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Monthly Archives: May 2010

Skills Needed for Building Clouds

By Mike
DiPetrillo,
Global Cloud Architect, VMware

 

As many have read
in the past, VMware is hiring like mad for the cloud team. We continue to
expand at a rapid pace to meet all of the demand around the world for our cloud
products and services. As I get out and recruit more people for the team I
often get asked what skills one needs to build or architect a cloud. Even
customers that we pitch cloud to on the service provider or enterprise side ask
what kinds of people or skills they need in order to start building their own
clouds. I usually break it down into the three hardest parts of building up a
cloud service:

 

1) Networking
- Networking is about the most complex piece of VMware's cloud tools. Our
product manager likes to call it "flexible" which it really is (and
powerful) but it's also complex. Giving end users the ability to configure
their own network segments on-the-fly complete with VLAN IDs is something that
would scare most network admins and yet this is something that we need to
tackle to get to "true cloud". I usually suggest to customers that
they go and engage their network team early on in the cloud building process
and then recruit the best of the networking engineers to be on the cloud team.

 

2) Storage -
Storage is another area that can get complex. How do you make it so end users
don't have to care about the underlying storage and yet land on the right
volume from a performance perspective? And don't even get me started on
movement of data from one place to another or backup. All of these things are
going to require an ace storage engineer on the cloud team.

 

3) Programming
Skills – You don't need some uber code monkey on the team but you do need
someone that understands APIs, how to use them, and how you would go about
plugging everything together. Automation is the name of the game in the guts of
cloud and that's why tools like BMC Atrium Orchestrator, VMware vCenter
Orchestrator, and HPOO have become centerpieces in the cloud. Most of these are
based on Java or Javascript so find someone who can at least start there. And
since nearly everything in cloud land seems to be going the path of REST it
would be great to get someone that knows that and XML really well.

 

So those are
my three core skill sets that I tell people to go out and find. There are more
you could add to the list such as security or billing or portal design but
those can be from people that augment the core team. If you find people in the
above core skill sets then you'll be well on your way to architecting a
successful cloud build out.

VMware and Google Initiative Supports Java-Based Apps in the Cloud

Today, live at Google I/O, VMware and Google
announced a joint initiative to support the development and deployment of
Java-based applications in the cloud. This announcement follows the very
successful announcement of a joint partnership between VMware and Salesforce.com
to launch an open, enterprise Java cloud service – VMforce – based on Spring
and vCloud/vSphere technologies. 

 

VMware and Google have a shared vision to make it
easy to build, run, and manage applications for the cloud, and to do so in a
way that makes applications portable across clouds. 

 

With this joint initiative, Spring becomes the
preferred Java programming model for Google’s public cloud offering – Google
App Engine. Additionally, the two companies have been working to integrate
Google’s GWT (Google Web Toolkit) technology with the Spring framework and
development tools, to enable Spring developers to easily and rapidly build rich
internet applications. 

 

For more details, view a replay of the webcast from
the Google conference here.  For a general description of the
announcement, and significance of this announcement, please take a look at our blog.

 

For those interested in more of the technology
details, check out Rod Johnson’s blog.

 

Simply put, the significance of these announcements
in combination are:

* VMware is bringing to market an OpenPaaS stack
(i.e. an open and portable environment for cloud-based application development
and deployment).

* VMware is partnering with the industry leading
cloud vendors to bring this OpenPaaS offering to market.

* Spring is the dominant Java programming model for
the development and deployment of Java applications for the new era of cloud
computing, whether internal (private cloud) or external (public cloud).

* Only VMware is offering its customers, and the
market, a modern application development and deployment environment for
portable, cloud-enabled and optimized applications.

vCloud Twitter Poll Results – How do you define Cloud Computing?

So what is a cloud anyways?
How do YOU define the cloud? Recently the vCloud team was inspired by the
weekly reader polls on ReadWriteCloud.
We decided to run one of our own using a free service called twtpoll. There are almost as many definitions
of “cloud computing” as there are clouds in the sky. We wanted to find out what
you thought.

