Category Archives: Cloud

VMware – Vendor Strengths and Cautions – Gartner

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-2JFZ1KP&ct=150715&st=sb

VMware

VMware has maintained its functionality lead, introducing vSphere 5.5 in September 2013 (it released vSphere 6.0 after the cutoff for this analysis). VMware continues to have dominant market share, and customers remain very satisfied with product capabilities and vendor support. However, concern over price and vendor lock-in remains. Client inquiries have been significantly increasing about comparisons between VMware and Hyper-V, specifically. While few large enterprises are switching, some smaller enterprises that are not far along in their virtualization deployment are switching (often from VMware to Hyper-V, but sometimes from Hyper-V to VMware), and some larger customers are deploying alternatives to VMware in separate data centers or in branch/store locations.

VMware is still enjoying good growth, but growth is harder due to both increasing market saturation and competitive pricing pressure. An emerging concern is the rapid growth of IaaS cloud providers, especially Amazon Web Services (based on Xen), used mainly for new workloads that are designed for cloud computing. While VMware has a dominant share for existing enterprise workloads, its share of the newer, cloud workloads is much smaller — a major inhibitor to growth. While the overall installed base of VMs tripled between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of VMs in cloud computing providers grew from 3% to 20% in the same time. VMware launched its own cloud service in August 2013 (now called vCloud Air), but it is still a very small player compared with providers like Amazon.

With respect to the growing midmarket business, in which high-end management and automation features are less critical, VMware has retained a strong market share. (Gartner surveys consistently show that about half of midmarket companies, those with 100 to 1,000 employees, tend to use VMware.) However, as Microsoft gains marketing momentum, VMware will need to continue to offer low-price packages to remain competitive in this market. As VMware promotes virtualization for more mission-critical workloads, it continues to face an Oracle VM solution, whereby concern over platform certification will drive a small number of VMware users to Oracle VM. While Windows-based workloads have become heavily virtualized, there is still quite a bit of opportunity for Linux-based workloads. However, OpenStack, Red Hat and containers are growing trends driving Linux virtualization.

A key for VMware’s growth will be to expand outside of traditional applications, attract and enable developers, and succeed as a cloud provider (and/or as an enabler to cloud providers).

Strengths

  • VMware has a broad virtualization strategy from the data center to the cloud.
  • VMware is a virtualization technology leader, with significant investments and innovation.
  • VMware receives high customer satisfaction from a large installed base.

Cautions

  • The cost of VMware offerings tends to be high.
  • VMware has a large number of third-party providers that offer VMware functionality, but the overall market share of VMware functionality in third-party cloud providers is small.
  • VMware has a low penetration for newer, “cloud-native” applications.
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Microsoft – Vendor Strengths and Cautions – Gartner

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-2JFZ1KP&ct=150715&st=sb

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 R2 was a major release, delivered in October 2013, and during the last year and a half, that release has become mainstream. Microsoft has effectively closed most of the functionality gap with VMware in terms of the x86 server virtualization infrastructure. Differences continue to be price (favouring Microsoft, although customers report that VMware has slightly better hardware density), ease of management (Microsoft’s multiple management tools make operations more complex, and the parent OS architecture tends to drive more planned downtime), and features (Microsoft’s Dynamic Optimization is impractical for most organizations, and VMware’s broader OS support is often critical to enterprises).

Microsoft’s efforts in enabling Azure-like capability have been attracting enterprises interested in leveraging Azure and managing both on-premises Hyper-V and Azure services. There is a growing interest in using Hyper-V for Microsoft-based development teams, especially due to its Azure affinity.

