Moving to the Cloud From on-Premises IT

In a fast growing and ever changing Information Technology world, the variety of IT solutions, tools and services is increasing on a daily basis. How do we keep up, and how do we focus on providing the best solution to the business units?

For numerous years IT delivery in FAO has been centralized and IT delivery has been performed in a more traditional manner. The infrastructure is centralized through a corporate data center, the software is developed on an ad-hoc basis to meet the ever-changing needs of the organization and keeping up with such a fast-paced demand is becoming more and more difficult.

One of the avenues being explored is going to cloud based solutions. Moving to the cloud poses many challenges and we need to analyze diverse criteria before taking the plunge. In this article I will discuss some of the major considerations that were taken in the IT division. Cloud based technology is not new and is increasingly becoming the dominant model in IT. Unfortunately the lack of knowledge on cloud based solutions has been the biggest challenge in most organizations.

FAO has a traditional IT infrastructure with a centralized data center in each of the major offices and delivery of IT solutions has been through development projects based on the user’s requirements. Most of the organization’s IT delivery is managed in-house, with occasional assistance from software development companies, and for the majority of the corporate systems there is a history of continuous customizations due to policy changes that require continuous updates to the systems.

We have recently completed several applications using the Google suite of data tools including the Google Earth Engine and Google Maps which gave us access to an unprecedented volume of geospatial data, compute power through which we have been able to analyze in real-time satellite imagery to deliver actionable information. Without cloud services the solution would have been prohibitively costly and time consuming as it required the compilation of terabytes of satellite imagery and computer power far in excess of that available in a computer center geospatial data.

Lessons learnt:

New skills are required including network configuration, security, server and database administration and systems operations and integration.

Solid fast Internet connectivity is paramount as availability and performance are directly dependent.

Moving large amounts of data to and from the cloud needs to be carefully considered e.g. massive amount of legacy geospatial or multimedia data.

Discipline in cloud resource usage is critical, only using what is needed and turn off when done.

A new internal chargeback/billing process is required.

Employee perception of privacy and data security needs to be carefully managed.

Ensuring the appropriate legal aspects have been addressed.

Vendor lock-in, once you move to the cloud it can be difficult to move vendor when highly desirable added value functions are used.

Moving to the cloud is part of the current mandate and future direction. It will be a complete transformation from the current traditional way of working. Recently the organization has moved to Office 365 in a seamless way with a transformation that required minimal training and included benefits that will be evident to users as they experience the new model in a more detailed way.

Cloud computing can save substantial capital costs with zero in house server storage and application development requirements. By not having an on-premises infrastructure removes the associated operational costs in the form of energy, air conditioning and support costs. We will be paying for what we use and disengage if needed as there is no invested IT capital to worry about.

Cloud computing is much more reliable and consistent than in-house IT infrastructure as most providers offer SLAs which guarantee 24×7 365 days a year and 99.99% availability. Organizations can benefit from a massive pool of redundant IT resources as well as quick failover mechanism. If a server fails then we are unlikely to know about it as the cloud providers have seamless failover..

The time required for IT procurement will be reduced dramatically. Organizations can deploy mission critical applications that deliver significant business benefits without any upfront costs and minimal provisioning time.

Cloud computing delivers faster recovery times and multi-site availability at a fraction of the cost of conventional disaster recovery. Cloud computing is based on virtualization, which is different from traditional disaster recovery approaches. With virtualization the entire server, including the operating system, applications, patches and data can be copied or backed up to an offsite data center and become available on a virtual host in a matter of minutes.

Tierney Smith of TechSoup Canada sums up the advantages as “The move towards the cloud holds a lot of exciting potential for nonprofits of all sizes. Not only are many organizations able to realize cost savings through not having to run and maintain their own server(s) (or pay a consultant to do so), many cloud tools enable new levels of sharing and collaboration, which can transform how we work. We live in a world where our supporters are looking to us for greater transparency and there is an increasing need to partner with other organizations to achieve real impact. Using the right cloud tools can help us break down the barriers we currently face and be the more open, effective, and resilient organizations that we need to be.”

In Conclusion

The move to Cloud computing is seen as a positive way forward and we acknowledge that cloud computing is constantly changing, and cloud solutions need to be constantly evaluated. This should not be considered a onetime process as many of the issues experienced in today’s cloud computing solution could be resolved in a few months thus the process is ongoing. The main benefit of cloud computing is that the infrastructure and systems are off-premise, and suppliers take care of them and roll out regular software updates, hardware and security updates. This will allow us to forget about technology and focus on key business activities and objectives. It can also help us reduce the time to market newer applications and services.



Source by Omar Hajjar

About Gregory Masley

Gregory Masley CNE, CNA, MCSE
(714)975-3656
greg@masleyassociates.com

SUMMARY:

• Twenty years of Network Engineering hands on experience, with a demonstrated ability to quickly learn and integrate new technology in a variety of industries
• Proven expertise in various network including Novell Netware and Microsoft Windows networks.
• Proven expertise in large scale network, wireless and cloud-based network build-outs and migrations
• Proven success in implementing management, operations, technical and interpersonal skills to increase productivity, reliability and teamwork to benefit the company
• Team Lead, Project Manager, IT Manager, Network Administrator, Network Engineer and sole IT support for security, repair, installation, migration, reconfiguration and maintenance of large-scale Windows and Novell networks ranging from 5 users to over 8000 users
• Hands on experience in Wireless Networking, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Optical Networking, Switching/Bridging (VLAN, Spanning Tree), VPNs, LAN/WAN/MAN, TCP/IP Protocol, IP Addressing and Subnetting, IP Access Lists, Routing Protocols, Token Ring, ATM, Frame Relay, HP OpenView NNM, Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks, Resource Manager Essentials, Cisco Security Management Center (PIX, IDS), Microsoft Visio, WebNM, IBM compatible computers, Windows 2008/2003/2000/7/Vista/NT/XP, Remote Desktop Management, Microsoft Office 2010/2007/2003/2000/XP, Norton, Remedy, Compupic Pro, Network Security and MicroStation (95/SE/J/8)
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Hands on experience with Cisco 2600/3600/4000/7200/7500 series routers, Cisco Catalyst 1900/2900/5000/5500 series switch, Cisco 3550 Multilayer Switch, Cisco PIX Firewall, Cisco IDS 515E, CAD/CAM Systems, Netopia Routers, Sonicwall, IBM Compatible Workstations and Servers and Printers
• Hands on experience with Microsoft Windows Enterprise Server, Office 365, Small Business Server and Workstation NT through 2008, Active Directory, Novell 3.1-6.0, UNIX, SCOM, SCCM, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft SharePoint, Citrix, Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, AutoCAD, MAPICS, Rhumba Reflections and ISA Server, Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Programming experience in Visual Basic, Basic, COBOL, FORTRAN, SQL, HTML, Wordpress, CSS, DreamWeaver, Oracle and DBASE
• MCSE, CNA, and CNE Certified
• United States Department Of Defense SECRET Security Clearance 2005

TECHNICAL SKILLS:

• Networking: Wireless Networking
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet
• Optical Networking
• Parsed Cloud
• Switching/Bridging (VLAN, Spanning Tree)
• VPNs, LAN/WAN/MAN
• TCP/IP Protocol
• IP Addressing and Subnetting
• IP Access Lists, Routing Protocols
• Token Ring, ATM
• Frame Relay
• HP OpenView NNM
• Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks
• Resource Manager Essentials
• Cisco Security Management Center (PIX, IDS)
• Microsoft Visio
• WebNM
• IBM compatible computers
• Windows Enterprise Server, Small Business Server and Workstation 2008/2003/2000/NT/XP/Vista/7
• Exchange 5.5/2000/2003/2007/2010
• Remote Desktop Management
• Microsoft Office 2010/2003/2000/XP
• Windows 95/98/Vista/XP/7
• Norton
• Remedy
• Compupic Pro
• Network Security
• MicroStation
• (95/SE/J/8) HP Openview
• OSPF,BGP,VLAN,IPSEC, routing and bridging protocols
• Citrix XenApp
• VmWare

Hardware:

• Cisco 2600/3600/4000/7200/7500 series routers
• Cisco Catalyst 1900/2900/5000/5500 series switch
• Cisco 3550 Multilayer Switch
• Cisco PIX Firewall
• Cisco IDS 515E
• CAD/CAM Systems
• Netopia Routers
• Sonicwall
• IBM compatible Workstations and Servers
• Printers

Software/OS:

• Microsoft Windows Servers (all versions) NT 3.51 through 2008 R2
• Microsoft Windows Desktop (all versions) Windows 95 through Windows 7
• Novell 3.1-6.0
• UNIX
• Parsed Cloud
• Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003/2007/2010
• SharePoint 2007/2010
• SQL Server 2005/2008
• Lotus Notes
• Microsoft Office XP/2000/2003/2007/2010/365
• Word Perfect
• AutoCAD
• MAPICS
• SCOM, SCCM
• Rhumba Reflections
• ISA Server RAID Storage Devices SAN Storage Devices
• Citrix
• Active Directory
• Citrix XenApp
• VmWare

Programming:

• Visual Basic, Basic
• COBOL
• FORTRAN
• SQL
• Oracle and DBASE
• HTML
• Wordpress
• MySQL
• CSS
• DreamWeaver

EDUCATION & TRAINING:

California State University Fullerton
• Novell Certified Network Administration and
• Engineering Program – Graduated in the top 10% of the JTPA Grant Class of 93
• BS – Computer Science 1997

CERTIFICATES & LICENSES:

• CNE – Certified Novell Network Engineer 1993
• CNA – Certified Novell Network Administrator 1992
• MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 1997

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Senior Computer Network Consultant - Masley and Associates - Owner
Orange County, CA Jan 1994 to Present

Senior Network Consultant (Masley & Associates)
Lynx Grills, Downey, CA
Feb 2013 - April 2015
• Lead network technical support engineer onsite for 70 user network reconfiguration and move from Commerce California to Downey California with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL 2008, Navision, Microsoft Exchange and Office 365

Security First Corporation, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Sep 2011 – Feb 2013
• Built and tested over 20 new Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Servers with Microsoft Exchange 2010 in DAG failover clusters and SQL and SharePoint with Active Directory configurations from scratch to test Security First Corporation’s SPX Connect and BitFiler Encryption Software with and documented and reported findings, as well as Office 365, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp
• Built and tested new encrypted Cloud Based Parsed Cloud Secure network encrypted Cloud network environment
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Network Engineer responsible for system configuration, communications, and installation of hardware, operating systems, and software applications in multiple client locations
• Design, instillation, and maintenance of all computer networks for major Southern California and Colorado companies including:JNIC Missile Defense Agency Schreiver Air Force Base Department Of Defense, Net Solutions, Planet Network, Analysts International, Accucode, Capitol Records, Unihealth Insurance, Fuji Bank, UNOCOL 76, and Price Company
• Performed nationwide wireless network upgrade for The Sports Authority and Gart Sports on multi-tier network with over 1000 users.
• Migrated St. Joseph’s Hospital from Novell to Windows 2000 Server with Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 2000 users.
• Migrated Anaheim Memorial Hospital from Windows 98, NT Server, and Exchange 5.5 to Windows XP, 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 4000 users.
• Designed and documented data and voice networks from the ground up.
• Trained customers and managers on system capabilities and usage.
• Website programming in CSS, HTML, Wordpress and Dreamweaver

Aug 2010 - Sep 2011 Network Consultant- EdgeMac Finance, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Jul 2009 – Aug 2010 Network Consultant- Microtek, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Jun 2008 – Jul 2009 IT Manager - Bert Howe & Associates, Anaheim, CA (Masley & Associates)
Consolidated List of Duties/Roles
• Edge Mac Finance:
Moved, reconfigured and supported sixty user network with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Servers, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp. Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Microtek-Bert Howe & Associates:
Reconfigured and supported sixty user network with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 Servers, SCOM, SCCM, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, Windows XP Professional and Windows 7 Professional, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp. Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008

2GWLAN Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Peterson Air Force Base/ Luke Air Force Base
May 2005 – Jun 2008
• Designed and implemented 2GWLAN system for both Air forcebases
• Worked with Aruba Controllers, Aruba Access Points, RADIUS and TACACS Servers, and used Motorola LAN Planner, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp to do the design
• Configured and tested all necessary network platforms under extreme time constraints resulting in successful customer acceptance of required test bed network
• Active Directory migrations 2003 to 2008
• Established network security measures in order to support defense agency accreditation for The Department Of Defense at Schreiver Air Force Base JNIC Missile Defense Agency
• Recommended and implemented network wide security management solution, including Firewall policies and configuration, router access-lists, and agent based network monitoring

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA
Apr 2003 – May 2005
• Primary support and lead Novell Network migration specialist for multi-site 500 user Novell Network, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Network Planet, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 2001- Apr 2003
• Primary support for Novell Networks, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp at Fortune 500 law firms in Los Angeles, California

Lead Network Engineer (Masley & Associates)
Network Solutions, Tustin, CA
Feb 1999 – Mar 2001
• Primary support for Novell, Microsoft Networks, VmWare and Citrix Xenapp at Fortune 500 companies in Orange County, California
• Network Engineer responsible for system configuration, communications, and installation of hardware, operating systems, and software applications
• Installed and maintained entire computer networks for major Southern California companies including:Mellon Financial, Mallinckrodt Medical, Shiley Medical, AJS Accounting Service, Online Connecting Point, Sandpiper Computer, Nadek, ARC, Farmers Insurance, Classic Homes, Horizon, Qualtek Manufacturing, Powell Manufacturing, RL Holdings, COACT, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Computer Support Network and Manpower Technical
• Performed nationwide wireless network upgrade for The Sports Authority and Gart Sports on multi-tier network with over 1000 users
• Migrated St. Joseph’s Hospital from Novell and Lotus Notes to Windows 2000 Server with Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 2000 users
• Migrated Anaheim Memorial Hospital from Windows 98, NT Server, and Exchange 5.5 to Windows XP, 2000 Server, and Exchange 2000 on multi-site network with over 4000 users in Active Directory
• Designed and documented data and voice networks from the ground up.
• Trained customers and managers on system capabilities and usage
• Performed Systems Administration on Windows Servers and Clients for Local and Wide Area Networks
• Recommended and implemented network wide security management solution, including Firewall policies and configuration, router access-lists, and agent based network monitoring
• Administered and supported Citrix network environment for Classic Homes including building new Citrix servers and load balancing, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

Network Administrator (Masley & Associates)
Mallinckrodt Medical, Irvine, CA
Jan 1994 To Feb 1999
• Sole onsite IT support for 400 user network
• Managed all aspects of several network implementations including network planning, design, testing, documentation, deployment and maintenance of Novell and Windows based network systems
• Responsible for complete support, installation, maintenance and training for all network and system components
• Developed training and support plans for 400 user network
• Lead effort to migrate Novell based Microsoft and Lotus Notes servers with upgraded Windows NT based Exchange Servers to Active Directory. Included development and implementation of plan to provide remote access to e-mail and database servers via Windows NT RAS
• Administered Windows NT, Back Office, Exchange, RAS, AS400s, Lotus Notes, MAPICS, JD Edwards, Rhumba and Reflections, as well as VmWare and Citrix Xenapp

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