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Robin Gadd on Cloud Computing in FE at AoC Annual Conference Birmingham Nov 2010


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Robin Gadd on Cloud Computing in FE at AoC Annual Conference Birmingham Nov 2010

  2. 2.  Midsize General FE College Strong tertiary mission Central southern England in SE Region (just) New Forest National Park – semi-rural, wide We do education and training outstandingly well (international) catchment We’re not an IT service provider c.11,000 learners per annum, 14-104 years old, pre-entry to foundationthis outstandingly well pre- (although we try hard to do degree level, and a too!) school nursery c.200 key employers (mainly SMEs) Beacon College since 2004 Technology Exemplar Provider since 2008
  3. 3. TECHNOLOGY HYPE CYCLE 2010 (GARTNER) Gartner: Cloud computing is “the most hyped subject in IT today”!!
  4. 4. 30 MINUTES TO… Cut through some of the hype Provide a non-IT-expert guide to “Cloud” Explain what we’ve been doing at Brock Outline the costs and the benefitsSo that you… Understand enough about cloud technology to hold your own in discussions with the techies Can relate this over-hyped technology to your business priorities
  5. 5. TRADE-OFFS OF “TRAD” IT INVESTMENTS Hardware  Fixed costs; fixed performance!  Five-year capitalised ownership = out-dated equipment!Or maybe we could spend more money Variable asset utilization  Most servers run at 5-20% of processing capacityat  Even virtualised servers get nowhere near 100% the frontline of teaching and learning? Data redundancy and security  Computing/networking reliability & redundancy  Backup and DR (disaster recovery) Power and cooling efficiency  Datacentres: 1 watt to the server, 1.5 watts in overhead! Personnel costs  Recruitment, retention, training
  6. 6. CLOUD COMPUTING IS… “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable “Technology services delivered computing resources over the internet” (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned andreleased with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”. (US National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  7. 7. CLOUD COMPUTING CAN BE A WAY OF… Focussing on what we’re good at (educating) Getting more Providing more Spending less Innovating Sharing services Improving cashflow Capex → Opex
  8. 8. THREE CLOUD SERVICE TYPES… • Email • Developer tools • Storage (disk space) • Office apps • Databases • Content delivery • CRM • Web apps • Backup/DR • Facebook • Compute (processors, memory)
  9. 9. Economies of scale?Rent a piece of this estate…
  10. 10. One simple “web service” applicationCLOUD DATA STORAGE connects the data on a computer in College to Amazon cloud storage Elastic storage! (expands and contracts on demand) Typical in-College infrastructure
  11. 11. COSTS: “TRAD” IT VS AMAZON CLOUDExample Project: Digital Media for Teaching and LearningIn College (Mostly Capex) In The Cloud (Mostly Opex) 450gb Disks - £25k  Elastic Storage - £3.5k pa I’m not the FD, but these stored incrementallylookof (7TBs = 16 disks @ £1.5k) Disk Array - £7k (7TBs numbers by end year @ $0.125 /GB) (big enough to hold up to 90 disks in 3-4 years if necessary!) interesting! Bandwidth - £1.1k pa  Elastic Total Year 1 = £32k (1TB /mth @ $0.150 /GB)  Total Year 1 = £4.6k 28TB by year 4 = £107k  28TB by year 4 = £18.4k+ on-going Opex(maintenance, staff, backup disks &tapes, software licences, aircon, poweretc)+ hardware refresh
  12. 12. CASHFLOW, ROI, AND CAPACITY PLANNING £32k +£25k +£25k +£25k Elastic Capex Capex Capex Capex investment asinvested invested invested invested demand grows (or >£100k invested, but still not enough! contracts)
  13. 13. CLOUD STUDENT/ALUMNI EMAIL One extra program installed on an existing (virtual) server to synchronise user identities with the Live ID cloud service Exchange Server(s) Typical in-College infrastructure
  14. 14. MORE QUALITY AND LESS COST!In College Service Level In Cloud Service Level Inbox (200MB)  Inbox (10GB) Network file store (200MB)  Online file store (25GB) Lost USB sticks galore No brainer? and anti-spam  Anti-virus No external mail Microsoft systems and can get the connector (alumni?) (providing you have send  Email for life working easily!) No system redundancy  An experience that meets A mediocre experience expectations  High usage Low usage£££ £££  Free! Hardware, software, anti- virus, backup, DR  Fewer servers, less Maintenance & support software, reduced maintenance
  15. 15. The next evolution of Live@Edu... Due in 2011 Office Online (Word, Excel etc) connected to and delivered with cloud services Exchange Online - cloud-based e-mail, calendar andHighly with the most up-to-date tech contacts scalable, current anti-virus and anti-spam solutions A strong platform for innovation Office SharePoint Online - effective? Wait and see… But will it be sufficiently cost cloud-based asynchronous virtual learning, shared file stores etc Lync Online - cloud-based synchronous online teaching with text messenger, presence, screen sharing, voice and video conferencing
  16. 16. SO DO WE STILL NEED ON-CAMPUS IT? Yes. Some. PCs, printers, networking, high-end media But different ownership models; different support What are utility computing; thin clients development models; the organisational A data centre implications?  But smaller; bridge between the college and the cloud; more proactive monitoring/self-healing; shared services An IT Support structure  But smaller; more contract and supplier relationship management etc… skills gaps?
  17. 17. GREY CLOUDS – RISKS? Our data is somewhere “out there”?  Security; public or private cloud? is the door locked? Where in the world is our stuff?  Lots of due diligence needed! Legal jurisdictions? regulatory compliance; data protection? £-$ exchange? SLAs  Service/support; uptime guarantees (with financial penalties?); technical support; time zones? Partners  Trust; reliability Single points of failure?  JANET connection: capacity/cost; redundancy?
  18. 18. FLUFFY WHITE CLOUDS – OPPORTUNITIES! Expenditure management  Spending less; shared/managed services; fewer fixed costs; elastic capacity; moving Capex → Opex; enhanced cashflow If we join the ride down from the “peak Quality improvementof  Getting more service/capacity; providing better services inflated expectations”, we might reach to our customersthat “plateau of productivity” in 2 years!!  Innovation and agility  The world changes; IT changes; opportunities change; keeping up with the next big thing! Focussing on what we’re good at!  Keeping what adds value, outsourcing what doesn’t, adding more value by buying-in just the services we need
  19. 19. CONCLUSION: THE BOTTOM LINE Nick Carr was right! May 2003 Most computing is now a “utility” – we can’t live without IT, but “IT Cloud Computing CAN help! doesn’t matter” Your IT infrastructure doesn’t differentiate you from me! So don’t spend any more £ (or $) than absolutely necessary on IT!