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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Solution to a “Mostly Cloudy” Problem

This is a guest post from vCloud Service Provider, Logicalis.

By: Steve Pelletier

Have you ever had an IT project that you thought would be ideal to put into a public cloud except for one or two requirements that cloud providers just can’t seem to meet?  I like to refer to these as “mostly cloudy” projects.  As Logicalis has developed its public cloud infrastructure, we’ve had many customers approach us with just this type of project.  An increasingly large proportion of those clients are ISVs who want to focus on their software development and move the hosting of their platform to the cloud.  But there’s an important problem preventing them from doing just that: public clouds typically don’t offer any custom options.

Most public cloud providers believe that standardization is the only way to provide cost benefits on a large scale.  Standardized hardware, automation, management levels – all of these standard tools and functions and more are typically put in place to make a public cloud environment both very efficient and highly repeatable.  Typical public clouds can’t be all things to all people, but they strive to be most things to many.  The problem is, this leaves those “mostly cloudy” projects with no place to turn in the public cloud.

At Logicalis, however, we take a much more consultative approach to everything we do, including our public cloud infrastructure.  We’re working to accommodate these kinds of mostly cloudy projects by deploying dedicated cloud environments.  By applying the same managed services practices that are used in remote management scenarios, Logicalis can provide the appropriate dedicated hardware and management levels as well as the custom requirements many clients need – things which would otherwise have prevented the solution from being hosted in a public cloud.  Logicalis can incorporate custom hardware requirements, higher SLAs, and enhanced security requirements, as well as other customized functions such as allowing a client access to the underlying virtualization and physical layers.  At Logicalis, we’re using our experience running a VMware-based public cloud – the Logicalis Enterprise Cloud – as well as our considerable expertise as a managed service provider to accommodate many of the unique requirements that traditional public clouds simply can’t deliver.

This makes Logicalis’ public cloud and dedicated cloud solutions, built on a VMware platform, ideal for ISVs that are looking to move their applications into the cloud.  Logicalis can provide a robust environment that takes advantage of all of VMware’s functionality to meet the unique requirements of providing a SaaS-based solution.  This allows ISVs to focus on the development and support of their applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.

If the forecast for your project is “mostly cloudy,” a dedicated public cloud solution may be the answer.

Steve Pelletier is a solution architect for Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com).

Introducing vCloud Hybrid Service

By: Bill Fathers, GM, Hybrid Cloud Services

A public cloud without compromise. Today it becomes reality. We are excited to unveil vCloud Hybrid Service, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud built and operated by VMware that will enable our customers to achieve the benefits of the public cloud with the applications, skills and management tools they already trust. Built on the foundation of VMware vSphere® and leveraging VMware’s software-defined data center technologies, vCloud Hybrid Service will  provide an easy, fast path for VMware customers to achieve the agility and efficiency of the public cloud.

As we talk to customers, we consistently hear that they want the benefits of a public cloud environment, but can’t afford the risk, cost and time of starting over. They want a credible option that is built on trusted, enterprise-grade technology that can be easily deployed. They also want a partner who can give them a platform that delivers the agility expected by the business and the security and reliability IT demands.

We know there are many cloud offerings to choose from, but only vCloud Hybrid Service is built on the same platform that VMware customers use in their own data centers. Those customers have expressed a desire for a cloud offering that is completely compatible with what they are deploying internally and is built on the trusted, reliable foundation they have come to expect from VMware. And vCloud Hybrid Service was designed to support all of their existing applications as well as the development of any new ones – without requiring any change.

There is tremendous opportunity ahead in public cloud services, and VMware is doubling down on its strategy to accelerate the adoption of public cloud. Since 2008, we’ve believed in a model for IT that spans multiple data centers, leveraging a multi-cloud – or hybrid – architecture. As a result, we believe VMware technology has enabled more private and public clouds than any other technology platform. Today there are more than 200 vCloud-certified clouds globally, and VMware will continue to work with our service provider community to make our multi-cloud vision a reality.

The vCloud Hybrid Service is a natural extension of this approach, making the benefits of the software-defined data center available to our customers – and our partners – as a service. We plan to make the vCloud Hybrid Service technology and IP available to our service provider partners, and we believe our experience operating a cloud service will allow us to more rapidly deliver innovations to them in the coming months and years.

The industry understands the benefits of cloud, and the opportunity ahead is for VMware and our partners to help our customers get these benefits as quickly as possible.  We believe that the vCloud Hybrid Service is the fastest way for VMware customers to get to the cloud.  We call this an “inside-out” approach, where the cloud becomes a seamless extension of the data center. This is the cloud without compromise.

For future updates, follow @vCloud and @VMwareSP on Twitter.

Webinar: Learn How Cloud Makes DR Easy, Affordable, Reliable

This is a guest post from vCloud Service Provider, Bluelock.

If you’re evaluating disaster recovery (DR) options you’re likely looking several options including traditional warm or cold-site solutions, cloud-based Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) DR and maybe even the age-old choice of simply crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

When you’re classifying DR options, think of RaaS as the solution that protects your entire application, not just your virtual machine (VM) or the data within that VM. Cloud-based RaaS leverages consistency groups for application protection; meaning your entire application is recovered as a whole. The data is all recovered at the exact same point in time, so there’s less work needed from your team to stand your application back up after a declaration.

Even though cloud is in the name, the solution isn’t just for workloads currently hosted in the cloud. In fact, cloud-based RaaS can be used as a recovery solution for any VMware-virtualized workload, including those that live in your internal hosting environment.

If your company is new to cloud and wary of the learning curve, RaaS is the easiest on-ramp for new cloud customers.  It allows organizations to learn about cloud’s flexibility, automation and self-service capabilities while keeping the scope manageable for any size department. The primary workload remains in your company’s internal datacenter, while the application is replicated and protected in the cloud.

If you want to learn how RaaS just might be your perfect choice for reliability, affordability and ease of use, register to attend How to Implement a DR Strategy that Works: Recovery in the Cloud, a webinar on Wednesday, May 22nd from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT.

In this hour-long webinar, Bluelock’s Chief Technology Officer Pat O’Day will show you how Recovery-as-a-Service can turn your disaster recovery plan from a pipedream to a reality.  Crossing your fingers won’t even cross your mind after this session.

What you’ll walk away knowing:

Cloud makes DR easy and affordable.

Recovery-as-a-Service is a software-enabled recovery solution that is easy to install, has no agents and maintains a low barrier to entry. It’s easy and it works with any VMware-virtualized environment. With RaaS you’ll bulldoze any roadblocks that kept your team from implementing a DR solution in the past.

Cloud-based DR leaves you confident your entire application is protected.

Your data is important, but not as important as recovering your data in the context of the rest of your application. Cloud-based RaaS protects the entire application holistically and replicates at the hypervisor layer to ensure your workloads stand back up, ready to go immediately. Your team won’t have to put the puzzle pieces together after a declaration, because it will stand back up as a complete picture already.

RaaS prevents costly data and revenue loss with testable, reliable protection.

RaaS promises easy, affordable testing within its solution so you won’t have to take our word that your applications are protected; you’ll see it for yourself. In this webinar you will learn exactly how easy and affordable testing is by hearing the client success stories that will show first-hand how RaaS changes not only how the DR game works, but the way it’s played as well.

Delivering on the Promise of Hybrid Cloud

By: Mathew Lodge

On March 13 at the EMC VMware Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors, Pat Gelsinger and Carl Eschenbach announced VMware would offer its own public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), what we’re calling the vCloud Hybrid Service. Since that time, we’ve had hundreds of conversations with our customers and partners, and you’ve made it even more clear there is a need for – and much enthusiasm about – a true hybrid cloud service. On May 21, we’ll launch that service, and you’re invited.

