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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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This post was co-written by Emily Johnson and Bernard Golden

There is no question that AWS is leading the charge in IaaS with high resiliency, and dynamic development options, especially for those developing SaaS applications in the cloud. However, their API-based features can make standardization of management interfaces difficult for cloud vendors, and though it can quickly evolve to its customer’s needs, does not endorse industry standards. Luckily, there are a number of great management solutions out there and AWS continues to be a prudent financial decision. Continue Reading »

 
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Brian is the CTO and co-founder of Hudl, a SaaS sports video company. His leadership of the development team and site infrastructure has led to Hudl’s cutting edge architecture and unique development squad structure. These innovations allowed Hudl to rapidly expand and capture the majority of the high school, NCAA, and NFL market for video analysis. Brian has been named in Forbes and Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30 lists for Hudl’s impact on technology in sports. In his free time he enjoys traveling, action movies, and a good sci-fi read.

Brian Kaiser’s sessions is called “Hudl and Pearson Learning Technologies Share their Experiences Scaling in AWS – From Distributed Apps to Online Business.“  Topics to be covered include:

  • Overall architecture and associated trade-offs
  • Network topology and related technology
  • High availability and data replication
  • Security
  • Running high performing web apps using a hybrid approach

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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Cloud computing is exponentially growing and now an assumed part of any infrastructure.  One of the critical needs of this industry is for trained professionals to assure that the cloud is implemented responsibly, and with the appropriate security controls in any organization. Certification is a great way to help advance your career and gain a leg up in the market.

Which types of end users care about this certification?

There are hundreds of IT and business positions that require cloud competence. As purchasing decisions shift from IT to the LOB it is important that more and more business functions understand the core competencies of the cloud. If your organization is adopting cloud at any level, or you’re considering advancing your career within the cloud market, one of the best ways to make that transition is with cloud certification.

What types of certification exists?

Many vendor companies are starting their own certification programs, but these only allow you to get certified on vendor programs or technologies. For a third party certification program we recommend CompTIA Cloud Essentials. The Cloud Essentials certification is a general-purpose tool you can use to show you understand all aspects of cloud computing.

Cloud Connect has partnered with CompTIA to bring the Cloud Essential training to Cloud Connect Chicago this October. Register for this one-day course and get educated on all aspects of the cloud. The training includes a voucher so you can complete the certification test at any testing center of your choice. Register by September 16 to lock in Early Bird pricing on the training – just $599.

 
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We are entering the era of the “Composable Enterprise Model” (CEM), where IT systems and data can be composed into new, business-facing offerings with relative ease. In some ways, CEM represents a pragmatic realization of the “loose coupling” ideal that has fueled recent architectural trends.  CEM is a multi-faceted gem, a collection of best practices and technologies combined with the real world implementation of open standards.  IT succeeds by abstracting the layers of infrastructure, applications and data into common services that can be dynamically accessed.  Infrastructure turns into a platform. Core business operations turn into services that are used by other applications. Applications and data are abstracted from physical infrastructure using platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

[Jared Wray, Tier 3 founder and CTO, will present his thoughts on using Platform as a Service in the Composable Enterprise at this year’s Cloud Connect Chicago.]

Continue Reading »

 
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Cloud Connect is excited to announce the 2013 Chicago Conference Lineup. With the competition heating up between CloudStack, OpenStack and Eucalyptus, the new Cloud Connect Conference program pits these players against each other and allows you to evaluate the competing choices, to put all the issues on the table, fuel intelligent dialogue and stimulate the necessary debates. New tracks include:

Visit the Session Scheduler to see all Conference Tracks and start planning your itinerary today. And, don’t forget to lock in Early Bird pricing, register before September 16 to save $500 on Conference Passes or claim your free Expo Pass. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

 
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Cloud Connect and Everest Group conducted a joint survey to coincide with the Cloud Connect conference at Santa Clara, in April 2013.

The objectives of the survey were to:

– Identify broad-based cloud adoption patterns

– Identify barriers to adoption

– Identify decision making patterns for cloud adoption

Below is a visual of some key findings.

 

Learn more at Cloud Connect Chicago.

 

 

 
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If you are an expert in your field and would like the opportunity to share your knowledge with other technology professionals from around the world – we need you! As both a conference and an expo, Cloud Connect continues to be the leading vendor-neutral cloud computing event. Our key role is to provide a platform for application developers and managers, senior IT professionals, infrastructure and service providers to network and gain deep cloud insights. Help us share those insights!

Please find information below to guide you through the submission process. Deadline is April 29, 2013 Continue Reading »

 
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Jason Quesada

A blog entry by Private & Hybrid Clouds Track Chair Barb Goldworm.

A lot of feedback from previous sessions at Cloud Connect, Enterprise Cloud Summit and Interop has been around the need for practical steps to take today. There are lots of discussions on cloud “vision”, and there has been lots of education and experiences with virtualization, but many are hungry to bridge the gap from where you are with your virtual infrastructure today, to truly running a private cloud. The conversation is no longer about “if” but is now about “how”.

In response to this feedback, we are focusing both our Private and Hybrid Cloud track, and our Private Cloud workshop on the “how”. My previous blog highlighted key speakers and sessions in the track, so what about the workshop? The Building Private Clouds: From “If” to “How” workshop offers a vendor-neutral perspective to help you understand the key components of a private cloud, the relationship between virtualization and cloud, what it means to have a well-managed virtual infrastructure, and what it takes to leverage that infrastructure and deliver a true private cloud.

We’ll start by mapping out the road to private cloud, the steps involved, the roadblocks along the way, and how to overcome them. We’ll discuss how automation, orchestration and self-service fit in. We’ll help you sift through today’s vast virtualization and cloud ecosystem to identify which functions are critical for you, and which solutions best match which requirements. We’ll look at how different vendors address virtualization and private cloud and how new cloud management tools integrate with and/or /utilize what organizations already have.

So join us on Monday afternoon for the workshop to start the practical journey on the road to cloud, and then continue on with the Private and Hybrid Cloud track on Tuesday for vendor visions, perspectives and additional comparisons and conversations. Go beyond the vision to get more practical, and map out your next steps on the road to cloud.

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