Heterogeneous Foundations for Cloud: Simply Overrated

Let me start by making a statement that you may or may not agree with – being heterogeneous is often a problem in need of a solution…not a strategy. Allow me to explain…

I spend a lot of time discussing VMware’s vCloud solution stack to many different customers, each with varying objectives when it comes to their cloud journey. The majority of them fall under two groups – Group A) those who know what they want and where to get it and Group B) those who think they know what they want and have been shopping for the “right” solution since before cloud hit the mainstream – one “cloud bake-off” after another while changing requirements in real-time.…
Details

Transform IT With Cloud: GovConnection.com Podcast

I recently had an opportunity to record a Podcast with one of VMware’s valued channel partners, GovConnection.com.  During the Podcast I addressed several questions regarding the adoption of cloud infrastructures in the Federal Government.

Topics included:
  • cloud adoption rates across federal organizations
  • cloud technology drivers (why cloud?)
  • the advantages of building out a cloud infrastructure vs. traditional IT
  • recommended steps for getting started (how cloud?)
  • how VMware solutions align themselves with this IT evolution
(go to “Transform IT With Cloud” and select “Listen Now”)
Enjoy!…
Details

Gov’t Agencies Taking the Cloud Journey – AFCEA Belvoir Cloud Panel

This week I had the distinct pleasure of joining a panel of cloud industry experts for the AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days conference at Washington National Harbor’s Gaylord Resort to discuss the hot topics of cloud computing in front of hundreds of attendees representing several federal agencies (notably the US Army).  The panel was moderated by GSA CIO, Casey Coleman, and included experts representing Lockheed MartinCSCOcto Consulting Groupand — best of all — VMware (i.e. yours truly).  linked are the BIO’s for each posted on the AFCEA Belvoir website.

To kick things off, each panelist had 5 minutes for opening remarks and to provide some insight on their organization’s perspective on cloud…call it a 5-minute elevator pitch. …
Details

vCloud Networking: Using vShield Edge for Firewall & Routing (without NAT)

The Challenge: You are providing cloud services for a tenant using vCloud Director (obviously!) and want to provide a dedicated [routed] subnet and firewall services that are managed by the tenant admins.  Apps deployed in this cloud will be utilizing shared infrastructure services – LDAP, patching, scanning, etc – outside the cloud, so you’re trying to avoid NAT due to possible complications introduced by masking/translating source IPs.  Sound familiar?  Read on…
The release of vCloud Director (vCD) v1.5 along with vShield Edge (VSE) v5.0 provided a significant number of in-cloud networking enhancements that put a smirk on the faces of socially awkward cloud geeks everywhere.  …
Details

Are you ready for Cloud?

Are you ready for all that is cloud??  VMware recently released a cloud self-assessment questionnaire that walks you through your organization’s readiness in the following categories (from the site):

  • Strategy – Aligning business needs with IT capability.
  • Process – Streamlining and automating processes to achieve business agility.
  • Architecture – Establishing an enterprise architecture for this new IT infrastructure.
  • Technology – Designing and deploying your technology infrastructure from virtualization to cloud.
  • People and Governance – Creating the roles and  skills necessary to ensure company-wide adoption, and the accountability  framework and policies for stakeholder collaboration.
+++++
@virtualjad…
Details

Why Cloud for Existing Apps?

The value proposition for a “green fields” cloud is reasonably clear — building new environment within vCloud’s framework helps enterprises add all the wonderful things above while streamlining:

  • Security – Integration and auto-provisioning of vShield Edge and multi-tenant security boundaries
  • Governance – Integration with Active Directory at the organizational level for tight security and control
  • Resource Allocations – defining resource allowances through the use of virtual data centers (ex: vDCs)
  • Agility / On-Demand Resources – utilizing vCloud’s allocation models to provide critical resources only as they are needed
  • Cost Transparency – Integration with cloud-aware Chargeback
  • Automation – using vClouds template libraries to rapidly deploy workloads within and across tenant clouds
  • Efficiency – further driving resource utilization using innovative technologies, automation, and governance
  • IT-as-a-Service – offering a highly automated, low-maintenance cloud infrastructure to consumers and allow IT to focus on delivering innovations that drive revenue growth
From a marketing perspective, we all know what cloud is expected to deliver — agility, security, control, etc — as well as the key characteristics of cloud computing — pooling of resources, elasticity, self-service, broad access, and automation.   …
Details

Managing vCloud Resource Accounts

Using dedicated resource accounts to authenticate server and network services has been a best practice for as long as I’ve been in IT. This guideline adds security, interoperability, and governance to your deployed applications, independent of standard user (or admin) accounts. We understand why it’s good to follow these guidelines but if you’re anything like me, maintaining all the resource accounts, passwords, and the services they run can become a bit challenging over time. Rather than create an account and unique password per service, some admins use the same one for everything – windows/linux services, logins, UI’s, connectors, you name it.…

Details

Installing vCloud Director 1.x – Prerequisites

There’s a right way and a wrong way to install VMware’s vCloud Director (vCD). Identifying the wrong way is quite simple — it just won’t work. There’s actually a lot more to that — caveats, best practices, redundancy, add-ons — which I will cover in the next post. For now, we’ll focus on what you need before the install.

Installing vCD can be a daunting task if you don’t have all the prerequisites in place prior to rolling out the goods. Below is a quick list of to-do’s and links to the associated resources. The actual install of vCD is the quickest part of this entire process assuming all these pieces are in place.…

Details