The Revolution in SAN & Virtualization I/O has Begun....

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Generally IT folk, whether in Storage, Virtualization, Change Management or Project Management love the use of acronyms and synonyms to express key concepts amongst each other. What other industry would allow an individual to spurt a line such as "Have SOX seen the BCP and CAB approval for our VDC's DR SAN and will this then be added to the CMDB by CoB today?" without immediately flinching or bringing in a logopaedics specialist for help. More often than not, IT folk have also used these synonyms and acronyms as smokescreens to prevent outsiders from realizing "well this IT stuff is actually quite easy to understand and quite straightforward". Hence no surprise that when the seemingly simple concept of Cloud Computing took off, so did the emergence of an abundance of acronyms and synonyms reaping a new breed of I.T. professionals who were the only ones that could ... (more)

Virtual Instruments CEO John W.Thompson Talks to InformationWeek

Taken from the interview with Charles Babcock, InformationWeek Oct. 14, 2010  URL: Over 40 years, John Thompson, former CEO of Symantec, has watched basic changes periodically sweep the computer industry in repeated cycles. "Client server was an inflection point. We've reached another inflection point in the march of democratization (in use of computer power)," he said during a recent visit to InformationWeek in San Francisco. By that, of course, he means cloud computing, a sweeping change that delivers more power to more end users than conceived possible before. Thompson, an IBM executive for 28 years, has a keen eye for such changes. He was an executive in software development and marketing at IBM, ending up as head of IBM Americas, before being appointed CEO and c... (more)

Virtual Instruments Look to Solve the Mission-Critical Virtualization Lags

Virtualization and cloud computing certainly get a lot of hype. But how is that being translated into actual usage by enterprises? A recent survey looked into just how deep the penetration really is, as well as what functions companies were virtualizing and sending to the cloud. More than 200 organizations were questioned by four companies - Virtual Instruments, Altor Networks, Juniper Networks and Sendmail. These surveys covered several areas, while focusing on virtualization and the cloud. "Our results show companies are increasingly motivated to virtualize applications for cost savings and business agility reasons," said Len Rosenthal, vice-president of marketing at Virtual Instruments. "But, even with all the benefits of virtualization, performance concerns continue to be a significant stumbling block to virtualizing business critical applications, which are inher... (more)

The Unspoken Challenge of Cloud Silos

On a recent excursion to a tech event I had the pleasure of meeting a well-known ‘VM Guru', (who shall remain nameless). Having read some of this individual's material I was excited and intrigued to know his thoughts on how he was tackling the Storage challenges related to VMware especially with Fibre Channel SANs. "Storage, that's nothing to do with me, I'm a VirtGuy", he proudly announced. To which I retorted, "yes but if there are physical layer issues in your SAN fabric, or poorly configured Storage etc. it will affect the performance of your Virtual Machines and their applications, hence surely you also need some visibility and understanding beyond your Server's HBAs?" Seemingly annoyed with the question, he answered, "Why? I have SAN architects and a Storage team for that, it's not my problem. I told you I'm a VirtGuy, I have my tools so I can check esxtop, vCe... (more)

VCOPs - VMware’s Move into Cloud Monitoring

Is VMware slowly becoming the new Oracle? That was the question being asked after the backlash to their initial vRAM licensing model at the launch of vSphere 5. With VMware's somewhat quick retraction, it was ensured that any unsavoury Larry Ellison comparisons were quickly put to bed. Despite this it was still a signal of intent and an indication of VMware's recognition of its ever growing influence and clout. Now as VMware make serious manoeuvers into the PaaS space, a VMware based Cloud monitoring solution is a must. So with this in mind what is to be made of the huge marketing and push for their customers to adopt their VM monitoring tool vCenter Operations 5.0? Back when VMware was only considered ideal for virtualizing test and development environments, the native alarms and performance graphs of the then termed Virtual Center were more than adequate for gener... (more)