A common theme is the (healthy) tension between business teams striving to launch new products and services, move into new markets and generally drive growth, and overloaded IT organizations that are rewarded for avoiding outages and cutting costs – very different incentives. Public cloud has the potential to benefit both, helping to increase agility and also reduce cost (both real costs and opportunity cost). But today public cloud deployments are not the norm, or even widespread inside the average company.  So why is that?

Part of the problem is that while public clouds can be simple to use for development, they also uncompromisingly assume you can make all your application and systems fit their way of working in production. For application teams, using public cloud can mean having to modify or re-write an application to become a fully redundant distributed system that can handle any disruption and still soldier on. Then there is the packaged software your business depends on that just doesn’t function that way. Multiply that by the number of applications a business uses, and it’s a bottleneck: you can’t make that journey overnight, and that limits the cloud velocity of a business. Over in IT, the desire is to be able to take a supporting role without abdicating important responsibilities around operating costs, uptime and security.

VMware believes a new approach is necessary, one that starts inside your data center and extends out to support all applications – both the new “born in the cloud” application and your existing systems. We believe the hybrid cloud should allow you to seamlessly extend your data center to the public cloud leveraging the same infrastructure, same network, same management and skills.

By extending the very same platform (and operations model) that you use today in your data centers to the public cloud, you will be able to deploy and run all your applications onsite, offsite or both — without compromise and with less risk. This is true hybrid cloud.

Powered by the Software-Defined Data Center & the VMware Ecosystem

What makes this hybrid approach possible? Two things: the software-defined data center and VMware’s broad ecosystem of service providers, systems integrators, ISVs, and channel partners.

The software-defined data center – where compute, storage, network and security are all virtualized and automated by software – means customers can create a unified hybrid cloud architecture spanning data center and cloud with common processes and management. The software-defined data center is the “glue” that automates migration, management, and security.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because this vision for the hybrid cloud is not a new one. VMware and our ecosystem of partners have been advocating an “inside out” approach to cloud for years. With roughly 55,000 partners worldwide, chances are likely that your first experience with our technology was through one of our partners. And we plan to make it easy for you to get VMware’s software-defined data center in a new way – as a service – through the channels you’ve always used.

VMware is about to change the way you think about the cloud, and we hope you’ll join us on May 21 to learn more.

Be Confident in Your Data Center Security – Register for May 16 Webinar with Trend Micro!

Data center security is often cited as a primary concern for organizations considering a move to a public, private or hybrid cloud environment. As a service provider, are you confident that your virtual environment is keeping your customers’ data secure?

Ease your fears next Thursday, May 16 at 11am PT as VMware partner Trend Micro discusses the advantages of their virtualization-aware Deep Security solution. Trend Micro is the industry leader in virtualization security, supporting compliance and providing adaptive protection for your customer’s virtualized and cloud deployments, in addition to their physical infrastructure. New multi-tenant architecture also enables service providers to offer customers a secure public cloud, isolated from other tenants.

During the webcast, hosted by VMware partner Ingram Micro, experts will share how Trend Micro Deep Security can:

  • Maximize operational cost reductions;
  • Prevent data breaches and business interruptions;
  • And achieve cost-effective compliance.

Service providers who attend will also receive an overview of sales and licensing details with solution positioning, and will be able to see a live demo of Trend Micro Deep Security in action.

Your customers trust you to keep their data secure – don’t miss this opportunity to learn how Trend Micro Deep Security can help you deliver better than traditional security to your customers. Register today!

Ingram Micro is promoting this product with a special offer of a $250 Ingram Micro credit memo when service providers purchase Deep Security before June 28.

For future updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @VMwareSP and @vCloud.

Bluelock Launches VMware vCloud® Recovery-as-a-Service Solutions

This is a guest post from vCloud Service Provider, Bluelock.

Bluelock’s new Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) offerings deliver the benefits of VMware vCloud® with the latest recovery technology for a highly reliable, testable recovery solution. The new RaaS offerings are a unique type of Virtual Datacenter that enables organizations to recover critical IT resources with increased efficiencies and complete effectiveness when an adverse situation strikes.

Cloud-based RaaS is nothing like traditional disaster recovery (DR) solutions of the past.  Rather than needing to install agents across multiple devices, Bluelock’s solution requires no application modification to obtain recovery protection.

Based on Zerto Virtual Replication technology, Bluelock’s RaaS offering is fully compatible with VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud.  As one of Bluelock’s Virtual Datacenter solutions, RaaS allows for a holistic cloud experience and use of the Bluelock Portfolio tool to accurately predict and manage monthly cloud expenses.

Customers recover into a proven, enterprise-grade cloud environment that supports and runs production resources successfully and because testing is easy, affordable and effective, you’ll rest easy with the peace of mind that your recovery will work when you need it most.

Bluelock offers two types of RaaS solutions, a “To-Cloud” solution for customers who want to recover VMware-virtualized workloads hosted in their own facilities and an “In-Cloud” solution for current Bluelock cloud customers.

Bluelock’s To-Cloud RaaS solution offers businesses running VMware-virtualized environments the ability to recover data to a proven, enterprise-grade Bluelock Virtual Datacenter. Designed for ease-of-management, testing and verification, this innovative RaaS solution provides effective replication and recovery for production applications.

Bluelock’s In-Cloud RaaS solution is the ideal RaaS offering for Bluelock customers with critical workloads that require geographically-separated recovery environments. Bluelock has integrated a complete set of technologies and services that enables a testable and verified disaster recovery implementation. Using innovative replication technology, Bluelock’s solution provides effective replication of production applications to a second Bluelock datacenter.

“Achieving and optimizing the appropriate balance between IT disaster recovery capabilities, affordability and risk mitigation is central to Bluelock’s RaaS solutions,” said Pat O’Day, Chief Technology Officer at Bluelock. “Bluelock’s 4-Series Virtual Datacenters provide an affordable and effective product for both Bluelock customers and companies who want to recover into Bluelock’s proven enterprise-grade cloud environment at a compelling price point.”

Bluelock’s RaaS solutions are available immediately. To learn more about Bluelock’s RaaS offering, please visit: http://www.bluelock.com/.

Is Your Application Cloud-Ready?

By: Chris Colotti

In the past few years that I have been blogging about VMware vCloud, we have always focused on the architecture “of the Cloud.”  Recently I have started talking more about how to “consume” the clouds we have finally built, either public or private.  The next evolution of this is understanding how we determine if our applications are actually cloud-ready.  There are a number of ways to look at this, but here are some of my perspectives on a few questions you can ask yourself.  The application really needs to be the center of the decision-making process.

#1 Do you know the application inter-dependencies?

More often than not this is the biggest problem to understand.  How many times have you upgraded an application, changed an IP address, or anything else for that matter and the help desk phone started ringing?  That’s generally because we simply do not know what things have become dependent on that application over time – not only external applications that have started using the one in question, but also the application interdependencies itself.  Things to consider in this area might be:

  • Is this a Multi-tier Application and do we know all the components?
  • Does it have Active Directory Requirements?
  • What external applications have started leveraging this application?

#2 What are the network dependencies?

In many cases you will need to change IP addresses of your application when you move it to the cloud.  This will become easier over time as Network Virtualization becomes more mainstream, we won’t have this problem as much.  However, how is your application connected to the network today?  You must not only know the application interdependencies, but the network ones as well.  A few things to consider here might be:

  • Does the application have firewall rules?
  • How are users accessing the application?
  • Does this application need to connect to other systems?

#3 How is the application administered?

Interestingly enough, this is a forgotten step when thinking about how to move the application to the cloud.  Today, if the application is on your standard infrastructure, you may be using one of three methods to administer the application in question.

