Webinar: Build, test and deploy mobile apps with back-end mainframe services securely in a hybrid cloud

You may already have a good understanding of the hybrid cloud and its benefits. But how do you get the value of the last three decades of investment in your backend infrastructure into the hands of your end users faster? In this webcast we will demonstrate how you can take advantage of the latest IBM technologies to quickly and easily incorporate your backend services into your mobile applications running on IBM Bluemix. We will also highlight the latest capabilities of IBM DevOps Services (IDS) and IBM Bluemix that support the end-to-end mobile development lifecycle. Join Kristal York, Executive Mobile Strategist, PointSource an IBM Business Partner and Rosalind Radcliffe, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect for CLM and DevOps as they take you on an in-depth tour of the IBM DevOps Services and Bluemix, an open-standard, cloud-based platform for building, managing and running mobile apps that connect with your back-end services securely.   ...

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Survey: Fed gov cloud success hinges on DevOps

A new survey out last week by MeriTalk and Accenture Federal Services shows that the federal government is on the cusp of finally putting its money where its mouth is with regard to cloud and that DevOps will play a big role in the transformation. In fact the government’s cloud success may hinge on DevOps. The survey looked at perceptions of federal IT managers familiar with their agencies’ cloud progress. Many of them report difficulty in gaining cloud momentum, in spite of the fact that 66 percent believe that their agency needs to move IT services to the cloud faster to meet mission and constituent needs. Fewer than half of Federal agencies have made process or policy changes to facilitate successful transitions to the cloud, only 30 percent have made necessary cultural changes and just 28 percent have made organizational changes. What’s more just 12 percent of Feds report their departments ...

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4 Ways the Cloud Has Influenced Applications Troubleshooting

The rise of cloud computing has ushered in an era of unprecedented productivity for developers over the past several years. For those who have embraced this new world order, gone are the days of long lead times for hardware procurement and installation, architecture defined by slow-moving hardware upgrades, hardware-constrained scalability and flexibility, and a world where only sys admins have access to the infrastructure. But, as the barriers between development and delivery disappear, new challenges have emerged that can disrupt the lives of developers and slow down delivery of new products and features, giving back some of the efficiency gains that the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) created. Whether you’re new to the cloud, or you’ve been around since before cloud was cool, you are likely to see four common challenges emerge that can make troubleshooting your applications in the cloud more difficult. Let’s take a closer look at these common ...

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Cyber-Ranges, Cloud Automation and DevOps

Cyber-security testing typifies some of the challenges of converting from traditional to DevOps ways of doing IT.  While cyber security labs and cyber-ranges are often mission-critical investments for organizations that find themselves to be high-value targets for cyber-attacks, too many times cyber-security testing processes are siloed and highly manual.  It’s time for cyber-ranges to move towards DevOps. Cyber-ranges are essentially lab infrastructures that are used for a variety of security-related activities including point product testing, network topology-level testing, and training such as red team/blue team exercises.  While cyber-ranges have typically been used by government and military organizations, increasing numbers of business organizations such as financial institutions and utilities are building these infrastructures to ensure that they are as equipped as possible to anticipate, respond and thwart attacks.  Particularly when the running assumption is that increasingly mobile and porous IT boundaries will inevitably be compromised, the ability to respond rapidly effectively ...

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The 8 “why’s” of Cloud

Myself and the gang have been talking about Cloud a lot recently as we are embarking on a multi-year journey. Cloud is fashionable but is this another cool toy for the techies? As an architect I think the most powerful question in my toolbox is “why”. Why are we doing this? Does it add business value? What are we trying to achieve? As IT folk it’s instinctive to go straight into the “how” but its the “why” that is the really important question. Get that right and how to do it should be relatively easy.  A solution is much easier to put in place if you’ve really captured and understood what it is you are trying to accomplish. I think there are 8 reasons why companies commonly move the Cloud – I’m specifically thinking about IaaS and PaaS here but I guess this also could apply to SaaS in parts. Scale  ...

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Cloud or In-house with Chris Kinsman, Part 2

I sat down last week with Chris Kinsman, Chief Architect at PushSpring and a 20+ year veteran of software development, to talk about the factors that go into deciding when to migrate to the cloud. In Part 2 of our conversation we talked about the resistance and arguments against moving to the cloud. Once again I’ll let Chris do most of the talking: “What I struggle with is those companies who are trying to decide whether they go to the cloud or not even attempt it. For someone starting out, I don’t think there’s any choice – unless there is one specific requirement that pushes you out of the cloud. Or, and this is a little different, they may be evaluating a new project in an existing company. If you’re an existing company that has in-house already – whether it’s co-location or your own data center and you’re already invested ...

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Three tips for maximizing efficiency in the age of the hybrid cloud environment

Today’s organizations are achieving many benefits from using virtual computing resources, including increased flexibility, scalability, and accessibility. The adoption of the cloud as an addition to legacy systems has changed the way many companies use IT resources, allowing them to scale quickly and efficiently to meet fast-changing business needs. These hybrid solutions, where companies retain some on-premise functions while moving much of their data and processes to the cloud, are more common than ever. Along with the benefits of using the cloud, however, come significant challenges for the IT organization in terms of managing and monitoring systems. When pairing legacy infrastructures with cloud computing environments, data center operators and IT organizations run into difficulties when the hardware-based environment  (employing older technologies) takes a “bottom up” approach to policies and the cloud environment takes a “top down,” application-centric approach. In this scenario, delivery of services can be interrupted, quality of service ...

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Are VMs becoming El Caminos?

In 2010, it looked as if virtualization had won. We expected all servers to virtualize workloads and the primary question was which cloud infrastructure manager would dominate. Now in 2015, the picture is not as clear. I’m seeing a trend that threatens the “virtualize all things” battle cry. Really, it’s two intersecting trends: metal is getting cheaper and easier while container orchestration is advancing on rockets. If metal can truck around the heavy stable workloads while containers zip around like sports cars, that leaves VMs as a strange hybrid in the middle. What’s the middle? It’s the El Camino, that notorious discontinued half car, half pick-up truck. The explosion of interest in containerized workloads (I know, they’ve been around for a long time but Docker made them sexy somehow) has been creating secondary wave of container orchestration. Five years ago, I called that Platform as a Service (PaaS) but this ...

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Migrating to the Cloud? Some practical advice

Oh if the world was only Greenfields. If everything was new and we didn’t have to worry about legacy systems, what a wonderful world it would be. But that is not the way of it unfortunately. More times than not using the cloud for our applications and infrastructure means migrating some existing infrastructure from an on premises install up to the cloud. How do you do that successfully? You have to break some eggs to make an omelet, but migrating to the cloud isn’t like whipping up breakfast. We can’t afford down time, broken links or broken apps. As more and more apps are moved to the cloud, a solid process needs to be put in place. I asked a few people I know to help me put together a checklist of things to consider and do in moving from on prem to the cloud or more likely deploying a ...

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5 Ways to Connect with me at IBM InterConnect2015

Well, I am an IBMer and going to IBM InterConnect2015 is a part of my job. And the best part about this event is that I will get the opportunity to meet all my clients and colleagues at one location instead of going to three different conference events which we use to call PULSE, IMPACT and INNOVATE. And for our clients, this is an opportunity to really get the broadest and deepest immersion into what IBM has to offer for cloud, mobile, bigdata, security etc.. and of course DevOps. That being said, I am really looking forward to it. By every measure it is going to be the largest DevOps conference ever with 300+ sessions just focused on DevOps. Although, InterConnect as a whole is not a DevOps conference – it has several areas of foci, across IBM’s massive and diverse portfolio. DevOps just happens to be one of the ...

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