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Tag Archives: hybrid cloud

VMware Roars Into OpenStack Summit

As we head out to Portland for the latest installment of the OpenStack Summit, we have an exciting agenda of speaking sessions and demos, and will be showcasing our latest virtualization wares on the show floor.  For a schedule of all the VMware sessions, we’ve created a show planner for you here. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect (and experience) at the show.

Keynote Session – “Virtual Networking, A Vagabond’s Log”

On Wednesday, April 17 at 1:50 p.m., VMware’s Martin Casado takes you along on the network virtualization journey. While it’s still an evolving area, the industry now has a few years of virtual networking under its belt. In this talk, Martin will draw from his experience of hundreds of customers visited, hundreds of thousands of miles flown, and dozens of deployments to describe use cases, what works, what doesn’t, and where things seem to be going.

Panel: Network Virtualization and OpenStack Networking users

Want to hear from real world Quantum users at eBay and HP among others? This session is a panel discussion with OpenStack users that have hands-on experience deploying Quantum in production environments, backed by network virtualization technology.

VMware/Nicira NVP Deep Dive

On Monday, April 15 at 11:00 a.m., VMware will provide a “deep dive” into the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP). This session will provide a detailed overview of NVP, its components, how NVP operates, and how NVP integrates with OpenStack Quantum.

Case Study on Virtualizing Advanced Network & Security Services

On Wednesday, April 17 at 11:50am in room A106, VMware’s will present a technical session on the state of the art in advanced networking and security services implemented in software. The session will dive into the operational and technical elements of integrating services such as load balancers, firewalls and VPNs in your cloud via OpenStack Quantum’s REST APIs. The session will explore the benefits of using virtual appliances to deliver these services on top of standard x86 servers further decoupling network service feature delivery from hardware installs, procurement, and forklift upgrades.

OpenStack Networking Hands-on Lab

On Wednesday, April 17 at 3:40 p.m., users will get access to a live OpenStack + Quantum setup and be able to walk through key quantum deployment use cases, with members of the Quantum core development team available to provide guidance and answer questions.

We hope to see you there!

Shifting from Infrastructure to Innovation

In my conversations with CIOs and other IT executives, I often hear how their teams are focused on maintaining a solid, reliable infrastructure. Their priorities are continuity of service, meeting SLAs, and minimizing disruptions and downtime. That’s an important, admirable goal, but as every IT exec now knows it’s not the whole picture.

If your teams spend too much energy on maintenance to ensure things don’t go wrong, they’re probably going to miss the opportunity for moving forward – and the threat of being left behind.  Consumerization of IT and the cloud have changed everything. As one customer exec pointed out to me recently, “Public cloud options can be the pink slip for IT infrastructure and operations teams.” Let’s face it, the monopoly is over.  Public cloud services, both consumer and business, have set a new standard for IT service delivery – ease of access, speed, reliability, etc. – as well as expectations on price, and IT teams are expected to match or better that standard if they want to stay in the game.

With so much available today on demand in the cloud there’s greater pressure than ever on IT to somehow reduce expense and shift Keeping the Lights On to new, innovative projects that drive business productivity and profit growth. You need to empower your teams to think and act differently, enabling them to be a world class IT organization.

Your teams can no longer focus on the infrastructure; they have to focus on taking advantage of the infrastructure to deliver new business value through innovation. In a world of options – private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, virtualized and physical infrastructures – the focus needs to be on making the right choice that’s right for your business.

The question is no longer “How do I make my infrastructure the best it can be?” but: “What’s the best infrastructure for what we want to do?”  IT has to decide the most logical place to provision and operate infrastructure and applications, based on criteria such as cost, risk, compliance, security, etc. That’s where the innovation comes in – what works best where? What capabilities can I start to deliver as services? What cloud services can I take advantage of to help drive what the business is trying to achieve?

That’s the shift we’re seeing in IT. Instead of providing a super reliable infrastructure to support your applications, you’ll be sourcing and providing services. As I mentioned in my previous post, IT will become a broker for services that the business needs, with a fact-based approach to identifying the best source of those services, internally or externally. Being a service broker will help your teams shift toward innovation, while matching or bettering the standard set by public cloud services.

Some of those services – the ones supporting your mission-critical activities – will stay on-premise for reasons of security and compliance. Some of them – the utility part – you’ll offload to a cloud infrastructure provider through IaaS. The rest of them – the part in the middle – you’ll offload to a SaaS or PaaS vendor (someday these may come back in house or they may stay in the cloud or even move back and forth depending on cost and changing business demand).

Being an innovative IT organization is about trying new things. About being daring. About making decisions faster, killing projects sooner, investing more in projects that warrant it. And about how the cloud – private, public, hybrid – can help you do that.

