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Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: HPE Nimble Storage

July 21st, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

Nimble Storage is a storage company with lofty goals of “giving users the fastest, most reliable access to data – on-premise and in the cloud”. The premise is their wording, certainly not mine, really should be premises, Nimble!

Nimble has an interesting Tech Field Day history as it announced its original product, the CS200 hybrid array at Tech Field Day 3 in Seattle in 2010. Fast forward to March 2017 when Nimble was purchased by HPE for just over $1 Billion.

HPE Land

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Categories: CFD2, Cloud, Storage, Tech Field Day Tags: , , ,

Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: Gigamon

July 21st, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

Gigamon is an established vendor which provides network traffic visibility. In its simplest form it is a large network tap. You chose what traffic you want to inspect more closely and run it through Gigamon’s devices. Gigamon then can hand off to other vendor products to then analyse the data. It could be security scanning with an intrusion detection system or watching traffic for data loss prevention or seeing if you have a bot net running internally.

In terms of virtualisation inspection, Gigamon already has its GigaVUE solutions which provide visibility into virtual workloads running in VMware networking with ESXi and NSX as well as OpenStack KVM powered clouds. Its Cloud Field Day so of course Gigamon is heading to the clouds and has recently announced the Gigamon Visibility Platform for AWS.

Enterprises love the simplicity of cloud networking, create a VPC with pretty much all the address space you need. Connect via an API and easily connect servers and clouds together. Nothing can communicate unless you specifically say it can so some of your firewalling is already taken care of and all the config can be more easily managed as code. Amazon looks after all the underlying compute, network and storage so you don’t have to, sounds great. It can be easy to think you then don’t have to worry about more security at the network level. Well, you may have permissioned a web server to be able to talk to an app server but how do you know what is actually running across port 443. What if the web server is in AWS but your app server is on-prem?

Visibility Platform for AWS

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Categories: AWS, CFD2, Cloud, Tech Field Day Tags: , , , ,

Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: ServiceNow

July 21st, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

ServiceNow has a SaaS suite of products and is trying to take traditional enterprise IT Service Management to the next level. It has had a number of leadership changes recently so seems to be shaking itself up for new things.

ITSM products have been often maligned and I have been fairly vocal over the years in my scorn for some ITSM/ITIL products. They often insert an inordinate amount of unnecessary bureaucracy between getting things done and protecting your IT estate. This causes all sorts of problems. IT teams try as hard as they can to navigate around the horrible tools they are forced to use, hence some shadow IT. ITSM bureaucrats continually add more and more process to trap more and more potential issues, more process = more hassle. Processes get so complicated and change is avoided at any cost. It can take weeks to shepherd a change through the system and finally get approved. People dump as much as they can in a change to avoid having to repeat the process. Business users have to log IT issues in a system that makes them feel IT doesn’t care. IT SLAs are tracked through the ITSM tools so solving tickets becomes wack-a-mole for IT staff.

ITSM Dispair

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Categories: CFD2, Cloud, DevOps, Tech Field Day Tags: , , ,

Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: Rubrik

July 21st, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

What a journey Rubrik has had so far, a 2 year old company that has ambitious plans to redefine that stodge of datacenter technologies, backup. Rubrik recently received a further $180 million in a Series D round at a $1.3 billion valuation. Yes, that’s a more than billion dollar valuation for a company that does backup, wow! Rubrik says it has hardly dipped into its $61 million Series C round but is going for hyper growth. It currently has several hundred enterprises as customers. Interestingly in the Series D funding announcement Rubrik mentioned investing heavily in R&D with this money. They’ve already had 8 product releases with the latest including a number of cloud features so I would think sales and marketing is where the money will need to be spent to increase customers. Hyper growth phase is normally less about R&D and more about knocking on the doors of prospective customers so will be interesting to hear the latest company plans.

All the Data

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Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: Scality

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

Scality has been a previous Tech Field Day presenter.

Scality is one of the new storage companies leveraging the AWS S3 storage API standard to create new enterprise storage options beyond your typical block and file store. S3 is object storage which is all about scale, built to store billions of objects or massive petabyte sized files or stores.

Scality already provides an open source implementation of the AWS S3 API called Scality S3 Server. Interestingly it is packaged as a Docker container so can leverage the benefits of Docker such as the same deployment mechanism from a developers laptop to being deployed in production and further scaled out via Docker Swarm.

Scality RING is the enterprise friendly version of S3 Server for more critical workloads with the usual enterprise feature requirements of security, support, availability, etc.

AWS S3 is all great but some enterprises aren’t willing to store everything in a public cloud. There may be (often unfounded) security concerns or more valid concerns about bandwidth usage, data gravity and cost. If you have PBs of on-prem storage for your media files, x-rays, satellite images etc. you would love the ease of use of the S3 API but accessed locally. Scality can provide this S3 API on-prem as well as the replicated, highly available storage infrastructure running on standard x86 underneath. Having S3 locally also allows your developers to test functionality locally for things that may eventually access AWS S3.

Zenko

Scality has now announced Zenko which is an open source multi-cloud controller and this is what I expect we’ll hear more about at Cloud Field Day.

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Categories: AWS, CFD2, Cloud, Storage, Tech Field Day Tags: , , , ,

Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: Platform9

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

Platform9 is a regular Tech Field Day presenter and I am lucky to be able to heard from them directly when I attended Virtualisation Field Day 4 in 2015 when it was just starting

The company was founded in 2013 by some clever VMware people who wanted to create a company to provide managed cloud infrastructure with two important distinctions. They wanted their offerings to be SaaS managed and wanted it to use open source software.

It’s first product was a cloud managed OpenStack. OpenStack was (is?) hellishly complicated to set up and manage yourself so Platform9 stepped in and offered a cloud managed OpenStack which would run on-premises. Platform9 would take all the hassle away of deploying and upgrading OpenStack and you could spend your time using your OpenStack private cloud rather than managing it.

As the cloud landscape evolved and containers became the next big thing, Platform9 added a managed Kubernetes option. Kubernetes is also difficult to set up so Platform9 came to the rescue. Clouds don’t stand still and Platform9 now has an alpha version of its own Serverless offering called Fission (plenty to say about this).

Platform9 is a cloud infrastructure management company following the current cloud trajectory in what seems like an ideal evolving portfolio: Managed servers, then managed containers then managed Serverless.

The company has had a recent fund injection of $22m with a mix of existing a new investors to bring the total capital raised to date to £36.5m, a helpful war chest. It currently manages 200 enterprise clouds worldwide.

Hybrid Cloud

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Cloud Field Day 2 Preview: Accelerite

July 20th, 2017 No comments

Cloud Field Day 2, part of the Tech Field Day family of events is happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, from 26-28 July and I’m super excited to be invited as a delegate.

We are hearing from a number of companies about how they cloud!

Accelerite is a company I surprisingly haven’t heard of before and it is also new to Tech Field Day.

Founded in 2012 it is a wholly owned business of Persistent Systems and is a software house that aims to “Simplify and Secure the Enterprise Infrastructure”. Accelerite says there is a proliferation of devices and clouds that enterprises need to manage and secure.

CloudPlatform

I hadn’t realised that it was Accelerite that bought CloudPlatform from Citrix in March 2016. CloudPlatform was Citrix’s Apache CloudStack based platform, an open source cloud management platform and was at a time a possible alternative to OpenStack. It didn’t seem to get much traction in terms of numbers although tere are some massive deployments and it was seen as more enterprise ready. OpenStack seemed to get the buzz and won the marketing battle but has itself struggled with adoption due to complexity & feature bloat. Cries of OpenStack is dead are overblown, it is used in very large telcos and service providers, is being simplified and streamlined and will possible then creep back into enterprises who want an open source private linux of the cloud. AWS and Azure have of course been courting the same enterprises with their public cloud offerings. It remains to be seen how much time and effort enterprises are going to expend to what end to create what at least Wikibon is terming the True Private Cloud when public cloud is very tantalising and growing in features way above IaaS.

Accelerite’s CloudPlatform has multi-hypervisor support with its own hypervisor or you can choose from VMware vSphere, Citrix XenServer, KVM, or Hyper-V. There is bare metal provisioning as well with a particular use case highlighted of high performance computing applications. It can use traditional storage or hyper-converged.

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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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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Running Cloud Native Apps on your Existing Infrastructure – CNA5479

October 29th, 2015 No comments

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

2015-10-14 14.04.32This session was delivered by Martijn Baecke and Robbie Jerrom, both from VMware, who were on the earlier panel. The session started talking about the transition from the client/server era into mobile/cloud. There have been huge changes in how software is being engineered, witness VMworld having a DevOps day today. There still needs to be a way to host both the apps of what they call yesterday (in reality 99% of apps running anywhere!) and the new generation of cloud native apps. VMware wants to ensure it can provide the platform to support both these worlds. The term used was future proofing so the idea is to build an infrastructure for your current workloads that can also be extended to deliver the new cloud native apps. The work needs to be done to transform current infrastructure but keeping one management later.

They looked at various strategies such as starting with a new cloud and rebuilding apps but this is a good choice for cloud native only, something not feasible for many companies. Greenfield can be done, starting again, but yet this is another environment to manage with upfront investment. Unsurprisingly they suggest using vSphere as the cornerstone of your infrastructure. Use software defined storage with hyperconverged/VVOLs and NSX for networking. Having a single platform makes it much easier to automate and orchestrate.

A great quote was given “Automation=Speed, Orchestration=Control”.

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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: VMware CTO Panel – CTO6630

October 29th, 2015 No comments

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

Guido Appenzeller – Chief Technology Strategy Officer of Networking & Security, VMware, Inc.
Joe Baguley – CTO EMEA, VMware
Paul Strong – VP & CTO Global field, VMware

Ray O’Farrell was sick so couldn’t make it, hope he gets well!

My notes, hard to encapsulate as it was a pretty broad discussion!

Paul Strong led the panel and went through each CTO and asked about their role

Guido: NSX.

Joe: EVO:Rail, IoT and unikernels

Paul: Connecting R&D to partners and customers. integration back into R&D

Guido: Networking previously virtually integrated (same stack) unlike servers. Networking sales model changing to be like servers.

Local switching is easy, future is all about global connectivity with security built in.

Joe: talking about second effect, for example having virtualised networking, what will that mean, like cars being the enabler for Walmart which couldn’t exist without people being able to drive to out of town Walmarts yet the invention of the car couldn’t have predicted Walmart.

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