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Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: ZeroStack

November 10th, 2015 No comments

Virtualisation Field Day 6 is happening in Silicon Valley, California from 18th-20th November and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post:I’m heading to Virtualisation Field Day 6.

image Zerostack is another start-up just emerging from stealth mode. It offers a hyper-converged OpenStack appliance with cloud management.

As a start-up its worth looking at who is involved & it has quite a pedigree. Founded by Ajay Gulati who spent 6 years at VMware working on Storage I/O control, Storage DRS and DRS, and Kiran Bondalapati who was a founding engineer at Bromium which has a very clever product for secure OS and hardware virtualisation. Justin King who used to work for VMware and was heavily involved in vCenter is now Technical Marketing at ZeroStack. Very interesting, I wonder if he saw the future and was as worried as I am which I wrote about in my recent article on the issues surrounding vCenter!

Advisers

ZeroStack also has some interesting people as board members and advisors from across the industry. Mark Leslie, now an investor and past Veritas boss, Mohit Aron, founder of storage start-up Cohesity,  Carl Waldspurger, ex-VMware and DRS architect, Umesh Maheshwari co-founder of Nimble Storage and Denis Murphy, Nimble’s Sales boss as well as Mike Dvorkin, co-founder of Insieme Networks which became Cisco’s ACI. That seems some serious cross-industry advice. It has raised $21.6m in funding.

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Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: Spirent

November 10th, 2015 No comments

Virtualisation Field Day 6 is happening in Silicon Valley, California from 18th-20th November and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post:I’m heading to Virtualisation Field Day 6.

Spirent Communications.svgSpirent is a company I’ve never dealt with. It’s heavily on the networking side of virtualisation which is not my area of expertise but luckily at Virtualisation Field Day we have experts in all the things so networking is well covered!

Spirent is a publicly traded telecoms testing company which has its corporate headquarters just south of London, about an hour from where I live. It employs 1700 people and had £457m in revenue in 2014 so a fairly

It’s been going since 1936, was originally called Goodliffe Electric Supplies then Bowthorpe. In 2000 it changed its name to Spirent which is apparently from “inspired innovation”.

Spirent traditionally has been all about network infrastructure testing. Think performance, security and functional testing with automated orchestration. The internet+cloud means networks are getting larger and they all need to work as designed so testing is critical. Think of how SDN/NFV complicates the visibility of possible network paths from an underlying infrastructure point of view.

Spirent has made some acquisitions to bolster its wireless technologies so is able to bring its smarts to 4G & 3G mobile networks as well as satellite positioning devices. Think voice over 4G, device performance and GPS location, all needing testing.

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Categories: Tech Field Day, VFD6 Tags: , ,

Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: FalconStor

November 10th, 2015 No comments

Updated on 11/11/2015 with some changes based on additional information.

Virtualisation Field Day 6 is happening in Silicon Valley, California from 18th-20th November and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post:I’m heading to Virtualisation Field Day 6.

FalconStor SoftwareFalconStor is a company I’ve heard of over the years (it’s been going for 15 years) but haven’t had any direct experience with their products previously. It seems to have had a chequered history with fines for paying bribes and then covering it up in its books but that’s a few years ago so I’m sure FalStore is putting that behind them!

FreeStor

FalconStor has recently release a brand new product called FreeStor. Don’t get too carried away, its not a Free product in terms of price (more on that later) but rather Free as in Freedom. FreeStor is a product to build a distributed storage resource pool across almost any type of underlying storage. It’s basically virtualised storage using FalconStore’s “Intelligent Abstraction” core so you can easily move, protect and dedupe data on or off cloud without being reliant on any particular hardware, networks or protocols. This means you can freely choose the right storage for the right price and have FreeStor manage and protect it all.

This virtualised platform then allows you to seamlessly move workloads across different underlying storage. There is WAN optimised space efficient replication and everything is globally deduped.

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Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: AppFormix

November 10th, 2015 1 comment

Virtualisation Field Day 6 is happening in Silicon Valley, California from 18th-20th November and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post:I’m heading to Virtualisation Field Day 6.

AppFormix is a company that has recently come out of stealth mode. It is basically a monitoring and analysis tool for cloud infrastructure to help people manage a shared and multi-tenant infrastructure.

It is founded by Sumeet Singh who comes from a network analytics background having co-founded NetSift as a graduate student. NetSift sold a product based on his university research for doing deep network packet processing at high speed to detect security issues. A year in, his company was acquired by Cisco for $30m where he then worked for 7 years. He then spent just over a year at Microsoft working on Azure networking and then started AppFormix two years ago. So, AppFormix’s pedigree comes from network analytics.

Obviously, just coming out of stealth, they are brand new and I hadn’t heard of them before their name popped up as a presenter at Virtualisation Field Day.

