Sunday, 28 June 2009
The Virtual Glue
I recommend you check out full detail and recorded demos at the official vmware site on http://tinyurl.com/n7lv7l . The benefits of VM Studio and using vApps are huge, it is certainly going to be the enabler for future strategy of application delivery in completely virtualised environments and something I will be looking into in more detail.
- Removal of the OS in the stack, replacing MS Windows with JeOS/busybox type OS's to run core services
- Application deployment turnkey capability of say a whole CRM landscape into one OVF file, this would include multiple VM's within
- Sending OVF content and updates to the customer by a dynamic delivery process via the internet/cloud or shipping on DVD etc directly to the customer
- Appliances and application would be tuned by the ISV and not the internal application or IT ops team, this removes any burden incurred on configuration.
- Licensing is much easier, you throw this burden to the ISV to manage, this is the same for product updates too, they deliver these dynamically.
By deploying turnkey Virtual Appliances with for example a new SAP ERP Landscape on 10-20 Machines in a period of say 2-3 days rather than 2-3 Machines in 10-20 days clearly shows that current long deployment processes are redced and less people need to be involved on a deployment when using Virtual Appliances alongside side orchestration and groupings such as vApp. The problem however with this is you get people protective on roles and the oldage turf war developing so it is not something that can be just implemented straight away.
Sunday, 21 June 2009
So the Frankenstein Hypervisor begins!
- OVM may continue to have a Lack of partners and maturity level in datacentres unless it grows up fast. For over Three years Vmware has worked heavily with hardware and software partners to ensure that high performance levels can be achieved with the various infrastructure components hosting the virtualised environment and the applications that run on top of the virtualised infrastructure,
- I predict longer term OVM is likely to be more expensive (come on we all know its the Oracle way) and current extended support maintenance with VIron will rocket to false people onto OVM,
- There maybe a lack of extensive management capability that is currently on offer today with alternatives such as vSphere, and competitors that are slowly behind VMware,
- Oracle VM may lack within the new OVM the offer of granular licensing plans and levels, this is where VMware is currently very strong and dominant.
- Performance maybe weak...come on look at results coming from vSphere http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2009/05/integrated-vsphere-enterprise-workloads-all-together-at-scale.html
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
vSphere - The littlest things make a difference
Rescanning for Datastores
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
A dark dark cloud
More on the talking tech side and this event really is a stark warning of the potential destruction that a self service provided administrative interface for "cloud" services can wreak to end users, this particular provider was easily exploited due to technology insecurities in the HyperVM product giving exploiters extended full root access to delete practically anything public facing.
Ok so this hyperVM app was insecure but how many other shops enable root because they are lazy? Who remembers when we used to have root enabled by default in ESX 2.x???? I wonder how many other apps that are developed in what is effectively still the early adopter era for Cloud are being developed with very little security governance and certified hardening process (I'm not a developer so excuse the possible lack of knowledge here).
This news piece has also provided a warning that public Cloud services and the current ecosystem of management interfaces in its current bleeding edge form is still very raw and rough around the edges, it certainly highlights cloud services are susceptible to destruction on this scale by the security flaws possibly found in any interfaces that manage "cloud" datacentres.
I guess the question is would this type of exploit occured in a Datacentre which was physically secured and more conventional to today i.e. a Private Cloud? I think not, the security model is more aligned to current conventional security policies, you are not putting security in the hands of your service provider as much and you are most likely using a proprietary management interface and Virtualisation platform like VMware which is tried and tested and not of the new generation of cloud developed software.
Another thing with this news story is the sheer lack of backup and recovery activity that seemed to be on offer and used to restore customer workloads, again this along with less stringently imposed SLA's are what initially makes Cloud cost look so appealing on the figures and balance sheet, something that many C levels certainly are likely to be attracted to in Cloud computing. Before investigating the feasibility of the cloud it maybe wise to ensure that typical belt and braces activity such as backup and recovery which is currently defacto in any datacentre is part of your service or even performed to another cloud provider such as Amazon S3, if backup isn't an available option think very hard about committing and running your business on what is effectively a ticking timebomb.
Hopefully this provided a brief outlook on Cloud and any possible insecurities that may exist to any current early adopters and my condolences go out to anyone related to the poor guy that took his life.
