirds of organisations who have a separate cloud computing budget expect to increase spending on such projects over the next two years, according to the 451 Research’s TheInfoPro Cloud Computing study. The study was based on research completed in the first six months of 2013 and used live interviews with 100 IT professionals and primary decision makers at large and midsize enterprises in North America and Europe. While internal, private cloud projects still dominate cloud-related activity, as cited by 35 per cent of respondents, in the past six months IaaS and SaaS activity has doubled to between 30 per cent and 33 per cent of the projects mentioned. The research also found that despite the increased activity, 83 per cent of respondents faced significant roadblocks in deploying cloud computing initiatives - a nine per cent increase since 2012. plan to in the next 12 months. Gregor Petri, research director at Gartner, reiterates there is a danger of drawing on the relatively small number of cloud use cases that exist today to shape future tech plans. “Given that the use of cloud services currently constitutes only a very small part of the vast enterprise IT market, strategic planners should IT roadblocks have declined to 15 per cent while non-IT roadblocks have risen to 68 per cent of the sample, mostly related to people, processes, politics and staff issues, according to the research. These include lack of clarity around organisational issues and budget (37 per cent), resistance to change (16 per cent) and lack of trust (15 per cent). “As organisations are completing their transition to a virtualised data centre infrastructure, their focus is switching rapidly to cloud computing projects,” said Peter Ffoulkes, TheInfoPro’s research director for cloud computing. “Despite this shift of attention and the associated growth opportunity, there are major roadblocks – for the most part, they are not technology related and fall within the domain of people, process, policy and organisational issues, which are more complex for vendors to address.” Others in the industry said that the findings raised an important question over whether organisations making this move are doing so because it represents the most cost-effective way to do business. Zahl Limbuwala, chief executive of data centre optimisation firm Romonet, commented: “From a financial perspective one of the attractions of using a cloud-based service is that it is easy to understand exactly how much it costs the company: any reputable service provider will make that quite clear.” He says this presents a fundamental problem when deciding whether to keep services in-house or outsource them. “While an in-house service may truly be the most cost-effective, a business will need clear, concrete evidence to base its decision on,” he said. “If the IT department can’t predict and present the exact TCO of both options, how can they convince the CFO and the business as a whole which is the best course of action?” Limbuwala concluded. not make the mistake of taking current cloud use cases to be predictors of future cloud use,” he says. “Cloud computing is set to have a considerable impact on business in the future which is reflected in the survey finding that around 60 per cent of organisations plan increased investment over the next two years to five years, while only six per cent The impact becomes even larger once companies start to explore the new possibilities cloud services offer to re-imagine the way they service their customers. This re-imagining can entail replacing traditional offerings with completely digital services and products. 7 CLOUD SKILLS Credit: Rene Millman plan to decrease investments in cloud services,” Petri adds. Enterprise cloud adoption will be dictated by the need to solve specific business problems, rather than a push for large-scale IT infrastructure overhauls, he predicts. Cloud uptake is also likely to accelerate as organisations realise the business value cloud offers increases as they adopt a wider range of services. “The impact becomes even larger once companies start to explore the new possibilities cloud services offer to re-imagine the way they service their customers. This re-imagining can entail replacing traditional offerings with completely digital services and products,” says Petri. Credit: Caroline Donnelly, Rene Millman, JoVonna Taylor www.itpro.co.uk
  8. 8. Feature Stop the scaremongering Fear and loathing in the cloud Increasing numbers of us are moving to the cloud, but some users and IT professionals are still wary. Caroline Donnelly tries to find out what they’re scared of. I t’s natural to experience fear during times of uncertainty and change, particularly if the cause could radically alter the way you live and work forever. Cloud computing is already having this impact on millions of people across the world, as end users increasingly turn to web-based software and services to share information and carry out business processes. Not everyone has wholeheartedly embraced the shift away from 8 CLOUD SKILLS on-premise offerings, though. That’s despite the hype surrounding cloud computing having given way to real-world tales of massive costs savings and business performance improvements. Concerns about data security, service levels and the credibility of suppliers continue to hold back some from embracing cloud. Matt Palmer, chairman of the Channel Islands Information Security Forum, believes many of the concerns people have about cloud have nothing to do with the Caroline Donnelly has been a technology journalist for several years and joined the IT Pro team as news editor in March 2012. technology underpinning it. “A lot of the rational concern is about...[people’s] reliance on third parties for critical business processes. For example, what happens if the cloud provider goes under?” he says. “Company directors [also] need to know where their data is and which law it – and they – are subject to. Thanks to the divergent approaches taken by the US and the EU, this will get worse before it gets better,” Palmer predicts. Palmer also points out cloud is www.itpro.co.uk
  9. 9. Feature Stop the scaremongering nothing new, but the influx of industry buzzwords to describe services that have been around for years has muddled things. “We have had cloud services for as long as we have had remote data centres and business process outsourcing. The internet is effectively a ‘cloud service’. The risk profile is not new, and the technology is not new,” stresses Palmer. different spin on things. He suggests some CIOs and CTOs are reluctant to make the move because they’ve invested so much in on-premise kit over the years. “Some CTOs and CIOs have invested multi-million pound sums in second generation platforms; hard wired networks, owned PCs, servers and a lot of these estates have not depreciated yet,” he says. “It’s going to take a very brave It’s going to take a very brave CTO, who’s spent all this money not that long ago to turn around and say: ‘I think we should move to the cloud now.’ “The only things that are new are the cloud buzzwords and the maturity of the solutions. Once executives realise that, it will lose its fear factor quite rapidly.” Lee Chant, managing director of recruitment company Hays IT, has a 9 CLOUD SKILLS CTO, who’s spent all this money not that long ago to turn around and say: ‘I think we should move to the cloud now’.” Career changes The impact cloud could potentially have on people’s jobs is another cause for concern, as the self-service nature of the technology could potentially negate the need for frontline jobs in many industries. For example, the Government set out plans in September 2013 to invest £1 billion in online tools to enable NHS patients to book their own GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions, duties that often fall under the remit of doctors’ receptionists and pharmacy staff. Meanwhile, banking giant Barclays also announced plans to cut 1,700 jobs across the UK, as customers increasingly turn to the internet and mobile apps to carry out tasks they previously could only do in branch. In a similar vein, anecdotes about business users bypassing IT departments to procure online services are sure to leave some IT pros wondering what role (if any) there is for them in the cloud era. Ian Moyse, director at cloudbased CRM provider Workbooks, says attitudes like this are common among “traditional IT minds” that are used to procuring and deploying on-premise products. While the process of rolling out a cloud solution to a workforce requires a lot less “heavy lifting”, he says, the IT department still has a vital role to play from an integration and customisation perspective. “There are many areas that require internal expertise when deploying a cloud solution, such as the configuration of vanilla services to the business and users’ specific needs, setting up the security and access model and fitting the cloud offering into your company’s mobile security strategy,” Moyse points out. IT departments live on Once it’s all up and running, will IT need to be on hand to manage the infrastructure and devices users access the cloud from? “Yes. Cloud has different needs and requirements, but IT still has a part to play,” Moyse says. “Someone has to evaluate cloud services, carry www.itpro.co.uk
