PURE STORAGE DOUBLES DOWN ON VVOLS AND A FEW OTHER THINGS

For a long time, VVols have appeared to be a solution looking for a problem. For the uninitiated, we will first give a brief outline of what VVols are and identify the problem that they purport to solve. On the face of it, it is nothing more than the ability to do one VM to one datastore. However, it is much more than that. VVols are the logical extension of this paradigm in a modern environment. VVols allow for policy-based metrics to be applied to individual virtual machines rather than at a datastore level. Why could this not be done with traditional datastores? Quite simply, the ESXi is limited to 256 LUNs per host. Now, this might sound like a lot, but consider that this would limit you to 256 guests per cluster if you wished to utilize vMotion or Storage vMotion. Not exactly optimal.

Previously Published on TVP STrategy (The Virtualization Practice)

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BIG SWITCH NETWORKS EXPAND THEIR REACH, NOW WITH HCI INTEGRATION

Big Switch Networks, the Santa Clara–based software-defined networking company, has just released a new version of the Big Cloud Fabric product. Big Cloud Fabric, a software-defined networking product that has been on the market for over four years, is heavily integrated into VMware. For the uninitiated, its core pitch is that with its product, you can cut out proprietary networking gear, and that by using its software-based controller, coupled with low-cost white-box servers and switches, networks can be provisioned, orchestrated, and configured programmatically.

Out of the box, it has many advanced features. Unlike NSX, it has a real physical presence. Unlike ACI, it has a real virtual presence. It plays nicely with both. Its data layer can be deployed on Open Networking Dell EMC Edgecore white boxes and the HPE Altoline family of equipment. Its Big Monitoring Fabric product is a Womble product; it monitors “overlay, underlay—so your packets roam free.”

Role-based access can give VM admins and storage admins the ability to push VMs directly on the network. Yes, you can do this with other products, but there are no Band-Aids™ or shoehorning of square pegs into round holes.

Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice)

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Managing a Multicloud

There is no denying that the future of cloud is not just with a single provider, capable as AzureAWS and the other public providers are. For true data protection, your information needs to be in three separate locations, and with the rise of data sovereignty, there is a need for data to be kept within the boundaries of a nation-state. GDPR will place other obligations on companies and their data compliance. Smaller countries will suffer more than larger ones, with their multiple regions and zones per country per cloud provider. Smaller countries like the UK will have problems, as a single provider will not have three regions for true resiliency. Microsoft, for example, will have two regions in the UK for Azure (London and Cardiff) and two for Office 365 (Durham and London). Amazon will only have a single AWS zone: London. (Europe retains Frankfurt, Ireland, and Paris.) The other public cloud providers do not fare much better. Post-GDPR, data sovereignty will be front and center. So, what exactly can you do if you want, need, or desire to be totally in the public cloud: sell your customers in Europe and the world and not fall foul of transnational data-protection laws? A multicloud may be the answer.

Multicloud Puppet Master

Let’s look quickly at the main market providers: India, China, and the US. How they can remain compliant?

Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice)

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WHAT EXACTLY IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?

The world is abuzz with rhetoric about artificial intelligence and machine learning. These terms appear to be used interchangeably, and the perception that they are both the same side of the coin can lead to confusion. So, what are the differences?

First, let’s consider what AI is not. It is not Skynet (yet), and it is not HAL 9000 (yet), although sometimes IBM Watson appears to be getting there.

Will you take the Red pill or the Blue Pill

Will you take the Red Pill or the Blue PillIn the broader sense of the term, artificial intelligence is the concept of computers dealing with situations related to data and figuring out for themselves the best way to do something or improving on a method for undertaking a task. Machine learning is the current top of the pile in AI techniques.

So, basically, AI is an all-encompassing term for algorithms that look at data. However, this is too simplistic an idea.

Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice)

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OVERLY, UNDERLAY, PACKETS FLOW FREE. IS SDN GOING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD?

A software-defined network: is it an evolution or a revolution in networking? The hype of SDN has been around for several years, but as yet it doesn’t seem to have managed to get much traction outside of the MSPs and Fortune 500 companies with regard to SDN, and telcos with regard to SD-WAN. When, if ever, will the SDN meltwater reach the fertile plains of the LME?

VERLAY, UNDERLAY, PACKETS ROAM FREE. IS SDN GOING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD?

For this, we really need to look to history.

Previously Published on TVP Stragegy (The Virtualization Practice)

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Are We Ready for SDN?

