It’s a big-biggy Ford, a big-biggy! I mean what if it rips us all into tiny little atomic partical things?

With more and more organizations starting to dip their toes into the Cloud pool, there is still a lot of discussion around platform. For organizations who are looking to outsource their cloud environment, it seems like more and more (for now anyway) are favoring the big guys like AWS, Microsoft and VMware.  On the other hand, folks who are looking at building their own clouds, and to some extent those who are looking to leverage a hosted cloud, OpenStack is becoming another interesting platform to look at.  Recently, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger comented that OpenStack isn’t the right choice for enterprises.  So, is he right? Continue reading

The laptop situation really only affects you, whereas the White Castle situation affects us both equally.

I’ve written previously about the risks and benefits of vendor consolidation, and yesterday I came across another blog entry about the same topic over on VMware’s blog.  As cloud and virtualization force organizations to review their internal IT strategy, the idea of vendor consolidation gets pushed to the forefront.  Continue reading

Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately. I wouldn’t say I’ve been *missing* it, Bob.

Yes, before you start to wonder what ever happened with Tinder Stratus, I’ve been enjoying some well-deserved downtime. I’m going to be cutting down the blog to write as much as I can, but as cloud starts to ramp up in Canada, I am going to be working on a few other side projects. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and since it’s Tuesday, I am happy to get back into the swing of things with a quick update from a security company that I first came across years ago, and are still creating some great solutions, especially now for the virtualization space.

Tripwire’s ConfigCheck is a great (and free!) utility that helps organizations get a quick picture of how secure their VMware ESX 3.0/3.5 hypervisor is by measuring it against the VMware Infrastructure 3 Security Hardening guidelines. While there are some other tools that do similar types of verification, I like that Tripwire not only identifies the vulnerabilities, but since it was designed from the ground up with VMware, it provides the steps towards full remediation of the vulnerabililities.

But why is something like this so critical? Well, as organizations struggle to identify security deficiencies within their virtual environments, tools like this make it a lot easier by giving a standard baseline for which to start. While it’s not a replacement for having experienced security folks, it’s a great solution for midmarket or other organizations who don’t have such luxury.

Aside from discovering vulnerabilities, ConfigCheck helps organizations deploy virtualization in a manner that is safe and secure, increase the security posture of the entire organization, reduce configuration drift and easily implement security and compliance best practices. It’s a cheat sheet if you will, to help identify and manage vulnerabilities in your virtual environment.

The only thing better than a cow is a human! Unless you need milk. Then you really need a cow.

Yesterday I came across some great news via Twitter which will have the OpenStack followers happy. Coincidentally, it ties in beautifully with yesterday’s discussion on types of cloud architectures, and ofcourse being Technology Tuesday the vendor love this week falls to the new partnership between VMware and Piston. Between the two of them, there is some exciting news on the open source cloud front. Continue reading

Adventure, excitement… a Jedi craves not these things.

Once again it is Technology Tuesday, and I am happy to finally get around to profile a really cool product called FeatherNet. If you haven’t heard of it, and especially if you are an infrastructure specialist, you will absolutely love this technology. You see, FeatherNet allows IT folks to do key tasks through their smartphone, including managing their cloud infrastructure.

Let’s imagine a situation where your key IT infrastructure guy is out of the office and all of a sudden something happens in your environment. Normally this would send off lots of red flags until he/she gets access to their laptop, connect to the network and reboot/configure/fix. What do you do in the meantime?

AdminBridge came up with the idea of FeatherNet to help allow IT professionals to perform the most frequent system admin tasks including Active Directory, MS Exchange, Vmware and Hyper-V through their smartphone. This means no matter where you are (the @Feather_Net Twitter feed is full of “I’m at Starbucks and just rebooted a VM” testimonials) you can access your environment and perform common tasks. Additionally, Managed IT service providers can use their logging capability and export them into common systems such as billing systems, even across multiple client networks and installations of the FeatherNet server.

And ofcourse, it wouldn’t be a great solution without security controls. FeatherNet leverages SSL encryption and all access is governed by Active Directory. This means that network administrators need to specify access for any user wishing to access the application.

So what kinds of things can you do with FeatherNet? From an MS Exchange perspective you can perform many management tasks related to mailboxes and distribution lists and manage users including passwords through Active Directory. With their VMware functionality, you can power on/off and manage VMs, Hosts, Guests and even take snapshots. This is great for the IT person who may have many responsibilities, especially in smaller organizations where they are constantly running around performing various duties.

It’s nice to see companies like AdminBridge taking advantage of cloud to offer cool products like FeatherNet, especially as it comes with a very enticing cloud price. Oh, and did I mention you can download a free 30-day trial? It’s worth playing around with, although I warn you, when you get used to managing your environment from the local coffee shop, it could be hard to break the habit.

Yeah, well. The Dude abides

Recently the debate between opensource clouds like OpenStack and traditional clouds like Amazon or VMware has been heating up. Mostly due to more organizations starting to dip their toes into the cloud pool, but also as a response to the perceived flexibility that the opensource model is said to provide. But is open source a viable option for organizations, or does it make sense to go with an established cloud platform? Continue reading

Your soul-suckin’ days are over, amigo!

At this year’s RSA conference, Trend Micro announced their new Deep Security 8 antivirus solution. What is revolutionary with this product is that it is the first agentless solution, and designed with virtual environments in mind. So why is this such exciting news for the cloud & virtualization world? Continue reading