VMworld – It’s a Wrap – Ep42

VMware, along with Microsoft, is perhaps the most influential enterprise software company in the industry. VMware and their virtualisation technology has revolutionised the way we deliver IT infrastructure into businesses of all types.

It is not just traditional virtualisation they have made commonplace, the way they have driven the industry to accept our IT infrastructure can be software-defined, has made it more straightforward for us to adopt many of the modern technology platforms, such as cloud.

Today, however, the infrastructure revolution they helped create presents challenges to them, as the broad adoption of cloud and new ways of managing and deploying our infrastructure has led to the question “how do VMware remain relevant in a post virtualisation world?”

The answer is, of course, found by understanding how VMware see those challenges and what their strategic plans are for their own future development. There is no better way of doing that than spending time at their annual technical conference VMworld.

In last week’s show (Was it good for you? – vmworld 2017 – Ep41) we discussed with 4 attendees their views on what they learnt, what VMware shared and what they thought of the strategic messages the heard during the keynotes.

This week, we wrap up our VMworld coverage and a look at the modern VMware with two more insightful discussions.

Firstly, I’m joined by Joel Kaufman ( @TheJoelk on twitter) of NetApp. Joel has had a long relationship with VMware in his time at NetApp and has seen how they have evolved to meet the needs of their business customers and their ever-changing challenges.

We discuss that evolution as well as how NetApp has had to deal with the same challenges, looking at how a “traditional” storage vendor must evolve to continue to remain relevant in a cloud-driven, software-defined world.

 

To wrap up, I wanted a VMware view of their event and I’m joined by a returning guest to the show and voice of the VMware Virtually Speaking Podcast, Pete Flecha.

We discuss the key messages from the event, VMware’s place in the world, what VMWare on AWS brings and how VMware are getting their “mojo back” by embracing new ways of working with tools such as Kubernetes, delivering deeper security, tying together multiple platforms with their NSX technology and how VMware is giving us the ability to “Software Define All Of The Things”.

Pete gives an enthusiastic insight on how VMware view their own show and how they are going to continue to be extremely relevant in enterprise IT for a long time to come.

If you want to hear more from Pete you can find him on twitter @vPedroArrow and you can keep up with all the latest VMware news with Pete’s excellent podcast here at www.vspeakingpodcast.com.

That completes our wrap-up of VMworld 2017.

If you enjoyed the show why not leave us a review and if you want to ensure you catch our future shows then why not subscribe, Tech Interviews can be found in all of the usual homes of podcasts.

Thanks for listening.

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Was it good for you? – vmworld 2017 – Ep41

This time of the year is a busy one for the technology industry as we move into conference season. But are these events worth your while, or are they just an excuse for a few days off and a good time?

I suppose the answer lies in how you spend your time, there is no doubt you can attend these events and just have them as time out of the office and a chance to catch up with friends over a few drinks. But, if you treat these events as that, I think you are missing out.

For me, I always see them as huge opportunities. I can hear a vendors mid and long-term strategy, understand their direction and critically, whether that direction continues to remain relevant to my business and the challenges that I’m facing.

It’s also a great opportunity to educate myself, to learn more about a technology, from an introduction to deep dive and over 3 or 4 days, a chance to learn about a wide range of technologies in a way that a more traditional training course just cannot offer.

While I don’t suggest you spend all of your time in a bar, the chance to network, spend a few days with friends and peers in the industry, to understand the latest challenges they are facing, how they are overcoming them and what’s next, is a priceless part of the event investment.

In this week’s podcast, we explore the value of one of the industries largest conferences VMware’s annual VMworld event. Run over two weeks, one in Las Vegas and the European event in Barcelona, VMworld is one of the largest gatherings of customers, partners and technology vendors in the industry.

Over the next two shows, I get a cross section of views from those who attended Vegas and Barcelona to hear what they thought of the event, what VMware covered and how well that fits in with their needs and those of the wider enterprise IT market.

In this first show, I talk to 4 attendees about their experience and what they learned.

Becky Elliot – Becky is a senior Systems Administrator for a US government contractor,  this was Becky’s first VMworld, we discussed how she took the practical approach, taking time to attend sessions with a day to day relevance to her job, as well has having a great time testing her skills at the Hackathon session.

