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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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.

Logging and learning your public cloud – Colin Fernandes – Ep 74

In the last of our series looking at the shift to public cloud, we discuss getting the best from your cloud and the value of understanding the behaviour of your cloud infrastructure.

Initially the move to cloud was seen as a way of delivering lower cost infrastructure or test and dev environments. However this is beginning to change, today more than ever this move is driven by agility, flexibility and reducing time to delivery, a focus on outcomes rather than cost and technology. This shift is a positive, technology investments should always be about the outcome and a broader end goal and not technology adoption for technologies sake.

When attempting to achieve these outcomes it’s important that our platforms are performing and delivering in the way we need them too, the ability therefore to log, analyse and gain useful insight into the performance of our estate is a crucial part of making sure our public cloud investment is successful.

On this show I’m joined by Sumo Logic’s Colin Fernandes as we look at public cloud, the value of what it delivers and how an understanding of its performance is crucial to not only help achieve desired outcomes, but to do so while still meeting those ever-critical security and governance requirements.

Colin is a self-proclaimed IT veteran with 32 years’ experience in the industry, starting out at ICL and arriving at Sumo Logic via the likes of IBM and VMware and that longevity in the industry puts Colin in a great position to comment on what he sees in today’s market and how cloud has and is disrupting our use of technology.

We start by looking at the similarities Colin sees in today’s shift to cloud to those early days with VMware. We also discuss how organisations are starting to look at cloud as a way to drive new applications and innovation and how this is as much about a cultural shift as it is technology.

We chat about big shifts in focus, with the adoption of serverless and modern design architectures such as containers and the increasingly pervasive ability to utilise machine learning and analytics. We also explore the problems that come with cloud, particularly those “day one” problems of monitoring, security and compliance and why it’s critical that security be part of the cloud delivery cycle and not an afterthought.

We finish up talking about Sumo Logic and what they bring to the market and how their ability to analyse and use data from their customers can provide them with the valuable insight needed to achieve value from their cloud investment.

This is a great time to find out more about Sumo Logic as this week (Starting 12th September 2018) it’s their annual user conference Illuminate, you can track the event via their live keynote stream and you can find that on www.sumologic.com where you can also find more info about what they do.

If you want to follow up with Colin you can find him on LinkedIn as well as via email cfernandez@sumologic.com

I really enjoyed this chat, with Colin’s experience in the market he provided valuable insight into public cloud and how to get real value from it.

Next time we are looking at the world of incident management, how to plan for it and how to ensure a technology disaster or data breach doesn’t catch you out.

Until then, thanks for listening.

Managing multiple clouds – Joe Kinsella – ep73

This show was recorded pre the announcement on August 27th, 2018 of CloudHealth Technologies acquisition by VMware.

This is the 3rd in our series looking at the move to public cloud, the challenges involved and some of the tips and technologies that can help you to overcome them. In this episode we look at perhaps the biggest challenge facing most organisations moving to public cloud, the issues of multi-cloud.

A few weeks ago I published a post about multi-cloud becoming the technology industries holy grail (Tech and the holy multi cloud grail) as they look at ways to extract the complexity from multi-cloud environments and allow us to build solutions that encompass our infrastructure be it on-prem, in a co-lo or a public hyperscale provider. The benefits of multi-cloud deployments are many and will be a major part of our future use of cloud.

On this weeks show we look at those issues surrounding multi-cloud and particularly how to manage it, maintain cost efficiency, govern and ensure security of our cloud based assets. To discuss this I’m joined by Joe Kinsella CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Tech, a company that have built a platform to pull together information from numerous environments, consolidate it into one place and allow you to make informed, proactive decisions to ensure you use your technology in the best way you can.

During the episode we explore some wide-ranging topics, we look at why complexity is an issue, how multi-cloud was initially “stumbled upon” but is now becoming a chosen strategy. We ask why don’t we expect cloud to be complex when much of what we do in our datacentres is very complicated? Joe also confesses that 3-4 years ago he was predicting the death of the on-prem DC and why he has revaluated that with hybrid becoming the deployment reality.

We also discuss the traits for successful multi-cloud deployment and why a cloud first strategy isn’t about everything in the cloud, but more about can we use cloud? should we use cloud?

We wrap up discussing the CloudHealth Tech platform, what it does and how it helps to manage a multi-cloud environment by pulling together clouds, on-prem and automation platforms, connecting all the information to provide the business insights needed for proactive decision making. Finally, we look at the maturity of cloud management and how it needs to move beyond cost control and embrace security and governance as the evolution of multi-cloud management.

Joe gives some great insight and CloudHealth Technologies deliver a very powerful platform, so powerful that VMware saw fit to acquire them.

To find out more about CloudHealth Tech you can visit their website www.cloudhealthtech.com

Follow them on twitter @cloudhealthtech

You can find out more from Joe on twitter @joekinsella, his CloudHealth Tech blog www.cloudhealthtech.com/blog and finally his own blog hightechinthehub.com.

Enjoy and thanks for listening.

Optimising the public cloud – Andrew Hillier – Ep71

 

The move to public cloud is nothing new, many companies have moved or attempted to move key workloads into the big hyperscale providers, AWS, Azure, Google and IBM, but for some it has been a mixed success.

Somethings of course move easily, especially if your initial forays into cloud are via software as a service platforms (SaaS) such as Microsoft Office365 and Salesforce, but if you’ve looked to move more customised, or traditional workloads this presents a whole set of new challenges.

We have probably all heard of cloud projects (or maybe even had projects) that have not gone to plan, this can be for a range of reasons, cost, technical difficulties, performance. There is a long list of reasons that cloud projects don’t go the way that’s expected. But at the heart of many of those projects is the presumption that cloud is both cheap and easy. It comes as quite the shock we we discover it isn’t!

However, things may be about to change as a new wave of technology companies are emerging that are starting to address, what is, the highly complex world of public cloud platforms. These companies are looking to extract some of the complexity away from the enterprise solutions architect and provide them with tools that assist them in their decision making and design, using a mixture of analytics, intelligence and human interaction to address the complexity of moving to the cloud.

This week is the first in a few shows where we look at the complexity of using public cloud and chat with some of the technology companies who trying to address some of these challenges by taking fresh approaches to the problem and aiming to make the cloud experience better, both technically and commercially.

In this first show I’m joined by Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO at Densify. Densify have taken a fascinating approach to the problem, built on Andrews long and strong analytics background.

Densify uses a robust analytics platform to build a full understanding of the workloads that have moved to the cloud, develop a performance profile then automatically modify those applications to fully take advantage of the cloud platform they are running on, ensuring they are optimised for the right services and right commercial cost models.

One particularly unique approach to their platform is the use of the Densify advisor, which then takes this analytics model and pairs it with a human being who works closely with their customer to take them through what the analytics platform has discovered and ensure that they understand any optimisation approach and its impact.

If that sounds interesting then dive in as we discuss a wide range of topics including why public cloud is complicated, why it should never be about the money alone, the limitations of first generation approaches to optimisation and how one of the biggest reasons cloud project fails is people buy the wrong cloud stuff!

Andrew provides some valuable insights and shares what is a pretty smart approach to the problem.

If you want to understand more about Densify you can visit densify.com

Find them on twitter @densify

Or on Instagram densify_cloud

Thanks for listening