Tools of the 21st Century Data Centers

BusinessAgilityWhat helps make up 21st century data centers? In my last article, I focused on the automation aspect of the modern-day data center. My main point was that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing which automation engine to use in your environment. There are plenty of options available, and you should make your decision based on which solution makes the most sense for your environment and the systems that are running on it. You should also take advantage of other automation tools or engines that may be provided as part of another solution. Native functionality that is vendor-provided is a gift that should be opened and taken advantage of. Continue reading Tools of the 21st Century Data Centers

A Redundant Array of (In)expensive Clouds

CloudComputingThe cloud is all very well—buy resources as you need them, and don’t care about the infrastructure required to deliver those resources. But there is no cloud: it’s just someone else’s computer. So you should still think about what is required and what happens when things go wrong. In particular, what happens when a cloud service shuts down? If cloud services are known to fail or be withdrawn, then a good cloud strategy should consider alternatives to each service. This is one item of the service level that should get some attention before you rely on a cloud service.

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Is Cloud a Utility Yet?

CloudComputingThe big question I keep asking myself is, “Is cloud a utility yet?” In other words, can I choose an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud based on utility pricing and expect the same thing I expect from a utility—as in, “it just works”—or is there more to it than that? In order to decide if the cloud is a utility yet, we need first to define the traits of a utility. There is a difference between electricity and gas, as well as between water and trash services. If cloud is a utility today, which type is it?

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Orchestration in the 21st Century Data Centers

BusinessAgilityAutomation has evolved from its humble beginnings as a local basic scheduler kicking off scripts and tasks into an enterprise-level tool used in most, if not all, of the unique silos that encompass corporate IT. In this article, I focus on some of the different kinds of automation engines that are in use. This post will not even begin to touch on all of the different products and solutions that are out there, and I certainly won’t claim that there is any one right way or tool. However, I would like to go on record to say that, in my humble opinion, there is one primary wrong answer with automation, and that wrong answer is to be completely dependent on any one solution or product itself.

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