You can follow Becky on twitter @beckylelliot

Mark Carlton040317_0726_Availabilit1.jpgI also catch up with two regular guests, Michael Cade (@MichaelCade1) from Veeam and Mark Carlton (@mcarlton1983) of Concorde IT, both also attending their first VMworld’s, we discuss the strategic messages from the keynotes, look at how VMware are evolving, as the world they have built their success on continues to change and whether the changes they are making are the right ones.

And finally, I chat with Barry Coombes – Barry is the Operations Director at Computerworld Group and unlike my other guests caught up with the Vegas show online, before heading off to Barcelona. We discuss the major announcements from the keynotes as well as the technology he is looking to find out more about in Barcelona. We also talk about Barry’s unique approach to note taking!

You can find Barry on twitter @VirtualisedReal check out his show note doodles here http://www.definetomorrow.co.uk/blog/2017/9/9/vmworld-us-2017-doodles and finally look out for Barry’s own excellent podcast by finding Define Tomorrow in your favourite podcatcher.

Next week I get more views from VMworld, including chatting with VMware’s Pete Flecha for the VMware view of VMworld 2017.

To find out more about VMworld, you can check out their website https://www.vmworld.com/en/us/index.html

To catch the next show then please subscribe, you’ll find Tech Interviews in all good homes of podcasts.

IT Avengers Part Three – Reassembled– Ep40

This week is the third and last of our panel discussions looking at the major challenges facing business IT.  We pick up again with our panel from last week (You can find last weeks show here IT Avengers Part Two – Assemble Again – Ep39).

They continue their debate with a look at how a business vision, without assessment and understanding of the current environment, may well mean you never achieve your end goal.

We also look at skill sets and how our increasingly digital native workforce, may lead us to problems in understanding how to architect our future solutions.

The changing role of the IT consultant also comes under scrutiny, however as that role evolves, the overall aim of ensuring that those wishing to use technology to improve their businesses make the right choices, does not.

We wrap up looking at the future challenges the panel see and how for one of them, decoupling data from infrastructure is living the tech dream!

As a reminder, the panel is;

Ed Morgan a Sales Engineer for Rubrik Inc.

Ed has an extensive IT background having worked for over 10 years as a datacentre technologist across multiple technology platforms. Today Ed has made the leap to a vendor, now working for Rubrik, providing him with a wide view of the industry.

You can find more from Ed on twitter @mo6020 or his blog https://blog.edmorgan.info/

Mick Kehoe is Chief Technologist at Logicalis in Ireland. He is heavily data focused in his role helping his businesses customers to find answers too the many challenges that come with data management, from storing it, to analysing it.

Mick sees a wide range of challenges and working with some of the country’s biggest organisations has a great handle on what is happening to businesses of all types.

Mick is on the twitters @mickehoe

Ruairi McBride is a Technical Account Manager at Arrow ECS. Working with Arrow’s large partner channel, Ruairi gets a fantastic overview of the requirements of a vast spectrum of businesses in the UK and out to a wider global market. With a speciality in storage infrastructures, Ruairi offers great insights into the challenges seen by many of us.

You can find him on twitter @mcbride_ruairi

Jason Benedicic is Principal Consultant for ANS Group, working closely with their large customer portfolio.

Jason has a great experience of working with businesses at all levels, from boardroom to techie, providing him with valuable knowledge from the boardroom business challenge to the nuts and bolts of delivery, allowing him to bring some really valuable knowledge and experience to our discussion.

Jason can be found on twitter @jabenedicic and his soon to be launched blog http://www.thedatacentrebrit.co.uk/

You can find the first episode of the IT Avengers panel right here IT Avengers Assemble – Part One – Ep38

If you enjoyed the show, then please subscribe in all of the usual places and leave us a review.

Thanks for listening.

IT Avengers Part Two – Assemble Again – Ep39

The IT Avengers are assembling again this week, but this time I’m joined by a whole new team, as four more experts from the IT community share their view on the current state of IT within business, the day to day issues and how to overcome them.

