Archive

Posts Tagged ‘VMWare’

#Azure November newsletter

November 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Once again I’m amazed of the pace that Microsoft releases new innovative and great service in Azure! Just love it! ūüôā

Free e-book: Enterprise Cloud Strategy

What if you were able to achieve both efficiency and innovation in your business domains and applications across your entire portfolio? What if you could take advantage of the cloud and all its resources and features? With a good road map and strategy, you can. Download the free e-book, Enterprise Cloud Strategy, and find ways to build your own road map to success.

Download the free e-book

Advancing our ambition to democratize artificial intelligence

Microsoft recently announced a new partnership with OpenAI, a nonprofit AI research organization co-founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman and Ilya Sutskever. Together we hope to make significant contributions to advance the field of AI, and make it more accessible to every developer and every organization. Read more about the partnership and why OpenAI chose Azure as the primary cloud platform from Harry Shum, Microsoft Executive Vice President of AI and Research and Sam Altman, co-founder, OpenAI (and be sure to watch the video about why they chose Azure). Also, visit the Azure Blog for more information.

Connect(); // 2016: Keynotes and technical sessions available on demand

Missed the Microsoft Connect(); developer event? Catch up on all the news and keynotes or dive right into any of the technical sessions on Visual Studio, .NET, Xamarin, DevOps, Azure, Data with Intelligent Apps, UWP, developing for Office and more! Browse the on-demand content.

G-Series instances now available for Azure Cloud Services

G-Series instances are available in Azure Cloud Services in all regions where G-Series instances for Azure Virtual Machines are currently offered. They feature the latest Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family and provide unparalleled computational performance, substantial memory, and robust local solid-state drive (SSD) storage.

VMware backup now available in Azure Backup

VMware backup in Azure Backup helps protect virtual machines running on the VMware platform, on-premises or in the cloud. If you run backups on-premises, this new capability helps you meet requirements for operational recovery. If you back up your information to the cloud, you can meet long-term compliance rules and have an offsite copy of your data. For more information, visit the Operations Management Suite | Protection & Recovery webpage.

In-Memory OLTP for Azure SQL Database generally available

You can use In-Memory OLTP, a feature of Azure SQL Database, to achieve incredible performance gains (up to 30 times) for transaction processing and data ingestion in Premium databases, with no or minimal changes to the application. Memory-optimized tables, memory-optimized table types, and natively compiled T-SQL modules are now available in all Premium databases, including databases in Premium elastic pools. For more information, read the Microsoft Azure SQL Database provides unparalleled performance with In-Memory technologies blog post.

Azure SQL Database Long-Term Retention in public preview

For applications with compliance or operational requirements to retain data, Azure SQL Database now offers Long-Term Retention (LTR). With just a few clicks, you can easily enable your databases to create weekly backups stored in your own Azure Backup vault and extend the retention period built into SQL Database from 35 days to up to 10 years. The backups in the vault are restorable and are automatically deleted after your configured retention period. For more information, visit the Azure Blog.

Azure Content Delivery Network adds new features for better performance, real-time management, and mobile users

Azure Content Delivery Network is a multi-CDN platform that offers massively scalable, secure delivery of content with accelerated performance. New capabilities include the ability to set up real-time alerts about delivery anomalies, such as bandwidth and cache status, and a mobile rules engine where you can customize rules and features targeted to mobile devices, such as device model and operating system. Visit the Azure Blog for more information.

Azure Active Directory Domain Services generally available

Azure Active Directory Domain Services offers scalable, high-performance, managed services such as domain join, LDAP, Kerberos, Windows Integrated Authentication, and Group Policy support. With the click of a button, administrators can enable managed domain services for Linux and Windows virtual machines and directory-aware applications deployed in Azure infrastructure services. By maintaining compatibility with Windows Server Active Directory, Azure Active Directory Domain Services gives you an easy way to migrate traditional on-premises applications to the cloud.

