Welcome!

Search Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Lacey Thoms

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, GovIT

Cloud Expo: Article

DevOps: Enabling Web Business Evolution

The RFP for Elections Canada provides the ideal blueprint for planning the development of Cloud provider services.

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.

Their site operates through a variety of custom software modules being developed, predominately on .net, C# and Javascript, and not only does it cater for the main web site but also a number of specific business processes for how the organization works too.

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 Stories By Cloud Ventures

The Cloud Ventures Network is an expert community of leading Cloud pioneers. Follow our best practice blogs at http://CloudBestPractices.net

@ThingsExpo Stories
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...