David Marshall

Google Announces Intent to Acquire Xively for $50 Million



Written by David Marshall

Google has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Xively, a division of LogMeIn, Inc. for $50 million.

To better set the stage for the growing market landscape, the company said by 2020, it's estimated that about 20 billion connected things will come online, and analytics and data storage in the cloud are now the cornerstone of any successful IoT solution. 

Google stated the deal will "complement" its Google Cloud efforts to provide a fully managed IoT service that easily and securely connects, manages, and ingests data from globally dispersed devices. Adding, "With the addition of Xively's robust, enterprise-ready IoT platform, we can accelerate our customers' timeline from IoT vision to product, as they look to build their connected business."

VMware vSphere 5.5 and vSAN 5.5 End of General Support Reminder

Written by David Marshall

I recently saw an announcement from VMware reminding people that vSphere 5.5 and vSAN 5.5 are nearing what the virtualization giant is calling "End of General Support" or EOGS.  I guess that's the more polite way of saying End of Life (EOL) what with no support being offered and all.  Mark your calendars, these two VMware products each reach EOGS on September 19, 2018. 

EOL, or EOGS for those playing the acronym game at home, dates tend to sneak up on people as this isn't necessarily something everyone pays close attention to.  How many people actually disregarded the numerous attempts by Microsoft to migrate off of Windows XP?  Plenty.

For these two virtualization products nearing the end of support, VMware warns:

Zerto Introduces Multi-Cloud IT Resilience Platform with Virtual Replication 6.0

Written by David Marshall

Zerto releases its answer for those seeking a single platform for disaster recovery, data protection and workload mobility to, from and between multiple clouds for continuous availability. Today, it announced the general availability of Zerto Virtual Replication (ZVR) 6.0, the industry's first IT Resilience Platform for multi-cloud that delivers disaster recovery, data protection and workload mobility in a single solution, ensuring businesses have continuous data availability. 

ZVR 6.0 delivers inter-cloud workload mobility and protection between Azure, IBM Cloud, AWS and more than 350 cloud service providers; enabling control and flexibility to move to, from and between any combination of clouds. By combining continuous replication, automated orchestration and enterprise-class scalability, the Zerto platform increases business agility and simplifies IT operations. 

E8 Storage Launches First Software Only Product to Power NVMe Storage Solution

Written by David Marshall

Today, E8 Storage launched its new E8 Storage Software only product offering, available for a selected range of pre-qualified servers from vendors such as Dell, HP and Lenovo.

Powering the company's high-performance, high-availability shared NVMe storage solutions, the E8 Storage Software is now available as a software only purchase for customers to install on their supported hardware of choice.

"Enterprises require ever faster infrastructure to handle both new and existing applications, and meeting that need can be complex and expensive," said Tim Stammers, Senior Analyst, Storage, 451 Research.  "E8 Storage is pioneering the use of NVMe flash and a software-defined architecture to address this problem. Allowing customers to run E8 Storage's software on their choice of commodity hardware increases their ability to control costs, as well as making deployments more flexible."

IBM expands partnership with Docker to drive apps to the public cloud

Article Written by David Marshall

At DockerCon EU in Copenhagen, IBM announced that it is expanding its relationship with Docker.  Together, IBM and Docker will be making it easier for clients to modernize their existing applications with Docker Enterprise Edition, combined with IBM Cloud, software and services.

The partnership is focused on three big takeaways:

  • Docker for IBM Cloud, which will allow customers to easily bring up a Docker environment to containerize their existing workloads and run them on IBM Cloud.

  • IBM's participation in Docker's Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) program, so that IBM can help customers improve efficiency and agility by modernizing existing portfolios.

  • Certified IBM software will be available in the Docker Store, simplifying the containerization of existing software which uses IBM middleware.

Microsoft Adds Nested Virtualization to Select Azure Virtual Machines

Article Written by David Marshall

Interesting news out of Redmond -- Microsoft users will now be able to enable nested virtualization (or the ability to run a virtual machine within another virtual machine) in Azure, as this is now a valid deployment option under Microsoft's new Dv3 and Ev3 series Azure virtual machines (VMs).

The Dv3 and Ev3 series VMs use Hyper-Threading technology found in Intel's Haswell and Broadwell chip architectures, packing more of a punch in the underlying hardware and allowing it to support larger VM sizes.  The new Dv3 VM sizes are a good balance of memory to vCPU performance, with up to 64 vCPU's and 256GiB of RAM.  And the newly named Ev3 sizes provide users with more memory to vCPU than the Dv3, so that larger workloads can be run on sizes up to the largest E64 size, with 64 vCPUs and 432GiB of RAM.  And it is that extra power that helps provide for nested virtualization.

By unlocking more power from the underlying hardware, Microsoft has been able to harness better performance and efficiency, resulting in cost savings.  These new Hyper-Threaded sizes are said to be priced up to 28% lower than the previous Dv2 sizes.

What's the reason for running nested virtualization?

Cloud Computing. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Article Written by David Marshall

Cloud computing is absolutely one of those words that shows up on everyone's "Tech Buzzword Bingo" cards. Even so, that shouldn't and doesn't negate the fact that cloud computing is driving innovation across many industries and will continue to provide a significant impact on revenue in the coming years. 

Recently, hybrid cloud has become the cloud model of choice for many companies looking to foster greater flexibility into their infrastructure, and it can do so in a cost-effective manner. For many, hybrid seems to be a good way to ease into things, allowing a company to keep some data on-premises while freeing up some of their infrastructure by moving other data up into the public cloud.

But like so many things in life, it isn't all good all the time.  So what's the good, the bad and the ugly? 

What have we learned from the Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure outages?

Article Written by David Marshall



In the past month both AWS and Microsoft Azure have experienced lengthy outages due to issues with the storage supporting the cloud. These outages have flooded through companies globally and brought into focus the potential downsides of putting all your eggs into the public cloud basket. After both of these incidents, the question is, how reliable is the public cloud and what options and alternatives are available?

A few technology experts have offered their opinion:

The best of both worlds is a multi-cloud strategy

 

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.

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