NASA IT Summit 2011 – Best Moves to Surf a Virtual Future


Recently, NASA
entered a new phase as the shuttle program recently reached its conclusion after 30 years. Last week I
was invited to present at the NASA IT Summit in San Francisco and it reminded me not only of
how much NASA has done for our country, but also how much it is poised to do in
the near future as well.

The Summit, hosted by NASA CIO Linda Cureton, has become an open forum of
all the best that IT offers. Members of the IT community – NASA, Federal,
Industry & Academia –gather to exchange ideas, share best practices, and
learn what is new and cutting edge on the internal and external IT landscape.

As I was heading down the elevator to grab dinner the
night before the keynote a funny thing happened that reminded me how cool
NASA’s mission is. I was joined on the elevator by aCloud nice gentleman who asked
why I was in San Francisco.  I said, “a
conference” and was really thinking more about seeing some of the city and less
of what I was there for at this point. 
He then asked, “what for”.  I responded,
“NASA”.  At this his eyes lit up and he began
to tell me how interested he is in science, satellites and space travel.  Then he asked, “So are there a lot of Rocket
Scientists here for the convention?”  I
started to think about explaining that we were here talking about IT, Cloud,
Mobility, Security, Governance and the like, but instead I just said, “Yes,
lots of Rocket Scientists”! 

Though I wasn’t there to talk about jet propulsion
or astrophysics, it did remind me just how important IT can be to enabling
NASA’s mission.

I spoke to a large group of
NASA teammembers about the Virtual Era and how we can help NASA transition into
a new phase of operations through mission-based IT – basically how we can help
them to worry about accomplishing their mission and not whether their IT can
support their requirements or not. Some of what I highlighted includes the best
practices and alternative models of delivery we at Dell can help NASA leverage with
better and faster ways to accomplish their mission.

The four areas of technology I covered

  • Dell’s
    view of cloud computing,
  • Fluid
    data as a concept and its impact in storage solutions,
  • Consumerization
    of IT as a disruptive idea that affects our ability to:

    1. be connected anytime, anywhere
    2. become a mobile workforce
    3. Security
      as a proactive end to end practice that requires a strong combination of the
      right technology, people and processes.

We received some very positive
feedback from the keynote, but in the end, it was just an honor to be there
with so many of our nation’s best and brightest. We at Dell feel much the same
way about serving NASA’s IT needs, we’re privileged to be able to help NASA
accomplish their mission through powerful and efficient IT.

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