I have spent a great deal of time lately working with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). This computing platform is really quite impressive with its power and flexibility, but my expectations about the platform have really changed since I completed the UCS training. During the training classes that I attended, both the design and install courses emphasized that the Cisco UCS platform would be a collaborative platform that would bring the different groups like Storage, Network, and Server each working their own functional area of responsibility within UCS based on role permissions. That sounded great. The network team can create and trunk the VLANS and the storage team could add the boot targets as well as assign the LUNS. This platform is a true collective effort by all teams right?
Cloud Computing ...
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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.
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.
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?
Cloupia and DynamicOps make managing a private cloud on converged infrastructure much easier than it is with vendor provided cloud management solutions. Both cloud management vendors and converged infrastructure vendors should be evaluated on the breadth and depth of their partnerships with their counterparts in the ecosystem.
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.
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.
Cloud Computing ...
News: Microsoft Launches New Azure Features, New Iaas Offering, and Performance Management Partnerships
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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.