Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Meta-Cloud

There is a buzz around Cloud computing these days. Amazon leads the pack and many start-ups are lapping on to the services offered. However the big question remains, are the enterprises tuning in? Answer is 'Not Yet'.

There are still concerns on the data security, cloud availability (more so after the GFail episode). There are question marks on near infinite storage space claim and the need for maintaining redundant sites for fail over. More so, not all enterprises will be willing to put all their data with a single cloud vendor.. So where do we go from here?

In comes the concept of 'Meta-Cloud'. How about having a service which let's enterprises 'pool infrastructure resources from multiple clouds' - giving you near infinite storage space? How about having a portability layer, which can become a neutral cloud management ? How about having an option to move your data from one cloud to another..seamlessly - ensuring that your infrastructure is available always?

Sounds interesting? keep a watch on the following companies as we will hear more from them in near future
- Elastra
- RightScale
Welcome to the fourth dimension of the cloud.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The 'Azure' Cloud

Yet another cloud over the horizon...

Microsoft has launched it's very own cloud computing platform named Azure. Services being offered by Azure looks promising ..at least to developers at this point. Only time will tell how 'Azure' fares against it's established rivals such as .. 'Amazon Web Services', 'Google App Engine' and 'VMware vCloud'.

For starters, here is a comparison of the services being offered by the above mentioned players in the space of cloud computing. 

Any bets on who would win the race??

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ambassadors and Boundary Spanners

In his last post, renowned Agile guru 'Scott Ambler' introduced two new roles for distributed agile teams e.g. 'Ambassadors' and 'Boundary Spanners'. Here is how he puts it..

Ambassadors are senior technical or business experts who travel between sites to share information between the subteams. Getting the team together at the beginning of the project sets the foundation for communication, but without continual investment in maintaining effective collaboration between teams you run the risk of your subteams deviating from the overall strategy.

Boundary spanners are located on site who focus on enabling communication between subteams as well as within their subteam. There are typically three flavors of boundary spanners—team leaders who take on project management responsibilities on the subteam, product owners who are responsible for representing the business within the subteam, and architecture owners responsible for technical direction on the team. These boundary spanners will work closely with their peers, having regular coordination meetings across all subteams as well as impromptu one-on-one meetings to deal with specific issues.

Does these roles sound familiar? Are we hearing the need for project manager/ coordinator roles in self organizing agile teams?? Does it mean, we need some amount of command and control..even in agile teams???

Seems like Agile methodology is re-inventing itself to infuse best practices of the traditional s/w development methodology.  Distributed development team is a reality these days and it's about time for Agile methodology to do reality check and adapt to the changing needs of IT development......

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Social Proprioception

WordNet defines Proprioception as " the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and it's parts" - ?????- let's keep this in perspective and talk of something more mundane subject 'microblogging' ...la. 'Twitter'.

Since it's launch in mid 2006, Twitter user base has grown exponentially, surpassing the industry benchmark of 1 million users in first year of operation. Looking at the success of Twitter, Microblogging space is seeing a number of new entrants, with notables such as Plurk , Yammer and Pownce...and some newbies such as "Quix" developed by Web 2.0 lab in Tata consultancy services. Most of the social networking sites (like Facebook and Orkut) have added Microblogging component in their sites (e.g as Status bar on user profile).

For the uninitiated..they always wonder ..what's the buzz all about? What is that anybody can achieve by posting or reading all those seemingly incoherent snippets (Twiiter limits your post to 140 characters) describing what people are doing or have been doing?...

As Clive Thompson puts it in his seminal article on Microblogging "Individually, most Twitter messages are stupefyingly trivial. But the true value of Twitter — and the similarly mundane Dodgeball, a tool for reporting your real-time location to friends — is cumulative."

The beauty of microblogging is to limit each post to a certain number of characters. This encourages people to blurt out what they think..or rather helps capturing the current state of mind without any sanitizing. Individually these messages may not mean much, but collectively over a period of time, these posts can give a better understanding of the state of mind or experiences of the person you are following. When you meet such person next time, knowing his/her state of mind through the postings, will automatically create an emotional map of the person and help you adjust your responses in your personal dealings. Being humans, I guess certain traits are hard-wired in our brain...

Putting thing in context, this helps in creating a Social Proprioception..which will play a bigger role in social networking space in coming times. Now the question is how to leverage this concept in the enterprise? Any thoughts?