7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />1<br />Cloud Computing “A History and Possible Future for the Borough of West Chester”<br />William Mann, Borough of West Chester<br />Capstone Project – CGCIO Certification 2010-2011<br />Dr. Alan R. Shark, Public Technology Institute, Rutgers University<br />
Part I<br />A short history of <br />“Cloud Computing”<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />2<br />
Introduction<br />Cloud Computing is a new and exciting trend which many of us, even in the information technology field are, let’s say, a “little cloudy about”. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />3<br />What are the advantages of cloud computing as opposed to maintaining an infrastructure?<br />Are there different levels or types of cloud computing?<br />Who exactly are these cloud computing providers? <br />Are there security ramifications when utilizing cloud computing?<br />How much control do you have over your data when you migrate to the cloud? <br />
Introduction<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />4<br />As a result of the current world economic situation any solutions that offer substantial cost savings will attract consideration from financial officers. Chief Information Officers and other technology professionals both in the private and public sector must be prepared to answer these questions. <br />Technology professionals must be prepared to move their organization in the right technological direction, be that to the cloud or continuing to maintain an independent infrastructureor in many cases a hybrid solution.<br />
Questions About The Cloud<br /><ul><li>What is cloud computing anyway?
What exactly is the history of cloud computing?
Is there a long term track record?</li></ul>7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />5<br />And finally….<br />Is cloud computing a realistic option for local government using the <br />Borough of West Chester as a case study?<br />
Cloud Computing – Not Such a New Idea<br />The idea of “cloud computing” dates as far back as the 1960’s when John McCarthy envisioned a time when “computation may someday be organized as a public utility”. This vision of McCarthy’s is somewhat profound considering where computing actually was in the 1960s. The 1960s represent what many refer to as the “second generation” of computers. Computers of the 1960s were of solid-state design and relied on transistors. <br />1960 brought the first small computer with its own keyboard and monitor. The term “computer” had not even been used at this point. The creator of this first small computer, Digital Equipment Corporation, called it a “Programmed Data Processor”. It sold for between $125,000 and $150,000. It is in this technologic environment that John McCarthy, an American Computer Scientist, spoke of organized computation similar to a public utility being in our future. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />6<br />
Cloud Computing – Not Such a New Idea<br />Fast forward to the 1990s when phone companies began for the first time offering virtual private network (VPN) services in addition to dedicated point-to-point data circuits which had been the service standard. “Cloud” probably originates with this new “telephony” virtual network which offered a comparable quality of service as the dedicated point-to-point circuits while being more cost effective. <br />The cloud symbol was used to denote to demarcation points between the responsibility areas of the customer and provider. <br />RamnathChellappa, an Associate Professor at the Emery Goizueta Business School reportedly is the first to have used the term “cloud computing” during a 1997 lecture. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />7<br />
Cloud Computing – Not Such a New Idea<br />Shortly after the dot-com bubble (1995-2000) the online shopping company, Amazon, played a major role in the development of cloud computing by redesigning their data centers. Amazon was trying to find a way to use more of their computer network capacity which was about 90% unused and eventually initiated a new product, offering cloud computing for external customers and launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006. <br />Google, IBM and a number of universities followed Amazon’s lead and in 2007 started a large and coordinated cloud computing research project. By this point cloud computing was marching forward with some organizations switching away from company-owned hardware and software assets.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />8<br />
The Hidden World of Cloud Computing<br />Here are some examples of currently accepted “cloud computing” services which many of us have been utilizing for at least the past 5 years.<br />Remote backup services: Many of us remotely back up our data. This service has become much more cost effective and applicable because of affordably increased bandwidth capacity. The continued trend in high bandwidth availability has spawned many credible online backup services such as Corbonite and Mozy. <br /> <br />Email Services: Email services such as Google (gmail), Microsoft (Hotmail) and America Online provide email services in which account holders connect through their browser. These email providers store the account holder’s email at their data centers. <br /> <br />Invoicing Services: Recently companies such as FreshBooks have begun offering invoicing services to companies in which all invoicing needs are handled through the customer’s browser with the data being stored at a remote data center. This allows companies to offer professional invoicing while maintaining the smallest possible computing infrastructure in order to keep cost down.<br />If “cloud computing” is broadly defined as having application and data stored and accessible remotely then these services are evidence that “cloud computing” has indeed been with us much longer then most of us would initially believe. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />9<br />
Defining Cloud Computing<br />For my purposes I define cloud computing as “anything you use outside of your system’s firewall”. However even this definition alone, simple as it may be does not accurately describe the evolving concept of cloud computing. Once you start to really research and think about it you quickly realize that cloud computing also almost always includes a pay-per-use or subscription service. <br />Quite simply for mypurposes I believe cloud computing can be accurately described as:<br />Anything outside of your system’s firewall and<br />Includes a pay-per-use or subscription service that extends your agencies information technology through the internet as the primary access point. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />10<br />
