There’ll be a flood or a drought. and everyone will blame me for it.

Thanks to the power of nature, most of the Toronto area got a bit of a taste of what our friends out in Alberta dealt with a few weeks ago.  Not as extreme, but with a blackout that took out a good chunk of power to the suburbs for a few hours, and a downtown core still cleaning up all the water damage, it’s a great time to discuss disaster recovery and telecommuting. Continue reading

Please, Captain, not in front of the Klingons.

Technology Tuesday is upon us once again, and while I was hoping to use it to get the word out about a bunch of other cool stuff that is going on to contribute to the Cloud-scape, especially in Security, I decided with the Olympics underway, it was a good time to shine the light on what Canada is up to. Continue reading

The wonderful world of space travel… The prettier it looks, the more likely it is to kill you.

Today’s post has less to do with Cloud than it has to do with how technology in general is changing things. Those of you who have the joy of putting up with me in real life know that I do a lot of work with various musicians, and so following the music industry trends as they relate to cloud has been a hobby of mine.

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There is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in pie. There’s an “I” in meat pie. The anagram of meat is team… I don’t know what he’s talking about

As some of you know, I also do blogging and posting for a few other sites, just as a way to spread the word about my blog and such. On one of the sites, Juniper’s Champion Community, there was a thread on Microsoft’s new So.Cl. It’s a new social media site, but while many might dismiss it as another attempt to compete with the large sites like Facebook and LinkedIN, if you look at it in the right way, you see it’s actually going to be a brilliant move.
Some history, Microsoft’s FUSE Labs created this project to “let you use search to express and share ideas through beautiful story collages.”. They explain:


  • is for anyone who has something to say – richly, simply, elegantly.
  • helps you create rich stories (posts) by making it easy to assemble and share collages of web content
  • helps you discover people with like interests, and discover interests shared by people you like

The site launched back in May and is still waiting to pick up steam. But when it comes down to it, So.Cl is the more important of the social media sites.
The aim of So.Cl is to share information to essentially connect the world through the internet. We’ve all seen how the Internet, in particular social media, has sped up and increased the reach of information. By leveraging data from searches, they can connect like-minded people faster, spurring new ways of connecting through shared interests.

But it goes beyond this. By expanding it to the realm of things like science, we can connect experts in all kinds of fields and accelerate the speed of innovation. This means that through these new types of connections we can share research and information in ways we never have before and collaborate on projects with more distributed groups.

I sincerely hope these types of projects get traction. Just think of the possibilities such as the eradication of diseases because scientists are able to share their work with others researching the same things. It’s win-win.

Ever heard of a place, I think it’s called Norway? That was one of mine, I got an an award for it.

As someone who is a huge fan of cloud-storage as a way to access files across multiple devices, it’s always been a tricky conversation knowing that these types of services are also a huge back-door from a security perspective. Cloud-storage services like iCloud and Dropbox fill a need in the marketplace and are a great tool for sharing files across multiple devices, but since they leverage cloud storage, aren’t very secure and pose a huge DLP risk for corporations. So I was a little skeptical when I came across a new solution called Polkast, but I think it is exactly the type of solution that might address the security aspect of the conversation. Continue reading

I’ll be honest with you, I love his music. I do. I’m a Michael Bolton fan. For my money, I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings “When a Man Loves a Woman”.

I recently came across a post that probably caught a lot of attention from IT folks. It basically talked about the death of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The ironic thing is that IaaS is one of the most (if not THE most) available cloud services available. So why the little love for such a service? If you ask me, it’s because it’s like being half-pregnant. This is why.

So what are the main reasons for organizations to adopt cloud? Cost is a big one, since yes, if you subscribe to a service you save all the nasty upfront purchase fees, leverage OPEX over CAPEX and don’t have to worry about care and feeding costs (power, cooling, etc). The other reason is that organizations just want to outsource their storage and computing power to eliminate the hassles of managing it in-house.

