Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Astadia CloudGPS

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Ethics of Cloud Computing - Part 2 | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

This failure brought down the entire system and impacted several customers in significant ways

This is part two in a three part series. To read Part One, click here.

Firms also have the moral duty to be honest with the customers regarding security policies, and at times, even system architecture. Many years ago I once found myself in the unfortunate circumstance where a company I was working with had poorly designed network architecture with a massive single point of failure. Eventually, this single point of failure failed in a spectacular way.

This failure brought down the entire system and impacted several customers in significant ways. After the mad scramble to get the system back up and running, it was important for me to visit affected customers to discuss 1) what happened, 2) why it happened and 3) what our plans were to prevent such a failure in the future.

I recall some internal conversations about how to present this information to customers and some were in favor of, not exactly lying, but certainly being misleading so as to obscure the fact our system had such a gaping design flaw to begin with.  I opposed this approach because not only did I feel it was important to be completely honest with customers as a matter of course, but also because our customers were not stupid. While they may not have known specifics, they knew that such a massive failure had to be result of poor design. So any misleading "spin" would not only be immoral in itself, it would also erode trust with customers because they would know we were obfuscating.

The situation I describe above also highlights another ethical principle essential to IT operations. When service providers offer a service that is business-critical for their customers, they have a moral duty to design a system based on IT best practices so as to minimize disruptions and enable fast recovery. Firms who fail to do this are betraying the trust of their customers. Of course, some services are intentionally not built as business-critical with guaranteed uptime of five nines. At times, redundancy, backups, etc., are actually a hindrance to the performance of a system and are not essential. In such cases, service providers must clearly communicate this to customers and outline, precisely, what responsibilities the customer is assuming in terms of backup, redundancy, etc.

Broadly speaking, cloud services providers have a moral duty, similar to, but somewhat distinct from members of the customer IT operations team. That duty is to be responsive.  It is easy for service providers to fall into the trap of thinking that since they provide a self-service product wherein customers can generally manage and resolve many challenges unaided. In such situations it is tempting to focus primarily, if not solely, on the needs of the biggest accounts. There is sense to this as most often, larger accounts pay for certain levels of support and responsiveness; something smaller accounts often forego. However, service providers must not forget that while a major outage impacts larger customers, so also do outages impact the one-person IT consultancy shop who's sole-proprietor may be working to support a family, pay into a college fund, or plan for retirement. Outages impact everyone, bit or small; regardless of the nature of the business.

Of course, it would be impossible to large service providers to have 1:1 contact with all customers at all times. Therefore, meeting the needs of all customers is not just a matter of having a responsive customer service or support department. Proper customer support begins with proper product design. And this is a never-ending challenge; to design a product that is easy to use and easy to troubleshoot. This, specifically, is where documentation becomes vitally important for a firm seeking to ensure customer success. There is no such thing as a "perfect" product or an ideal service. All products have "undocumented features" and odd quirks. Their existence is to be expected.  However, service providers have it within their power to properly document system or product oddities and to highlight workarounds to aid in getting around existing product or service deficiencies.

In short, service providers have a responsibility to make their customers-big or small-successful. There are a myriad of ways this can be accomplished through proper communication, effective product design, and documentation. No customer, due to their size, should feel less important or less valued than larger customers. Taking care of all customers is not just a moral good, it's also good for business. Small customers often become large customers and if a service provider has established trust and credibility with these customers, they can expect long-term, and mutually-beneficial relationships with their customers.

This is part two in a three-part series. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into ethical and moral philosophy, and then how to put these ethics into practice.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Skytap Blog

Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

@CloudExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Any startup has to have a clear go –to-market strategy from the beginning. Similarly, any data science project has to have a go to production strategy from its first days, so it could go beyond proof-of-concept. Machine learning and artificial intelligence in production would result in hundreds of training pipelines and machine learning models that are continuously revised by teams of data scientists and seamlessly connected with web applications for tenants and users.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are an IT services solution provider and we sell software to support those solutions. Our focus and key areas are around security, enterprise monitoring, and continuous delivery optimization," noted John Balsavage, President of A&I Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
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...
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit 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. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-securit...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, 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 Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of 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. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...