Presenting Cloud at Harvard

August 5, 2014

In June I got to attend and present at the Harvard University IT Summit.  The one-day summit, which brought together the IT departments from the 12 colleges that make up the University, consisted of talks, panels and breakout sessions.

The day kicked off with a keynote from Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen of The Innovator’s Dilemma and “disruptive innovation” fame.  Christensen talked about disruption in business as well as disruption in Higher Ed and its threat to institutions like Harvard.

After the keynote there was a CIO panel featuring the CIOs of the various colleges where they discussed their strategic plans.   When the panel ended the concurrent sessions began.

My talk (see deck above) was near the end of the day and before the final keynote.  I took the attendees through the forces affecting IT in higher education and the value of a cloud brokerage model.   In the last part of my presentation I went over three case studies that involved Dell and the setting up of OpenStack-based clouds in higher education.

All-in-all a great event and I hope be going back again next year.

The exhibit hall at the Harvard IT summit

The exhibit hall at the Harvard IT summit

Extra-credit reading


Talking SwiftStack with Founder and CEO Joe Arnold

November 11, 2013

At Venture Beat’s CloudBeat I moderated two panels, the first was with PayPal and Puppet Labs and the second was with Disney, CloudStack and SwiftStack.

After the Disney panel I grabbed some time with SwiftStack’s CEO and Founder Joe Arnold.  SwiftStack is based on the OpenStack storage project, Swift, and helps operations teams implement and manage an easy-to-use, multi-tenant and highly scalable private cloud storage platform.

Take a listen to what Joe has to say:

Some of the ground Joe covers

  • [0:20]  What is SwiftStack?
  • [0:56]  Where did Joe get the idea for SwiftStack
  • [2:15]  What additional pieces does Swift Stack add to OpenStack’s Swift project?
  • [3:26]  What is coming down the pipe? (Spoiler alert, it has to do with Erasure coding and Storage policy)

Extra-credit reading

  • Full Support for Global Clusters Now Available in OpenStack Object Storage – Syscon media
  • OpenStack Object Storage (“Swift”) – Wiki

Pau for now…


Project Sputnik now comes with 3 month free trial on Joyent cloud

July 23, 2013

Joyent logoAs of today we are making available three months of free use of the Joyent Cloud to owners of the XPS 13 developer edition.

The idea behind Project Sputnik, has always been to provide a client-to-cloud platform for developers and today we are offering access to the Joyent Cloud to complete the solution.

What you get and how you get it

With the trial you get either two g3-standard-0.625-kvm instances running Ubuntu for 3 months or one g3-standard-1.75-kvm instance running Ubuntu for 3 months.

We will be setting up a landing page in the next day or two provide elegant access to the Joyent Cloud but for those who want to get started right away you can simply follow the “How do I get Started” instructions below.  We are kicking this off to begin with with 500 free accounts, first come first served.

3 components wJoyentProfile Tool and Cloud Launcher

Also available now are the Project Sputnik Cloud Launcher and profile tool.   The profile tool is designed to provide access to a library of community-created profiles, and to configure and quickly set up development environments and tool chains.  Today we have three sample profiles available: Emacs, Ruby and JavaScript.  Documentation on how to create a profile will be coming soon so stay tuned.

The cloud launcher creates a seamless link from the client to the cloud, to facilitate ongoing development of application environments.  There is a Juju version of the launcher that currently comes with Sputnik and today we are announcing a version that Opscode has developed which uses spiceweasel as its underlying library.  You can check out a demo of it here.  We are also working to connect the chef version of the cloud launcher to the Joyent trial, more to come on that soon.

But wait, there’s more

In related Dell Open Source news we’ve got a whole lot of momentum going on.  You can check out all the news in today’s press release but here are the highlights:

Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution

Now available with: OpenStack Grizzly support, support for Dell Multi-Cloud Manager (formerly Enstratius), and extended reference architecture support, including the Dell PowerEdge C8000

Dell Cloud Transformation Services

The new consulting services provide assistance with assessing, building, operating and running cloud environments, and enable and accelerate enterprise OpenStack adoption.

Dell Cloudera Hadoop Solution

Now supports the newest version of Cloudera Enterprise. Updates allow customers to perform real-time SQL interactive queries and Hadoop-based batch processing, simplifying the process of querying data in Hadoop environments.

Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop

Dell has tested and certified the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop on Dell PowerEdge servers. Additionally Dell Solution Centers validated the reference architecture and developed a technical whitepaper that simplifies the deployment of Intel Distribution on the Dell platform

 Crowbar

Dell has released RAID and BIOS configuration capabilities to the Crowbar open source community.  SUSE has integrated Crowbar functionality as part of SUSE Cloud to make OpenStack-based private cloud deployments seamless.

Dasein open source project

Dell confirmed its commitment to further develop and support the Dasein open source project, as pioneered by recently acquired Enstratius.

Phew, a whole lot of shaking going on! :-)

===========================================

How do I get Started with Joyent Cloud trial

Step 1:

Open a terminal window press Ctrl + Alt +T

1.1. $ wget https://us-east.manta.joyent.com/jens/public/sputnik.tar

1.2. $ sudo tar -C / -xvf sputnik.tar

Step 2:

Find and run the “Install Joyent Public Could” in the launcher.

Look for the big Joyent LOGO.

Step 3:

Signup for a free trial account on the Joyent Public Cloud.

