OSCON: Talking OpenShift, RedHat’s Platform as a Service

August 22, 2013

Last but not least in my series of video from last month’s OSCON is an interview I did with Steve Citron-Pousty, Developer Evangelist for Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS.

Take a listen to what the ever-entertaining Steve CP has to say:

Note: As with my interview with Neil of Inktank, I used Youtube’s feature that is supposed to fix an unsteady camera and the result gives the video a hallucinogenic feel (witness the slightly undulating stairs).

Some of the ground Steve covers:

  • What is OpenShift and Platform as a Service?  How is OpenShift different from other PaaSs?
  • OpenShift is “polyglottal:” it supports PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Node js and Java (with Java you get JBoss and Tomcat).  It also supports MySQL, Postgres and MongoDB right out of the box.
  • How they work with APIs and how APIs allow devs to create “situational apps.”
  • Steve’s Crystal Ball time:  in 3-5 years all developers will be using a PaaS (witness their wins with Ebay/PayPal, Accenture and DoD) + Git + a NoSQL data store.

Reference —  The rest of my OSCON interviews:

 Extra-credit reading

  • Blog:  Krishnan Subramanian: Making the Move to OpenShift
  • ZDnet: Red Hat opens OpenShift PaaS cloud for business

Pau for now…


Cloud Foundry picks up Crowbar to speed installation

August 17, 2011

In case you’re not familiar with Cloud Foundry, it’s an open source Platform as a Service project initiated at VMware.  More specifically it provides a platform for building, deploying, and running cloud apps using Spring for Java developers, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby developers, Node.js and other JVM frameworks including Grails.

The project began two years ago when VMware’s CEO Paul Maritz recruited Derek Collison and Mark Lucovsky out of Google and set them to working on Cloud Foundry.  Collison and Lucovsky, who built and maintained Google’s API services, were brought into leverage their experience of working with hugely scaled out architectures.

The Cloud Foundry project has only been public for a matter of months and one question that I’m sure has popped into your mind is what if I want to pilot Cloud Foundry in my own environment, won’t installation and configuration be a total pain?

Enter the Crowbar

Crowbar is an open source software framework developed at Dell to speed up the installation and configuration of open source cloud software onto bare metal systems.  By automating the process, Crowbar can reduce the time needed for installation from days to hours.

The software is modular in design so while the basic functionality is in Crowbar itself, “barclamps” sit on top of it to allow it work with a variety of projects.  The first use for crowbar was for OpenStack and the barclamp for that has been donated to the community.  Next came The Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop and, just recently, Dreamhost announced that they currently working on a Ceph barclamp.  And now…

Two great tastes that taste great together

Today’s big news is that VMware is working with Dell to release and maintain a Crowbar barclamp that, in conjunction with Crowbar, will install and configure Cloud Foundry.  This capability, which will include multi-node configs over time, will allow organizations and service providers the ability to quickly and easily get pilots of Cloud Foundry up and running.

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

If you’d like to try out Crowbar for yourself, check out: https://github.com/DellCloudEdge

Press added after initial posting

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Structure: Cumulogic, a Java Platform as a Service

June 26, 2011

Last Thursday at Structure I ran into a couple of former Sun compadres who have started their own company in the cloud space:  Cumulogic.  Cumulogic is PaaS for developing Java applications and boasts the father of Java James Gosling and former Sun CIO Bill Vass as the leaders of its technical advisory board.

I got some time with Cumulogic’s CEO Rajesh Ramchandani and learned a bit about their new venture.

Some of the ground Rajesh covers:

  • Targeting enterprise Java PaaS for federated clouds
  • Announced the company in January and are conducting user betas now
  • Seeing early adopters in financial services and healthcare
  • Currently available as a public cloud via Amazon
  • Will have a release soon that will allow users to set up a private cloud within an enterprise on environments like vmware, cloud.com or eucalyptus.

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…


Architecture Overview: The Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications

February 10, 2011

Last November, Dell announced the Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications.   This turnkey offering is composed of Dell systems and Joyent Software along with a reference architecture all supported by Dell services.  This solution enables a private Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment to support the development and testing of languages such as PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby and Java.

This solution is designed for hosters and telcos who are looking to provide public PaaS offerings.  An example of this is Uniserve, a Canadian Internet services provider.  Uniserve has adopted the Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications to offer on-demand access to a high-performance Internet application and consumer delivery platform, for customers to develop iPhone apps to commercial storefronts, to hosting and delivering Software-as-a-Service.

