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.

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VMware has updated its Cloud Management offerings with vCenter Operations 5.6, vCloud Automation Center, vCloud Connector Advanced 2.0, vFabric Application Director 5.0, vFabric APM 5.0, ITBM 7.5 and an IT Benchmarking Service. These are now cross platform offerings spanning multiple hypervisors (vSphere, Xen, KVM), multiple clouds (vCloud, Amazon, Windows Azure), and including support for physical hardware (VCE, IBM, HP, Dell).

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VMware is clearly pursuing a “waterfall” strategy with the editions of the suite. This means that leading edge functionality will most often show up first in the Enterprise Edition of the vCloud Suite and then over time migrate down into the Advanced and Standard Editions. This will set up a battle royal of suite vs best of breed for each of the components of the suite – with each battle focused upon both functionality and pricing differences.

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Bundling the Foundation Edition of vCenter Operations into every edition of vSphere is VMware’s strategy for seeding its customer base with just enough of vC OPS to entice customers to move up and purchase a higher level edition of the suite. However, the least expensive version of vCenter Operation is now $125 per VM instead of $50 per VM. Finally support has been added for monitoring OS instances that run on other hypervisors and other clouds.

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With this set of announcements, VMware has proven its intentions of joining the ranks of the major cloud management software vendors. Virtualization and cloud computing represent disruptions that create an opportunity for a new multi-billion dollar management vendor at the table. VMware has announced a suite of management functionality that makes it a credible vendor at this table. Legacy vendors of management solutions like IBM, CA, BMC and HP are now served notice that their businesses and customer footprints are at risk. Game on.

Agile Cloud Development

The question of whether there is a specific cloud programming language has emerged in our internal discussions at TVP. We’ve noticed a tendency amongst “born in the cloud” companies like Cloud Physics to follow the example of Twitter and develop server-side components in the Scala programming language. Scala runs on the JVM and is supported by a significant number of PaaS, including CloudFoundry. Does this mean that enterprises moving to PaaS should now be coding in Scala?

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When it comes to public cloud computing services that old adage of “fast, cheap, or good – pick any two” certainly hold true. Amazon can offer you cheap, and since they own their stack, a rapid cycle time DevOps approach to support. But you are not going to get enterprise grade service level guarantees for Amazon’s pricing. To get both agile responsiveness and enterprise grade SLA’s you are going to have to give up on cheap.