Talking Cloud at Architect Factory in Boston

As a senior member of a technology team, you can likely relate to the constant pressure to rapidly innovate and deliver new systems. It feels like the executives expect you to instantly produce the latest cutting-edge innovation they just learned about in their most recent business periodical. And you are already overwhelmed with your projects, responsibilities and are likely drowning, trying to drink from the massive fire hose of information. How can you juggle all of this and still provide solid guidance to your business community on increasing effectiveness with technology improvements?

This Thursday, June 9th, I will be helping a group of architects and senior software developers gain a better understanding of cloud computing and the value it can contribute to their organizations. I will be presenting “Understanding the Value of the Cloud” at Architect Factory 3 in Cambridge, MA (Boston) at the Microsoft NERD. Architect Factory is a 1-day conference that is designed to provide architects and senior software developers with a unique opportunity to learn the solutions, tools, techniques and processes of software architecture and services, first hand from leading software architects.

In my session, Understanding the Value of the Cloud, we will reminisce about the major milestones in computing history, look at where we are now, and consider what the future will look like with the introduction of the cloud. Next, we will examine the challenges of the traditional data center and dig into the benefits and value provided by leveraging the cloud. Finally, we will discuss how you can identify opportunities in your organization that are a good fit for the cloud, explore strategies for getting started and identify some items you must consider as architects when moving to the cloud.

My goal is for you to leave this session with a good understanding of what the cloud is all about and inspire thinking about your projects that are ideal for cloud computing. I also want you to be equipped to explain the value of cloud computing to your your business community in terms that resonate with them.

If you are in the Boston area, a senior software developer or architect, and haven’t yet registered for Architect Factory, do so soon! This is a FREE event and the number of remaining tickets are decreasing rapidly. The agenda is posted, the speakers are listed and registration is still open.

If you are considering or currently developing apps on a cloud platform, be sure to check out Bill Wilder’s session, “11 Scalability Concepts Every Architect Should Understand”. Bill’s session will help you understand how to design and build applications to take advantage of the massively scalable characteristics of cloud platforms like Windows Azure.

Lastly, if you like FREE stuff, I will also be giving away some Microsoft Cloud and Windows Azure t-shirts, mugs, keychains and most importantly books.

See you in Boston on Thursday!

Follow-Up to Centare Lunch & Learn

Thank you to everyone who attended the Centare Lunch & Learn last week. I hope you left with a good understanding of what cloud computing is and how you can benefit from the cloud. I also hope that the time we spent exploring common cloud application scenarios will help you identify cloud opportunities in your organization.

Cloud Computing takes multiple forms, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Generally, as you move from the “Traditional Data Center” and IaaS towards PaaS and SaaS, more value and ROI is realized. While the value proposition is usually greater with SaaS over PaaS, often mass-market software products don’t meet your specific needs. When this occurs, you must consider PaaS.

In our discussion of PaaS, we discussed the benefits of PaaS over IaaS and walked through a high-level overview of Windows Azure. The following are some Windows Azure resources that will be helpful as you explore the Windows Azure Platform on your own.

Windows Azure Features Overview

Windows Azure Case Studies

Windows Azure TCO Calculator (Link on the right hand side)

New Windows Azure Pricing Calculator

Windows Azure Service Level Agreement (SLA)

If you would like help assessing and planning your organization’s cloud strategy, feel free to contact me.

If you would like the a copy of the slide deck that I presented, you can get it on my SkyDrive.

Finally, please let me know what other cloud computing topics, either business or technically focused, you would like to learn more about. Your feedback will help guide future presentations and events. Thank you for attending and providing valuable feedback.