Contributed

Amazon Corrects Massive AWS S3 Cloud Outage While Vendors React

Article Written by David Marshall

Last Tuesday, parts of the Internet came to a grinding halt when the servers that powered them suddenly vanished.  The disappearing server act came from servers that were housed as part of Amazon S3, Amazon's popular Web hosting service.

When that incident happened, several big and popular services and Web sites were disrupted, including DraftKings, Gizmodo, IFTTT, Quora, Slack and Trello.

According to the Web site monitoring firm Apica, 54 of the largest online retailers experienced performance impairments on their Web sites, with some slowing down by more than 20 percent; 3 sites went down completely (Express, Lulu Lemon, One Kings Lane); and for effected websites, average slow down time was 29.7 seconds - 42.7 seconds to load.

What happened?

"At 9:37 a.m. PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process," Amazon said.  "Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.  The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems."

Those subsystems are important.  One of them "manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region," according to Amazon.  And without it, services that depend on it couldn't perform basic data retrieval and storage tasks.  The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, "manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate."  The placement subsystem is used to allocate storage for new objects.

CI & CD are meaningless without CT

Article Written by Sanjay Zalavadia, VP of Client Services, Zephyr

Agile methods have introduced a bunch of new processes to help support fast-paced operations and ensure that products meet quality standards. Continuous practices have become a staple for facilitating these needs, but they can often be dependent upon each other to function effectively. Alone, continuous integration and continuous delivery can bring essential benefits but they cannot reach their full height without continuous testing. With quality testing tools, teams can uphold continuous testing requirements and establish an environment for successful continuous integration and continuous delivery efforts.

The importance of CT

Continuous practices were implemented as a means of ensuring that a deliverable would be ready to release at any moment. However, this couldn't happen if it wasn't appropriately tested. Users are placing a major emphasis on whether an app is functional and meets their needs when they download it to their devices. In fact, according to research by Localytics, 23 percent of people abandon an app after just one use. Although this is a slight improvement over last year, the numbers show that 62 percent will use an app less than 11 times. User retention is the name of the game for organizations that want to be competitive, but to do this, they'll need to step up their testing capabilities.

Sneak Peek at SolarWinds NEW Correlation Technology -- PerfStack

Article Written by David Marshall

For years, VMblog has covered numerous technologies coming out of the SolarWinds think tank.  Perhaps the best known or most covered technology thus far (for obvious reasons) has been SolarWinds Virtualization Manager or VMAN -- the company's popular VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V monitoring and management solution.

[ Watch the SolarWinds VMAN video interview from VMworld 2016 ] 

Beyond Virtualization Manager, SolarWinds has been working hard to up-level and incorporate each of the company's individual product lines into a unified view and centralized management platform by leveraging its modular, extensible and unified Orion Platform.  Bringing numerous monitoring and management applications under a single umbrella was probably hard enough, but SolarWinds is about to launch something that takes the Orion Platform to a whole... other... level.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where things get REALLY interesting.  This upcoming technology is known as "PerfStack."

SolarWinds PerfStack and Orion

 

Free Hyper-V Backup using Vembu VMBackup

Article Written by David Marshall

Microsoft Hyper-V is becoming a tough competitor for VMware vSphere ever since Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2.  And Hyper-V has been constantly attracting a lot of users, many of whom are already benefitted by the new and improved function of Hyper-V server.  Setting up a Hyper-V server and creating virtual machines is really an easy and simple task, but creating a backup policy for the VMs running on Hyper-V is still complicated for many IT admins. 

Now that  your organization has created its own private cloud by way of Hyper-V, and you've migrated most or all of your physical servers to VMs -- and in many cases, you've even moved over your mission-critical servers -- how do you protect them and keep the organization operational when "stuff happens" and things go wrong?  What, if anytrhing, are you currently using to backup those VMs? 

If your business is currently looking for such a solution, but the budget isn't where you need it in order to get all the features you require, you should check out the new Vembu VMBackup FREE edition which might just surprise you.
 

In Search of S3: Read the Fine Print

Article Written by Jon Toor, CMO of Cloudian  

For businesses using and creating applications for the Internet, it is becoming more difficult to ignore Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). S3 is the massively scalable, cost-effective cloud storage solution developed specifically to house the huge influx of data created by organizations around the world. Amazon S3 commands twice the market share of all its closest competitors combined and is likely to be the storage platform of choice for on-premises hybrid or private cloud deployments for years to come. 

