The Taxonomy of IT – Part 4: Order and Family

The Order level of IT classification builds upon the previous Kingdom, Phylum and Class levels. In biology, Order is used to further group like organisms by traits that define their nature or character. In the Mammalia Class, Orders include Primates, Carnivora, Insectivora, and Cetacea. Carnivora is pretty self-explanatory and includes a wide range of animal species. However, Cetacea is restricted to whales, dolphins and porpoises and indicates more of an evolutionary development path that is consistent between them.

In IT, the concept of what we consume and how we got to that consumption model correlates to the concept of Order. So, Order focuses on how IT is consumed and why it’s consumed that way.

Business needs drive IT models, and as business needs change so does the way we leverage IT. An organization may have started out with a traditional on-premise solution that met all needs, and over time has morphed into a hybrid solution of internal and external resources. Likewise, the way users consume IT changes over time. This may be due to underlying business change, or possibly due to “generational” changes in the workforce. In either case, where IT is today does not always reflect its true nature.

Using consumption as a metric, we can group IT environments to bring to light how they have evolved, and expose their future needs. Some examples of different Orders might be:

Contra-Private – IT is mostly a private resource and is not specifically consumption driven. The IT organization uses their own internalized set of standards in order to identify the technical direction of the platforms. Shunning industry standards and trends, they often take a less-is-more approach to the tools and services they provide to the business. Ironically, their platforms tend to be oversized and underutilized.

Mandatorily-Mixed – here IT leverages a mix of internal, external, hard-built and truly consumed resources because the business demands it. IT may have less power to make foundational decisions or affect policy, but they typically will be better funded and be encouraged to work with outside groups. Often the internal/external moat is drawn around the LOB application stack, and these tend to be overly scaled.

Scale-Sourced – In this Order, IT would be incented to make efficiency and flexibility their guiding principles for decision-making. The business allows IT to determine use of and integration with outside services and solutions and relies on them to make the intelligent decisions. This Order is also user driven, with the ability to adopt new services and policies that drive user effectiveness.

The Family classification is the first real grouping of organisms where their external appearance is the primary factor. Oddly, what is probably the most visually apparent comes this deep in the classification model. Similarly within IT, we can now start grouping environments by their IT “appearance,” or more fundamentally, their core framework.

If you dissect a Honey Badger, it would probably be evident that it’s very much like other animals in the weasel family. It’s overall shape and proportions are similar to other weasels, from the smallest Least weasel to the largest Wolverine. So size is not the factor here, what is more important is the structure, and what type of lifestyle that structure has evolved to support. Therefore, in IT, Family refers to the core structure of data flow within IT systems.

Here are some examples:

Linear – IT is built along a pathway that conforms to a linear work flow. Systems are built to address specific point functions such as marketing, financials, manufacturing, etc. Each system has a definitive start and stop point, with end to end integration only. Input/output is translated between them, often by duplicated entry, scripted processes, or 3rd party translation. One function cannot begin until another has completed, thus creating a chain of potential break-points and inefficiencies.

Parallel – Workstreams can be completed concurrently, with some form of data-mashing at the end of each function. While this structure allows for users to work without waiting on others to complete their functions, it does require additional effort to combine the streams at the end.

Linked – Here, systems are linked at key intersections of workflow. Data crosses these intersections in a controlled and orderly fashion. Often, the data conversions are transparent or at least simplified. The efficiency level is increased, as dynamic information can be utilized by more than one person, however the complexities of this approach are often fraught with underlying dangers and support challenges.

Mobius – If you know the form of a Mobius strip, you get the idea here. In this form, it doesn’t matter what side of the workflow you are on, everything flows without interruption or collision. If this is delivered by more than one integrated system, then the integration is well tested and supported by all parties involved. More likely, this form is enabled by a singular system that receives, correlates, and forwards the data along its merry way.

Both the Order and Family are where we start to see the benefits of a Cloud IT architecture. Built to specification, consumed in a flexible, on-demand way, and enabling the true flow of information across all required systems may sound like nirvana. But, consider that our limiting factor in achieving this goal is not technology per se, but our ability to visualize and accept it.

Case Study: KT creates new revenue model with cloud services powered by Parallels Automation


This case study is part of series conducted by Parallels that examines how Parallels partners are optimally using our products.  For a complete copy, click here [PDF].

Partner Summary


KT is Korea’s largest communication service provider, delivering voice and data, fixed and mobile, and communication and broadcasting services. In 2010, it also formed a new division to deliver colocation and managed hosting services out of KT’s Internet Data Center and to look into cloud computing as a strategic new business for the company. 


Business Situation


In recent years, competition from a new breed of internet-based voice providers such as Google Voice and Skype has been putting pressure on traditional voice revenues for telecommunication services providers such as KT.


In response, KT announced in 2010 that cloud computing would be a major new business model for the company and unveiled the “ucloud” brand for its cloud services. The next challenge was to quickly put into place the capability to deliver cloud-based software and infrastructure services to customers in Korea, in particular over 3 million small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the country.




In September 2011, KT made the decision to adopt Parallels Automation (PA), which would enable it to rapidly deploy cloud services to SMBs efficiently and cost-effectively.


Parallels Automation consists of two core systems – Parallels Operations Automation and Parallels Business Automation. In addition to these core systems, specific PA modules are also deployed depending on the services being offered.


Parallels Operations Automation provides end-to-end automation for cloud services provisioning, server and application management, service plan creation and management, end user self-service, and reseller management. Parallels Business Automation simplifies end user ordering, account management, billing, billing system integration, invoicing, and trouble ticketing. 


With Parallels Automation as its service delivery platform, KT can easily extend its service portfolio with offerings such as ucloud backup and ucloud storage. 


To address Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) opportunities, the Parallels Automation SaaS module enables KT to automate application deployment, updating, and recurring billing, so that it can quickly and easily offer SMBs a broad choice of open source and licensed commercial SaaS applications.


For example, KT has been appointed the sole syndication partner for Microsoft Office 365 in Korea, and using PA enables the company to rapidly provision and deliver the Office 365 suite of services to its customers and channel partners. With Parallels Automation, KT can also create a customized marketplace of hundreds of SaaS applications from leading independent software vendors, which can then be delivered by its channel and resell partners through their own white-labeled stores.




The deployment of the Parallels Automation platform is critical in helping KT achieve its leadership position in the cloud and to strengthen its IaaS and SaaS offerings.


Creates new revenue streams


Parallels Automation enables KT to offer SMBs enterprise-class applications with subscription plans that scale from individuals to thousands of end users. These applications can generate net new customers, as well as increase both average revenue per user (ARPU) and customer retention, as customers rely on KT for additional value added services.


“There are a number of SMB customers in Korea who have been waiting for critical business applications that are easy to subscribe to with no upfront costs. Being small and nimble, they do not want to worry about updates and software maintenance,” said Hyeon Kyu Lee, vice president, Advanced Platform & Software Business Center of KT. “Parallels Automation enables KT to address this critical business need, and takes it a step further by enabling our reseller partners to offer their own independent private label cloud storefronts.” 


Reduces time to market


The Parallels SaaS module helps KT bring new applications and cloud services to market quickly. It comes with a go-to-market kit that includes service plan templates and messaging directed at SMBs, plus control panels that simplify support by letting KT delegate control to end users.


“Our customers are looking forward to leveraging products in the cloud from the likes of Microsoft, and our partnership with Parallels enables us to quickly implement a solution that delivers swift provisioning and billing of the Office 365 platform,” said Lee.


Case Study: Leading Australian web hosting provider Net Logistics builds up new revenue streams with Parallels Plesk Panel and Parallels Virtuozzo Containers


This case study is part of series conducted by Parallels that examines how Parallels partners are optimally using our products.  For a complete copy, click here [PDF].


Partner Summary 


Net Logistics is a leading web hosting service provider in Australia with over 6,000 customers. It offers flexible, easy-to-use and affordable solutions tailored to companies ranging from small businesses to large enterprises.


Net Logistics started out by providing shared hosting services, then organically expanded into reseller hosting and then to Virtual Private Server (VPS) and dedicated server hosting as customers demanded more of such services. Today, 60 per cent of its revenues come from VPS/dedicated servers. Another key segment is the developer and reseller market for white label offerings, which today makes up about 30 per cent of its customer base.


Customer support, both pre-sales and post-sales, is a key focus for Net Logistics, said Joseph Salim, Business Development Manager. The company has about 50 employees, with over 20 involved in back-end support. One of its core value propositions is the fact that it has its “hands on the ground”, providing customers with direct access to technical expertise within the company. This has helped strengthen the company’s reputation for customer support excellence, with high positive ratings in forums such as Whirlpool.


Business Situation


In 2008, the commoditization of shared hosting led to lower profitability for this segment of the business and presented a significant business challenge to Net Logistics. In response to this, the company began looking into opportunities in the reseller hosting market as well as the VPS and dedicated server hosting market where it could differentiate itself with customized managed services. At the same time, the company also sought to increase its average revenue per user (ARPU) by providing scalable solutions to its customer base. 