Azure HDInsight introduces advanced security capabilities in public preview

Azure HDInsight has several new key security capabilities. It integrates with Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Services for enterprise-grade authentication and identity management. HDInsight also integrates with Apache Ranger for a central policy and management portal where administrators can maintain fine-grained control policies over Hadoop data access, components, and services. Data processed by HDInsight is stored in Azure Data Lake Store or Azure Storage. Both offer server-side encryption to secure data at rest.

Azure Data Factory adds more connectors and achieves higher speeds

Azure Data Factory allows you to bring data from a rich variety of locations into Azure for advanced analytics and predictive modeling. We recently added support for FTP/S, Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Parquet file format. Load speeds have also been greatly enhanced: you can now load into Azure SQL Data Warehouse at 1.2 GBps and load into Azure Data Lake Store and Azure Blob Storage at over 1.0 GBps.

Azure Analysis Services in public preview

Built on the proven analytics engine in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure Analysis Services delivers enterprise-grade Business Intelligence semantic modeling capabilities with the scale, flexibility, and management benefits of the cloud. For more information, visit the Azure Blog.

Continue reading here!
//Richard

Citrix Lifecycle Management cloud service – is it something for you? YES! – #Citrix, #WorkSpaceCloud, #DaaS @EnvokeIT

I must admit that both Microsoft and Citrix are on the right track, it’s amazing to see the number of great “cloud” services that they now are releasing. If you’ve been reading my blog and follow me on Twitter then you know that I’m already a HUGE fan¬†of Azure and all its offerings, and now Citrix comes up with a real interesting cloud based service to simplify the life-cycle management of their offerings, great job!

In this post we’re going to look at little closer to the Citrix Lifecycle Management service. So let’s start of with what it is, have¬†a look at this great overview video:

Citrix Lifecycle Management is a comprehensive cloud-based lifecycle management solution to accelerate and simplify the design, deployment and ongoing management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

Supporting many types of IT workloads across virtual and private or public cloud environments, this solution enables IT organizations to become faster, more cost-effective and more agile, and it helps maintain service quality and high availability with redundancy, automatic scaling and disaster recovery of applications. Built on blueprints incorporating validated reference architectures, configurations and best practices, Citrix Lifecycle Management provides a unified and standardized set of management tools for rapid and best practice-driven design, deployment and management of Citrix workloads and enterprise applications.

See this blog for a further explanation of Citrix Lifecycle Management.

Citrix Lifecycle Management is delivered as a cloud-based service through the newly launched Citrix Workspace Cloud.

The cloud service interacts with many types of supported Resource Locations that can be located either up in a public cloud service like Azure (that rocks!) or your on premise location and leveraging any of these technologies:

Citrix-lifecycle-Management-Resource-locations-support

Once that you’ve connected the service to one of your Resource Locations then you can really start to look at the process of deploying your services to it, here is a good overview of the process of deploying a blueprint:

Citrix-Lifecycle-Management-process-deploy-blueprint

As you can see the process is really straight forward, 1 connect to your Resource Location, 2 Add your blueprint and then as the 3rd step you Deploy it! Read more…

#Cisco acquiring #Nutanix?

Well this is an interesting rumor… I’ve just waited until someone “big” would come and eat Nutanix which has set the scene around web-scale solutions!

Interesting article by Jared Rinderer, CFA, senior research analyst, Equity Capital Research Group.

Datacenter Wars: Cisco Prepares to Fire

Chambers’ Last Salvo. Cisco is actively surveying the battle landscape in the hyperconverged datacenter market. Mr. John Chambers, Cisco’s soon-to-be-retired CEO, will fire one last major barrage in the Datacenter Wars saga before retiring to be Cisco’s executive chairman and thus a battlefield overseer. Cisco’s interest in the hyperconverged market is fall out from VMware’s recent pressure on its parent company, EMC, to cease pushing Cisco’s software-defined networking (SDN) solution (Application Centric Infrastructure, ACI) inside of VCE for EMC and VMware-labeled customer accounts, EMC’s February 2015 launch of a midmarket converged system (VSPEX BLUE) that utilizes competitive x86 server (Foxconn) and networking (Brocade) products at the expense of Cisco’s gear, and EMC’s July 2013 acquisition of privately-held ScaleIO, a scale-out server-side storage software provider, for $250 million.

