Gotcha – the challenge of moving to the cloud – Jon Green – Ep33

This week’s podcast, is the second of three looking at the challenges associated with moving to the cloud, last weeks show (which can be found here) focussed on integrating our data with the cloud.

This week we look at the equally challenging area of picking the right cloud service provider partners to help deliver your services, be that running your entire infrastructure or discreet applications, the choice of the right partner is key.

I think it’s often easy for us to not pay attention to partnerships when it comes to cloud, we assume the move is easy, that once we go to cloud everything will be “just fine”, however in my experience there are a whole range of “gotchas”, the kind of issues that can be the difference between success and failure of a cloud migration project.

This week I’m joined by Jon Green, Technical Solutions Director at Navisite Europe Ltd, to address some of these potential “gotchas”.

Jon is an experienced IT professional, with many cloud migrations under his belt and is well placed to point out some of the challenges we need to consider as we plan our cloud migration and develop those all important partnerships that are going to help us successfully deliver cloud services into our organisation.

We look at a range of issues that can impact our attempts at taking advantage of the flexibility, scale and commercial attractiveness that cloud can bring.

We discuss the risk of assuming that cloud migration is simple, especially when your applications are not “cloud ready”. The importance of understanding the underlying cloud infrastructure, as well as what comes with the common misconception that our cloud provider is just going to deal with “everything” for us.

Jon also explains how resilience is a key part of any modern IT strategy and that those based in the cloud are no different.

Finally we explore where an experienced cloud partner can bring real benefits to your cloud adoption.

Jon provides some excellent insight and lots of useful tips that you can hopefully use as you plan your own moves to the cloud.

You can find out more about Navisite at Navisite.com as well as follow them on twitter @Navisite.

You can also follow Jon on Twitter

@JohnathanMiGreen

Or email him

jgreen@navisite.com

You can hear more about building cloud provider partnerships as Jon’s colleagues from Navisite will be joining me at www.northwestdataforum.co.uk on July 5th in Liverpool, why not come and join us.

Next week we wrap up our cloud migration series with Lee Clark from GivepennyUK as he shares how cloud services have allowed him to deliver real innovation into the charity fundraising market.

To make sure you catch that show, you can subscribe in all the usual ways.

Thanks for listening.

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Tech me for the weekend – June 23rd

No idea where this week has gone! – shot by like nobodies business! So here I am again with some tech content to keep you company over the weekend… check out the articles and podcasts that caught my attention this week.

Articles

Business Continuity Institute – Cultural issues the number one obstacle to digital transformation

First up, this from the Business Continuity Institute looking at the impact of organisational culture and its ability to inhibit progression and how if you are looking to make change and make that change successful then don’t underestimate the importance of buy in, from top to bottom.

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/cultural-issues-are-the-number-one-obstacle-to-digital-transformation-245939

 

Technative – Beginners Guide to Big Data

A constant conversation at the minute is how taking advantage of our data is going to be crucial in our future success as organisations and businesses of all types.

This article looks at one of the areas that will be behind the successful adoption of data analytics and that is the increasing availability of big data tools, mainly powered by the big public cloud vendors, who are making it easier than ever for us to take advantage of our data.

https://www.technative.io/a-beginners-guide-to-big-data/

Matt Watts – Data Visionaries Wanted

To continue the focus on data and cultural change I came across this gem from Matt Watts as he discussed the importance of Data Visionaries in your organisation, those people who can see the value of data and can help you extract key information from it.

http://www.watts-innovating.com/data-visionaries-wanted/

All Aboard the Data Train

A new article from me this week, as myself and Mrs. Techstringy found out for ourselves the importance of data analytics in informing good business decisions.

That’s caught you attention hasn’t it!

All Aboard the Data Train

Podcasts

In Tech We Trust

This show has had a real revamp over the last few episodes and now has more of a focus on tech industry topics, rather than its old weekly news roundup format.

This week is a particularly interesting topic as the team discuss communication in the modern world, from Human to Human through to Human to machine a fascinating debate with a number of interesting guests, well worth a listen.

http://intechwetrustpodcast.com/e/124-technology-and-human-communication/

The ON-Premise IT podcast

Becoming a real favourite this show, this week the round table panel, take a bit of a diversion from the normal tech debate as they discuss careers, the kind of career moves to consider through to the importance of certifications. Good tips.

http://gestaltit.com/podcast/rich/managing-career-premise-roundtable/

Influence marketing podcast

A new show to the list, as John and Cathy Troyer host chats with IT folk who are involved in Tech Community programs.

