Service Technology Symposium 2012 – Talks update 2

Your security guy knows nothing

This talk focused on the changes to security / security mindsets required by the move to cloud hosted or hybrid architectures.  The title was mainly as an attention grabber, but the talk overall was interesting and made some good points around what is changing, but also the many concerns that are still basically the same.

Security 1.0

–          Fat guy with keys; IT focused; “You can’t do that”; Does not understand software development.

Security 2.0

–          Processes and gates; Tools and people; Good for Building; Not as good for acquiring / mashing

Traditional security wants certainty –

–          Where is the data? – in transit, at rest, and in use.

–          Who is the user?

–          Where are our threats?

What happens to data on hard drives of commodity nodes when the node crashes or the container is shipped back to the manufacturer from the CSP?  (data at rest etc.).  The new world is more about flexible controls and polices than some of the traditional, absolute certainties.

Security guys want to manage and understand change;

–          Change control process

–          Risk Management

–          Alerts when things change that affect the risk profile

Whole lifecycle – security considered from requirements onwards, not tacked onto end of process..  This for me is a key point for all security functions and all businesses.  If you want security to be ingrained in the business, effective, and seen as an enabler of doing things right rather than a blocker at the end, it must always be incorporated into the whole lifecycle.

Doing it right – Business –Development – Security – Working together..


–          Render the Implicit Explicit

  • Assets
  • Entitlements
  • Goals
  • Controls
  • Assumptions


–          Include security in design

  • Even in acquisition
  • Even in mash ups

–          Include security in requirements / use cases

–          Identify technical risks

–          Map technical risks to business risks (quantify in money where possible)

–          Trace test cases

  • Not just to features
  • But also to risks (non functional requirements!)


–          Provide fodder (think differently, black hat / hacker thinking)

–          Provide alternative reasoning

–          Provide black hat mentality

–          Learn to say “yes”

–          Provide solutions, not limitations!

Goal – Risk management

Identify how the business is affected?

–          Reputation

–          Revenue

–          Compliance

–          Agility

What can techies bring to the table?

–          Estimates of technical impact

–          Plausible scenarios

–          Black Hat thinking

 Compliance – does not equal – Security!

–          Ticking boxes – does not equal – Security!

So the key take away points from this are that regardless of the changes to what is being deployed –

 – Work together

– Involve security early

– Security must get better at saying ‘yes, here’s how to do it securely’ rather than ‘no’

No PDF of this presentation is currently available.


Moving applications to the cloud

This was another Gartner presentation that covered some thoughts and considerations when looking at moving existing applications / services to the cloud.


–          What are our options?

–          Can we port as is, or do we have to tune for the cloud (how much work involved?)

–          Which applications / functions do we move to the cloud?


–          Which vendor?

–           IaaS, PaaS, SaaS…?

–          How – rehost – refactor – revise – rebuild – replace – which one?

  • Rehost or replace most common, quickest and likely cheapest / easiest

You need to have a structured approach to cloud migrations, likely incorporating the following 3  stages;

–          Identify candidate apps and data

  • Application and data-portfolio management
  • Apps and data rationalisation
  • Legacy modernisation

–          Assess suitability

  • Based on cloud strategy goals
  • Define an assessment framework
    • Risk, business case, constraints, principles

–          Select migration option

  • rehost – refactor – revise – rebuild – replace

This should all be in the context of;

–          What is the organisations cloud adoption strategy

–          What is the application worth? What does it cost?

–          Do we need to modernise the application? How much are we willing to spend?

In order to make decisions around what to move to the cloud and how to move it you should define both your migration goals and priorities which should include areas such as;

–          Gain Agility

  • Rapid time to market
  • Deliver new capabilities
  • Support new channels (e.g. Mobile)

–          Manage costs

  • Preserve capital
  • Avoid operational expenses
  • Leverage existing investments

–          Manage resources

  • Free up data centre space
  • Support scalability
  • Gain operational efficiencies

Some examples of what we mean by rehost / refactor / revise / rebuild / replace;

Rehost – Migrating application – rehost on IaaS

Refactor – onto PaaS – make changes to work with the PaaS platform and leverage PaaS platform features

Revise – onto IaaS or PaaS – at least make more cloud aware for IaaS, make more cloud and platform aware for PaaS

Rebuild – Rebuild on PaaS – start from scratch to create new, optimised application.

Note – some of these (rebuild definitely, refactor sometimes) will require data to be migrated to new format.

Replace – with SaaS – easy in terms of code, data migration, business process and applications will change (large resistance from users is possible).

The presentation ended with the following recommendations;

–          Define a cloud migration strategy

–          Establish goals and priorities

–          Identify candidates based on portfolio management

–          Develop assessment framework

–          Select migration options using a structured decision approach

–          Be cognizant of technical debt (time to market more important than quality / elegant code!)

  • Do organisations ever plan to pay back ‘technical debt’?  Where Technical debt refers to corner cutting / substandard development that is initially accepted to meet cost / time constraints.

A pdf of this presentation can be downloaded from here;

Overall another good presentation with very sensible recommendations covering areas to consider when planning to migrate applications and services to the cloud.


Service Technology Symposium Day 2..

Today was the second day of the Service Technology Symposium.  As with yesterday I’ll use this post to review the keynote speeches and provide an overview of that day.  Where relevant further posts will follow, providing more details on some of the days talks.

As with the first day, the day started well with three interesting keynote speeches.

