There has been a great deal of innovation around automated provisioning, scaling and decommissioning of cloud services in the past couple of years. The primary driver of this innovation is the ability to easily consume cloud services and pay only for the services that are being used. Creating cloud servers and appliances has become a remedial task to the end user with point-and-click provisioning being performed via slick web portals, while modern day cloud orchestration systems do the heavy lifting on the backend provisioning of the services that were ordered.
Archive for the 'Virtualization Hosting' Category
Christian Szell: Is it safe? Is it safe?
Babe: You’re talking to me?
You’ve made the decision to move to the cloud, but as with anything, all products aren’t created equal. And like with any complex decision, you need a roadmap.
But let’s start with something important – you need to start to Think Vertical. Many organizations have the responsibility for the compute, storage, data center and network split across manager. Of course, when you only have a few servers in a closet and you’re running a local area network to connect your PCs, it might have been OK. But today it doesn’t make sense. The optimal decisions are totally connected. Let’s say you acquire a new business in Japan. Should you get a high-speed network back to your servers in California? Should you buy a data center cloud service in Japan and put your own servers in there? Or should you connect to a compute & storage cloud service in Singapore?
Ten years ago, Nicholas Carr wrote a paper entitled “IT Doesn’t Matter” published in the Harvard Business Review. He might not have realized the far-reaching effects but in many IT shops, and with many senior executives, it signaled a shift from focusing on compute, storage, data centers and networks to applications. This also coincided with the rise of enterprise applications and, as a result, CIOs spend a lot of time discussing packaged applications, integration, and implementations, resulting in the treatment of the fundamental engine of their business as a commodity. But in most companies, packaged applications represent less than 20% of the overall footprint.
I have spent the last 12 years working in sales in the hosting industry, and I must say that the last 4+ have been the most interesting with the emergence of cloud hosting in the market. I spend my days working with current and future cloud users, and from what I have gathered over the past few years, new cloud adopters usually have three major concerns when it comes to hosting their applications in the cloud:
- How will my application perform in the cloud?
- Can cloud really help me scale quicker and more efficiently?
- How can I save money by hosting in a cloud solution?
My main suggestion to help answer all three of the above questions is for businesses to work with a few different cloud vendors to setup an environment on which to test their applications. This will allow users to see how their applications perform in the cloud, and will demonstrate how quickly businesses can scale their applications. Of course, every application and every company’s needs are unique, but typically, cloud users are amazed at how much more efficient they can really become. Whether businesses select a fully isolated cloud solution, or a shared resource, users quickly learn that cloud hosting helps them earn a maximum return on their computing investments. Simply said, the cloud offers a flexible, customizable platform that can respond quickly and efficiently to rapid change in demand, while at the same time, ensuring maximum up-time, speed and security needed for the most demanding IT environments.
Dipping a toe in the proverbial water can be the biggest obstacle for companies that are considering hosting their applications in the cloud, because fear of unknown risk discourages change. But companies that have taken the plunge have found that most cloud services are designed to deliver high availability and performance for a broad range of complex eBusiness computing applications that, in the end, will save them time and money.
Come join me at the Big Cloud Event on June 18th in Minneapolis and I will be happy to discuss your company’s cloud hosting needs with you.
The Big Cloud Event will be held at the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, MN, from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.. For more information about the 2013 Big Cloud Event visit http://bigcloudevent.splashthat.com.
About the Author: Shane Reisner is Director of Strategic Accounts for Layered Tech and brings more than 12 years of experience in the cloud hosting and managed services industry.
When was the last time you dialed an 800-number for customer support or chatted with an online support rep about a product or service you’re using? As I type this post, call center agents for major corporations are handling tens of thousands of calls, e-mails and chat sessions. That’s a lot of customer interactions at any given time, and each customer engagement is important and must be treated personally. Some of the world’s largest brands, including Priceline.com and eBay, rely on customer service solution provider KANA Software to better manage their ever-increasing customer interactions. Ballooning customer interaction volumes put pressure on IT infrastructures, which is what drove KANA to re-evaluate the infrastructure it had in place.