Now on Episode three, but I though I’d mention the first one, with Veeam’s Rick Vanover as he discussed the extremely successful Veeam Vanguard Program an interesting insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes.
https://medium.com/influence-marketing-council/the-rickatron-is-always-on-9f626bce7211

Tech Interviews

This week was all about moving to the cloud, as I was joined by NetApp Cloud Architect Kirk Ryan, as we discussed the important things to consider as you look to see how you can take advantage of cloud services in your business.

We cover the importance of cloud economics, the options for integrating the cloud with your data and how to ensure you don’t take your on-prem bad habits with you.

A top guest, with lots of great insight.

New fangled magic cloud buckets – Kirk Ryan – Ep32

Hope you enjoy that content.. love to hear your feedback.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

All Aboard the Data Train

The other night myself and Mrs Techstringy were discussing a work challenge. She works for a well-known charity and one of her roles is to book locations for fundraising activities, on this occasion the team were looking at booking places at railway stations and considering a number of locations, however all they really had to go on was a “gut feeling”.

As we discussed it we did a bit of searching and came across this website http://www.orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/station-usage-estimates which contained information of footfall in every UK railway station over the last 20 years, this information was not only train geek heaven, it also allowed us to start to use the data available to make a more informed choice and to introduce possibilities that otherwise would not have been considered.

This little family exercise was an interesting reminder of the power of data and how with the right analysis we can make better decisions.

Using data to make better decisions is hardly news, with the ever-increasing amounts of data we are collecting and the greater access to powerful analytics, machine learning and AI engines, all of us are already riding the data train taking us to a world of revolutionary ideas, aren’t we?

The reality is, that most of us are not, but why?

For many, especially with data sets gathered over many years, it’s hard, hard to package our data in such a way that we can easily present it to analytics engines and get something useful from it.

But don’t let it stop you, there is potentially huge advantage to be had from using our data effectively, all we need is a little help to get there.

So what kind of steps can we take so we too can grab our ticket and board the data train?

Understand our data

The first thing may seem obvious, understand our data, we need to know, where is it? what is it? is it still relevant?

Without knowing these basics, it is going to be almost impossible to identify and package up the “useful” data.

The reality of data analytics is we just can’t throw everything at it, remember the old adage garbage in, garbage out, it’s not changed, if we feed our data analytics elephant a lot of rubbish, we aren’t going to like what comes out the other end!

Triage that data

Once we’ve identified it, we need to make sure we don’t feed our analytics engine a load of nonsense, it’s important to triage, throw out the stuff that no one ever looks at, the endless replication, the stuff of no business value, we all store rubbish in our data sets, things that shouldn’t be there in the first place, so weed it out, otherwise at best we are going to process irrelevant information, at worst we are going to skew the answers and make them worthless.

Make it usable

This is perhaps the biggest challenge of all, how do we make our massive onsite datasets useful to an analytics engine.

Well we could deploy an on-prem analytics suite, but for most of us this is unfeasible and the reality is, why bother? Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM to name but a few have fantastic analytics services ready and waiting for your data, however the trick is how to get it there.

man-lifting-heavy-boxThe problem with data is it has weight, gravity, it’s the thing in a cloud led world that is still difficult to move around, it’s not only its size that makes it tricky, but there is our need to maintain control, meet security requirements, maintain compliance, these things can make moving our data into cloud analytics engines difficult.

This is where building an appropriate data strategy is important, we need to have a way to ensure our data is in the right place, at the right time, while maintaining control, security and compliance.

When looking to build a strategy that allows us to take advantage of cloud analytics tools, we have two basic options;

Take our data to the cloud

Taking our data to the cloud is more than just moving it there, it can’t just be a one off copy, ideally in this kind of setup, we need to move our data in, keep it synchronised with changing on-prem data stores and then move our analysed data back when we are finished, all of this with the minimum of intervention.

Bring the cloud to our data

Using cloud data services doesn’t have to mean moving our data to the cloud, we can bring the cloud to our data, services like Express Route into Azure or Direct Connect into AWS means that we can get all the bandwidth we need between our data and cloud analytics services, while our data stays exactly where we want it, in our datacentre, under our control and without the heavy lifting required for moving it into a public cloud data store.

Maybe it’s even a mix of the two, dependent on requirement, size and type of dataset, what’s important is that we have a strategy, a strategy that gives us the flexibility to do either.