SDN, or software-defined networking, is taking over the world—or at least if you listened to the marketers for the main purveyors of SDN and its cousin SD-WAN, you would think so. In fact, if you just listened to the marketers, you would be feeling pretty inadequate with your local data center; your physical network with its physical firewalls, load balancers, and VPN endpoints; and the rest of the vast plethora of networking tools that keep your corporate IT running smoothly. OK, maybe not smoothly, but well enough to make sure that your company can keep the lights on and pay your salary at the end of the month.

There is no denying that SDN products like NSX from VMware, ACI from Cisco, and those from Big Switch Networks are fully capable of delivering value and simplifying administration, but the fact remains that SDN is not ubiquitous in the networks of businesses around the world.

Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice)

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I HAVE A DREAM, A JOURNEY INTO SETTING UP A STARTUP COMPANY TODAY

“I have a dream” is what Martin Luther King Jr. said, and admittedly, his was at least an order of magnitude larger than the dreams of an average company founder. But all companies start with a dream. Dreams are great: in them, you can invariably be invincible, conquer every challenge. However, such dreams can quickly turn to nightmares, if you are not careful. A startup is like a dream.

What follows is an idea or a series of ideas: a roadmap, perhaps. Not a freeway, but more of a winding country lane that is hopefully a joy to drive down. Still, it is not without danger—perhaps a mudslide is caused by a sudden deluge, or a deer, alpaca, or kangaroo suddenly runs out into the road. This is a journey into setting up a startup technology company, from the perspective of technology. Do you buy on-site infrastructure, move wholly into public cloud, or perhaps do a mixture of both? If cloud, what particular ’aaS do you partake of—platform, infrastructure, software, or any number of the other flavours that now abound?

The first mistake that the average founder makes when starting a company is to rush headlong into the making of things, be that widgets to fit a sprocket, consultancy days, or what ever else is used to generate revenue. This is expected; you are suddenly the master of your own destiny, and cash flow reigns. However, and this is important, before you even start to earn, there are many things that you should complete, apart from the obvious things like opening your business bank account, getting a good accountant, and incorporating your company. Things like choosing and setting up email, office applications, collaboration software. Timesheets, bookkeeping software, payroll. Customer records database and management.

Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice

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WHITELISTING: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? WELL, ACTUALLY QUITE A LOT, REALLY

In 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave a speech about a lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. This speech was remarkable for one thing only, that being the inclusion of the phase “known knowns, unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns.” These concepts finally entered common parlance. True, those in the security arena, both physical and logical, already knew and understood the terms, but now laypeople did as well.

Let me explain myself. In the IT security world, people concern themselves with known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns all the time, and each area has its security tool of choice. For example, known knowns—worms, viruses, Trojans, and other malware and vulnerabilities we are aware of—are dealt with by firewalls, IPSes, IDSes, and antivirus software. The rules of firewalls and IDS and IPS products, coupled with the signatures of antivirus tools, deal with those issues that are known. For example, firewall rules allow only the traffic that is allowed to travel to navigate the network, and antivirus rules look for particular code patterns and vaccinate and protect against them. Known unknowns are dealt with by heuristic scanning and education. It is the altogether more difficult unknown unknowns that give IT security professionals sleepless nights.

Let’s see your Credentials. You’re OK, You’re on the whiteliest

Previously published on TVP Strategy (Virtualization Practice)

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CHANGING THE GUARD: GOODBYE FLEX WEB CLIENT—HELLO HTML5, BABY

They’re changing the guard at Buckingham Palace. This is a major tourist attraction in London, and the changing of the guard happens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, weather permitting. “Changing the guard” is also a well-known refrain used to signify the complete change of an environment. VMware is currently undergoing such a transformation with regard to its vSphere clients and the introduction of the HTML5 client.

Originally Published on TVP Strategy (the Virtualization Practice)

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What the Windows CCleaner did!

CCleaner, a program owned by Avast, is the center of a major security scare. Why should you be worried? Well, this product is used by millions of Windows users worldwide to run maintenance on their registry and file systems on their consumer Windows machines. The product has had over two billion downloads in its lifetime, and according to Avast, it gets downloaded over five million times a week. More worrying is that according to Avast’s own figures, the infected product was downloaded and installed on over 2.27 million devices. Avast has removed the infected download and replaced it with a non-affected version.

If you are a user of Avast CCleaner, it is imperative that you check your version and, if you are running version 5.33, upgrade your version immediately. The cloud version 1.07.3191 was also reported as being affected; this version too has been updated.

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