…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...

Read More

Video: What Drives IT Complexity

ESG surveyed 651 global technology decision makers in our annual 2018 IT Spending Intentions Survey. In this video, I highlight some of the results most relevant to networking and cloud platforms. As part of the research, we asked respondents to identify the factors driving IT complexity. Three responses were accepted, and the top responses were: To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More

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...

Read More
Has Cisco Got The Right Stuff?
Feb01

Has Cisco Got The Right Stuff?

John Chambers, who handed control of Cisco to Chuck Robbins in July 2015, was bumped further upstairs a month ago when he became Chairman Emeritus, while his successor took over his role as Chairman of the Board, but more than a change in leadership, the turnover represents a new — and hopefully — improved networking, server and security vendor. The company, which has been struggling with the cloud and commodity hardware and software-based competitors for the last decade, looks poised for new life — and growth — as it hosts this week’s Cisco Live EMEA 2018, in Barcelona, Spain. Reinventing Cisco is not new. “We’re probably reinvented ourselves five or six times literally in the last two decades alone,” said Chambers shortly after moving up to the board. In an industry famous for it’s what-have-you-done-for-me-next philosophy, networking has been battered by explosive demands, increasing complexity and flat budgets, with the results that Cisco’s market domination has been mired in commodity hell. In Q3 its Ethernet switching business grew 7.4% year-over-year to $6.75 billion (56.7% market share), while the router market climbed 3% to 41.4%, up slightly sequentially (40.8%), but down year-over-year (44%). While networking accounts for the bulk of Cisco’s revenues, it’s been doing pretty well in the datacenter market with its server portfolio (i.e. UCS and HyperFlex), statistically tied with IBM for third place in 3Q17, with 5.8% of the market ($992 million), behind HPE (19.5%) and Dell (18.1%). Cisco also did very well in the converged systems market, and while it’s a much smaller segment, $2.99 billon vs $17 billon in Q3, the company held down second place between Dell (48.3%) and HPE (10.3% share, down 41.9% from a year-ago’s 18.1%), and grew its marketshare 56.4% YoY to $485.5 million. Security is another market where Cisco is growing strongly. Cybersecurity spending is expected to soar from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.0%. According to ESG cybersecurity guru Jon Oltsik, “Cisco is one of only a handful of $2 billion-plus cybersecurity vendors that can grow its security revenue to over $5 billion by 2020.” At 4% of total revenues, the company’s security business is never going to be more than a wagging tail, but it grew 13% YoY in 2016, and 12% in the first nine months of 2017, which is way better than the switch and router business. A week ago Cisco expanded its cybersecurity portfolio with the acquisition of Skyport — a privately held company that has secured approximately $70 million in funding — whose core product platform is SkySecure Server, a physical server...

Read More

The Relevance of Networking at AWS re:Invent

This year was my first re:Invent and it was an impressive event. There were over forty-three thousand people in attendance and the show occupied a number of hotels along the Vegas strip. It wasn’t just that there were a lot of people there, it was that there were a lot of people who wanted to be there – after attending hundreds of trade shows and user group events you get to know the difference. There was a buzz and excitement at the show that reminded me of early VMworld and TechEd shows. Sessions were sold out and queues were long as people waited for the doors to open. All the attendees I spoke to had specific reasons for attending; many were in the process of moving to a cloud first strategy and were there to learn. Clearly the main point from the keynotes was to remind everyone that AWS is continuing to innovate and provide services to help organizations of all sizes transition to cloud by offering the greatest breadth and depth of capabilities for a cloud platform, thus, making it easier for organizations to make the transition to the cloud and ensure AWS has capabilities for all possible use cases… thus potentially expanding its already dominant forty plus percent share of the market. On the expo floor it was good to see a mix networking companies attending to help customers better understand how to connect to the public cloud. In fact, ESG research on network modernization indicates that the top impact that organizations have reported that public cloud computing services has had on their network strategy is that they’ve integrated their data center and WAN links to create a seamless network that connects on-premises and off-premises resources (38%). That is why it was important for companies like Cisco, Juniper, and Arista to be at re:invent to talk about how they can enable seamless connectivity from the data center to the cloud for hybrid cloud environments. To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More