Monday, 8 June 2009
New Poll - Blueprinting before you upgrade to vSphere
I guess if you have done a blueprint you are very efficient and have a good working relationship with Vmware to be on beta programmes etc.
Will be interested to see the results!
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Cisco UCS C Series - Some answered questions
Way back in March on this VMlover blog post http://vmlover.blogspot.com/2009/03/ucs-again.html I raised a few opinions and views on UCS and questions around the possible future of the overall hardware offering, surprisingly Cisco answered some of these directly in a direct feedback video (I nearly choked on my coffee when I found this out), the original post brought up some of these questions around whether Cisco would release a Rackmount solution along with Blade to provide customers that do not use Blade today with server alternatives within the Cisco range and lo and behold now it appears the questions have been asked by a hardware server release of C Series Rackmount servers in UCS!
Cisco's strategy for entering the datacenter world is exceptionally aggressive and certainly risky in the middle of an economic downturn, I give them ultimate credit for this. Now Cisco have the full server model portfolio I provide some more thoughts and questions on Cisco's Datacenter 3.0 strategy;
Will UCS be fully price competitive against vendors like HP/IBM/Dell or will it simply be of the same price point and highlight to customers more about indirect cost benefit savings achieved through reductions with Unified Connectivity and enchanced agility with "free" centralised management tools?
With Cisco having mostly large datacenter coverage with Networking and Internet connectivity I suspect that they will be competitive to a large degree. I'm not talking Dell drop your pants material here but I do think they will bite at HP/IBM offerings and market customers with aggressive sales.
Cisco will most likely want to perform TCO/ROI exercises to "work with your organisation" they do this quite successfully on product sets today and why not as long as they can show you that it has cost saving potential, it it dosnt I think they know where they are heading with customers, this is commodity remember.
Will the provided UCS management tools extend to cover Rackmounts?
I suspect that we may see point management of server builds and deployments in Rackmount and we may see FcOE provisioning and zoning policys being defined via UCS manager as with the B Series boxes.
Most alternative blade manufacturers provide the management stack built in at host level with examples being HP SIM/Altiris offerings, so UCS is not new to this arena. But what UCS does have that is different on B Series Blades is a component which resides on a Fabric extender module called CMC (Chassis Management Switch), although on observation it looks to work in similar fashion to iLO on HP Blades but extends further down the stack to perform activity such as manage physical hardware components, zone storage, apply QOS networking policy on each physical UCS blade and many more.
It will be real cool if Rackmounts also have this central operational control and management policy driven environment all being provided through the onboard CMC across unified fabric, it will truly add to the value add proposition of reducing operation cost without purchasing additional tools and networking infrastructure to run it. This could even be the start of the truly lights out datacenter! God UCS really is the x86 Mainframe when you look at its potential.
Could C series Rackmount be more popular than the B Series blade?
With Rackmount being the grandfather of commodity computing in datacenters this could happen. Some organisations select Rackmount servers because it reduces risk and it is within their comfort zone, It will be interesting to see how sales figures look between the two.
Turn this statement on its head though and Networking folk have used Blade in telecommunication for yonks, the 6500 Series data switching is fully bladed and offers BIG cost benefits with overall consolidated footprint and management, also MDS SAN Connectivity is chassis based. With Nexus being blade based this could mean Blade sales are more predominant with UCS. I personally think Blade is the way to go, its consolidation at the highest level which drives efficiency in your datacenter.
Rackmount likely to provide more dense memory?
Most certainly yes, architecturally rackmount tin has more space to put the RAM, also with the new Cisco UCS extended memory capability's this offers larger opportunity to exploit the custom "Catalina" ASIC which provides more Memory capacity within UCS than competitors.
You could argue is 384GB of Memory in a Blade enough though! However I'm sure we said this about 4GB of memory pre x64 bit era.
When do Cisco buy the storage company or at least OEM storage?
I'll maybe let the future do the talking on this one...I can see it happening and just wanted to give me opportunity to go back and revisit unanswered topics in months to come :)
Overall the more I read about UCS and its in inbuilt technological benefits the more I really want to see it in action and being deployed to see what results can be achieved both technically and operationally. I believe Cisco is releasing UCS this quarter so will be extremely interested to hear on the grapevine and blogosphere who is deploying UCS.
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