VCE Accelerates Private Cloud Deployments from Months to Weeks

Today we will be talking about VCE's cloud infrastructure product, the Vblock. Gartner's recent study that through next year 60% of enterprises will embrace some form of cloud adoption, has enlightened the competitive cloud vendor market. But at the same time, does the cloud industry need to be driven by vendor competition or vendor collaboration? Archie Hendryx of VCE Technology Solutions discusses this very matter. EM360°: Could you tell us about VCE and why cloud has played a big part in your company's solutions? Archie: VCE is a unique start up company formed via joint investments from EMC, Cisco, VMware and Intel that has been operating for just over three years. Its focus is solely on building the world's most advanced converged infrastructure, the Vblock. The Vblock is a pretested, prevalidated and preconfigured and more importantly pre-integrated infrastruct... (more)

DevOps: Bringing 'Life' to Application Lifecycle Management

For most organizations application releases are analogous to extremely tense and pressurized situations where risk mitigation and tight time deadlines are key. This is made worse with the complication of internal silos and the consequent lack of cohesion that exists not just within the microcosm of IT infrastructure teams but also amongst the broader departments of development, QA and operations. Now with the increasing demand on IT from application and business unit stakeholders for new releases to be deployed quickly and successfully, the interdependence of software development and IT operations are being seen as an integral part to the successful delivery of IT services. Consequently businesses are recognizing that this can't be achieved unless the traditional methodologies and silos are readdressed or changed. Cue the emergence of a new methodology that's simply... (more)

The Converged Infrastructure Team: The Final Silo?

Back in the noughties I made the conscious decision as a Storage guy to immerse myself into what was being termed server virtualization and understanding the product offerings of a relatively new company named VMware. To this day I remember the incredulous looks and responses I received from my Storage counterparts, who were convinced that the VMware fad was nothing more than a system admin tool. Indeed the organizations that were early adopters of VMware ended up assigning the virtualization responsibility to the system admins team; at no point was there ever a thought that a dedicated virtualization team could or should be established. Fast forward to 2014 and virtualization teams are the norm and Storage administrators are constantly being hard pressed to have a better understanding of VMware as they provision and manage virtualized environments. Such a culture c... (more)

Software Defined Shouldn’t Be About Infrastructure

The term "software defined" has taken many forms in recent months from Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC), Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) to even component vendors adopting the tagline to exalt their own agenda with Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined Storage (SDS). Yet ironically the majority of the vendors adopting the tagline are also dealing with infrastructure product lines that a "software defined" approach is aiming to make irrelevant. The emergence of the cloud illuminated to the industry that the procurement, design and deployment of the infrastructure components of network, storage and compute were a hindrance to application delivery. The inability for infrastructure components to not be quickly and successfully coordinated together as well as be automatically responsive to application needs has led many to question why tradition... (more)

Resolving the Questions Surrounding the SDDC

Question 1. Vendors are racing to lead the movement towards a software‐defined data centre. Where are we up to in this journey, and how far are we from seeing this trend widely adopted? Considering most organisations have still not fully virtualized or moved towards a true Private Cloud model, SDDC is still in its infancy in terms of mainstream adoption and certainly won't be an overnight process. While typical early adopters are advancing quickly down the software-defined route these are mostly organizations with large scale multi site data centres who are already mature in terms of their IT processes. Such large scale organisations are not the norm and while the SDDC is certainly on the mindset of senior IT executives, establishing such a model requires several key challenges and tasks. Typical environments are still characterised by numerous silos, complex & st... (more)

The Inevitability of the Hybrid Cloud

How have most organizations been building hybrid clouds to date? Despite all the marketing and promotion surrounding the benefits of dynamically bursting into a hybrid cloud from inception, this rarely seems to be the case. If anything the current trend towards building hybrid clouds still stems from an organic growth and demand that has emanated from either an existent public or private cloud deployment. Certainly private clouds are the most common origins of hybrid clouds as organisations look towards adding further agility to the many benefits they've attained. A lot of organizations have also recently been pushed towards the many new vendor hybrid cloud offerings that have hit the market. Here the initiative is drawn to promises of a seamless management experience across they're already deployed private cloud and newly considered public cloud as well as vice ver... (more)