“VPS was identified as a key part of Net Logistics’ strategy to move upstream. As we moved up the hosting value chain, it was also imperative for us to maintain or even enhance our customer support standards, and continue to provide customers with fast resolution of any issues that they may encounter,” said Karthick Rajendran, Managing Director, Net Logistics.


Net Logistics also had to rein in operating costs and to adopt a more environmentally friendly approach to doing business. In particular, it was looking to optimize the use of its infrastructure in order to reduce power consumption, which is a relatively high cost component from both the monetary as well as the environmental perspective.




To address these business challenges, Net Logistics was looking to deploy a server control panel and automation solution together with a virtualization tool that would enable it to manage its infrastructure and provision upstream services more efficiently. After evaluating several options, it decided to go with Parallels Plesk Panel and Parallels Virtuozzo Containers (PVC). 


“We chose Parallels for its depth of experience in delivering solutions finely tuned to the needs of a hosting business model,” said Salim. 


While Net Logistics also evaluated virtualization solutions such as Xen and VMware, it decided on PVC because of its seamless integration with Parallels Plesk Panel. This integration would make it easier for Net Logistics to manage and monetize its infrastructure. Said Salim, “One of the best reasons for working with Parallels is the total stack of products that helps us to configure and bundle products. There is one vendor to work with unlike with Xen or VMware. This makes it simpler and easier to do business.” 


Parallels Plesk Panel is a sophisticated control panel tool which assists Net Logistics in web hosting account and server management. It includes complete, cost-effective control panel technologies designed for hosting accounts as well as for reseller, VPS and dedicated server platforms. Complementing the deployment of Parallels Plesk Panel is the PVC virtualization software which enables Net Logistics to offer greater support efficiency and implement effective backup solutions in mission-critical environments.


In Parallels, Net Logistics also found a partner with a common approach towards customer service and support. This synergy gave Net Logistics added confidence in going with Parallels Plesk Panel and PVC. “We need to be able to trust the vendor to provide support when needed,” said Salim. “With Parallels, support becomes much easier. We know that we can escalate any issue and have it resolved very quickly.” 




The deployment of the Parallels Plesk Panel and PVC has enabled Net Logistics to deliver intuitive hosting services to the Australian market efficiently and cost-effectively.


Introduction of new revenue streams


With the deployment of Parallels Plesk Panel, Net Logistics is now able to deliver profitable services easily and offer its customers a quick and easy way to create and manage web sites as well as server resources. It has enabled Net Logistics to grow its VPS business from scratch three years ago, to make up 40 per cent of its customer base today. 


“Over the past 12 months, 60 per cent of all new customers have been buying VPS,” said Salim. Parallels has also helped Net Logistics to create greater awareness of its offerings, by providing it with opportunities to participate in events such as the Parallels APAC Summit and the global Parallels Summit. 


Enhanced customer support 


With Parallels Plesk Panel providing reliable administrative support for wide range of web hosting scenarios, Net Logistics has been able to provide better customer support without having to incur high manpower overhead.


“Parallels Plesk Panel provides a powerful, impressive solution to ease hosting account administration across the full range of shared, reseller, VPS and even dedicated solutions. We are now able to offer our current and prospective customers better management and higher reliability as well as being cost effective and highly profitable,” said Salim. 


Reduced costs


Net Logistics has deployed PVC to virtualize its entire infrastructure, including its dedicated servers. This has resulted in an estimated 30 per cent savings in power consumption. 


“Power consumption is a significant cost component in our operations. The deployment of PVC to virtualize our infrastructure addresses this by allowing us to make more efficient use of our infrastructure resources, thereby reducing power consumption and enabling us to adopt a more environmentally sustainable approach to doing business,” said Trung Nguyen, Finance Director, Net Logistics. 


At the same time, Parallels Plesk Panel comes with an easy-to-use and powerful management tool that reduces the need for Net Logistics to deploy costly manpower to optimize and manage its IT infrastructure, for example, to handle tasks such as patch management.



Summit 2012: Parallels Road Map Track 2


There was a plethora of great content at Summit 2012 this year, and it was impossible to attend it all.  Fortunately, we have all of our talks on YouTube!  For this series of posts, we have consolidated the talks by tracks at Parallels Summit.


Chart Your Future: Parallels Roadmap – Find out where Parallels innovation is headed for 2012 and beyond.

Parallels Panel Roadmap

Craig Bartholomew, VP, Hosting Control Panels and Shared Hosting, Parallels

Be the first to know what we have planned for the next generation of Parallels Plesk Panel to help your hosting business save money on server costs, reduce labor cost, increase efficiency and sell more servers.





