…Infrastructure Compatibility and VMware Cloud on AWS

Much of the discussion when it comes to moving workloads from on-premises data centers to cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is about the need to lift and shift VMs. The problem is that much of the discussion is about what happens after the lift and shift, in terms of the operational and cost-side of running VMs in IaaS. What has been missing is the discussion of how to get those VMs into the cloud in the first place. I can always easily tell who has actually attempted the shift and who hasn’t by asking them about the difficulties of converting on-premises VMs to cloud VMs. If the company gets into details about all the different conversion options (data migration, VM conversions, compatible hypervisors) and the issues around each, then I know they have actually made the conversion attempt. It’s no wonder that companies that are looking at leveraging cloud resources in a hybrid cloud configuration value infrastructure compatibility. I’ve been writing about these types of configurations for several years. In my 2017 Hybrid Cloud study, I asked companies the question “What is or likely will be the main objective of your organization’s hybrid cloud strategy?” The most commonly cited answer was common infrastructure compatibility, with 31% of respondents. In the same study, 91% of companies expect to have at least half their applications and workloads on-premises in five years. Only 7% said they expected most, if not all, of their workloads will run in the cloud in five years. With this need for on-premises infrastructure compatibility, it’s no wonder that the AWS VMware Cloud on AWS solution from VMware has been gaining momentum. It’s a pairing of the dominant on-premises hypervisor in VMware with the leading public cloud IaaS provider in Amazon Web Services. VMware Cloud on AWS is vSphere running directly on Amazon EC2 elastic, bare-metal infrastructure, along with vSAN for storage and NSX for networking. This solution is the purest form of infrastructure compatibility between on-premises and cloud, running the VMware solution within the AWS data centers, which results in a cloud IaaS environment that is compatible with the on-premises infrastructure at both the VM and management level. This is one of the easiest ways for on-premises VMware customers to get into the cloud, with little or no conversion, yet still have high bandwidth, low latency access to cloud services from AWS. VMware recently made several new announcements about VMware Cloud on AWS, including: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning…

The traction over the last few years in the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) space is remarkable, and I’m not just talking about consumer-based products like self-driving cars, or virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. While those products get the headlines, AI/ML is rapidly spreading across the enterprise IT space. I feel like I can’t go a day without a company mentioning AI or ML as part of their product or forward-looking strategy. It’s not just for crazy, sci-fi predictive analytics projects in a bunker somewhere. While that definitely still happens, AI and ML (and deep learning too) are being used across all aspects of IT: big data, cloud, IoT, security, infrastructure, systems management, etc.While AI/ML is a top priority for businesses that expect it to have a significant (positive) business impact as they continue to digitally transform, investments remain modest because of its sheer impact on all aspects of the infrastructure. Challenges associated with infrastructure cost, lack of in-house expertise, and insufficient data quality are just the start. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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What to Expect at RSA Conference USA 2018

The theme for RSA Conference 2018 USA is “Now Matters.” No more clever themes like ancient stone tablets, which I really miss…but I digress. What the theme “Now Matters” means is that “urgency and pressure” are being felt in the IT community. So what if you chose to upgrade a server or a switch a bit later than anticipated? Sure, you may lose some opportunity costs of additional performance that could have been achieved, but the world is not going to end. There are special cases like end-of-support or lack of firmware upgrades for older equipment, but they are predictable and can be dealt with ahead of time. But if you ignore the “now” in security and leave an attack surface unattended, you may experience negative consequences. This is an issue that matters to areas of infrastructure such as networking and cloud computing platforms, which I cover. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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…On-premises Infrastructure Spending Trends…

ESG conducted research on the spending intentions of 651 IT decision makers to determine how 2018 may differ from previous years. We found out that the majority of organizations were largely going to keep their infrastructure spend flat or even reduce the amount they spend on infrastructure. For many organizations this can be attributed to two initiatives – Hyperconverged and Cloud.As more organizations drive more applications to hyperconverged environments and cloud-based platforms, less on-premises infrastructure will be required. In fact, when asked where organizations felt they could streamline infrastructure and reduce costs, server, storage and networking topped the list. The video below also identifies the direct correlation of increased cloud usage to reduced infrastructure spending. Watch the video for more details. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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…Converged and Hyperconverged – Predictions for 2018

I was waiting on releasing my 2018 predictions for converged and hyperconverged infrastrucuture because I wanted to leverage a key data point from our recent spending intentions research. From an IT infrastructure standpoint, this year’s data had some particularly compelling data points regarding areas of opportunity where senior IT decision makers feel they can significantly streamline costs. More than half of organizations (54%) feel their on-premises storage and/or networking infrastructure is where their costs can be streamlined. My colleague Mark Peters recently wrote a great brief on the subject, but here is my quick take… This data can be interpreted differently, but here is my take. There is an immediate interpretation of streamlining costs by simply eliminating those costs – moving some infrastructure to the cloud, which can offer both CapEx and OpEx savings. It should be noted that in many cases, an on-premises infrastructure still exists, but it doesn’t have to be as large as it used to be. Looking just at the on-prem side of the hybrid approach, organizations will want to consolidate their physical footprint and they’ll want to make sure they do it cost-effectively while still meeting their application requirements. A bonus would be delivering a cloud-like experience so organizations can have a similar consumption model on-prem or in the cloud. What technology helps to fit the bill? Converged and hyperconverged infrastructures. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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