  • The Weapon. Analyzing the hyperconverged systems market, Cisco would gain the most strategic value and long-term accretive revenue contribution with the acquisition of privately-held Nutanix, which is the clear market leader thus far. With a private company valuation exceeding $2 billion as of August 2014, Cisco’s purchase will come at a cost, but Mr. Chambers has always shown a willingness to pay to attain strategic datacenter infrastructure assets (enterprise value-to-trailing 12-month revenue multiple of 9.9x or $2.45 billion for Sourcefire in July 2013 and EV/Trevenue multiple of 12.0x or $1.2 billion for Meraki in November 2012). With only $3.2 billion of U.S.-based cash as of January 2015, Cisco will issue debt to complete the Nutanix purchase, which may be announced during Nutanix’s user/partner conference in Miami from June 8-10th.

From Allies to Enemies. VMware and Cisco were key allies enabling x86 server virtualization adoption, with VMware bringing its vSphere virtualization software platform and Cisco providing its UCS x86 servers and Nexus networking gear; however, this strong front began to erode when VMware outbid Cisco in its $1.25 billion acquisition of Nicira in July 2012. Nicira brought a viable software-defined networking platform (NSX) under VMware’s banner and which has now grown to be a formidable competitor in Cisco’s core networking market. Today, VMware and Cisco openly label each other as foes.

  • Confederates. By acquiring Nutanix, Cisco gains a conspirator with a mutual adversary, VMware. For more-than a year now, VMware and Nutanix have been in numerous, highly-heated, public skirmishes. VMware is threatened by Nutanix’s one-stop shop for datacenter infrastructure and its potential to disrupt VMware’s objective of the complete automation of the datacenter. Nutanix dislikes VMware’s strategy tax (known as the “vTax”) and vendor lock-in agenda.

The Frontline. The integrated infrastructure software management and compute/server, storage, and networking systems market is bifurcated into two segments, converged and hyperconverged. The converged systems market was first to market and was trumpeted by Red Hat and VMware with various enterprise systems partners, including Cisco, Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, NetApp, and Nimble Storage, for high-performance, large-scale datacenter workloads. Finding great interest and revenue generation…

Contiune 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… ūüėČ

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! ūüėČ

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‚Äôs applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud, where they‚Äôre 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‚Äôs protected, reliable platform.

Azure RemoteApp combines Windows application experiences with the powerful capabilities of Remote Desktop Services on Microsoft Azure ‚Äď 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! ūüėÄ

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

OpenStack and Nutanix – perfect match! (perfect with VMware and Microsoft as well of course) – #Nutanix, #OpenStack, #IaaS

This is a good post by Dwayne Lessner around how perfect match OpenStack and Nutanix is (not just OpenStack of course, Nutanix rocks with VMware and Microsoft as well)!

Nutanix NDFS also provides an advanced and unique feature set for OpenStack based
private clouds. Key features include:

  • Simplicity¬†‚Äď The same great platform that simplified your virtualisation deployment can simplify the compute and storage deployment for key OpenStack services (Glance, Nova, Horizon, Keystone, Neutron, Cinder, and Swift)
  • Single Scalable Fabric¬†‚Äď NDFS provides a single fabric for data storage that integrates seamlessly with OpenStack services. NDFS-based storage is easy to provision, manage, and operate at scale.
  • Hypervisor Agnostic¬†‚Äď Just like OpenStack, Nutanix NDFS was designed from the ground up to be hypervisor agnostic. Nutanix enables customers to choose between KVM, Hyper-V, and the VMware ESXi hypervisor for deployments of OpenStack.
  • Enterprise Ready¬†‚Äď Nutanix enables a full set of enterprise storage features including Elastic Deduplication, Compression, In-Memory and Flash-based Caching, VM-Data Locality, intelligent Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), Snapshots, Fast Clones, and Live Migration.

OpenStack on Nutanix

Read more here. 

