[LINK] Cloud Computing Services in Australia?

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Mon Nov 7 12:40:11 AEDT 2011

Careful what you wish for Rachel,

<some uni> might always bid to be the Data Centre to other Unis...The 
AARNET model seems to have been a big success.


grove at zeta.org.au wrote:
> What is conncerning me, as someone directly in the cone of influence 
> of "The Cloud", and as one that watches restructures end people's careers on a 
> seemingly more common basis, is that it is being used as an 
> "operational reason" for the reduction of onshore IT jobs and outsourcing of 
> systems admins, and so on.
> Universities ultimately will be heavily affected by this and at <some uni>
> "The Cloud" is already making an impact in our area.   I am seeing more 
> and more of my role swallowed up by committees that choose to use external
> vendors for "support" where once my role was responsible for anything 
> from a bare metal server build, to compiling a stack for an Apache/Tomcat
> platform, or whatever.  But with the wonderful "The Cloud" comes the 
> Great Dumbing Down.
> The advent of the "Lights Out Datacentre" has made "The Cloud" practical 
> and possible.   Once you do not require your admins in the DC to service 
> equipment, with most "soft" activities now available remotely, 
> it is then possible to outsource the servicing or maintenance of hardware 
> via vendor contracts or service companies.   Then these businesses will 
> hire barely trained staff to replace the fan tray, disk unit, etc of a 
> hardware device or other piece of equipment.
> Where once it was the role of an admin/engineer to take these jobs on, 
> they are now replaced by faceless avatars of the vendor, who actually 
> end up having more access and knowledge of your DC layout than you do.
> Once the admins are comfortable with the Lights Out ideal (and it is 
> really a good idea up to a point), it is trivial to argue that you 
> can do the same with your whole DataCentre and outsource it as well.
> Then you no longer own your DataCentre, or the endpoints in and out of it.
> You are then beholden to the T&C's of the DC vendor.  But, it is argued, 
> they have to supply the 5 nines you paid so much for.
> It is then only a small step, if it has not already been done, to 
> Virtualise, so that you do not even have to own the hardware anymore, but just 
> the virtual platforms running on it. You just lease the boxen 
> from the vendor and pay a support cost.  The argument for keeping qualified 
> and experienced sysadmins changes at this point - they are not allowed
> into the DC, cannot make changes to the hardware and there's not much 
> to do on the Virtual side, if it is a "Buy Not Build" app scenario.
> So, the qualified sysadmin is now reduced to a virtual button clicker, 
> shifting VMs and zones from point to point, until you install a "virtual 
> centre" and then set the load params and so on until you only need 
> a network guy to trace bottlenecks and a perhaps a junior to 
> check log files etc.
> As for hardening the systems, security, general admin - it's all in the 
> box now.   Outsource your firewall rules so that the network team 
> reduces it to a spreadsheet that can be submitted to the vendor weekly 
> and you do not need most of your security team any more.
> As such, I foresee a shortening of my career as a UNIX sysadm/hardware 
> person.  I've mitigated this by studying up on Identity Management,
> IOS programming and so on, to see if I can keep going for a few more years.
> The mobile devices mean The Cloud has opportunities there, but if you 
> are in its tractor beam, as a sysadmin you'd better be looking for another 
> job within 3 years until the bubble bursts and it all comes in house again.
> And jobs in "The Cloud" won't be viable.  Unless you are a founder 
> member of the business, or the nerd that architected everything, you 
> will be too expensive to hire.
> The Cloud does have silver linings for businesses that think that IT has 
> grown beyond a support value and when they consider it not to be 
> "core business", but the upshot is that if you work in IT in a full on 
> technical role doing hardware/sysadmin, you are not as indispensible as you 
> used to be.....
> rachel

Marghanita da Cruz
Tel: 0414-869202

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