[irq]: techie interrupted

17/05/2010

“ The Service Measurement Index (SMI) is a standard method for measuring the end-to-end consumer experience for any number of IT services. The SMI Framework is designed to help organizations measure any number of IT services available to them, regardless of whether that service is internally provided or sourced from an outside company, and permits weightings of importance based upon the organization’s requirements as to what defines a good service. From procurement and ongoing service levels, to business viability and security, the SMI Framework provides a holistic view into the entire customer experience for cloud service providers in six primary areas: Quality, Agility, Risk, Capability, Cost and Security. Users of the SMI Framework can not only compare cloud service vendors based on their specific business and technology requirements, they can also make dynamic, real-time decisions on where to best migrate an application. The Framework provides a single, standard way to evaluate, monitor and implement services demanded by the business. The framework was created by CA. and is, independently developed and run by a consortium of academic institutions and representatives of business and government. „

About SMI - Cloud Commons

Oh.. this is a good idea. CA not being an cloud provider provider can actually do this without all the askance looks that IBM or AMZ or etc would set off. CA is the only bigtechco in the cloud space I’ve seen that has been really really good at maintaining focus on their core value prop, which conveniently happens to apply very well to every part of the cloud conversation.

Even if SMI doesn’t become a de facto standard, the idea will stick. And it will be something both needed and used by brokerages and exchanges for cloudy services in the future (see this, this, and this). What’s great about CA’s approach is that it starts with the idea that these kinds of data and metrics should be public.

03/05/2010

16/04/2010

“ I think the next logical place will be the computing sandbox. This is a place for production workloads that need to be put up quickly – a stand-alone web server, a short-running computational task, a pilot project. “I need it NOW.” The sandbox will especially be the place to put a workload prior to full production deployment internally, but when it needs to go up fast – and when external deployment (in the “public cloud”) isn’t appropriate for one reason or another. Sandboxes can have different operational rules than normal production workloads. For example, perhaps it is a short-term “lease” and expires after thirty days. Perhaps the software is never maintained or patched during that window. Perhaps there is no backup or disaster recovery in place for those workloads. Perhaps security coverage is limited. While a workload is running in a sandbox, the administrivia required to get appropriate approvals and fulfill organizational process requirements can be finished in parallel. „

The Private Cloud Sandbox

It’s a way to give a BU agility while production-level processes grind along. And it’s a way to give something that a BU may only need to exist temporarily a legitimate place to reside. This is something I’ve asked for more than once in the various roles I’ve held in the past.

“ Basically all the features of RSS attached to a tweet, with the same ability for ad hoc expansion. Very interesting computer science with, imho and if there are no brick walls, and if it performs reasonably well, infinite possibility for new apps. Once again, something worth getting excited about in TwitterLand. First time in a long time. „

Greetings from Des Moines! (Scripting News) (via fred-wilson)

That’s Fred quoting Dave Winer.

My first thought was, why is twitter reinventing rss. My next thought was: asynchronous messaging.

A few years back, IBM Research did a bunch of work on synch-asych collaboration environments (like Loops and Babble). What got me going about it was the notion of semi-permanence similar to irc.

Asynch messaging with payloads, any to any, subscription based is a very powerful distribution and consumption model for just about everything.. but it could get very interesting when added to the consumability of twitter as a communications medium.

13/04/2010

ui4grandma and apple

Over the years, I’ve tried to teach my grandmother to use various computers, laptops, and cell phones.. with little to no success.

Facts:
- english is her 4th or 5th language
- she hasn’t had much schooling
- her formative years were in a developing country (suffering bits of strife, early on)
- her first personal exposure to computer use was at grandma age


Result:
- our interface metaphors are completely useless to her

So I got to thinking about what it would take to make a ui my grandmother could use.

Thoughts:
- no files: just tools/apps which find + organize contents (wtf format those come in)—itunes, picasa, etc model
- no exposure of the filesystem: no folders, no browsing into file structures, etc
- more accurate feedback: tactile or audio feedback accurate to real action being metaphored by the ui must be synched to visual feedback
- larger tolerances for what constitutes item selection + action (fine motor skills, not so much)
- no menus
- less distractions: wallpapers + window-dressing-flashy-bs-visual-effects have to go away
- no more clicking: the whole clicking (left, right, middle, double, triple, blah blah blah) paradigm has to go away



And then came the iPad.. which got me thinking.

There’s exactly 1 thing that matters about the iPad/iPhone/etc: the interface. Nothing else. The rest is product development. The interface is a strategy. No other tech company gets this. At least not at scale.

10/04/2010

foregoing the disadvantages of size

I’ve been processing a lot about the last two articles I quoted from Hamel’s WSJ blog re how Gore operates..

- Gary Hamel: Lessons from a Middle-Aged Revolutionary at W.L. Gore - Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 - WSJ
- Gary Hamel: Gore-Tex maker W.L. Gore CEO Terri Kelly’s Management Lessons - Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 - WSJ

In my admittedly short career (just over 10yrs) so far, every observation I’ve ever made has led me to the conclusion that size is a fundamental competitive disadvantage [though not necessarily a fatal one]. Why? Because to make size manageable, we typically arrive at a series of abstractions in the form of: process, bureaucracy, hierarchy, etc. This creates a large opportunity space for mistakes, disconnection from reality, safety from the negative consequences of decisions, general incompetence, gerrymandering, insularity, etc.

Particularly in the services business.

Over the years I’ve devised different schemes of creating smallness within the services enterprise. The same basic premise is apparent in such varying things as the locavore movement, “think global act local” campaigns, microfinancing, etc. Unfortunately though, I’ve never been able to convince anyone. “It’s a nice idea, but…” is always how the excuses begin.

Gore figured it out and actually built an organization to operate that way. Proof that it works and scales. Now only if I was interested in what they do. Or if I was interested in starting a company vs just operating one.

01/04/2010

code performance per watt

When will ppl start measuring code performance per watt? Heavy code that inefficiently uses resources can eat up hw + power.

Can that happen before total hardware commoditization and power optimization? Can enterprise software makers producing the largest, heaviest, cruftiest code use that as a selling point?


On tumblr, Jonathan asked: Do you think that should reflect in TCO calculations?

I guess that depends on the actual impact one could conceivably calculate—but if I was an enterprise IT manager, I’d eventually want to figure it out as a lever against all the crap software that gets made for.

If I was a vendor, I’d want to use it as a selling point. But that really depends on understanding the cost of producing resource efficient code, which probably has a point on a curve beyond which greater efficiency costs exponentially more.

19/03/2010

A slide from my Cloud Perspectives preso about what different people mean when they use various cloudy terms and why you should really just ignore the term and focus on the concept.

A slide from my Cloud Perspectives preso about what different people mean when they use various cloudy terms and why you should really just ignore the term and focus on the concept.

Cloud Perspectives

What makes up the cloud depends on your perspective(s): who you are, who you serve, who serves you. Are you a cloud user, cloud provider, cloud hw/sw/etc vendor or some mix of the three?

This is v1.. I’m not wholly convinced of the specifics, but I am convinced of the principle and it’s utter obviousness.

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