All aboard

Once we have our strategy in place and have the technology to enable it, we are good to go, well almost, finding the right analytics tools and of course what to do with the results when we have them, are all part of the solution, but having our data ready is a good start.

That journey does have to start somewhere, so first get to know your data, understand what’s important and get a way to ensure you can present it to the right tools for the job.

Once you have that, step aboard and take your journey on the data train.

If you want to know more on this subject and are in or around Liverpool on July 5th, why not join me and a team of industry experts as we discuss getting the very best from your data assets at our North West Data Forum.

And for more information on getting your data ready to move to the cloud, check out a recent podcast episode I did with Cloud Architect Kirk Ryan of NetApp as we discuss the why’s and how’s of ensuring our data is cloud ready.

New fangled magic cloud buckets – Kirk Ryan – Ep32

New fangled magic cloud buckets – Kirk Ryan – Ep32

We’re all heading to the cloud, data is the new gold, all of our competition is putting its data in the cloud and getting massive competitive advantage, if we don’t know how to use our data and take advantage of the cloud we’ll be obsolete.

All phrases that you may well have heard, or variations on them at least and to some degree they are all true, there’s no escaping that cloud services are here to stay and certainly there is a huge shift in organisations of all types becoming more data centric.

But, if that is all true, why isn’t everyone charging headlong into cloud services and finding more and more valuable information from their data and making the rest of us a thing of the past?

It’s because it’s not that straightforward, cloud services can be complex, moving our data to them is difficult and even when we get it there, what new and ingenious things can we do?

Over the next few Tech Interviews episodes we are going to explore that subject and look at how we can take advantage of cloud, how we can get our data there and indeed, what innovative things can we do once we have, over these episodes we’ll look at how to choose the right cloud partners and speak with a company who have used cloud and data to come up with an ingenious way for charities to raise money.

But first, we take on the data challenge, how do we make it accessible to the cloud? how do we move it there? do we move it there? and if we do how do we keep it under control?

To help me explore that topic, I’m joined by Kirk Ryan, a Cloud Solutions Architect for storage vendor NetApp.

First we discuss why a “traditional” on-prem storage vendor like NetApp would need a cloud architect and how the “new” NetApp really have allowed themselves to be a “cloud first” company.

We also discuss the changing role of digital services in our organisations and how the IT purse strings are not always pulled by IT.

We look at the challenges that companies keen to embrace new technologies have to overcome. The importance of building bridges for our data between on-prem, cloud and hybrid platforms as well as the criticality of understanding our data’s lifecycle from creation through to its deletion.

Finally we look at the importance of not taking our on-premises bad habits with us to the cloud, as well as ensuring that we fully understand the economics of our move.

Because, after all, it isn’t a new fangled magic cloud bucket!

To find out more from Kirk you can contact him on LinkedIn.

To learn more about NetApp and their cloud data management tools then visit cloud.netapp.com or netapp.io.

Finally if you want to hear more from Kirk, you’ll find him, alongside me and some other industry colleagues discussing how to move to the cloud at the www.northwestdataforum.co.uk in Liverpool on July 5th.

If you enjoyed the show and want to make sure you catch next weeks episode as we discuss choosing the right cloud partners, then why not subscribe in all of the usual places.

Until next time, thanks for listening.

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Tech me up – Your tech entertainment for this weekend – 16th June

It’s the summer, the sun is out, it’s the weekend, what’s the only thing missing? some great technical content to keep you company while you sip a cold one.

This weeks list of top tech has a data security slant to it, so not only will it be keeping you informed, it will ensure you can keep those data assets secure.

Settle back and enjoy;

Podcasts

For those who like to listen to their tech, here’s a list of great podcasts I caught this week.

Arrow Bandwidth

An excellent and somewhat unique chat with Marcus Hutchings, better known as Malware Tech, the information security engineer who discovered the “kill switch” for the WannaCrypt ransomware outbreak.

They discuss how he discovered the workings of the malware and how they came about the kill switch and how he’s dealing with the “fame” that came with it.

A great listen.

InfoSec Podcast

This is a relatively new podcast to my list, but an excellent weekly discussion on the latest news from the information security industry.

This week they focus on the latest release of SANS’ Security Awareness Report which attributed communication as one of the primary reasons why awareness programs thrive or fail.

The team also look at the difficulties of legislating for cyber security in a quick moving technology world.