Microsoft can now meet the needs of most enterprises with respect to server virtualization. Its challenge is neither feature nor functions, but competing in a market with an entrenched competitor, VMware. Microsoft is now winning a good percentage of enterprises that are not yet heavily virtualized — especially those that are mostly Windows-based (while Linux support is improved, especially in Windows Server 2012 R2, there are few customers using Hyper-V for Linux). However, few enterprises that are heavily virtualized with an alternative technology are choosing to go through the effort to switch. A growing number of large enterprises are finding niches in which to place Microsoft — for example, in stores, branch offices or separate data centres. This strategy of “second sourcing” will enable these enterprises to evaluate Hyper-V for further deployments and perhaps leverage the competition in deals with VMware. While Microsoft’s technology is capable, winning the larger and more mission-critical deployments will be an uphill battle and will require more proof points. Hyper-V will likely be more successful in development teams interested in Azure, but requiring on-premises deployments. As Microsoft further improves its support for Azure affinity, and adds support for Windows containers in a future release, its success with development teams will continue to grow.

 

Strengths

  • There is a large installed base of Windows servers and a large number of Windows-only enterprises.
  • Microsoft’s virtualization products are offered at a low price.
  • Hyper-V and System Centre have a growing interoperability and integration with Azure.

Cautions 

  • Microsoft will find it difficult to convert the entrenched VMware installed base, especially in large enterprises.
  • While improving, Microsoft’s management tools have some ease-of-use weaknesses.
  • Microsoft faces growing competition with open-source-based solutions, especially in the service provider market.
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Huawei – Vendor Strengths and Cautions – Gartner

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-2JFZ1KP&ct=150715&st=sb Huawei Huawei started its enterprise business in 2011. Its market base is stronger in Brazil, Russia, India and (primarily) China, and it mainly targets telcos and emerging markets. FusionSphere is virtualization infrastructure software and is one element of Huawei’s portfolio of network, storage and compute infrastructure. Although it can be supported on third-party hardware, most references are deployed on Huawei’s FusionCube. FusionSphere includes a Xen-based hypervisor, as well as extended input/output, availability and recovery products and capabilities. Furthermore, Huawei is developing a KVM product suite, and this is their stated technology direction. Huawei FusionSphere first entered the Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure in 2014. An up-and-coming product in emerging markets, Huawei FusionSphere claims hundreds of references in emerging economies. It also has references from Western Europe and Singapore, among other mature markets. However, Huawei has more customer references from China than elsewhere. It is predominantly appropriate for Huawei hardware users. Users of other x86 servers should validate the level of certification and local support. In late 2013, Huawei became a Gold Member of the OpenStack Foundation. It has already become a top 10 feature and code contributor, and it is leveraging OpenStack across both FusionCloud and FusionSphere, which may expand its market awareness while also increasing its appeal as cloud infrastructure. Huawei has established its position in telecommunications companies and for networking technology. During the past few years, Huawei has shown great ambition to expand into enterprise markets in mature economies. However, national security concerns have resulted in obstacles, particularly in North America. Its continuing growth will likely originate from emerging markets, Asia/Pacific and Western Europe — where FusionCloud and FusionSphere are being evaluated in test/development and pilots for cloud infrastructure. Strengths

  • Huawei provides an increasing breadth of product sets tied to FusionSphere and FusionCloud, leveraging open source and OpenStack.
  • Huawei has a complete stack in terms of server hardware and virtualization software.
  • Huawei is a disruptive alternative vendor with good momentum in emerging countries.

Cautions

  • Huawei is challenged in mature markets that are sensitive to geopolitical issues.
  • Execution is strongest in select geographies and vertical-industry markets (telecommunications).
  • Huawei must further develop partnerships with third-party vendors (especially in the U.S.) and grow its channel business.
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Biggest Game Changer Since Server Virtualization

Link : Storage Optimization Software for the Virtual Data Center.

Atlantis ILIO USX—Biggest Game Changer Since Server Virtualization

Deploy Up to 5X More VMs on Any Storage, Lower Costs by Up to 50%

Atlantis ILIO USX™ is a significant breakthrough in virtualization technology, delivering a solution that unlocks the underutilized capacity of over $50 billion of deployed enterprise storage, similar to what VMware did for server virtualization.

Atlantis ILIO USX software gives IT the flexibility to get more out of their existing storage, even their older arrays, and to create new software-defined storage hybrid arrays, hyper-converged systems, and all-flash arrays by aggregating and pooling existing server SSDs, SAS, flash, and RAM together with shared SAN/NAS arrays.

Architecture

Atlantis ILIO USX pools and optimizes server RAM, SAS, and/or Flash to create a highly scalable, hyper-converged platform using existing servers. Atlantis ILIO USX provides the flexibility to pool commodity local storage with RAM and/or flash across multiple server farms. By doing so, customers can seamlessly scale out their architecture to create a hyper-converged infrastructure and manage their applications without having to rip out their existing infrastructure.

Atlantis ILIO USX optimizes how storage is consumed by the application or VM by inserting a transparent software layer between the application and storage. The Atlantis ILIO USX software resides on the hypervisor platform as a set of virtual machines that can abstract any storage hardware into pools of virtual storage that can be combined together to form an Application Defined Storage Volume (ADS Volume). There are two types of storage pools:

  1. Capacity Pool: Any type of storage is pooled together to provide capacity for ADS Volumes. SAN, NAS, and local storage including SSD and Flash can be pooled in any combination to provide the underlying capacity required by applications and VMs.
  2. Memory Pool: High-performance server resources such as flash, RAM or even flash on DIMM are pooled and optimized to provide the performance required by the application storage volume. The memory pool can be used either as an optimization and acceleration tier or as primary storage for applications and VMs.

These Capacity and Memory pools are combined together automatically to create Application Defined Storage Volumes (ADS Volume) with policy-based controls that apply the ideal combination of storage capacity, performance and availability for the application. The ADS Volume provides enterprise-class storage functionality including high-availability, data protection, thin provisioning and cloning. Multiple ADS Volumes can be created from a single Capacity and Performance Pool, enabling true application-centric storage for the first time.

The Atlantis ILIO USX platform applies multiple storage optimization technologies to boost the performance and increase the available storage capacity provided to the application. At the same time, Atlantis ILIO USX dramatically reduces the impact of application IO traffic on storage resource utilization (disk, storage controller, network).

Use with existing Shared Storage

Use Local SAS or SATA

Use RAM as Primary Storage

Optimized All-Flash Arrays

In-Memory Architecture — Atlantis ILIO USX can run VMs completely in server RAM to deliver high-speed, low latency runtime storage without re-architecting applications

IO Processing — Atlantis ILIO USX processes IO operations in real-time at the compute layer to lower latency and reduce network traffic

Inline De-duplication — Atlantis ILIO USX performs inline de-duplication in real-time on-the-wire with microsecond latency, eliminating up to 90% of storage IO traffic

Real-Time Compression — Atlantis ILIO USX compresses the optimized blocks In-Memory with microsecond latency

IO Blender Fix — Atlantis ILIO USX coalesces small random blocks generated by the hypervisor into larger sequential blocks, greatly improving storage access and efficiency

High Availability — Atlantis ILIO USX provides integrated high-availability and data protection to prevent application downtime.

Thin Provisioning — All Atlantis ILIO USX storage volumes are automatically thin provisioned with up to 10:1 consolidation.

Fast Clone — Atlantis ILIO USX can clone full VMs in as little as 4 seconds with no network or storage traffic.

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What is Diskless VDI?

Diskless Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the concept of using local server memory in combination with storage optimization software to store virtual desktop images instead of shared SAN/NAS or local SAS/SSD storage.

By storing virtual desktop images on the local memory of the hypervisor where the desktops execute, response time are faster than even the most expensive local SSD drives (MLC or SLC), cost less when combined with Atlantis ILIO, and increase reliability.

With existing VDI architectures, virtual desktop images are stored on either shared SAN/NAS storage or local SSD disks, which are costly, have limited IOPS for write-intensive VDI workloads, can have a limited lifespan and consume more power than memory.

diskless_vdi_diagram

VDI

Benefits

  1. Software only – Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI is a purpose built storage layer to run virtual desktops with just CPU and RAM and no other storage or SSDs. Scale-out VDI infrastructure with just servers and software.
  2. Amazing user experience – 300+ IOPS/user* – faster than PC user experience  even with iPads.
  3. CAPEX below $200/user – infrastructure cost under £125 per desktop including the server hardware, RAM and Atlantis ILIO.
  4. Lower OPEX – Enable lower operating expenses by eliminating rack space, power consumption, cooling and repair costs, and daily operational tasks of maintaining disk-based storage.
  5. Automated multi-rack deployment – Automatically install and configure ILIO on hundreds of servers across dozens of racks. Creates and registers NFS data stores that are ready to use by the VDI broker to complete the provisioning process.
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Cut VDI CAPEX by 50-75%

http://www.atlantiscomputing.com/products/atlantis-ilio/

Cut VDI CAPEX by 50-75%

  • Use Less Storage—cut the amount of VDI storage required by up to 90%
  • Scale VDI Storage—support 5 to 10 times the number of desktops on the same storage with equal or better performance
  • Use Any Storage —use lower cost SAN, NAS and Local Disk (SATA, SAS, SSD)

Boost VDI Performance

  • Desktop Performance—make desktop boot, login, and application startup perform faster
  • Accelerate Application Virtualization—accelerate virtualized applications for VMware ThinApp, Microsoft App-V, and Citrix XenApp App Streaming to improve logon times for non-persistent desktops and launch times for virtualized applications

Inline Deduplication

Atlantis ILIO transparently offloads write operations before they reach the storage fabric.

  • VDI Storage IOPS Offload—up to 90% reduction in IOPS load on storage infrastructure
  • VDI Storage Capacity Reduction—up to 95 % reduction in disk storage capacity requirements
  • VDI Latency—accelerates VDI performance by eliminating disk write latency

Windows NTFS Protocol Layer Processing

  • Hyper-efficient IO characterization—instantly characterizes IO based on Windows NTFS file system characteristics
  • Faster IO Processing—real-time IO processing locally from memory
  • IO Optimization—re-sequences read/write operations from small random IO to large sequential

Integrates with Leading VDI Solutions

  • Certified Interoperable—VMware View Technology Alliance Partner and Citrix Ready Partner
  • Leverages Existing Infrastructure—VDI brokers, application virtualization, profile virtualization, and image layering tools
  • No Desktop Changes—doesn’t require an agent or any change to the desktop image
  • Deployed Using Open Virtualization Format (OVF)—easily installed in 8 minutes as an .OVF virtual appliance
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vSphere 5.0 Hardening Guide – Official Release

This is the official release of the vSphere 5.0 Security Hardening Guide, v1.0.  The format of this guide has changed from previous versions. The guide is being released as a Excel spreadsheet only.  The guideline metadata from earlier guides has been greatly expanded and standardized.  CLI commands for assessment and remediation of the guidelines is included for the vCLI, ESXi Shell, and PowerCLI.  For additional information, please see the Intro tab of the spreadsheet.

http://communities.vmware.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadBody/19605-102-1-26036/HardeningGuide-vSphere50-v1.0.xlsx

HardeningGuide-vSphere50-v1.0

 

 

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VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform, Virtual Appliances for Mobile Phones

VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform, Virtual Appliances for Mobile Phones.

Enforce security and compliance policies, ease management, and reduce CAPEX while giving your employees the freedom to use their mobile device of choice.

  • Secure employee-owned devices accessing corporate resources.
  • Manage and provision all mobile end-points and desktop from a single interface.
  • Reduce costs and allow employees to use their own mobile device for work.
  • Safely support a wide variety of mobile phones connecting to company network.
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