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MIS Systems Thread, Government Cloud MIS list in Technical; We've not had a SIMS server on site for about 5 years. It hasn't affected how we work. It's not ...
  1. #16

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    We've not had a SIMS server on site for about 5 years. It hasn't affected how we work.

    It's not a browser based offering though, a SIMS client has to be installed.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Do you use FMS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Do you use FMS?
    Not now (we use Corero). We did use it a couple of years ago though.

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    I think as always, there is some confusing over the term cloud.

    Cloud != Web browser based.

    The definition that we are concerned with here as pointed out by @Bromcom-PR is the NIST Definition.

    This States

    Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared
    pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that
    can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
    and there are 3 service models, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

    In the SaaS model it states

    The applications are accessible from
    various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g.,
    web-based email), or a program interface.
    This again does not state it has to be specifically access through a web browser.

    PaaS and IaaS are not used in this instance as you are not dealing with netowrking or storage (IaaS) and all hte software updates etc to SIMs are managed by capita so they are not offering you a Platform PaaS to deploy on to.

    In the case of the Capita Hosted SIMs this would fit into the SaaS as far as i can see by allowing the use of remote desktop / remote app access as this would allow access from multiple devices.

    Source: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/ni.../SP800-145.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    I think as always, there is some confusing over the term cloud.

    In the SaaS model it states
    " The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. "

    This again does not state it has to be specifically access through a web browser.

    PaaS and IaaS are not used in this instance as you are not dealing with netowrking or storage (IaaS) and all hte software updates etc to SIMs are managed by capita so they are not offering you a Platform PaaS to deploy on to.

    In the case of the Capita Hosted SIMs this would fit into the SaaS as far as i can see by allowing the use of remote desktop / remote app access as this would allow access from multiple devices.

    Source: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/ni.../SP800-145.pdf
    OK - not being "browser" isn't the only reason why legacy thick client / client-server based applications (MIS) fail NIST Cloud definition.

    It is because unlike browser/back-end characteristics, legacy thick client / client-server based MIS application is design of 1990s/early 2000s for network of PC with a server and each PC dedicated for a client application demanding all PC resources with no notion of 'resource pooling' or elasticity'. There would have been no need for such characteristics in such environment where each PC serves one user. Therefore legacy thick client / client-server based MIS application have no ability to conform RESOURCE POOLING and RAPID ELASTICTY hence is 'FAKE CLOUD' - See below extract from NIST definition (did you see the video clip by @pwainewright? It is explained very elegantly but in a simple language - http://youtu.be/qXfBlKTA8LI ).

    "Resource pooling.
    The providerís computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.

    Rapid elasticity.
    Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tall_Paul View Post
    Not now (we use Corero). We did use it a couple of years ago though.
    Interesting ....

    Is Corero 'hosted' or locally installed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromcom-PR View Post
    (did you see the video clip by @pwainewright? It is explained very elegantly but in a simple language - http://youtu.be/qXfBlKTA8LI ).
    Yes, this is the third time you have quoted the link, I think we have all got the message now.

    "Resource pooling.
    The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.

    Rapid elasticity.
    Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time. "
    I wonder if the other listed MIS' from the earlier list also meet these capabilities?

    Are all NIST principles tested before the product is listed on the GovStore?

    I'm trying to get a sense of the authority pushing this to meet the NIST criteria. I wouldn't want to see it being an arbirarty test chosen by GovStore or whoever. Who says Resource Pooling makes a product 'cloud'? What makes that a correct criteria compared to another group of industry experts say something else.

    My point is GovStore has adopted a definition of 'cloud', a subject notoriously fluffy and ambiguous.

    I'm not arguing with the definitions or those that have assigned them, I want to be able to trust they are fit for purpose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    I'm trying to get a sense of the authority pushing this to meet the NIST criteria. I wouldn't want to see it being an arbirarty test chosen by GovStore or whoever. Who says Resource Pooling makes a product 'cloud'? What makes that a correct criteria compared to another group of industry experts say something else.

    My point is GovStore has adopted a definition of 'cloud', a subject notoriously fluffy and ambiguous.

    I'm not arguing with the definitions or those that have assigned them, I want to be able to trust they are fit for purpose.

    If we accept that users face 'fake' vs 'true' cloud, the US and the UK government adapted NIST as 'gold standard' to define characteristics of cloud - true cloud. We haven't come across anyone challenging NIST being inadequate and if it is good enough for US and UK governments then it should be good enough for any school/LA.

    Whilst it is reasonably easy to identify 'fake' cloud by checking the fundamentals (see below), within 'true cloud' to our knowledge there is no attempt to quantify or rate these characteristics as to how well optimized they are. From outset one should weed out fake cloud application. Because fake cloud applications are non-starters and in terms of cost/resource sharing benefits of true cloud applications they do not come anywhere near even least optimized true cloud application.

    The most offensive fundamental characteristics of 'fake' cloud include:
    - Application designed for PC client environment and when hosted behaves just the same manner eg each instant demanding its private full RAM memory resource
    - Application code is non re-entrant hence code is not shared in whilst executed in memory

    The above characteristics cause fake cloud application requiring up to 50-fold(!!!) memory and processor usage than true cloud equivalent. You need to add up to 50 fold more cooling, space and power consumption etc.. In fact all happens in fake cloud, is re-location exercise from a PC running legacy application to centrally hosted - hence "Same old Software as a Service" (SoSaaS).

    In browser based MIS application, application code is re-entrant and one copy shared by 1,000s of users. Only small amount (5 Mbyte rather 250 MByte in case of legacy thick-client application) RAM is consumed for each instant of the application.

    I hope the above helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    My point is GovStore has adopted a definition of 'cloud', a subject notoriously fluffy and ambiguous.
    My understand of the GovStore definition is SaaS = you buy services, not infrastructure. IE you pay your money (per user for example), they give you a service. You don't care if it needs 10TB of RAM or 1MB of RAM. The only bit you care about is the bottom line - cost and the quality of the service.

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  13. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    My understand of the GovStore definition is SaaS = you buy services, not infrastructure. IE you pay your money (per user for example), they give you a service. You don't care if it needs 10TB of RAM or 1MB of RAM. The only bit you care about is the bottom line - cost and the quality of the service.
    I agree with this in some respect, but the end result means a higher cost to the customer.
    I think we all know that Capita are playing catchup in the cloud market and we can all accept that this offering is not their end game but a stop gap measure to offer a service to schools who struggle to host their own servers etc.

    This product is never going to be get major take up so they essentially don't need to worry about exponential scaling of resources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    I agree with this in some respect, but the end result means a higher cost to the customer.
    Exactly My point. "The only bit you care about is the bottom line - cost and the quality of the service"

    As for Capita, I think it's the right move. Primary schools are going to be happy, which is a large part of their business, they can keep the same quality product but remove the admin cost of maintaining it, including backups! I personally reckon this will really hit home next year when they do phase 2 and aim it at secondaries - then if we see the min entry drop to 2 or 3 then we'll see more uptake from primaries.

    Phase 2 will be when they release the teacher app - so those 100 users you have will drop to 80-90 teacher app users and 10-20 power users using the fat-client version - so that £990 per year plus £429 set up looks pretty good. This is all ofcourse dependant on the pricing of the teacher app.

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    And the hopefully successful removal of the requirement of SLG.

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    It's interesting to see how desparately people are trying to apply *utterly rubbish* rules determining what is, and what is not, "cloud". It's a marketing term with all this crap being shoehorned into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    It's interesting to see how desparately people are trying to apply *utterly rubbish* rules determining what is, and what is not, "cloud". It's a marketing term with all this crap being shoehorned into it.
    NIST are the ones who have come up with the definitions and people have pretty much accepted them as being correct now. Yes, it is a bit of a fudge, but the ideas are pretty sound.

    On the topic at hand, SIMS in the "cloud", the price they're charging is preposterous. We'd have to pay around £6k a year for the privilege of hosting it with them. Compared to our cost of £3k every 3 years for a server, plus the couple of hours a month of prodding we have to do for deployments.
    Last edited by localzuk; 15th July 2014 at 11:33 AM.

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    "And the hopefully successful removal of the requirement of SLG"SLG is not a requirement. We do not use it.

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