Infosec Podcast

 

Datanauts

More security, this time from the Datanauts team, who are joined by James Holland and Aaron Miller from Palo Alto Networks to discuss the evolution of security architectures and approaches, the importance of application awareness, and the impact of virtualization, which can both create new risks and provide new opportunities.

They also look at where security is going, how cloud and virtualization will continue to shape your security infrastructure, and how skill sets will have to adapt to support more automation.

Datanauts Podcast

NetApp Tech ONTAP

A bumper week for podcasts and if you want something not security related, how about some coding?

I really enjoyed this episode of the NetApp Tech ONTAP podcast, not really NetApp focussed at all but a great chat with Ashley McNamara of  Pivotal discussing how storage administrators (and pretty much anyone) should be learning to code. Ashley also gives us places to look for resources for aspiring developers and scripters to be successful.

Great fun.. have a listen.

Tech Interviews

This week was a VMware special, as I was joined by the hosts of the excellent VMware vSPEAKING Podcast, Pete Flecha and John Nicholson , they make great guests as we discuss how peoples changing demands on technology are changing how we have to design and architect our infrastructure.

We also look at how our infrastructure not only needs to be faster and simpler, but also needs to be smarter and how our application and data centric world is driving demands for availability.

John also introduces us to the concept of giving jetpacks to cavemen!

Great fun with the guys, have a listen.

Articles

Rather settle back in the garden and read your tech, then try out these security focussed articles;

Data Privacy Monitor – Deeper Dive Security is a big deal for big data

We are all keen to take advantage of data analytics so we can get more value from our data assets, but how many of us consider the range of security challenges that comes with consuming those public big data services?

In this article Lavonne Hopkins looks at a range of issues to consider and provides some solid advice.

https://www.dataprivacymonitor.com/big-data-2/deeper-dive-security-is-a-big-deal-for-big-data/

Compare The Cloud – Refashioning data security with a nod to the cloud

The thing with the Internet is once it’s out there, it stays out there, but on the plus side you can find little gems of articles that you may not of read at the time.

This was one of those, posted back in Jan 2016 by the team at Compare the Cloud.

In this article they look at the challenge that CISO’s have. Pulled in many directions from their businesses, while having to deal with all of the evolving security threats.

It’s an interesting read looking at the kind of approaches that a CISO can look at to help take on the multiple challenges they are faced with.

https://www.comparethecloud.net/articles/refashioning-data-security-with-a-nod-to-cloud/

Forbes – Why manufacturers should be mindful of cybersecurity

This article discusses how cyber attackers target the manufacturing industry, what caught my attention was how the idea of small imperceptible changes can eventually have a huge impact.

This approach is not just a threat to manufacturing, it is also a threat for security built around analytics and AI. One of the approaches attackers take to overcome machine learning based security is using small changes that machine learning algorithms don’t notice and overtime they start to accept as normal behaviour.

This provides an interesting read and highlights the complexity of the security threat.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/06/01/why-manufacturers-should-be-mindful-of-cybersecurity/#11b188b810d2

Hopefully something there for everyone, enjoy your weekend.

Giving jetpacks to cavemen – Pete Flecha, John Nicholson – Ep31

Over the last 15 years or so, there has been major shifts in the way we deliver technology in the enterprise, cloud, mobility and of course virtualisation. You can’t look at the virtualisation industry without looking at the company who has defined the industry more than any other, VMware.

However, they are not immune to change and the world is certainly changing as we become more application and data centric and with this our expectations of how we consume our IT services has also changed.

I don’t think we are all going to throw our virtualisation infrastructures in a skip anytime soon, but we do have different demands, we want to integrate cloud, want our systems to be data centric, we need security, privacy and availability and we need our data and applications to be flexible, resilient and simple to consume.

How does this then effect VMware’s view of the world? –

In wp_20161116_12_44_06_rich_li.jpgthe last interview I recorded at Veeam’s recent VeeamON conference, I managed to catch up with the hosts of the excellent VMware Virtually Speaking podcast, Pete Flecha and John Nicholson, to ask this question and find out how VMware are changing, how they see the needs of their customers evolving and what future trends they see as the next important areas for focus.

We also investigate how customer expectations continue to rise for their technology and how technology not only needs to be resilient but also smart. We look at how organisations want their IT to be able to easily consume and integrate “cloud” into their on-prem solutions.

