October 27 - Day 4: Reduce Your IT Footprint - InformationWeek

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October 27 - Day 4: Reduce Your IT Footprint
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Thanks everyone for attending. Until tomorrow!

Author

The vast differences in costs to implement Obamacare show up the inefficiencies of the states' approach to IT. Soultions ranged from $25M to $320M. The cheaper ones likely were COTS and the expensive ones were the projects that seemed to run into difficulties!

Author

SaneIT.. The Navy is planning a multi-site cloud, and SDN is definitely part of it. There are several other clouds inside the Federal government, and I suspect they will use SDN failry quickly. The clouds don't cover much of the US gov't yet, but it's growing, and the military are looking at the Navy approach across the board (with some dissent!:))    State government generally is where the inertia is most pronounced.

Author

Now I'm getting ahead of myself and you mentioned the complexity of SDN but on the scale of some government installations isn't that the perfect place to be using SDN?

 

Ninja

The cloud approach, and all the automation, will take some of the fun out of IT, but also make it easier to move projects forward, since economic benefit will be more quantifiable.

Author

SaneIT...I think that's a good summary. Governement is somewhat intractable...They haven't found a Pied Piper to lead them yet. Interesting times!

 

 

Author

Soaking all of this in, are you saying that we should feel lucky that we might actually see some of these technologies in our life time as long as we don't work for the government?

Ninja

The problem is COBOL programmers are retiring, while it is never  part of the college curriculum. The skills are disappearing fast, which will make those late in leaving egacy with a big problem.

It is an opportunity

Author

That US Navy program I mentioned had the support of the Secretary of the Navy, and that helped the effort survive a battery of nay-sayers. It's now the poster child for modern IT in the Navy, who are really forward thinking on IT.

Author

I know COBOL isn't exactly common, but seems hard to believe a company couldn't find a contractor to decipher the code. Maybe an unmet business need!

Author

The Obamacare fiasco wouldn't have occured if the states were using modern computers and programming languages.

Author

I've seen several cases like that. Often mice got into the source code card deck!

Author

Jim, thanks, and I've certainly seen that inertia in action: The worst case was a credit card clearing company that literally had a "black box" in the middle of their system -- a critical block of code that no one employed there had ever worked on. They had no idea how it did the critical piece of the process and were locked into keeping the code and the small, obsolete, mainframe on which it ran operational for years.

Strategist

Lorna, I suspect that governments have a good piece of those 4 billion lines of code. They have most of the 30-year-old mainframes that aren't in mueums. Fin services account for a good many, which is a surprise considering their pace of evolution recently. At least fin serv uses more modern mainframes and minicomputers!

Author

There are good tools for recompiling COBOL onto COTS systems. The reluctance to make the transition is the inertia of having something that works, coupled with a typical reluctance to revisit business processes.

Author

Is COBOL mostly in financial services?

Author

Jim, regarding COBOL: Are there solid transition strategies/systems out there to help companies move from COBOL to something more modern (Object COBOL? Enterprise COBOL Beans? I don't know...)? Or is biting the bullet and simply re-writing systems the only option available to companies that still have significant COBOL applications running?

Strategist

Don't repair. Drive caddies cost as much as a 2TB drive, so replaceable drives are dubious options. Why not stop repair, get 3 percent more units as spares in exchange for no warranty claims below 4 percent failure rate?

Shared, redundant power-supplies remove the risk from the least reliable component in the servers. These would be replaceable (probably!)

Author

The Cloud...It's changing IT in profound ways. Workload WILL migrate to public clouds, SaaS will be attractive to the mid-tier, because it removes a lot of support complexity and cost.

 

 Some operations will get away from having a datacenter. Others will consolidate with related firms or within a building complex. Shared datacenter in the basement of your high-rise office, anyone?

Author

The End of Legacy - 400 billion lines of COBOL are still running but -

It's inevitable that legacy will go away. The question is sooner or later?

Legacy costs a lot to run, but no acquisition costs.

There's a hidden cost, and it's a big one. The inability for the enterprise to have up to date practices is a killer for the business, whether it's Obamacare or ERP in a manufacturing company.

