Posts Tagged Enterprise Architecture

Key Links for SharePoint 2013

These are some key links for SharePoint 2013:

Overview Video of Microsoft SharePoint 2013

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AWS – Storage Lifecycle Management

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Again, while I don’t claim expertise on the “cloud computing” phenomena let alone storage, it is an area that fascinates me for delivering technology and service based innovation.   Especially considering all the data proliferation era that is often spoken about in statistical superlatives (e.g. article from Forbes).

In particular I have considerable admiration for Amazon and their AWS business aspect, and I’m not alone in this respect – as this article points out.

I recently wrote a post about the Amazon Glacier storage service.  This is a follow up post.

AWS has recently brought out announcements on AWS S3 integration with AWS Glacier  and about enhancements to their AWS Storage Gateway with Gateway Cached Volumes.

Now the concepts around Information Lifecycle Management, and Digital Asset Management and the use of Hierarchical storage management or the related Automated Tiered Storage are not new, and there is a lot of traditional technology around to deliver or cover some of those aspects.

Tiered storage is a data storage environment consisting of two or more kinds of storage delineated by differences in at least one of these four attributes: price, performance, capacity and function.

Any significant difference in one or more of the four defining attributes can be sufficient to justify a separate storage tier.

Automated Tiered Storage is the automated progression or demotion of data across different tiers (types) of storage devices and media. This movement of data is automatic to the different types of disk according to performance and capacity requirements.

Beiges Buchbinderleinen (Sold)

So where does AWS come into this?  Here’s how I see it:

AWS_SLM

same with recently updated iconography from: AWS Simple Icons

AWS_SLM2

I think with the combination of AWS Storage Gateway, AWS S3 and AWS Glacier  Amazon has pretty much got a wrap on this.  This storage service combo gives cloud based hierarchical storage management, that has a gateway entry point into the traditional enterprise data center, rule based storage policies, an api as well as market leading price point.   I think the CIO will soon find this an appealing combination, easing his/her cost concerns around storage of data and record archives necessary for compliance to various financial and legal stipulations.

Is that not an awesome combination!

Do you think they’re on to something?

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The Cloud goes to the Enterprise (role reversal)

I don’t choose to write often about “Cloud Computing”, as there’s already plenty of more knowledgeable folks writing articles, giving opinions on this maturing technology delivery models particularly (IaaS), (PaaS)  and (Saas).

If at all I would offer comment or a view point, as a consumer or end user,  mainly in the areas of personal knowledge management or collaboration software services which I have a keen interest.

But I’ve noticed a marked change in the approach key Cloud providers (Amazon, Google, Microsoft) are taking to help major businesses (enterprises) embrace or on-board to their cloud services.  This is the rise of the Enterprise | Premium level service support area.  OK, this may not be new, but to me this now definitely more prominent and comprehensive part of the service portfolio on offer.

Whilst the traditional stance has been to expect the customer to self-service | self-support themselves to a greater or majority case. I think this trend towards to more comprehensive Enterprise (IT) Service Management is a recognition of the need by service providers to be much more responsive, not solely rely on technological automation and scale to deliver the level of quality and relationship expected.  Instead of the customer gearing up and extending their skill and ability to be able consume “cloud services” effectively and with less risk. The service providers are now reaching out with more services to reduce this risk and skills gaps from their customers to feel more confident about consuming these services.

Of course, there is also the business partner | service integrator middleman approach, which is very common and frequently the method used by a cloud pure play to add the “service management wrap around” for their “raw” service capability.  So the build of service management capability into the service provider is going to be an interesting playing field for incumbents and new arrivals to that market space. 

This is most noticeable cloud provider to go with Enterprise-scale service support is Amazon – Premium Support :

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The fact that Architecture Support for Enterprise level is defined as:

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Demonstrates the acknowledgement of the level of enterprise architecture and system integration required by Enterprise scale customers.

