Archive

Posts Tagged ‘compute’

Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations – #IaaS, #Cloud, #PaaS, #Microsoft, #Azure

January 11, 2015 Leave a comment

This series of blog posts by Thomas W Shinder – MSFT and contributors is really great and do cover the best practises and principles behind building Microsoft based private or hybrid IaaS services. Have a look at their great work!

The goal of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Foundations series is to help enterprise IT departments and cloud service providers understand, develop, and implement IaaS infrastructures. This series provides comprehensive conceptual background that combines Microsoft software, consolidated guidance, and validated configurations with partner technologies such as compute, network, and storage architectures, in addition to value-added software features.

The IaaS Foundations Series utilizes the core capabilities of the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system, Hyper-V, System Center 2012 R2, Windows Azure Pack and Microsoft Azure to deliver on-premises and hybrid cloud Infrastructure as a Service.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations (this article)

Chapter 2: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Compute Foundations

Chapter 3: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Network Foundations

Chapter 4: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Storage Foundations

Chapter 5: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Virtualization Platform Foundations

Chapter 6: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Design Patterns–Overview

Chapter 7: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations—Converged Architecture Pattern

Chapter 8: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations-Software Defined Architecture Pattern

Chapter 9: Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations-Multi-Tenant Designs


Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Foundations is written and presented in a way that enables architects, designers, implementers and operators to view the content that is most relevant to them. Some readers will choose the read the entire “book”, while others will focus on areas that are most interesting and relevant to them.

At this time, the Microsoft IaaS Foundations “book” is available in web format only. In the coming days, individual files (one for each chapter) and a single file that represents a compilation of all the chapters, will be made available for download. A link to these files will be included in this article, and in each of the articles included in this “book”.

The world of cloud computing moves quickly and the underlying technologies supporting the infrastructure that powers the cloud change and improve just as fast. For this reason, each of the chapters includes a published date and the versions of the software that are discussed in the text. For non-versioned software and services (such as Microsoft Azure), a note of “feature set and capabilities as of…” date is included.

Your feedback is crucial

A lot of time, energy and expense goes…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Which #DaaS architecture is right? – #Azure, #RemoteApp, #Microsoft, #Citrix, #Workspace

December 22, 2014 Leave a comment

I really feel for you Solution Architects out there that have to struggle with how to revamp your companies or customers Hosted Desktop/App services. They may be provided by a service provider today, or you do it yourself on-premise and manage them, or you’ve already taken the step to purchase it as a true DaaS/SaaS service from a public cloud provider. Today the options are many, and too many if you add all the hosting models and the technology options you have. From a business perspective you’re getting the heat to deliver something with the word “cloud” in it just because it’s hot, and management then expect that TCO is sooooo low and that you have now problems in delivering at all within a couple of weeks and you can scale up and down without any issues at all from a financial or technical perspective… 😉

Often you also don’t even have the business, security, functional or technical requirements either so you’re supposed to come with the magic solution that fits all needs! 😉

My personal view is also that some of our vendors/partners out there don’t seem to have one (1) clear strategy either (at least not officially).

Some are building and providing their own “cloud architecture” models for DaaS for partners to build on (VMware, Citrix, Microsoft etc.), and then they also are providing specific models for certain partners as well that run on top of other cloud solutions, like Citrix Service Provider (CSP) offerings on Azure or on-premise. As a partner to these companies you also are in a tough spot, are you to partner with them and deliver their technology on your infrastructure, or shall you wait until they deliver a fully working public cloud offering (like WorkSpace Services) and then add your added value on top of that? Options are many and I don’t think that Citrix has given their whole story yet, I still think that they business wise need to go where Microsoft is going by providing a DaaS service by themselves directly to customers and thereby also “cut” the partner network out because once the technology and self-service becomes to easy then what shall they add as value then? There will always be customers that wants help to onboard, operate etc. of course but this will be another type of service and many Citrix and Microsoft partners need to be become more solution focused and get away from the SME space and deliver integration and more IT management consulting skill sets instead.

But let’s get back to more technology…

I’ve been kind of waiting to get some time over to test the RemoteApp service in Azure. I personally think that this is the future and they way that many small to medium size business fairly short shall start to look at. Not all of these companies have the skill set or financials to look at building a good Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings of Windows applications internally. I’m a bit annoyed though that out of the box there isn’t any Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering and that it’s still just the RDS/Hosted Shared Desktop model that is provided. A real Hosted Virtual Desktop or VDI offering would be nice and a license model that goes with it from Microsoft.

There are today so many different options that companies that want to provide or consume a DaaS service can leverage today, Citrix Service Providers have all of their options in terms of technology stacks (CloudStack, CloudPlatform, CSP for Azure, App Orchestration 2.5, Microsoft System Center, Azure Pack and all options that are out there)… but which one shall/can you select? And what if you’re NOT a Citrix service provider and have a huge datacenter and haven’t already done your CAPEX investments around compute, network and storage etc..? Where do you then turn?