Defining Cloud Computing<br />One thing is for certain.<br />Cloud computing today remains true to John McCarthy’s 1960s vision of utility computing where companies purchase their computing needs in the same manner as conventional utility services such as electricity, water, phone and television. <br />This basically replaces the existing information technology model of major capital investment with a pay as you go philosophy in its place.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />11<br />
3 Approaches to Cloud Computing<br />Software as a Service (SaaS)<br />Software as a service (SaaS) has been gaining strength as the most successful model in respect to cloud computing. Specific applications for countless numbers of users are accessed through their internet browsers. For the customer there is no capital investment in servers and many times only the internet browser is necessary to access their applications and data. <br />Most of the responsibility for security management lies with the cloud provider. An addition SaaS provides a number of ways to control access such as management of user identities, application level configuration and the ability to restrict access to specific IP address ranges or geographies. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />12<br />
3 Approaches to Cloud Computing<br />MSPs and IaaS Services<br />Managed Service Providers (MSPs) or Platform as a Service is another approach. MSPs offer various services interfacing with the information technology departments of business rather than the individual end users. Desktop management, application monitoring, anti-virus scanning and anti-spam filtering are common offerings from MSPs. This, of course, usually requires more management from the end user as opposed to SaaS.<br />The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model transfers even more control and responsibility for security from the cloud provider to the client. In this model the end user can often access the operating system that supports the visual images, networking and storage.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />13<br />
5 Cloud Deployment Models<br />Public Cloud (or External Cloud)<br />Services are provided on an as-needed, pay-as-you-go basis over the internet by using web applications and services from a remote third party provider.<br />Community Cloud<br />Community Clouds may involve several organizations with similar mission statements who seek to share infrastructure cost and management. Security is and control is enhanced because fewer users are accessing the information in this manner as opposed to the public could. This is usually more expensive than a public cloud; however the enhanced security and privacy may be attractive and warrant the additional cost.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />14<br />
5 Cloud Deployment Models<br />Hybrid Cloud<br />Hybrid Clouds often use a combination of public and private storage clouds. Archiving and backup functions allowing local data to be replicated to a public cloud is a good example of this type of deployment.<br />Organizations may elect to use physical hardware and virtualized cloud server instances together to provide a single common source. <br />Combined Cloud<br />Combined Clouds consist of multiple internal and external providers. By integrating multiple cloud services users are often able to ease their way into cloud computing. <br />Private Cloud (or Internal Cloud)<br />Private Clouds strive to emulate public clouds but on a local level. These services offer products where host applications are available on virtual machines within a host’s own environment. This type of “private cloud” offers the benefit of utility computing and shared infrastructure cost. There is however a much larger infrastructure cost here then with the other cloud types which minimizes the benefits of cost saving and information technology management. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />15<br />
Evaluating Cloud Computing Service Providers?<br />Cost<br />Of course the most attractive part of moving away from an infrastructure situation to cloud computing is saving money for the organization.<br />Performance<br />Determine where the cloud providers are geographically located and be aware that application performance results can be impacted by this situation. <br />Data and Security<br />Although the potential cloud provider may host your data in a data center facility that does not necessarily mean that the provider has made any special arrangements to protect your data. Firewall services may still be required on your end and encryption of data necessary. You should also be aware of where the data is actually being stored, which in some cases may actually be required through state or local regulations.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />16<br />
Evaluating Cloud Computing Service Providers?<br />Service Level Agreements<br />Service level agreements (SLA) are crucial in predicting a cloud computer provider’s confidence in respect to its service delivery platform. The closer to 100 percent computing availability is obviously where you want this to be. <br />Support<br />This is one of the areas where cloud computing providers reportedly need to improve. At this point, cloud providers are not known for offering strong support. This is bound to change as cloud computing continues to mature. However for mission critical agencies this could be a challenge. Determine the hours of support available, turnaround time guarantees, and annual service contract cost projections in order to make sure that service requirements are achieved. <br />Putting It All Together<br />A Request for Proposal is probably a good idea in respect to putting all of these evaluation points together clearly identifying the specific needs of your organization. By writing a clear and precise Request for Approval and distributing it to available cloud providers a good picture should appear regarding your cloud computing options. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />17<br />
