All posts by Mike Norman

From 2009 to 2014 Dr Mike Norman was the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Open Source Cloud Computing. He covered PaaS, IaaS and associated services such as Database as a Service from an open source development and DevOps perspective. He has hands-on experience in many open source cloud technologies, and an extensive background in application lifecycle tooling; automated testing - functional, non-functional and security; digital business and DevOps. in 2014 he moved on to become Cloud Services Architect at JP Morgan Chase.

OpenCompute – Facebook drives Data Center and Cloud evolution

Traditionally, internet companies like  Google consider their custom server and data center designs as proprietary knowledge that creates significant value, but last week Facebook (which had previously bought commodity servers and rented data center space) has opened up a whole new area of Open Source technology by publishing the full specification of both its new custom server and its new data center as “Open Source” at

Facebook’s designs aim to reduce capital costs by removing unnecessary components from the server and the data center, and by simplifying manufacture and construction.  They also seek to reduce running costs by increasing the efficiency of power usage. Although the initiative has been “Greenwashed”, reductions in power consumption seems primarily motivated by saving cost, not saving the planet. Continue reading OpenCompute – Facebook drives Data Center and Cloud evolution

Wizard to Unlock SuSE from Microsoft patent Dungeon

Last Fall we all got quite excited here at the Virtualization Practice about the fate of SUSE, the commercial Linux Distribution, second in market share by value to Red Hat. SuSE is owned by Novell and the acquisition of Novell by Attachmate was announced on November 22nd for around $2.2bn.  We noted that SUSE might end up as a standalone entity for subsequent sale to a third party, possibly VMware.

It’s now April, and since these things usually take 3 months and the deal hasn’t closed, clearly something has got in the way.  Last week we started to see the way the deal could be unlocked. Continue reading Wizard to Unlock SuSE from Microsoft patent Dungeon

WikiLeaks – War in the Clouds

We don’t do Politics here at the Virtualization Practice, but we do need to look at the biggest Cloud Computing story of the year – WikiLeaks. For those who haven’t been following it the relevant points are

  1. Wikileaks has posted some confidential data on the internet
  2. Various attempts have been made to shut it down
  3. Various countermeasures have been taken by Wikileaks and its supporters.

We are covering this story because we believe that the enormous coverage of this particular sequence of events is much more likely to shape the future of cloud computing through its impact at the “C” Executive level (i.e. CEO, CIO and CFO) than any vendor announcement or technology trend that impacts IT. Continue reading WikiLeaks – War in the Clouds

Red Hat Acquires PaaS Cloud vendor Makara to help compete with VMware’s vFabric

Red Hat announced on November 30, 2010, for an undisclosed sum, the acquisition of startup PaaS vendor, Makara, which provides a deployment platform for most of the Open Source application stacks (Apache, MySQL, PHP, Java, Tomcat and JBoss) onto most of the IaaS cloud infrastructures (Amazon EC2,   Amazon VPC,  Rackspace Cloud, VMware vCloud, Terremark, and Eucalyptus). Makara is not  open source, although the company was committed to open sourcing in due course, and Red Hat is aiming to accelerate that process. Continue reading Red Hat Acquires PaaS Cloud vendor Makara to help compete with VMware’s vFabric

OpenStack on Hyper-V – Microsoft does Public Cloud Interoperability

On October 22nd, Microsoft announced that it has partnered with to provide integration and support of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to the OpenStack project. The announcement caused a great deal of interest here at the Virtualization Practice, as it signals an unexpected willingness on Microsoft’s part to pursue interoperability at the IaaS layer, allowing users to break out of the Hyper-v stack, whilst still retaining Hyper-v at the bottom. The fact this announcement came from Microsoft (not, Rackspace or OpenStack) seems to signal the seriousness of the intent.

In practical terms this means that puts a Hypervisor Abstraction Layer into the bottom of the OpenStack compute platform (Nova), and binds Hyper-V into that, to allow images to be deployed to and controlled on Hyper-V from OpenStack, using tooling that speaks one or other of the two OpenStack APIs (Native or Amazon EC2). Technically it is not a major step because although the initial version of Nova targeted libvirt and thereby Xen, KVM and Qemu, Citrix had already succceeded in providing a hypervisor abstraction layer in OpenStack for XenServer. Continue reading OpenStack on Hyper-V – Microsoft does Public Cloud Interoperability

Google Circle
Join my Circle on Google+

Plugin by Social Author Bio