Azure architect talks about Kubernetes and the future of PaaS

September 24, 2014

Here is the third of four interviews that I conducted last week at the Cloud Standards Customer Council.  The theme of the conference was “preparing for the post-IaaS phase of cloud adoption” and there was quite a bit of talk around the role that PaaS would play in that future.

The last session of the morning, before we broke for lunch, was a panel centered around Current and Future PaaS Trends.   After the panel ended I sat down with panelist John Gossman, architect on Microsoft Azure.  John, an app developer by origin, focuses on the developer’s experience on the cloud.

Below John talks working with Google on Kubernetes and getting it to work on Azure as well as the potential future of PaaS as a runtime that sits on top of IaaS.

Stay tuned for my next post when I will conclude my mini series from the Cloud Standards Customer Council meeting with an interview with Bernard Golden.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Preparing for the Post-IaaS world

September 18, 2014

Today I attended a day-long event put on here in Austin by the Cloud Standards Customer Council.  It was a packed agenda focused around the theme “preparing for the post-IaaS phase of cloud adoption.”

Craig Lowery, Sr Distinguished Engineer in Dell Software, chaired the event and gave the opening presentation.  I grabbed some time with Craig during the lunch break to get his thoughts on the event and have him hit the highlights of his presentation.

Take a listen.

Stay tuned next week for three more short interviews from the event around Docker, the future of PaaS and more.

Pau for now…


Dell to go Partner route for public cloud

May 20, 2013

As you may be aware Dell has been offering and hosting a public, multi-tentant IaaS cloud offering.  After getting that business off the ground and many customer conversations,  we’ve come to realize that the greatest way we can provide value for our customers is to focus our investments on more strategic components of the cloud and provide our customers with maximum choice and flexibility.

As a result, rather than building out and supporting our own multi-tenant public cloud, we will partner with companies in order to provide customers access to the cloud(s) of their choice.

Enter Enstratius

A sampling of some of the public clouds Enstratius provides access to.

A sampling of some of the public clouds Enstratius provides access to.

With our recent acquisition of Enstratius not only are we are able to provide our customers with the ability to manage and govern a multi-cloud environment but we are now able to offer access to over 20 prominent clouds from Amazon to Rackspace, to Google, to AT&T.

A new Partner Program

Beyond the partners that Enstratius provides access to, today we are also kicking off today a partner program to provide access to IaaS through an ecosystem of options.  The first three partners we are announcing are:  Joyent, Scale Matrix, Zero Lag:

  • Joyent: An IaaS provider for real-time web and mobile applications. Joyent has out-of-the-box compatibility with Enstratius’ multi-cloud management.
  • ScaleMatrix: Cloud hosting platform, Services are offered from proprietary world-class data centers, and leverage enterprise hardware, storage and cutting-edge security and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation services.
  • ZeroLag: Combines VMware-powered on-demand cloud infrastructure with professional services and custom-designed solutions.

Customers will be able to purchase products from these partners through their Dell sales representatives and you can find out more information at dell.com/cloud-partner-program.

Private Cloud and Project Sputnik

On the Private Cloud front nothing has changed.   We are still huge supporters of OpenStack OpenStack_200.jpg-2f65a9098a7b1dd1and will continue offering our Open Stack-based private clouds.  Additionally  we will continue to provide cloud-to-on-premise connectivity via Boomi.

On the Project Sputnik front the cloud launcher that we continue to work on is being designed to provide access to a host of clouds.

Extra-credit reading

  • Dell to Deliver Public Cloud through Partner Ecosystem – Press Release

Pau for now..


Dell announces availability of OpenStack solution; Open sources “Crowbar” software framework

July 26, 2011

Today at OSCON we are announcing the availability of the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution along with the open sourcing of the code behind our Crowbar software framework.

The Solution

Dell has been a part of the OpenStack community since day one a little over a year ago and today’s news represents the first available cloud solution based on the OpenStack platform.  This Infrastructure-as-a-service solution includes a reference architecture based on Dell PowerEdge C servers, OpenStack open source software, the Dell-developed Crowbar software and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders.

Crowbar, keeping things short and sweet

Bringing up a cloud can be no mean feat, as a result a couple of our guys began working on a software framework that could be used to quickly (typically before coffee break!) bring up a multi-node OpenStack cloud on bare metal.   That framework became Crowbar.  What Crowbar does is manage the OpenStack deployment from the initial server boot to the configuration of the primary OpenStack components, allowing users to complete bare metal deployment of multi-node OpenStack clouds in a matter of hours (or even minutes) instead of days.

Once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect the complete solution, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

Code to the Community

As mentioned above, today Dell has released Crowbar to the community as open source code (you can get access to it the project’s GitHub site).  The idea is allow  users to build functionality to address their specific system needs.  Additionally we are working with the community to submit Crowbar as a core project in the OpenStack initiative.

Included in the Crowbar code contribution is the barclamp list, UI and remote API’s, automated testing scripts, build scripts, switch discovery, open source Chef server.  We are currently working with our legal team to determine how to release the BIOS and RAID which leverage third party components.  In the meantime since it is free (as in beer) software, although Dell cannot distribute it, users can directly go the vendors and download the components for free to get that functionality.

More Crowbar detail

For those who want some more detail, here are some bullets I’ve grabbed from Rob “Mr. Crowbar” Hirschfeld’s blog:

Important notes:

  • Crowbar uses Chef as it’s database and relies on cookbooks for node deployments
  • Crowbar has a modular architecture so individual components can be removed, extended, and added. These components are known individually as “barclamps.”
  • Each barclamp has it’s own Chef configuration, UI subcomponent, deployment configuration, and documentation.

On the roadmap:

  • Hadoop support
  • Additional operating system support
  • Barclamp version repository
  • Network configuration
  • We’d like suggestions!  Please comment on Rob’s blog!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Structure: Learning about DevOps & Crowbar from Jesse Robbins

June 27, 2011

Last week on Day two of Structure the morning sessions ended with an  interesting discussion moderated by James Urquhart.  The session was entitled “DevOps – Reinventing the Developers Role in the Cloud Age” and featured Luke Kanies – CEO, Puppet Labs and Jesse Robbins – Co-Founder and CEO, Opscode.

After lunch I ran into Jesse and got him to sit down with me and provide some more insight into DevOps as well as explain what Opscode was doing with project Crowbar.

Some of the ground Jesse covers

  • (0:21) What is DevOps
  • (1:00) The shift that happens between developers and operations.  Writing code and getting it into production faster and how it shifts responsibilities between the two groups.
  • (2:52) Who are the prime targets for DevOps and how has this changed over time.
  • How DevOps began in web shops who needed to do things differently than legacy-bound enterprises.
  • How enterprises faced with greenfield opportunities are now embracing devops
  • (5:36) The crowbar installer which employs Opscode’s Chef and allows the rapid provisioning of an OpenStack cloud.

Extra-credit reading:


Ubuntu cloud update — OpenStack, Eucalyptus, Ensemble & Orchestra

June 7, 2011

Today when I was walking the floor at the Cloud Expo here in New York, I ran into fellow Austinite Dustin Kirkland.  Dustin is the manager for systems integration team for Ubuntu.  I got Dustin to give me the low down on the most recent UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit) that concluded a few weeks ago in Budapest:

Some of the ground that Dustin covers

  • The big areas of focus on the server side coming out of Budapest
  • Getting behind OpenStack as the Ubuntu IaaS platform
  • [1:09] The pioneering work they’ve done with Eucalyptus and how its use case differs from that of OpenStack
  • [2:05] The Ensemble project, a service orchestration framework for the cloud which is the brainchild of Mark Shuttleworth.
  • [3:59] Ubuntu Orchestra for cloud installation, provisioning and configuration management (using Puppet)

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell’s Billion Dollar Baby

April 7, 2011

Today Dell is announcing that it is continuing to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to its transformation into a solutions provider, this time to the tune of $1 Billion.  The goal of this investment, which is being made this year, is to provide customers with a complete set of resources and services to enable business agility, efficiencies and competitive advantage.

Specifically Dell is announcing:

  • Cloud Data Centers:  The building of multiple cloud data centers around the world that will allow customers to take advantage of such offerings as Infrastructure as a Service, Desktop as a Service, Storage as a Service and IT outsourcing.
  • Global Solutions Centers:  The creation of a network of global solutions centers to help customers architect, validate and build the efficient enterprise from the data center to the edge of the network.
  • New Solutions: New open, capable and affordable solutions for data management, client virtualization and data center virtualization:
    • Dell vStart: a single unit infrastructure solution that runs 100 to 200 vm’s and comes racked and cabled from the Dell factory.
    • Dell|Microsoft management and virtualization solutions partnership  to deliver integrated management solutions made up of Dell’s Virtual Integrated System, our Advanced Infrastructure Manager and Microsoft’s System Center.
    • Dell Email and File Archive Solutions
    • Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions

A little more detail:

Next generation cloud data centers

Over the next 24 months Dell is building out a host of cloud data centers around the world.  Rather than old-school, giant raised-floor data centers these cloud data centers will be much smaller (approximately 10,000 square feet), more efficient and designed to take advantage of modular, hyper-scale and high-density principles.  Dell’s modular strategy will let the company quickly expand capabilities as demand grows.

These data centers will feature private, public and hybrid cloud options.  They will provide the foundation for Dell’s next generation services and solutions and offer IaaS, and SaaS capabilities as well as IT outsourcing for customers.

Global solutions center network

This year Dell will open 12 Global Solutions centers and is planning ten more over the next 18 months.  These centers are customer facing facilities that will act as a “living lab” providing an environment and the support for customers to architect, build and test proof of concepts involving Dell products, services and solutions.  The centers will also support solution integration, technical briefings and validation and ISV certification to meet regional requirements.

Starting with the upgrading of the existing Austin, Limerick and Frankfurt centers, further facilities will be opened this year in the Americas (Washington DC, Chicago, Northern California and Brazil), APJ (Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney) and EMEA (Paris).

With today’s announcement Dell his taken its evolution into a services and solutions company and kicked it up a notch.  In the “Virtual Era” technology is rapidly changing and it along with new delivery models such as cloud are changing the way businesses operate and create advantage.   Through its cloud and solution centers and new solution offerings Dell is bringing new ways to help customers harness and leverage these changes.

Pau for now…


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