The Virtualization Practice
CloudComputing

With the bottom falling out of the box shifting business, Dell continues its efforts to refocus it’s business along more profitable lines. Dell first announced the appropriately named Dell Cloud at VMworld Las Vegas last August based out of its Plan0 Texas Data Center. Now it has set its sights on the rapidly growing European market with a UK data center hosting its Euro Cloud that is set to open its doors on August 31. Needless to say, Dell is not content to offer a cloud-based service without doing what it can to support its manufacturing division.

VirtualizationSecurity

The 5/31 Virtualization Security Podcast we spoke to High Cloud Security about encryption as a defense in depth, and where to place encryption within the virtual environment. This lead to an intriguing discussion about what is actually missing from current virtual environments when it comes to encryption. We can encrypt within each VM and we can encrypt within the networking fabric, as well as within the drives themselves, but currently that leaves several vulnerabilities and unencrypted locations that can be used as attack points. While we concentrated on vSphere, what we are discussing applies equally to all hypervisors.

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At Dell Storage Forum 2012, Dell introduced a new converged infrastructure that features an Equallogic Array that takes up 2 slots of a new blade enclosure. Moving storage closer to the workloads running within the blades. This is a very interesting and powerful play by Dell, but I kept asking myself is this really a converged infrastructure? Or it is just an integrated blade enclosure that others have at this time?

CloudComputing

One of the decisions faced by anyone that wishes to have a cloud presence is what will be moved to the cloud, why, and whether or not there is a service that can be used instead of using virtual machines. Give The Virtualization Practice’s case, we plan on moving our customer facing VMs to the cloud, but what are those machines? The most important are a Web Server with a split LAMP stack, a Mail Server, and DNS.

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The 5/17 Virtualization Security Podcast was an open forum on the Cloud Security Alliance initiatives, specifically the Security, Trust, & Assurance Registry (STAR). Which is “a free, publicly accessible registry that documents the security controls provided by various cloud computing offerings.” The CSA has grown from a grass roots organization to a major player and producer or guidance for security and compliance for clouds.

DesktopVirtualization

A common initiator for moving to virtual desktops is the transition away from existing PCs. To help accommodate this option, Stratodesk have announced the latest version of their NoTouch Desktop. NoTouch is a PC and thin-client re-purposing and management product. As well as supporting Citrix, VMware and Quest, Stratodesk have recently partnered with Desktone to offer easier access to Desktone DaaS desktops. There are a number of optimised Linux-build offerings. Devon IT with VDI Blaster, 2X have their ThinClientServer – there is even a license free option in the recently updated ThinStation. What does Stratodesk’s NoTouch offer, and can Stratodesk assist in a easing deployment of virtualised desktop projects over and above simply deploying thin clients? How, and can, NoTouch integrate or compete with the recent acquisitions of Citirx (Virtual Computer) and VMware (Wanova)?

Microsoft has thrown down the gauntlet right at the feet of Amazon and VMware. With this release Microsoft is bringing to the table its historical strengths in Windows, its on premise position with Windows systems and Windows applications, its ability to operate scale out data centers on a global basis, with a huge commitment to openness and heterogeneity.