|By Cloud Best Practices Network||
|March 24, 2011 02:36 PM EDT||
The RFP for Elections Canada provides the ideal blueprint for planning the development of Cloud provider services.
It typifies the majority of potential clients that web hosting providers can address, and describes exactly the technical enhancements they're looking for to begin the move from a traditional web hosting approach to a new Cloud computing paradigm, and broader set of MSP services.
Elections Canada is an ideal product development blueprint because they're atypical of the market as a whole. They launched their web presence in the mid 90's with simple HTML, and then began enhancing it with custom .net code to add in more interactive functionality. Since then it's grown organically into an estate of over 16Gb of ASP, HTML pages and 6,500 PDF files. As they state the design of this environment has now remained unchanged for almost 10 years, and so a Cloud computing inspired modernization of the entire approach is what they're looking for.
Thousands of other organizations have undergone exactly the same journey and are currently in the same position, so a solution modelled for one is a product development cycle for them all.
Our Cloud MSP service provides this product innovation as an outsourced function.
Legacy 2 Cloud
As a web site for voter elections, Elections Canada is also the poster child for the core value of a Cloud computing approach. On that one election day their web site receives a spike of traffic that accounts for almost a third of their traffic for the entire year.
Their monthly rate is 200,000 visits but on the polling day this rockets to 700,000 for that one day alone. Out of a total 2.4m hits per annum, almost 30% occur within one day, meaning their web site infrastructure must be large enough able to cater for a traffic ceiling of 700,000 hits, but on every other day experience a demand that is barely 1% of this.
That's a lot of equipment to sit idle for 364 days of the year, and so now they're looking to exploit the Cloud trend and address this. The fundamental value of Cloud computing is of course that its elastic, so they can migrate to an environment that can scale to this level but only when needed on these rare occasions. For the remaining time they only pay for what they use at the much lower levels.
EC states requirements for:
"a computing capacity-on-demand operating model"
"develop cloud computing capabilities; which support not only infrastructure capacity improvements but also provides new and emerging opportunities that leverage application level revitalization using a flexible and dynamic provisioning model"
"develop value-added services to support current and future development projects, pilots, proof-of-concepts and other web business initiatives"
The core hosting requirements are to meet their infrastructure needs. This is a hosted environment of 25 servers, and an additional 7 servers run internally for development staging. This combined farm runs Windows Advanced Server 2000, with another two running HP-UX and Solaris for dissemination server and firewalls, and private VPN connections between data-centres. 22 HP, Cisco and Nokia devices are used for firewalls, load balancing and switching.
DevOps: Web Business Evolution
While Cloud computing will address this core infrastructure need in a more efficient, utility manner, it's the higher layer of the apps they run where the potential lies for strategic differentiation and value add.
This includes smaller app functions, like 'Political parties fiscal returns' and 'Candidates contributions and expenses' through to significant business workflows, like the ENR System - Election Night Results, which manages the process of Returning Officers uploading voting results, and the VIS - Voter Information Service, which enables citizens to self-service their requests for more information on their local activities.
These types of apps demonstrate where the strategic opportunity is for hosting providers. Elections Canada now sees itself as a "web business", meaning their primary business processes are executed through the context of their web site, and they want a new level of platform to enhance this capability.
They describe this as "Web Business Evolution", citing examples of projects they're working including a 'FAST' Project - Field Application Systems Transformation, where new web applications will be deployed to support new ways of working for the Returning Officers, an eRegistration Project where voters can self-service validate their voter registration records, and the big daddy of them all: iVoting - online election voting.
Therefore they're not just in the market for web hosting facilities, but for an entirely new business systems architecture.
Ultimately the key to this requirement is 'DevOps' - An integrated development, operations and quality control framework. Elections Canada describe their vision of this as their Application DEF - Delivery Environment Framework, and how it requires an underlying Multi-Tier System Architecture to be realized.
Via a Web Services Reference Model this will provide the common building block components like Identity Authentication that will underpin these new web applications, and ADC - Application Delivery Controller, that enables this functionality as part of an optimized hardware level capability that also delivers SSL VPN connectivity, L4 load balancing, L7 content switching, XML brokering and an application XML firewall.
Part V - New Services|
Elections Canada states their appetite for these new technologies and furthermore, a much broader suite of services on an ongoing basis that goes well beyond that of web hosting, what would be considered MSP - Managed Service Provider. They start with a high level statement of interest in:
- "advanced data storage capabilities, new telco services, emerging mobile computing platforms".
and follow with a list of other value add services they would consider buying in the future, ranging through managed email and collaboration, content and document management, office productivity tools, file storage and secure remote access, amongst many others.
In short, this Elections Canada RFP represents a complete blueprint for an end-to-end Cloud MSP product strategy.
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 22, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 452
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Oct. 22, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 8,211
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
Oct. 22, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 518
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Oct. 22, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,255
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
Oct. 22, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 705
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Oct. 22, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,411
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service.
Oct. 22, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 930
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Oct. 22, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,756
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Oct. 22, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,098
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Oct. 22, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,256
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 22, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 394
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Oct. 22, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,256
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Oct. 22, 2016 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 11,221
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Oct. 22, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,346
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Oct. 22, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,476
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Oct. 22, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 811
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Oct. 22, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,671
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.
Oct. 22, 2016 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,157
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Oct. 22, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 9,619
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
Oct. 22, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 906