Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Aruna Ravichandran

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: 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 Best Practices Network

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

@CloudExpo Stories
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
As people view cloud as a preferred option to build IT systems, the size of the cloud-based system is getting bigger and more complex. As the system gets bigger, more people need to collaborate from design to management. As more people collaborate to create a bigger system, the need for a systematic approach to automate the process is required. Just as in software, cloud now needs DevOps. In this session, the audience can see how people can solve this issue with a visual model. Visual models ha...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ANSeeN are the measurement electronics maker for X-ray and Gamma-ray and Neutron measurement equipment such as spectrometers, pulse shape analyzer, and CdTe-FPD. For more information, visit http://anseen.com/.
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, will discuss some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he’ll go over some of the best practices for structured team migrat...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
The session is centered around the tracing of systems on cloud using technologies like ebpf. The goal is to talk about what this technology is all about and what purpose it serves. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Shashank Jain, Development Architect at SAP, will touch upon concepts of observability in the cloud and also some of the challenges we have. Generally most cloud-based monitoring tools capture details at a very granular level. To troubleshoot problems this might not be good enough.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they bu...