One of the greatest moments a cloud evangelist indulges in occurs at that point a listener experiences an intuitive leap of understanding following your explanation of cloud computing. No greater joy and intrinsic sense of accomplishment.
Government IT managers, particularly those in developing countries, view information and communications technology (ICT) as almost a "black" art. Unlike the US, Europe, Korea, Japan, or other countries where Internet and network-enabled everything has diffused itself into the core of Generation "Y-ers," Millennials, and Gen "Z-ers." The black art gives IT managers in some legacy organizations the power they need to control the efforts of people and groups needing support, as their limited understanding of ICT still sets them slightly above the abilities of their peers.
But, when the "users" suddenly have that right brain flash of comprehension in a complex topic such as cloud computing, the barrier of traditional IT control suddenly becomes a barrier which must be explained and justified. Suddenly everybody from the CFO down to supervisors can become "virtual" data center operators – at the touch of a keyboard. Suddenly cloud computing and ICT becomes a standard tool for work – a utility.
Posted by: John Savageau in telecom, entrepreneur on
Nov 26, 2009
I first met Matt Hiles while he was director of business development with Looking Glass Networks in Los Angeles. As a customer looking for telecom services, navigating the providers, technologies, and deal structures can be confusing. Matt took the time to explain all aspects of the business, cost structures, and how he would get us a great deal - while still making money for his company. Matt stood out alone from a world of "wheeling and dealing" telecom sales people, unique in providing the customer a level of confidence they were getting the best product, for the best price, with the best service.
Pacific-Tier: Today we have Matt Hiles, managing partner with Mosaic Networx. Hello Matt! So tell us a little about yourself, how did you get into this business?
Matt Hiles: I started in telecommunications right out of college, and I've been in the business, in one form or another, since - which is about 20 years. I've been in a variety of telecommunications, voice, and service providers. I've also spent a period of time in the data center side of the industry as well.
This is the fourth article in a series of interviews with Eric Bender, President of Wilshire Connection (WilCon), the largest independent telecom carrier in Los Angeles. In this segment Eric discusses the future of WilCon, including expansion outside of Los Angeles, wireless topics, relations with local utilities, and some great examples of WilCon's flexibility in delivering telecom solutions to the LA community.
Pacific Tier: Outside of downtown LA , what is your expansion strategy for going to place like El Segundo, Las Vegas, or other cities, parts of the city?
Eric Bender: We've leased dark fiber from other carriers to get to other off-net locations such as El Segundo. We connect Equinix on Maple, so we can do lit transport into that facility. We're working on a plan that would extend from there to the 365 Main location in El Segundo, and then with a second route back to downtown.
A 40 year old building with much of the original mechanical and electrical infrastructure. A 40 year old 4000 amp, 480 volt aluminum electrical buss duct, which had been modified and "tapped" often during its life, with much of the work done violating equipment specifications.
With the old materials such as buss insulation gradually deteriorating, the duct expanding and contracting over the years, the fact aluminum was used during the initial installation to either save money or test a new technology vision - it all becomes a risk. A risk of buss failure, or at worst a buss failing to the point it results in a massive electrical explosion.
Sound extreme? Now add a couple of additional factors. The building is a mixed use-telecom carrier hotel, with additional space used for commercial collocation and standard commercial office space. This narrows it down to most of the carrier hotel facilities in the US and Europe. Old buildings, converted to mixed-use carrier hotel and collocation facilities, due mainly to an abundance of vacant space during the mid-1990s, and a need for telecom interconnection space following the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
February 1996. A half-ton bomb planted in a small truck near South Quay Station close to the recently renovated commercial district of Canary Wharf. The bomb detonated around 1900 hours, bringing down a six story building, and severely shaking Canary Wharf Tower and other buildings around the Docklands area. The area, home to much of the telecommunications interconnection capacity connecting the UK and Europe to the rest of the world, is severely damaged and all surrounding activity disrupted.