  • Admin Web Interface
  • Secure Shell Access (Linux)
  • Terminal Server (Windows)

The thing to understand here is once that application is moved to the cloud, will these same means be directly accessible or will you need to “jump” to them? The answer will depend on how you decide to connect to your cloud, but certainly in some cases these interfaces may not be made “Publically” accessible so you need to think about how you are going to get to the system itself.

#4 Does the application require specific resources?

This is a very valid question to ask when looking at the current application   Recently, more people are starting to leverage the true power of VMware vSphere by using the resource options better and with more intelligence.  This may mean that you now have an application with per virtual machine settings to provide specific resources to it.  You need to determine if you can provide this same level of service in the cloud you have chosen.  Of course with some vCloud Director allocation models you can certainly do so.  Before you move the application, check for existing settings on the following in your local datacenter, and determine if you can provide the same.

  • CPU Reservations or Limits
  • Memory Reservations or Limits

You may need to figure out a way to translate some of these settings into the cloud either by getting multiple Virtual Datacenters with different capabilities, or by deciding if these settings are truly a requirement.

#5 What kind of storage is the application using?

Sometimes this may be a factor for performance, or capacity.  When you think about moving the application to the cloud, you need to absolutely consider the current storage requirements of the application.  There are a few factors to consider specific to this that you may want to think about including:

  • Current Storage Capacity and Utilization of the application?
  • Storage performance requirements of the application?
  • Are there multiple virtual disks?

You could have the option of creating storage tiers in your cloud to support each of these requirements, but before you move the application it’s good to identify these areas to avoid potential problems.

Is Your Application Cloud-Ready?

You need to ultimately decide the answer to this question, but it’s not something you can do without at least asking the five questions above.  Make sure you do some investigation with tools or on your own to get the answers to these questions.  Then and only then can you decide if your application is cloud-ready.  Once you do that, go ahead and start planning your move to your new Virtual Datacenter and begin leveraging the power of the Cloud.

For future updates, be sure to follow @vCloud and @VMwareSP on Twitter.

Chris is a Consulting Architect with the VMware vCloud Delivery Services team with over 10 years of experience working with IT hardware and software solutions. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems from the Daniel Webster College. Prior to VMware he served a Fortune 1000 company in southern NH as a Systems Architect/Administrator, architecting VMware solutions to support new application deployments. At VMware, in the roles of a Consultant and now Consulting Architect, Chris has guided partners as well as customers in establishing a VMware practice and consulted on multiple customer projects ranging from datacenter migrations to long-term residency architecture support. Currently, Chris is working on the newest VMware vCloud solutions and architectures for enterprise-wide private cloud deployments.

Join Us For a Live Webcast – Pat Gelsinger, CEO, and Bill Fathers, GM, Hybrid Cloud Services, to Unveil vCloud Hybrid Service on May 21

May 21st learn how to go #VMwareHybrid

Earlier this year, VMware announced plans to extend the software-defined datacenter with a hybrid cloud service offering that would allow its 500,000 customers to reap the full benefits of the public cloud.

On May 21st, Pat Gelsinger, CEO will join Bill Fathers, GM Hybrid Cloud Services, to unveil the vCloud Hybrid Service. The live webcast will provide details on how this new cloud service will seamlessly extend your data center to the cloud.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO

Bill Fathers, GM, Hybrid Cloud Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register now for this free, LIVE online event: http://www.vmware.com/go/vmwarehybrid

For more information follow the VMware vCloud blog, and follow the hashtag #VMwareHybrid leading up to and during the webcast.

Share and Win!*

Help us spread the word by sharing this event and using the #VMwareHybrid hashtag on your social media channels, and you could win a prize! We will be randomly selecting winners every week to receive a Starbucks gift card or a Netflix gift subscription – the more you share, the better your chances of winning. Get ready to go #VMwareHybrid.

Stay up to date by following us on Twitter at @vCloud, @VMwareNews and @VMwareSP for future updates!

*Click below for contest terms and conditions.

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