You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here



Accelerating mobile adoption: Convincing small businesses they need more than a Facebook page

Roy Joseph, President, UNITY Mobile

This session will address the growing need and challenges for SMBs to have an internet presence beyond the browser. This includes a presence on Facebook as well as the ability to deliver a good customer experience across mobile devices. Come find out how SMBs can easily add these capabilities, and how service providers can profit and differentiate offering these services and solutions.





You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here



The evolution of IT hosting services: What’s next?

Lance Crosby, CEO, SoftLayer Technologies

Understanding how cloud, dedicated and managed web hosting services will evolve and change is crucial to staying competitive. As one of the world’s largest privately owned hosting companies, SoftLayer will speak to industry leading trends which highlight the need for businesses of all sizes to adopt solutions that offer control, security, scalability, and ease-of-management. The presentation will also discuss how SoftLayer is working with Parallels to deliver the next generation of IaaS solutions.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here



Differentiate and grow your hosting business with Parallels Business Automation Standard

Alex Goncharov, Sr. Director, PBAS Product Marketing, Parallels


Join a PBAS expert for insider tips on how to accelerate your business. Alex will also provide a view into how we’ll be enhancing the capabilities of PBAS in the coming years.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here.



Opportunities with Google Apps

Jeff Ragusa, SMB Channel Programs Lead, Google

In this session you will learn how to extend your portfolio with Google Apps – Google’s business suite of messaging and productivity applications. Bring these powerful web applications to your clients allowing them to work efficiently from anywhere on any device. By leveraging Google’s channel program you can deepen and strengthen your customer relationships and grow your cloud services practice without disrupting your existing business.






You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here



Compliance: Understanding the legal and regulatory issues

Christian Dawson, COO, ServInt

David Snead, Attorney at Law

Compliance is becoming an even more important issue because governments are increasing the level of regulation related to intellectual property protection, privacy and protecting children. You need to understand the regulatory framework in order to build a secure cloud. This session will present the existing framework of security laws plus pending and anticipated legislation. Attendees will be given a framework to analyze their current compliance with these laws, and insights into whether certain important proposed legislative initiatives are likely to be adopted and what it will mean if they are.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here



Summit 2012: Practice Best Practices Track 2


There was a plethora of great content at Summit 2012 this year, and it was impossible to attend it all.  Fortunately, we have all of our talks on YouTube!  For this series of posts, we have consolidated the talks by tracks at Parallels Summit. 


Practice Best Practices: This track focused Summit Attendees on how to best use Parallels Products to drive business growth, and efficiently provide the Parallels products to customers.  Additionally, this track emphasised how to best capitalize on the growing SMB cloud market.


Panel: Building a secure cloud for customers – demystified

Alex Danyluk, Sr. Director SaaS & ISV Alliances, Parallels (moderator)


  • Rick Norman, Director of Professional Services, CoalFire
  • Sean Leach, Vice President, Strategy and Technology, Verisign
  • Brett Matesen, Director of Business Development, Kaspersky
  • Dreas van Donselaar, CTO, SpamExperts


The cloud promise is that all data, applications, and services are accessible from any device over the internet, but this has tremendous security implications at every layer from the network to the servers to the systems and end-point devices. Listen to a panel of experts discuss the trends in keeping the cloud secure, what matters to customers, and what security issues need to be top of mind for you in 2012.




Customer Support: Parallels lessons

Kellie Green, VP, Global Support, Parallels

Support can be a key differentiator in a service provider business. Parallels has made major strides in enhancing its Support capabilities in the last year and this session will provide you with our learnings. Pick up new ideas about optimizing your support experience and hear more about the changes planned in Parallels Support this year.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here


Panel: Best practices for growing a hosting business – being on the right side of the growth curve

Liam Eagle, Editor in Chief, Web Host Industry Review (moderator)



  • Steven Canale, Vice President of Sales, SoftLayer Technologies
  • Joy Nemitz, CMO, Apptix
  • Roy Joseph, President, UNITY Mobile
  • Craig Ball, Director of Sales, Infratel
  • Jon McCarrick, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Parallels Automation, Parallels
  • Igor Seletskiy, Founder and CEO, CloudLinux


While the hosting industry is experiencing double digit year-over-year growth, leaders in this sector are growing much faster than the industry average. This panel of experts will talk about what is working (and not working) and why.




