Thoughts on enterprise IT

Dustin Amrhein

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Top Stories by Dustin Amrhein

Over a year ago, I posed a simple question in a post: ‘Should developers care about cloud computing?' In the post, I went on to assert that developers should indeed care about what was at that point a little more of an emerging trend. Not that this was ever a controversial issue, but in light of the growing momentum of cloud since that post, and the realization that the effects of cloud reverberate throughout entire IT organizations, this is no longer even a question. So, cloud computing definitely ‘affects' developers and other technical employees, thus they should certainly care about the movement, but what exactly should they care about? In other words, what skills are important for developers in the context of cloud computing? I constantly evaluate and re-evaluate the answers to this question. As both a practitioner and advocate in my day job, it is important t... (more)

IBM & Cloud Computing: Self-Service Clouds with Fine-Grained Control

A common feature of cloud computing solutions is that they enable self-service access to the services they provide. This enables users to directly procure services from the cloud, and it eliminates the need for more time-consuming, labor-intensive, human-driven procurement processes familiar to many in IT.  That's not to say that a cloud computing solution should provide its services in a free-for-all manner, letting any user take any action within the system. There should be strict controls over the services users have access to and the actions they can perform with those servi... (more)

Cloud Computing Intersects IT Innovation

Recently, I attended SOAWorld 2009 in New York City, and I had the pleasure of listening to many distinguished speakers talk about extremely interesting topics.  One of my favorite talks was given by a fellow IBMer, Kareem Yusuf. During the course of Kareem's keynote, he discussed SOA, cloud computing, and areas of innovation in the IT industry. The areas of innovation were of particular interest to me, and Kareem highlighted five of them: 1. Automation and Management 2. Elastic Applications 3. Software Delivery 4. Pricing and Licensing 5. Cloud-based services As I look at each of th... (more)

Cloud Computing Isn't a Substitute For Due Diligence

Well, everyone knew it wouldn't be long before cloud computing got thrown under the proverbial bus after the latest Sidekick failure. Observers point at this specific failure, as they have with Gmail, Amazon, and other cloud provider outages in the past, as a broader problem. Some like to use these service outages as an opportunity to initiate a full-fledged attack on the idea of cloud computing. However, can we really just blame cloud computing and move on? If cloud computing plays a part in the blame game for these outages, it's because of the hype around the industry. If the c... (more)

Don't Fumble the Hand-off

Imagine for a moment that you’re a software developer who has been charged with adding a new feature into your company’s billing system application that allows bills to be automatically sent to customers via email. You spend weeks, possibly months, working on the new function, and then at some point you move to the unit testing phase. You set up an environment, configure the product with the new feature, and then you run tests to verify that emails with valid billing information are indeed being sent as expected. Once you’re satisfied with the unit testing, it’s time to hand it o... (more)