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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
When it comes to writing applications based on APIs, such as AWS or VMware, there is a lot of confusion around whether there is more benefit to build them directly with the API or develop them separately. There is supporting arguments from both sides, so what should organizations looking at cloud know before creating applications? Continue reading
With the long weekend looming (well, technically starting today) I thought I would do a nice light post about the state of third party security and virtualization. I still have this debate once and awhile about what is better, vendor integrated solutions such as vShield, or third party solutions from security vendors. So what are the arguments for each side? Continue reading
As part of Technology Tuesday, I am excited to highlight a great company I had the pleasure of meeting last week, RackForce. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a Canadian cloud provider from Kelowna, BC. What I particularly appreciate from a provider such as RackForce is that they are Canadian born and bred, which means if you thought you could get away with a Patriot Act excuse, think again. Oh, and did I mention that they work with some of the biggest cloud vendors in the world?
RackForce started back in 2001, but really seemed to pick up speed in 2005-2007 when they started developing strategic relationships with the likes of IBM, Cisco and Microsoft. It was through these partnerships that a new breed of Enterprise-class services emerged.
Their current service lineup spans the entire spectrum from the network, through infrastructure services and up to the management layer with managed services and disaster recovery services. What I love is that they also have a hybrid hosting model which allows for the support of IT platform services that spans all kinds of services, and even a whitelabel model.
On top of all this, as a VMware partner which means their services are vCloud Powered. This means that you can migrate workloads from your own internal VMware environment to RackForce without headaches, or use their services as an extension of your own IT capabilities. It’s not a bad proposition when you look at their laundry list of services and capabilities.
And if you’re still not sold, there is another key area where RackForce is making some noise. Their data centre is perhaps the most efficient and green data centre in North America. They have some impressive stats to back this up, including that their carbon footprint is around 1/20th the size of a typical competitors. The fact that they located their datacentre in Kelowna and take advantage of the cool Canadian air, and green hydro power makes them the greenest in the business.
A good-karma, environmentally friendly Canadian company that delivers services to rival it’s biggest competitors is the reason RackForce is going to be a cloud force to be reckoned with.
For more information on RackForce, visit them at www.rackforce.com