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?
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
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
At a gathering in San Francisco Intel has demonstrated a new chip design that uses 3D transistors to improve circuit density, provide for a path to more powerful chips while also keeping power requirements low. This reinvention of the transistor promises to allow Moore’s law to continue to be extended for the foreseeable future. Continue reading Intel goes for 3D Transistors – Extends Moore’s Law Yet Again
Over the last few weeks, VMware (as we indicated in an earlier post) and Red Hat have initiated two very similar initiatives known respectively as CloudFoundry and OpenShift. These are Platform as a Service (PaaS) plays, being developed for the longer term, primarily looking to encourage the development of (and thereafter to provide infrastructure for) applications specificallysuited to the the cloud. In this article we compare and contrast the two offerings and discuss their significance for the PaaS market as a whole. Continue reading VMware’s CloudFoundry and Red Hat’s OpenShift – Compare and Contrast
One of the basic tenants of virtualization security is to protect the management components of your virtualization hosts by placing these all important components on a separate network. These components often include management servers such as SCOM, vCenter, XenCenter, VirtManager, etc. as well as the management appliances of your virtualization hosts. In essence, the use of a properly configured, firewalled, and monitored virtualization management network would be the simplest and most effective security measure that can be made to day within any virtual environment. A message shared by Citrix, VMware, myself, and many others.
The problem is that not everything is as black and white as security folks desire. If we implement performance and other management tools, we often need to expose part of our all important virtualization management network to others. But how do we do this safely, securely, with minimal impact to usability? Why do we need to this is also another question. You just have to take one look at the Virtualization ASsessment TOolkit (Vasto) to realize the importance of this security requirement. But the question still exists, how do you implement other necessary tools within your virtual environment without impacting usability? Which we discussed on the May 5th Virtualization Security Podcast. Continue reading Security of Performance and Management tools within the Virtual Environment