This week’s podcast panel is;

Ed Morgan a Sales Engineer for Rubrik Inc.

Ed has an extensive IT background having worked for over 10 years as a datacentre technologist across multiple technology platforms. Today Ed has made the leap to a vendor, now working for Rubrik, providing him with a wide view of the industry.

You can find more from Ed on twitter @mo6020 or his blog https://blog.edmorgan.info/

Mick Kehoe is Chief Technologist at Logicalis in Ireland. He is heavily data focused in his role helping his businesses customers to find answers too the many challenges that come with data management, from storing it, to analysing it.

Mick sees a wide range of challenges and working with some of the country’s biggest organisations has a great handle on what is happening to businesses of all types.

Mick is on the twitters @mickehoe

Ruairi McBride is a Technical Account Manager at Arrow ECS. Working with Arrow’s large partner channel, Ruairi gets a fantastic overview of the requirements of a vast spectrum of businesses in the UK and out to a wider global market. With a speciality in storage infrastructures, Ruairi offers great insights into the challenges seen by many of us.

You can find him on twitter @mcbride_ruairi

Jason Benedicic is Principal Consultant for ANS Group, working closely with their large customer portfolio.

Jason has a great experience of working with businesses at all levels, from boardroom to techie, providing him with valuable knowledge from the boardroom business challenge to the nuts and bolts of delivery, allowing him to bring some really valuable knowledge and experience to our discussion.

Jason can be found on twitter @jabenedicic and his soon to be launched blog http://www.thedatacentrebrit.co.uk/

Again it’s an information packed show, so packed in fact that I’ve decided to split it into two episodes, with the final part coming next week.

In this first part we tackle another round of business IT challenges. We look at how many of us have a “cloud first” strategy, without really knowing what that means?

We also look at why “cloud first” doesn’t mean that everything has to rush to the cloud and why taking your existing infrastructure and “lifting and shifting it” to AWS is hardly ever the right answer!

We also look at something that was a topic last week, as we discuss how getting the basics right and how a focus on the “boring old stuff” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

We wrap by looking at the importance of a good foundation as critical to your future success.

Hopefully plenty more valuable information and something to help you tackle your current business IT challenges.

Next week, we’ll finish off this brief series of panel discussions as we hear more from the team on the key challenges they are seeing.

To make sure you don’t miss it, you can subscribe in all of the usual places.

Thanks for listening.

You can find last week’s first episode of the IT Avengers panel right here IT Avengers Assemble – Part One – Ep38

IT Avengers Assemble – Part One – Ep38

This weeks Tech Interviews is the first in a short series, where I bring together a selection of people from the IT community to try to gauge the current state of business IT and to gain some insight into the key day-to-day issues affecting those delivering technology to their organisations.

For this first episode i’m joined by three returning guests to the show.

Mich040317_0726_Availabilit1.jpgael Cade is a Technical Evangelist at Veeam. Michael spends his time working closely with both the IT community and Veeam’s business customers to understand the day-to-day challenges that they face from availability to cloud migration.

You can find Michael on twitter @MichaelCade1 and his blog at vzilla.co.uk 

mike andrews

Mike Andrews is a Technical Solutions Architect at storage vendor NetApp, specialising in NetApp’s cloud portfolio, today Mike works closely with NetApp’s wide range of customers to explore how to solve the most challenging of business issues.

You can find Mike on social media on twitter @TrekinTech and on his blog site trekintech.com

Mark CarltonMark Carlton is Group Technical Manager at Concorde IT Group, he has an extensive experience in the industry having worked in a number of different types of technology businesses, today Mark works closely with a range of customers helping them to use technology to solve business challenges.

Mark is on twitter @mcarlton1983 and at his fantastically titled justswitchitonandoff.com blog.

The panel discuss a range of issues, from availability to cloud migration, the importance of the basics and how understanding the why, rather than the how is a crucial part of getting your technology strategy right.

The team provide some excellent insights into a whole range of business IT challenges and I’m sure there’s some useful advice for everyone.

Next time I’m joined by four more IT avengers, as we look at some of the other key challenges facing business IT.

