Monday, December 20, 2010

Private Clouds: First, There Is a Mountain, Then There Is No Mountain, Then There Is…

One of the great things about having savvy, articulate friends is that I can occasionally appear savvy and articulate (at least a little) merely by commenting on what those friends have to say. Who could resist? Not me, certainly…

My learned industry colleague and friend Peter Coffee of recently opined that the idea of a private cloud – a cloud computing infrastructure owned and operated by and for a particular company – is a choice that doesn't really exist. If you own and operate the infrastructure, it ain't cloud computing in its most true sense, Peter said. (Of course I'm paraphrasing. You can read his exact words at

But another learned industry colleague and friend, Andi Mann of CA Technologies, has opined recently that the public cloud – THE cloud, according to Peter and many others, I'd wager – is not for everybody, and certainly not for every business or government agency. Andi makes many cogent and salient points, which could be taken in summary as an argument in favor of private clouds. (You can read Andi's exact words at

The thing is, I agree with Peter and with Andi. At least partly.

I think the core issue here is a need to,  as they say in parliamentary procedures, "move to divide." There's the issue of IT service delivery, which is separate from IT service consumption.

If I own an IT infrastructure and I configure and manage that infrastructure in a converged, unified way, I can deliver services that can be consumed "by the drink" or per user/per month. So to my users, it looks a lot like cloud computing. Users get authorized and simply use the services they need, as they need them. But what I've built and am operating isn't THE cloud, and may or may not be a cloud. It's what some savvy vendors such as Egenera and more and more savvy analysts describe with terms such as "unified computing" and "converged infrastructure."

Make no mistake – converged infrastructures are incredibly valuable, especially if and when they help companies to manage IT more efficiently and economically. But there's nothing written in stone that says a converged infrastructure has to result in cloud-like on-demand service delivery or consumption. Convergence and unity can, at least metaphorically, stop inside the data center door and still help to reduce operational costs, improve operational responsiveness or both.

So, as Andi Mann argues, not every business can or should make the wholesale leap to public cloud solutions. However, as Peter Coffee said, it's not clear that such businesses need, want or even can build private clouds. So what do business decision makers really need and want?

What many need is a set of effective processes for evaluating and comparing current and candidate solutions. Those processes should be used to decide if, when and where it makes sense to adopt and integrate cloud-based services into incumbent environments. (Maybe we can call such adoptions and integrations "cloudbursts." Maybe not.) Those processes can and should also be used to decide if, when and where it makes sense to deliver on-demand utility-like IT services to users. Whether those services originate from premise-based, cloud-based, physical and/or virtual computing, storage or network platforms.

With such processes in place, business and technology decision makers can collaborate to evaluate, compare and select the best available service and resource management solutions. These, in turn, will help businesses to deliver consistently efficient and economical services to users, again wherever those services may reside. (This is why Network World recently opined that private clouds are "not for the faint of heart" in its comparison of five cloud management solutions, as you can read at

If you're at a company that's serious about building a private cloud, you should look at the Network World comparison. You should also look at what analysts and users are saying about how Egenera, Cisco, HP, IBM and other vendors are approaching the growing need for converged, integrated management of physical, virtual, premise-based and cloud-based resources. I think this is the real goal of many if not most efforts focused on private clouds. I also think that "private cloud" is an unfortunate term that is likely more helpful to vendors trying to sell stuff than it is to business decision makers trying to run their businesses better. But I don't think the term or the debate over its definition and validity is going away any time soon…

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Private Clouds? Can They Exist? Are They Necessary?

An incredibly popular concept amongst those of us following business use of cloud computing is the private cloud. As near as I can tell, it's basically supposed to be a kind-of "cloud with benefits," combining the advantages of the public cloud with "enterprise-class" data protection, manageability, security and/or other features, depending on who's asking, who's answering and when.

But here's a thing -- is the idea of a private cloud an oxymoron?

My friend and fellow MIT escapee Peter Coffee is Head of Platform Research at He recently collected several disparate blog entries and related thoughts into the following, which I find to be interesting, well reasoned and thought provoking. He gave me permission to distribute it, so the text from it appears below in its entirety. (Peter adds: "this material is freely usable under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States as specified at")

Private Clouds, Flat Earths and Unicorns
Peter Coffee | Head of Platform Research, inc.