Of course the usage scale needs to be there:

  • Greater of $15,000

– or –

  • 10% of monthly AWS usage for the first $0-$150K
  • 7% of monthly AWS usage from $150K-$500K
  • 5% of monthly AWS usage from $500K-$1M
  • 3% of monthly AWS usage from $1M+

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On 14th of June 2012 AWS announced:

We are excited to announce a number of improvements to AWS Support that we believe will deliver more value than ever to our customers. The changes include:

  • An expanded free Support tier
  • Lower prices on Premium tiers
  • Launch of the AWS Trusted Advisor Dashboard which provides customers self-service access to proactive alerts that identify opportunities to save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps
  • Launch of Chat for Business and Enterprise Customers
  • Expansion of Customer Service phone and email availability to anytime hours
  • Technical Support for Health Checks starting with Amazon EC2
  • Expansion of 3rd Party Software Support to include Support for Databases (MySQL, SQL Server), Disk Management tools (LVM, RAID), and VPN solutions (OpenVPN, RRAS) running on AWS
  • Increased Named Contacts from 3 to 5 for Business Customers

With Google, and  Microsoft these services are less obvious, but I’m sure they are there to a certain degree, perhaps not across all their cloud services.

Google encourages contact of their sales team for enterprise support:

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and wish to collect some pertinent enterprise infrastructure details:

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Details  on Microsoft  are harder to find, but stem from their WindowsAzure Support Page.  Also what is not surprising is the expectation for existing support contracts and agreements to play their part.

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So, have you noticed this change too?  Or am I just playing catch up, on a set of services I’m not watching closely?

Do you think this is a significant shift in the market?

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Thinking on Portals, Application Servers & Middleware, and Strategic Enterprise Architecture

Recently I attended an event the Oracle Middleware 11g Forum around the launch & release of their Fusion Middleware 11g suite of products.

Oracle should be commended on the swift work they have done of incorporating the technologies and services they have acquired into their own product set.  Within the 11g release there is the unified and integration of mainstream Oracle products with the product set acquired from BEA Systems (WebLogic and AquaLogic etc.)  There is a clear standardisation around the Weblogic server as the strategic application server within the Fusion Middleware stack.

The pending acquisition and integration of Sun Microsystems into Oracle will pose a few interesting questions around existing complementary product set. But also to give the obvious capability of singlehanded delivery of hardware, OS, middleware, and application stack.

        

Both of these acquisition brings much more of a level set between Oracle and IBM in the J2EE space around enterprise portal, application server, content management, SOA and middleware.  This should bring another boost of invigoration to this marketplace, which is already looking lively because of innovative adoption around consumer social computing services and mash up or widget integration technologies.

An example of the IBM Middleware stack: (taken from an article about “Develop and Deploy Multi-Tenant Web-delivered Solutions using IBM middleware”)

An example of the Oracle Middleware stack: (taken from an article on the blog of Eric Marcoux “What do you want to know about Fusion Middleware ?”)

However this doesn’t rule out other players in this space, such as Microsoft, Autonomy, Opentext  etc. While they may not be so closely aligned around the technology or industry space, or perhaps bring such a broad offering, as IBM or Oracle they should not be ignored. In fact their strengths or niche plays should be significant influencers on the strategic enterprise architecture of an organisation.

What then are the questions that should be asked to ascertain that the Strategic Enterprise Architecture choices are optimal for your organisation?   Caveat :– I am not claiming to be an enterprise architect! However I hope these should be reasonably logical and common sense, and the answers should go some way to revealing the degree of alignment between the enterprise architecture and business requirements.

  • How does my End-User (desktop and productivity suite choices/need) integrate or align with choices around Portal and Enterprise Content Management and Enterprise Applications?
    • Do they complement or conflict?
    • Do they offer the integration that enables users to engage in business processes, or does inflict conflicts and hindrances?
  • Is there a sensible balance between departmental application choice and autonomy in comparison to corporate mandates and direction?
    • Are there governance policies in place that sustains a level of commonality across business units?
    • Is there a that framework allows departmental processes and requirements to be surfaced and delivered in a uniform way?
    • Is Identity and Access management provided centrally?
    • Are compliance, security and risk management services provided in a consistent manner?
  • Are the Strategic Enterprise Architecture choices enabling or preventing the evolution of a competitive business model?
    • Is the architecture promoting an agile and adaptive business model & culture?
    • Is it helping to make the best of the human interactions and capital within the business?
    • Is it serving to optimise TCO and reduce overheads, via enabling virtualisation, centralisation or cloud services technologies?
    • Is it serving the business through enabling a greater percentage of core business orientated employees, by reducing the focus on operating non-differentiating IT services & functions?
    • Is it enabling the business to serve the influential outliers – business partners, suppliers and customers?

These are by no means a definitive list, but I hope you think them relevant and helpful. I’m sure there will be areas I’ve over looked or ignored so please chip-in with more, comments and feedback.

There some good material here :

Enterprise Architecture Scorecard

The Open Group Architecture Framework

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