Identify What Has Cloud Potential<br />Finding success through “cloud computing” must include identifying from the outset what, if anything cannot be accomplished effectively and efficiently in the cloud. <br />Once these technical issues are identified, the services that remain outside of the cloud and inside the organization’s network infrastructure will of course impact the projected technology savings.<br />Other considerations should also include the age and condition of the various computing and networking parts in the existing infrastructure. It is this consideration that can result in deployment into “cloud computing” occurring at multiple phases, spanning several years. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />18<br />
Cloud Providers Are Everywhere.<br />Google Apps<br />With the Google Apps Engine users can build, run and maintain their applications on Google’s infrastructure with no servers to maintain.<br />Rackspace<br />Rackspace delivers servers on-demand via a cloud-driven platform of virtualized servers. <br />GoGrid<br />The Gogrid platform allows users to deploy Web and database cloud services, mount infinite-volume cloud storage, create, save and deploy custom cloud server images. <br />Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud<br />Enterprise Cloud provides companies with two cloud options. First you can build a private, in-house cloud behind the firewall. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />19<br />
Cloud Providers Are Everywhere.<br />VMware<br />Recently VMware, Cisco and EMC created a virtual computing environment (VCE) coalition to offer a complete virtual data center product set that takes the best elements from each vendor’s portfolio. <br />Verizon Cloud Services<br />Verizon recently began providing cloud services offering an enterprise-grade IT solution allowing the customer to purchase services as needed and pay-as-you go allowing scaling up or down as needed.<br />And of course<br />Microsoft Cloud Services<br />Perhaps a little late to the game, however Microsoft has become a strong cloud provider during the past couple of years and with Microsoft 365 their footprint is only going to get bigger.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />20<br />
Part II<br />The Borough of West Chester: <br />A Case Study in Cloud Computing Possibilities<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />21<br />This presentation will not detail the actual “on the ground” installation, deployment, migration and training of moving to the cloud. <br />
Reviewing The Need – Phase 1<br />Network Infrastructure<br />Every organization's network infrastructure is different, with some more complex then others. These infrastructures mature and grow over time, as the organization’s needs change and new technologies become available. This situation is of course the same for the Borough of West Chester. As recently as the early 1990s our local area network (LAN) network was almost non-existent. What networking there was in existence, was contained to local workgroups in specific departments. <br />Once I started managing information technology in the late 1990s I had one primary goal. Combine these individual “workgroups” into one “domain” which would centralize all server equipment, offer cross-department file sharing, enhanced file and network security and eventually reduce cost & enhance productivity by sharing servers and networking cost as opposed to every department individually managing and spending resources on technology.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />22<br />
Reviewing The Need – Infrastructure<br />Network Infrastructure<br />The status of the Borough of West Chester’s network infrastructure at the time of the “cloud” case study included the following:<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />23<br /><ul><li>3 File Servers (applications, payroll, mapping, archiving, user files, etc.)
Toshiba Server (phone system & unified messaging)
Information Technology Work Orders Server (Track-It!)</li></ul>That’s a total of 14 server based pieces of hardware.<br />
Reviewing The Need – Infrastructure<br />Network Infrastructure<br />The following department’s are served through this network infrastructure.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />24<br />Borough Management<br />Finance<br />Building and Housing<br />Parks and Recreation<br />Parking Enforcement<br />Police Department<br />Police Communications (emergency dispatch center)<br />Public Works<br />Waste Water<br />
Reviewing The Need – ITStaffing<br />Information Technology Staffing<br />An honest look at staffing must be evaluated in order to determine if moving any service to the cloud would be of benefit to your organization. Obviously the more services in “the cloud” the less on premises IT staffing is required.<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />25<br />In the case of the Borough of West Chester, one individual acts in the following roles.<br /><ul><li>Chief Information Officer
Chief Communication Officer*</li></ul>*Manages all elements of the Police Department’s Emergency Dispatch Services<br />
Reviewing The Need – ITStaffing<br />Information Technology Staffing<br />Because the Borough of West Chester is in a very unique position where all elements of information technology are managed by one individual the overall cost of providing this service is very small. <br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />26<br />Total Cost of Information Technology<br />Information Technology cost which includes network hardware, service contracts, software and staffing has remained consistently at about 1% of the overall budget. <br />2011 Budget<br />Although this low cost may seen unsustainable, given the current state of the world economic situation, it would be in the borough’s best interest to work towards maintaining this low cost for as long as possible. <br />…could the answer be in the clouds?<br />
Reviewing The Need – TechnologyServices<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />27<br />After looking at your infrastructure and staffing situation the next evaluation should involve “need”. What services that you are currently providing should be considered for cloud services? <br />In our case, the obvious target for cloud services was email services. Why?<br /><ul><li>The mail server is replaced every 3-4 years at an estimated cost of $15,000 to $20,000.
The mail server is often the most taxing of all the servers in respect to maintenance.
The mail server must of course be backed up, both onsite and remotely.
Archiving continues to become more challenging in respect to “open records” requirements.
Spam Filtering and Virus Control can be demanding.</li></li></ul><li>Finding a Provider<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />28<br />Once email services were targeted, research was required in order to find potential solutions, vendors and identifying advantages, disadvantages and cost.<br />I conducted this research through the following channels.<br /><ul><li>I contacted our technology partner, CDW-G for recommendations and solutions.
I found and reviewed “white papers” and “case studies”.
I found and reviewed currently technology articles regarding cloud services and cloud providers.</li></ul> afterward <br /><ul><li>I focused on two (2) providers where I was finding consistent positive reviews and where I believed current trends were heading. </li></li></ul><li>Finding a Provider<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />29<br />I made a decision to focus on Microsoft Online Services and Google Apps. <br />Why these companies?<br /><ul><li>Long term track records in the technology industry.
Aggressive moves by both into “cloud services”.
Strong vision of what “cloud services” can become.</li></li></ul><li>Considering Providers<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />30<br />Choosing a provider can be a very daunting and challenging task. No one wants to choose the wrong provider of any service. Therefore take your time, prepare a plan and conduct fair and consistent interviews.<br />How to do this?<br />Prepare an “interview script”. The “interview script” should include:<br /><ul><li>A description of your organization’s information technology infrastructure.
Detail of how email is accessed on premises and remotely.
Detail of how smartphones and other mobile devices are utilized.
List a series of a questions that respond to any questions & concerns you have.</li></li></ul><li>Considering Providers<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />31<br />With this “interview script” in hand I scheduled and conducted interviews and follow-up interviews with representatives from Microsoft and Google. <br />The interview and evaluation process proceeded over a two month period. <br />During this time I reviewed my “interview script” notes (which I completed during the interviews). <br />I researched their responses through published “case studies” and “white papers”. <br />I remained in contact with the representatives asking questions and following up as needed to understand and validate the information provided.<br />I then had to make a choice….<br />
Making a Decision<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />32<br />Every CIO must make decisions with the best interest of their organization in mind. Because the Borough of West Chester has only one staff member managing and providing all technology services the ability to reduce some overhead is critical to maintaining such a small footprint on the budget.<br />The Borough of West Chester’s network is Windows based and Microsoft Office is the productivity suite in use. <br />The Microsoft “Exchange Online” service is built with Microsoft Office (and Outlook) in mind. On the other handle Google Apps of course utilizes their existing G-Mail infrastructure. <br />Because of this information the following question was continually be considered in my mind.<br />
Making a Decision<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />33<br />If Google Apps was chosen would I simply be trading server based maintenance (time) with user end service as employees were asked to adopt and learn how to use G-Mail as opposed to Microsoft Outlook?<br />Now for me, this was a critical question, and one I could not afford to get wrong.<br />Microsoft Online Services was very strong in all of their responses and at no point was Google Apps able to alleviate the fear I had of adding more “help desk time” (G-Mail) while reducing “server maintenance” time. <br />In addition these issues were considered:<br /><ul><li>The “price points” were very close. No clear winner here.
Microsoft offered superior data security solutions.
Microsoft offers other cloud services such as “Sharepoint” which are integrated into Microsoft Office. Again, less training and learning time for our employees.</li></li></ul><li>Microsoft Online Services<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />34<br />I chose “Microsoft Online Services”. In the end it was not a very difficult decision. After all, by removing the mail server and continuing to provide email services through a “pipe” that the employees were already familiar I predicted a win-win! <br />In addition to simply handing over the email to Microsoft we would be enhancing the following services.<br /><ul><li>Enhanced Accessing Options
Enhanced Data Security*</li></ul>* 6 data centers in the continental US. <br />* US Department of Defense (DOS) certified data security. <br />
Microsoft Online Services - Cost<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />35<br />Ok so what does it cost?<br />Microsoft Exchange Online: $3.98 (user/monthly)*<br />Exchange Hosted Archiving: $3.45 (user/monthly)<br />* Each mailbox has 25GB of space available.<br />Budget Year - 2011<br />As a result of no longer needing to purchase an exchange server in the year 2011 and by ending our contract with Postini (spam filtering) a projected saving of $1,657 is expected.<br />Budget Year - 2012<br />A projected saving of $1,785 is also expected in 2012 as a result of retiring the old exchange server and re-assigning it to another task.<br />
Microsoft Online Services - Cost<br />7/26/2011<br />Copyright, 2011 William Mann<br />36<br />A Final Word on Projected Savings<br />The projected saving of $3,442 over 2 years is not the most critical element for the Borough of West Chester.<br />By moving the email services to Microsoft’s cloud the Borough of West Chester places itself in a position to continue maintaining its low cost footprint in respect to information technology as it relates to the general annual budget.<br />Exchange Online and perhaps other Microsoft Online Services such as “Sharepoint” will help the Borough of West Chester continue to provide excellent information technology services without breaking the government’s bank.<br />