Today the Docklands area continues to support many important, high density communications interconnection points, including Telehouse Europe, the London Internet Exchange (LINX), and the London Network Access Point (LONAP) - in addition to individual nodes and facilities operated by European and other international telecommunications carriers.
This includes companies operating submarine fiber optic cable systems. These densely interconnected areas are referred to as telecommunications "SuperNodes," or if the facilities are located at individual facilities, "Carrier hotels."
The worst case scenario - a strong earthquake strikes California, disabling the carrier hotel at One Wilshire, disrupting operations at submarine cable landing stations in both the Los Angeles area and central California, with a resulting tsunami hitting Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan.
Communications are severed to most of the South Pacific, and severely degraded to allow for only emergency services and national defense usage within the west coast of the United States. Financial and government communications are disrupted and severely limited into Japan, Hong Kong, and China.
Telecom carriers in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Australia work frantically to restore cable, Internet, and telecom capacity from the Pacific submarine cable systems through the Indian Ocean to Europe and the US east coast. Seattle and San Francisco still have some connectivity, however cable systems from Grover Beach to San Diego are inoperable, limiting connections to those which were designed with automatic rerouting through North Pacific cable systems.
"The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated..." Who can forget the words spoken by Bernard Shaw, CNN's reporter on the scene, when the US kicked off the air war over Iraq on January 17th, 1991. While a portion of the air war was conducted with stealth aircraft, invisible to air defenses and radar, a large number of aircraft such as B-52s entered Iraqi airspace with the radar signature of the Hindenburg.
Urban legend says that Iraqi air defenses were quickly neutralized by a virus entered into the IBM system which ran most of the radar defenses within the country. As a legacy SNA (protocol) system, the IBM mainframes were all linked to each other, including items like printers. Legend says the CIA located an Iraqi printer prior to the war, which was being repaired at a computer shop in Jordan. Once the infected chip was in the printer, it was given a clear shot at the entire Iraqi air defense computer network, and at the right time unleashed a series of commands to shut down the entire IBM network.
True? Who knows, most legends are based on at least some truth. Possible - absolutely!
"Hey Adil, I need some help getting a LAN installation done - you up for a month or so worth of consultant gig?"
"Sure, where is the job, and are there any special problems?"
Last Thursday (9 Apr 2009) brought a new experience to many in the telecommunications industry - a malicious attack on two separate underground fiber optic systems. The damage wiped out normal communications, including emergency 911 services, in many areas of the San Jose/San Carlos area, including service as far away as Gilroy.
This is the first time most in the telecom industry have experienced intentional disruption to telecom infrastructure, and both industry experts and authorities are scrambling to understand the WHYs, HOWs, and WHOs of the incident.
The telecom industry, and watchdogs looking at the telecom industry, have long advocated stricter oversight and control over critical telecom infrastructure. In New York most manholes are not secured with any kind of lock, allowing virtually anybody with the desire to enter the underworld of critical infrastructure. In downtown Los Angeles there is a high density of telecom carriers centered in the Wilshire, West 7th, and West 6th area. In addition to telecom infrastructure, the power company, water, and sewage share the space below our major streets and intersections. Thus, if there was a desire for malicious activity below the streets of LA, or other major cities, it is not just telecom, but nearly all our critical infrastructure services which would be damaged or seriously disrupted.
It was a clear, very beautiful morning in Sydney. Mike brought the Pitts biplane up to about 4,500ft, and you could literally reach out and touch the mountains from the open cockpit and passenger seat. I came close to better appreciating the words of the classic poem that is understood by pilots, and very few others;
Mike Lagunowitsch, the pilot, a friend, and former colleague at Sprint Australia and Sprint China, is one of the few people I know who can really step away from the job, and escape into complete indulgence in life. Then almost like flipping a switch he returns to being one of the most enthusiastic, aggressive visionairies in the telecommunications industry.
Savageau: Mike, what are you doing these days? Been a long time since we had a chance to catch up.