Amazon Web Services Announces EC2 Price Reduction

January 6, 2016 9:35 pm Published by -

Amazon Web Services announces a 5% price reduction on select EC2 instance types (C4, M4, and R3) in US East, US West, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. Chief Evangelist for Amazon Web Services, Jeff Bar, announced the price reduction in the AWS Official Blog on January 5th, 2016.

Here is a link to the post:  Happy New Year – EC2 Price Reduction (C4, M4, and R3 Instances)

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This post was written by Anthony Ramirez

Application Driven Cloud Computing – Bingo!

February 27, 2015 8:10 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

Recently found this gem of a presentation, made by Adam Davis:

This is a must watch video.  Adam makes a strong case for re-evaluating how we run IT ops today, and how developers engage operations.  I too started as a UNIX sysadmin, and can relate to the the teaming that used to take place with developers, dba’s, net admins, etc.  Oh how times have changed.

I agree that if we are truly going to take advantage of what cloud computing and cloud-native applications provide the enterprise, we all need to be proponents of change.  Creating a parallel infrastructure to start driving change is a fantastic approach.

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski

Cloud Predictions 2015 – Infographic

January 27, 2015 3:59 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

I was recently asked by SingleHop (a cloud provider), to provide a prediction for Cloud Computing in 2015.  Based on everything I see, 2015 is going to see increasing acceptance of PaaS and containers for application and service deployment.  Checkout their infographic!

SH_CloudPredictions

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski

2015 Forecast: More Hybrid Cloud

December 22, 2014 2:58 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

So, 2015 is nearly upon us…and it begs the question:  What will be the trending technologies?

Based on what we saw in 2014, we feel that one area of expansion and mainstream acceptance will be the Hybrid Cloud.  We believe that in the end the hybrid cloud does make most sense for distributed, orchestrated computing.

In our opinion, the true promise of the hybrid cloud is when an enterprise can take advantage of any provider, seamlessly utilizing publicly available solutions as well as those deployed on premise. Stitching this together is easier said than done, however, there have been some major advancements in 2014 which makes this approach much closer to reality.

There are many who have enabled hybrid IaaS using tools from both VMware and OpenStack as well as third-party solutions for seamless virtual machine and instance launch and migration between providers. This is fantastic, the tools are solid and well tested and most enterprise IT will be able to adopt this approach quickly.

However, the real power of hybrid cloud computing is harnessed by focusing on orchestrated deployment of application and services themselves.

Today the market is focused on two approaches and enabling technologies which makes this a reality: Container-based application deployment and orchestration (i.e., Docker, LXD) and Platform as a Service (i.e, Cloud Foundry and OpenShift). Both containers and PaaS are similar, abstracting the application and supporting software and libraries away from the infrastructure, therefore enabling easy portability. Depending on the requirements of an application (data gravity, security, etc.) one component can run on premise, while another is launched publicly. While containers and PaaS enable a portable application in a hybrid cloud model, each approaches the solution from a different perspective. Containers, providing a repository and extremely flexible unit of portability; PaaS focusing on providing integrated deployment, scaling, and service brokers. But they are not mutually exclusive as two major PaaS technologies are moving toward supporting Docker containers as a unit of execution.

It is clear this is the future, as Microsoft, EMC, IBM, Red Hat, and HP have all announced projects supporting this approach with their suites of both private and public offerings. 2015 will be an interesting year indeed – especially on the hybrid cloud front.

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski

Private IaaS: VMware, OpenStack, or both?

May 4, 2014 8:01 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

iaas

Things are heating up on the private IaaS front.  As of late, the hot question of us has been “What do we choose to build our private cloud?”  Naturally, our response is, It depends.

In determining a direction forward the background of the technology development for each is critical.  For all intents and purposes VMware is a virtualization platform.  It was originally developed to solve pain points related to IT operations, namely increasing resource utilization through consolidation.  It does this very well having long ago garnering the title of market leader.  Administrators are very familiar with ESXi, vSphere, vCenter and the cast of supporting tools.  Extending the capabilites as VMware has matured (both as a company and product), additional functionality aligned with operations:  DR, charge/showbacks, etc., has been added.  The mature set of products lends itself extremely well to traditional application workloads.  Think Exchange, Oracle, and other monolithic applications.  Lydia Leong at Gartner calls this “cloud-out.”  And I agree – originally built for IT challenges now being developed and sold as private IaaS.

Let’s now consider OpenStack.  I’ve heard OpenStack referred to as “more of a project than product”, I believe this to be true.  Conceived and built from the ground up by Chris Kemp and a group of talented folks at NASA it was aimed at solving issues related to leveraging cloud computing:  Quick spin up of instances (VMs in VMware parlance), including networking and storage, under a self service provisioning model.  These environments are aligned with the ephemeral, distributed nature of cloud-native applications and research.  Unfortunately there were other items required for IT (charge/showbacks and multi-tenant billing), and these were added later.  OpenStack and its distributions can therefore be called “cloud-in.”  While we can certainly run traditional workloads on OpenStack, it is not really suited for this.  For example, there isn’t a concept of HA clustering.  Why?  Because the applications must be designed from the ground up taking into consideration that applications and components will fail, and that the data will eventually be the same across the application stack.  CAP theorem in practice.

Ok, so now we know more about VMware and OpenStack and their origins…but, does that really help us choose?  Not quite yet.  We also need to evaluate the business.  Only through this lens will customers achieve the desired results.  One should consider:

  • Is there a deployed virtualization platform today?
  • How mature is the virtualized environment?
  • How large is the organization, and is it poised for growth?
  • What is the experience level with Linux on the SA/IT team?
  • Is there a preferred hardware vendor?
  • Does the organization utilize public cloud computing today, and if so, how and with whom?
  • Is there a significant push to reduce capital expenditure?
  • Is end-user/LOB self provisioning a goal?
  • How critical is multi-tenacy (with departmental charge/showbacks)?
  • Got Windows?

I wish that I could insert a hip infographic now, with which percentage of each client with what amount of technology and different business challenges chooses based on the above.  But it isn’t that easy.  Sure, we se a ton of VMware, and rightly so.  It is a heck of a product and when considering other items (like public IaaS) and it makes good sense.   On the other hand, having an Amazon EC2/S3-like private IaaS cloud is interesting and fits a ton of business needs like a glove – at a potentially far lower cost.  Cool, right?

Summing it all up…the technology direction just doesn’t require a look at the technology itself, but a detailed assessment of the business and requirements.  Depending on your shop there may not be a clear “winner”, in fact the right approach may be implementing and operating both VMware and OpenStack.

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This post was written by Chris Ciborowski