We picked a handful of
definitions from different sources and posted their take on what “cloud
computing” might be without revealing the source. In this post we’ll share with
you the names of those the authors. Among the definitions of cloud computing
was the winner from the RWC
poll
. We received more than 200 votes, and surprisingly the number one
choice from the RWC poll did not come out on top for our vCloud Twitter
poll. 


Haley_graf

The run away winning
definition with 76% of the vote is from Wikipedia and Sam Johnston (@samj). You
can read more about his 5-stack explanation of cloud computing here and
here.

Our runner-up with 18% of
the vote was our own VMware definition of vCloud, but slightly shorter than
described on our website.
Finishing third place was the winner of the RWC poll – Redmonk Analyst James
Governor’s (@monkchips) definition of cloud discussed in his blog post here.
Reuven Cohen’s definition (@ruv) from his ElasticVapor
post
had the least number of votes at 3%.

Finally, we wanted to take
this opportunity to update VMware’s definition of cloud computing, as it has
changed slightly since we launched our vCloud initiative:

Cloud Computing is an approach to computing that leverages the
efficient pooling of on-demand, self-managed virtual infrastructure, consumed
as a service.

How do you, our vCloud readers,
define cloud? Do you agree with this definition? Let us know what you think in
the comments section below. We’ll follow up with new polls in the coming
months.

Public cloud adoption curve – is history repeating v2?

By Massimo Re Ferre’, Staff Systems Engineer – vCloud
Architect

 

As I mentioned in my previous
post
I started working on virtualization technologies years ago. It was
around 2003 when I started talking, at public events, about what one could
achieve using VMware ESX (which at that time was the only VMware offering for
the enterprise market). I still remember the very first two questions I got
asked in one of those events that year. The first one was "wow, does it
really work?" Answer: "Yes, it does indeed". The second question
I got asked was, "Can I virtualize SAP"? The answer in 2003 was a no
brainier and it was something like, "We don't want you to virtualize the
SAP instance. We want you to virtualize the 20 plus infrastructure servers you
have sitting around it that support that SAP instance because they are what
cause you so much trouble".

 

For the next event, I decided that I should
anticipate the "what is virtualization good for?" and "where do
I start with it?" type of questions so I built the following slides to
give the audience a rough idea of where (and why!) these technologies would
fit.


Pict1


Pict2  

Pict3


For years I have pitched a typical datacenter
deployment as a pyramid on the side where, on the left, we have many instances
of dynamic, non-critical, non-resource
intensive
types of workloads. Test and development environments are a good
example. As we move to the right, workloads start becoming less dynamic, more critical, and more resource intensive. The SAP
instance above would be a good example of what sits on the other side of this
spectrum. In the middle we have a broad mix of infrastructure, tier 2 and tier
3 types of workloads, each of which comes with various infrastructure
requirements.

 

As you can tell from my graphics above, the virtualization adoption model I was
suggesting was pretty straightforward: "start from the left, move to the
right and stop where you like". This slide was built in 2004 and could
still be used in 2010. I think this adoption model made tons of sense at that
time for many specific reasons:

 

1) Organizations were losing control of the left part
because of the many little workloads that were popping up every other day
without any sort of governance (virtualization helped a lot with consolidation
and containment);

 

2) Organizations were not dynamic enough on the left
part because the deployment lead time for physical servers was too long
(virtualization helped a lot with the concept of "your new server is three
clicks of mouse away");

 

3) Organizations were happy to introduce new
innovative technologies on the left part because it was less critical compared
to the part on the right side of the pyramid.

 

In a way, this was a win-win. The advantages of this
solution were an excellent fit for the characteristics of the dynamic workloads
on the left side and the limitations of this solution (limited enterprise
maturity with associated risks) weren't really an issue for those types of non-critical
workloads. Well, you know what happened next. End-users started this
"journey" and there are now many organizations that are running SAP
virtualized.

 

That was the picture in 2003. How about now in 2010?
As I started working more closely on public IaaS cloud aspects, I have heard
many concerns and doubts that reminded me of those questions I was getting back
in the early years of this century. Can I move my core business application out
there in the cloud? How can I ensure that my own customers' data are protected?
Well I am sorry to rain on the party but, honestly, I don't believe these will
be the first workloads to move into the public IaaS cloud.

