Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Amitabh Sinha

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

The Converged Infrastructure Team: The Final Silo?

If you've got an IT problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you need to hire a converged infrastructure

Back in the noughties I made the conscious decision as a Storage guy to immerse myself into what was being termed server virtualization and understanding the product offerings of a relatively new company named VMware. To this day I remember the incredulous looks and responses I received from my Storage counterparts, who were convinced that the VMware fad was nothing more than a system admin tool. Indeed the organizations that were early adopters of VMware ended up assigning the virtualization responsibility to the system admins team; at no point was there ever a thought that a dedicated virtualization team could or should be established. Fast forward to 2014 and virtualization teams are the norm and Storage administrators are constantly being hard pressed to have a better understanding of VMware as they provision and manage virtualized environments. Such a culture change was unthinkable 10 years ago, yet here we are again with the emergence of another silo, the Converged Infrastructure team.

If you've got an IT problem, if no one else can help and if you can find them, maybe you need to hire a converged infrastructure team...

This culture change became incredibly apparent at last years VMworld. Having attended every VMworld for the last four years, there was no escaping the significant change in the vendors, the products and the folks that were now in attendance. Gone were the numerous stalls of third party VMware management and monitoring tools and their vendors, almost resigned to the fact that vCenter Operations Manager had now monopolized that market. Gone too were all the VM labs that focused on the server virtualization features and in their place numerous labs that highlighted how VMware was now a cloud product. Even the third party vendors that were on display were now focused on orchestration, automation, self-service portals, service providers and everything else Cloud orientated. As for the traditional storage vendors, each of them was now presenting their storage arrays as part of either a reference architecture or converged infrastructure. If you belonged to either the Storage or virtualization silo there was little if anything on offer compared to previous years, if anything it was a wake up call that times were changing and changing fast.

As the converged infrastructure market continues to experience unprecedented growth there is now an inevitable evolution in how IT infrastructure is being procured, manufactured, managed and monitored. Akin to how desktop PCs evolved into slim and powerful laptops and portable tablets, IT infrastructure is experiencing a similar revolution. It wasn't that long ago when you wanted to buy a PC you'd have to choose and order all the various components as single items i.e. the CPU, the RAM, the motherboard, the CD-ROM drive, the monitor etc. and then wait several weeks as the PC store would build and integrate all of those components together. In terms of support if anything went wrong with that PC, you'd have to go back to the PC store who'd then spend several weeks deciphering the issue as they went back to all the component manufacturers to either replace or diagnose the issue. Such an approach is now almost non-existent where instead an end user can simply purchase a preconfigured, customized laptop online as a single product that's manufactured and supported by a single company. Converged infrastructure offers the same simplicity to what was once a complex approach to setting up infrastructure that's ultimate aim is to support applications. Consequently the simplicity that converged infrastructure has brought to organizations in terms of time to deliver, speed of deployment and risk mitigation has led the same organisations to question their traditional silos of management and monitoring.

Indeed such a change was exemplified to me in recent weeks with examples from two clients that I have been working with. The first client is a large organisation that has a multitude of silos and consequent processes and stumbling blocks to whenever they require new infrastructure for any new projects. With their current project they decided to bypass their internal silos and instead create a new team that would solely be responsible for a Vblock, i.e. their converged infrastructure team. In 45 days this team were up and running with their system delivering a service to the business, something that their traditional silos were taking nine months to achieve. The other client was a completely different case where a small team of seven was responsible for IT operations. Separated as silos of storage, network, compute, databases etc. this client made the step towards a mid-range 300 series Vblock converged infrastructure just over a year ago and immediately saw the benefits of accelerated deployment, performance optimization and risk mitigation. Recognising the potential their internal IT now had to open up new avenues for business, the same client only a few months later went on to procure seven more Vblocks. As for the team of seven there was no requirement for them to grow or change, in fact the only change that was required was their name; they're now the converged infrastructure team.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Archie Hendryx

SAN, NAS, Back Up / Recovery & Virtualisation Specialist.

@CloudExpo Stories
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...