Virtualisation – Where does the buck stop?

Virtualisation, the foundation for all things cloud and the core to many medium to large enterprise’s infrastructure. There is no shortfall in getting advice from vendors on how and why you should adopt virtualisation across your enterprise. Over the last decade we’ve seen numerous variants to:

  • Server virtualisation.
  • Storage virtualisation.
  • Desktop virtualisation.
  • Application virtualisation.
  • Network virtualisation.

Coupled with combinations of and evolution to, technology vendors are working on software defined networks and virtualised data centres just to further extol the benefits of a software defined world. What is forgotten in all this technical bliss is that at the end of the day, the buck stops somewhere (technically speaking) and someone has to know how it all works so when things go wrong a saviour will come and rescue the situation. As each layer of abstraction is introduced with virtualisation, understanding what it means to the previous layer is important for performance and supportability. Lets briefly explore how virtualisation affects the relationship between technical layers to demonstrate why more than ever, organisations need technical SME’s who can work across the different layers and understand the glue that holds everything together. Continue reading

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Pragmatic Approach to Security

Security, security, security. It keeps CIO’s awake just thinking about it. Just ask the US State Government CIOs. The challenging thing about IT security is that it covers nearly every aspect of IT from design and build around networks, platforms, applications through to threats, risks, mitigations and identity. The good news is that the budget for IT security seems to be on the rise. With all that extra money, the only question worth asking is what to spend it on?

Apart from simply suggesting that the extra cash could be spent on complying with the top cyber intrusion mitigations identified by the Australian Signals Directorate with their Top 4 and their extended Top 35 – as valuable as they are, perhaps those extra funds could be spent on the basics surrounding good design. In this case I’m referring to the pragmatic use of:

  1. Network zones.
  2. Controlled ingress and egress points.
  3. Layered security.
  4. Redundancy in your controls.

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How critical is engagement to the execution of a smooth project?

I’ve noticed that the older I become  more experience I gain the more conscious I am of engaging those around me. I’ve worked with some inspirational colleagues, thought provoking business leaders, architects who could break down a problem 50 ways and so many experts in different fields that one would think when it comes to delivering projects, everything must be rosy. Yet, I’ve also seen many cases where projects grind to a halt for no apparent reason. Now before you jump in and call out the bleating obvious there is always a reason, hear me out.

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