Cutting Through Corona Cloud Clutter with BizDevOps
March 31, 2020

Jeanne Morain
iSpeak Cloud

In my book, Visible Ops Private Cloud (2011, IT Process Institute), my coauthors (Andi Mann, Kurt Milne) and I dedicated an entire chapter about "Cutting Through the Cloud Cutter." Why?

The term "cloud" like "COVID-19" was overused and often misunderstood. Today, COVID-19 (AKA Corona Virus or SARS 2) has inundated our datacenters, offices, and lives. We face unprecedented times that will undoubtedly impact the overall work/life balance for years to come.

Prior to the world being paralyzed by COVID-19, 70+ percent of Digital Transformation efforts have failed causing over $900 Billion in losses for only 3 companies — P&G, Ford, and GE. The full effect of mass failure for digital transformation will only be exacerbated by the global fire known as COVID-19.

In the midst of all the misinformation, fear, uncertainty and doubt — Datacenter architects, engineers, support desk personnel, program managers, and planners are tasked with increasing capacity, balancing workloads, and attrition due to layoffs or unplanned leaves of absence as a result of quarantining or lack of childcare. Engineering managers balancing the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery Pipeline will be tasked like Physicians in Emergency Rooms to perform triage — on critical updates/workloads versus scheduled projects that should be postponed. Why?

Healthcare, schools and critical supply chain suppliers will need the capacity as they move remote to Telemedicine, Online Schooling, and other critical areas. Companies lack visibility and control to understand the total impact of IT spend and usage on cloud.

How do you Cut Through the Corona Cloud Clutter?

Now more than ever a BizDevOps (2016, Tech Target) strategy needs to be put in place to Contain Cost, Compliance, Content and Continuity for the business balancing against critical community concerns and IT resources. We all need to do our part to focus resources on what matters and reduce consumption from areas that do not.

On March 31, I will be participating in a panel to provide prescriptive guidance on identifying critical areas to consider when planning or carving out additional capacity and safeguards to scale datacenter.

The time to act responsibly is now. From a BizDevOps perspective, we can all do our part to "Cut Through the Corona Cloud Clutter" for the better of our companies and community.

Recently, technology leaders such as Simon Rattcliffe have reported large Cloud Providers are struggling to maintain capacity as all the Corona Clutter quickly propagates the internet.

What are steps you can take now?

Leadership Business & Technology — CIO, CFO, CMO, LOB Leaders, Directors, Managers

Policy changes

Policy changes need to be put into effect and enforced to eliminate VM/Server Huggers taking up valuable capacity and space on both Private and Public Cloud.

Decommission "unsanctioned VMs on Public and Private Clouds. Identify unsanctioned VMs on Amazon/Azure and other 3rd parties through OCR Scans or reports from Expense Reports. Those that are unsanctioned or underutilized (Dedicated versus on Demand) need to be backed up and decommissioned.

Triage and Reprioritize Project Priorities. Triage all current projects and postpone release of non-critical ones (includes patches or updates of existing services) to free up server/storage. Stagger release of non-priority projects to reassign resources to capacity building, bolstering security and/or reducing impact of WFH on customers and business.

Reduce/Limit Team Building/Social Distancing Parties. Ideally these would be done in off hours for healthcare clinics and schools and non peak times for hospitals.

Reduce/Limit Multi-Stream Events — This includes limited events that stream multiple feeds such as Netflix and Webex for team building or other virtual parties on corporate equipment or using company applications. This will reduce not only impact on the network but also potential security risks.

Create policies to prohibit personal streaming on corporate networks or systems connecting to corporate networks.

Repurpose employees to Community Caring Activities

You don't have to give away ventilators like Elon Musk to give back. It is time to focus on activities that reduce confusion, time to ramp, and implementation of solutions to reduce time to value of solutions.

Other technology companies have come up with creative solutions such as:

Delivering Food to elderly

■ Supporting teachers and parents on online technology

■ Teaching doctors/staff from smaller clinics what technology is available and how to use it

Donate unused capacity for dedicated Public Cloud VMs to non profit hospitals, healthcare, and support facilities

If you have unused but licensed dedicated capacity on Amazon, AWS, or any other provider — ask your provider for a temporary stay with receipts to donate unused dedicated capacity.

Mandate Datacenter Changes

Network, Datacenter and Automation settings will need to be refactored to optimize throughput and capacity based on the greatest need versus for providers and companies with healthcare and education leading the list.

■ Whitelist and precedence — update QOS settings to prioritize queue of traffic from healthcare facilities and providers, then education, supply chain with commercial entertainment last.

■ Blacklist all commercial entertainment packages on corporate networks and company machines. Large hospitals have reported underutilized departments and guest networks with significant streaming of movies, music, and photos that are impacting medical imaging, telemedicine, billing and other critical functions.

Adjust Machine Learning & AI Algorithms for a Post COVID World

Unfortunately the previous data may not apply moving forward. The times we are living in are unprecedented. The simulations and algorithms need to be adjusted for the brave new world.

In conclusion, technologists as a whole need to rethink and apply best practices for not only social distancing but cognizant usage of the precious resources we have. We all need to do our part as companies and individuals to throttle usage and precious resources for those that need them most.

Jeanne Morain is an Author/Strategist with iSpeak Cloud
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