Right now is a particularly interesting time in the world of IT. Historically, IT has swung back & forth between centralization and decentralization, closed and open, tightly controlled and loosely controlled. Lately, though, a third option has cropped up: centralized control with decentralized workloads. In my opinion it’s a function of speed, implemented through bandwidth and processing capacity. We now have enough bandwidth between our devices to start treating the device in the next rack column like a slightly-less-local version of ourselves. We also have enough bandwidth that we’ve outstripped our need for separate storage and data networks, and can converge them into a single wire, running a single set of protocols (most notably TCP and IP). On the processing side, each node is basically a datacenter unto itself. 16, 32, 64 cores per server, terabytes of RAM. The advent of SSD and PCIe flash rounds out the package, lessening the need for large monolithic collections of spindles (aka “traditional storage arrays”). The problem then becomes one of control. How do we take advantage of the performance and cost that local processing brings, but maintain all the control, redundancy, and management benefits we had with a monolithic solution, while keeping the complexity under control? And while we usually talk about doing this at great scale, can we do this on a small scale, too?
I just returned from attending the Cloud Expo in New York City this week. The conference was dominated by private and hybrid cloud topics. There were several private Platform as a Service (PaaS) vendors attending whom I spent a great deal of time talking to as I walked the floor. It seems these days that many enterprises default to private and hybrid clouds and therefore insist on private PaaS as well. It is critical that consumers of PaaS services understand the pros and cons of both public and private PaaS before making a commitment to a PaaS deployment model. Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Private and Public PaaS
At the end of May, VMware announced the new VMware vExpert class of 2013. There were 581 vExperts named which is the largest group so far in the 5 year history of the program. On an interesting side note, of these 581 vExperts, there are forty two of them that were part of the original 300 in the vExpert Class of 2009. Continue reading VMware vExpert Class of 2013
What is the point of moving the control pane out of the hardware that comprises the Software Defined Data Center into the software which comprises the SDDC? The point would be to surface that control pane through a consistent set of human and programmatic interfaces to allow for SDDC automation and orchestration. Continue reading SDDC Automation and Orchestration
I recently read the book Project Phoenix by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford. If you are in development, IT, or security it should be #1 on your reading list. In this book the authors discuss all the horrors we hear about in IT with a clear direction on how to fix them. There is politics, shadow IT, overzealous security professionals, overworked critical employees, lots of finger pointing. But there is a clear solution, at least as far as the story goes. We also know that DevOps works, most of the time. Continue reading DevOps and Security
Over the last few years there has been an increase in the number of database as a service (DBaaS) offerings that have entered the market place. IaaS providers like Amazon have released solutions such as RDS that automates database administration tasks in the area of scaling, replication, failover, backups, and more. There are a number of companies offering automation around NoSQL databases like Hadoop, MongoDB, Redis, Memcache, and numerous other database technologies. PaaS solutions like Heroku, Openshift, Azure, and others all offer database automation services so that developers can focus on business functionality and not database administration. Database as a Service promises agility in delivering software because it eliminates a large amount of engineering that goes into building scalable, reliable, and fault-tolerant databases. Continue reading Database as a Service: Agility vs. Control