  10. 10. Feature Stop the scaremongering Government snooping fears put IT managers off out informed diligence on them, to integrate them with existing business systems, and secure them from attack.” Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of cloud hosting firm Memset, says she’s confident the demand for IT workers in the cloud era is only going to increase. This viewpoint is based on the struggle she’s encountered trying to recruit staff with systems admin and programming skills, which has resulted in her firm having to employ people from overseas to fill the gaps. on- year. “The cloud market is growing at such a pace that the number of job postings is accelerating and yet the talent qualifying for these jobs is marginal,” he adds. Hays IT’s Chant says this dearth of talent could be occurring because IT pros are waiting to see how far along the road to cloud most companies go, because this will largely dictate what kind of skills they’ll need to develop in the future. “IT job applicants want to know if most companies are going to go full It’s natural to experience fear during times of uncertainty and change, particularly if the cause could radically alter the way you live and work forever. Fears about government and legal interference are putting many IT experts off entrusting the cloud with their data, according to research by Lieberman Software. The identity management software vendor’s poll claims that 48 per cent of cloud and IT experts are concerned about their data being snooped on while stored in the cloud. “These figures highlight that IT managers are deterred from the cloud, because they are unsure if their organisation’s sensitive data is adequately protected and will pass IT security audits or government regulatory checks which cloud environments are subjected to,” the company said in a statement. The research also revealed that 88 per cent of respondents fear that cloud data could be lost, corrupted or accessed by unauthorised third parties. Meanwhile, a further 86 per cent said they wouldn’t store sensitive data in the cloud, and 51 per cent said they wouldn’t store any of their personal data online. Philip Lieberman,the firm’s president and CEO, blamed the apprehension IT professionals have reportedly shown towards cloud on legislation issues. “If a government or official body wanted to see what data a company was holding in the cloud, the cloud host involved would be legally obliged to provide them with access. This means there is very limited privacy in cloud environments,” he said. “IT managers know it is much easier to hide data within their own private networks.” “[The UK] has a golden opportunity to become an internationally leading cloud services hub in the same way we have been a world-leading centre of finance. We are geographically and culturally ideally placed to be Europe’s data centre, with strong links across the Atlantic,” she says. But, this will be hard without a regular supply of skilled IT workers. This view is shared by Moyse, who cites figures from a Wanted Analytics report suggesting demand for cloud expertise has increased by 61 per cent year10 CLOUD SKILLS tilt into the cloud. Is it a fad? Or will their approach to IT be more of a halfway house?” explains Chant. “If you’re an IT contractor, though, you’ll want to be at the cutting edge of whatever you’re doing and will be more likely to move quicker [to skill up].” But for IT pros still hedging their bets about when and what new skills to acquire, Chant assures them they still have plenty of time. “We still have contractors today working on AS/400 [IBM operating system software] and mainframe systems, because those older Credit: James Sterling technologies don’t disappear from people’s environments over night,” he explains. “Are we going to see an overnight, or even over the next two-to-three years change to a complete cloud environment? No, it’s going to be a transition that takes  a number of years for an organisation to go to part cloud and then to a small suite of cloud services. So there’s no need for people to feel threatened,” Chant concludes. www.itpro.co.uk
  11. 11. Feature The dinosaurs are still alive The last days of the dinosaurs While most people have accepted and in many cases embraced the cloud, still not everyone is convinced. Do these sceptics have a point? “T here’s no way that company exists in a year.” Thus spake Tom Siebel, tech entrepreneur and, at the time, founder and CEO of CRM vendor Siebel Systems. The company in question? Salesforce. Siebel’s perhaps infamous quote dates from 2001, five years before he sold his own company to Oracle. A lot has changed in the intervening years – people have certainly become more accepting of cloud in all its forms and adoption is rising. Surely then, sentiments like those of Siebel must be dead and buried? The answer is, however, no. Or, at least not yet. What, then, is keeping the cloud naysayers alive and kicking? Is it just that mantras like “it’s not safe”, “it’s not stable” have been said so often people are inclined to believe and perpetuate them without thought? Or is there an element of truth in some of those persistent criticisms? Déjà vu all over again Cloud is far from the only technology to attract criticisms and predictions that are proven to be misguided. When Henry Ford’s Lawyer, Horace Rackham, said he was going to invest in the Ford Motor Company, the president of the Michigan Savings Bank, told him: “The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” Similarly, Western Union once said the telephone “has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication” and was “inherently of no value.” More recently, Bill Gates said Microsoft would “never make a 32-bit operating system” (just four 11 CLOUD SKILLS years before the company did exactly that) and Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet, predicted the internet would suffer a “catastrophic collapse” in 1996. In 2008, Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle, wrote off cloud as a faddy marketing exercise. “The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined [it] to include everything that we already do. I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish,” he told Jane McCallion is staff writer at Cloud Pro and IT Pro, following the completion of an MA in journalism. Prior to that, Jane worked in PR and was a freelance journalist. delegates at that year’s OpenWorld. Ellison has since changed his mind and the company has several cloud offerings. But he was not alone in his thinking and there are still those who believe cloud is more about marketing than technology. “When people say these kinds of things, you have to look at their motivation,” says Gregor Petri, a research director at Gartner. “At the time Ellison said [that], it was something Oracle could not do. Often when people say these kinds of things, there can be a second agenda,” he adds. Others who have found cloud to be all hype and no trousers, whether they are tech companies or businesses looking to move their IT www.itpro.co.uk
  12. 12. Feature The dinosaurs are still alive could well be thinking about it in the wrong way, Petri believes. In particular, he claims many people make the mistake of trying to take what they are doing today and replicate it exactly in the cloud. “If you do that, it can end up being no better than what you had before, or it can even end up being more costly,” he warns. “Cloud should be the means to achieve a goal, not the goal itself. You have to assess what you want to do and what you want to achieve. If cloud is a good way to do it … then use cloud. [If not, don’t],” he adds. Different software, same lock-in Another criticism levelled at cloud in 2008 came from Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, who told The Guardian cloud was a trap aimed at locking people into proprietary systems. Echoing Ellison, Stallman said SaaS “is worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign”. “Somebody is saying this is inevitable – and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it’s very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true,” he added. Unlike Ellison, however, the years have not softened Stallman’s opinion. In an opinion piece in the Boston Review in 2010, Stallman wrote: “[SaaS wrests] control from the users even more inexorably than does proprietary software. With proprietary software, users typically get an executable file, but not the source code. With SaaS, the users do not have even the executable file: it is on the server, where the users can’t see or touch it. Thus it is impossible for them to ascertain what it really does, and impossible to change it.” Nigel Beighton, vice president of technology at Rackspace – which I would very happily argue that cloud has done more to promote the use of open source than any other technology in the last 20 years and is making it more accessible to more people than ever before. 12 CLOUD SKILLS spun off open source cloud operating system OpenStack – disagrees vehemently with Stallman. “It’s utter rubbish,” he says. “There is an underlying concern, which I share, that people should not get locked in, but there is no reason for that to happen except through ignorance or choice. “I would very happily argue that cloud has done more to promote the  use of open source than any other technology in the last 20 years and is making it more accessible to more people than ever before.” Petri, on the other hand, takes a pragmatic view. “There is a trade-off. If I don’t want to be locked into anything, I can make my own chips in my own factory, assemble them into my own computer and write my own software to run on them. But by the time I have finished doing that, I probably won’t have a business any more,” he says. “Even so, a good cloud strategy starts with a good cloud exit strategy. You need to think how you  will get your data out next week, next month, next year and so on if you need to,” Petri says, emphasising that due diligence is really is the key to getting this right. Nevertheless, Stallman’s concerns over vendor lock in may not be entirely unfounded. Frederik Bijlsma, Business Unit Manager for Red Hat’s Cloud in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), comments: “It’s a totally valid point. Cloud is a major transformation of the IT system and what that means is you have to be very careful when you enter into a vendor selection process that you also evaluate what kind of business model is behind the vendor you choose.” “In the area of cloud, open source offers a fundamental benefit so you can be secure when you are buying, as you can look into the stack and see what you are buying and in some cases maybe modify the stack.” Bijlsma says. www.itpro.co.uk
  13. 13. Feature The dinosaurs are still alive Nosey parkers In the wake of the PRISM surveillance scandal, Stallman was joined by the Free Software Foundation’s executive director John Sullivan, who said: “Massive privacy intrusions like this are to be expected when people shift from storing their media locally and using local software, to storing them on other people’s servers.” However, William Fellows, research vice president at 451 Research, claims this is not what most businesses are worried about when it comes to security. “The implications of data being in the same data centre as competitors’ data are not yet well understood,” he says. “Indeed, there’s less concern about government monitoring of activities as about data getting into the hands of competitors or the loss of control of digital IP.” Furthermore, Beighton says this kind of surveillance is more of a communications problem than a cloud one. “All governments engage in spying activities. They always have and they always will do and will happen with or without cloud,” he adds. The red peril? At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in 1997, Steve Jobs made an almost prophetic speech foreshadowing cloud computing. “One of the things I’m really excited about is to look at that personal computer, and take out every moving part except the keyboard and the mouse. I don’t need a hard disk in my computer, if I can get to the server faster,” he said. This was not the first time he had made such a declaration. In 1996, he told Wired: “The desktop metaphor was invented because one, you were Infrastructure at heart of cloud take-off, claims NTT Com Security Utility-based cloud computing has only taken off in the past 10 years thanks to investment in high quality telecommunications infrastructure, such as fibre broadband and 4G. This is the opinion of Tom Salkield, professional services director at managed services firm NTT Com Security. “The thing that has really held [utility computing] back has been the availability of high speed data comms infrastructure,” Salkield said. Salkield added that the high level of inward investment into UK communications infrastructure, including the growing availability of 4G, “has [made cloud computing] much more of a reality for businesses working within a much richer infrastructure.” “I think that continual investment in communications and data infrastructure remains very important for our country as we go forward. But there is more to be done. In the Far East they have 100Mbit upload speeds and we need to move towards those kinds of speeds,” he said. However, analyst William Fellows of CloudScape, part of the 451 Group, a stand-alone device, and two, you had to manage your own storage. That’s a very big thing in a desktop world. And that may go away. You may not have to manage your own storage. You may not store much before too long.” And yet, in June 2013, Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Jobs, hit out at cloud, comparing it to Soviet era communism. “Nowadays in the digital world you can hardly own anything The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad. 13 CLOUD SKILLS disagrees with Salkield’s assessment. Fellows told  IT Pro’s sister title Cloud Pro that fears over security and lack of some critical technology on the networking and storage side, rather than upload speeds, are the main barriers to adoption and should be the targets for RD investment. “On the networking side, the need for a single secure network that flows from inside the enterprise and back remains largely unmet. This is key and ever more so,” said Fellows. “VPNs and physical networks that can directly connect a customer to their clouds so the cloud resources look like an extension of their networks are rudimentary today, but telcos such as ATT, Verizon, Colt Group, NTT and Deutsche Telekom are starting to deliver. “If the user is comfortable with IP storage and not latency-sensitive, this network capability also helps with the storage issue (FC vs. Ethernet). If they are FC or latency-sensitive, then they will probably be stringing fibre between data centres or just stay with in-house private clouds,” he concluded. Credit:Jane McCallion anymore,” he said in a video interview with FayerWayer. “If  you’ve put it on the cloud, you don’t own it. You’ve signed away all the rights to it. When we grew up ownership was what made America different than [Communist] Russia.” Petri claims this shows a lack of understanding on the part of Wozniak. “A lot of the value from the cloud comes from sharing. However... You need to check your provider will only share things in the way that you want,” he says. Beighton agrees it is largely a matter of choosing the right provider. “Customers should always own their data, even if it is on someone else’s server,” he suggests. www.itpro.co.uk
  14. 14. Feature Cloud vs the mainframe Cloud vs the mainframe Will the cloud rain down on Big Iron? Stephen Pritchard has been investigating… T he mainframe has been the cornerstone of enterprise IT since the 1960s. The old adage, that no-one was ever fired for buying IBM, was largely based around the mainframe’s standing as the “safe bet” for business computing. There is still some truth in it today. IBM is, of course, still the main vendor of mainframe systems. And businesses continue to buy mainframes, as much for their reliability as their power. “The mainframe has robustness, because of its history,” says Mark Neft, managing director in the Enterprise Architecture and Application Strategy, group at Accenture, the consulting firm. “And we see two categories of mainframe users: people who can move away from the mainframe, and those who can’t. You might have 50 applications running on the mainframe, but on a per-application basis, it’s cheap. They may be running older software, because they can’t afford to turn it off. With some legacy systems it can be cheaper just to leave them running.” Evolution not revolution Whilst by no means all mainframe users’ reasons for staying with the platform are negative, it is certainly the case that the type of work being done by mainframe computers has changed, especially over the last decade. Mainframes are no longer the out-and-out leaders in general computing performance. Other systems can equal, or in some cases better, the mainframe for power. This is especially the case where applications can be written to “scale out”, over a large number of cheap – typically Intel – processors. This type of approach lends itself 14 CLOUD SKILLS to quite a few modern-day computer problems, from running large websites to processing big data queries. But it does not suit all types of computing workloads. “There are applications that people have been using for 10, 20 or 30 years and are not easily ported to Intel, and it’s unlikely that a bank, or a similar company, would throw out that investment,” cautions Clive Longbottom, of industry analyst firm Quocirca. “A lot of general workloads that should have been moved off mainframe were moved on to Unix and have since moved on to Linux. But IBM is still selling more MIPS per quarter, and the new mainframes are good machines.” Stephen Pritchard has been a journalist since 1990. Today his main specialisms are business, technology and finance. He writes for a number of national and international titles, and is a contributing editor and columnist for IT Pro. This lies behind the trend, where fewer companies are using mainframes, often because there are more viable and cheaper systems available now for their workloads. Some applications – financial systems of record, or ERP – which might have only run on a mainframe a generation ago, now work well enough on Linux or even Wintel server platforms for many businesses. But those CIOs that remain committed to the platform are pushing their systems harder, and even moving more work to them, as they seek to drive up efficiency. This accounts for the continuing growth of MIPS usage in the market. “Smaller mainframe customers www.itpro.co.uk
  15. 15. Feature Cloud vs the mainframe have left the market,” says Dennis O’Flynn, director for mainframe business at Compuware. “But among larger companies we’ve seen a resurgence. And that is being generated by the mobile web, and even cloud-like infrastructure on the mainframe.” “Large insurance and financial services organisations are very transaction oriented and they are enabling [their websites] to handle large transaction volumes. And that’s the mainframe’s sweetspot,” O’Flynn adds. This is why businesses in sectors such as banking, insurance, or transaction-heavy areas of retail and logistics remain loyal to the mainframe. Few alternative systems can replicate the transactions per second performance of mainframes, and certainly not with the reliability Big Iron offers. Mainframes, run this way, may well be more efficient than hosted or cloud-based solutions, even if the latter could compete in performance terms. Cloudy, with a chance of mainframes? In other areas, the mainframe is holding its own, because the work it does is closely tied to other IT infrastructure, or uses techniques, such as clustering, which need a used for more 20-30 years ago, and its position has [certainly] eroded,” he adds. “But it’s now occupying positions that nobody else does, such as AS/400 systems managing factory floors: the cloud doesn’t really go there. The cloud is commodity, not niche. Manufacturers are still With some legacy systems it can be cheaper just to leave them running. close tie between processing and storage. “Evolution is quite a good term for the mainframe. It’s not just about things continuously moving forward but about inhabiting a niche. The mainframe is rather like the coelacanth [fish] that’s remained unchanged for 400m years,” says Alastair McAulay, an expert in enterprise computing at PA Consulting Group. The mainframe may have been 15 CLOUD SKILLS implementing and running large ERP or factory control systems and they’re not being targeted by the cloud.” The risks of running manufacturing or other production systems via public cloud infrastructure remain high, perhaps too high for most operations directors to contemplate. And, in other fields, the use of very large databases and tools such as clustering have, to date, ruled out the public cloud model, McAulay says. But with organisations such as Oracle developing their own version of the cloud, tailored to their software, that could change. But companies are also looking to tie the mainframe, and “legacy” systems, into more modern infrastructure. They do this to support web-based interfaces or applications, to bring in mobility, or to give customers more direct access to business processes or data. “Cloud is in everything these days, but for some companies even putting in colocation is radical change,” notes Len Padilla, a vice president at NTT Europe. “It is about connecting that back to the mainframe,” he says. “If they’ve done the work internally they can find that there are elements that can be funneled back to the legacy system, even if it is less dynamic than the cloud.” This approach is already common in banking and financial services, but it is becoming more widespread in areas such as travel, for airline www.itpro.co.uk
