…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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Making Infrastructure Less Visible Shines a Light…

In my recent blog and video covering my predictions for infrastructure in 2018, I promised to return to the key themes, saying that I thought their simplicity could obfuscate their importance. So, here goes on adding a little more color to the first one. The onward march from IT as infrastructure technology [back] to IT as information technology makes for memorable semantic fun…but it covers way more than that. Yes, it’s important to have IT focused on the overall delivery model, SLAs and – most important of all – the achievement of relevant business outcomes. However, the move of individual infrastructure elements somewhat out of the immediate spotlight and more into the (literal and figurative) IT shadows should never be interpreted as any lessening of the value associated with, or attributed to, these elements. Quite the reverse. As we increasingly rely on more integrated IT systems – convergence, cloud services, and software-defined being three common contemporary manifestations – so we inevitably also increasingly rely on those systems being “better.” In this context “better” does not necessarily mean things like price-performance – which remain nice-to-haves of course – but absolutely means things like reliability, ease of use, automation, and interoperability. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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No More Dealing with Infrastructure…

The most exciting announcement during AWS re:Invent for cloud computing infrastructure foundation was Fargate. There were a slew of new announcements and I don’t want to de-emphasize the other ones too much, but this one was the most interesting to me. First, a bit of background. There’s lot of confusion on VMs, containers, and functions. Here are the differences: The key thing is that the VMs allow a server to run as one big piece (OS + whatever apps are installed), containers allow applications (which includes providing microservices, but no OS, but the underlying system beneath the container layer provides the Linux interface) to run, and serverless is a place to run code (or functions). Each stage enables slicing a workload into smaller pieces. Fargate is a system that enables you to run deploy your containers on AWS, and do so in a way that’s just as easy as getting VMs from EC2. This allows developers to ignore the setting up of infrastructure. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”
Oct12

Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”

Already one of the biggest players in the red-hot cloud infrastructure market (it grew 25.8% in the second quarter to $12.3 billion), Cisco Systems — in third place with 8.2% marketshare, trailing Dell (11.8%) and HPE (11.1%) — has a lot of credibility when it says cloud is transforming the datacenter. “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter,” said Tom Edsall, formerly a Cisco Fellow, SVP and GM, Insieme Business Unit, Cisco Systems. However, he told IT Trends & Analysis, the challenge is now you have an infrastructure that is basically a multi-vendor infrastructure. Rather than just a collection of hardware and software from different vendors, you have to throw in the various cloud providers like Amazon and Azure. He said organizations have part of their infrastructure running on different clouds, with different APIs, and are struggling to make the differences disappear. “The problems that we encountered 10 years ago are happening all over again,” said Edsall. “Then it wasn’t cloud, it was multi-vendor.” He added that the company has had strong success with on premise with its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) portfolio with over 4,000 customers. But while the customers really like the application-centric approach, they are frustrated because “they can’t get the same API at Amazon.” They want to know how do they get a common experience across these systems, said Edsall. Ever helpful, Cisco recently announced a management and automation platform for its Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems, Cisco Intersight. To be available 4Q17 in two versions — the Cisco Intersight Base Edition will be available at no charge, while the Cisco Intersight Essentials Edition will cost you — it is intended to simplify datacenter operations by delivering systems management as-a-service, instead of having to maintain ‘islands of on-premise management infrastructure.’ ‘The longer-term vision of Intersight is spot-on,” noted Matt Kimball, senior datacenter analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘Not only does it address the issues IT organizations face today, but it also provides a platform that can accommodate the unknowns of tomorrow. If Cisco successfully executes this vision, it will firmly position itself as a leader in multi-cloud infrastructure orchestration and management.’ Unsurprisingly, a canned quote included in the Cisco release was equally ebullient: “Organizations that move to cloud-based systems management platforms will find that service delivery quality is significantly improved, the overall risk to the business goes down, and IT staff productivity is increased,” said Matt Eastwood, Senior Vice President, IDC. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) –infused cloud-based management tools can offer deep insights into the state of the infrastructure, identify troubles before they become major issues, and enable quicker ‘root cause’ identification and analysis...

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Virtual Instruments Acquires Xangati…

Almost two years ago we wrote our first report on Virtual Instruments (VI), a fast growing, analytics-driven performance management company with a strong focus on making infrastructure more efficient. We described the VI product portfolio which included “VirtualWisdom,” the company’s infrastructure performance management platform, and associated hardware and software offerings known as “Probes” (ProbeVM, ProbeSW, Probe FC and Probe NTAP). We also observed that the company was using “advanced correlation techniques, analytics and visualization to provide definitive and actionable insights on infrastructure/application behavior” using hardware appliances to offload systems from having to burn precious cycles gathering monitoring information. In essence, VI had created a separate performance monitoring/availability management/utilization optimization environment that has a very low impact on system operation and latency. Last year, we reported that Virtual Instruments had merged with Load DynamiX – adding a performance testing, validation and change management environment to its analytics-driven infrastructure management portfolio. With these combined facilities, customers are better able to understand and test application/infrastructure relationships – enabling them to significantly improve application performance, particularly as it relates to Fibre Channel storage. Since that acquisition, Virtual Instruments has expanded Load DynamiX functionality into network-attached storage with its new NAS Performance Probe – and will soon introduce and iSCSI Probe. VI customers have reacted favorably to this acquisition: for 2016 year to date, Virtual Instruments revenues are running at 122% of plan. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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