The Virtualization Practice

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing focuses upon how to construct, secure, manage, monitor and use public IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS clouds. Major areas of focus include barriers to cloud adoption, progress on the part of cloud vendors in removing those barriers, where the line of responsibility is drawn between the cloud vendor and the customer for each of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS clouds, ...
as well as the management tools that are essential to deploy in the cloud, ensure security in the cloud and ensure the performance of applications running in the cloud. Covered vendors include Amazon, VMware, AFORE, CloudSidekick, CloudPhysics, ElasticBox, Hotlink, New Relic, Prelert, Puppet Labs and Virtustream.

CloudComputing

As mentioned in a number of posts, there is a clear trend away from Platform-specific PaaS (where you write your application to the platform) and Language-Specific PaaS (which provide support to one or possibly a couple of languages) to Universal PaaS, which is capable of supporting any language and any platform. There’s a little bit of a gray area, but we would include ActiveState Stackato, AppFog, dotCloud, GigaSpaces Cloudify, Red Hat OpenShift, Salesforce Heroku, Uhuru Software AppCloud and VMWare CloudFoundry in this category. These vendors differentiate themselves by providing a broad range of Application Services or Application Lifecycle Services.

VirtualizationSecurity

Cloud based security is about securing the data, yet compliance requirements are often about securing the environment, such as PCI’s requirement for web application firewalls, which protect web servers and perhaps applications and imply protection of data. But they do not directly protect data. How can a Software Defined Data Center implement a form of Software Defined Security automatically to meet not only compliance requirements, but security around a particular mote of data?

CloudComputing

We recently wrote about Microsoft’s Three Pronged Windows Azure Strategy – particularly with reference to the Service Provider offering. I’ve now had a certain amount of time to reflect on the announcement and try and work out what is going on and it doesn’t seem to constitute a wholehearted strategy to put resellers on a level playing field with Microsoft.

ITasaService

Taking your cloud from a dev/test/pilot/training use case to an enterprise cloud introduces significant new requirements that first generation cloud management platforms were not designed to meet. Elasticity and self-service are nice features, but these features alone fall far short of what is needed to provision and run enterprise applications in clouds. With the acquisition of DynamicOps, VMware has signaled that it understands this, and now has a product that is fully capable of supporting heterogeneous enterprise class clouds. We will likely now see a divergence in Cloud Management offerings with some (the list above) focusing upon these demanding use cases, and others (like Embotics) focusing upon addressing elasticity and self-service with the highest possible level of convenience and fastest time to value for the customer.

DesktopVirtualization

Initial released in March 2011 at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Windows Intune was Microsoft’s first toe in the water of cloud-based management services for business desktops. Initial designed to appeal to small to medium-sized companies with up to 500 desktops, it offered a minimal feature set with just the bare bones needed to secure and control basic of desktop services.