  16. 16. Feature Cloud vs the mainframe QA: Phil Murphy, vice president and principal analyst, Apps Development and Delivery, Forrester Research Is the cloud a ‘threat’ to mainframe? I don’t see much movement of “mainframe to cloud” but when you say “cloud” you have to specify whether you mean public, private or hybrid. Public cloud assumes certain on-demand and pay-as-you-go functions. It’s probably fair to say that mainframes already do underpin private and hybrid, but I’m unaware of mainframe public cloud offerings that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, only that I’m unaware of examples. What type of tasks are being moved away from the mainframe? It is the monolithic apps written 30 years ago for the mainframe platform, not the platform itself that is the big impediment to speed and agility. If those apps were initially written to be bookings, utilities and retail. British Airways is just one company that has recently modernised its mainframe applications. Passengers checking in for flights on an iPhone are, albeit indirectly, interacting with the airline’s back end systems, for example. And, as Accenture’s Neft points out, there are plenty of other applications for this technology. In insurance, for example, a web or cloud-based front end can collect quotations and estimates, with policies “written” on the mainframe. With insurers providing 10, or loosely coupled, changing them would be as easy as any modern app. By far, most of the “movement” I see is the re-hosting of COBOL to distributed platforms. But it doesn’t solve the monolithic nature of the apps, and doesn’t address COBOL skills. It does alleviate perceived shortages of systems-programming and operations skills. How do you get mainframes cloudlike attributes, such as dealing with variable workloads, in an internal environment? The question assumes that the mainframe is an old battleship ready for retirement. “The mainframe as an antiquated battleship” is a vastly inaccurate picture. IBM’s zEnterprise, for example, houses a mainframe CPU running zOS and Linux, RISC-based even 100, online quotes for each policy they sell, this makes both practical and financial sense. Another example, Neft says, was work Accenture carried out for a telecoms company. “The cloud is certainly having an impact, especially is where there’s seasonal demand,” he says. “We built a system for the launch if the iPhone 4: their system would not have been able to cope with the peak [demand]. We built a system in Salesforce.com that fed into the mainframe, to handle the orders and to protect the mainframe.“ “We needed it for three months. Few alternative systems can replicate the transactions per second performance of mainframes, and certainly not with the reliability Big Iron offers. 16 CLOUD SKILLS processors running Unix/ Linux, and X86 blades running a host of operating systems. I submit it’s already there and better equipped for heterogeneous workloads than anything. The advent of converged systems - where hardware and software combine into higher-level platforms and services that may be tuned for specific purposes and lets clients use them without worrying about lower level plumbing - is the hallmark of where we’re headed. Customers want smarter and more complete stacks/ systems that do more for their business with less angst over the technical minutia. Credit: Stephen Pritchard We were able to turn it off when the legacy system could support the volume. The cloud application complemented the legacy system,” he adds. And that, perhaps, is the future of the mainframe: coexistence with the cloud. There is, as yet, little direct demand for cloud-based hosting of mainframe systems. They are not built that way, and selling such technology would be akin to “pushing a very large rock uphill”, warns Quocirca’s Longbottom. “Mainframes are rock solid still because you are sure of the environment,” he adds. Putting them into the cloud would lose that robustness. But wrapping the mainframe in cloudlike technology is an increasingly popular way to modernise applications, bring greater agility to the enterprise, and protect investments in mainframe infrastructure. www.itpro.co.uk
  17. 17. Feature Cloud vs the mainframe Mainframe has new lease of life - as a cloud platform The take-up of cloud computing over the last two years has been good. It’s not quite the explosion most vendors would like to hype it as being, but it is delivering tangible and proven benefits to customers, and so it should. At the end of the day, cloud is rooted in decades-old technology such as virtualisation, high levels of utilisation, management and automation.  All of these are technologies that have underpinned the mainframe for well over four decades. This predates the cloud computing revolution that  VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and a number of other vendors would like to claim they started. Welcome to the zCloud Given this timeframe, it’s surprising that it has taken IBM so long to aggressively go after the cloud computing market with its mainframe platform, System z. At IBM Enterprise 2013 in Orlando, the company rolled out a number of customers to talk about their private cloud stories. At the same time, it signaled its intention to target the Managed Service Provider  (MSP) and Cloud Service Provider (CSP) markets with a zLinux/zEnterprise cloud platform known as the zCloud. At the heart of the zCloud pitch is cost. In June 2013, IBM started to show numbers around this platform. It compared cost per VM based on the utilisation of the underlying platform. The comparison was done using the cost of deploying the IBM solution vs what they say was an average cost of a VM in a public cloud. That average is based on the Amazon and Google VM costs. Time to look at the numbers Before talking any further, it is important to stress that these are IBM numbers that, at the time of writing, had not been given to any 17 CLOUD SKILLS publication or analyst company for detailed analysis. While that casts some question over their veracity, if IBM is even close to the numbers it is using, anyone running large numbers of Linux VMs needs to take a look at what the company is offering. All the figures are based on a Total Cost of Acquisition figure. These figures include the purchase of the hardware and software licenses as well as the power and cooling costs of the cloud platform. They are also focused on the business case for a CSP. In the table below, are the numbers IBM  is using to compare the break even and profitability for a generic x86 platform and the IBM zCloud offerings. Notice that at the bottom end, IBM is comparing its zBC platform which comes in at around US$75,000 while the zEC is currently price on application. One of the interesting things is that IBM needs to switch platform at 500 VMs. It also shows how quickly the profitability curve for x86 flattens out. IBM says that this is due to the number of devices, racks and staff required to support that number of VMs while it can deliver     3200 VMs in a single cabinet. No talk about Windows cloud support yet Another fact that must be borne in mind is that this revolves around Linux workloads only. A lot of MSPs and CSPs will need to support Windows. The zBX blades allows Windows workloads to be run on zCloud but IBM has so far not done any pricing or talked about how this would be fully integrated. This is a key part of the story that they need to deal with. IBM has decided that it is time for the mainframe to prove that it is a better platform for cloud due to its inherent virtualisation, utilisation, management and automation features. From the numbers here, it would appear that, with Linux workloads at least, it is capable of backing up those claims. Will the MSP and CSP markets take IBM up? IBM has said that it has systems on trial at several vendors, including some telcos who see this as giving them a quick entry into the cloud market at a price that makes them competitive. We shall see. Credit: Ian Murphy zCloud Linux zCloud Profit  x86 Linux x86 Server cost (£) zBC Server cost (£) 100 VMs Loss 142.85 Loss 112.51 200 VMs 4% 85.01 Break even 83.62 500 VMs 42% 51.39 20% 73.99           zEC 500 VMs 36% 56.47 20% 73.99 1600 VMs 58% 37.38 26% 65.39 3200 VMs 65% 30.69 27% 65.39 www.itpro.co.uk
  18. 18. MAXIMISE YOUR DATA CENTER BY MINIMISING COMPLEXITY. Visit www.juniper.net/datacenter