This is going to take a mind-shift on the part of your teams and a critical look at your processes. You’re going to have to be more customer-centric and deliver cost transparency to your stakeholders. You’re going to have to standardize the services you offer (think 80/20 rule) and enable self-service access to them. And you’re going to have to put the right governance processes in place – who gets access to what and where does your data live.

In my next post I’ll walk through how you can tackle these challenges.

Care to comment on this blog post? Share your thoughts your thoughts with us in comment section.  

vCloud Connector 2.0 now available

I’m pleased to announce that vCloud Connector 2.0 is now available for download! vCloud Connector (vCC) allows you to view, copy and manage VMs across vSphere, vCloud Director and any of the 180+ vCloud Powered and vCloud Datacenter IaaS cloud providers listed at vcloud.vmware.com. For more details on what’s in 2.0, see my earlier blog post.

There are two versions: vCloud Connector Core is a free download for anyone with vSphere, and vCloud Connector Advanced is free for anyone with the vCloud Suite. Here’s a summary of the differences:

vCloud Connector 2.0 Features Core Advanced
View, copy, move VMs and templates Yes Yes
User interface improvements Yes Yes
Transfer speed and reliability improvements Yes Yes
Cross-cloud search for VM or template by name Yes Yes
Automatic catalog synchronization across clouds No Yes
Migrate VM while maintaining IP and MAC addresses No Yes

vCloud Connector supports vSphere and vCloud Director 4.x and 5.x. It’s available from the “Drivers And Tools” tab of vSphere 5.1 and vCloud Director 5.1, or by following this link: vmware.com/go/downloadvcc

[This blog post was edited on Jan 9 2013 to correct an error — VXLAN is not required to migrate a VM while maintaining IP and MAC addresses.]

Hybrid cloud customer panel at VMworld Copenhagen

Next week I have the pleasure of moderating a hybrid cloud customer panel at VMworld Copenhagen. The speakers are VMware customers deploying their applications to private and public clouds, and they'll be speaking about their experiences and goals in session CIM 4813 on Tuesday October 18 at 13:30.

Dr Stuart Lee from the University of Oxford will be talking about their innovative database as a service application deployed to their private cloud and to Colt's vCloud Datacenter Service.

Stephen Speirs, CIO of Charles River Labs has an agenda to migrate this leading lab and research services company to enterprise-class public clouds over the next few years, getting out of the business of managing on-premises infrastructure. Learn about their experiences using a hybrid cloud to make that transition.

Francis Hart is Chief Architect at game publisher and developer Sega Europe. Learn how they're making Sega more productive and more secure using hybrid clouds — and the difference between commodity and enterprise public clouds.

This promises to be an interesting panel for those considering or making the move to hybrid cloud. Please join me and take adavtage of the ability to hear from these cloud leaders and the Q&A session afterwards.

VMworld vCloud IaaS news: the enterprise cloud advances

A year ago, I wrote a blog entitled “Cloud, meet enterprise,” the title a nod to the early successes by cloud service innovators and the pent-up desire of many IT organizations to gain the same kind of agility. Their problem: how to get take advantage of public clouds without having to abandon everything they had and without re-architecting or re-writing all of their applications en masse. By working with our service provider partners we could jointly deliver public cloud services that offered an evolutionary path to the public cloud revolution.

Today, VMware and its partners are introducing new products and services that help organizations of all sizes find, evaluate, and manage hybrid cloud services to compliment their own IT investments. By hybrid, we mean using private and public clouds in concert, so that an organization can determine for itself the appropriate mix. 

vcloud.vmware.com helps VMware customers quickly find a qualified service provider that’s compatible with their VMware-virtualized infrastructure. Customers can learn about the different types of cloud services (vCloud Powered, vCloud Datacenter and vCloud Express), locate a provider world-wide, and also sign up for a service trial. 

We’re also introducing the public beta of vCloud Connector 1.5, VMware’s tool for transferring and managing workloads across vSphere clusters, private and public clouds. New in version 1.5 is a point-to-point agent architecture for transfers that improves speed by using multiple parallel network connections. There’s also an automatic checkpoint & restart mechanism, so any transfer that is interrupted by network congestion or failure is now automatically re-started from where it failed.

Customers can also access vCloud Connector 1.5 from any compatible web browser, in addition to accessing it from the vSphere console. As before, vCloud Connector is a free download for existing vSphere customers, and it is also integrated directly with vcloud.vmware.com.

We’re also pleased to announce improvements to vCloud Datacenter, which delivers globally consistent IaaS service world-wide through selected partners. The service is audited and certified by VMware to meet stringent compatibility and security requirements. We’re pleased that Dell has joined the program and will roll out vCloud Datacenter Service globally, with initial beta service out of its Texas datacenter.