You’re thinking mobile, but you might not be thinking big enough

Elliot Noss, President and CEO, Tucows

Thinking about how to capitalize on the remarkable growth of mobile this year? Make sure you are thinking big enough. That might require a shift in how you define yourself, from a product focus to a relationship focus. You will likely find that your relationships are your real advantage and that your customers will buy much bigger products from you than you realize.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here


Grow your business: Parallels partner resources

Scott Fallon, Sr. Director, Partner Marketing, Parallels

Leverage the resources Parallels offers to support your operational, marketing and sales efforts. We’ll talk about new and enhanced benefits offered through the Parallels Partner Program, technical support resources, working with Parallels Sales and more. And we’ll take your feedback on what partner benefits and tools you’d like to see added in the coming year.



You can download a PDF copy of this presentation here



Los datos están realmente seguros en un servicio Cloud?

Muchos usuarios ven el cloud como algo infalible, donde sus datos nunca van a desaparecer y su servicio siempre va a estar en línea, pero realmente es cierto?

En contra de muchas opiniones, el termino “servicios cloud”  no esta relacionado en absoluto con el término garantía de servicio, la calidad y garantía de servicio, no depende del nombre del mismo, depende directamente de la calidad, conocimiento e inversión del proveedor que lo ofrece.

Continue reading Los datos están realmente seguros en un servicio Cloud?

Alta disponibilidad, permanencia en línea, el cliente está dispuesto a pagarla?

A la hora de contratar un servicio de hosting, probablemente el factor que más influye en la compra es la garantía de disponibilidad, normalmente todos los proveedores garantizan entre el 99% y el 99.99% de permanencia en línea, incluso algunos se arriesgan a ofrecer el 100%, el problema real no es lo que ellos puedan garantizar o no, es lo que realmente te van a poder dar, todos los proveedores intentarán que sea del 100%, al fin y al cabo, es lo que más les conviene…

Entre los compradores y vendedores de hosting hay dos mundos bien diferenciados, el que utiliza el pensamiento mágico y el que utiliza el pensamiento lógico, como interpretan cada uno lo de “yo te garantizo el 99.99%” y la realidad puede ser totalmente diferente, el razonamiento de los que utilizan el pensamiento mágico es: Que bien, como me lo garantizan no me tengo que preocupar de nada, es una empresa buena, puedo confiar en ellos. Los que utilizamos el pénsamiento lógico pensamos: Me ofrecen un 99.99% perfecto, pero ¿y si no cumplen por el motivo que sea que? ¿Me regalan un mes de conexión? muy bien, pero realmente que he ganado con eso? si el problema lo he tenido igual y los sitios han estado fuera de línea? Continue reading Alta disponibilidad, permanencia en línea, el cliente está dispuesto a pagarla?

Controlando el spam, el primer paso lo tienen que dar los proveedores del servicio de correo.

El spam, ¿un problema con solución?El principal origen del spam es la falta de rigidez de los proveedores de servicios de correo para controlar la autentificación en los envíos y de las exigencias de los mismos clientes para no perder los correos que les envían, implementar una solución sencilla y barata de antispam es una acción que debe ser compartida entre los usuarios, aceptando las reglas de juego, y los proveedores de hosting, cumpliendo las normas básicas establecidas de como configurar un servidor de correo.

El problema aparece cuando los clientes exigen el no tener spam en sus cuentas, pero no aceptan que no recibirán correos dirigidos a su empresa desde servidores mal configurados. Continue reading Controlando el spam, el primer paso lo tienen que dar los proveedores del servicio de correo.

Alta disponibilidad, Virtualización de hardware o Virtualización de Sistema Operativo?

Virtualización en los años 60
Virtualización desde los años 60

La virtualización es uno de los temas más complejos que hoy podemos encontrar en el diseño de plataformas de datos y aplicaciones, cubre prácticamente todas las posibilidades y requerimientos necesarios para crear un centro de datos, sea un gran DataCenter con miles de servidores, un SDC con decenas, o un solo servidor instalado en las oficinas de una empresa.

Es la base del servicio de alta disponibilidad y maneja, de una u otra forma, todos los componentes que forman parte de cada uno de los servidores principales o nodos y  la interoperabilidad de los componentes de los mismos, maneja la memoria, la CPU, las comunicaciones y los accesos a los discos de cada uno de los nodos, esto significa añadir una o varias capas “de control y administración” a cada uno de los componentes que controla y cuando hablamos de alta disponibilidad, también hay que tener en cuenta que una capa adicional en el software significa una nueva fuente de posibles problemas.

Hay varios tipos de virtualización, pero se pueden agrupar globalmente en dos grandes grupos, la virtualización del hardware y la virtualización de Sistema Operativo. Continue reading Alta disponibilidad, Virtualización de hardware o Virtualización de Sistema Operativo?