So if you follow the logic, why are these organizations looking at IaaS? They still would need to be responsible for security, care and feeding of the O/S and programs. You’ve actually complicated things a little bit as the servers are off-site. Why wouldn’t you then just upgrade to Platform as a Service (PaaS), have the cloud provider handle all the security and compliance (written into the SLA ofcourse) and just worry about the actual programs running on the cloud boxes? Doesn’t it make more sense to delegate more of the responsibility to maintain the computing environment to the provider and make it easier on your IT team to take care of all the other IT tasks that are more business-focused such as upgrading billing systems or customer centric services?

Don’t get me wrong. There are some great cases for IaaS, but I just don’t understand why this type of service has become the dominant one when PaaS and SaaS makes more sense to me. Any ideas?

Bill, you’re gonna have to come up with a better pickup line because asking her her SAT score is NOT going to do it!

Yesterday Microsoft started to announce more details about its new Surface tablet PCs. Since I first came across the Surface table (remember that cool device that we expected to see pop up in all creative shops?) I, along with a good chunk of the market expected a quicker play from the MS folks. But is it too late for them?

I have to admit it, when it comes down to the whole Apple vs Microsoft thing, I have to root for the latter. I always love companies that do something for society aside from take their money for new gadgets. Microsoft donates more money to supporting charity and advancing cures for many diseases than most people are aware of. But there is more to it. Microsoft deserves a nice comeback. Here’s why.

Microsoft has always been an innovation company. They just unfortunately had a rough time finding the creative to join their cause. It’s like Pixar (yes, I know Mr. Jobs had his fingers in there), where you had creative on one side, and technology on the other, and they finally brought them together. Microsoft needs this. They need some really good backers from an innovation side to help them realize their products.

Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft has the right products, but if I was them….this is what I would do. First, since sadly the producers of BlackBerry mobile devices has stepped away, now might be a good time for Microsoft to talk to RIM and start to see what partnerships they can build. Think of your typical office, everyone for the most part (even cloud based organizations) use some Microsoft product. What if Blackberry products were redesigned to have better native integration with the Microsoft software family (Office, Office 365, Windows, etc), since it really would be nice to just be able to use PPT on our tablets, right?

There is a good market for Microsoft devices, large corporations who like standardization have lots to benefit from the flexibility that a Microsoft tablet would provide. Microsoft should look at the business market for tablets and phones. It’s not sexy, ofcourse not. But until they can prove that they have a solid case of adoption from business users, attempting to take a chunk from the Android vs Apple tablet market is risky. Android is already proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the mobile phone market, but what Android lacks is better utility from a software side. There still really isn’t decent productivity software like MS Office. So maybe an Android partnership would benefit as well.

In either case, I would honestly love to see Microsoft pull a stunt like the old days and climb back up to the top of the mountain. Apple’s time of innovation might slowly be creeping up to an end, so now is the perfect time to repeat history with Microsoft back to calling the shots.

The laptop situation really only affects you, whereas the White Castle situation affects us both equally.

I’ve written previously about the risks and benefits of vendor consolidation, and yesterday I came across another blog entry about the same topic over on VMware’s blog.  As cloud and virtualization force organizations to review their internal IT strategy, the idea of vendor consolidation gets pushed to the forefront.  Continue reading

You guys both got to stop perpetuating this myth that Boba Fett is some kind of bad-ass. All right? He has a jet pack. So did the Rocketeer.

Over the last week I’ve been focusing on catching up on my vendor reading and seeing what everyone has been up to. As a creature of habit, I must admit it was tempting to catch up on security news first and foremost, but I also wanted to start looking at new areas of cloud (well, for me anyway), particularly around collaboration and social media. Continue reading

Oh, I think the explanation might be you’ve been fooled by a simple olfactory misdirection, a little bit like ventriloquism of the nose

There are two sides to almost every part of cloud, and for me, one of the biggest two sided coins is data mining. It’s impossible to exist in any form online without mass amounts of data being tracked and mined in the back-end. It’s a scary thing. While there are great free services like Google and Facebook, we all know that in return for these services we pay with our privacy. Other companies pay these service providers to make me a target for their ads based. And with more and more software and services placed in the cloud, the desire for companies to leverage these services as a source of data to help drive revenue will become more invasive. But there is an upside (in my opinion) to data mining, an upside that could help mankind advance through leaps and bounds. This upside is in science. Continue reading