A “preference” is not a choice unless the “preferred” thing actually exists. I might “prefer” a flat earth (literally, not in the Tom Friedman sense) to this pesky, not-quite-spherical planet that requires us to have time zones: I might prefer to have the whole world doing business on one common clock, and flipping between day and night like a planet-sized coin, but that's not a feasible option.

In the same vein of confusing fantasy with reality, I've lately seen dozens of statements asserting that IT managers “prefer a private cloud.” It's time to insist that a preference is only relevant when there's actually a choice to be made. The label of “private cloud” is more associated with a desire than a choice.

When someone says that they would “prefer a private cloud,” the actual attributes of desire seem to be physical possession of the data and operational control of the infrastructure. It’s impossible to have these things and still enjoy the defining benefits of the cloud.
• If you have physical possession of the data, you also have to own and maintain the data storage hardware and software.
• If you have operational control of the infrastructure, you also have to employ and supervise a team of expensive experts who spend too much of their time on tasks that add no competitive advantage to the firm – while wasting costly skills as they wait to respond to events that are critical, but in practice are quite rare.

In either case, you're structurally embedding unproductive costs – and blocking yourself from enjoying the massive economies that the cloud should be providing.

If desires are on Side 1, fears of lost capability are on Side 2 of the broken record of oft- repeated excuses for shunning true multi-tenant clouds. People routinely express concerns, whether real or pretended, about security, compliance, and the customization and integration that enterprise IT capabilities require. Let’s bust some myths.
• Security in cloud services can be constructed, maintained and operated at levels that are far beyond what's cost-effective for almost any individual company or organization. Further, it's inherent in multi-tenancy that security must address the sum of all fears of all customers: in satisfying the most demanding customers in every respect, the enterprise-grade cloud service provider will wind up exceeding the needs of almost every individual organization while sharing the costs of security on a massive scale.
• Compliance with regimens including HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and other commonly encountered laws and regulations is more a challenge of policy and practice than of technology. The discipline and clarity of service invocations in true cloud environments can greatly aid the control of access, and the auditability of actions, that are dauntingly expensive and complex to achieve in traditional IT settings.
• Customization and integration of cloud services are neither intrinsically better nor inherently worse than the capabilities of an on-premise stack. There are rigid and inflexible systems, and there are powerful and productive process engineering environments, available in either kind of setting. Buyers will do best when they ask for what they need, instead of asking for what they assume they have to tolerate.

When a survey asks IT buyers to express a choice between public and private clouds, it's like asking a fairy-tale princess whether she'd rather ride a horse or a unicorn. The unicorn sure sounds better, and survey results will likely reflect that appeal.

In this or any other situation that invites a choice between a reality and a fantasy, the fantasy can be expected to get more votes – except from grown-ups, who are expected to know when something is not actually an option. Professionals do their job by making the best possible choice – among the options that are actually at hand.

Independent industry experts have lately added their voices to the debunking of the “private cloud” label. In November 2010, blogger and consultant Phil Wainewright offered this forthright advice to CIOs who are being offered a “private cloud” proposition:

The whole point of cloud computing is to be able to operate in the cloud — in that global, 24×7, connected universe where you can instantly reach and interact with your customers, your partners and your mobile employees, as well as tapping into an expanding cornucopia of third-party resources and services that can help you achieve business results faster, better and at lower cost.

Those who say that cloud is just a deployment choice, just a technology option, have shut their eyes to the wider opportunity and potential that the cloud context opens up. They’re still building application platforms and business systems that are designed without any acknowledgement of that global web of connections and resources — as if in today’s business environment, being connected is just an afterthought, an optional extra. Maybe for some applications it is, but their numbers are shrinking daily.

Further, this is now becoming a global and even geopolitical conversation. In Canada, for example, I recently read a warning against turning that country into a "technology ghetto" whose industries will be constrained "to a standard of technical stagnation and inefficiency" by failure to use the cloud to best advantage. If financial capital is wasted on imported technology that doesn't yield economic advantage, and if intellectual capital is wasted on complex tasks that are necessary but not differentiating for employers or entrepreneurs, then enterprise and national goals will not be met – or will, at a minimum, be deferred.

