Quali CloudShell Now Available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace

Grazed from Quali

Quali, a leading provider of on-demand, self-service environments for Cloud and DevOps and a Silver level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), today announced that its CloudShell automation and orchestration software is now available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace offering added value to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure customers. CloudShell sandbox automation platform provides the ability to certify with confidence any enterprise application deployed on the Oracle Cloud while minimizing the cost of infrastructure consumption for the customer.

The Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a one-stop shop for Oracle customers seeking trusted business applications and service providers offering unique business solutions, including ones that extend Oracle Cloud Applications. Oracle Cloud is the industry's broadest and most complete public cloud, delivering enterprise-grade services at every level of the cloud technology stack including software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).


Ingram Micro Cloud Adds Azure and New Hosting Solutions to Odin Automation Essentials Platform

 Grazed from Ingram Micro 

Ingram Micro Inc. today announced that the new release of Odin Automation Essentials, a preconfigured service automation platform, will include significant new capabilities for hosting service providers, enabling them to easily and cost-effectively bring a broader range of higher-margin services to market faster using a single, scalable platform.

Delivering a highly customizable and flexible infrastructure, the new release of Odin Automation Essentials empowers service providers to proactively build and deliver a strong cloud and hosting service portfolio. The enhanced platform provides additional revenue-generating opportunities through bundling Microsoft cloud services, domain registration, as well as shared and virtual private server (VPS) hosting services with a provider's own professional services.

"Service providers face ongoing product and service commoditization in an increasingly competitive marketplace," said Nimesh Davé, EVP, Global Cloud, Ingram Micro. "The upcoming release of Odin Automation Essentials makes it much easier for service providers to sell, deliver and administer differentiating, higher-margin cloud and hosted services within a single platform, utilizing one interface."

BetterCloud Launches Industry’s First Unified SaaS Management Platform to Put IT in Control of the SaaS-Powered Workplace

Grazed from BetterCloud

BetterCloud today launched the industry’s first-ever unified software-as-a-service (SaaS) management platform. The new BetterCloud platform provides a centralized management interface for SaaS applications, and equips IT departments with the powerful automation and governance capabilities required to operate modern, SaaS-powered workplaces. BetterCloud currently supports G Suite, Slack, Zendesk and Dropbox, with a dozen integrations planned for 2017, including Salesforce.

The explosion of SaaS gives organizations a far greater number of vendors to choose from as they seek out best-in-breed SaaS applications that closely fit their needs. By mid-2017, large enterprises are expected to have adopted 52 SaaS applications on average, according to BetterCloud’s Trends in Cloud IT research.

Embotics Introduces Integrated Multi-Cloud Automation for ServiceNow

Grazed from Embotics

Embotics, the cloud automation company, today announced new capabilities for bi-directional integration between Embotics vCommander and the ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) platform. The new integrations provide customers with an end-to-end solution for extending the ServiceNow platform with multi-cloud automation capabilities. This enables users to have visibility and management to all Virtual Machines (VMs) in their environment regardless of whether they were created inside or outside of an ITSM process. 

The integration of ServiceNow and Embotics provides streamlined automation of key processes and maintenance of accurate data within the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

Benefits include:

Cloud Computing: Cisco & Dell acquisitions bring datacenter automation center stage

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: David Chernicoff.

Automation software for IT has always been an important, if low profile, part of the IT management tool box. Building automation sequences using software tools to make IT tasks that were formerly complex series of steps to accomplish regular tasks has always been a highlight of the capabilities of automation tools. But with the move towards cloud computing and on-demand provisioning of cloud services, automation moves from the category of nice to have to absolutely critical for success.

Fewer things could make the importance of automation tools in successful cloud management more clear than the acquisition this week by Dell and Cisco of companies known for their automation and cloud management tools. Cisco announced that it would be acquiring Cloupia, known for their datacenter management software and Dell announced the acquisition of Gale Technologies, a datacenter ISV known for their datacenter infrastructure automation software and cloud provisioning and monitoring software. Gale Technologies has been a Cisco partner, but with Cisco’s acquisition of Cloupia, being acquired by Dell might have been the best outcome for the company...

Private Cloud Automation Delivers Rapid Returns

Grazed from DataCenterKnowledge. Author: Bill Kleyman.

Adoption of cloud computing technologies is continuing to expand to new industries and verticals. More organizations are seeing direct benefits from moving to a controller, private cloud infrastructure. Still, there are some companies which are just beginning to enter the private cloud market. In those cases, using intelligent automation practices can help reduce time, complexity and cost. In a recent study, IDC expects spending on cloud server and application management software will total more than $3 billion by 2016 as IT customers of all sizes and across many industries embrace more efficient and automated data center operations strategies.

Currently, many medium and enterprise-sized organizations are budgeting millions of dollars into the development of their private cloud infrastructure. In designing their cloud platform, these organizations must look at private cloud automation solutions...

New VMTurbo Release Enables Intelligent Onboarding and Automated Control for Cloud Infrastructures

Grazed from VMTurbo.  Author: PR Announcement

VMTurbo, the leading provider of intelligent workload management software for cloud and virtualized environments, today revealed VMTurbo Operations Manager 3.2. This new release addresses the growing demand for greater intelligence, agility and automation in onboarding application workloads to private, public and hybrid clouds, as well as providing holistic and granular control for distributed multi-site operations.  The release also extends discovery and application-aware management to Java applications and Linux environments, and adds hypervisor support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.0.