I think that here is where RemoteApp and a future Workplace Services offerings with Citrix on top would be great! You as a customer can turn to a partner/consultant company to get guidance and assess all your requirements and then easily be provisioned an environment that is of the “standard cloud offering” or get a customised one tailored specifically for your needs.

Like in my little demo scenario here I provisioned a fully functional RemoteApp environment that hosted all of the Microsoft Office 2013 apps that I use and also got a lot of storage at the same time… in almost no time at all!

Azure RemoteApp helps employees stay productive anywhere, and on a variety of devices – Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. Your company’s applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud, where they’re easier to scale and update. Users can access their applications remotely from their Internet-connected laptop, tablet, or phone. While appearing to run on the users’ local device, the applications are centralized on Azure’s protected, reliable platform.

Azure RemoteApp combines Windows application experiences with the powerful capabilities of Remote Desktop Services on Microsoft Azure – the cloud for modern business.

I also like the licensing model:

  • Azure RemoteApp is priced per user and is billed on a monthly basis.
  • The service is offered in two tiers: Basic and Standard. Basic is designed for lighter weight applications (e.g. for task workers). Standard is designed for information workers to run productivity applications.
  • Pricing: Each service has a starting price per user that includes 40 hours of service per user. Thereafter, a per hour charge is applied for each user hour up to a capped price per user. You will not pay for any additional usage beyond the capped price in a given month.
This means that you’ll get Office 2013 managed for standard information workers of a max price of 23 USD/month including management of the RDS Image and Office etc. and it also includes user data storage. Then you could of course also upload your own image with your apps as well and publish. Pretty good price model and will be interesting to see if this is what we will deliver in the future for all small/medium size companies instead.
As a comparison you can compare RemoteApp pricing then with the example if you would build your own RDS environment in Azure according to the following good guidelines: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/dn451351.aspx
A little follow up TCO example below. This Azure hosted RDS example would give the 25 user company a dedicated RDS solution in Azure for 27 USD/month from a CAPEX perspective (HW + SW/licensing), I know that this is not a CAPEX investment if you go for it but you should compare it to your CAPEX investment you need to do if you would purchase compute, network, storage, licenses etc. The main point also is that  this does not include any OPEX costs needed to support and operate it. This would be great for providing a Hosted Desktop/Software service for a line of business app… but here you’re already at 27 USD/user/month, and RemoteApp is at 23 including user storage of 50Gb (where Microsoft also manage the “image and software” from a life-cycle management point of view.
image

RDS on Azure example quote:

More Azure solution pricing examples: http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2014/10/14/more-azure-solution-pricing-examples.aspx

What if you then also shall put Citrix on top of that… cost increases of course and still you’re kind of limited of being a SPLA or CSP in order to build this, or you go and ask a SPLA/CSP to provide it for you if you’re an end-customer.

But back *again* to the test-drive that I did of RemoteApp…

Read more…

Official GA of Dell with Nutanix!! – #Dell, #Nutanix, #IaaS, #Web-Scale

November 6, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s official! Finally! 😀

WEB-SCALE CONVERGED APPLIANCE

This disruptive solution integrates Dell PowerEdge servers, storage, and Nutanix software to create a scalable, simple, and easy-to-deploy, Web-scale appliance.

WHAT IS WEB-SCALE?

Web-scale is a transformative approach to buying, deploying and managing infrastructure. Pioneered by Internet companies, now available to enterprises. Benefits include:

  • Predictable scale: Scale with the needs of your business, one node at a time
  • Business agility: Deploy within an hour, update latest software within minutes, and shorten business processes
  • Low total cost of ownership: Reduce upfront and ongoing costs by automating processes and spending less time trouble shooting

Dell XC Series Overview

DELL XC SERIES

Meet the Dell XC Web-scale Converged Appliance – With Software by Nutanix.

Forrester Report

FORRESTER REPORT

Forrester Research Evaluates the Web-scale Converged Appliance from Dell and Nutanix.

Read more here!

Gartner Report

GARTNER REPORT

Why Your Legacy Storage Vendor Doesn’t Want You to Adopt Web-scale IT Infrastructure.

//Richard

Metro Availability – Nutanix site-to-site cluster! Sooo cool! – #Nutanix, #EnvokeIT

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a really cool feature, I know many companies right now that are thinking about refreshing their platform (computer, network and storage) solution(s) and datacenter strategy. Most have dual datacenters today and would like to simplify the setup and ensure that they don’t have to handle two private clouds and manually create disaster recovery processes and technical solutions for ensuring that they can ensure high availability of their applications running on top of the IaaS solution.

