Category Archives: Cyberinfrastructure

University cloud computing contracts

Did you hear about the university professor signed up for a cloud service and unknowingly left his department on the hook for two years of service beyond his grant….or the university who had more than 500,000 student records (social security, addresses and grades) hacked? Cloud computing poses special demands upon Universities who can no longer employ the same procurement process used to acquire computers and software since the 1980s.

Are you aware that today many Universities (and K12 School districts) use a popular email marketing program that sells contact information of students to vertical marketing firms who in turn re-sell them to other marketing and product companies?

Today’s aggressive marketplace and the business of cloud services has radically changed the procurement process. Many of us have a fiduciary duty to protect data of our students, research and institutions.  Regardless of how students freely give away their data on Facebook, our institution will still be held responsible to  protect all of our institution’s data.

My views on the impact of Cloud Computing in Higher Education have been slowly evolving. This past May I was given an incredible opportunity to further my learning by participating in an Engineering & Technology Short Course with the UCLA Extension.
Remember those “must-take classes” in college?  UCLA’s Contracting for Cloud Computing Services is one on my list of those opportunities you cannot afford to ignore.  My advice: Find your way to UCLA.

Again, I hope this can help as many people as possible understand the lessons taught in class.  Due to the nature of the beast they are in no specific order. They are all top level concerns:

BACKGROUND
For over a generation traditional desktop PC vendors focused on features and price. Since the late 1980s schools established trust in vendor’s products to conduct business, educate students and store student data. From floppy disks to magnetic tape all data was stored locally on campus.

Today’s globalized internet marketplace is radically different when compared to the modem era of computing. The cloud computing model represents a number of fundamental shifts including Software as a Service(SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) are well established.

And although it’s a bit ahead on the radar we should not overlook the quickly emerging SuperComputer as a Service. While there is no  standard acronym, there are established vendors like SGI’s Cyclone, Amazon’s Cluster Compute, IBM’s Watson, and with forthcoming merge between PiCloud and D-Wave‘s quantum computing….more options for High Performance Computing will be available to many smaller, lean and aggressive institutions.

These new services are directly tied to the “consumerization” of technology: advanced technologies at affordable price points. As a result the new focus is around access.  The shift to mobile computing via netbooks, smartphones and tablets is well underway, yet many school’s do not have a sufficient wireless infrastructure. Students, faculty and administrators are today carrying a laptop, smartphone and probably an iPad. Schools are struggling to to handle bandwidth demands of so many devices in concentrated areas around campus, from the Student Union to the ResHalls.

IMHO the tipping point with Cloud computing and digital devices is the convenience of access. Today many diverse schools have a campus community that simply demands anytime/anywhere access to data. And it’s no longer just email and web.  Its BIG data from data base research to the delivery of HD media. For better (or for worse) society has become trained to demand mobile solutions that easily integrate into the app economy and their mobile lifestyles.
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MDNA: sales vs. torrents

I simply burst out laughing reading the Detroit News‘ article regarding Madonna’s sharply falling record sales.  Her latest release MDNA debuted at #1 last week after selling 359,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. Yet as the article indicated: Madonna set to make the wrong kind of chart history.  Clearly author Adam Graham (@grahamorama) has no idea how torrents have simply crushed the music industry.  If he does understand — it was not mentioned in his article.

Riddle me this: How does Nielsen, Billboard or any other entertainment resource accurately reflect the impact of torrents on sales?  Ah….they can’t. The fact that Nielsen/Billboard still lists “traditional chart history” tells me another analog business is choking to death on the globalized internet.

I have come to accept that illegal downloads are no different than drugs, ebooks, guns or music.  All are in heavy demand.  The only difference: ebooks and music use the internet. Supply and demand.  Nothing more.

Its been a long standing issue for me to see mainstream media really show how inept they are when it relates to the globalization of the internet.  So what exactly did Adam Graham miss?

If you really want to understand the way the world works…

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Internet2’s Artistic Collaborations Over High Bandwidth Networks

Held in Indianapolis in April 2010, The 2010 Intermedia Festival of Telematic Arts held in April was a unique series of events presenting futuristic modes of live telematic and media arts by artists throughout North America and Europe. Telematic art synthesizes performing arts with computers, media and telecommunications. Over 100 artists traveled to Indianapolis while others participated remotely via Internet2.
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A combination of art performances including dance, music, visual arts and videography with commentary and discussion were integrated to create a compelling set of experiences.  The session included an overview of the multi-institutional activity involving students, faculty, and administrators. Classes of students from Florida State University, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Butler University, University of Calgary, University of Cincinnati and Indiana University Bloomington met in the months prior to the festival in order to plan and rehearse their respective performances online.

This session examined the presentation of telematic art to the general public via Internet2 at the downtown Indianapolis Public Library. This effort involved strategies to intermingle both high and low bandwidth venues into a seamless, integrated performance environment.

Internet2 CyberInfrastructure Days

Supported by a grant from NSF, eight universities (including the UWisconsin System) have been funded to help support a “CI Days” event at their campus.
i2bannerCI Days are intended to bring together various sectors of the campus (Faculty, IT Staff, librarians, administrators, students and others) to better understand the needs and roles of each sector.  Its a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know” for almost every campus.

This Friday Wisconsin will introduce their initial CI Day event at UWMilwaukee with remote viewing supported around the State.  It was great to hear WiscNet’s Shaun Abshere at this session today in Q&A regarding Friday’s coming session and supported remote technologies that will be used.

UW CI Day event program at UW-Milwaukee.