IT as a Service

IT as a Service (ITaaS) covers private clouds hybrid clouds and the cloud management offerings used to create and manage these clouds. This includes coverage of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) private and hybrid cloud offerings, Platform as a Service (PaaS) private and hybrid cloud offerings, and Software as a Service (SaaS). (Read More)

Emerging areas like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Storage as a Service, and Applications as a Service are also covered. The key issues covered include which enterprise applications and use cases are appropriate for private and hybrid clouds, and how vendors should select the cloud management offerings that are going to be used to manage these various types of cloud services. Covered vendors include VMware (vCloud Automation Center), VirtuStream, CloudBolt Software, Intigua, ElasticBox, ServiceMesh, Cloudsidekick, and Puppet Labs.

Will Cisco Buy Citrix in Reaction to VMware’s SDDC Strategy?

DataCenterVirtualizationTwo things have popped up recently. One is VMware’s full page ad campaign in the Wall Street Journal. The ad states that VMware has saved companies billions of dollars, and promises to save them billions more – through the Software Defined Data Center. The second that has has popped is rumors that Cisco is going to acquire Citrix. Which brings up an interesting question. Is buying Citrix part of Cisco’s reaction to VMware’s Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) strategy? Continue reading Will Cisco Buy Citrix in Reaction to VMware’s SDDC Strategy?

Windows 2012 Hyper-V – the hypervisor for your Cloud? Part III

DataCenterVirtualizationWindows 2012 Hyper-V is the hypervisor for the cloud. VMware’s vSphere is a dead man walking?

In parts One and Two I shared a chunk of what I learned from Aidan Finn‘s enlightening and entertaining session “Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V & VSphere 5.1 – Death Match” delivered at the E2E Virtulisation Conference in Hamburg.  We’ve considered pricing, scalability and performance, as well as storage  then gone on to consider resource management, security and multi-tenancy and what a flexible infrastructure can give.

Some have found this a useful comparison. Others have highlighted that this isn’t a feature-by-feature comparison and that if it was, the tables would be very different: they would, they’d be longer for a start.  But more importantly, would they give the high view that many are focused on? Is the goal a technical  Top Trump  victory, or alignment to business goals? If aligned, how aligned? A friend used to often quote the difference between cabinet making, carpentry and joinery is effort and measurement: they each had their place, the trick was knowing what level to apply.

In Part III, lets question further Aidan’s premise that Hyper-V kills vSphere. Here we’ll consider High Availability and Resiliency.

Continue reading Windows 2012 Hyper-V – the hypervisor for your Cloud? Part III

Windows 2012 Hyper-V – the hypervisor for your Cloud? Part II

DataCenterVirtualizationWindows 2012 Hyper-V is the hypervisor for the cloud, VMware’s vSphere is a dead man walking?

In Part I I shared a chunk of what I learned from Aidan Finn‘s enlightening and entertaining session delivered at the E2E Virtulisation Conference in Hamburg tastefully titled, “Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V & VSphere 5.1 – Death Match”. In Part I we looked at pricing, scalability and performance, as well as storage in questioning how bold this statement was.

Pure license-cost wise, it more straightforward to run Microsoft Hyper-V than add another licensed hypervisor: note that Hyper-V does have a free offering (although this version doesn’t cover the virtual Windows Server instance licenses). We showed that scalability wise, Hyper-V can better common competition. Storage-wise Hyper-V, as should be expected from the newest offering, supports the newest technology: 4k sector sizes, and had the largest virtual disk support. Still, if you needed greater than 2TB of storage, you could always join multiple 2TB instances together, or bypass limits by mapping a LUN direct to the VM.

Still, besides pricing simplicity, performance improvements, and updated storage what has Microsoft done for the latest version of Hyper-V? In Part II, lets question further Aidan’s premise that Hyper-V kills vSphere.

Continue reading Windows 2012 Hyper-V – the hypervisor for your Cloud? Part II

Cisco Acquires Cloupia – Becoming a Management Software Vendor?

VirtualizationManagementIconOn November 15th, Cisco announced that it was acquiring Cloupia a cloud management startup that had built a unique combination of physical provisioning for converged infrastructures like the Cisco UCS and its downstream partner bundles like vBlocks and NetApp Flexpods with the ability to automate the provisioning of IaaS clouds on these converged infrastructures. Cisco had previously acquired Tidal Software, a vendor specializing in monitoring SAP in production, and newScale, a vendor who arguably lead the market for enterprise grade service catalogs. Continue reading Cisco Acquires Cloupia – Becoming a Management Software Vendor?

Are We Missing a Category of Cloud Computing?

CloudComputingSome time ago, categories of public cloud computing were established. First of all, a distinction was created on who owned the cloud, with private (it is yours), hybrid (you are renting it, but not sharing it with anyone), and public (you are renting it, and you are sharing the infrastructure with an unknown number and type of other entities) having been defined. Then we created Infrastructure-as-a-Service – IaaS (a service consisting of either the container for the OS, or the container and the OS in it), Platform-as-a-Service – PaaS (a service consisting of IaaS plus all of the application services (web server, application server, database server, and language run times) that an application needs, and Software -as-a-Service – SaaS (the entire application is delivered over the Internet, typically by the application vendor (SalesForce.com being a good example). Continue reading Are We Missing a Category of Cloud Computing?

Project Avalon: Will Citrix Put VMware Horizon to the Sword?

Project Avalon was announced by Citrix back in May. Project AvalonAvalon is to deliver Windows apps and desktops as a true cloud service. Since then, there has been speculation on what that actually entails. “Cloud” or “Cloud Service” can have many different connotations; indeed, for many the very term “cloud” fills their ears with a high-pitched nee and causes a yearn to live in an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

Running small-scale, departmental-level deployments of desktop virtualization is relatively straightforward. Scale past thousands to several thousands of desktops and applications, and the process of management and delivery gets much harder. More importantly, data centre technology has changed. How do you scale an environment while segregating the roles of a virtual desktop administrator from those of the storage, networking, or virtual infrastructure teams? How can the data centre infrastructure team provide the right service to the desktop team, and vice versa, so that they can optimize delivery of virtual desktops?

Citrix has FlexCast, the concept that IT should be able to deliver a variety of types of virtual instances, with each tailored to meet performance, security, and flexibility requirements. But while FlexCast gives choices for users, the simplicity of the user interface belies the rapid duck-paddling of disparate, separately developed and maintained products that organisations have to maintain at the back-end, many of which creak at the mere thought of a little bit of scaled peril.

To avoid smelling of elderberries, Citrix needs to make the administration and deployment of their Windows application and desktop delivery more straightforward and relevant to current delivery methods. Easier large/massive deployments are necessary in order to maintain large enterprise account revenue and to entice service providers to build solutions on Citrix software. Project Avalon is intended to allow organisations to effectively centralize IT to provide cost savings through scale and administration and maintain security, while enabling decentralized IT resources to utilize those central services to give users and customers a productive experience.

At the same time, the VMware Horizon Suite is intended to provide the end user with a single place to get access to their applications, data, and desktops and to give IT a single management console to manage entitlements, policies, and security.

At Synergy 2012 in Barcelona, components of Project Avalon were revealed. Project Excalibur will focus on creating an integrated FlexCast platform, and Project Merlin will deliver self-service provision, management, and service orchestration.

What will these components provide, and where will it lead customers? Will embarking on a quest to get to Avalon lead to the promised grail or just to some watery tart?

Continue reading Project Avalon: Will Citrix Put VMware Horizon to the Sword?