KANA looked to leverage the benefits of a cloud computing infrastructure, especially because the pay-as-you-go pricing model and flexible architecture was more cost-effective and efficient. After reviewing several vendors, KANA decided to partner with Layered Tech because of our expertise and ability to support their needs on both sides of the Atlantic. We created a customized package of virtual private data centers (VPDCs), managed services and disaster recovery solutions so KANA can support their clients, large and small.
We are excited to partner with the leader in customer service management and provide the international presence and flexibility KANA needs to give their clients customer service applications on a highly scalable infrastructure. We enjoy working closely with KANA, and we take pride in getting to know our customers’ businesses so that we can provide them with the custom infrastructure solutions they need to succeed.
How can we help your business?
It’s undeniable – cloud computing and virtualized environments have evolved into enterprise-worthy infrastructure solutions. But for enterprises, putting their data at risk on shared public servers still presents a security challenge they can’t overlook. From our experiences working with enterprises of all sizes, we know that while they all have different business goals, they all have the same cloud environment needs: enterprise-class security, choice and flexibility.
To address enterprises’ concerns and strengthen cloud security, Layered Tech has developed a new Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) platform that delivers a virtualized environment on servers dedicated to individual enterprise customers – in other words, customers aren’t sharing resources, which reduces their risk profile. Our customers using the new platform will receive levels of managed services, security and flexibility via a proprietary API previously unavailable in an integrated offering.
While putting everything on the cloud might not necessarily be the best option, companies still want the cloud’s benefits, which is why we created this platform to offer enterprises a hybrid cloud computing approach that delivers the best of both worlds – traditional dedicated hosting and cloud computing. To meet constantly changing enterprise needs, the virtualized platform gives customers the reliability and security of dedicated servers with the flexibility and scalability of virtual machines.
But what can this platform really do for your business? Let’s break it down:
RELIABILITY: You get the reliability and control of dedicated servers from your VPDC platform that operates exclusively within Layered Tech data centers.
CHOICE: You can choose the virtualization platform that best suits your needs, including 3Tera’s AppLogic, VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V, because our VPDC offering is technology-agnostic.
FLEXIBILITY: With our automated server provisioning system, enterprise customers can design, order and deploy a secure virtualized environment within an hour, instead of the weeks or months it can take many on-premise data centers to provision a similar solution.
CUSTOMIZATION: Developers will have more than 100 applications immediately available to them through the new API; those developers then have access to the API for customizing additional applications of their choice.
SUPPORT SERVICES: You can choose from a range of support options with the new VPDC platform’s tiered managed services, which lets you focus on managing your business, not your VPDC. Support ranges from fully managed by Layered Tech to self-managed options with varying levels in between.
To learn more about the new VPDC platform, which will be available later in Q1 2010, click here!
Let’s kick off the New Year by sharing some industry insight about expected IT trends and the initiatives most likely to dominate IT budgets in 2010, according to Enterprise Systems Journal. Their first newsletter of 2010 says businesses will increasingly adopt cloud computing and virtualization as viable and cost-effective infrastructure strategies. It also weighs public vs. private clouds and discusses which meets business needs best. And along with new technologies and strategies comes the need to adjust security practices to keep mission-critical data secure, while managing applications to meet end-user’s performance standards.
To highlight the private cloud hosting trend, the Enterprise Systems’ newsletter includes an article authored by Layered Tech President and Founder Todd Abrams, called “Clouds in 2010: Will Yours Be Lined With Silver or Filled with Coal Dust?” Todd shares his 2010 predictions for cloud computing’s growth and enterprise usage, all fueled by operational and financial improvements. He discusses the advantages of private clouds for enterprise control and security and explains the value created by managed private cloud services. For enterprises looking to better align IT solutions with overall corporate business needs, Todd advocates custom migration plans and says that successful enterprises will take a more holistic approach to their infrastructure. Check out the entire article here!
Other interesting articles include:
(11/10/2008) An Interview with HostReview and John Pozadzides, VP & CMO of Layered Tech
Recently Layered Tech announced it is the first hosting company to give enterprise customers the option of transferring their Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows OS) environment to an AppLogic-based cloud computing solution. Layered Tech will use 3Tera’s AppLogic 2.4 to enable customers to run their Windows OS platform in a virtual computing environment, which the company said will allow customers to have the same high-availability as their dedicated physical servers but with far more scalability, all for a fraction of the cost. Read Press Release >>
HostReview contacted the company to get more information about this development. In this executive interview, we talk to Mr. John Pozadzides, VP & CMO of Layered Tech >>
Does Layered Tech’s new offering — transfer to Windows OS environments to an AppLogic-based cloud computing platform, support the entire range of Microsoft server software?