The cost, pain and risk of transition increases over time, because the chasm between what the business needs and what it gets from legacy widens at an ever-increasing rate.

Author

The shrinking datacenter - -

More with less? Given the leap forward in storage and the surge in system level performance, this is really happening. The datacenter will shrink with huge disks and high-core servers driving change.

Are you seeing that happen in your datacenter yet?

Author

Lorna, That's true. The sweet spot is when the cost of self-integration gets low enough to make it economic. This is real fast for mega-CSPs but slower for mid-tier general computing.

Author

Depends on their sophistication..today, SDN is a major effort and mid-tier companies would struggle with much of it, because of traing  costs etc. But within a year we'll see tools migrating into the mid-tier. Probably the first step is control plane abstraction. 

Get a couple of stripped down switches and add SDN control layers, then later on add value-added SDN overlays.

Author

Seems like you either pay the vendor $$$ to integrate or pay $$$ to hire the expertise. 

Author

Jim, if someone wanted to get their feet wet with SDN where would you have them start?

Ninja

SDS and SDN are new ideas. The definitions are still evolving, never mind the products.

The concept is move as much software as possible from the switch or storage appliance and put it into virtual machines in the cloud. This allows scaling of features such as dedupe, encryption, firewalls and intrusion detection. Control becomes scalable, too, and heavily automated, to tie in with virtualized server orchestration.

Another benefit is that the switches and appliances become inexpensive commodity products, while the decoupled software is portable. The software side should see a heavy growth with many startups.

Author

Moore's Law is fine...It's just Morre's Law of COTS Systems now

Author

Modular approaches are here to stay. Buying pre-integrated and pre-tested gear is a great idea. It takes pressure off stretched in-house resources buy applying experts to do the job --- they do it every day.

Containers are too big for the mid-tier, but rack-level integration is available too. This can save a lot of hassles. Converged systems take the idea further, and will provide good platforms for SDS/SDN.

Author

SaneIt... But not VERY wrong in 3 months!

Author

@Sane, the good think about cloud (in theory) is that you can change in three months!

Author

So if I get it right today, it's probably going to be wrong in 3 months?

Ninja

I love the US Navy example. If it's good enough for a nuclear sub ...

Author

Has everyone noticed that Jim has referred to covering several topics in the online discussion? You missed that? It's true! Jim's going to be doing much more than just answering questions here in the discussion: There will be several topics covered in depth here in the discussion section.

Make sure you stick around, and get your questions and comments ready. The class discussion is going to be great, today!

Strategist

Seems like people overestimate the importance of sunk investments vs. the cost of lost opportunities.

Author

I don't think we need to replace Moore's law, some technolgy will out perform.

 

Ninja

Sounds like we need a new Law -- Moore's being overrun.

Author

Happy Monday, @Lorna!

Strategist

Happy Monday everyone

Author

Hi all -Audio is live! If you don't see the audio bar at the top of the screen, please refresh your browser. It may take a couple tries. When you see the audio bar, if it doesn't start automatically, hit the play button. If you experience audio interruptions and are using IE, try using FF or Chrome as your browser. Many people experience issues with IE. Also, make sure your flash player is updated with the current version. Some companies block live audio streams, so if that is the case for your company, the class will be archived on this page immediately following the class and you can listen then. People don't experience any issues with the audio for the archived version.

Apprentice

It's good to see you, @SaneIT!

Strategist

Ready to remove some Chaos...

Ninja

We'd love to have your voice in the class discussion here. To take part, just type your question or comment into the "Your Post" box and then click on the "Post" button below the box. Feel free to introduce yourself before the class starts -- I think you'll find that we're a very friendly learning community here! 

Strategist

Hey, everyone, we're glad you could join us! When the class is scheduled to start, at 2:00 p.m. EDT, an audio player should appear above the "Your Post" window. If it doesn't appear, you might need to refresh your browser until it does. If it appears but doesn't start playing, then you may need to click on the "play" button on the far left of the player. 

Strategist


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