Storage Ferraris in the cloud for $20 an hour – Lee Jiles – Ep80

 

A couple of months ago I wrote an article about the importance of enterprise data services inside of the public cloud (Building a modern data platform – exploiting the cloud) and why they are crucial to IT strategies of organisations as they look to transition to the public cloud.

The idea of natively been able to access data services that are commonplace In our datacentres such as the ability to apply service levels to performance, storage efficiencies and other enterprise-level capabilities to our cloud apps is very attractive.

In this week’s episode we take a look at one such solution, in the first in a series of shows recorded at some of the recent Tech Conferences I’ve visited, I’m joined by Lee Giles a Senior Manager from NetApp’s Cloud Business Division at their Insight Conference, to discuss Azure NetApp Files, an enterprise data services solution available natively inside Microsoft’s Azure datacentres.

Azure NetApp files is a very interesting technology and another example of the fascinating work NetApp’s cloud business unit is doing in extending enterprise data services to the locations we need them, on-prem, near to and inside the public cloud.

I discuss with Lee what Azure NetApp Files is, and why it was developed. We explore some of the challenges of public cloud storage and how it often leads to all of those good storage management practices you are used to on-prem having to be abandoned as we move into the cloud.

We look at why the ability to deliver a “familiar” experience has great advantages when it comes to speed and agility and Lee explains to us why stripping away the complexity of cloud storage is like getting yourself a Ferrari for $20 an hour!

I ask Lee about the technical deployment of Azure NetApp files and why it is different to solutions that are “near the cloud”. We also look at Microsoft’s view of the technology and the benefits they see in working with NetApp to deliver this service.

Lee also shares some of the planned developments as well as some of the initial use cases for the service. Finally, he explains how you can get access to the preview service and test out Azure NetApp files for yourself and see if it can help meet some of your public cloud storage challenges.

For more details on the service, as well as where to sign up to access the preview you can visit the Azure Storage Site here https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/services/storage/netapp/

If you have other questions then you can contact Lee, via email at lee.jiles@netapp.com.

Azure NetApp files is a really interesting option for public cloud storage and well worth investigating.

I hope you enjoyed the show and as always, thanks for listening.

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Cloud evolution or revolution? – W. Curtis Preston – Ep79

As we adopt an ever-increasing amount of cloud services into our businesses, are we part of a technology revolution or is it just the next evolutionary step in the way we do things? There is no doubt that cloud has revolutionised some businesses and that some would not exist without the incredible amount of services and innovation that the public cloud, in particular, can offer to us. However, that’s not the case for everyone, for those whose businesses pre-date “The Cloud”, we have legacy systems, “traditional” approaches to doing things and systems that are not architected like cloud applications.

So, what does that mean to us as we adopt cloud services? Especially when it comes to those “boring” topics such as data protection of our cloud integrated systems?

curtis preston newThat’s the topic I explore with this week’s guest “Mr Backup” also known as W. Curtis Preston, Curtis is Chief Technical Architect at Druva and has worked in the data protection space for 25 years.

We start out by discussing this evolution, from Terminals in datacentres to running our sensitive data “on someone else’s computer”, we look at what this means for data protection and clarify the position most cloud providers take when it comes to responsibility.

Curtis then shares some experience of what cloud data protection means and how we need to rethink our approach, as our on-prem methods do not necessarily translate to the cloud, in fact, if we are protecting “cloud native” then we need to think “cloud native” protection approaches.

We look at Druva’s approach to the problem and the power that comes with getting all of our data, regardless of location into a single repository and how that opens up options for getting insight and intelligence about the data we hold.

We also share some thoughts on the future and how the continued move to the cloud is going to break our on-prem data protection approaches if we don’t properly consider the way we protect our cloud-hosted information.

Finally, we dip into a topic we covered in the last episode as we look at VMware cloud on AWS, what that means for VMware customers and their transition to the cloud and of course the importance of protecting that data. If you are heading out to VMworld you will find Curtis In Barcelona discussing “The New Era of Cloud Data Management” why not look up his session.

If you want more information on what Druva are doing in this space visit Druva.com you can also follow them on twitter @druvainc and you can follow Curtis @wcpreston.

Great information from Curtis, hope you enjoy the show.