This is where this new feature from Nutanix comes into play, now you can get data protection and mirroring of your data across two or more sites built into the product. Think about it, you can ensure your application availability in the event of downtime (planned or unplanned). Really cool!! 🙂

Introducing Metro Availability

Business-critical applications demand continuous data availability. This means that access to applications and data must be preserved even during a datacenter outage or planned maintenance event. Many IT teams use metro area networks to maintain connectivity between datacenters so that if one site goes down the other location can run all applications and services with minimal disruption. To keep the applications running, however, requires immediate access to all data. 

Nutanix is the first hyper-converged infrastructure vendor to deliver continuous data protection across multiple datacenters. Using synchronous mirroring, Metro Availability stretches datastores for virtual machine clusters across two or more sites located up to 400km apart. All functionality is natively integrated into Nutanix software, and supported across all Nutanix platforms with no hardware changes. Enterprise IT teams benefit from improved business operations by maintaining application availability during planned and unplanned site downtime. 

Virtualization teams can now non-disruptively migrate virtual machines between sites during planned maintenance events, providing continuous data protection with zero recovery point objective (RPO) and a near zero recovery time objective (RTO). Metro Availability is deployed within minutes and managed directly from Nutanix Prism UI, eliminating any need for additional management consoles. 

  • More Flexibility – Only Nutanix enables customers to deploy different configurations for primary and secondary sites, and support one-to-many and many-to-one topologies. Customers are no longer forced to have identical platforms and hardware configurations at each site
  • VM Awareness  – Individual VMs can be mirrored across sites using Metro Availability, giving administrators unparalleled flexibility in configuring multi-site deployments and improving overall system efficiency
  • 2X Greater Distances Between Sites – Nutanix Metro Availability supports single datastores stretched up to 400km – twice what current systems support today

Metro Availability enhances and extends the already rich set of integrated data protection and high availability capabilities in the Nutanix solution, catering to the diverse needs of enterprise customers.

Official release not you can find here!

And contact EnvokeIT if you want more information on how this can provide value to you!

//Richard

 

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – #Nutanix, #WebScale, #Dell, #EnvokeIT, #Gartner

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

As usual it’s very interesting when Gartner takes a look at the trends for the coming year. I must say that I agree with many of them, one of the trends is very close to my heart and what I think should have been on the agenda of most CIO’s prior to 2015, and this is: Web-Scale IT.

Why haven’t more enterprise and solution architects been looking earlier at how to simplify the delivery of the “commodity” service that IaaS should be in todays IT world. Yes I know that most enterprises have a “legacy” environment that is hard to just transform, they have a service delivery organisation with certain competences and are being bombarded by salesmen from the older legacy providers that this new way is scary (up until they themselves come up with a story on web-scale of course). But it’s time to wake up and look at how you can change your Compute, Network and Storage components to reduce complexity, increase flexibility/agility, focus on core business (apps and services on top) and also reduce your TCO.

One way is of course to move to the cloud and let someone else bother about this, but I yet don’t see that the larger enterprises are looking at this and there is a hesitation though most haven’t gotten to the point of understanding the TCO model and how to compare their As-Is costs to the cost that they get from the costing tools of Azure, Amazon etc. Why is this? My view is that most don’t have a clear understanding of their own As-Is TCO, they understand how much a server costs, and storage costs, but not the TCO when it comes to facility/datacenter costs, power & cooling, HW costs, support and operational costs, license costs and the overview of that in a TCO model they can understand or compare with “the cloud”.

Ok, as usual I’m getting a bit sidetracked but I love this topic and I must encourage you to contact EnvokeIT if you need help to understand the Web-Scale IT concept and how it can add value to you and your business. We work with Nutanix and Dell and can assist in assessing your existing As-Is solution and forming the To-Be target architecture and the strategy to get there based on your requirements and needs. Of course we’re not locked into Dell or Nutanix and have experience within Azure and other public cloud providers as well as other hardware vendor solutions like HP, NetApp etc.

If you like to see a really cool solution that is coming then have a look at my previous post including a short and cool video: Dell + Nutanix = awesome!

Here we have the top 10 trends for 2015 that Gartner have identified:

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014, October 5-9 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
Read more…

#Nutanix Announces Global Agreement with #Dell

Wow! This is interesting! 😀

Strategic Relationship Significantly Expands Access and Distribution of Nutanix Solutions with Dell’s World-Class Hardware, Services and Marketing to Accelerate Adoption of Web-scale Converged Infrastructure in the Enterprise

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – June 24, 2014 – Nutanix, the leading provider of next-generation datacenter infrastructure solutions, today announced it has signed an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Dell to offer a new family of converged infrastructure appliances based on Nutanix web-scale technology. The combination of Nutanix’s groundbreaking software running on Dell’s industry-leading servers delivers a flexible, scale-out platform that brings IT simplicity to modern datacenters. The Nutanix and Dell collaboration is designed from the ground up to deliver innovative web-scale technology to enterprises of any size. The agreement also includes joint sales, marketing, support and service investments, as well as alignment of product roadmaps.