Check out the short video above where Dell Data Center Solutions architect Brian Harris  provides a high level overview of the Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications architecture.

Some of the areas Brian covers:

  • Purpose build hardware
  • Smart OSs
  • Smart machines
  • Self-service portal
  • Dell Support

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Dell brings Joyent to the world

November 19, 2010

Joyent has been a provider of cloud services for the past five years, longer than the term cloud itself has been around.  Today at a press conference in San Francisco, Dell announced the availability of the Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications which offers the software from Joyent as a turnkey platform-as-a-service offering.  This private cloud offering is offered on Dell’s specialized cloud servers and is targeted at IT service providers, hosting companies and telcos.

Up and running

One of the first customers to pick up and run with this offering is Uniserve, a Canadian Internet services provider.  Uniserve has adopted the Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications to offer on-demand access to a high-performance Internet application and consumer delivery platform, for customers to develop iPhone apps to commercial storefronts, to hosting and delivering Software-as-a-Service.

Thoughts from the top

Joyent CEO, David Young is featured in the short video above addressing the following questions about the Dell/Joyent solution:

  • Why is he excited about today’s announcement
  • Why have they focused on web applications
  • Who are the potential customers of this solution
  • What customer pain points does this solve
  • Why partner with Dell

Pau for now…

Extra-credit reading


The Dell / Azure Cloud & Appliance

July 12, 2010

Several months ago in the press release that announced our Cloud Solution offerings, there was a particularly cloudy paragraph that talked about Dell’s relationship with Microsoft.  The paragraph ended with the sentence: “Dell and Microsoft will collaborate on the Windows Azure platform, with Dell and Microsoft offering services, and Microsoft continuing to invest in Dell hardware for Windows Azure infrastructure.”  What the heck did that mean?  Well today we can be a bit clearer.

Dell Cloud based on Windows Azure

Earlier this morning at Microsoft’s Worldwide partner conference, the giant of Redmond announced the limited production release of the Windows Azure technology for a select few tech giants.  Dell is one of these and will be taking this technology and creating ourselves a Platform as a service (PaaS) cloud.  We will in turn use this cloud to deliver both public and private cloud services to customers looking to develop and deliver next generation cloud services based on .Net.   This platform will be targeted at enterprise, public, small and medium-sized business customers as well as be used by Dell itself.

But wait, there’s more: Azure in a box

Dell and Microsoft are also working on a Dell-powered Windows Azure platform appliance.  (Don’t let the term “appliance” throw you, you can’t register for this and it really represents 100s or 1000s of servers plus storage and networking).  Dell will be making this turnkey cloud platform available to enterprises to enable them to set up their own PaaS clouds within their organizations.  Dell has a bit of a leg up here since we’ve been working with Microsoft on Azure as the primary infrastructure partner since its launch back in ’08.  We’re simply packaging this “winning combination” and providing it in a turnkey package for internal use by enterprises.

A little context: adding to our cloud portfolio

So how does this fit in with some of the other cloud solutions that we have announced?  At a high-level, Dell is providing cloud solutions to help customers take either an evolutionary approach that makes their existing applications more efficient or a revolutionary approach with new applications written for cloud scale (we actually believe customers will do both).

We have already been working with Microsoft to offer evolutionary cloud services based on Microsoft’s Hyper V platform.  We are now complementing this with a revolutionary Windows Azure appliance.  This turnkey PaaS cloud platform will be in addition to the turnkey PaaS cloud platform that we announced with Joyent.   Whereas the Joyent-based offering, “the Dell cloud solution for web applications” is targeted at folks developing in Java, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails etc. the Azure appliance will naturally be targeted at the .Net world.  BTW we also offer solutions based on VMware Redwood/ Spring, EMC Atmos and BMC among others.

Stay tuned for more!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Talking to Joyent’s CTO and co-founder: Jason Hoffman

June 3, 2010

When I was out in the Bay Area for our launch a while back I stopped by Joyent‘s new headquarters (I actually visited them on their very first day in their new digs). I chatted with CTO Jason Hoffman about his background, what Joyent’s all about and what they are doing with Dell.  Take a listen:

Some of the topics Jason tackles

  • What Joyent does (hint: they provide virtual datacenters)
  • Joyent customers: they range from the top facebook applications, on line media companies, movie, music and tv studios, online retailers…
  • Your next computer is the data center — which needs operating environment, an open API and a good set of developer tools.
  • How Jason got to where he is: via a Doctorate in pathology where he was an end consumer of compute.  He realized that a lot of the efficiencies that they had developed in his field could be applied to a hosting environment.
  • Dell as Joyent’s “private cloud arm:” Joyent software running on Dell’s hardware where Dell can come in and set up the entire environment enabling departments within companies to act as service providers within their organizations.

To put it in perspective…

And since we’re talking about Joyent and Dell and Joyent working together I thought I would include this excerpt from a post that Redmonk analyst Stephen O’Grady recently wrote about the private cloud:

At the present time, however, most of that which we call Platform-as-a-Service – the layer currently serving as middleware – is public cloud only. The PaaS fabrics tend to be proprietary and not available for private consumption. Salesforce.com, for example, doesn’t let you replicate Force.com on your servers. Ditto for Google App Engine. Microsoft Azure features may be trickling back into Windows, but you’re not going to be running Azure in your local datacenter. This is why Dell’s distribution of Joyent’s cloud software came as such a surprise to many; you just don’t see these fabrics being made available locally.

Extra-credit reading

  • Survey Shows More Than Half of Dynamic Language Developers Are Looking To Build Cloud-based Applications in Next Year

Pau for now…


What is ATT up to in the cloud?

December 9, 2009

A couple of weeks ago I was in New York to visit customers and attend the co-located Interop and Web 2.0 events.  One of the attendees/participants I got to know there was Joe Weinman, VP of ATT’s Business Solutions.  Joe has been focusing a lot on the cloud lately so I thought I’d put down for posterity his thoughts and explanation of what ATT is up to in this space.

Some of the topics that Joe tackles:

  • ATT’s evolving strategy involves mix of managed endpoints and a variety of network services as well as a variety of services in the cloud.
  • ATT’s services range from infrastructure services like “Synaptic hosting,” storage as a service and compute as a service thru a variety of SaaS apps like unified comms and collaboration,  SAP,  Oracle ebiz suite, Seybold and JD Edwards.
  • They have a large platform as a service offering that is used by tens of thousands developers creating at mobile enterprise apps.
  • They target a wide variety of endpoints e.g.  iphones,windows mobile devices,  netbooks, black berries  all the way thru tele-presence rooms.
  • How ATT delivers on both front end and back end architectures.

Pau for now…


Learning about Heroku – The Ruby PaaS Solution

November 9, 2009

Kicking off my series of videos from last week’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, here is a chat I had with Oren Teich, of Heroku.  Heroku, if you’re not familiar is a 2-yr old Platform as-a-Service company targeting Ruby developers.  Oren recently joined Heroku as their head of product management and had the following to say:

Some of the topics Oren tackles:

  • Where the name “Heroku” comes from and why they were going for a Japanese sounding name.
  • Why did they choose Ruby and why did they go with a cloud-based plaform?
  • How Heroku is similar/different from Google App Engine and Engine Yard.
  • The majority of the folks who have created the 39,000+ apps on the site are hobbists.   That being said, the folks who pay their bills are those who are creating social media apps for platforms like Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone.
  • How Heroku makes their money: they charge as you scale and they charge for add-ons.
  • What they plan to concentrate on in the year ahead

Pau for now…


Talking to the Co-Founder of Rackspace Cloud

August 25, 2009

Earlier this month at Cloud World/Open World I bumped into Jonathan Bryce one of the two founders of the cloud platform formerly known as “Mosso”  (now known as Rackspace Cloud). 

Last year when I interviewed Jonathan, I did an audio podcast.  This time around I was armed with my Flip Mino and caught it all on video for the little(r) screen.


Some of the topics Jonathan addresses:

  • When Rackspace funded employees Jonathan and Todd to go off and start their cloud venture 4 years ago, why didn’t they brand it “Rackspace?”
  • Why did they recently decide to roll Mosso back into the mothership and rebrand it?
  • The progression of in-house -> colocation -> managed hosting -> cloud.
  • The three pieces of Rackspace Cloud: Cloud Servers & Cloud Files (infrastructure as a service) and Cloud Sites (platform as a service with the option of using either the LAMP or .NET stack).
  • Which offering is getting the most traction.
  • Why their customer Fresh Books went with Cloud Files.

Pau for now…


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