Working on Triton in the lab, what’s on the horizon

January 27, 2016

As we’ve talked about before, a few of us in Dell’s CTO group have recently been working with our friends at Joyent.   This effort is a part of the consideration of platforms capable of intelligently deploying workloads to all major infrastructure flavors – bare-metal, virtual machine, and container.

Today’s post on this topic comes to us complements of Glen Campbell — no, not that one, this one:

Glen has recently come from the field to join our merry band in the Office of the CTO.  He will be a part of the Open Source Cloud team looking at viable upstream OSS technologies across infrastructure, OS, applications, and operations.

Here is what Glen had to say:

What’s a Triton?

Joyent’s Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure, a Private Cloud variant of the Joyent Elastic Container Service PublicTriton slide

Cloud, allows customers to take advantage of the technologies and scale Joyent leverages in their Public Cloud.

On the Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure (which I’ll call “Triton” from now on) bare-metal workloads are intelligently sequestered via the use of the “Zones” capabilities of SmartOS.   Virtual machines are deployed via the leveraged KVM hypervisor in SmartOS, and Docker containers are deployed via the Docker Remote API Implementation for Triton and the use of the Docker or Docker Compose CLIs.

What’s the Dell/Joyent team doing?

As part of interacting with Triton we are working to deploy a Dell application, our Active System Manager (ASM), as a series of connected containers.

The work with Triton will encompass both Administrative and Operative efforts:

Administrative

  • Investigate user password-based authentication via LDAP/Active Directory
    • in conjunction with SSH key-based authentication for CLI work

Operative

  • Use of:
    • Admin web UI and User Portal to deploy single/multi-tier applications
    • Joyent Smart Data Center (SDC) node.js client to deploy from remote CLI
      • Newer Triton node client to see next-gen of “sdc-X” tools
  • Docker Compose
    • build a multi-tier Docker application via Docker Compose, deploy on Triton via its Docker Remote API endpoint
  • Triton Trident…
    • deploy a 3-tier application composed of:
      • Zone-controlled bare-metal tier (db – MySQL)
      • Docker-controlled container tier (app – Tomcat)
      • VM-based tier (presentation – nginx)
    • Dell Active System Manager — a work in progress
      • aligning with Dell’s internal development and product group to establish a container architecture for the application

Stay tuned

Our test environment has been created and the Triton platform has been deployed.  Follow-on blog posts will cover basic architecture of the environment and the work to accomplish the Admin and Ops tasks above.  Stay tuned!

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Digital Transformation – How to avoid becoming digital prey

November 11, 2014

Last week at Dell World I interviewed a bunch of folks and will be posting these videos in the upcoming days.  On the last day of the event however I got to sit on the other side of the camera and talk about Digital Transformation.

Take a listen below as I explain what I’ve learned and how Digital Transformation is affecting organizations today.

Some of the ground we cover

  • What is “Digital Transformation?”  Why all of a sudden does it seem to be the buzz word du jour?
  • The importance of placing the customer in center of your thinking.
  • Which organizations have transformed successfully and why and who has become digital prey.
  • How does it leverage technologies like cloud, social, mobile and big data/analytics?

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Digital Transformation – It’s all about the customer

June 2, 2014

Digital transformation may seam like the latest in a long line of marketecture-based high tech concepts but it actually is pretty straight forward.  In a nutshell, digital transformation is about adopting and often combining the digital technologies of Cloud, Mobility, Social Media and Analytics to better serve customers.

More generally, digital transformation, is about extreme customer-centricity and engaging customers digitally at every point throughout the customer life cycle.  And it is key to remaining competitive today.

Big at the Bazaar

A few weeks ago I attended the Bazaarvoice summit here in Austin.  The topic of digital transformation was woven through out the two day event.  My favorite illustration of this was a very cool keynote on the first day demonstrating what a mobile personalized retail experience might like look in the year 2020.

While at the show I grabbed some time with Scott Anderson, SVP of marketing at Bazaarvoice to get his thoughts on digital transformation.  Take a listen:

Some of the ground Scott covers:

  • The customer is in control
  • How does Digital Transformation map to Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud?
  • How would you advise a CEO looking to digitally transform his or her organization?
  • How does digital transformation work in a B2B, vs. B2C, context?

Where Dell plays

Dell Services has been involved with digital transformation for a while.  We consolidated our capabilities and created a dedicated service line to help customers achieve digital transformation. The service line uses a consulting-led approach to help them leverage any/all of these technologies to drive business outcomes and better serve their customers.

As an example, here is one our earlier case studies where we worked with the American Red Cross to help them leverage social media to aid in disaster relief.

Stay tuned in the weeks ahead as I post more about what we are doing in the realm of digital transformation.

Pau for now…


App Think Tank: Cloud vs. hyperscale

May 7, 2014

This is the final video clip from the Dell Services Application think tank held earlier this year.  Today’s clip features the always enlightening and entertaining Jimmy Pike.  Jimmy, who is a Senior Fellow at Dell and was once called the Willy Wonka of servers, was one of the 10 panelists at the Think Tank where we discussed the challenges of the new app-centric world.

In this clip, Jimmy talks about the fundamental differences between “purpose-built hyperscale” and the cloud environments that most organizations use.

As Jimmy points out, when moving to the cloud it is important to first understand your business requirements and what your SLAs need to be.

If you’re interested in hearing what else Jimmy has to say, check out this other clip from the think tank,  The persistently, ubiquitously connected to the network era.

The Think Tank, Sessions one and two

  • Think Tank Session 1– Welcome to the application-centric world – best practices in the ‘greenfield’
  • Think tank Session 2– Nexus of forces – CIOs under pressure and the rise of the enterprise developer

Extra-credit reading (previous videos)

Pau for now…


App Think Tank: Legacy platforms and modern cloud systems

May 2, 2014

Today we conclude the mini-series of videos around the topic of application and software strategy.  Today’s segment features Barry Libenson, SVP and CIO at Safeway talking about legacy platforms vs. modern cloud-based systems like the loyalty platform they have implemented.  Take a listen as Barry talks about the differences between the two.

While it might not make sense to cloud-enable everything, when you’ve got a 20-year old mainframe system like Barry describes you’ll want to look to app modernization and moving to a standard and open architecture.

Stay tuned

Next week is the last topic culled from our App Think Tank: cloud and infrastructure thoughts.  You’ll want to tune in to see how CIOs and tech companies are viewing and thinking about these areas:-)

The Think Tank, Sessions one and two

  • Think Tank Session 1– Welcome to the application-centric world – best practices in the ‘greenfield’
  • Think tank Session 2– Nexus of forces – CIOs under pressure and the rise of the enterprise developer

Extra-credit reading (previous videos)

Pau for now…


App Think Tank: Intel IT turns apps into services

May 1, 2014

Today, Das Kamhout,  IT Principal Engineer at Intel and their lead cloud architect talks about Intel IT’s program to make all of their traditional applications into services.  (This video was taken from the  Application think tank that Dell Services held back in January.)

The world is turning to services.  As Das points out, after you rationalize your application portfolio you want put together a strategy to start modifying at least some of your traditional applications to be services based.

Stay tuned

Tomorrow is the last entry on the topic of software and application strategy.  Safe’s CIO will discuss legacy applications and which you want to modify and which you want to leave alone.

The Think Tank, Sessions one and two

  • Think Tank Session 1– Welcome to the application-centric world – best practices in the ‘greenfield’
  • Think tank Session 2– Nexus of forces – CIOs under pressure and the rise of the enterprise developer

Extra-credit reading (previous videos)

Pau for now…


App Think Tank – Some take aways

February 3, 2014

The week before last Dell Services held a think tank out in Silicon Valley at the venture firm, NEA.  We had 10 panelists representing both old school and new school organizations:  Intel, Safeway, American Cancer Society, Puppet Labs, NGINX, Stormpath, Stanford Business School, 451 Research and TechCrunch (see complete list of participants below).  I had the honor of moderating the panel.

The group discussed the challenges of the new app-centric world as well as how to leverage both the “Four horsemen of IT du jour”: Cloud, Mobile, Social and Big Data, and the “three enablers”: Open Source, DevOps and APIs.

You can see more pictures from the event as well as watch the entire think tank, which ran a bit under three and half hours, here.  Additionally, over the next few days I will be posting blogs around four short video snippets from the event.

  • Video 1:  What do customers expect
  • Video 2:  IT is facing competition for the first time ever
  • Video 3:  The persistently, ubiquitously connected to the network era
  • Video 4:  The web of C level relationships

Some Take-aways

I was really impressed how well the participants gelled as a group, with just the right amount of tension:).  Below are a few of the interesting tidbits I took away (I was surprised how much of the conversation came back to culture)  You can also check out SDNCentral’s summary of the event .

Q: What are the customer expectations of services today?

  • They are personalized and immediate (friction is a killer)
  • They are agile and rapidly improve
  • Available from any device, anywhere and are always on

Q: What big bets are you making?

  • “Open Source all the way” — Barry Libenson, CIO,  Safeway
  • Mobile first, platform agnostic – Jay Ferro – CIO American Cancer Society
  • Hire learners, not vertical experts, we want entrepreneurial problem solvers – Ranga Jayaraman – CIO,  Stanford Business School
  • Everything must be services – Das Kamhout – IT Principal Engineer, Intel
  • Set up a learning culture, that is tolerant of failure – Luke Kanies, Puppet CEO
  • Clean APIs and modularity – Alex Salazar –  CEO, Stormpath

Q: If your son or daughter wanted to be a CIO, what advice would you give them?

  • Be really choosey about the company you work for
  • Learn to entertain opposing ideas and paths
  • Agility, flexibility, adaptability
  • Learn to let go
  • Learn to be a hacker
  • Learn mindfulness

Watch the whole event here.

Participants

  • Barry Libenson-SVP and CIO,  Safeway
  • Jay Ferro – CIO, American Cancer Society
  • Ranga Jayaraman- Associate Dean & CIO,  Stanford GSB
  • Luke Kanies – Founder & CEO, Puppet Labs
  • Alex Salazar – Co-Founder & CEO, Stormpath
  • Alex Williams – Blogger & Journalist, TechCrunch
  • Michael Cote – Research Director, Infrastructure Software at 451 Research
  • Sarah Novotny- Tech Evangelist, NGINX
  • Das Kamhout – IT Principal Engineer, Intel
  • Jimmy Pike – Sr. Fellow and Chief Architect, Dell

Extra-credit reading

  • IT can’t thrive unless CIO’s can change the culture – SDNcentral
  • New Age of Apps” Think Tank to be streamed live –  Barton’s blog

Pau for now…


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