Cloud computing offers benefits of cost and convenience, but one problem frequently cited is the difficultly of being able to interoperate with data stored in the cloud among different cloud service providers and storage vendors. A new specification is now available that tries to solve that problem. It’s called CDMI (Cloud Data Management Interface) and it was developed by the SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association). Cloud Computing is still in its infancy, and CDMI would be the first industry-developed open standard for cloud computing. The guidelines are applicable to public, private or hybrid cloud storage.CDMI metadata defines things like how long the data should be retained and whether or not multiple copies of the data are needed or whether it should be distributed geographically. The metadata will allow the discovery of cloud data information. The specification does not explicitly address security but it can be used to identify security capabilities of a cloud storage environment.An unfortunate aspect of CDMI is that a vendor does not need to implement the complete specification to be compliant, vendors can pick and choose. While that may be great for vendors and also is a way to speed up the by-committee agreement of the specification, it can make things confusing for customers. Customers will need to read their contracts carefully.SNIA said that “the majority of existing cloud storage offerings today will likely be able to implement the interface,” but because CDMI is based around the REST standard for Web services, Amazon’s S3 storage system, for example, which is an example of a cloud storage service using SOAP, would need some work to make it ready for CDMI.CDMI was architected by the SNIA Cloud Storage Technical Working Group (TWG), a group of about 180 individual members representing about 60 organizations. Discussions around the CDMI standard have been going on for about one year.
One bright spot in the Obama administration has been the handling of IT in the Federal Government. Federal IT is in the midst of a turnaround, and much of the success has been due to Obama’s creation the new role of federal chief information officer and the appointment of Vivek Kundra to that position. Indian-born Kundra held the position of Federal CIO for two and one-half years. Kundra is leaving in August to become a joint fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.While all is not rosy with the current state of IT in the Federal government, Kundra was a strong an influential leader, and set a new direction. As somewhat of an anomaly to how government typically works, the changes Kundra made within federal IT seemed to be smart and well thought.Kundra took the Federal CIO job at a time when operational costs of the aging government IT infrastructure were increasing rapidly, and failed projects were common. He attempted to streamline IT infrastructure and identified areas for cost savings. He initiated a strategy to consolidate government IT data centers and developed a strategy for moving forward with the idea of cloud-based computing. And while many of those problems still exist, Kundra has steered the efforts in a good direction.Kundra acknowledged as recently as April of this year that federal IT had many problems still to overcome. “The president is absolutely right. When we came into office, federal IT was undeniably broken. These problems weren’t created overnight, and they won’t be solved overnight.”John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation commented that “Vivek built the Data.gov and the IT Dashboard as tools to aggressively pursue transparency that affects how the government works.”Kundra commented on his resignation by saying “The work that I dedicated myself to while serving as the federal CIO – in cutting waste, strengthening cybersecurity and building an open and transparent government through technology will also drive my research interests on both the national and international levels.”One of the reasons for Kundra’s exit may be the environment of budget cutting. Congress has reduced the funding for the e-government initiative from $38 million to just $8 million. Those dollars exist to fund projects like USASpending.gov, Data.gov and Performance.gov. Budget cuts caused Kundra to have to eliminate the Fedspace social network program and severely cut back on other project funding.What’s next? We’ll have to wait and see.
Delhi Daredevils wicketkeeper Naman Ojha has started to nestle in the team’s set-up after moving from Rajasthan Royals last season. Though he didn’t have a fruitful 2011 season, the Madhya Pradesh keeper has had a quiet but confident start in this edition.One of the reasons for it being the settled look the Delhi team is sporting after the inclusion of star batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Mahela Jayawardene, which has seen the pressure being taken off the rest of the batsmen.”It has been a good start, winning two out of three games. Now our middle-order is stronger. Last season, we had concerns but with Mahela and KP, we have more confidence. In the middle of the 2011 season, things weren’t going my way. This season, I am enjoying it much more,” Naman told Mail Today on Thursday.The one development that has pleased the 28-year-old is that he has been given a chance to open the innings for now. However, batting with Sehwag poses its own set of problems.”I am getting to open, something which I enjoy a lot. Sometimes, while playing with Sehwag you feel inferior. Some of the shots he plays, you watch in awe. It gets difficult to hold yourself back while watching Viru paaji bat. But now I have learnt to not try to match him for shots,” he said.Having played under Shane Warne and now Sehwag, Naman said both skippers have a lot of flair in their leadership. “Sehwag doesn’t put any pressure on the players and tells us to express ourselves. Warne had many ideas and strategies; he would talk to the players. There are many similarities, but both have their own style,” he said.advertisementStanding behind the wickets to express pace bowlers like Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav and then switching to left-arm orthodox spinners like Roelof van der Merwe and Shahbaz Nadeem is a challenge which the Daredevils glovesman is relishing.”Morne and Umesh are express bowlers. To keep to them, you need a lot of concentration. van der Merwe and Nadeem are also very good spinners. It’s not so much about technique, but more about coping with it mentally and staying agile. I talked to Kiran More sir about keeping and discussed what I am doing right and wrong.”The keeper has already made his India debut – a forgettable ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe where India got walloped by the hosts and Sri Lanka – and learnt some harsh lessons in 2010.”In Zimbabwe, I learnt that you can’t take any team lightly and that any side can win a game on any day.”As with other wicket-keeper batsmen in the country, Naman knows that as long as Mahendra Singh Dhoni is operating, it is difficult to get a chance in the Indian team any time soon.”I am a batsman-keeper. I can open, play in the middle order, wherever. I am not concerned that the (India) captain is such a good keeper batsman. I am just concentrating on performing well for any team for which I play.”