John also shares some thoughts on designing resilient solutions, and how availability is not only about what you buy, it also about what you do and the part your environment can also play.

The guys also talk about VMware’s shift toward simplifying the technology stack, how technologies like vSAN, storage policies and VVOL’s are making our technology faster, smarter and more straightforward, allowing us to focus on our applications and data and not the complexity of the infrastructure below it.

Pete and John provide a fantastic insight into how our organisations technology requirements are changing and how VMware are changing to remain a relevant and important part of our IT stack.

Last but not least, John also introduces us to the wonderful image of Cavemen with Jetpacks!

If you want to follow up with Pete and John you can find them both on twitter @vPedroArrow and @Lost_Signal.

You can catch find the excellent Virtually Speaking Podcasts over at vspeakingpodcast.com and check out episode 44 for a great chat the guys had with Michael Dell.

Hope you enjoyed the show, Pete and John where great guests and provided some fantastic insights into the industry and VMware’s place in it.

If you did, then why not subscribe on iTunes, Soundcloud and other good homes of podcasts.

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Tech me for the weekend – June 9th

Well well, it’s the weekend again and I know you all find it tough to drag yourself away from the world of tech, so worry not, here’s this weeks list of top tech entertainment to keep you teched up this weekend.

This weeks there is a bit of a data  theme.. so dive in their is podcasts and articles a plenty…

The Reading

Why Data will drive your success in the cloud – Matt Watts

Matt works closely with the office of the CTO at NetApp and wrote this interesting piece on their site about the changing way we all see data’s value and what that means for the way we build our data strategy.

Inspired by a recent article in The Economist that notes in today’s economy, “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.” – I know we’ve all heard it, but Matt explores the topic and what it means.

Why data will drive your success in the cloud

Setting sail for uncharted waters – Ruairi McBride

Some big announcements from storage behemoth NetApp this week which included their entry into the world of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI).

Now, no question that NetApp are late to this particular party, but Ruairi looks at why and the potential benefits that NetApp have from having sat back and watched the market for a little while and what their solution brings that may make them stand out.

If you want to know more about the NetApp HCI offering, this is a great place to start.

Setting sail for uncharted waters

One year until the EU GDPR

This complex regulation will finally be enacted in just under a year and personally I don’t think you can ever read up too much on what this may mean for us all and the way we collect, store, manage, protect and dispose of our data assets.

Good read here from CITY A.M. which also includes some quotes from my favourite data privacy attorney Sheila Fitzpatrick

A good piece, well worth a read.

One year until the EU GDPR

Big wheels keep on turning

Back to NetApp, I wrote a piece myself this week looking at NetApp’s continued evolution from storage company to data management company, how that was progressing, why that was important and how are they embracing this ever increasingly data driven world.

Big Wheels Keep On Turning

The Listening

Arrow bandwidth

This is an episode from a couple of weeks ago, but fits in nicely with this weeks data theme as Rich and Dave are joined by Vince Payne to discuss the data industry and the impact of business intelligence and analytics.

Rich plays the role of devils advocate perfectly, as the team discuss as to whether BI and Analytics really is a “thing” and whether people are actually using these technologies.

Excellent and thoughtful debate as they look at whether data really Is the new gold!

 

Gestalt IT – The ON-Premise IT round table

Another excellent debate asking what is the reality for the future of data, is AI, machine learning and data analytics really going to change the world and do something interesting?

And does the future include clever machines really replacing people? Or will us poor humans always have a place!

More excellent devils advocacy from Nigel Poulton.

What is big data?

Speaking In Tech

Rounding off the data chat, a brilliant guest joins the Speaking In Tech team, as Michel Feaster from Usermind discussed how data analytics and intelligence can have a massively positive impact on our customer experiences.

Some great practical examples of how using intelligence alongside traditional systems can revolutionise the kind of results we get, give it a listen.

Speaking in Tech: Blame millennials for customer engagement upheaval

Tech Interviews

Of course you don’t get this far without a plug for my own show, this week is the second part of a look at the data availability market.

My guests this week discuss how to gain more value from data backups, how to ensure that our focus on application availability doesn’t do more harm than good and whether availability is elevated to the right level of importance?

Three great guests in Mike Beevor of Pivot 3, Data Gravity’s Dave Stevens and Andrew Smith of IDC.

Enjoy.

Oh and if you missed part one where I chat with Justin Warren and Jeff Leeds, fear not.. it’s here…

So enough to keep you busy..

Have a great weekend.