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Tag Archives: private cloud

Introducing the VMware Validated Designs Web Site and Early Access Community

At VMworld 2015 in San Francisco we announced the VMware Validated Designs.   At the time the program was so new that we didn’t even have a web page created for it.  However, we promised folks that a web page was on its way and today I’m happy to announce that it’s up and running!   At VMworld we also announced that there would be an early access community created for the VMware Validated Designs where you can sign-up and get involved.  I’m happy to announce that that milestone has been completed as well.

VMware Validated Design Web Site

You can now learn about the VMware Validated Designs by vising the official web page located at http://www.vmware.com/software-defined-datacenter/validated-designs.html (or via the  www.vmware.com/go/v2d shortcut).   A couple highlights from this new web page worth calling out: Continue reading

Three types of applications that are best suited for the Private Cloud

I had an experience recently that helped me understand how
companies should think about deploying Private Clouds in their organizations.

I went to my local bank branch to deposit a check I had
received.  As I was about to enter the teller
line, a bank employee asked me if I had used their new ATM station that
supported automated check deposits.  She walked
me outside and trained me on how I could make my deposit without having to talk
to a bank teller.

How brilliant was that! 
The bank had come up with a cost-effective way to service my request through
standardization and automation!  But to
do this, they must have identified which types of requests could be serviced
through the ATM and which ones would still be best served by the teller.

One of the questions we at VMware get a lot is, “If I want
to take advantage of the rapid provisioning and self-service capabilities of a
Private Cloud, what types of applications would benefit most from this model?”

We’ve found from the customers we’ve talked to that 3 types
of applications tend to be the best suited for the Private Cloud:

  • Transient apps – applications that will be
    rapidly cloned or re-allocated, like stage or pre-production environment, are great candidates for automation since there’s very little configuration differences between environments.
  • Elastic apps – applications where the resource demand will vary greatly over time, like with scientific computation, are also good choices since resource capacity can be extended very easily
  • The “Long Tail” of apps – applications that never get prioritized by IT, like a customized web farm for an extranet, are also a great fit since a Private Cloud may
    finally allow these applications to be provisioned at a cost that justifies
    their relatively smaller value.

Of course, there’s no reason to lose focus on virtualizing
all of your business-critical applications to get the benefits of higher
utilization and lower cost.

But as IT thinks about shifting specific workloads to the
Private Cloud to reduce costs and improve service, much like my bank shifted my
request to the ATM, these types of applications are a perfect place to start.  If your organization has applications that
are transient, elastic, or considered “long tail,” I’d recommend accelerating
your virtualization efforts with these apps and starting a dialogue with users
about moving to a self-service Private Cloud model.  In future posts, I’ll talk more specifically about
how customers have actually gone about evolving virtualized architecture into
Private Clouds and what types of learning and practice they gained in the
process.

Operations Management in the Virtualized Environment – What’s different?

Hi, I’m Martin Klaus, a member of the vCenter product
marketing team. Growing up in a small town in Europe, I often spent time in the
kitchen watching my mom bake and cook meals for our family. Especially during
holiday season, I was amazed by her incredible skill to transform sugar,
butter, flour and spices into delicious cookies, cakes and tarts. She rarely needed
to look up a recipe, and when she did, they were mostly hand-written, passed on
by her mom, our grand mother. Even though my dad had bought her an electric
mixer and other kitchen gadgets, she always made our favorite strudel
completely by hand because it would taste better that way. It seemed to take
forever, but when the warm scent of cinnamon filled the air, we knew she was
done and it was time to devour the treats we loved.  When we asked how she knew she had blended
the right amount of ingredients into fluffy dough, she always said, “This is
how grandma used to do it.”

What does this little story have to do with operations
management, you might ask?  Just like
microwave ovens, ready-bake cake mixes and 30 minute meals have simplified
cooking and shortened the time for food preparation for the home chef with a
busy work schedule, virtualization has fundamentally changed how IT services
can be delivered to the organization. 

As a result, we need to revisit operations management and
ask ourselves if the “old way” is still the most efficient way of delivering IT
services in virtual environments.

Virtualization is as much about people and processes as
it is about technology. Our most successful customers, those with more than 80%
or 90% of their infrastructure virtualized, have adapted their IT processes and
use virtualization for so much more than server consolidation. These IT
departments can now complete more projects in the same amount of time, have
more virtualized applications protected by disaster recovery plans, and adapt
to change more rapidly.  

So what has changed and
what are highly virtualized organizations doing differently?  Let me frame the conversation with the
following picture:

IT Transformation 

Traditionally, IT operations management is done in silos.
Every application is contained in its own hardware, OS, middleware and
application stack. You have specialized teams that own and operate “their”
application. Unless a major hardware refresh or software upgrade is needed, the
application lives and dies with the hardware. As one major retailer told me, it
would take them 18 months to release a new application into production, and all
systems are completely locked down from change during the Q4 holiday season.

In this model, more applications require more specialized
skills, processes and people who know how to operate the environment. Changes
must be carefully planned because the time and cost to recover from a failed
update is high.  ITIL has emerged as a
result of the need to document and make repeatable processes for problem,
change and incident management.

Moving to the right side in the diagram above, the
architecture of the Private Cloud is quite different from the traditional model
because it is designed to deliver IT services to end users in a more scalable
fashion.

As the foundation for the Private Cloud, virtualization
enables server, storage and networking resources to be shared very efficiently
across applications. Virtualization also allows you to standardize your service
offerings.  Templates for your corporate
Windows or Linux images can be provisioned as virtual machines in minutes. Even
higher-level server configurations with complete web, application and database
server stacks can become building blocks for your Enterprise Java environments or
Sharepoint instances, further simplifying the provisioning process and
lessening the need for one-off admin tasks. 
Automated backup, patch and update processes are additional benefits
that are easy to realize with virtualized infrastructure.

It is pretty clear that in the Private Cloud, the rate of
change will increase rapidly as business teams request more applications and
use external application and service providers as a benchmark against corporate
IT. We hear from customers that anywhere between 10-30% of business
applications already run outside the corporate firewall. It is mostly hosted
HR, Sales and Marketing applications like Salesforce.com that we’re talking
about today, but this trend is likely to increase as Infrastructure-, Platform-
and Application-as-a-Service offerings become more viable from a security and
compliance standpoint.

On the flipside, staffing levels and IT budgets will not
increase and IT organizations will need to do things differently to keep up
with the demand and cost pressures —  as
customers with highly virtualized environments have already discovered.  IT will need to transition into a new role as
a focal point for the central administration of all infrastructure and
application services — regardless of how they’re sourced.

In highly virtualized environments and the private cloud,
operations management must focus on three questions:

  1. How do we automate tasks and do more with less?
  2. How do we manage the service levels of infrastructure
    and applications?
  3. How do we optimize our resource utilization to get
    more return on our investments?

In my next few blog posts I’ll examine each of these
areas in more detail. I’ll share with you what I’ve been hearing from customers
that excel in these categories, and I’ll also talk about some of the work we’re
doing to support the people and process transformation that will simplify
operations management in the private cloud.

In the meantime, please post a comment on how
virtualization has impacted operations management in your organization.

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.