Open Firefox, goto http://www.joyent.com

Step 4:

Back in the terminal window, type the following command:

$ /usr/share/applications/joyentInstaller.sh

Step 5:

5.1. $ wget -O key-generator.sh https://us-east.manta.joyent.com/jens/public/key-generator.sh

5.2. $ chmod 755 key-generator.sh

5.3. $ ./key-generator.sh (enter you username and password for the jpc)

To source your new environment variables run the following commands

5.4. source ~/.bash_profile

Step 6:

6.1   To Confirm that the Joyent cloud SDK is installed:   $ sdc-listdatacenters

6.2   To confirm that the Joyent Manta SDK is installed:   $ mls /manta/public/sdks

How do I provision a new instance?

Sign in to the Joyent portal and click the  in the upper right portion of the screen. Once you’re there, the tool will walk you through the choice of datacenters, images, and instance types and sizes. You’ll have a chance to review the hourly and monthly cost of the instance, and provide a memorable name for the instance. Once you’ve decided on the type of instance that fits your project, click the  button and the system will ask to confirm your request. The provisioning will start immediately, but may take a few seconds to complete. Clicking on the new named instance will show its assigned public IP address when provisioning is complete. You may SSH into the instance with ssh -l root <ip address>.

How do I stop, resize or reboot instances?

Shutting down, resizing or rebooting your instance can all be executed through the customer portal of Joyent. In addition, we’ve provided a script you can use to perform these steps within your instance.

How do I install software on my instance?

To install or update software on your instance, you’ll need to run commands as either the administrative or root user of your instance. For tips on how to run commands and installation processes, check out the pages on how to install software on your instance.

How do I secure my instance?

Joyent take cloud security very seriously and we have refined many processes to reduce risk and preserve the integrity of data managed in your instance. For a full list of security checks and processes, please visit the security center in our documentation.

How do you manage your instance resource usage?

One of strengths of Joyent is the ability to have full and detailed transparency of every aspect of your infrastructure and application. You can use Cloud Analytics to provide you real-time, diagnostic heatmaps of system behavior. In addition, using these tips here can provide you better control over optimizing the performance of your instance.

How do you manage a database on your instance?

Instances on Joyent can be pre-configured to run a wide range of databases and database services. Joyent supports: MySQL, Percona, Riak, MongoDB, as well as integration to database services from companies like, Cloudant or MongoLab. For big data projects, Joyent is an ideal platform for configuring and running a Hadoop cluster. Check out these guides on how to set up a database or configure your Hadoop cluster.

How do you analyze performance of my instances?

Joyent is the best cloud in the industry for monitoring the entire health of your stack. Using Cloud Analytics, you have the ability to examine, in real-time, the performance characteristics of every level of your application, and network. If you just want to perform server level monitoring, we’ve built integration with leading monitoring tools from New Relic and Nodefly as well.

Where can I learn more?

Our documentation center and engineering blogs are terrific resources for you to learn more about Joyent and participate in the Joyent community. The Dev Center resources we’ve built for you will hopefully get you started on a path to success with Joyent. For additional help or training, please visit:

Pau for now…


Dell and Sputnik go to OSCON

July 18, 2013

Next week, myself, Michael Cote and a whole other bunch of Dell folk will be heading out to Portland for the 15th annual OSCON-ana-polooza.  We will have two talks that you might want to check out:

Cote and I will be giving the first and the second will be lead by Joseph George and James Urquhart.

Sputnik Shirt

And speaking of Project Sputnik, we will be giving away three of our XPS 13 developer editions:  one as a door prize at the OpenStack birthday party, one as a drawing at our booth and one to be given away at James and Joseph’s talk listed above.

We will also have a limited amount of the shirt to the right so stop by the booth.

But wait, there’s more….

To learn firsthand about Dell’s open source solutions be sure to swing by booth #719 where we will have experts on hand to talk to you about our wide array of solutions:

  • OpenStack cloud solutions
  • Hadoop big data solutions
  • Crowbar
  • Project Sputnik (the client to cloud developer platform)
  • Dell Multi-Cloud Manager (the platform formerly known as “Enstratius”)
  • Hyperscale computing systems

Hope to see you there.

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..


Time Lapse: Building Dell’s Big Data/OpenStack MDC — allowing customers to test at hyper scale

April 1, 2013

Back in September I posted an entry about the Modular Data Center that we set up in the Dell parking lot.  Here is a time lapse video showing the MDC and the location being built out.

The MDC allows customers to test solutions at scale.  It is running OpenStack and various Big Data goodies such as Hadoop, Hbase, Cassandra, MongoDB, Gluster etc…

Customers can tap into the MDC from Dell’s solution centers around the world and do proof of concepts as well competitive bake-offs between various big data technologies so they can determine which might best suit their environment and use case.

Extra-credit reading


EnterpriseDB’s new Postgres cloud database

March 27, 2012

A little while ago, EnterpriseDBs VP of Biz Dev, Sean Doherty popped in for a visit.  While he was here I got him to tell me what EnterpriseDB, the certified professional distribution of the PostgreSQL open source DB, has been up to and fill me in on their new cloud database.

Some of the ground Sean covers:

  • What is EnterpriseDB and what is their business model
  • 1:10 Where does EnterpriseDB fit in the overall database landscape and where is it used
  • 2:00 The release of the Postgres Plus cloud database on EC2 and soon OpenStack
  • 2:44 What EnterpriseDB has got up its sleeve in the way of features and functionality in the next year

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


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