Peter's thoughts inspired me to post a discussion question about private clouds at You can join that discussion by visiting Or you can share your thoughts and reactions here, or with me directly via e-mail to I have a feeling this is an issue that isn't going away any time soon. Should be fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SpotCloud: Worth Watching (and Perhaps Using)

SpotCloud is a "cloud capacity clearinghouse," a "spot market" for cloud computing capacity. Want to deploy an on-demand server instance to test or tinker with something? SpotCloud will sell you pre-configured Linux or Windows "virtual machine (VM) packages" with defined profiles and capacities, by the hour, and let you pay as you go. Got extra server capacity? SpotCloud will help you sell access to it. A kind-of brokerage for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) on demand.

The details are always the challenge, of course, but frankly, this is an idea for which the time has in fact arrived. For the right workloads and projects, SpotCloud can reduce significantly or eliminate entirely the barriers to entry into cloud computing. If you or your company have been on the fence, take a look at SpotCloud. It may provide the push you need to replace apprehension and uncertainty with some real-life experience.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sinclair Schuller, CEO of Apprenda: the Dortch on SaaS 3-Q Interview

Greetings. I’m refining and revising an interview format I first borrowed/adapted from my friend and colleague Philippe Winthrop of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation. Today’s 3-Q Interview is with Sinclair Schuller, CEO of Apprenda. Apprenda sells software that helps other software companies to deliver SaaS/cloud-based solutions more easily, economically, efficiently and rapidly. Sinclair has some interesting things to say to companies seeking to deliver or to deploy SaaS/cloud-based solutions, as you’ll see right now!

Q1: What is the single greatest challenge to success for software providers seeking to deliver SaaS/on-demand solutions?

A1: Easily, it’s understanding the technical and operating transition that a product company must go through to become a successful and profitable service provider. Software companies that sell on-premises products are not accustomed to offering a service that costs money – they’re used to selling perpetual licenses that have no unit cost associated with the license. As SaaS providers, they’ll be paying for servers, bandwidth, staff, and a number of other things. How efficiently they deliver their software to leverage these costs will play into determining how profitable they are. For example, choosing to not have a multi-tenant architecture could have dire economic consequences on a unit cost level.

[Editorial Aside: there is a debate in the software industry about how relevant multi-tenancy – the ability to support multiple separate groups of users with a single copy of an application – is to cloud computing and SaaS. I recommend that you read a 2008 ZD Net blog post by SaaS/cloud veteran Phil Wainewright, “Why Multi-tenancy Matters.” I also recommend a February 2010 Information Week blog post, “Why Multitenancy Matters in the Cloud,” by Alok Misra, who works for a company that provides cloud-based applications and SaaS enablement services. Without getting to far into the weeds here, multi-tenancy is an important tool for every provider of SaaS/cloud-based solutions, but is not the only way to support multiple users cost-effectively, and may not always be the best way. Back to Sinclair.]

Operationally, [those software companies] need to consider a bevy of other issues: how will I provision customers to the SaaS offering? Will they self provision? Does it require manual labor? How will I track what customer owes what money based on usage? How will I roll out an update across dozens or even hundreds of servers with minimal downtime? All of these critical considerations play into the single greatest challenge: transitioning from a product company to a service company. We work with Microsoft .NET ISVs [independent software vendors] that struggle with these questions every day, so it’s given us amazing insight.

Q2: What is the single greatest challenge to success for enterprises seeking to deploy business-critical SaaS/on-demand solutions?

A2: Establishing trust. Enterprises have built significant confidence in their IT competence, and despite carrying the costs of direct responsibility, they lower their trust [concerns] since “it’s run in-house.” Enterprises need to understand that in reality (using subjective measure) deploying a SaaS offering is safer and more trustworthy in nearly all regards. After all, do these enterprises hide their money on-premises “under a mattress” or let a third-party provider – a bank – guard their most liquid assets?

Q3: What do you see as the next "great leap forward" for the SaaS/on-demand solutions market – technological, organizational, perceptual or otherwise?

A3: I think the great leap forward will be SaaS enablement. To date, most SaaS/cloud offerings have been built as “one-offs.” That is, each SaaS company re-invented the wheel by dealing with a huge amount of SaaS-specific architecture. Technologies like SaaSGrid will define the “gold standard” of architectures by defining advanced cloud middleware, allowing companies to leverage robust SaaS stacks. This will catalyze the development of new innovative SaaS solutions by drastically reducing the amount of engineering and money spent in building pure SaaS offerings. At the end of the day, it means that the end user will have many, many more SaaS applications to choose from because someone else has helped with the architectural heavy lifting.

