…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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Enterprise Networks and Telco Clouds on a Collision Course

The Internet of Things will move more processing to telecom suppliers’ facilities. Network engineers have traditionally treated networks managed by their telecom suppliers as outside their immediate domain of concern. The telco network was brought into the data center, appropriate routes or peering set up, and that was it. Enterprise workloads typically don’t run directly on telco networks for many reasons, including governance or compliance requirements. Now, emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things are starting to require workloads to be located within telecom service providers’ facilities. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Cisco ACI: The (SDN) Beat(ing) Goes On
Dec03

Cisco ACI: The (SDN) Beat(ing) Goes On

For the networking industry — which can make glaciers look like Usain Bolt at work — Cisco’s ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure, AKA Software-Defined Networking) appears to be a runaway success. SDN is networking’s version of server virtualization… on steroids, and in the six quarters that Cisco has been selling ACI (as one of its three approaches to SDN), the company has raced to more than 5,000 Nexus 9K and ACI customers, 1,100-plus ACI customers (that’s more than 100 new customers since the end of October) and almost 50 ecosystem partners. Now the company, which has made a number of ACI announcements recently, is at it again, with a flurry of new enhancements, including beefed up security and Docker support. The announcements will appeal to both N9K switch and non-N9K customers, as well as non-Cisco customers, especially those focused on cloud automation and security, said Srini Kotamraju, Director, Product Management, Cisco. Network automation is a huge opportunity, the company said. “Customers tell me that only five to ten percent of their networks are automated today,” said Soni Jiandani, SVP at Cisco, in a prepared statement. “They are eager to adopt comprehensive automation for their networks and network services through a single pane of management, while improving security for east-west traffic, multi-cloud traffic and bare metal applications in a consistent manner.” Cloud automation and security may be the low-hanging ACI/SDN fruit, but open source and containers are generating a lot of interest too, added Cisco’s Mike Cohen, Director, Product Management. “We are seeing a pretty strong shift by customers interested in open source… (and) containers”. The datacenter and enterprise “In-Use” SDN market is expected to hit $1.4 billion this year, almost double last year’s numbers. “New SDN use cases continue to emerge, and the first half of 2015 was no exception with the establishment of the software-defined enterprise WAN (SD-WAN) market,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS. “The data center and enterprise LAN SDN market will be solidified by the end of 2016 as lab trials give way to live production deployments. And in 2017, SDN will move from early adopters into the hands of mainstream buyers,” he said. While Cisco’s numbers appear to put it well ahead of its branded competition, i.e. VMware NSX, the IHS data for the first half of 2015 indicate why this market is so critical to proprietary networking’s 800-pound gorilla: – bare metal switches accounted for 45% of global in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue; -white box switch vendors, as a group, are #1 in bare metal switch revenue; -Dell owns 100% of branded bare metal switch revenue;...

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Unisys: Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? Part 1 of 2
Oct15

Unisys: Who Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up? Part 1 of 2

DALLAS: It’s one of the IT industry’s best-kept secrets, but Unisys is hosting its second annual (although the company, in one form or another, is more than a century old) user — and partner — event, Universe 2014.  With less than 400 customers, partners and staff, it’s also one of the most intimate industry events I’ve ever attended. It was also strange that two of the other companies hosting events in this hotel were Ericsson and Honeywell. The last time I talked to Unisys, both companies were still selling computers, and that was a long, long time ago. Unisys is a strange duck, neither fish nor fowl. At one time a member of the group known as  “IBM and the  Seven Dwarfs” in the 1960s, it became one of the BUNCH — Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell — in the ‘70s after RCA and General Electric stopped making computers. IBM outsold all of the others combined, but Unisys moved up to second when Burroughs purchased Sperry (Univac’s new owner) in 1986. In the following 28 years the company tumbled from $10.5 billion in revenues and 120,000 employees to $806 million for its last quarter, ($3.5 billion 2013 revenues) with a net loss of $12.1 million, and just over 23,000 staff. Minus one. Less than a week before this conference it announced that CEO and Chairman Ed Coleman was being let go, effective the December 1.  After years of lower sales and recent weaker-than-expected profits, lead independent director Paul Weaver said in a statement that it was time to search for a new leader Year over year, Q2 revenue dropped 10% in North America, and 3% for the rest of the world. Services revenue was down 4%, but the backlog was $4.7 billion, down 2% from December. Technology revenue was down 20% YoY, driven primarily by lower sales of ClearPath enterprise servers and software. Unisys sells primarily to large enterprises and governments, and generates most of its revenues from services, including building and integrating hardware and software systems, providing ongoing hosting and management of data, Business Processing Outsourcing, outsourced help desks and End User Services, Secure Cloud, planning operational processes and changes, and providing security services. The company’s current product lineup includes: –Stealth secures data-in-motion and controls the information sharing within or across networks by employing an innovative data cloaking technique; Stealth for Mobile enables authenticated and secure access to application processing environments in the data center from mobile applications; and Stealth for Amazon Web Services is designed to leverage the cost-savings benefits of using the public cloud, but have been reluctant to do so due to security...

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HP Jumps The Gun On IDF14/Grantley-EP, Unveils Gen9 Servers
Aug29

HP Jumps The Gun On IDF14/Grantley-EP, Unveils Gen9 Servers

With the E5-2600 Xeon processor (AKA Grantley-EP) expected to debut at next month’s Intel Developers Forum (AKA IDF14), HP has jumped ahead of several server vendors with announcements pending, unveiling its new line of ProLiant Generation 9 (AKA Gen9) servers. The company said the new platform’s features and workload-optimized design will help customers reduce cost and complexity, accelerate IT service delivery and enable business growth, advancing HP’s vision for compute, the future of data center technology. To span four architectures – blade, rack, tower and scale-out – the servers are expected to start shipping on September 8th, the day before IDF14 opens. Gen9 is about a new-style IT, the beginning of what HP is calling the Compute Era, John Gromala, Senior Director of Hyperscale Product Marketing, HP Servers, told IT Trends & Analysis. The Generation 9 platform is software-defined and cloud-ready, he said. Both the Moonshot (April 2013) and Apollo (June 2014) server launches, part of an innovation refresh by HP, were very important directions, he said. “Innovation is at the heart of our strategy to turn HP around,” said Whitman, prior to the Apollo launch. At least in part, the innovation is needed because there is a large gap between what users want and what IT delivers, and this has to change, said Bill Veghte, EVP and GM, HP Enterprise Group, kicked things off saying HP is well-positioned to help bridge the gap between the existing and emerging new style of IT. “This is something we do better than anybody else!” During the August 20th earnings call for its fiscal third quarter, HP President and CEO Meg Whitman said the industry standard server (x86) business revenue grew 9% year-over-year, “which represents our fourth consecutive quarter of revenue growth and we expect to take almost a point of share in the second calendar quarter.” According to EVP and CFO Cathie Lesjak, that worked out to $3.1 billion. That 9% means HP narrowly beat the x86 server average revenue increase for the second quarter. “x86 servers managed to produce an increase of 1.4 percent in units in the second quarter of 2014, and an 8.1 percent increase in revenue,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. HP held down top spot in the server market, based on revenue, with nearly $3.2 billion and 25.1% of worldwide server revenue. IBM (22.4%) was second and Dell (17.4%) came in third. IDC painted a similar picture, putting x86 server revenue growth at 7.8%, and noted that signs continue of a server refresh cycle. The results for HP, IBM and Dell were very close to Gartner’s numbers. “The server market is experiencing the...

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