Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing focuses upon how to construct, secure, manage, monitor and use public IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS clouds. Major areas of focus include barriers to cloud adoption, progress on the part of cloud vendors in removing those barriers, where the line of responsibility is drawn between the cloud vendor and the customer for each of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS clouds, (Read More)

as well as the management tools that are essential to deploy in the cloud, ensure security in the cloud and ensure the performance of applications running in the cloud. Covered vendors include Amazon, VMware, AFORE, CloudSidekick, CloudPhysics, ElasticBox, Hotlink, New Relic, Prelert, Puppet Labs and Virtustream.

Here Comes the Heterogeneous Distributed Enterprise Cloud

ITasaServiceVMware’s purchase of DynamicOps signaled a major shift in both VMware’s strategy, and in the market for cloud management solutions. Previously VMware strategy (with vCloud Director) was focused mainly upon addressing development, test, pilot and training type use cases on its own vSphere platform. This relegated clouds to tactical and transient use cases which while important for many enterprise organizations, are not the bread and butter use cases that drive IT Operations day in and day out. Now here comes the enterprise cloud. Continue reading Here Comes the Heterogeneous Distributed Enterprise Cloud

IaaS or PaaS: 10 Keys for your Cloud Strategy

IaaS vs. PaaS Cloud Evaluation ChecklistOrganizations practicing agile development face many decisions when moving to the cloud. None is bigger than choosing whether to use IaaS or PaaS solutions for developing and deploying their applications. While each organization’s requirements are unique, there are 10 key criteria that can greatly influence an organization’s cloud strategy. Continue reading IaaS or PaaS: 10 Keys for your Cloud Strategy

Windows Intune 3.0 Microsoft Cloud-based Device Management – More Than Just a Curiosity

DesktopVirtualizationInitial released in March 2011 at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Windows Intune was Microsoft’s first toe in the water of cloud-based management services for business desktops.  Initial designed to appeal to small to medium-sized companies with up to 500 desktops, it offered a minimal feature set with just the bare bones needed to secure and control basic of desktop services. Nevertheless, there was strong early interest,with all 1,000 test places taken just 24 hrs after the initial public beta was launched in April 2010.  When Microsoft first launched Windows Intune it was easy to misunderstand; combining as it did operating system and application management services, remote support services, and anti-malware services along with a Software Assurance-like Windows upgrade license. As a management solution it was limited, certainly not capable of meeting the needs of more customers with more complex environments. At the same time though it offered sophisticated features that abstracted complexity of managing different operating system releases, and as a cloud-based service it was easy for organizations lacking in skill IT support staff to obtain remote support services from MSPs. Continue reading Windows Intune 3.0 Microsoft Cloud-based Device Management – More Than Just a Curiosity

News: Oracle Buys Xsigo Systems

Coming on the heels of VMware’s acquisition of Nicira, Oracle announced today that it is acquiring network virtualization vendor Xsigo Systems for an undisclosed amount. So now two shoes have dropped in the question of how networks will be designed and operated in the future (perhaps the entity in question is an octopus, and we have six shoes to go). Clearly the notion of software defined networks has legs and clearly VMware is not the only company who sees this.

The Oracle Announcement

Oracle Buys Xsigo

Extends Oracle’s Virtualization Capabilities with Leading Software-Defined Networking Technology for Cloud Environments

  • Oracle today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Xsigo Systems, a leading provider of network virtualization technology.
  • Xsigo’s software-defined networking technology simplifies cloud infrastructure and operations by allowing customers to dynamically and flexibly connect any server to any network and storage, resulting in increased asset utilization and application performance while reducing cost.
  • The company’s products have been deployed at hundreds of enterprise customers including British Telecom, eBay, Softbank and Verizon.
  • The combination of Xsigo for network virtualization and Oracle VM for server virtualization is expected to deliver a complete set of virtualization capabilities for cloud environments.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. More information on this announcement can be found at oracle.com/xsigo.

Supporting Quotes

  • “The proliferation of virtualized servers in the last few years has made the virtualization of the supporting network connections essential,” said John Fowler, Oracle Executive Vice President of Systems. “With Xsigo, customers can reduce the complexity and simplify management of their clouds by delivering compute, storage and network resources that can be dynamically reallocated on-demand.”
  • “Customers are focused on reducing costs and improving utilization of their network,” said Lloyd Carney, Xsigo CEO. “Virtualization of these resources allows customers to scale compute and storage for their public and private clouds while matching network capacity as demand dictates.”

What Does This Mean?

The most disconcerting statement in the release is the part about the “combination of Xsigo and Oracle VM”. This means that Oracle is continuing to play its “vertically integrated solution stack” game, which is in direct contrast to the horizontally layered strategies that VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Citrix, the CloudStack community, and the OpenStack community are all pursuing. While this might be very appealing to a customer that is 100% or nearly 100% Oracle, the notion of jamming Oracle VM down the throat of a customer in order for them to get Xsigo is just another example of the foolishness of Oracle’s closed, proprietary and arrogant approach. This could not be more at odds with VMware’s notion of the Software Defined Data Center which is completely open with respect to the hardware layers underneath it and the workloads that run on it.

AppFog – Polyglot Public/Private PaaS goes GA

CloudComputingAppFog (the company formerly known as PhpFog) has become the latest enthusiastic adopter of CloudFoundry to go to General Availability with a value-added implementation of the open source CloudFoundry.org stack.  The key differentiator is the RAM-based pricing policy around the Public Cloud offering – roughly $25 per GByte per month (first 2Gbytes are Free).

Continue reading AppFog – Polyglot Public/Private PaaS goes GA

Private PaaS Update – Stackato 2.0 and Cumulogic 1.0

CloudComputingActiveState Stackato and CumuLogic are private PaaS.  Over the last few weeks Stackato has moved to a 2.0 version and CumuLogic has moved out of Beta to a 1.0 release.  CumuLogic 1.0 is a Java-only PaaS with support for Amazon, HP Cloud Services, and private clouds including Citrix CloudStack, Eucalyptus, OpenStack and VMware vSphere.   Stackato has a similar range of public and privae IaaS on which it operates (vSphere, KVM, XenServer, OpenStack, EC2 AMI, HP CS) but it has a much  broader set of language compatibilities  including .NET.ther new features in Version 2.0 are a centralized web-based management console and some support for charge-back (i.e. billing) through API.  Performace management is through integration with New Relic. There is  additional security support in multi-tenancy by using Linux Containers (LXC). Continue reading Private PaaS Update – Stackato 2.0 and Cumulogic 1.0