I have to say they have done a great job with their website clearly articulating what they do:

AppFormix is a cloud infrastructure monitoring and analysis software that runs in any public, private, multi-tenant, or hybrid environment. Our goal is to help companies build better, more efficient, application-agnostic environments by providing them with deep, real-time insights into their infrastructure.

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Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: Cirba

November 10th, 2015 No comments

Virtualisation Field Day 6 is happening in Silicon Valley, California from 18th-20th November and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post:I’m heading to Virtualisation Field Day 6.

I briefly met Cirba at VMworld Europe and they presented briefly at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US this year. Cirba is a privately owned company and has been operating since 1999.

Define demand. Optimize supply. Automate.Cirba is a Canadian company with a product which is all about optimising workload placement. You use it to analyse your environment and it will tell you where you have overprovisioned resources and extra capacity or where you have underprovisioned resources and your VMs aren’t getting what they need. Knowing this allows you to right size your environment and save money by cleverly mixing workloads and also deciding where best your workloads should run or be provisioned.

They use a good analogy of using Tetris to try and fit all the resource pieces together but this is rather a more multi-dimensional game. You need to fit CPU/RAM/Network and storage pieces together where they don’t necessarily all have the same shape and size. You also need to overlay your business policies on top of this which makes for some interesting number crunching.

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I’m heading to Virtualisation Field Day 6

November 10th, 2015 No comments

VFD LogoExcitement is mounting as I’ve been asked to be part of Virtualisation Field Day 6 next week, part of the Tech Field Day series of events. I was hugely humbled to have been asked to be part of Virtualisation Field Day 4 so being asked back is a real honour, means I wasn’t a total waste of space at the last one, right!

This time we’re heading to Silicon Valley, the cradle of our IT world. I’ll be joined by Chris Evans, Craig Kilborn, Gabrie van Zanten, James Green, Jon Hildebrand, Keith Townsend, Mariusz Kaczorek, Sonia Cuff, Teren Bryson & Tim Carr.

What is notable is that half the delegates are doing their first Tech Field Day events. This is fantastic to get new voices, opinions and and a testament to organisers, Stephen Foskett and Tim Hollingsworth for expanding the laager. We have fantastic experts across storage and networking even though they have their own Tech Field Day events which is great to be able to go broad and deep. This is the last of the current Virtualisation Field Days as next year it will revert back to where it all started and be called Tech Field Day which I think is a great move. Virtualisation is ubiquitous so it is better to build above the commonality with all things Technical.

The format is the same as other events, companies get a chance to present their products which is all streamed live for anyone to view, there’s no closed door policy, what we see is what you see. More importantly you can also join in publicly via the connectedness of social media on #VFD6 or privately via DM/email if you prefer to keep a low profile.

I’ve been having a look at the companies presenting and here are my thoughts:

Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: Cirba

Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: AppFormix

Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: FalconStor

Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: Spirent

Virtualisation Field Day 6 Preview: Zero Stack

 

VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: A Group Discussion that made me worry about the future of vCenter Server – INF6383-GD

November 5th, 2015 9 comments

After attending a group discussion on vCenter I left perplexed by what was shared of the product roadmap and current customer feedback. On reflection I wondered whether something big enough was on the horizon that they were deliberately throwing us off the scent as I couldn’t believe how some questions raised in the discussion were not recognised as problems. Virtualisation management is so incredibly important, customer experience is key. Although great steps are being taken to address some functionality gaps, vCenter design-wise remains the same which isn’t good enough any more. I’ll go through the discussion and then add my thoughts.

This post adds some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

Mohan Potheri and Madhup Gulati both from VMware led the discussion interactive by design rather than a presentation.

2015-10-15 13.29.22

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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Meeting Virtustream + the updated BIG news

November 3rd, 2015 1 comment

Since VMworld there’s been a huge amount of news about EMC(Dell)+Virtustream_vCloud Air. Basically EMC(Dell) will be consolidating most of its cloud assets under Virtustream which will be spun out as a separate company with EMC(Dell) owning 50% and VMware the other half. I’ll go into more details of the spin out but first here’s what I learnt speaking to them at the show.

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

I had a chat to Andy Sugden from Virtustream who EMC acquired recently. I had some misconceptions about Virtustream and how they competed with vCloud Air. Virtustream basically has software called xStream which big enterprises (on or off-prem) or service providers use to create managed instances of SAP and some other big applications. This takes a lot of the complexity away from managing these apps and provides a secure wrapper around the whole app up and down the entire stack so it can work in a multi-tenant environment and ticks all the security and compliance boxes. You can also create and manage performance and availability SLAs using the software. IBM use it (mmm, not for much longer I guess!). I can certainly see integration with vCloud Air by bringing some more of that secure multi-tenancy to vCloud Air but the big apps Virtustream manage aren’t the first applications people are moving to the public cloud so its normally a managed cloud offering, it was certainly interesting to get a better understanding.

What’s new and what does it mean?
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