The Virtualization Practice

The Dell VIS stack (Advanced Infrastructure Manager, Self-Service Creator and Director) now represents the most functionally rich virtualization management offering on the market, as it is sourced from best of breed IT as a Service vendor DynamicOPS and best of breed self learning analytics vendor Netuitive. This stack backed up by Dell’s ability to sell into its customer base with whom Dell is already heavily interacting on the subject of virtualization puts Dell and it partners in a compelling position.

Everywhere you look you hear more and more about cloud computing as well as hearing one of my favorite lines from a Microsoft commercial “Let’s take it to the Cloud…”. Companies are jumping on the cloud bandwagon in quite a big way. I wanted to point out and mention some stories and services that I am using personally and having good success with.

Apple has done quite well serving up the AppStore and iTunes for the mobile devices and Apple has recently announced that it was discontinuing MobileMe and replacing the service with iCloud. It can go without saying that this has been an invaluable tool for use with my iPhone and iPad.

Microsoft is making changes to its licensing policies to provide enterprise customers with a fast track to the cloud. The changes dubbed “License Mobility” announced at the Microsoft Hosting Summit in March this year,will move will allow customers with Software Assurance to move their applications to a cloud services provider without paying a premium for the added flexibility this will bring.

RUM (also called End User Experience Management) is becoming a critical feature of modern APM solutions. This is being driven by the emergence of rich client platforms like Ajax, Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, and Microsoft Silverlight as well as the emergence of the iPad and Android based tablets as platforms for client side business applications. These applications development trends when combined with virtualization, IT as a Service and Cloud Computing will make RUM into a critical capability for being able to assess how the end user is doing irrespective of what is happening to the deployment model of the back end application.

Centralized RBAC Missing from Virtualization Management Tools

As a delegate for Tech Field Day 6 in Boston, I was introduced to several virtualization and performance management tools from vKernel, NetApp, Solarwinds, Embotics, and a company still in stealth mode. With all these tools and products I noticed that each were not integrated into the roles and permissions of the underlying hypervisor management servers such as VMware vCenter, Citrix XenConsole, or Microsoft System Center. This lack of integration implies that a user with one set of authorizations just needs to switch tools to gain a greater or even lesser set of authorizations. This is not a good security posture and in fact could devolve any security to non-existent.

As mentioned in my previous piece I’ve been doing some prototyping using SpringSource’s Grails. Grails can be thought of as the top of the stack. If you pick up Grails you would naturally pull in the other pieces of SpringSource, including vFabric and ultimately vFoundry. In a future post I will deal with what happens when you stick Grails onto vFoundry, but at this stage I’ve been assessing the health of the SpringSource Ecosystem.

Since Juniper bought Altor Networks, there has been steady progress to use Altor VF3 (now Juniper vGW, pronounced vee-Gee-W) as a way to extend the functionality of the Juniper SRX Series of Service Gateways into the virtual and cloud environments. Juniper is focusing on the entire security stack from the endpoint to the hypervisor, vGW offers one component of that entire picture. Another component is the Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite which provides Security as a Service for mobile devices. These two components alone are a very powerful set of tools for any Enterprise. When you add in the other components it is a compelling story from network security perspective.

VirtuAll User Environment Manager Released

About 18 months ago fellow Citrix Technology Professional Pierre Marmignon realized that there was a gap in the market for a simple robust user environment management solution that could remove the continual nightmare of managing complex Windows logon scripts and user environment settings in virtual desktop environments. Skip forward to today and Pierre has just announced the release of VirtuAll User Environment Manager (VUEM), and it is excellent.