  19. 19. Feature Cloud and your job Mind the gap: Does cloud widen the digital skills divide? How will cloud change the job you do and the skills you need? Or will things simply continue as they are now? We take a look to see if we can find out... S ome say the cloud changes nothing. That it’s simply a new moniker, or re-branding even, for what we’ve always done. That it’s simply old IT repackaged for the modern age. Others argue that the emergence of cloud computing as a viable model for the delivery and consumption of IT services changes everything. Regardless of your viewpoint as to the impact cloud has/will have and level of change it represents, one thing is clear: It will alter the way in which we do our jobs as both end users and IT workers. A whole new world From an employee’s point of view, the way in which we work in the future will undoubtedly be shaped by future technologies, cloud included. There is widespread debate about what the office of 2020 will look like and many believe that the current habitual pattern of commuting to a 9-5 office job based in the city will soon become extinct. “There will be a lot more connected devices in the home and office giving us data about everything. Everything will be connected wirelessly and you will have access to your information on whatever device you chose requiring a lot less fat client software and more browser based access. Ubiquitous access to information will be the norm,” says Ben Haines, vice president of IT and CIO at cloud storage and collaboration firm Box. “I see things getting better as we remove barriers to adoption and increase speed of delivery at a lower cost. We will not be talking about 19 CLOUD SKILLS transforming Frankenstein traditional on-premise software as everything will be born in the cloud with cloud DNA. There will not be a discussion about cloud vs on premise as it will just be how things are done. Mobility will be the norm as well.  We will see the hype around Big Data gone as people would have worked out how to integrate it into their daily work.  People will still think that IT is Maggie Holland has been a journalist since 1999, starting as editorial assistant on Computing magazine. She is now group editor of CloudPro and ITPro. dead and the CIO is not needed but the ones who made the transition will be more valuable than ever.” From the customer’s point of view there’s a great deal of benefit on offer from the cloud too. “From a customer perspective, the cloud is providing the flexibility for businesses to innovative at a much quicker pace,” says Rob Coupland, UK managing director of TelecityGroup www.itpro.co.uk
  20. 20. Feature Cloud and your job who was also recently appointed senior vice president for training and skills for the Data Centre Alliance. “It’s allowing them to be more creative by testing new services and delivering them quickly to market without having a major impact on the bottom line. The cloud is reducing the hurdle rate for innovation and enabling businesses to introduce new services, with greater speed and flexibility.” Innovation or re-invention? Not everyone is convinced by the promise of greater innovation, however. “It’s like outsourcing a decade ago, but with immense granularity and flexibility that outsourcing never had. It won’t unlock innovation, but it will allow companies to play with and experiment with technology in ways they’ve never been able to before, because it’s so cheap,” says Alex McDonald, Chair of SNIA’s Cloud Storage Initiative and SNIA Europe UK Country Committee member. “And it’s quick too; applications can be written in days, deployed in minutes and ramped up and down based on demand within seconds.” There is widespread concern that we’re heading for another skills gap. And some industry players are taking it upon themselves to try and prevent this from happening. Indeed, ANS Group recently launched a ‘Cloud Academy’ in response to the decline in applicants deciding to study at degree level. “Apprenticeships and on-the-job based training are the ideal way to bring talented young people into our industry,” says Scott Fletcher, founder and chairman of ANS Group. “The quality of apprenticeships is a particularly poignant issue in the high-tech business sector. There is no way that a local college can keep pace with the speed of change in IT and by the time they have developed a course it is generally out of date. More involvement from employers in developing apprenticeships is Cloud is having a positive impact on the IT job market and the majority of professionals think there will be more jobs requiring cloud computing skills in the future. It’s therefore vital that the industry works to promote opportunities for training and further development necessary to ensure Britain has a workforce equipped with the skills to fulfil vacancies. 20 CLOUD SKILLS essential.  “The IT industry is obviously fluid and businesses need to re-invent themselves every few years. There is no sitting back on past glories in our industry and young talent is the essential fuel for that re-invention.” ANS’ initiative, which forms part of the Government’s Employer Ownership of Skill Pilot will see up to 50 candidates trained up each year. There are future plans to expand this apprenticeship scheme out to other firm’s workers too, according to ANS. “A lot of companies are now starting to grasp the nettle over training their own staff and it’s resulting in a lot of innovation - on our apprenticeship scheme there is hardly any classroom time, for example, it’s mostly on the job training,” Fletcher adds. “It would be great to think we could have 1,000s of young people every year being work ready with the appropriate STEM skills at eighteen. Given the growth expected in the digital sector, it is essential that we address the growing skills shortage.” However, others believe the appetite for either existing or future candidates to fill those supposedly vacant positions is definitely there. Two-thirds of current IT workers plan to gain the skills they believe will help them gain a role in the www.itpro.co.uk
  21. 21. Feature Cloud and your job Microsoft sheds light on cloud skills shortages Nearly two million cloud-related jobs went unfilled last year, because IT pros lacked the experience and skills needed to do them. That’s according to a recent study by IDC and Microsoft into the impact cloud computing is having on the global employment market, which featured responses from 600 HR managers from across the globe. The report’s findings suggest cloud is going to be responsible for driving “almost all” of the growth within the IT jobs market over the next three years, as adoption of the technology continues to take-off. These are sophisticated skills that are very difficult to tease out during an interview process. However, it is feared increasing numbers of these jobs could go unfilled, unless IT pros make more of cloud era, according to a recent survey by IT recruitment website CWjobs.co.uk. “Cloud computing is not a new technology, but it is still continuing to evolve and adapt as more business discover its benefit for business operations,” says Richard Nott, website director at CWjobs.co.uk. “Cloud is having a positive impact on the IT job market and the majority of professionals think there will be more jobs requiring cloud computing skills in the future. It’s therefore vital that the industry works to promote opportunities for training and further development, necessary to ensure Britain has a workforce equipped with the skills to fulfil vacancies.” With any new technology there is a certain amount of re-skilling and education required. Cloud is no exception. However, as many experts agree, it will perhaps be some of the so-called softer skills that will be most in demand as we approach a cloud-centric future. “In the future, workers will need a 21 CLOUD SKILLS an effort to get trained up and gain experience in cloud technologies. Speaking at the Microsoft TechEd conference in New Orleans, the software giant’s director of learning, Ken Rosen, explained: “In that study we asked how many of [the HR manager’s] open roles [in the cloud] remained unfilled...and IDC concluded there are 1.7 m jobs that have been posted and gone unfilled over the past year.” When asked what skills were in shortest supply, the study’s respondents said they were struggling to find people who could assess the risk associated with moving to the cloud, and the impact this would have on IT service management. They also cited difficulties in finding candidates that could create cloud migration plans. blend of business and IT skills. This will be key for anyone who wants a long term career in the industry,” says Carol Balkcom, director of product management at CompTIA, which recently released cloudspecific certification guidelines. “What’s the common theme among all these? They are not low-level implementation skills,” said Rosen. “They are not installation, configuration-type things. These are sophisticated skills that are very difficult to tease out during an interview process.” HR managers may need to rethink the recruitment criteria they use when it comes to hiring cloud professionals, suggested Rosen, to ensure more of these vacancies get filled in future. “There are not a lot of people out there today that have experience and proof of experience [in cloud technologies],” he said. “What we’re seeing now is a resurgence of interest in training and certification in the IT field, particularly around cloud-related skills.” Credit: Caroline Donnelly “I also think it is incumbent of academia to design curriculums in the areas we are discussing. Students need to be challenged but they also need to be prepared in a way that allows them to gain employment.” In terms of the office of the future, www.itpro.co.uk