If you enjoyed the show and want to catch the next one, then please subscribe, links are below.

Thanks for listening.

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Controlling your cloud – Robert Cox – Ep 37

The podcast is back from its summer holidays, a week earlier than expected, with this special episode looking at a problem that is often overlooked.

There is no argument that increasingly we are taking more of our business IT solutions as services, be that building platforms and infrastructure in an AWS or Azure, or whether it’s consuming specific software as a service (SaaS) solutions like Salesforce or of course the almost omnipotent Microsoft Office 365.

The benefits of taking our IT services in this way are many, flexibility, scalability, availability and the commercial attraction in taking a service under subscription.

However, many people operate their SaaS solution under the assumption that their service provider is not only providing them with a highly available infrastructure, but are also protecting all of their data by inherently providing backup and recovery facilities, protecting our data from corruption, deletion, theft or destruction and it’s a real shock to them when they find out that in reality their service provider does not do any of this.

Let’s take Microsoft Office 365 and Azure, in Microsoft’s own shared responsibility document they point out, while they are responsible for the platform YOU ARE responsible for YOUR DATA. If it is lost they are not responsible for recovering it.

It is this that is the focus of this episode as I robert-coxcaught up with Robert Cox of NetApp before he headed off to AWS summit, to talk about NetApp’s new SaaS data protection solution Cloud Control for Office 365.

We look at why SaaS solutions are popular and why the market is moving toward them and explore the risks that come with that move.

We look at why, when we move our data to a SaaS platform, there is often an abdication of responsibility for our data that would never be acceptable in our own datacentres

We discuss good practice for SaaS housed data and the kind of backup and recovery capabilities that maybe useful to us and although this episode is focused on Office 365, we also chat about why this is a challenge for a large number of SaaS services.

We wrap up by looking at what NetApp are doing in this space to help their customers protect their data.

It was great to grab Robert before he headed of to AWS summit, to discuss this often still misunderstood area by those embracing SaaS in their businesses.

If you want to know more about what NetApp are doing to help, you can find out about Cloud Control for Office365 here and also get a free trial.

If you have further questions you can of course contact me on twitter @techstringy or Robert directly at Robert.cox@netapp.com or you can find him on twitter @scoxnew.

Hope you enjoyed the show and it helps you to take control of your SaaS based data.

The podcast is back properly from its summer holidays next week, as I’m joined by a panel of tech community experts as I ask them to give their views on the current big issues facing business IT.

To catch the show, why not subscribe, and until next time, thanks for listening.

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Living on the data edge – Yadin Porter De Leon – Ep36

There has no doubt been a change in the way we all look at protecting and securing our key data, with robust data protection, enhanced data security plans and increased governance to ensure compliance with ever-increasing regulatory requirements.

However, much of this is concentrated in our datacentre and our central data sets, which although critical, is not all of our data. One of the biggest changes we have seen in recent years in the world of “corporate IT” is the increasingly mobile nature of our daily operations, starting out from getting email to a Blackberry, to today been able to access all of our key business data and applications from pretty much anywhere at any time on a wide range of devices.

This shift of course has a huge impact on where our data lives, it’s no longer just in our datacentre, behind corporate firewalls and security, it lives out on those range of mobile devices, laptops, tablets and smartphones, which brings a set of quite unique challenges.

These challenges are not necessarily easy to fix, how do you ensure you are protecting that data on a wide range of different devices, how do you know where it is and what it contains?

That is the focus of this weeks podcast, as I’m joined by Yadin Porter De Leon of Druva to discuss the challenge of data that lives right on the edge of our network.

We look at the complexity of the problem and why it has too be much more than “backup” and why it’s critical we have full visibility of our data, regardless of where it sits in our business, be that in our datacentre or on a mobile device 1000’s of miles away.

We define what we mean by edge data, look at how it needs to be just as available and accessible as that in our datacentre.

Yadin shares with us how easy it is to suffer from a data breach with edge data, how the loss of a single device can lead to significant breach and all the impact that brings, especially if we don’t know what data may or may not have been on that device!