 

First, there is a technology argument. We are still
talking, by and large, about early offerings in the public cloud space. Similar
to what happened with ESX and with the overall virtualization ramp-up, we will
see technical improvements in public cloud offerings that will make it easier
to migrate critical workloads onto future stages of the IT infrastructure. This
doesn't mean ESX wasn't initially an enterprise-grade product. In fact, I
worked with a number of customers that were moving relatively important
workloads on to that platform, but arguably vSphere is a better and more mature
technology.

 

Other than that, we can't ignore another, probably
more important, fact.  Organizations
will want to take the time to learn what the public cloud is and will gradually
move workloads there. Most of them recognize the value of doing so in the same
way that they recognized the value of VMware ESX 1.0 when they first saw it.
This doesn't mean they jumped onto it overnight to migrate their core apps.

 

No matter how good the technology is (and while there
is space for improvement, it is good indeed) it will take time. You may want to
call it "fear of the unknown" or "risk management," but we
need to accept it for what it is. You will probably see me using these slides
again in 2010. I will just need to change the title to "The Public Cloud
(likely) Adoption Curve".

Top Ten Things a CIO Should Know About VMware vCloud Today

Steve Jin, VMware R&D

 

This entry was
reposted from
DoubleCloud.org,
a blog for architects and developers on
virtualization and cloud computing.

 

Since the term “vCloud” was made public at VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas,
VMware has been working hard to define and implement its vCloud
vision and strategies.

 

In 2009, VMware announced vCloud Express with service provider partners such
as Bluelock, Hosting.com, Melbourne IT and Terremark. VMware also submitted its
vCloud API spec to DMTF so that the industry could benefit from the
standardized management of APIs. VMware also acquired SpringSource in 2009. The
acquisition attracted a lot of attention, scrutiny and questions.

 

Earlier this year VMware acquired Zimbra, the leading provider of SaaS
collaboration software, and subsequently it also bought RabbitMQ. Both are now
part of the VMware SpringSource portfolio. Last week, VMware and Saleforce.com
announced vmforce.com which is a joint venture targeting enterprise PaaS cloud.
This week, , VMware announced the acquisition of GemStone.

 

With these acquisitions and announcements, VMware’s strategy is becoming
clearer than ever. Looking back again, VMware has been building a cloud product
and service portfolio under the vCloud umbrella. Some previously misunderstood acquisitions
have become well aligned in the long-term vision and strategies of vCloud.

 

While vCloud is not the only player in the
industry, VMware is well on its way with a comprehensive cloud solution for our
customers. Given its deep roots in enterprise data center virtualization, no
one can ignore the potential of VMware in cloud computing.

 

To help enterprises better understand vCloud, I offer ten things that
all CIOs should know:

 

1) vCloud is VMware’s vision of cloud computing. As the virtualization
leader, VMware has its own vision of cloud computing. Unlike Amazon
and other players, it focuses on both private and public clouds. It
also enables partners to provide
public cloud
services.

 

2) vCloud is about simplifying IT with services. With the cloud as
architecture, enterprises can build better infrastructure in provisioning
applications in a faster and easier way.
vCloud
is more than cost saving, which is the immediate benefit customers can see. More
importantly, enterprises can achieve agility of IT infrastructure that help
grow core businesses.

 

3) vCloud is a journey. It enables customers
to implement cloud computing in an evolutionary fashion, thus protect existing
investment and facilitate smooth transition to the cloud.
Check out my previous blog on the 3
phases of cloud computing
.

 

4) vCloud is a mixture of products and services. While VMware is
building a rich product portfolio, it actively seeks partnerships with service
providers. This partner approach gives enterprises choice. They can implement an
internal cloud with VMware products, or use services provided by VMware
partners. The interoperability between the public and internal cloud is
expected because vCloud is an open platform.

 

5) vCloud is a full stack offering. With its deep roots in the
enterprise, VMware has a unique position in cloud computing with a bottom up
approach: from IaaS all the way to SaaS. With acquisitions and internal
R&D, VMware is maturing into a provider of higher level software stacks (with
SpringSource, RabbitMQ, Zimbra, and possible future acquisitions). Enterprises
and service provider can rely on VMware to provide a one stop
solution for cloud computing.