All vCloud Datacenter service providers offer a common cloud computing service definition that makes it easy for customers to deploy their applications world-wide on any vCloud Datacenter service without re-work. We’re also announcing Global Connect, an initiative where vCloud Datacenter partners are working together to offer a global virtual cloud service through a single contract. Bluelock, Colt, SingTel and Softbank are the first vCloud Datacenter partners expected to offer Global Connect.

Finally, some numbers to give you a sense of where we are on the journey and how adoption of enterprise cloud services are accelerating: there are now 5,600 members of the VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) in 62 countries, with 174% bookings growth in VSPP in the year-to-date. Since VMware only makes money when our service providers sell services, that means the VSPP ecosystem has grown its revenue by at least 174% too. By comparison, this is more than three times the growth estimates for the largest non-VMware public clouds, demonstrating the rapid acceleration of enterprise cloud. If you haven’t already done so, find a provider and start your own journey at vcloud.vmware.com.

 

The future of cloud, part 2: Harris trusted enterprise cloud

Today at VMworld, Harris Corporation announced their Trusted Enterprise Cloud as a VMware vCloud® Powered service offering for federal and enterprise customers based on best of breed technologies, including VMware vCloud® Director. Perhaps the most interesting part of this is the strong differentiation that Harris has built into its cloud infrastructure that makes it a particularly good fit for this customer base. 

There are echoes here of NYSE Euronext’s capital markets approach – both are far from “generic” or “commodity” cloud services. They are clouds specifically designed and operated to solve mission-critical customer needs. Harris is way out in front of some recent announcements that are nothing more than “same old cloud, new building”, marketed as “Now for government use.” You’ve heard of “CloudWashing” – maybe the term for this is “GovCloudWashing?”

So what’s the secret sauce? Harris set out to comprehensively answer the question “What makes a cloud trusted?” There are three components to this – the physical and logical integrity of the cloud itself, the methods and procedures to operate it, and the people who run the cloud. There’s a lot of meat to this, and Chuck Hollis’ blog goes into more detail – I want to focus on Harris’ innovation in the cloud infrastructure layer.

All of the Trusted Cloud hardware components are positively verified to be as the manufacturer intended, with tracking from the source. There’s no room for (say) buying the cheapest “white box” server board of unknown origin in a trusted cloud, because that can compromise the integrity of the overall system. If you think this is far-fetched, consider that everything from NAS arrays to iPods have arrived in the hands of customers pre-loaded with malicious code in the past few years. Then there’s the growing market in counterfeit networking, storage and server spares (by May 2010, US authorities had made more than 700 seizures of counterfeit Cisco gear — more than 94,000 network devices in total). 

Secondly, Harris has developed an innovative white-listing approach to verify the integrity of code and configurations that run on the cloud. Traditional anti-virus systems use black-listing – known malicious code is identified through signatures and blocked. The challenge has been the deliberately massive proliferation of malicious code variants, and techniques like code mutation designed to defeat signatures. White listing is the reverse – only known good code and configurations (those with a signature on the “white list”) are allowed. By definition, malicious code, regardless of how it mutates or disguises itself, cannot run because it doesn’t have a valid signature.

The challenge with white-listing is ensuring you have 100% of the required signatures to allow the system to run, given the sheer number of variations of bona fide code and configurations. Through its acquisition of SignaCert in 2010, Harris has assembled a database of code and configuration signatures for over 3 billion software objects from more than 2,000 vendors. Harris has four patents on this technology and has embedded it in their Trusted Enterprise Cloud service.

This is another strike against the “cloud monoculture” viewpoint: to be relevant to a particular market segment, a cloud must deliver more than on-demand VMs; it must also solve key infrastructure challenges that distract organizations from their marketplace or mission. For many, including Federal government agencies, assuring a secure cloud platform is a great example of something that Trusted Enterprise Cloud solves effectively, and is what distinguishes it from “same basic cloud, shiny new label” offerings.

 

Actual live-and-in-person public and hybrid cloud customers and builders at VMworld

VMworld Las Vegas is just two weeks' away, yet to read the Twittersphere and the Blogoverse, one might think that enterprise public clouds, and hybrid cloud use (where an organization deploys an application across private & public clouds) were figments of a fevered imagination. It would follow that actual people who have built and used this style of cloud cannot exist, or must be mistaken. But they do exist, they are passionate and intelligent, and at VMworld you can meet some of them "live and in person", as they say in Vegas.

At session CIM4813 (Wed 2pm), Real-world cloud experiences, I have the pleasure of leading a distinguished panel of enterprise cloud customers:

  • Dr Stewart Lee, Head of IT for the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford, will talk about their innovative Database-as-a-service and hybrid cloud approach.
  • Paul McNamara, Entrepreneur in Residence at Adobe, will talk about the future of customer experience, and how key features of enterprise clouds help make it possible.
  • Chris Spence, CTO of the National Democratic Institute, will speak to how cloud helps his non-partisan NGO bring democracy to five continents.
  • Drew Garner, Director of Architecture Delivery at travel and expense expert Concur, will explain how a blend of on-premises infrastructure, hosting and cloud helps them scale to serve over 12,000 customers and rapidly integrate new acquisitions like TripIt.