This leads on to investigating the subject of information management, which is the true goal for many of us, knowing where our data is, what it contains, who has and is accessing it, while ensuring we have it protected and can always find it, regardless of whether our end device is accessible or not.

We wrap up our edge data discussion by providing a little bit of listener homework, as we point you in the direction of the kind of questions you should be asking yourself as an organisation, so you can build a data protection policy for all of your data, not just that which is stored in your datacentre.

Yadin gives some great insight to something, which in my opinion, is a challenge that is often not giving the focus that it requires.

To find out more about the work Druva do to help with this difficult challenge then visit the solution section of druva.com, you can also follow them @druvainc on twitter.

You can follow Yadin @porterdeleon on twitter.

Finally, I strongly recommend checking out the excellent In Tech We Trust podcast, where Yadin and the team explore a wide range of IT industry and business topics you can follow them on twitter @InTech_WeTrust or the website at intechwetrustpodcsat.com

Tech Interviews is packing its swimming trunks and heading off on its podcast summer holidays for a few weeks, but worry not, you can find all of our previous episodes here on the techstringy.com website as well as at podcast.techstringy.com and to make sure you don’t miss out on the new shows when we’re back, then why not subscribe in all the usual podcast places.

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Have a great summer and thanks for listening.

 

were-all-going-on-a-summer-holiday

What is a next generation data centre? – Martin Cooper – Ep35

There is no doubt that our organisations are becoming ever more data centric, wanting to know how we can gain insight into our day to day operations and continue to be competitive and relevant to our customers, while delivering a wide range of new experiences for them.

This move to a more data driven environment is also altering the way we engage and even purchase technology in our businesses, with technology decisions now no longer the preserve of IT people.

These changes do mean we need to reconsider how we design and deliver technology. Which has led to the idea of “The Next Generation Datacenter”, but what does that mean? What is a Next Generation Datacentre?

That is the subject of this week’s podcast, as I’m joined by Martin Cooper, Senior Director of the Next Generation Datacentre Group (NGDC), at NetApp.

With over 25 years in the technology industry, Martin is well placed to understand the changes that are needed to meet our increasingly digitally driven technology requirements.

In this episode, we look at a wide range of topics, starting with trying to define what we mean by Next Generation Datacentre. The good news is that NGDC is not necessarily about buying a range of new technologies, but about optimising the processes and technology that we already have.

We touch on how a modern business needs flexibility in its operations and how decisions made in different parts of the business, who focus on applications and data, not infrastructure, require IT teams to respond in an application and data focused way.

Martin also discusses the types of organisations that can benefit from this NGDC way of thinking, and how in fact, it’s not about entire organisations, but about understanding where the opportunities for transformation exist, and delivering change there, be that an entire business, a single department or even a single application.

We also provide a word of caution and how it’s important to understand that not all our current applications and infrastructure are going to migrate to this brave new world of Next Generation Datacentres.

Next Generation Datacentre is not about a technology purchase, but is about understanding how to optimise the things we do, to meet our changing business needs and Martin provides some excellent insight into how we do that and the kind of areas we need to consider.

To find out more from Martin and from NetApp you can follow them in all the usual ways.

Their website Netapp.com

On twitter @NetApp @NetAppEMEA

You can also follow Martin @mr_coops

Martin also mentioned a selection of podcasts that often discuss next generation datacentre, you can find more details on those shows by clicking the links below.

SpeakingINTech

The Cloudcast

NetApp’s own TechONTAP podcast.

I hope you enjoyed the show, if you did and want to catch all future Tech Interviews episodes, then please subscribe and leave us a review in all of the normal places.

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Gotcha – the challenge of moving to the cloud – Jon Green – Ep33

This week’s podcast, is the second of three looking at the challenges associated with moving to the cloud, last weeks show (which can be found here) focussed on integrating our data with the cloud.

This week we look at the equally challenging area of picking the right cloud service provider partners to help deliver your services, be that running your entire infrastructure or discreet applications, the choice of the right partner is key.

I think it’s often easy for us to not pay attention to partnerships when it comes to cloud, we assume the move is easy, that once we go to cloud everything will be “just fine”, however in my experience there are a whole range of “gotchas”, the kind of issues that can be the difference between success and failure of a cloud migration project.

