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Category Archives: Hybrid Cloud

Another VMware Cloud in Action – VIF International Education Expands Classroom Borders with vCloud Air

VMware geo cloudThis post was originally published on the VMware vCloud Blog.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, VIF International Education partners with more than 200 school districts to help prepare teachers and students for success in an interconnected world. For over 25 years, VIF has built many global education programs, ranging from professional development and curriculum to language immersion and cultural exchange arrangements in order to develop engaging learning environments where students can establish important 21st century skills. VIF CEO, David Young, explains the importance of international education for today’s students, “The world continues to become smaller in many ways and more interconnected. If [students] can become comfortable with change, become comfortable with differences, they’ll ultimately thrive as global citizens.”

VIF knew they had a great product, but when they experienced a 500% surge in user growth in their first year, they knew they had to act fast to scale their IT infrastructure. Their business systems and Learning Center platform ran on VMware vSphere® clusters hosted on an IBM blade infrastructure located in their main office. This rapid growth strained their physical capacity, wreaking havoc on the platform’s reliability as they began experiencing bandwidth issues. Senior Systems Engineer Mark Haney was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and was constantly worried about power outages, "It became important to us to find a solution that allowed us to grow at a faster rate than our internal infrastructure was capable of doing."

Learn more about how VIF extended their platform and enabled continued growth with vCloud Air by reading the full story on the VMware vCloud Blog.

The Self-Service Revolution: A Double-Edged Sword

Bill Fathers headshotBy Bill Fathers, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Services, VMware

The characteristics of cloud computing are many and varied, but the feature perhaps most responsible for its rapid adoption across organizations of all sizes is self-service procurement. The reason for this is fairly obvious: whereas interfacing with the IT department and waiting on approval was once the biggest bottleneck in provisioning new resources, workers today can simply bypass all that and go directly to a cloud-services provider.

While cloud computing has cleared the IT bottleneck by enabling self-service and instant access to technology infrastructure, it has created a new set of problems. Sure, organizations can save time and money by lowering the bars of procurement, but are employees procuring the right resources? And is the organization’s overall infrastructure model sustainable?

The strategic significance of self-service

It’s important to identify what the benefits of a self-service model actually are. First and foremost, self-service empowers companies to move at the speed of business and deploy new capacity instantly in response to market factors. Instead of being reactive, organizations can be proactive through an IT framework that scales in real time.

Self-service can also greatly mitigate waste. In a conventional model, resources like storage capacity must be procured in set increments (50 gigabytes, 20 terabytes, etc.). In contrast, self-service allows users to take only what they need and pay only for what they use.

In addition, self-service portals significantly reduce the burden on IT departments. If a dev team needs a new server, for example, numerous stakeholders are typically looped into an approvals process that can span weeks, if not months. If the dev team no longer needs to speak with anyone internally to get the resources they need, the IT department can be freed up to pursue more meaningful and less menial tasks.

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Showcasing VMware vCloud Air Object Storage powered by EMC at EMC World!

VMware geo cloudBy Roshni Pary, Senior Product Marketing Manager, vCloud Air Product Marketing

A quick update on VMware’s continued innovation and updates to our cloud platform.  Last year, we announced plans to launch VMware vCloud® Air™ Object Storage powered by EMC, and earlier this year, we announced a strategic partnership with Google that will include integration of VMware vCloud Air Object Storage powered by Google Cloud Platform. We are excited to be showcasing a demo of this new service at EMC World here in Las Vegas.

VMware vCloud Air Object Storage is an extremely scalable, cost-effective, and resilient cloud-based storage solution for unstructured data. With this service, you will get instant, self-service access to storage capacity on-demand and scale up to petabytes.

The service is simple to use, easy to setup and is exceptionally durable and available, eliminating the need for data protection with built-in redundancy. The service will support global access use cases with easy access from any device, anywhere, anytime.

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vCloud Air Update from Bill Fathers [VIDEO]

Last week, VMware announced the continued expansion of VMware vCloud Air with the general availability of service in Australia. In this video, Bill Fathers provides an overview of vCloud Air in support of the launch. Watch the video to learn how vCloud Air is making it safe, quick and easy for customers to make the move to the cloud.

 

A War Zone Taught Me the Importance of Infrastructure

Bill Fathers, EVP, Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit, VMwareBy Bill Fathers, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Services Business Unit at VMware

We’ve arrived at a pivotal turning point in IT. As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate and our technology begins catching up with our imaginations, the greater challenge is no longer building the next disruptive product, but providing a cloud infrastructure model that can deliver it anywhere, at anytime. For those who’ve been paying attention, this shift will come as no surprise. I first recognized the significance of infrastructure during my military service.

As an officer in the British Army, you are taught how to fight conventional battles, with established rules of engagement and clarity of purpose. We didn’t have that in Sarajevo. The UN peacekeeping mission was comprised of nations who had never worked together before, certainly not in a very high-pressure environment.

At the height of the war, Sarajevo was blockaded, bombarded and under constant sniper fire. Water was cut off and Bosnian forces were preventing even medical supplies from entering. Still, the city endured. Then, somebody literally stole the mobile phone network installed by a multinational firm a few years earlier, and everything went to total mayhem.

And so I learned the gravity of infrastructure. That realization would inform my trajectory for decades to come.

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Cloud-based Disaster Recovery for Stormy Times

This post was originally published on The Bridge.

Raindrops

A ferocious storm in early December caused many disaster recovery jitters for Silicon Valley area companies. Most businesses in downtown San Francisco lost power for more than 12 hours;  Burt Bacharach’s performance at the Symphony Hall was cancelled; and many office Christmas parties were ruined as Pacific Gas & Electric crews struggled to restore service to a sodden, blacked-out city.

As storms approach, many organizations implement disaster recovery and contingency plans, only to discover their policies and strategy are as flimsy as a wet paper bag. While December’s storm was rare in its intensity, it demonstrated why companies need to prepare for the worst. Bad news can hit any business.

The good news is that cloud-based IT services make it easier, quicker, and less expensive to bounce back. Earlier this year, VMware launched a cloud-based disaster recovery service that uses the same SDDC and network virtualization (VMware NSX) architecture, which customers can buy to build their own cloud-based recovery systems. A software defined IT approach also makes it easier for organizations to fulfill legal obligations in complying with regulatory mandates because they can reuse similar application frameworks and workflows.

Read more about Cloud-based Disaster Recovery for Stormy Times on The Bridge.

Hybrid Cloud Will Enter the Professional Era in 2015. Here’s Why.

Bill Fathers, EVP, Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit, VMwareBy Bill Fathers, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Services Business Unit

I think it’s fair to characterize the last five or so years as an experiment in the merit and feasibility of cloud-based enterprise IT. To be sure, the notion of taking corporate workloads and data off-prem was hardly a guaranteed sell at the outset, but with the explosion and rising ubiquity of XaaS, it’s starting to look like cloud is not only here to stay, but has entered the professional era.

As far as enterprise is concerned, the term “cloud,” will refer increasingly to the hybrid cloud—just as “smartphone” simply became “phone.” What’s driving this expedited rate of adoption, and the standardization of the hybrid use case? As with most paradigm shifts, a confluence of factors is responsible.

Public-only is not enough

For many organizations, public was the first foray into cloud services. And when it comes to accessibility, public cloud has obvious advantages, but its shortcomings are equally apparent in issues like regulatory compliance and data security.

The utility of a hybrid approach is, therefore, fairly obvious: some data and workloads simply need to reside onsite. But when proximity isn’t a concern, you should have the ability to extend into the public cloud, where storage and compute is both cheaper and more accessible.

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