  22. 22. Feature Cloud and your job The ‘perfect’ cloud CV “A perfect cloud CV today would demonstrate a perfect blend of skills around consultancy and technical expertise. There is a broad set of skills required to realise the potential of cloud computing. However, a really important part of this is retaining the core engineering skills that are required to properly operate a data centre. Mechanical and technical engineering abilities will still need to sit behind any cloud-based economy for the simple reason that these ecosystems are underpinned by more ‘traditional’ infrastructure. The difference with cloud computing is that these skills will need to be supported by customerfacing abilities as the infrastructure operators take on an increasingly consultative role built around understanding how an organisation can grow and innovate using the cloud. For employers, this means Balkcom – a virtual worker herself – believes the core theme remains the same as ever. “As someone who has moved from full-time office based work to full time work in my home office, I can attest to the fact that project management and time management are two skills that are and will become extremely important. Regardless of what industry you are in – IT or otherwise,” she says. “I also feel strongly that the skills you will need in any job are people ensuring that staff not only have those core technical abilities, but also that customer-services ethos that means they’re able to introduce and implement areas which will drive competitive advantage.” Rob Coupland, senior VP for training and skills for the Data Centre Alliance (DCA) and UK managing director, TelecityGroup “Soft skills are always the most important and this is hard to see on the CV. I do not look for a “cloud” CV. We really focus on delivery, customer service, business knowledge and technical skills. If they have had experience with cloud based services that always helps.  The ideal candidate has worked in a business role then made the transition to IT or Visa Versa.  I am often looking more for business people to come into IT vs upscaling IT people.  It is a very tough road to travel for a systems who know how to write well and people who know how to research.” In terms of how current workers can remain relevant in this new world, SNIA’s McDonald adds: “For decision makers, it will be the recognition that their IT needs to do less traditional IT and act more like a service provider to their business [that changes things]. Decision makers now need to hire those who can turn IT into a service provider. “We need to hire those that can demonstrate a capability for As IT workers, we need to be prepared for lifelong learning, and not assume that technology is a trade we learn in our late teens and early twenties, to be practiced for the rest of our working lives. 22 CLOUD SKILLS administrator to move into a business facing role within IT.   Existing business Analysts who have been exposed to the business have been successful in the new world. They are very different skill sets and quite frankly personalities.  You have to bridge the gap between business and technology, understand how technology can help the business  in business terms.   If you are focusing on who is making the decisions then you may need to rethink a few things.  You need to be seen as a trusted partner to the business and be comfortable with maybe not being the final decision maker. The focus needs to be on what do we need to do to move things forward. If you have  a  good relationship with the business you will have a very large influence. This will be beneficial to the to all involved.” Ben Haines, vice president of IT/CIO, Box learning, and giving them comprehensive and practical training. As IT workers, we need to be prepared for lifelong learning, and not assume that technology is a trade we learn in our late teens and early twenties, to be practiced for the rest of our working lives. Industry organisations like SNIA can help IT workers by providing up-to-date recognised training and certification in fast-changing technology areas. Whatever the level of training, the most desirable IT worker skill will be the ability to obtain new skills quickly.” The cloud – for those working in this industry – represents as much of an opportunity as a threat. Yes, jobs will be removed from certain areas but they will be replaced by other jobs elsewhere. The balance will simply shift. Exactly where you will sit on the cloud scales of the future though is completely down to you. www.itpro.co.uk
  23. 23. QA: Martin Russell, Just Eat Martin Russell, Just Eat Jane McCallion speaks to Martin Russell, head of IT services at takeaway ordering service Just Eat, about the company’s use of cloud and, in particular, Google Apps. What are you using Google Apps for? Our original purpose for looking at Google Apps was for the email tool – we wanted to move away from our legacy on-premise solution and our focus was on migrating to email. [Since originally moving] we have adopted all the other applications that come with email. We use Google Drive for our local file storage, Sites for our internal intranet tools and Google+ is used as an internal social network to organise events. We also use Forms, so we pretty much use the entire suite. Why did you choose Google Apps over any of its cloud competitors? The biggest competitor is obviously Office 365. But, at the time I reviewed it, it was called Microsoft BPOS and, for me, it was very restrictive around the systems you could use. Google was promoting any device on any operating system from anywhere at any time. What business benefits have you seen since moving to Google Apps? From the point of view of how we interact with Google Apps as IT, we have seen a huge gain in stability. The on-premise legacy system we had before was very flaky – I was having to get up at the crack of dawn to ensure it was up-and-running for the business day. We were also constantly worrying about how we would scale it. Not having those worries any more is great for us. We aren’t having to spend lots of time maintaining and managing. From the user’s perspective, they get a really great experience, particularly around the document collaboration stuff. We 23 CLOUD SKILLS Profile Martin Russell is head of IT services at Just Eat. Prior to joining the online takeaway ordering website, which instantly connects users to the delights of 18,000-plus food establishments, he worked for many years as an IT consultant. http://www.just-eat.co.uk/ have seen a boom in people creating documents, sharing them and collaborating to get the objective done much quicker than the old days of having to edit a file, attach it to an email, send it to someone, then you have two versions of the file. Then, the question arises of how you amalgamate them back together again. Those concerns have gone. Also, the Google Hangouts have really taken off over here. We don’t use things like Skype or any other video tools anymore; it is all done through Google Hangouts. So we are now seeing teams collaborating more. I have teams in Canada and Denmark that I need to remotely manage and I can do that now. How did you know Google Apps had the security you needed? Security of our internal documentation and files is paramount. We have a tool that sits over the top of Google Apps called CloudLock, which monitors all the sharing of documentation – who has edit rights, review rights, and are they being publicly shared? We are alerted and take action on any issues that may come up. We are quite comfortable that Google Drive is a great place to store documentation. It allows sharing and scalability, but we then have this other tool that is sitting outside Google Apps, which ensures we have a watcher to see who is doing what, with what and with whom. That puts us in a really comfortable position. You are currently trialling Chromebooks and Chromebox, was that prompted by your good experience with Google Apps? We run quite large call centres at Just Eat and the traditional way of running Just Eat is not in the business of running email servers – we run an ecommerce platform that gives our users a great experience when ordering a takeaway. www.itpro.co.uk
  24. 24. QA: Martin Russell, Just Eat them was always around thinclients –  so you had thin-client PCs and a large server farm at the back-end running all your applications  and pushing them out to the machines. I thought about that and decided ‘there are Chromeboxes and Chromebooks out there, and all of our  tools are web-based anyway, so all I need to put on a call centre agent’s  desk is a machine that can run a browser and access these tools. I also don’t necessarily want to have a big, on-premise server farm pushing these applications out’. To me, the Chromebook and Chromebox give me that thin-client without all that back-end infrastructure and if I can push all my apps onto the cloud and serve them from there, then these Chromeboxes and Chromebooks will do exactly what I need them to do. We were already using them in our social area as well: we popped Chromebooks out in our big social kitchen areas for people to use during [Widespread use of this] to me is a really great future for Just Eat and I’m looking forward to getting there. We are trialling a room in our call centre which is all Chromeboxes and that is going very well. We hope to expand that. There are lots of elements to play with, for example how the telephony systems fit in – our current solution does require a small desktop client, so I need to find a way of either tapping into the API for that client and presenting it through the browser, or possibly working with that vendor to see if we can get a web based tool. There are lots of things to iron out  over the next couple of months, but the general roll-out is definitely something I am looking to do in 2014 without a doubt. If I can get it done earlier, I will certainly be pushing for it because I really like the idea of these big call centres with very  small server rooms, not massive server rooms using massive amounts of power and cooling. The on-premise legacy system we had before was very flaky – I was having to get up at the crack of dawn to ensure it was up and running for the business day. lunch breaks to do online shopping or whatever they wanted. It has worked really well there, but I also think a call centre running several hundred of these Chromebooks is  great. They are very low maintenance – if they break, you put it in the wheelie bin for someone to collect, go up to a vending machine, swipe your ID card and another Chromebook will be delivered to you. You sit at your desk, you plug it in, 15 seconds later you’re logged in and working again. And I don’t have to have a massive infrastructure behind that to keep it running. All I need to do is invest in decent internet connectivity out to these cloud services. 24 CLOUD SKILLS Have you seen any disadvantages since moving? One of the toughest things for a project like moving to Google Apps for me is not the technical aspect, it’s changing hearts and minds. It is very much a change not a technical project. The moment you start talking about using Google Apps to people who have been using Microsoft products for years, they instantly feel they couldn’t possibly run any of the tools in a browser versus a desktop client. This is one of the disadvantages for anyone thinking of doing this and you have to work really closely with the change management team to change the hearts and minds of people. You have to put users first, put yourself in their world and think ‘how I would overcome these challenges?’ That is something we really had to focus on. It is still something we have to deal with when new people join the business and they have come from the traditional world based around Office products. Would you say, given your experience, that using cloud solutions is something all companies should be looking at? Every area of technology needs to have that review. I look at all the solutions we use and see if they are the best fit, because some things are going to be best suited to an onpremise solution, some things are going to be best suited to collocation or the cloud. But you have to sit down and weigh up what you are in the business of doing. Just Eat is not in the business of running email servers – we run an ecommerce platform that gives our users a great experience when ordering a takeaway. We want them to love that experience and that is what we are developing, so it didn’t really make sense for us to invest in this large email solution on-premise because it didn’t help us reach that goal. That’s why we didn’t do it – we looked to companies like Microsoft, Google and whoever else to provide us these services, because that’s what they are experts in. So let’s just adopt their tools and we can use our time, money and power to improve our solution that we offer out to our customers. That’s the best advice I can give. Identify what the objectives are in your business and relate that back to how these solutions meet that need. Other than those planned roll-outs, where do you see yourselves heading in terms of IT and the cloud? I am constantly reviewing the systems we use. So around cloud, telephony is the next thing I will be looking at and there are some really exciting companies out there doing some really good stuff [in that area]. www.itpro.co.uk
  25. 25. Sponsor QA: Brett Ley, Juniper Networks Brett Ley, Juniper Networks We speak to Juniper Networks’ Brett Ley about how cloud is radically altering the way we consume and deliver services and discuss some of the changes yet to come. How does Juniper define the potential of cloud and what role do you play in helping firms realise the value? There are many examples today of cloud computing services delivering business benefits such as Amazon Web services, Salesforce.com, Microsoft Azure with Office and Collaboration applications. Even though the market is wary of hype this is a technology that has benefits both to enterprise and service providers alike. Cloud services in the enterprise will drive agility, reduce costs and enable flexible service delivery and for service providers enable new, profitable services to be developed and delivered to the market in a faster and more agile way. IT managers and CIOs looking to drive efficiency and relevance in their business are benefiting from developing a private cloud model internally and consuming application and IT capacity resource services from cloud service providers. Juniper Networks works with enterprises and services providers, reviewing business needs, validating the target market and understanding their requirements. Profile Brett Ley, senior director of advanced technologies for EMEA, is responsible for the data centre switching fabric business and technology ecosystem solutions that drive customer value and the growth of the data centre business. He joined Juniper in 2012 from Tintri, where he led the technology GTM strategy and previously worked at Cisco, where he served in a number of roles over a 12 year period. www.juniper.net/uk/en We help support enterprises looking to build private cloud solutions within their organisation by providing technology that enables productivity-enhancing services to their internal customer. We also help service providers to develop public cloud architecture, which allows them to bring new services to the market.   What advice would you give those looking to move to the cloud? Juniper Networks works with customers to categorise what they see and perceive is core to the business. Businesses should be pragmatic in their approach and provide clarity to any provider as to what they are expecting and require. They Businesses should not rush into looking to the cloud for mission-critical applications where IT skill sets already exist inside the business, but instead assess services that allow the business to drive forward and add value to existing services and skills. 25 CLOUD SKILLS should not rush into looking to the cloud for mission-critical applications where IT skill sets already exist inside the business, but instead assess services that allow the business to drive forward and add value to existing services and skills. What would you say to those who remain cloud sceptics, convinced it ‘will never take off’ and is just  a fad? I would say look at the market, look at the services on offer, look at the take up and relevance of those existing services and then consider. Adoption rates of any technology vary depending on business requirements. There are a number of great examples of how cloud services have impacted the success of business. At Juniper we have embraced many desktop collaboration services and deploy them from the cloud, such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Lync. Different organisations will gain different benefits from cloud services, whether it is internal desktop application solutions right through to entire IT infrastructure. www.itpro.co.uk
  26. 26. Sponsor QA: Brett Ley, Juniper Networks How do you think cloud will evolve and shape our future from a business perspective? I think that some businesses of the future will be mainly cloudbased. There are certain industries, certain organisations that for compliance and regulation requirements will not be able to embrace a cloud model but the reality is that most will adopt some cloud service to drive efficiency and consume a number of applications via a single cloud or multiple cloud model. SMBs see much bigger benefits using an outsourced shared services model on the cloud, reducing the need for internal support and services, freeing up staff to focus on projects that will help grow the business. Over time larger business adoption rates will increase to use cloud to drive first mover advantage  as their industries evolve and require faster service delivery to market. How much of a threat does this new cloud world pose to ‘traditional/legacy’ IT and should those of us with such skills be worried? It is important to understand that with cloud technology the business model changes but the technology principles remain the same. People with IT skills will continue to be relevant and as long as the the more time-consuming, per-user issues can be alleviated as application updates and downloads move to the cloud. This then frees up skilled IT staff to concentrate on more complicated, larger scale projects that can have a more transformative effect on a business.   How can we continue to up-skill to ensure we remain relevant in the cloud era? In freeing up key IT resource from day-to-day “lights on” activity, IT staff can be more productive for the business. Keeping track of technology innovation and business models available from cloud providers presents an opportunity to drive cost savings and efficiencies into the business. How will cloud change things from 1) an IT-delivery (helpdesk and so on) perspective 2) a customer perspective 3) an employee’s perspective, and 4) a business leader’s perspective? Cloud services can bring benefits  to many aspects of a business. Cloud application delivery and/or software updates to the desktop frees up helpdesk staff to concentrate on more complicated hardware or employee enablement issues as well as moving vital resource to wider IT projects or business enablement. It is important to understand that with cloud technology the business model changes but the technology principles remain the same. individuals continue to adapt and change their skill set over time they will continue to be needed and required for businesses to succeed. It is also worth noting that as cloud services are adopted, some of 26 CLOUD SKILLS Employees have wider access to tools and functionality enabling them to do their jobs more productively, wherever they are and thereby helping them to support customers more effectively. Businesses can also save Capex and Opex in the long run as operations become simplified or automated in the cloud.   How do you see cloud unlocking innovation for companies? What can/will they be  able to do with cloud  they can’t now? Cloud services can unlock innovation for businesses if they are adopted. Applications can be deployed and new services and solutions can be developed and implemented in a shorter timeframe. Data analytics can enable businesses to make decisions more quickly, create more effective marketing capabilities and have a generally stronger understanding of their market and  customers. One of the biggest distinctions though is around geographic reach. Delivery of services by companies who embrace the cloud could have a huge impact on companies wishing to expand geographically as its breaks down the barriers and constraints of local IT or service  enablement. How do you see things evolving? What trends will we see a year from now related to cloud? We are in the early stages of this trend but the speed of transition from the IaaS cloud model to an application services delivery cloud model will increase the rate of adoption of these services. What will the office/home of 2020 look like? 2020 is about the delivery of a promise… any service to any location, on any device, at any time. There will be no office/home office, the office is where you are at any time, able to access everything securely you need to be able to live and work. The technology exists today to enable this, it is now only a matter of adoption, investment and use. www.itpro.co.uk
  27. 27. Case study: Channel 4 Channel 4 uses cloud to make more sense of data The TV company is already a cloud user but is now looking to beef up its analytics capability to better support its business requirements Channel 4 first started transmitting TV programmes in November 1982. What started as one channel has now blossomed to include several stations and ondemand services. www.channel4.co.uk C hannel 4 is one of the pioneers when it comes to cloud computing. Having used the cloud for five years now, it was one of the earliest household names to turn to cloud when it opted for Amazon’s EC2 to power some of its websites. Cloud technologies are now at the core of the company’s ethos. But the use of cloud is also closely allied to another one of Channel 4’s pet projects, one that will have a great impact in broadcasting in the future and one that has been very much driven by its chief executive. 27 CLOUD SKILLS Data, data, data The initiative stemmed from the time when David Abraham took over as Channel 4’s head honcho. He said there were three things that would drive the future of the company: data, data and more data. This is something Channel 4 has been looking to explore, with the ultimate aim of becoming a data-centric organisation. Because the company was already some way down the cloud route, it made sense for it explore cloud as a way of improving the way it handled analytics. Channel 4 already had an existing analytics division that had proved adequate for the way it had previously handled data. This was based around a well-established business intelligence platform, using technologies from Business Objects, IBM and Oracle. But, as Bob Harris, Channel 4’s CTO, points out, when it came to a working out a way to improve the analytics platform to handle the greater demands that were being placed on it the firm hit a wall. The existing system which involved, as Harris explains,”proprietary tools on proprietary Sun hardware, which is running proprietary software,” was not going to be practicable. He says that the easiest thing to do would be to lineally scale the platform. But, scaling to the level required would have been prohibitively expensive and it was clear that this was not the answer to the problem. Harris’ intentions are generally slanted towards open source and he started to explore the possibilities that this offered when moving to a www.itpro.co.uk
  28. 28. Case study: Channel 4 big data project. “We’d been looking at open source data analytics for years (Hadoop and Hive) running initially with Cloudera and we were of the mind that these were the sort of technologies we’d be working with,” he says. Harris didn’t expect there to be a radical overhaul. “We find traditional BI and analytics are very complementary. I see Hadoop as ETL (extract, transform and load) on steroids,” he adds.  An AWS partnership Channel 4 had enjoyed a good experience of working with Amazon and wanted to continue that relationship. It had started by placing a few of its websites on Amazon, but had now moved on so that all its websites used the technology. Earlier this year, Channel 4 ran its first fund-raising initiative. “If I’d done that anywhere else but Amazon I’d have been worried,” says Harris. “I’d have had to start it a year earlier than I did and spend a lot of cash on it.” Given this history it made sense to explore the possibility of using Hadoop in conjunction with Amazon. “We had a conversation with Peter Sirota’s (general manager of AWS Elastic Map Reduce) team about using EMR and it made sense for us,” says Harris. “We looked at the numbers of doing it in the cloud. We looked at the cost of running EMR against an in-house cluster. When we examined our web workloads, we’ve seen significant cost reductions in running in cloud.” The key issue for Channel 4 is scalability: it could be running websites that have a massive audience reaction and the system needs to be able to cope with those sort of workloads. It’s never going to be the case that it’s easy to predict the levels of demand – which is why cloud has proved to be the winner. “When you don’t need that flexibility and you have predictability and long lead time, it might be better  to do it in-house,” says Harris. Greater insight With the system in place, Channel 4 is able to gather much more accurate data about its viewers (and readers, given that the websites are as much a part of the business now as the broadcasting output is). “Most of the data that we’re generating is data from public-facing products – websites and video-ondemand. We have nine million registered users – over half of all interactions are from people who we know something about,” says Harris. As Harris points out, the more the  Channel knows about its customers, the better the ad targeting. “More relevance means we get more money,” he says. There’s also a secondary motive, by better We find traditional BI and analytics are very complementary. I see Hadoop as ETL (extract, transform and load) on steroids. 28 CLOUD SKILLS targeting, the company can drive up revenue by increased usage. “It’s something we see in video-ondemand,” says Harris, “Amazon and  NetFlix are doing it.” The technology is just one part of  the equation. A bigger challenge in some ways is feeding the data gathered back into the creative part of  the business. “Humans are very resistant to change”, says Harris. Channel 4 is a company that is settled on cloud – and Amazon in particular (there is no alternative cloud supplier for the organisation). Harris doesn’t have much truck with the idea of private cloud suppliers either. “I test everything for cloud against three rules: for pay-as-yougo, self-provisioning and scalability,”  he says. If it doesn’t match up against those criteria, it’s not cloud in Harris’ eyes. He thinks that private cloud is very much a transitionary technology towards public cloud. Harris is fully committed to moving  along further with AWS. Having embraced the technology for the company’s websites, it’s now being used to gather data and is increasingly part of Channel 4’s armoury. “It used to be tactical,” says Harris, “but it’s now very much part of our strategy.” www.itpro.co.uk
  29. 29. Sponsor Case Study CASE STUDY REVloN, INC. MoVES To ThE ClouD WITh JuNIPER NETWoRkS To INCREASE GloBAl BuSINESS AGIlITy Summary Company: Revlon, Inc. Industry: Cosmetics Challenges: Consolidate and move enterprise applications to a private cloud to increase business agility and lower costs Selection Criteria: Create a single, simple, and scalable network to support the move of hundreds of applications to a private cloud Network Solution: • EX Series Ethernet Switches • SRX Series Services Gateways • vGW Virtual Gateway • MAG Series Junos Pulse Gateways • Junos Pulse • SBR Enterprise Series Steel-Belted Radius Servers • Secure Analytics2 • Junos Space for Network Management Results: • Run 531 applications on the internal cloud • Built global master and big data model • Built a single, highly resilient network that runs at 99.9999 percent availability • Replicate data every 15 minutes, ranging from 17 TB to 30 TB per week “My job is to make systems work for people, rather than people working for systems,” says David Giambruno, senior vice president and CIO of Revlon, Inc., the global cosmetics company.1 The IT organization, Giambruno believes, should command technology to provide a competitive advantage for the business and provide business managers actionable information to make informed decisions about its cosmetics and beauty care products. Challenge At Revlon, Inc., IT is focused on constantly delivering new capabilities to the business and using automation to drive scalability. Its pursuit of simplicity is “dogmatic,” according to Giambruno, and that relentless focus has allowed the company’s IT organization to achieve new levels of speed and business alignment as well as cost savings. “The less money IT spends, the more the business can spend on RD, marketing, and new product development, and that’s what helps Revlon, Inc. grow,” says Giambruno. Revlon, Inc. undertook a major effort to move more than 531 applications to a private cloud, including consolidating 21 enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and creating a master data and big data architecture. This architecture will drive the consolidation of the application portfolio, so business managers around the world have a consistent set of real-time dashboards and information that allows them to make better decisions. Selection Criteria Revlon, Inc.’s private cloud is built on the foundation of a high-performance, ultra reliable network. Today, network availability runs at more than 99.9999 percent, while the company removed more than 2,600 switch ports from its data center by changing its frame of reference for redundancy. “IT becomes about how fast it can be done, how little it can cost, and changing self-expectations,” says Giambruno. Building a new network to support a private cloud was also an opportunity to ensure that the company’s IT systems would be fully resilient in the event of a disaster and to enforce security controls to mitigate risk and ensure regulatory compliance. Solution The private cloud in which Revlon, Inc. virtualized and to which it migrated hundreds of applications is powered by a new network from Juniper Networks. With applications and data centralized, managers have access to new levels of business insight and can access their applications from anywhere, using any laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other webenabled device. • Avoided $70.4 million in IT costs 1 “Revlon Reports 2011 Results,” Revlon, Inc. Press Release, February 16, 2012. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix. zhtml?c=81595p=irol-newsArticleID=1662164highlight= Formerly STRM Series Security Threat Response Managers 2 1 29 CLOUD SKILLS www.itpro.co.uk

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