S3 has become the standard for cloud storage. Almost every application connects to S3 and most storage vendors have already announced that they connect to S3 or are working to do so. In addition to Amazon, there are a number of competing storage implementations that are S3-compliant, including Google Cloud Storage, Openstack Swift, Rackspace's Cloud Files and Ceph. These services use the standard programming interface but have different underlying technologies and business models. 

The rise of S3, which Amazon describes as "cost-effective object storage," has also helped to drive the adoption of object storage. In addition to Amazon, household brands such as Facebook, Netflix, Dropbox and Twitter all use object storage. It's also deployed by enterprises for applications that require massive amounts of unstructured data, including content media storage, bioinformatics, data analytics, private cloud, file distribution and sharing, and backup and archiving. 

Why Large Organizations Fail at Digital Transformation

Article Written by Sanjay Zalavadia, VP of Client Services, Zephyr

Legacy systems and processes are still being relied on for a number of mission-critical tasks across businesses, but these outdated approaches are starting to show their age in a lot of ways. Many companies have gravitated toward digital transformation as a means of improving capabilities and ensuring that they are able to keep up with the competition in the future.

However, a majority of these initiatives don't succeed. Consultancy.uk noted that while 80 percent of managers believe that technology is here to stay, two-thirds of digital transformation efforts fail. With bigger companies investing billions a year on these projects, it's important to ensure that deliver the expected results. Let's take a look at the biggest reasons that large organizations fail at digital transformation:

1. Not agile enough

How to Organize Your Corporate Wiki On the Cloud



Since there are many companies today that has offices around the world and they have a lot of employees who travel back and forth from one office to another, their business methods need a lot of changes in order to make it work. 

Besides the fact that their offices are separated by thousands of miles, they still need to be able to communicate, share information and ideas in order to come up with coordinated business incentives. Additionally, most of those scattered business organizations have a lot of things to consider and they require sophisticated solutions that will allow them to function properly. 

This is where an online wiki software comes into play. It allows organizations to share different types of information between them in a simple, yet very effective way. Still, this is not the only thing you can do with cloud-based wiki software and we will focus upon that a bit more. 

Law and Order: How The Cloud Can Provide Your Police Department With Ironclad Failover

Police are increasingly relying on digital infrastructure. The problem is that if that if it fails, lives could be at stake. Here's how the cloud can help.

In January, Canadian police were hit with a major network outage that prevented them from accessing critical resources required to do their jobs. The outage, it is reported, started around 11:30 PM ET on Wednesday, January 18, and continued until 3 PM ET on the 19. Evidently, the whole thing originated with a router failure which also impacted "mobile computer workstations in RCMP police cruisers and two other crucial internal RCMP databases," according to CBC news.

This is not the first such outage suffered by the organization - their networks have reportedly gone down "more than a dozen times since last spring," reports CBC.

HPE Acquires SimpliVity for $650 Million, Another Proof Point for HCI

Article Written by David Marshall

This month, HP Enterprise (HPE) announced an agreement to acquire Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) vendor Simplivity for $650M.  The acquisition highlights the growing popularity of consolidated computing systems that CIOs are adopting as an alternative to public cloud services, and suggests that on-premises computing systems still remain a crucial option for many organizations.

SimpliVity is but one of many companies offering hyperconverged systems which bundle computing, storage and networking onto the same server.  The company's flagship product is called the OmniCube hyperconverged infrastructure appliance, and they've been working with hardware vendors such as Lenovo, Dell, Cisco and Huawei to bring the software portion of its solution to those vendors' hardware platforms.

SimpliVity was founded in 2009, and over the last couple of years, they raised almost $276 million in four funding rounds led by Waypoint Capital, Accel Partners, Charles River Ventures, DFJ Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Meritech Capital Partners.  When the company raised its Series D round of $175 million in March of 2015, the company was estimated to be worth as much as $1 billion.

 

Tintri Levels Up Data Protection and Disaster Recovery for its Enterprise Cloud Platform

Article Written by David Marshall

Virtualization-aware storage provider Tintri is adding more data protection and disaster recovery to its platform and expanding its software suite with automated Synchronous Replication. The company says it fully integrating primary and secondary storage to protect enterprise cloud investments with a DP/DR solution that comprises Tintri VMstore arrays and Tintri Software Suite. Tintri also works with data backup solutions from Veeam and Commvault for secondary storage, and will soon also offer native protection of Tintri snapshots from on-premises to public cloud storage through an Amazon S3 Connector.

The new Synchronous Replication feature is part of the Tintri Software Suite, which also consists of Tintri Global Center, ReplicateVM and SecureVM.

The capabilities of the DP/DR solution includes: