Battling for the Cloud Tops – BMC Cloud Lifecycle Manager v3

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

There is a battle going on for who can deliver the best cloud management, or rather, the top-most cloud management. On one side, cloud “stack” providers are building production-grade management components alongside their cloud technologies. On the other side, systems management vendors are evolving or “re-inventing” their best of breed data center solutions to cover cloud management. It seems everyone wants to own the uppermost management “umbrella” that rules the cloud for enterprise-wide global provisioning and application servicing.

It’s premature to judge the best approach but VMware has recently upped the stakes by acquiring several solutions that address both physical and virtual resources (e.g. Dynamic Ops) at ever higher management layers. Microsoft’s System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager manages across vSphere, XenServer, and Hyper-V. And BMC, a traditional systems management vendor, has just improved their cloud management game with the release of Cloud Lifecycle Manager (CLM) v3.0. CLM v3 integrates with VMware’s vCloud Director while also managing physical infrastructure and old-school enterprise “virtualization” technologies like IBM’s AIX LPARs.

I suspect that the big “4” system management vendors have some work cut out to transform both their marketing and their technology to stay on top of an increasingly cloudy enterprise IT management stack. Starting with a clean-slate in the cloud might lead to leaner, more efficient solutions. However, while new “virtual” data centers might be built solely in the cloud, few existing data centers have ever disappeared into the cloud. “Hybrid” is the obvious future for most, and the large portfolio management vendors have a good shot at building best-of-breed system management across everything starting at the top “cloud”. BMC ties CLM into their related Cloud Operations Management solution, which one suspects would readily leverage their best-of-breed Atrium configuration database, Remedy workflow, and Bladelogic automation solutions (not to mention a deep but currently far less-touted expertise in legacy systems management and predictive performance algorithms).

I’m sure there is more to come as this battle heats up, and we should expect to see acquisition interest for hot young cloud management companies growing into the latter half of this year, especially if they offer capabilities that enhance and leverage existing system management solutions.

…(read the full post)

InfiniBand as Data Center Communication Virtualization

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Recently we posted a new market assessment of InfiniBand and its growing role in enterprise data centers, so I’ve been thinking a lot about low-latency switched fabrics and what they imply for IT organizations. I’d like to add a more philosophical thought about the optimized design of InfiniBand and its role as data center communication virtualization.

…(read the full post)

InfiniBand’s Data Center March

An IT industry analyst article published by IBTA blog.

Today’s enterprise data center is challenged with managing growing data, hosting denser computing clusters, and meeting increasing performance demands. As IT architects work to design efficient solutions for Big Data processing, web-scale applications, elastic clouds, and the virtualized hosting of mission-critical applications they are realizing that key infrastructure design “patterns” include scale-out compute and storage clusters, switched fabrics, and low-latency I/O.

This looks a lot like what the HPC community has been pioneering for years – leveraging scale-out compute and storage clusters with high-speed low-latency interconnects like InfiniBand.

…(read the complete as-published article there)

Hooked with a Non-Linear Curve – VMTurbo’s Economic Approach

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

As a long-time capacity planner, if you show me a non-linear curve with a real model behind it I’ll tend to bite. Predictive analysis alone would have been enough to get my attention, but VMTurbo also talks about optimizing IT from an economics perspective. I spent a lot of years convincing and cajoling folks that capacity planning and infrastructure optimization is basically about investing your money effectively while ensuring the resulting system is efficiently utilized.

It is invigorating to see an experienced team (folks with a SMARTS heritage) approach virtualized IT environments as an economic system with calculable trade-offs and optimizable peformance-cost curves. We are told this approach works for both real-time optimizing operational control and for forward planning exercises.

It does leave me wondering if virtualized applications and resources are fully rational economic agents. By not having a true “view” of the physical world, perhaps they might obey a virtual kind of irrational “behavioral economics” (e.g. influenced by memory ballooning, virtual clock cycles, virtualized IO…)?

In any case it’s not too early to begin thinking about VMworld 2012 coming up in August. There is so much going on that one needs to have a hit list for whose booths to make sure to search out first –  high on my list this year is VMTurbo.

…(read the full post)

VMware Expands to Heterogeneous Clouds with DynamicOps Acquisition

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

We’ve been fans of DynamicOps for the simple reason that they can take whatever virtual and physical IT infrastructure that organizations already have deployed and turn it all into a full-up private cloud. They seem to work with almost every existing system management solution too, providing just the right higher level bits needed to bring existing orchestration, config, and systems management into a holistic cloud delivery architecture.

By bringing DynamicOps into its portfolio, VMware may be single-handedly causing a watershed moment for private cloud adoption — if not a full-blown IT cloud revolution. We may look back on this acquisition and count it no less significant than VMware’s server virtualization itself. At a minimum, by enabling private/hybrid clouds over existing infrastructure everywhere, VMware can expect associated vSphere adoption to ramp up while increasing VMware’s relevance to the complete end-to-end IT enterprise.

As a smaller company, DynamicOps may have faced an uphill battle with larger enterprises to convince them they could sit at the top of the stack “of everything” and really deliver. But as a VMware solution that obstacle is removed. Watch out world, IT is going to get cloudy!

…(read the full post)