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Posts Tagged ‘network’

Microsoft Specialist – Architecting Microsoft Azure Cloud Solutions – #Azure, #LoveAzure, #EnvokeIT

Yes, I found a really interesting exam and must say that this is a great one! Makes you show that you understand all the great services that Azure has to offer and on such a good level as well!

I’m happy I made it and that EnvokeIT continues its journey within the Microsoft Cloud and Mobility area! 🙂

Spec_Arch_AzureSol_logo_BW

The things that I love is the way that Microsoft puts a lot of really good material out there for free for all us techies to consume, like the Microsoft Virtual Academy, Channel 9, Azure Friday, etc.

Also what is really good if you’re preparing for this exam (70-534) is to go through this great prep guide:

Early Experts Study Guide for Microsoft Specialist Certification Exam 70-534, Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

So go and explore everything that Azure has to offer and if you have any thoughts or questions around Azure don’t hesitate to contact me at richard at envokeit.com or through our official contact details for the UK and Swedish businesses here.

Have a great weekend!

//Richard

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

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…

Azure ExpressRoute is a really cool and important feature – #Microsoft, #Azure, #ExpressRoute

Everyone talks about the “cloud” and how you can leverage all the benefits or a public, private or hybrid cloud model. And one challenge and huge risks that enterprises see with moving into a public cloud like Azure is the dependency to the public Internet.

Is the connection secure, stable, available and how can you determine that I have the connectivity between my on-premise stuff and Azure..?

It’s here where I think that Microsoft really has made a HUGE step towards getting more traction with the larger enterprises with the new ExpressRoute feature! Now you can get your own dedicated connection to Azure through it’s partner network of service providers like AT&T and Verizon etc.!

TechnicalOverview

Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute lets you create private connections between Azure datacenters and infrastructure that’s on your premises or in a co-location environment. With ExpressRoute, you can establish connections to Azure at an ExpressRoute partner co-location facility or directly connect to Azure from your existing WAN network (such as a MPLS VPN provided by a Network Service Provider).  Read more…

#Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 1 of 7) – Introduction

This is a great blog post series! Good job Cristian Edwards!

Hi Virtualization gurus,

Since 6 months now, I’ve been working on the internal readiness about Hyper-V Networking in 2012 R2 and all the options and functionalities that exists and how to make them work together and I realize that a common question in our team or from our customers is what are the best practices or the best approaches when defining the Hyper-V Network Architectures of your Private Cloud or your Virtualization farm. Hence I decided to write this series of posts that I think they might be helpful at least to do the brainstorm to find the best approach for every particular scenario. The reality is that each environment is different and use different hardware, but at least I can help you identify 5 common scenarios on how to squeeze the performance of your hardware.

I want to make clear that there is no just one right answer or configuration  and your hardware can help you determine the best configuration for a robust, reliable and performer Hyper-V Network Architecture.  Please note that I will do some personal recommendation based on my experience. These recommendations might or might not be the official – generic recommendations from Microsoft, so please call you support contact in case of any doubt.

The series will contain these post:

1. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 1 of 7 ) – Introduction (This Post)

2. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 2 of  7) – Non-Converged Networks, the classical but robust approach

3. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 3 of  7) – Converged Networks Managed by SCVMM and Powershell

4. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 4 of 7 ) – Converged Networks using Static Backend QoS

5. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 5 of 7) – Converged Networks using Dynamic QoS

6. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 6 of 7 ) – Converged Network using CNAs

7. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures Series (Part 7 of 7 ) – Conclusions and Summary

8. Hyper-V 2012 R2 Network Architectures (Part 8 of 7) – Bonus

Continue reading here!

//Richard

 

#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

 

#XenMobile and the #Citrix Mobile Workspaces Architecture – #BYOD

This is a great blog post by Christopher Campbell and good picture to show the overall capabilities and architecture of the Citrix offering!

You’ve heard us talk about Mobile Workspaces and if you’re a techie you’re probably wondering if Citrix really has the architectural components (a complete, comprehensive and fully integrated architecture) that can deliver any app and data to any user on any device over any network?

Well let’s first identify a few of the market leading technologies that make up the Citrix Mobile Workspaces solution:

  • XenApp mobilizes and secures Windows apps on any device
  • XenDesktop securely delivers virtual Windows desktops and apps on any device
  • XenMobile manages and secures mobile, web and SaaS apps on mobile devices
  • GoToMeeting empowers people to meet and collaborate with anyone, anywhere
  • ShareFile shares and syncs corporate data securely from any location
  • NetScaler optimizes and secures app delivery and on any network
  • CloudPlatform orchestrates and provisions apps, desktops and IT services from any cloud

OK, OK. We know you have the products but do they really integrate?

Yes. Don’t believe me? Well as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is what the Mobile Workspace Architecture looks like.

OK. I get it.  You have the architecture but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a seamless user experience.

Still don’t believe huh? Well this is what the user experience looks like.

XenMobile is a key ingredient in delivering a mobile workspace.  Along with XenApp and XenDesktop it allows organizations to deliver on giving users access to any app from any device. In fact, if you’re an existing XenApp or XenDesktop customer, XenMobile seamlessly plugs into your existing architecture.

If you’re a XenDesktop or XenApp customer this is what your environment probably looks like.

Now this is what you need to enable EMM for BYO and COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) devices and add that MDM, MAM, Secure Email, Secure Data…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

 

#Citrix #NetScaler Traffic Domains ins and outs – via @barryschiffer

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Another great blog post by Barry!!! Keep up the great work!!

Citrix NetScaler Traffic Domains are a way of segmenting network traffic for different applications or even tenants. You are able to use a traffic domain to create fully isolated network environments on a single NetScaler instance. An instance is a single appliance or a HA setup of two appliances.

Citrix NetScaler Traffic Domains were introduced with NetScaler 10.0. At first NetScaler Traffic Domains started as a somewhat hidden feature which you could only configure by CLI. As of version 10.1 Traffic Domains are fully configurable in the NetScaler GUI which makes it a lot simpler to use.

In a way NetScaler Traffic Domains could compete with the NetScaler SDX platform. With Traffic Domains we segment networks on a single NetScaler instance instead of the SDX where we create a virtual appliance per network segment. 

A downside of using NetScaler Traffic Domains is the fact that some features are only supported for usage inside of Traffic Domain 0. Traffic Domain 0 is the default Traffic Domain, all services run inside Traffic Domain 0 unless explicitly specified.
An example of non supported features are NetScaler Management and NetScaler Gateway. For a complete list of supported features follow this link.
For non supported features for which you need isolation you have two options, NetScaler SDX or additional NetScaler appliances  (virtual or physical).

My expectations are that we will see more and more  features being supported on NetScaler Traffic Domains. An amazing feature would be to enable management functionality on Traffic Domains where you would only be able to manage or create services assigned to that Traffic Domain. This would be especially useful for multi-tenancy or multi management in situations where for example one team manages Mobility and one team managing a web application.

A few use cases Citrix describes for NetScaler Traffic Domains:

  • Use of duplicate IP addresses
  • Use of duplicate NetScaler entities
  • Multi Tenancy

A use case I’m actually using NetScaler Traffic Domains for is the ability to deliver services in a DMZ as well as an internal network.
Internal Network services like Microsoft Exchange Client Access Services and Microsoft App-V are heavy on traffic and I don’t like those services traversing the firewall in the DMZ. This also works great combined with Direct Server Return (DSR) which is blocked by most firewalls. Check out more on DSR combined with App-V on this article by Ingmar Verheij.

Read more…

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