Monday, April 27, 2009

09NTC Notes From 04/27/09: Cloud Computing 101

Cloud Computing 101 04/27/09

"Cloud computing is the “new” new wave of information technology. It promises lower costs, faster “time to market,” greater flexibility, and improved efficiency. Some claim it will also help you win friends, lose weight, and freshen your breath. What’s hype versus true value for nonprofits? How much can cloud computing actually deliver? Leading cloud computing experts will lay out the basics, wring fact from fiction, discuss cloud computing’s impact on mission-based organizations, and show how it can work for you. Takeaways: 1. What is cloud computing? 2. Why should nonprofits care about cloud computing? 3. Who are the premier cloud computing vendors? 4. How should nonprofits make the leap into the clouds?"

idealist guys

the term is used and abused quite a bit, and it has it's own meaning in the context on npo's

cloud computing: dynamically scalable resources provided as a service over the internet

"like owning a car vs. leasing a car"

applications, platform, service

context: moving into this environment, so many benefits came up from mainframe to client servers to the cloud platforms
amazon, google,, windowsAzure, facebook, (um wikis)

particularly good cloud services offer open APIs that can be customized and used by others. these APIs act as as doorways between the platforms
successful cloud computing involves APIs, customization

Cloud Computing Costs less because:
-data back ups not required
-access anywhere in the world
-intermingle hardware (mac, PC, linux, etc.)
-intermingle software
-upgrades are automated

Flexibility- scale up & down with mission and org needs, staff needs (pricing models really accommodate this)
Choice- a la carte style service packages
Capacity- skills needed are closer to your mission
Security- more is putting into these platforms to have state-of-the-art security (think like gmail's spam filter)
Upgrades- automated, driven
Ongoing Investment- R&D is driven by many many clients

do your research on a solution and read reviews from objective sources like nten, techsoup, idealware

Does cloud computing replace custom VPN solutions? time to re-evaluate whether or not you own the responsibility for your own server... the whole point is that you don't have to manage, own, or fix the problems with your hardware, software, whole systems really

thousands of nonprofits are already in the cloud. they see a lot using google products

getting into the cloud:

strategic planning
understand your business process
assess your capacity, budget & must-haves
review options, trials, nten, techsoup, idealweare
engage with a partner if/as necessary

business process is really key

cloud-based backup. people love mozy a lot

helps you leverage your IT staff better, put them onto better projects, training, etc. (don't most IT guys hate being sysadmins?) so true that npos are already bare bones when it comes to IT staff & resources

this makes me think about questions about medical health records- HIPPA and security. this will be a huuuuuge issue, especially with current administration wanting to streamline HRE's
so, do we suggest to npo's that they join the cloud rather than invest in their own solutions? start to look at major cloud computing vendors, not sure open source is really getting into this at a fast enough pace:

cloud vs. outsourcing, hmmmmmm

seems interesting that we haven't talked about open source platforms in the cloud, very product-based? what does this reflect on the open source field?

I think of wikis as ultimate clouds

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