The new Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances will be built with Nutanix software running on Dell PowerEdge servers, and will be available in multiple variants to meet a wide range of price and performance options. The appliances will deliver high-performance converged infrastructure ideal for powering a broad spectrum of popular enterprise use cases, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), virtualized business applications, multi-hypervisor environments and more. Nutanix’s web-scale software runs on all popular virtualization hypervisors, including VMware vSphere™, Microsoft Hyper-V™ and open source KVM, and is uniquely able to span multiple hypervisors in the same environment. The Dell XC Series appliances are scheduled for availability in the fourth quarter of this year and will be sold by Dell sales teams and channel partners worldwide.

“Nutanix is a recognized leader in the converged infrastructure market with a software-driven offering that fits with Dell’s efforts to redefine datacenter economics and simplify IT for our customers,” said Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager, Dell Storage. “By combining market-leading infrastructure and software technologies from both companies with Dell’s world-class go-to-market capabilities, we believe our new solutions will be positioned to be a significant player in the growing, multi-billion dollar converged infrastructure market.”

“Dell is a world-class leader in servers, storage and networking, and has established itself as a valuable IT partner for many of the world’s largest organizations,” said Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO, Nutanix. “Nutanix is teaming with Dell to accelerate our global sales growth through Dell’s vast direct and channel sales networks. In Dell, we chose a company that shares our vision of disrupting traditional datacenter infrastructures with intelligent software running on x86 hardware to power all datacenter services.” Read more…

#Nutanix is the Visionary leader in #Gartner magic quadrant! – #IaaS, #PaaS, #DaaS, #Storage, #Converged

I’m not surprised at all and think that this is a good report by Gartner!

Nutanix is absolutely the visionary leader and once more and more units are shipped they will also climb higher into the leaders section and totally rule! I must say that this is a really impressive product that truly is web-scale ready for SMB to large enterprise workloads!! Contact us at EnvokeIT if you need more details! We know the product and how it can deliver value to you!

magic_quadrant_for_integrated_systems_nutanix

The integrated system market is growing at 50% or more per year, creating an unusual mix of major vendors and startups to consider. This new Magic Quadrant will aid vendor selection in this dynamic sector.

Nutanix has close working relationships with multiple top software vendors, and workloads like VDI, Hadoop and DBMS servers are well-represented among the installed base. Maximum neutrality is a major focus for Nutanix, as it works to build trust across a wide variety of vendors. The vendor frequently targets specific workload needs to penetrate new accounts, and then expands the workload reach to compete with incumbent vendors as client confidence is built. Nutanix claims that 50% of first-time clients expand their configurations within six months (and 70% do so within 12 months).

Market Definition/Description

Integrated systems are combinations of server, storage and network infrastructure, sold with management software that facilitates the provisioning and management of the combined unit. The market for integrated systems can be subdivided into broad categories, some of which overlap. Gartner categorizes these classes of integrated systems (among others):

  • Integrated stack systems (ISS) — Server, storage and network hardware integrated with application software to provide appliance or appliancelike functionality. Examples include Oracle Exadata Database Machine, IBM PureApplication System and Teradata.
  • Integrated infrastructure systems (IIS) — Server, storage and network hardware integrated to provide shared compute infrastructure. Examples include VCE Vblock, HP ConvergedSystem and IBM PureFlex System.
  • Integrated reference architectures — Products in which a predefined, presized set of components are designated as options for an integrated system whereby the user and/or channel can make configuration choices between the predefined options. These may be based on an IIS or ISS (with additional software, or services to facilitate easier deployment). Other forms of reference architecture, such as EMC VSPEX, allow vendors to group separate server, storage and network elements from a menu of eligible options to create an integrated system experience. Most reference architectures are, therefore, based on a partnership between hardware and software vendors, or between multiple hardware vendors. However, reference architectures that support a variety of hardware ingredients are more difficult to assess versus packaged integrated systems, which is why they are not evaluated by this research.
  • Fabric-based computing (FBC) — A form of integrated system in which the overall platform is aggregated from separate (or disaggregated) building-block modules connected over a fabric or switched backplane. Unlike the majority of IIS and ISS solutions, which group and package existing technology elements in a fabric-enabled environment, the technology ingredients of an FBC solution will be designed solely around the fabric implementation model. So all FBCs are an example of either an IIS or an ISS; but most IIS and ISS solutions available today would not yet be eligible to be counted as an FBC. Examples include SimpliVity, Nutanix and HP Moonshot System.

Read the whole Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems here!

//Richard

 

%d bloggers like this: