Cloud Infrastructure Design

Fun with FUD: Business Continuity in the Cloud

As VM automation becomes more and more predominant in cloud environments, the issue of abstraction becomes more important. Consider if you will, an infrastructure in which the creation and management of VMs is fully automated.  Now put all those applications and information and VMs in one big cloud that is all self-sufficient and constantly moving around due to load balancing and other automated processes. Then, add in cloud applications, plugins, security and anything else that could possibly run in that environment.  Then, connect it all up so that every part of the infrastructure is inter-dependent and connects through a broker.  And for fun’s sake, let’s assume there is a memory leak on one of the servers and your start losing VMs.  (more…)

Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.

With RSA’s conference going on this week, there is a lot of focus on new cloud services and how enterprises must start to adopt these new business models. But what they don’t emphasize is that cloud isn’t a silver bullet fix. You don’t simply overnight your entire business to cloud infrastructures. In fact, if you see it as a way to consolidate your services through staged approaches, you’ll see that it makes more sense in many cases. (more…)

I’m a leaf on the wind…watch how I soar!

I recently met with a Canadian cloud innovator, DataGardens, to provide some input on how their solutions would benefit different market segments, and be used for different key continuity and security functions. If you haven’t heard of DataGardens (I have to admit, I wasn’t familiar with them either) or their flagship solution, DataGardens WAVE, you might want to take a look at them again. Especially if you have need for virtualization or cloud business continuity services. (more…)

Well, all the jokes can’t be good. You’ve got to expect that once in a while.

Organizations are busy working on creating cloud migration paths for their current applications and data stores, assuming that these systems can easily be ported. What is often overlooked is that most applications weren’t created with the cloud in mind, so expecting them to scale to cloud environments isn’t realistic. Unless you have the team to rewrite these applications for running in virtualized or cloud environments, the movement to a cloud model will need to be done in several steps up a steep learning curve. (more…)

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

I stumbled upon a post via Twitter the other day from Scott Lowe of Tech Republic on IDV (yes, I thought at first I was getting a mild case of dyslexia, but no, it is IDV) and the difference between VDI and IDV. IDV stands for Intelligent Desktop Virtualization and although it essentially delivers the same idea as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) it’s actually not just more efficient, it’s really quite brilliant. (more…)

Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be.

It seems like the in the last few years, every single service provider has been scratching their head and thinking “how do we sell to the SMBs?”. I’m not talking just cloud providers, but most businesses in general. Part of it is that in Canada, while there are some significantly large enterprises, the majority of organizations fit into the traditional SMB definition. But the question is, will cloud help us finally get enterprise-class solutions to those customers? (more…)

Your old man’s about to knock on the sky and listen to the sound.

This week, in keeping with the theme of Valentine’s Day, I decided to dedicate the entire 5 days to promoting Vendor Love. This means that I will showcase 5 companies that I think have some really great solutions for Cloud, Virtualization and Security. Today I want to talk about Cisco and their addition to the cloud platform, CloudVerse. If you aren’t aware, Cisco has tried to stay vendor neutral when it comes to cloud platforms, with the exception of their participation in VCE, the Virtual Computing Environment Company which was formed by EMC and Cisco with backing from Vmware and Intel. Their key product is the Vblock platform which allows customers to build cloud infrastructures with reduced IT complexity. (more…)

After very careful consideration, sir, I’ve come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.

With Friday upon us, it’s the last part of virtualization and PCI. So as promise, I am going to dedicate this last post to giving a final round up on key things that you should hopefully start doing (or at least discussing internally) if you plan on moving down the path to compliance. I can’t promise it won’t be painful, but if you keep these things in mind from the beginning, it will be slightly less intrusive than it could be. (more…)

Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.

Today I want to get back to the matter at hand, how to deal with PCI if you have a virtual environment. Because PCI DSS is one of the first glimpses Canadian organizations have into the need to secure their virtual environments, the learning curve for both auditors and IT teams is staggering. There is a lot of grey space at the moment where interpretation of the requirements can have a significant impact on the end result, and often it is a result of auditors walking into mixed environments where virtual and physical resources co-exist and they realize they are in over their heads. In fact, something that seems initially simple, such as the separation of trust zones, can actually be quite complex to not only understand, but to figure out how to comply with. But where to start? (more…)

Nothing shocks me–I’m a scientist!

I received a few emails looking for more information on how to start mapping their virtual and cloud environments to different compliance standards without starting to invest in security solutions. A free check-up if you will. Since this falls right in line with what I am hoping to get virtualization folks to start thinking about, you can think of this as a modification of Technology Tuesday, let’s call it Woohoo! Wednesday. The key is that it is indeed worthy of that exclamation mark because this compliance tool is not only free, but if you’re running a VMware environment, you probably have it already, you just don’t know it. (more…)