Dortch’s Recommendations:

R1: If you are a business technology decision makers pursuing or considering SaaS/cloud-based solutions, find a partner – a reseller or integrator, preferably one with which you’ve worked before – who “gets” your business and how SaaS/cloud solutions are evolving. If you’re a small or mid-sized business, you just don’t have the resources to devote to figuring this SaaS/cloud stuff out without help. And even if your company has an IT department, it might be worth bringing in some outside perspective, and you’re going to have to buy your solutions from someplace. It might as well be someone who knows stuff, rather than someone who just sells stuff. And if you work for a reseller or integrator, make sure your company is asking the right questions and implementing the right knowledge, policies, practices and technologies that will enable it to become such a partner – or consider changing jobs.

(In this context, I highly recommend to users, resellers and integrators the “SaaS 2.0” blog by Dan Druker of Intacct, especially the recent entries on “SaaS & Cloud Computing and the Channel.” And for what is intended as a darkly humorous take on IT teams and SaaS/cloud solutions, check out my blog post, “The Cloud? You Ain't READY for the CLOUD! (Or ARE You??)”)

R2: Once you’ve identified one or more candidate partners, as Ronald Reagan so often admonished his Soviet Union counterparts back when there was a Soviet Union, “trust, but verify.” Ask questions about multi-tenancy, data center redundancy and other critical elements of the infrastructures that will be supporting the services upon which your company relies. And ask even harder and more specific questions about your prospective partners’ relevant business experience and expertise, and their track record in helping companies similar to yours succeed with SaaS/cloud-based solutions. Make sure to record the results of these Q&A sessions, for prospective partner comparisons and because they likely each contain information you can use, no matter which partner or partners you ultimately choose.

R3: When selecting SaaS/cloud-based solutions and partners alike, focus on those that are focused on combining proven and broadly supported underlying practices, processes and technologies. Integration of new solutions and processes with the resources your company already uses and understands is paramount to the success of any new solutions, SaaS/cloud-based or otherwise. And just like you likely don’t have time to become a SaaS/cloud expert and to run your business, few if any vendors or resellers can succeed by inventing and building everything from scratch. So keep an eye on companies such as Apprenda and solutions such as SaaSGrid, of which there will be more. And keep an even sharper eye on how widely supported such solutions become, and what underlying platforms are adopted by the providers of the applications and services critical to your business. (Almost forgot: the community is an invaluable asset for relevant observations and discussions here!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Cloud? You Ain't READY for the CLOUD! (Or ARE You??)

Maybe you are and maybe you aren't. I mean, I have no way of knowing, really. But I've been hearing...things that are making me...nervous.

I mean, it's not like I'm a conspiracy theorist or anything. (I lean more toward Harry Shearer's thinking on conspiracies, which he has publicly deemed unlikely, given the difficulty of getting people to work together in simple, small teams.) But still, I've been hearing...things...

Things like that there are companies out there for which cloud-based solutions would make a lot of sense, if those companies had processes in place for accurate, fair and balanced evaluation and comparison of such solutions, with one another and with their premise-based alternatives. Or if those companies had IT solution acquisition policies and processes designed with only premise-based solutions in mind.

Now, it's not as if the business IT solutions vendors are making any of this easy. Microsoft representatives have said publicly and repeatedly that delivering purchase and support agreements that gracefully embrace premise- and cloud-based solutions is very much still a work in progress. And Microsoft isn't the only vendor that needs to address this problem rapidly and effectively.

But I can't help but think that IT people who really, really want every dollar of company money they spend to deliver business value would be pushing their companies to become more able to assess, acquire and deploy cloud-based solutions. Unless those IT people had...reasons to complicate or make impossible the assessment and adoption of cloud-based solutions at their companies.

What might those reasons be? Well, I'd hate to speculate. But I remember when minicomputers, PCs, client-server computing, the Internet and the Web were all poo-poohed by IT decision-makers who saw these new technologies as irrelevant to "real" business computing at best and threats to the comfortable status quo at worst. ("Why should I be forced to learn to manage new technologies or vendor relationships when I already understand the ones we have?" I'm just sayin'...)

