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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Top Tips and Take-Aways from VMworld 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since 23,000 forward-thinking IT professionals converged in San Francisco for VMworld 2013. With VMworld Barcelona just around the corner, we asked a few of our consultants to reflect back on highlights from San Francisco and offer advice for how to get the most out of the event.

What nugget of information from VMworld did you take back to your work?

“Pay special attention to NSX and vSAN because VMware is changing the way IT delivers networking and storage services.” –Jung Hwang

“Automating SDDC is now more than an idea—it’s a reality. It has a huge impact on the Business Critical Applications space.” –David Gallant

“Almost anything can now be virtualized: monster VMs are now commonplace; systems that previously required an entire Unix platform to run can now be accommodated in a single Virtual Machine on VMware vSphere 5.x.” –Michael Webster Continue reading

Build It Right The First Time – 3 Steps for Agile Private IaaS

By Jung Hwang, Enterprise Solutions Architect, VMware

Imagine you are aJung Hwang general contractor building a house for a family. Without meeting them, you decide it should have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. When the family moves in, you have to begin renovating immediately—they have four teenage daughters and a baby on the way.

We all know that adding another bedroom, another bathroom, and doubling the garage is more costly and time consuming than it would have been to build the house to fit the family in the first place. So why do IT organizations so often make the same mistake when building out the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environment?

I recently saw this with a large financial institution that deployed their infrastructure to support an initial set of low complexity infrastructure use cases. Everything went fine until they started adding other IaaS use cases, including Database as a Service (DBaaS) and Big Data as a Service (BDaaS). To accommodate larger, faster, low latency, and high IO workloads, they were forced to scale up their existing blade servers but discovered their NFS storage environment wasn’t sufficient to support the new workloads. They ended up redesigning their underlying hardware platform, including compute, storage, network, and security.

It seems obvious that a lot of “renovation” could be saved by understanding which services will “live in the house” first. So why do IT organizations often fail to employ that foresight? Continue reading

The Secret to Getting Security to Say ‘Yes’

By Richard Rees, Security & Compliance Architect, VMware Professional Services

My post last week about the NSA and hybrid cloud I shared an important equation from the security world: Trust = Visibility + Control. In other words, if I’m going to trust a third party with my data assets, I need to have more visibility to make me comfortable with less control.

Today I want to highlight the different requirements that security, IT, and business have for building trust, and how improved visibility can help all three build a more successful working relationship.

Let’s start with security, the most risk-averse, and a mindset I have the best insight into. We know that business and IT are frustrated when we say no, but they need to understand our thought process. If security says “no,” and something bad happens, we get to say “I told you so.” If we say “no,” and nothing bad happens, we’re still ok. But every time we say “yes” we take a risk on getting burned. And we’ve been burned plenty before.

The business side has completely different requirements for trust. To them, risk is just the cost of doing business. You acquire a company, it doesn’t perform as you expected, you sell it off again. That’s that. Meanwhile, IT is somewhere in the middle, focused on efficiency and service delivery to the business.

When these different risk tolerances are competing (instead of collaborating), new problems arise, like the precipitous growth of “shadow IT” and the security problems it poses. Continue reading

The Snowden Leak: A Windfall for Hybrid Cloud?

By Richard ReesSecurity & Compliance Architect, VMware Professional Services

Interest in hybrid cloud has risen since Edward Snowden’s leak in May revealing vast surveillance operations by the US government, according to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and COO Carl Eschenbach during a VMworld Q&A last week.

That’s not surprising, since hybrid clouds allow businesses to keep their data in their own house and out of the prying eyes of government. That’s undoubtedly attractive for foreign companies doing business with or in the United States, since the US government was revealed to be focusing their monitoring efforts on emails sent to or received from another country.

Even if you aren’t worried about the NSA, I’m guessing you’d prefer the government not to have access to your business’s (or your customers’) information without your knowledge.

Hybrid: The best of both clouds

Enter the hybrid cloud. With a hybrid platform, businesses get the convenience and flexibility of a public cloud, but all access to sensitive data is handled through the organization’s private cloud. Continue reading