Within the Cloud Infrastructure and Management track:

CIM 2520 (Mon 11am): Link Alander and Cory Bradfield from Lone Star College on leveraging Public, Private and Hybrid clouds in Higher Education

CIM 2343 (Wed 9.30am): Building a real-life high-performance financial services cloud, with Feargal O'Sullivan from NYSE Euronext. Offering basic VM provisioning is, to a degree, the easy part. This is a chance to learn what makes a vertical cloud special with details of NYSE's capital markets community cloud.

CIM 2750 (Mon & Wed 11am): Are all clouds commodity? With Andrew Phillips from open source API specialists jclouds.org and Pat O'Day from Bluelock.

CIM 3177 (Mon 2pm): Cloud architectures to deliver healthcare as a service with Christopher Reed, INX, Stephen Henson, Concentra, Steven Kaplan, INX and Mariano Maluf of vCloud Powered provider GNAX.

CIM 2628 (Tue 5.30pm): How Equinix implemented a smart development cloud with Brian Lillie, Equinix and Martin van Ryswyk, Electric Cloud.

CIM 2865 (Wed 12.30pm): Escaping the Chaos Monkey, Enterprise vs. Commodity Public Cloud, with me, Mathew Lodge. How and why are enterprise clouds different, explained with the help of "chaos monkeys" and other metaphorical animals.

Why is this controversial? It shouldn't be, but just last week, I was harangued by twitter chatter that enterprise public and hybrid clouds didn't really exist, and that, if they did, they were too enterpricey (you see what he did there?) This depsite there being seven cloud providers in the VMware vCloud Datacenter Services program, another 32 live and in production who have earned the vCloud Powered Service badge (see Joe Andrews' post on this earlier this week), and two successful vCloud Express providers (here and here) that offer more compute for your buck than Amazon EC2, while being more compatible with your existing VMs.

To summarize, at VMworld you'll get the opportunity to hear from a number of VMware customers doing all kinds of interesting things in public and hybrid cloud deployments, some of them previously deemed impossible :-) If you're attending, I hope you take the opportunity to attend one or more of these sessions and if you've got your own example, I'd be delighted to hear about that too. Maybe you can come back next year and tell VMworld attendees about it. See you there! 

 

Cloud computing: it’s an approach, not a destination

Hi, my name Murthy Mathiprakasam. I joined VMware last week as a product marketing manager.

The first few weeks at any job are a blur of ramping up, learning the lingo, and generally drinking from the fire hose.  At VMware, this is all in hyperdrive.  Not only is there a lot of exciting stuff going on over here, there are also a dizzying amount of tech terms and acronyms.  Through it all, one word has come up in almost every meeting and conversation I’ve had: Cloud.  

Now, I have to admit, I’ve always found the term and the buzz around it kind of confusing.  It seems like everyone has their own definition of Cloud, and every technology company has a Cloud angle.  Isn’t VMware all about virtualization?

So, I set out to understand VMware’s definition of Cloud, and the first thing my new boss said was:   “It’s an approach, not a destination.”

He expanded on this, offering the following perspective:  Cloud Computing is an approach to computing that leverages the efficient pooling of on-demand, self-managed virtual infrastructure, consumed as a service.

And then, it all came together for me.   

We live in a world of getting “exactly what I want, exactly how I want it, exactly when I want it.”  People buy shoes, apps, car insurance whenever they want.  They buy music and movies however they want (a single song, a 2 day “rental,” a custom channel).  In all these cases, it doesn’t matter where the product is coming from – only that we get what we want, when we need it.

This is the promise of cloud computing, bringing the “what I want, how I want, and went I want it” to the business.

And here is where I began to understand VMware’s vision.  There is no quick answer for “going to The Cloud.”  The approach is for IT departments to take an evolutionary path from virtualizing their data centers to developing a Private Cloud architecture that can be bridged with external Public Cloud resources to get the full flexibility of a Hybrid Cloud.  For IT departments to go down this evolutionary path, they are going to have to change the way they work. 

This is Cloud Computing.

It will take me a few more weeks to understand some of the concepts, the changes, and the technologies that will make all of this possible.  I do understand that virtualization is central to this approach. Some of the words I’m picking up are agility, self-service, security, policy-driven… but even if I don’t understand the details, I understand the potential.  Today’s datacenter isn’t built to deliver “what, how, when.”  At VMware, we are helping customers transform the way IT operates  – transform the datacenter  – in order to better serve the line of business (and us business consumers) in a way that is streamlined, responsive, and cost-effective.  

I’m looking forward to learning more about this approach and hope you are too.