The first keynote was from the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and was titled ‘SOA, Cloud and Services in the FAA airspace system’.  The talk covered the program that is under-way to simplify the very complex National Airspace System (NAS).  This is the ‘system of systems’ that manages all flights in the US and ensures the control and safety of all the planes and passengers.

The existing system is typical of many legacy systems.  It is complex, all point to point connections, hard to maintain, and even minor changes require large regression testing.

Thus a simplification program has been created to deliver SOA, web centric decoupled architecture.  To give an idea of the scale, this program is in two phases with phase one already largely delivered yet the program is scheduled to run through 2025!

as mentioned, the program is split into two segments to deliver capabilities and get buy in from the wider FAA.

–          Segment 1- implemented set of federated services, some messaging and SOA concepts, but no common infrastructure.

–          Segment 2 – common infrastructure – more agile, project effectively creating a message bus for the whole system.

The project team was aided by the creation of a Wiki, and COTS (commercial off the shelf) software repository.

They have also been asked to assess the cloud – there is a presidential directive to ‘do’ cloud computing.  They are performing a benefits analysis from operational to strategic.

Key considerations are that cloud must not compromise NAS,  and that security is paramount.

The cloud strategy is defined, and they are in the process of developing recommendations.  It is likely that the first systems to move to the cloud will be supporting and administrative systems, not key command and control systems.

The second keynote was about cloud interoperability and came from the Open Group.  Much of this was taken up with who the Open Group are and what they do.  Have a look at their website if you want to know more;

Outside of this, the main message of the talk was the need for improved interoperability between different cloud providers.  This would make it easier to host systems across vendors and also the ability of customers to change providers.

As a result improved interoperability would also aid wider cloud adoption – Interoperability is one of the keys to the success of the cloud!

The third keynote was titled ‘The API economy is here: Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and YOUR IT enterprise’.

API refers to Application Programming Interface, and a good description of what this refers to can be found on Wikipedia here;

The focus of this keynote was that making APIs public and by making use of public APIs businesses can help drive innovation.

Web 2.0 – lots of technical innovation led to web 2.0, this then led to and enabled human innovation, via the game changer that is OPEN API.  Reusable components that can be used / accessed / built on by anyone.  Then add the massive, always on user base of smartphone users into the mix with more power in your pocket than needed to put Apollo on the moon.  The opportunity to capitalise on open APIs is huge.  As an example, there are currently over 1.1 million distinct apps across the various app stores!

Questions for you to consider;

1. How do you unlock human innovation in your business ecosystem?

–          Unlock the innovation of your employees – How can they innovate and be motivated?  How can they engage with the human API?

–          Unlock the potential of your business partner or channel sales community; e.g. Amazon web services – merchants produce, provide and fulfil goods orders, amazon provides the framework to enable this.

–          Unlock the potential of your customers; e.g. IFTTT  (If This Then That) who have put workflow in front of many of the available APIs on the internet.

2. How to expand and enhance your business ecosystem?

–          Control syndication of brand – e.g. facebook ‘like’ button – everyone knows what this is, every user has to use the same standard like button.

–          Expand breadth of system – e.g. Netflix  used to just be website video on demand, now available on many platforms – consoles, mobile, tablet, smart TV, PC etc.

–          Standardise experience – e.g. kindle or Netflix – can watch or read on one device, stop and pick up from the same place on another device.

–          Use APIs to create ‘gravity’ to attract customers to your service by integrating with services they already use – e.g. travel aggregation sites.

This one was a great talk with some useful thought points on how you can enhance your business through the use of open APIs.

On this day I fitted in 6 talks and one no show.

These were;

Talk 1 – Cloud computing’s impact on future enterprise architectures.  Some interesting points, but a bit stuck in the past with a lot of focus on ‘your data could be anywhere’ when most vendors now provide consumers the ability to ensure their data remains in a specific geographical region.  I wont be prioritising writing this one up so it may or may not appear in a future post.

Talk 2 – Using the cloud in the Enterprise Architecture.  This one should have been titled the Open Group and TOGAF with 5 minutes of cloud related comment at the end.  Another one that likely does not warrant a full write up.

Talk 3 – SOA environments are a big data problem.  This was a brief talk but with some interesting points around managing log files, using Splunk and ‘big data.  There will be a small write up on this one.

Talk 4 – Industry orientated cloud architecture (IOCA).  This talk covered the work Fulcrum have done with universities to standardise on their architectures and messaging systems to improve inter university communication and collaboration.  This was mostly marketing for the Fulcrum work and there wasn’t a lot of detail, this is unlikely to be written up further.

Talk 5  – Time for delivery: Developing successful business plans for cloud computing projects.  This was a great talk with a lot of useful content.  It was given by a Cap Gemini director so I expected it to be good.  There will definitely be a write up of this one.

Talk 6 – Big data and its impact on SOA.  This was another good, but fairly brief one, will get a short write up, possibly combined with Talk 3.

And there you have it that is the overview of day two of the conference.  Looks like I have several posts to write covering the more interesting talks from the two days!

As a conclusion, would I recommend this conference?  Its a definite maybe.  Some of the content was very good, some either too thin, or completely focussed on advertising a business or organisation.  The organisation was also terrible with 3 talks I planned to attend not happening and the audience totally left hanging rather than being informed the speaker hadn’t arrived.

So a mixed bag, which is a shame as there were some very good parts, and I managed to get 2 free books as well!

Stay tuned for some more detailed write ups.