Application Tetris – Workload Placement and Consolidation


Recently, the industry has seen a surge in tools being developed to move virtual machines around the data center. Not just a vMotion or a Live Migration, moving the application infrastructure when you need and decide to explicitly, but an automated, intelligent decision on where the VM is best placed. VMware vRealize Operations, VM Turbo and Cirba all strive to solve this in their own unique way, but I would like to talk about why they are useful….and potentially essential as you move forward at scale. Time to Re-Think Application…
Read more

Shadow IT – Listen to the Smart People?


There’s an inspirational quote from the late Steve Jobs going around the twitter-verse right now: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”   This is a great point-of-view and one I think will resonate with both employers and employees. If leaders everywhere adopted this perspective, then employers would feel even more empowered to innovate, and innovation is the key to success in these times. We only have to look at…
Read more

OpenStack – A Private Cloud for Free?


I’m a big OpenStack proponent. I think its s a very positive reflection on what can be achieved by bringing together skills across the globe towards a common goal. The end game of OpenStack is huge. Eventually we will all be running Facebook/Google style datacenters which are completely software defined and will be pushing code into production every half a second….. But I’m a realist and we’re not quite there yet. There are many companies running OpenStack in production, like Walmart who went on stage at the beginning of the…
Read more

Micro Services, Netflix and The End of Pizza Releases

Domino's Pizza

By now, all of us know Netflix and have used it. We should also know that because of the uptake in streaming services in general, traditional DVD rental services had to either adapt or face bankruptcy. Lovefilm, a more traditional DVD rental service was acquired by Amazon for £200m which became Lovefilm instant, a streaming service, and finally Amazon prime instant video. Blockbuster wasnt so adaptive…. Netflix themselves are the poster child for Amazon Web Services. To me, the fact that they’re running their platform on what’s essentially an outsourced…
Read more

Hacking the Cloud – Micro Segmentation


It seems almost every day there is a new story in the news about a large business getting hacked and often personal data being leaked. Talktalk were recently a victim of this, but the most extreme I’ve heard about is a hack where ATMs were throwing out money. So how does this happen? Traditional network design takes what I like to call the “Bouncer on the Door” approach. Imagine going to a nightclub, to get in you have to get past the bouncer  first This can be a pain sometimes,…
Read more

The Rise of Docker, a Containers 101


The rise of Docker highlights a change in the way applications are being developed for today and the future. Today, having a successful business means pushing the boundaries with technology. In my previous post on DevOps, The 3 Ways and Cloud, I talk about this and the importance of using I.T as an enabler for all business goals. The impact is seen most obviously in Silicon Valley, there is much more focus on having top coders. Some of the best developers have agents managing the selection of companies they work for and…
Read more

DevOps, The 3 Ways and Cloud


Since reading The Phoenix Project, I’m finding myself once again enthusiastic about DevOps culture. When I first learned the term and started working on DevOps projects years ago as a Cloud Architect, I liked the idea and could see its merits. Better consistency of code releases, faster release cycles into production, developing the right solutions for production etc. However, I became a little despondent on the idea over the last few years, since a number of different large organisations have either tried and failed, or are still trying to do…
Read more

The Power of Blueprints

Sample Blueprint

Today’s cloud environments are all about applying policy. The only way to manage large and complex environments is to create a set of rules and instructions on how services should be delivered, which then become templates, or blueprints. Any other approach means its a lot of effort to make any changes to services or to grow or create new ones. Vendors are providing even richer plugins and a lot are providing completely open APIs, which gives us more control over the entire datacenter. Many organizations take on the task of…
Read more

Hyper-converged, Converged or Build your own Infrastructure?


I get asked a lot about different hardware deployment models for cloud. Hyper-converged is the new buzzword for hardware today, previously it was converged stacks. It’s worth thinking about all of the options available and the change you would need to make internally to your processes, platform and applications to make best use of these hardware platforms. I’m going to give a brief overview of some datacenter hardware possibilities and the benefits of each. Multi-Vendor (Build your own) This is the traditional way of building a datacenter. First you make…
Read more

Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud


We are now in a world of 3 types of cloud for managing datacenter applications. Private, Public and Hybrid. Each have their own benefits and challenges. I’d like to talk about how I see the three types and where the value is. Public Cloud Amazon Web Services have done a great job at providing the worlds most popular public cloud offering. Anyone with a basic knowledge of VMs can fire up an environment and get going in literally minutes. There are others in the market who do this very well…
Read more