Next week we start a series of shows from my recent conference travels, with a large range of topics from data protection at scale to automation, ultra-fast performance to AI, If you want to ensure you don’t miss those shows you can subscribe and leave a review to help others find it.

Thanks for listening.

Stay Cloudy VMware – Glenn Sizemore – Ep78

As I’ve discussed many times in both blogs and podcasts, the move to public cloud comes with its challenges, sometimes it’s poor decision making, poor design or it’s just too complicated to integrate the flexibility and power of public cloud with your on-prem environment. However, you are probably also aware that this is beginning too change as more tech vendors look at ways of simplifying this by offering consistency and tooling to both ease the move to public cloud and simplify the integration with on-prem tech.

One such solution was announced by VMware at 2017’s VMworld conference and that was their partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allowed you to take a VMware stack inside of AWS that is completely yours, not shared, running your own environment, on top of Amazon hardware and managed completely by VMware. Delivering consistency of end point by providing and integrating with the VMware environment in your datacentre to deliver a seamless hybrid experience.

As with all things in the cloud these services continue to evolve and develop, so 12 months in I wanted to follow up on VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) to see how it has changed, the lessons VMware have learned and what is coming in the near future to allow even more flexibility and tighter integration with your own on-prem enterprise technology.

Joining me to discuss this is Glenn Sizemore, Glenn is a Senior Technical Marketing Architect at VMware with a long and varied experience in the IT industry.

On this episode, Glenn shares a range of updates on what VMC is and where it’s heading, we talk about the importance of its hybrid design allowing customers to focus on workloads and not have to focus on complex infrastructure, simplifying cloud adoption for a range of enterprises.

We also look at how it goes beyond just simplifying the move to the cloud as the two-way relationship with AWS starts to offer the ability to move native Amazon services into your datacentre and we discuss how this is driving a different cloud strategy conversation.

Glenn also shares some plans for what we can expect to see in VMC especially when it comes to storage as VMware look to tackle both the needs of capacity intensive workloads as well as the need to offer integrations with 3rd party storage platforms, which will be crucial in ensuring VMC is a flexible enterprise platform and not one that is seen as a tool just to sell VMware technologies.

We finish up by discussing how you can start to build both proof of concepts and proof of value with VMC before you make a commitment, because it’s crucial to define outcomes with this platform, understand that the platform is right, before asking whether “you can afford it”.

To find out more you can check out the Virtual Blocks blog site as well as follow Glenn on twitter @glnsize.

Also, do check out these fascinating Tech Field Day presentations that Glenn did alongside NetApp.

If you want to pop back in time to hear our intro show to VMware cloud on AWS from last year, you can find that here.

Glenn provides some great insight into this interesting platform, enjoy the show.

Thanks for listening.

Taking a grown-up look at cloud – Matt Watts – Ep77

Cloud is not new, I don’t think that’s news to anyone, many of us have deployed a cloud solution, be it a SaaS platform, some public cloud infrastructure or some VM’s for test and dev, cloud continues to play a major part in IT strategy for an ever-increasing amount of businesses.

However, this move to cloud has not come without us learning an awful lot on the way. We’ve probably all heard of, or maybe even been involved with, cloud deployments that have not gone as we expected, the technology hasn’t given us what we want, the commercials didn’t stand up to our calculations, or it just wouldn’t work in the way our on-premises platform did. Many of the issues that have led to those poor cloud experiences have been driven by an “immaturity” to our approach, often too quick to dictate a cloud first strategy, regardless of whether cloud is, in reality, the way to go.

Is our approach to cloud beginning to change? have we got, or do we need to consider our cloud strategy a little differently?

That’s the question we ask on this weeks podcast, an episode inspired by a fantastic article written by my guest Matt Watts, Director of Technology and Strategy, EMEA at NetApp. In the article Matt posed the question Are you Cloud First! or Cloud First? And the difference a bit of punctuation can make, you can read the article here.

I thought the topic he covered in the article and the question he raised were worthy of further investigation and that’s what we do on this weeks show.

During the show we discuss the article in depth, we start out looking at what drove Matt to write the article and the importance of understanding the difference between a strategy and a mandate. We also look at examples of mistakes that people originally made that have meant we’ve needed to start to change our approach.