So is it a conspiracy? Are IT people, individually or collectively, secretively taking arms against a sea of cloud-based threats, hoping by opposing them to end them? (That's generations of Shakespeare fans moaning in the background.) I sincerely doubt it...but I keep hearing these...things...

Anyway, enough of my semi-paranoid, only-partly-tongue-in-cheek ramblings. What do you think about all this? There's a discussion going on right now at and another on LinkedIn in the IT Focus Expert Group. Or feel free to leave a comment here, or to drop me a line at

Monday, June 21, 2010

Carbonite vs. Mozy: My Real-Life Cloud-Based Backup Experiences

I, like many of you, lived in fear of reaching for my trusty MacBook one day, only to have it not respond or to have lost all of my precious work and personal information and files. So when Mozy started advertising on TV (and I got my wife a new MacBook and she started loading important stuff on it, too), I signed us both up. (I thought Apple’s MobileMe offered features I didn’t want or need, and Mozy was cheaper.)

Why cloud-based backup? Two reasons. One, if I bought an external hard drive and backed all of our data up onto it, the data was still at risk, if something catastrophic struck our home. (This is why I also eschewed Apple’s Time Machine application.) Two, cloud-based backup means that at least in theory, I could recover critical files from almost anything running a Web browser. A nice safety net in case my laptop failed while on the road, thought I.

I was a very happy Mozy user for a good while – the software downloaded and installed with almost no intervention from me, and after the first backup, which took place over several days, everything would be updated invisibly to me and my wife, as Mozy promised. But then, a few weeks ago, stuff just stopped working. And the same software that had been backing up our stuff invisibly was now not doing so, and not telling me anything useful about why it had stopped working.

So I dutifully visited the Mozy online support portal. Or rather, I tried to, but kept getting weird errors referring to, the cloud-based software Mozy apparently used for customer care and relationship management. To make a long, painful story short, once I finally got into the online support portal, I discovered that Mozy had released a new version of its Windows software, and that both Mac and Windows users were complaining in large numbers and backups that had been working but were no longer.

I posted a note about my problem, and found out that mine was not the same one the other Mac users were having. Wonderful news. I e-mailed Mozy support twice, got automated acknowledgements of my e-mails, then radio silence. Meanwhile, I went without regular backups for days, then weeks.

Finally, I broke down and downloaded the free Carbonite software, which also downloaded and installed with minimal intervention from or confusion for me. And I have to say that Carbonite was even more invisible than Mozy had been during the initial multi-day backup. But I wasn’t really excited about starting all over again with a new vendor. So I visited the Mozy support portal and e-mailed Mozy support again. This time, though, I found the name and e-mail address of Mozy’s press contact and copied him as well as the support address.

Within a day, I got an e-mail from an actual human being, one Brittney Mitchell. With Brttney’s intervention, everything changed, and changed quickly. She apologized for my problems, inspected my log files and determined that my account was misbehaving because I had failed to update an expired credit card. (Why their software wasn’t smart enough to tell me this explicitly from the beginning of my problem is still unclear to me. Brittney said that part of the problem was that I signed up without going through a salesperson, who would have flagged such a thing. I countered that not having to go through a salesperson was one of the reasons I’d signed up in the first place. Sigh.)

Once I updated my credit card information and downloaded the latest Mozy client software, backups started happening again for me and my wife. Meanwhile, Brittney informed me that part of the reason for Mozy’s initial lack of responsiveness was that the company was moving support call handling from India to the US and dealing with a deluge of requests and a lack of trained responders. (Brittney had only been with the company for a month when she took up my issues, she wrote.)

Meanwhile, the Carbonite software was working just fine – but no one ever responded to the e-mail questions I sent to that company. All I got was the automated reminders that my free access was about to expire and that I should subscribe – messages I received after cancelling my trial account. Sigh.

The bottom line: I’d have to recommend Mozy over Carbonite, not because I know of anything particularly lacking in Carbonite, but because Mozy finally came through when I had support questions that needed answers. I also believe that Mozy moving support to the US should improve things for all users, not just me or those using Mozy for the Mac. (I don’t know where Carbonite user support is based, because I’ve never received a personal response from them.) Also, Mozy is owned by EMC, a company that knows a bit about backup, at least from the enterprise perspective.

