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Steve Wylie

One of our goals with Cloud Connect Chicago is to provide a side-by-side comparison of the leading cloud platforms and ecosystems.  CloudStack is a top-level project within the Apache Software Foundation and is one of the leading contenders in the battle for Infrastructure-as-a-Service adoption.  This week we are taking the wraps off the CloudStack Track we have been planning with key members of the CloudStack community.  Meet the the co-track chairs for this year’s program:

Mark Hinkle, Sr. Director, Open Source Solutions, Citrix – Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director of Cloud Computing Community at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts  around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc.,  a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 100,000 users and 20,000 organizations on all seven continents. He also is a longtime open source expert and author having served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Mr. Hinkle is also the author of the book, “Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration.” (Thomson, 2006). He is a contributor to NetworkWorld’s Open Source Subnet and his personal blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at www.socializedsoftware.com. You can follow him on twitter @mrhinkle.

Aaron Delp, Sr. Director, Technical Marketing, Citrix – Aaron Delp is the Sr. Director of Technical Marketing for the Citrix Cloud Platforms Group. He currently leads the generation and publishing of reference architectures, technical documentation, competitive intelligence, and field enablement content. Prior to Citrix, Aaron led the Cloud Field Enablement team for VCE specializing in management, orchestration, and automation products from VMware, Cisco, EMC, and CA Technologies. In addition, Aaron led a solutions team that designed, tested, and published the configuration of Cisco Unified Communications (UC) on the VCE Vblock Platform. Other past responsibilities include a top 50 technology value added reseller (VAR), ePlus Technology serving as the Data Center Practice Lead & over ten years at IBM holding various positions supporting business partners, vendors, and distributors to design and deploy data center solutions. Continue Reading »

 
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A post by the CloudStack Track Chairs.

CloudStack has been getting a lot of attention of late. Great stories emerging of people deploying and being successful with CloudStack are appearing almost every week. At Cloud Connect the attention is even greater. There’s a dedicated CloudStack track on Wednesday that has some must-see content.

Don’t know much about CloudStack? That’s ok, Reuven Cohen, of Forbes-fame will bring you up to speed with Introduction to CloudStack. He’ll walk you through the architecture, overview, and features.

Ceph, the next generation, distributed, open source, massively scalable block storage has  long been integrated with CloudStack, providing an incredibly efficient storage back-end to your cloud. Patrick McGarry from Inktank will tell you how it works, what new functionality between Ceph and CloudStack has been exposed in the 4.2 release, as well as talk about the realities of Ceph in production.

Running any infrastructure tool in production is a concern, and often very different from what you read in marketing slicks. Jerry Garcia and Elias Luftallah actually use CloudStack, in production, at Orbitz; they’ll be present to give an uncensored view into the pains and joys of working with CloudStack every day.

Finally rounding out the day, Apache CloudStack PMC member, John Burwell will be talking about using CloudStack pared with Riak CS, the open source distributed object store.

Whether you just want to learn the basics, hear war stories, or learn about extending your cloud toolset, there will be a wealth of Apache CloudStack content available at this year’s Cloud Connect – hope you can join us.

 
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A post by Randy Bias OpenStack Track Chair.

There’s no shortage of stories written about the success of OpenStack. In just three short years, OpenStack has catapulted from a nifty idea advanced by Rackspace and NASA/Anso Labs to a juggernaut of open source software.
Consider this: The more than 10,000 OpenStack Foundation members comprise over 1,000 developers, about 300+ of whom are contributing code on average any given month. Those developers work for 200 companies in more than 100 countries globally, and they contributed more than 3,200 code commits in the latest release, Grizzly. In total, for Grizzly, 517 devs contributed 7,600 patches and 230 new features.

That’s impressive, no doubt. But what’s more impressive is project’s software development life cycle (SLDC). It has matured into an impressive machine that has made possible the project’s semi-annual release cycle with few or no code regressions that complicate compatibility for application developers and cloud architects.

Fresh Blood

OpenStack benefits greatly from the leadership of folks like Russell Bryant and Mark McLoughlin, both with Red Hat, Monty Taylor of HP and Thierry Carrez, who came to the OpenStack Foundation from Canonical. These leaders have brought decades of open source experience to OpenStack, contributing new ideas and energy that have directly led to the processes and systems that make our semi-annual release cycle possible.

Continuous Integration

The Continuous Integration (CI) team in OpenStack has built testing systems that have made it possible to scale from a few dozen contributors for the Bexar release to more than 700 developers now pushing patches *daily* to the project.

The CI system runs as a single app across two OpenStack-powered public clouds, with resources donated by HP, Rackspace and eNovance. The system merges about 150 patches each day into the code base. There are more than 500 commits that don’t make it — every day.

Automation is a big part of the CI system. Google’s Gerrit code review system feeds into a system called Zuul for gating (Ghostbuster fans will recall that Zuul was the Gatekeeper). All this  is connected to a Jenkins server with Gearman worker support for scaling. Tests are tun in parallel with optimistic pipelining to save time.
This may seem like a lot of moving parts, and it is. Without the CI system, there would be no way that 500+ devs could contribute hundreds of code commits each day and the project still ship a new version every six months.

Tempest

The OpenStack infrastructure team uses the CI system to deploy and test OpenStack more than 700 times every day day using Tempest integration tests. To date, the system has performed more than 15,000 unit tests, an incredible feat for an automation system that has only recently come online.

This is all the more impressive when you consider that the CI and other QA projects in OpenStack have been designed, implemented and iterated in an environment where the number of projects has grown from just two (Nova and Swift) to nine (adding Glance, Cinder, Keystone, Heat, Horizon, Neutron (nee Quantum), and Ceilometer).

The success of OpenStack is substantially the responsibility of the developers and leaders who have given the community a top-notch CI system. We’ll take a closer look at OpenStack’s SLDC during the OpenStack Boot Camp at Cloud Connect Chicago.

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Randy Bias is CEO and Co-founder of Cloudscaling, and a board member of the OpenStack Foundation. He is also listed as a Top 10 Cloud Computing Pioneer by Informationweek.

 
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For many organizations, cloud computing has become an integral part of IT, but they continue to face critical technology decisions as competing platforms push for market leadership.  OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus are the clear frontrunners in the open source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space. But questions are still lingering: Is one really better than the other? What are the technical differences? Which best supports the integration of legacy systems with cloud-based apps? Which is better for startups versus SMBs and Enterprises?

This year’s program for Cloud Connect Chicago pits these industry players against each other with five conference tracks, each to represent divergent cloud software strategies: Amazon Web Services & Eucalyptus, CloudStack, OpenStack, Platform-as-a-Service and Virtualization & Private Cloud.  As the unique architectures have both benefits and limitations, speakers affiliated with the different tracks will address key technology considerations and business impact across the leading use cases.

The Cloud Stack Wars will also play out on the Cloud Connect Keynote Stage. From accessibility to cost to security, AWS, CloudStack and OpenStack all have their benefits and limitations laid out on stage. Experts will join a Keynote Panel and debate the limitations, nuances, and advocate for their Cloud Stack War winner.

In addition to conference sessions, Cloud Connect will open with a full day of intensive cloud computing education through a series of Summits and Boot Camps. Be sure to attend Cloud Connect Chicago, October 21-23, and see how prevails in the Cloud Stack Wars. Register before September 16 with discount SMBLOG to save an additional $200 off Early Bird prices.

 
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Excitement is building as we put the finishing touches on our 2013 Cloud Connect Chicago program. We’ve incorporated a number of new program elements that we’re excited to share with you and can’t wait to get to Chicagoland this October to delve into discussions around both the state and future of cloud computing.

The new Cloud Connect Conference program provides practitioners and decision makers the ability to evaluate completing choices, evaluate all the issues surrounding competing cloud stacks as well as stimulate necessary debates.  To help enhance your Cloud Connect experience we’ve outlined a list of new tools, Summits, Boot Camps, and must attend sessions!

1. Pre-Conference Networking

 

 

 

With registration launched and sessions added you can get a head start on planning your itinerary by adding sessions via the Session Scheduler and our Cloud Connect Mobile App. Once you add a session on Session Schedule your session will automatically be added to your schedule in the Cloud Connect Mobile App. Use the Mobile App to also network with other attendees, ask questions to exhibitors, see what’s trending, and plan your Conference agenda.

2. CompTIA Cloud Essential Training

The Cloud Essentials Course, facilitated by CompTIA, is a one-day training course that prepares you for the CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification. Each attendee who completes the course in full will be provided a complimentary voucher to take the Certification test at a testing location of your choice. This one-day course will help you be on your way to cloud certification!

3. New Education Formats

 

 

We’ve added new Summit and Boot Camp training sessions to the Cloud Connect Chicago catalog. These new three-hour intensive formats include more hands-on-training and use-cases that will examine both the technical potential and business opportunity made possible by the cloud revolution.

4. New Tracks

 

 

 

We leveraged attendee, customer and advisory board insights to bring you a new track structure aligned with key cloud players and topics: OpenStack, CloudStack, AWS & Eucalyptus, Virtualization & Private Clouds and more. Keep checking back on the Session Scheduler for additional information and new sessions.

5. Post-Show News and Updates

 

 

The Cloud Connect community and conversation does not end once the Conference is over. All Keynotes will be audio recorded, and will have audio and presentations synced and online within a week after the session is completed. They will be available on the Cloud Connect Chicago website.

 
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Steve Wylie

With Cloud Connect Chicago less than 8 weeks away we have started to take the wraps off our exciting keynote line up.  Our program reflects not only the state of enterprise cloud computing, but more importantly, where we’re going as we begin to understand how cloud computing is reshaping the modern enterprise.

The theme for this year’s conference is Navigating the Cloud for Enterprise Transformation which speaks to two of the most important trends in enterprise cloud adoption:

Enterprise Transformation: We’ve moved beyond defining cloud computing and evangelizing its value proposition.  The Cloud is here to stay and its value to business pretty well understood.  But we need continued focus on exactly how cloud is reshaping business in terms of technology choices, policies and organizational best practices.

Navigating the Cloud:  As companies set a cloud strategy they face a number of decisions around platforms, ecosystems and vendor partners.   Cloud Connect’s Conference Program is uniquely structured to compare and contrast the leading cloud stacks in the market.

With these themes in mind, I’m thrilled to welcome Alistair Croll, VP of CloudOps Research as a featured speaker.  Alistair will most definitely challenge your thinking with his vision for the cloud enabled enterprise. He is a true thought leader, consistently ranks among top speakers at Cloud Connect and i’m thrilled to welcome him back this year.  Here’s a little background on Alistair from the CloudOps Research website:

Alistair Croll is an entrepreneur, analyst, and author. He has founded several companies in the area of network infrastructure, performance management, and web technology, and chairs a number of the tech industry’s largest events on cloud computing, Big Data, and entrepreneurship including Cloud Connect, Strata, Interop, and the International Startup Festival. He is also the creator of the bitnorth conference series. Alistair is the author of three books on performance, operations, and analytics, and is currently working on Lean Analytics, part of the Lean series from O’Reilly Media, which shows startups how to use data to build better startups faster. In 2010, he co-founded Year One Labs, an early stage startup accelerator, and he is an angel investor and hands-on advisor to numerous startups and investor organizations. Most of what Alistair says, passed through notoriously poor filters, can be found on Twitter or his blog, Solve For Interesting.

 

 

 
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Private Clouds continue to receive attention in enterprise organizations that are looking to amplify the benefits of virtualization and increase agility. While press reports about cloud computing are filled with lots of action and adventure, many enterprises are approaching cloud computing in a more methodical, step-by-step approach. Rather than build a complex hybrid cloud right from the start, many enterprises are looking to evolve from their current server virtualization environments to a full-fledged private cloud. When making this transition it is important for enterprises to consider:

  • What is the best approach for evolving from a server virtualization environment?
  • Who should access a private cloud, and under what controls?
  • How does a private cloud fit in with current IT management processes and systems?
  • What are the first use cases to target with your private cloud to ensure a “quick win?”
  • What landmines should you avoid?

Transitioning from virtualization environments to private clouds is something Dave Roberts, Sr. Director Solutions Marketing at BMC Software has spent over a decade tackling. Dave is chairing the Virtualization and Private Cloud Track at Cloud Connect Chicago 2013, where he will address these questions out help attendees build their private cloud roadmap. Sessions include:

Hear from companies including Boeing, Eucalyptus and BMC Software on how they moved from virtualization to private cloud environments. Register to attend Cloud Connect Chicago, use discount code SMBLOG and lock in Early Bird Pricing.

 
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An entry by Dave Roberts, Virtualization and Private Clouds Track Chair at Cloud Connect.

It’s a “coming of age” story, really. The cloud computing movement is reaching a new stage in its evolution. Many early clouds were built on top of existing server virtualization systems, with the primary objective of demonstrating the underlying technologies. Having proven that cloud computing works, enterprises are now looking to graduate to clouds that will support the long-term, production needs of the business; they are looking to build professional-grade clouds that will carry them the full distance. But that then begs the question, what makes a cloud “professional-grade?”

I see three primary differentiators that characterize professional-grade clouds:

  1. The ability to deliver a range of services to the broad group of end-users served by IT. Overwhelmingly, the first use-case targeted by most cloud pilots is software development and testing. Software development is a natural fit for cloud computing since developers and testers usually have a spikey demand for infrastructure, which makes the economic model a no-brainer. Further, these early users are quite technical, and so any rough spots in the cloud user-interface can be overlooked to keep the pilot project on track. But the simple user-interfaces delivered during the pilot phase typically don’t work well as the cloud moves to production and the user base expands to include non-technical business users. Instead, you’ll want a self-service interface that even a marketing intern could love, an interface that can deliver more than raw developer building blocks like Windows or Linux virtual machines. You’ll need a service catalog with user authentication, role-based access control, and the ability to provision complete, fully-configured end-user applications like Sharepoint, wikis, and collaboration tools.
  2. The ability to support the diverse set of cloud platforms required by the enterprise, both current and future. Many early clouds were built as mere extensions of the existing server virtualization platform already deployed at the time. Take virtualization, add a self-service interface, and you’re done! That’s a reasonable decision for a pilot program or technology demonstration, but it won’t go the distance. A professional-grade cloud will use a real cloud management platform to insulate cloud users from all the underlying implementation choices, making it easy to build hybrid clouds based on a variety of underlying implementation technologies: VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, OpenStack, a variety of public cloud providers, and even bare metal. Further, we all know that needs and technologies will evolve over time; a professional-grade cloud anticipates that future change and takes it in stride.
  3. Integration with IT processes and systems needed by the business. Most early clouds are built with clean-sheet design principles, implemented as independent islands outside normal IT processes and not integrated with existing systems. This allows the pilot project to get up and running quickly and to remain uncluttered by traditional IT thinking. Over time, however, the enterprise needs to be able to manage the performance, capacity, security, and change capabilities of the cloud, just as it does today with physical and virtualized infrastructure. Does this mean weighing down your nice, sleek, agile new cloud with two-tons of ITIL? No, not necessarily. Well-built, enterprise-class clouds cooperate with other IT systems, delivering the appropriate I-dotting and T-crossing with integration and automation so that enterprise compliance requirements and business policies remain enforced.

Now that cloud computing is growing up and going mainstream, it’s time that we got past the pilots and demos and started building professional-grade clouds that can meet real needs across the business, built for the long haul. We can leverage all the work we have done with those early projects and move them forward, building the advanced set of capabilities that will serve as the foundation moving forward.

Register for Cloud Connect Chicago with priority code SMBlog and save up to $500* on your All Access or Conference Pass.

*Discount calculated based on the on-site price and not combinable with other offers. Offer good on new registrations only. Prices after discount applied: All Access: $1,699.00 Conference: $1,299.00, Keynote & Expo Only: Free

 
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Steve Wylie

Our second annual Cloud Connect Chicago is fast approaching and the agenda is really taking shape.  We have a lot of new programs planned this year including our first Cloud IT Executive Summit, co-chaired by two of  our industry’s leading cloud authorities, Scott Bils and Joe Weinman. The Summit is focused on some of the biggest challenges facing IT including those that are not necessarily about technology.

Cloud continues to disrupt the way we develop, deploy and consume applications.  But what many companies have not come to terms with is how Cloud will impact the role of IT and how businesses need to organize for survival.

Scott Bils’ recent column on InformationWeek.com brings the challenges into focus:

“Corporate IT organizations are facing real competition. Business users are deploying sophisticated SaaS applications on their own. Developers are looking first to public cloud IaaS and PaaS platforms to build new applications, reducing the need for internal infrastructure. With every new third-party cloud service, more IT budget dollars go outside the door. So what’s a CIO to do?”

For starters, CIOs and senior IT people should attend the Cloud IT Executive Summit to hear from Scott and others on what IT needs to do to navigate these changing times.  Some of the speakers and topics planned for the Summit include:

  • Cloud Strategy and Economics Overview – led by none other than Cloudonomics author, Joe Weinman
  • The CIO Perspective on Enterprise transformation and organizational readiness – Scott Bils
  • Transformation via the Cloud – Michael Skok, North Bridge Venture Partners

And be sure to read Scott’s column which offers some of the steps CIOs will need to take towards IT-as-a-Service.

 
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Bernard Golden has been called a “cloud guru” and a “cloud computing rockstar.” He is Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Enstratius, a leading cloud management software company. In this role, he works with large enterprises throughout the world, helping them migrate to cloud computing and gain its full benefits. Formerly, was the CEO of HyperStratus, a Silicon Valley cloud computing consultancy that works with clients throughout the world. Continue Reading »

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