Here you also have the link to the webinar with topic:

Building OpenStack on a Single 2U Appliance

OpenStack promises to be the open source cloud operating system. Automated provisioning and management of network, server and storage resource via a single dashboard is great, but how can you get the same one-stop-shop simplicity for the underlying infrastructure?Attend this advanced private cloud webinar and learn:

  • Why OpenStack is much more than just hype
  • A summary of key OpenStack technologies
  • Why to consider converged infrastructure for building private clouds
  • The right way to scale-out OpenStack deployments¬†

Watch the webinar here!

//Richard

#Nutanix – the ultimate Virtual Computing Platform for VDI – CBRC-like Functionality For Any #VDI Solution with #Nutanix – #IaaS – via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s really great to see the capabilities of the Nutanix platform! Just read this great blog post by @andreleibovici around Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) and how this isn’t necessary at all on a platform like Nutanix!

Conclusion

Overtime I will discuss more about the technology behind Content and Extent Caches. For now what is important to know is that Nutanix provides a better in-memory microsecond latency benefits provided by CBRC for any VDI solution on any of the aforementioned hypervizors, for both Linked and Full-Clones. In fact, Nutanix engineers even recommend Horizon View administrators to disable CBRC because the Nutanix approach is less costly to the overall infrastructure.

It is amazing when your world turns upside down and a technology that used to be awesome becomes mostly irrelevant. It amazes me how fast technology evolves and help organizations to achieve better performance and lower OPEX.
 
For a long time I have discussed the benefits of CBRC (Content Based Read Cache) available with Horizon View 5.1 onwards, allowing Administrators to drastically cut-down on read IO operations, offloading the storage infrastructure and providing greater end-user experience.
 
Here are few of the blog posts I wrote on CBRC technology:¬†Understanding CBRC (Content Based Read Cache),¬†Understanding CBRC ‚Äď RecomputeDigest Method,¬†Sizing for VMware View Storage Accelerator (CBRC),¬†View Storage Accelerator Performance Benchmark,¬†CBRC and Local Mode in VMware View 5.1,¬†View Storage Accelerator (CBRC) Hashing Function.
 
CBRC helps to address some of the performance bottlenecks and the increase of storage cost for VDI. CBRC is a 100% host-based RAM-Based caching solution that helps to reduce read IOs issued to the storage subsystem and thus improves scalability of the storage subsystem while being completely transparent to the guest OS. However, CBRC comes at a cost.
 
When the View Storage Accelerator feature (CBRC) is enabled, a per-VMDK digest file is created to store hash information about the VMDK blocks. The estimated size of each digest file is roughly:

  • 5 MB per GB of the VMDK size [hash-collision detection turned-off (Default)]
  • 12 MB per GB of the VMDK size [hash-collision detection turned-on]

The digest file creation for a large replica disk can take a large amount of time and a bulky quantity of IOPS, therefore it’s is recommendable not to run the operation, create new desktop pools, or recompose existing pools during production hours.

CBRC also uses a RAM to manage the cached disk blocks. The per-VMDK digest file is also loaded into memory. That is the reason why CBRC should not be enabled under memory-overcommit environments. If a host is memory over-committed and CBRC is enabled ‚Äď the memory pressure is increased as CBRC also uses memory for the cache. In such cases, the host could experience increased swapping and the overall host performance could be impacted.

Whilst I wrote about CBRC benefits, I also received numerous negative comments about the technology, including lack of support for full-clone desktops, being unsupported for layering tools like Unidesk, and taking too long to generate new hashes for every replica.

CBRC is a platform feature (vSphere), however it is only enabled and available via Horizon View. Other VDI products such as XenDesktop or vWorkspace cannot utilize the feature.

Nutanix suppress the need for CBCR, providing similar functionality to any VDI solution running on top of vSphere, Hyper-V or KVM. Nutanix has a de-duplication engine built into the solution that works real-time for data stored in DRAM and Flash.

 

CC_Pools

Content Cache (Dynamic Read cache) Read more…

%d bloggers like this: