The nScaled Cloud Computing Console – Part 1

Over the next few days and weeks I will be introducing and detailing individual features and functionality of the nScaled Cloud Computing console via this blog series.  It’s my goal to provide more information, thoughts, options and demonstrations of how nScaled, Inc. provides business continuity to our clients.  This first post will be a general introduction to the nScaled Cloud Computing Console and a small screencast of what happens when a server starts in the nScaled cloud.

Our cloud computing console is the SaaS front end to our cloud computing platform. The console is command and control for our cloud computing platform.  It is the main interface to the nScaled cloud computing platform and infrastructure services.

Cloud computing, becomes ‘computing’.

Lately I have been noticing an accelerating trend (albeit completely anecdotal) of web services starting to imitate one another. The followers start to look like the leaders, or they adopt the best practices proven by the leaders as their own, and these pretty soon become industry standards.

Total costs vs. marginal costs

An important part of most discussions about clouds is an analysis of costs. People are strongly driven to try to reduce the costs of their burdensome infrastructure, particularly when a large part of it is almost never used (the DR provisions), yet is as costly as the primary in some cases. Most technical people we talk to are impressed with nScaled solutions, but that appreciation is viewed differently when they have to present it to their management team and justify the investment, and so the talk inevitably turns to costs.

nScaled Community

Lately some of our customers have been asking us to provide more interactive feedback features. Of course we think this is a great idea. In fact we have under development (and scheduled for release in late July) a comprehensive support area within the Cloud Console.

In researching other options we have decided that in addition to this effort, to speed things along will also be launching our nScaled Community site directly available from our website and free for all to participate in. We chose GetSatisfaction for this tool as its easy to establish and integrates into our CRM tool. I hope people like it. If so, or not we would love to hear about it.

The nScaled team will be participating to, so this should be a great way to close the circle on feature requests, bugs or anything else that comes up. You can access the community at forum.nscaled.com

The importance of testing

One of the things I consistently hear as I talk with clients about Disaster Recovery, is that it’s complicated. This whether the client has invested heavily in DR or not. In many cases people might have made substantial investments in technology and duplicate infrastructure and have some highly skilled people on the team – yet they still have questionable levels of confidence in their systems – and this causes them to loose sleep at night.

At the end of the day the IT folks know that its their jobs that are on the line in a disaster and that when systems go down, they will be working 24 hours a day trying to rebuild things. This also leads to the comment I hear from time to time along the lines of “My DR plan is to keep my resume polished.” or one I heard recently “I might look like I am in there rebuilding systems, but in reality I will be applying for new jobs.”

The risks in cloud computing

I am working with a small team on a presentation /debate for ILTA 2010 where we have a booth this year. The topic for discussion is:

ILTA 2010 – INFO13: No Dark Clouds in the Forecast: Addressing Risks in Cloud Computing

This session will address the challenges and risks law firms face with the movement towards cloud computing, including risks with privacy and security, as well as records management issues. What are the problems with cloud computing when you do not have complete control over your information? How can IT address these problems?

With me on the panel will be Charlene Wacenske, Firm Wide Records Manager at Morrison & Foerster LLP and Scott Christensen, Director, Information Services at Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon.

Introductions to the team

Since this is our first post, I will start by introducing the nScaled team:

Mark Hadfield – founder and CEO

Kent Langley – founder and CTO

Ilya Beyer – VP Engineering

Dan Bass – Director Sales

Modi Ronen – Director Customer Services

James Neiper – Senior Systems Engineer

Truc Hoang – Financial Controller

Mikhail Stepura – Engineer

Alexander Pokotilo – Engineer

Andrey Trofimov – Engineer