This week I’m joined by Jon Green, Technical Solutions Director at Navisite Europe Ltd, to address some of these potential “gotchas”.

Jon is an experienced IT professional, with many cloud migrations under his belt and is well placed to point out some of the challenges we need to consider as we plan our cloud migration and develop those all important partnerships that are going to help us successfully deliver cloud services into our organisation.

We look at a range of issues that can impact our attempts at taking advantage of the flexibility, scale and commercial attractiveness that cloud can bring.

We discuss the risk of assuming that cloud migration is simple, especially when your applications are not “cloud ready”. The importance of understanding the underlying cloud infrastructure, as well as what comes with the common misconception that our cloud provider is just going to deal with “everything” for us.

Jon also explains how resilience is a key part of any modern IT strategy and that those based in the cloud are no different.

Finally we explore where an experienced cloud partner can bring real benefits to your cloud adoption.

Jon provides some excellent insight and lots of useful tips that you can hopefully use as you plan your own moves to the cloud.

You can find out more about Navisite at Navisite.com as well as follow them on twitter @Navisite.

You can also follow Jon on Twitter

@JohnathanMiGreen

Or email him

jgreen@navisite.com

You can hear more about building cloud provider partnerships as Jon’s colleagues from Navisite will be joining me at www.northwestdataforum.co.uk on July 5th in Liverpool, why not come and join us.

Next week we wrap up our cloud migration series with Lee Clark from GivepennyUK as he shares how cloud services have allowed him to deliver real innovation into the charity fundraising market.

To make sure you catch that show, you can subscribe in all the usual ways.

Thanks for listening.

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New fangled magic cloud buckets – Kirk Ryan – Ep32

We’re all heading to the cloud, data is the new gold, all of our competition is putting its data in the cloud and getting massive competitive advantage, if we don’t know how to use our data and take advantage of the cloud we’ll be obsolete.

All phrases that you may well have heard, or variations on them at least and to some degree they are all true, there’s no escaping that cloud services are here to stay and certainly there is a huge shift in organisations of all types becoming more data centric.

But, if that is all true, why isn’t everyone charging headlong into cloud services and finding more and more valuable information from their data and making the rest of us a thing of the past?

It’s because it’s not that straightforward, cloud services can be complex, moving our data to them is difficult and even when we get it there, what new and ingenious things can we do?

Over the next few Tech Interviews episodes we are going to explore that subject and look at how we can take advantage of cloud, how we can get our data there and indeed, what innovative things can we do once we have, over these episodes we’ll look at how to choose the right cloud partners and speak with a company who have used cloud and data to come up with an ingenious way for charities to raise money.

But first, we take on the data challenge, how do we make it accessible to the cloud? how do we move it there? do we move it there? and if we do how do we keep it under control?

To help me explore that topic, I’m joined by Kirk Ryan, a Cloud Solutions Architect for storage vendor NetApp.

First we discuss why a “traditional” on-prem storage vendor like NetApp would need a cloud architect and how the “new” NetApp really have allowed themselves to be a “cloud first” company.

We also discuss the changing role of digital services in our organisations and how the IT purse strings are not always pulled by IT.

We look at the challenges that companies keen to embrace new technologies have to overcome. The importance of building bridges for our data between on-prem, cloud and hybrid platforms as well as the criticality of understanding our data’s lifecycle from creation through to its deletion.

Finally we look at the importance of not taking our on-premises bad habits with us to the cloud, as well as ensuring that we fully understand the economics of our move.

Because, after all, it isn’t a new fangled magic cloud bucket!

To find out more from Kirk you can contact him on LinkedIn.

To learn more about NetApp and their cloud data management tools then visit cloud.netapp.com or netapp.io.

Finally if you want to hear more from Kirk, you’ll find him, alongside me and some other industry colleagues discussing how to move to the cloud at the www.northwestdataforum.co.uk in Liverpool on July 5th.

If you enjoyed the show and want to make sure you catch next weeks episode as we discuss choosing the right cloud partners, then why not subscribe in all of the usual places.

Until next time, thanks for listening.

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