Carbonite make have a slight edge over Mozy because Carbonite offers an app with the ability to restore individual files on demand to an iPad, an iPhone or a Wi-Fi-equipped iPod touch, but I don’t expect Mozy to allow this gap to exist for long. Ultimately, the Mozy-vs.-Carbonite discussion may come down to distinctions that make little difference. But to me, either is far better than no cloud-based backup at all. But what do YOU think?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

EnterpriseWizard: A, If Not The, Future of Business Applications

Where business software is concerned, last year’s big question was, "Why can’t business applications be as easy to use as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?"

This year's question should be, "Why aren't business application development, alignment with key business processes and process optimization as easy as building Facebook pages or blogs and Web sites with Weebly or Google Sites?”

I know, it's overly long, but it's still a good question.

As I see it, two key obstacles stand in the way of legacy/traditional approaches to business applications and business process automation.
  • Adaptation – legacy/traditional approaches are notoriously difficult, expensive, time-consuming or impossible to adapt to specific business processes, needs or goals.
  • Adoption – in part because of their adaptation limitations, legacy/traditional approaches almost never achieve sufficient user adoption levels to drive high, consistent or sustained business value.
A more modern approach should enable rapid development and deployment with almost limitless adaptation abilities, to drive high, rapid adoption and measurable, significant and sustainable business value. Such an approach should also enable creation of applications for key business tasks, aligned with and driven by easily captured, executed and automated business processes.

I believe that one of the first real-life examples of such an approach is being taken by Colin Earl and his merry little band at a software company called EnterpriseWizard. And that's all I'm going to tell you here, at least for now. You can read more about EnterpriseWizard and why I think what I do about the company in a Brief I wrote for -- "Integrated Collaboration, Communication and Process Automation in the Cloud: EnterpriseWizard." Then, you should visit the EnterpriseWizard Web site, paying particular attention to the user success stories, which span a range of use cases and company sizes.

EnterpriseWizard isn't for every company's every software need. But I believe it is a bellwether for how many business applications are likely to be built and delivered in the future. And I mean the near-term future, as is starting...oh, pretty much now.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Can CA acquire its way into cloud management market leadership?

Since mid-2009, CA (the former Computer Associates) has acquired data center automation assets and expertise from Cassatt, as well as the companies NetQoS (network performance management and service delivery management solutions) and Oblicore (IT service level management software). This week, CA announced plans to buy 3Tera, a pioneering provider of solutions for building and deploying cloud-based services.

CA is clearly positioning itself as a "one-stop shop" for solutions to manage both cloud-based and premise-based IT infrastructures. But CA faces a growing range of competitors, particularly where cloud-based infrastructure management is concerned. (See the Focus Brief "Infrastructure Management 'In the Cloud:' Why Now May Be the Time at Your Business" at And CA has a long and decidedly uneven history of successfully integrating and leveraging acquired companies, their people and assets.

So can CA extend its leadership in premise-based IT management into the cloud successfully?

Well, I'm not convinced. And I'm not the only one asking. As Matthew McKenzie, Senior Editor at Enterprise Efficiency, a site you should check out and bookmark, wrote in his piece, "CA Builds a Solid Strategy on Cloud Acquisitions, "It's up to CA to put the pieces together and build a truly valuable software stack for its customers. I see that happening, and I also see CA offering a lot of long-term value for IT executives with private- or hybrid-cloud development plans. But this time around, one thing is clear: Milking these acquisitions like a bunch of sickly cash cows simply is not an option."

True and well said. Having followed CA since its inception, I am both cautiously hopeful and at least a little wary. But I have no real stake in what happens. If you do or your company does, however, I'd advise you to watch CA closely, especially for signs that top people from its acquisitions are leaving or have left. I also recommend that if you do business with CA, you demand a briefing about its cloud-related road map, under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) if need be. That will at least help you to set a baseline for comparing what CA says to what CA does. Close alignment between the two is good; non-alignment is a cause for concern -- as is a lack of useful, actionable information from the company.

Lots has happened and continues to happen at CA. Whether all this activity translates into actual change or progress is still an open question. Caveat emptor. And in the meantime, come on over to to discuss, at Thanks!