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The Open Group Conference San Diego
Highlights of Day 3


The Open Group Conference San Diego 2011 continued on Wednesday, February 9 at the Marriott San Diego Mission Valley. The Conference gathered to discuss themes along three primary tracks:

  • Architecting cybersecurity
  • Enterprise architecture and business transformation
  • The business and financial impact of Cloud Computing
There were no plenary sessions on Day Three, although there was an emphasis on Cloud Computing throughout the day's track sessions, culminating in an evening CloudCamp.

Parallel Tracks

Cloud as an Internet (Enterprise) Architecture
Stuart Boardman, Senior Business Consultant; Getronics Consulting, Netherlands

Senior business consultant Stuart Boardman began the session by stating that Cloud solutions are, in many ways, significantly different from those used within traditional enterprises. He went on to say that Cloud affects not only IT, but the enterprise architecture as a whole, as this change is driving change within the enterprise. It is forcing architects to rethink how they build and model their frameworks, and how they need to look beyond the traditional boundaries of an organization and take into account the continued growth of the extended enterprise and the influence of Web 2.0.

Stuart shared the example of Apple and its App Store, arguing that the App Store changed consumer behavior and created a completely new revenue stream for Apple. He drew a similar comparison to Cloud, stating that it has the same potential to be another disruptor because of its transformative potential. However, he cautioned that architects need to work out how to build the Cloud with certainty, before making a wholesale move to the Cloud.

Cloud Computing requires Enterprise Architecture and TOGAF® 9 Can Show the Way
Serge Thorn, CIO, Architecting the Enterprise, UK

Serge noted Tuesday's announcement of the trademark registration for TOGAF®, saying that he had to change the title of his presentation because of it. This out of the way, he stated that Cloud Computing may be a fit for an enterprise when the core of its internal enterprise architecture is mature. Conversely, he warned against adopting Cloud Computing when the core internal enterprise architecture is immature. He defined an immature architecture as:

  • Business, application, and architectures are tightly coupled
  • Low level of interoperability defined
  • High level of security required
  • Applications that have IPAs which have proprietary interfaces
  • Legacy solutions

He then discussed the importance of due diligence when an architect adopts any technology in regards to the Cloud. He stated that architects must develop a strategy and research things such as scope of impact, governance, principles, frameworks, and tools, among others. The architect must also consider what type of Cloud, public or private, the enterprise wants to adapt and base its strategy around that decision. He then went on to discuss the 8 phases (A-G) of TOGAF® and what an architect must focus on during each step.

Architecting the Cloud: Lessons Learned through Real-World Case Studies
Steve Else, CEO, EA Principals, US

Steve stated that the attractiveness of Cloud solutions is largely based around the zero-capital cost associated with it, but it involves fundamentally different architecture principles and approaches. Before adopting Cloud, architects must consider:

  • Questions of feasibility
  • Green-field versus brown-field situations
  • Cost/benefit analyses
  • Risk management
  • Analyses of alternatives
  • Governance and roles & responsibilities

Cloud Computing has a zero-capital cost, eliminating the need to build a strategy. This means that the amount of time and money, among other resources, will be greatly reduced to the point where a “trial and error” approach may be easier and more efficient than actually mapping out an implementation strategy. Depending on the situation, this may force architects to take a vastly different approach from what they’re used to.

Steve then went on to discuss many case studies that varied from an enterprise leveraging existing Cloud applications like CRM on to an air traffic organization moving to a private Cloud.

He concluded by sharing some recommendations when architecting the Cloud:

  • Assess Cloud readiness for an organization first
  • Accomplish an analysis of alternatives in light of desired target state
  • Prioritize to identify low-hanging fruit first
  • Gather requirements for target Cloud deployment
  • Accomplish a proof-of-concept, leveraging the metrics possible in the Cloud for refinements of the solution architecture

Security Scenarios for Cloud Computing
Omkhar Arasaratnam, IBM and Stuart Boardman, Getronics

Omkhar and Stuart began the session by restating the SOA and Cloud Computing Work Group’s assertion that Cloud Computing is not an architectural style: it’s a delivery model. Like many of the other sessions during this Conference, the presenters stressed the need to clearly define terms and actors within security and Cloud Computing. They urged the audience to define:

  • Buyer
  • Seller
  • End user
  • Service provider
  • Provider-consumer
  • Aggregator

The presenters also encouraged the audience to ask questions in regards to policies, responsibility, and accountability. What will happen in a buyer-centric data protection scenario? What about in a seller-centric or a co-operative scenario?

They concluded the presentation by stating that there is no specific rule pertaining to responsibility for security in Cloud. Buyers must proactively determine how sellers will or won’t adopt their policies, and they need to implement compensating controls or accept the risk of adopting the seller’s security policy.

Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Computing, and the US Federal Government
Ed Harrington, Principal Consultant, Architecting the Enterprise, US

Ed began the presentation by discussing the fundamental shift away from the efficiency and automation of processes towards business agility and the management of complexity. He then went on to discuss the importance of enterprise architecture and SOA when implementing Cloud Computing, stating that enterprise architecture provides a flexible and scalable platform for delivering services, while SOA is the foundation for Cloud. SOA provides a layered architecture of services, facilitating service identification, applying appropriate governance, and guiding decisions around service sourcing.

In order to succeed with Cloud implementation, Ed stated that Cloud must be approached as any other major change initiative would and encouraged architects to categorize capabilities and services. A portfolio management approach is recommended to identify services, characterize each service, and determine the best method for obtaining each service. He also stressed governance as a critical factor to Cloud service success.

Enterprise architecture can bring clarity to Cloud Computing decisions by providing structure and comprehensive method to elucidate and clarify performance, cost, security, risk, governance regulatory compliance, management, and best practices. He also stated that the US government is pro-Cloud Computing as long as it is architected, due to the fact that architects can leverage their communications and analysis skills before or during implementation.

Ed concluded by sharing recommendations when thinking about adopting Cloud Computing:

  • Don’t rush out to buy – even with the “Cloud-first” directive
  • If Cloud seems to be a fit, what is the most viable deployment (public, private, community, hybrid)
  • Re-evaluate your risk management in light of the additional considerations invoked by going to the Cloud: security, compliance, monitoring, measuring, and operational dependencies
  • Create air-tight SLAs that meet the organization's requirements through governance

Panel Discussion: Do Different Industries Need Different Kinds of Cloud?
Host: Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions & ZDNet Blogger

Analyst and blogger Dana Gardner led this panel discussion by first introducing the distinguished panelists which included:

  • Penelope Gordon, Co-Founder, 1Plug Corporation
  • Mark Skilton, Director, Portfolio and Solutions, Global Infrastructure Services, Capgemini
  • Ed Harrington, Principal Consultant, Architecting the Enterprise, US
  • Tom Plunkett, Senior Solution Consultant, Oracle
  • TJ Virdi, Computing Architect, CAS IT System Architecture, Boeing

The panel dove into the topic of whether different forms of Cloud Computing are appropriate to different industry sectors, since it has been suggested that take-up of Cloud Computing is slower in some industry sectors, such as financial, than others, such as automotive or government.

Dana and the panel talked about the current break-down of Cloud types and how various factors can drive Cloud adoption. Other topics included:

  • Heterogeneous versus homogenous
  • Private, public, and hybrid Clouds
  • When enterprises should seek custom implementations
  • Hybrid computing
  • How enterprise architects understand the use of Cloud as it relates to their organization
  • The role of architects in Cloud implementation
The podcast will be posted on Dana's ZDNet and Briefings Direct blogs following the conference, so please keep an eye out for it to listen to the complete discussion.

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