“IT organizations are moving beyond simple virtual machine provisioning. Our clients are now considering how to orchestrate the delivery of multi-tier applications and assure committed service levels,” said Alessandro Perilli, research director at Gartner. “Automated infrastructure optimization, through dynamic resource allocation and intelligent workload placement, is critical to enable service assurance and scale operations in large private or public cloud environments”.

The Role of Cloud Automation and IT-as-a-Service

Grazed from Wired. Author: Jason Liu.

As a software company CEO, I have the opportunity to meet regularly with IT leaders from some of the world’s largest brands and leading IT organization innovators. Based on these conversations, it has become clear that IT organizations continue to struggle with the centralization of company-wide computing needs in the journey toward providing IT-as-a-Service. It’s also clear that cloud is both part of the solution and part of the problem.

For the past 18 months or so, one of the recurring anecdotes that I’ve heard has been around line of business staff engaging the public cloud to run projects without first engaging IT...

Regulation, automation, and cloud computing

Grazed from CNet.  Author:  James Urquhart.

Chris Hoff, a former colleague now at Juniper Systems, and a great blogger in his own right, penned a piece last week about the weak underbelly of automation: our decreased opportunity to react manually to negative situations before they become a crisis. Hoff put the problem extremely well in the opening of the post:

I'm a huge proponent of automation. Taking rote processes from the hands of humans & leveraging machines of all types to enable higher agility, lower cost and increased efficacy is a wonderful thing.

However, there's a trade off; as automation matures and feedback loops become more closed with higher and higher clock rates yielding less time between execution, our ability to both detect and recover -- let alone prevent -- within a cascading failure domain is diminished.

I've stated very similar things in the past, but Hoff went on to give a few brilliant examples of the kinds of things that can go wrong with automation. I recommend reading his post and following some of the links, as they will open your eyes to the challenges we face in an automated IT future...

One of the things I always think about when I ponder the subject of cloud automation, however, is how we handle one of the most important--and difficult--things we have to control in this globally distributed model: legality and compliance.

If we are changing the very configuration of our applications--including location, vendors supplying service, even security technologies applied to our requirements--how the heck are we going to assure that we don't start breaking laws or running afoul of our compliance agreements?

It wouldn't be such a big deal if we could just build the law and compliance regulations into our automated environment, but I want you to stop and think about that for a second. Not only do laws and regulations change on an almost daily basis (though any given law or regulation might change occasionally), but there are so many of them that it is difficult to know which rules to apply to which systems for any given action.

In fact, I long ago figured out that we will never codify into automation the laws required to keep IT systems legal and compliant. Not all of them, anyway. This is precisely because humanity has built a huge (and highly paid) professional class to test and stretch the boundaries of those same rules every day: the legal profession.

How is the law a challenge to cloud automation? Imagine a situation in which an application is distributed between two cloud vendor services. A change is applied to key compliance rules by an authorized regulatory body.

That change is implemented by a change in the operations automation of the application within one of the cloud vendor's service. That change triggers behavior in the distributed application that the other cloud vendor sees as an anomalous operational event in that same application.

The second vendor triggers changes via automation that the first vendor now sees as a violation of the newly applied rules, so it initiates action to get back into compliance. The second vendor sees those new actions as another anomaly, and the cycle repeats itself.

Even changes not related to compliance run the risk of triggering a cascading series of actions that result in either failure of the application or unintentionally falling out of compliance. In cloud, regulatory behavior is dependent on technology, and technology behavior is dependent on the rules it is asked to adhere to.

Are "black swan" regulatory events likely to occur? For any given application, not really. In fact, one of the things I love about the complex systems nature of the cloud is the ability for individual "agents" to adapt. (In this case, the "agents" are defined by application developers and operators.) Developers can be aware of what the cloud system does to their apps, or what their next deployment might need to do to stay compliant, and take action.

However, the nature of complex systems is that within the system as a whole, they will occur. Sometimes to great detriment. It's just that the positive effect of the system will outweigh the cost of those negative events...or the system will die.

I stumbled recently on a concept called "systems thinking" which I think holds promise as a framework for addressing these problems. From Wikipedia:

Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing "problems" as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices within a framework that is based on the belief that the component parts of a system can best be understood in the context of relationships with each other and with other systems, rather than in isolation. Systems thinking focuses on cyclical rather than linear cause and effect.

Dealing with IT regulation and compliance in an automated environment will take systems thinking--understanding the relationship between components in the cloud, as well as the instructed behavior of each component with regard to those relationships. I think that's a way of thinking about applications that is highly foreign to most software architects, and will be one of the great challenges of the next five to 10 years.

Of course, to what extent the cloud should face regulation is another nightmare entirely.

The New Three-legged Enterprise Stool: Virtualization, the Cloud and Automation

Grazed from IT Business Edge.  Author: Arthur Cole.

By now, most data centers have been virtualized. Perhaps not to the degree that some people had expected, but virtualized nonetheless.

And now that the recession seems to be trailing off, the question of the moment is: How well will those virtual environments be able to handle the kinds of data loads that accompany a growing economy?