We talk about the issues that are created by taking on-prem solutions and “dumping” them “as is” into the cloud without asking the question “is there any value in doing this?” and how this drives bad practice in cloud adoption. We also coin the phrase “there is no zealot like a technology zealot!”.

We also explore the idea that cloud adoption isn’t about cost savings, so if it’s not that, why do we want to adopt cloud?

We wrap up looking at examples of building a more mature cloud strategy and how this has worked well, Matt shares some examples of how NetApp’s own internal cloud maturity has driven their own internal decision making. Matt’s final thought is how, without an appropriate and mature cloud strategy, you run the risk building yourself a whole new set of silo’s and limitations.

Matt, as always, shares some fascinating insight into cloud strategy. To find out more from Matt you can check out his other blogs on his watts-innovating site. You can also follow Matt on twitter @mtjwatts.

Next week we get an update on the innovations and developments in VMware Cloud on AWS, until then, thanks for listening.

What happens in Vegas, heads to Barcelona – Pete Flecha – Ep76

We’re at that time of year when the tech conference season, after a bit of a summer break, swings back into full gear, some we’ve already had, such as MSIgnite and some we have to come, over the next couple of months there’s a range of shows big and small dotted across the globe on a range of topics.

As part of my day job, I find tech conferences a hugely valuable resource, the technology partners we choose to work with and the strategic value I look to share with businesses, much of it comes from what I get to learn attending some of these big shows, whether in person or via live streaming of key sessions. These conferences are still the best showcase many vendors have for presenting their strategic direction and the latest technical innovations. In my opinion if you are in a role where you are delivering technology or building technology strategy, paying attention to the shows of your key vendors and partners should be part of your role and I believe is a key part in ensuring you get the very best from your technology investment.

One of the biggest and still one of the most influential tech shows of the year is VMworld, VMware’s showcase event, a long time cornerstone of the technology community for IT pro’s and vendors alike. Mainly because VMware find themselves in an almost unique position (probably alongside Microsoft) of having their technology present in the vast majority of technology deployments. Because of this VMworld attracts IT Pro’s and vendors from many disciplines’ server and storage vendors, through to automation and analytics companies all working closely with VMware’s platforms to deliver services across enterprise and organisations of all types.

With that said, what can you expect to learn from a show like VMware? What’s the benefit for you? Well as we sit handily between VMworld US and Europe, I thought it would be a useful to explore VMworld a little more and get not only a round up of the big announcements from the US show and what to look out for in Barcelona, but also take a look at what is VMworld and if you’ve never attended (and full disclosure I’ve only ever attended remotely) why you may want to add it to your calendar next year.

Joining me to discuss this, is the co-host of the fantastic Virtually Speaking podcast Pete Flecha, a veteran of a number of VMworld’s as customer, partner and now as employee, he’s in a great position to provide some background to the show, how it’s changed and some of the key announcements from Vegas and what to look out for in Barcelona.

We start with exploring what VMworld is, discuss both its size and community angle and also why the show is about so much more than virtualisation. We also look at the part shows like VMworld and as we recorded MSIgnite, play in shaping the industry and why the messages of these influential technology companies are important to understand as they continue to play such a large part in the direction of the technology industry.

We get Pete’s list of favourite announcements from VMworld, including some big announcements around his own technology areas VVOLS and vSAN, as well as the very interesting “Project Dimension”. We wrap up by looking ahead to Barcelona and next year to VMworld in San Francisco and chat about why you may want to go and check out the event for yourself.

If you do have an interest in VMware technology as well as tech in general then I can’t recommend enough you get the excellent Virtually Speaking podcast on your weekly podcast schedule, you can also follow the show on twitter @virtspeaking and if you’d like to stalk Pete on line you can find him @vPedroArrow

For more info on VMworld and the main announcements then check out the resources Pete mentioned in the show;

VMworld 2018 recap podcast

http://www.vspeakingpodcast.com/episodes/89

What’s New in vSAN 6.7 Update 1

https://storagehub.vmware.com/t/vmware-vsan/vsan-6-7-update-1-technical-overview/

Introducing Project Dimension

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2018/08/introducing-project-dimension.html

VVols and SRM: Better Together

https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2018/08/23/better-together-site-recovery-manager-srm-and-virtual-volumes-vvol/

Next week we ask Cloud First! Or Cloud First? Until then, thanks for listening.