 

6) vCloud is based on open standards. The API spec has been submitted to
the DMTF and is on its way to possibly becoming an industry standard.
VMware will also ship products that implement the APIs.

 

7) vCloud is an open platform. Enterprises can not only move workloads
into the public clouds, but they can also move them back to on premise or
switch them from one provider to another. With this openness, enterprises will
have the ultimate flexibility and freedom to leverage both internal and
external resources.

 

8) vCloud is built on top of the industry’s best hypervisor. While
vCloud is not exclusive on the lower level of platforms, the majority of the
services and products will be backed up by the best hypervisor and cloud OS:
vSphere. You can expect a higher quality of service from vCloud than from other
providers
because the quality of higher
level software depends on that of the lower level software
.

 

9) vCloud is probably the only
player in the industry that helps enterprise build private clouds
today. With
open standards, VMware allows customers to leverage public clouds as well. For
customers who want a revolutionary technology but through an evolutionary
experience (most of us do), vCloud offers the best choice.

 

10) vCloud is evolving over the time. It’s not static but evolves from
time to time with feedbacks from customers, partners and competitors.
The product portfolio will be richer, and the service will be better. In
that sense, it’s a journey for VMware as well.

 

Steve Jin is
author of 
VMware VI & vSphere SDK (Prentice
Hall)
, founder of open
source
VI Java API, and is the chief blogger at DoubleCloud.org

My cloud is an abusive relationship and I love it

By Adrian Cole, jclouds founder

I was really intrigued, speaking on the cloud power
users panel during web2expo yesterday.  To my left and right
were other cloud power users, running businesses on the cloud with significant
demands.  Everyone had to use weird hacks, they were unhappy with SLAs, and
had serious unmet needs and yet not one expressed any desire in leaving
EC2.


Is EC2 the abusive relationship you just can’t
leave?  Will it change and treat you better if you do (pay) more?  I
have my doubts, but I certainly see why companies don’t want to leave.


Setting up elaborate systems such as 10 volume raids
to hedge EBS performance woes isn’t easy.  Getting through a trial like
that is satisfying and once you’re over it, why risk such pain with another
cloud?  The devil you know, I guess.


Amazon has a history of trickling in performance
improvements in their services, and mild feature updates.  One can
reasonably expect things to change, but really… would you do it again given the
choice?


The fact is that people are using tools such as
RightScale and Heroku, and while you use these, you are limited to the set of
features they support on the clouds they support.  If you aren’t using
tools, you are building them, and there’s considerable effort changing
homegrown EC2 scripts to anything else.


My call to action is for the alternative clouds out
there.  Cloud: show us you are a better relationship than EC2.  Keep
your promises (SLA), and make your customers want to stay with you forever
(give people I/O performance and guarantees, make scaling more than trivially
useful, offer a cloud career plan). Now that’s a relationship we’d all like to
have.

Let me know if you want to get involved with jclouds.
Comment below or share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @jclouds or at
@vcloud. We’ll also be talking about jcloud on the vCloud
Facebook
page. Become a fan!

 

enStratus Announces Support for vCloud Express via Terremark


Enstratus

 This morning, enStratus
became the first cloud management service to announce
support for both private and public clouds based on the VMware vCloud API.
Terremark will be the initial vCloud provider supporting this integrated
solution.

enStratus is a cloud
infrastructure management platform for deploying and operating enterprise-class
applications. Through enStratus, Terremark’s vCloud Express customers have access
to additional cloud management tools, gaining greater cloud independence for
their applications. 

The enStratus integration layers
infrastructure management capabilities on top of Terremark’s vCloud Express
providing a solid governance foundation for cloud environments, a critical
component to cloud adoption. Now users can securely manage a multi-cloud
architecture for the enterprise through enStratus and the VMware vCloud
ecosystem.  

enStratus is available starting
today for VMware vCloud Express through Terremark. For more information and
details on the enStratus cloud management service, visit their Web site here.

For the latest news and
updates on VMware’s vCloud, check us out on Twitter
and Facebook.