Monitoring SQL Server Performance on VMware vSphere

VMware has recently posted an article up on its Communities site in the Business Critical Applications section about monitoring SQL Servers that are supporting a business critical application running in a vSphere environment. If this is how VMware thinks critical infrastructure services (database servers, applications servers, web servers, messaging servers, etc.) that support business critical applications should be monitored then it is no wonder that so many customers are struggling to get their business critical application virtualized. Continue reading Monitoring SQL Server Performance on VMware vSphere

Can the Vendors Eat Their Own Dog Food on Cloud Billing?

I keep hearing we are now in a Cloud based world, I keep hearing that to “Do Cloud” properly you need to bill like a utility company, small standing charge and then a charge per unit used. I like this model, pay for what you use. it is great for the clients as they are in control of their costs they know that if they use X amount of time they get charged XX amount of Dollars. So what is the problem? The very business model that the cloud providers are peddling is being undermined by the vendors telling the providers that it is the way you should charge but not charging that way themselves. There are two cost models:

VMware Buys Shavlik

VMware has acquired one more company: Shavlik. This acquisition did not come as much of a surprise to me but is an interesting purchase for VMware.  There are quite a few Security as a Service vendors that would make sense for VMware to purchase and Shavlik is one of them. The difference between the other vendors and Shavlik is that VMware has a existing track record with Shavlik as Shavlik is integral in two of VMware’s existing products: VMware Go and VMware Update Manager. Shavlik provides a very important patch management system for these existing products and is one line of defense in the security space. Are there other plans for Shavlik? Or this is a way to lock in one set of tools? Continue reading VMware Buys Shavlik

Is Gluster the answer to Scalable Cloud Storage and the Amazon Outage?

One of the differentiating features of an IaaS cloud implementation, is that you do not get access to a consolidated scalable storage infrastructure. At least not in the same way that you might expect if you were just scaling out compute nodes attached to the same SAN.  You get remote block storage (Elastic Block Storage, EBS, in the case of Amazon) connected to a specific machine image, and you get REST-style object storage (Simple Storage Service, S3, in the case of Amazon) which is shared amongst images but does n0t speak the traditional APIs.

A lot of people have become dependent on EBS as it seems closest to what they are used to. Amazon failed because of simultaneous failure of its EBS  in two Availability zones.  If you were dependent on one of these (or mirrored across the two) you lost access to the filesystem from your Instances. It is also worth noting that EBS images are not like CIFS or NFS filesystems in that they can only be attached from a single instance, so you are still left with a bunch of headaches if you have a replicated mid-tier that expects to see a filesystem (for example to retrieve unstructured data). It may be sensible to move to the use of the S3 mechanism (or some portable abstraction over it) for new applications, but if you have an existing application that expects to see a filesystem in the traditional way, this will require you to rewrite your code, so you are left looking for a distributed cloud-agnostic shared filesystem with multi-way replication (including asynchronous replication), and this is where Gluster fits in. Continue reading Is Gluster the answer to Scalable Cloud Storage and the Amazon Outage?

Cloud Applications are 3-5 years Out: Underlying Layers are Evolving

EMCworld 2011 was full of very interesting announcements and statements by EMC and VMware executives. They were:

EMC eats it own “Dog Food” in the form of 7-10 PBs of data with only ~2PBs of constantly in use data. The rest is historical data storage and disk libraries. They also make heavy use of VPLEX Metro (synchronous) to keep their existing data centers in sink. When they move their data center, VPLEX GEO (asynchronous) will figure heavily in their migration plans. In addition, EMC is roughly 80% virtualized with a goal of hitting 90% over the next few years.  Lastly, one of the coolest aspects of EMC’s IT group is that they have an official channel back into engineering to bring up, solve, and report back on products to improve their overall functionality, availability, and capabilities. This integration is all about cloud deployments and creation. Continue reading Cloud Applications are 3-5 years Out: Underlying Layers are Evolving

Quest Buys RemoteScan

Now I have to admit I have always had a bit of a soft spot for RemoteScan, it is one of those venerable SBC add-ons that always made a Citrix deployment easier especially in the Legal market space. That said, I was under the impression that they had disappeared as their marketing machine had been very quiet these past 18 months.

So what does RemoteScan do? RemoteScan provides the ability to scan documents into a remote session. There is something elegant about taking one simple task and producing a functional program and RemoteScan did that very well. Continue reading Quest Buys RemoteScan