Currently, the AppLogic platform will support 32 bit versions of Windows 2003 and 2008. 64 bit support is planned for future releases.
How do virtualization solutions from Layered Tech help enterprises cut costs?
Simplicity is one of keys to cost savings for our customers. Running enterprise applications on The Grid Layer is actually far simpler than using traditional hardware because you do not need to deploy, configure or maintain actual physical or software resources.
When you run an application in the cloud on The Grid Layer, all of the infrastructure resources needed are assembled and configured automatically on demand. When additional performance is required, it takes just minutes to increase the resources available to your application, resulting in optimum control and flexibility. Accelerating application availability drives cost efficiencies.
In a more fundamental way, The Grid Layer eliminates the upfront server costs associated with traditional clustered server environments. This server consolidation is a powerful driver of cost reduction for our customers, as well as the more traditional capital expense elimination achieved through our hosted virtualization environment.
Are there other benefits in term of security and scalability?
On both the security and scalability fronts, our cloud computing offering, The Grid Layer, solves many of the early challenges faced by virtualization providers. We have a powerful graphical configuration interface which enables users to create entire virtual infrastructures within the Grid, comprised of a wide range of devices including firewalls, load balancers and servers. Switching, routing and monitoring are all built into the Grid as well as complete physical redundancy and RAID 1 network duplication of data across physical nodes.
Therefore, our approach provides complete redundancy within the system, with built-in monitoring and self-healing capabilities. The Grid will restart any application running on a physical node that fails by moving it to a separate node within minutes.
The proven ability to scale a single client grid to well over 100 physical nodes means that even extremely large clients can obtain incredible resource density if required. For example, a 100-node grid with quad core, dual processor nodes, each containing 1TB hard drives and 32GB of RAM would equate to 800 processor cores, 3.2TB of RAM and 100TB of storage space.
What are AppLogic’s strong points over other cloud computing solutions?
3tera’s breakthrough AppLogic technology packages the entire multi-tier application or service into a logical entity and manages it as a single system. AppLogic is the first grid operating system that is designed for web applications and is optimized for transactional and I/O-intensive workloads. It uses advanced virtualization technologies to ensure complete compatibility with existing operating systems, middleware and applications. Additionally, off-the-shelf OS and applications are fully compatible within The Grid Layer (based on AppLogic).
Can you share with our readers some details about the hardware side of Layered Tech’s grid, such as number of datacenters and their geographic distribution?
Certainly. We maintain a global presence with our data centers and network, serving thousands of clients internationally. We currently have 8 purpose-built facilities located in the U.S., Amsterdam, Tokyo, and other locations. These top-tier data centers are the cornerstones of our worldwide hosting capabilities and offer unparalleled security, network availability, capacity, processing power, and operations management.
What is the Early Adopter Program?
For our customers who are interested in migrating to a Windows environment on our Grid, we are offering special pricing and close support to incent and facilitate migration. We intend to offer this program through Q1 2009. Contact us for details >>
Do you plan further developments in the areas of virtualization and cloud computing?
Listening to our customers means that we are constantly innovating new virtualization features and expanded cloud computing functionality. We are committed to staying on the forefront of virtualization innovation, and make ongoing investments in research and development. This is an exciting time in the hosted cloud computing industry, and we anticipate many more advances in how we provide enterprise-grade virtualization solutions.
A: As a key feature of Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V allows virtualization of multiple operating systems (including Windows and Linux) all on the same server. The technology provides a scalable, reliable and highly available virtualization platform along with a single set of integrated management tools to manage both physical and virtual resources. Windows Hyper-V also offers large memory support and provides backup/restore, snapshotting and easy transition of virtual servers from one physical server to another.
Q: What benefits do end users get from Hyper-V?
A: With our uniquely configured Hyper-V platforms, Layered Tech outperforms traditional VPS offerings generally available in the marketplace. We offer full virtual machines with complete control over everything, right down to the operating system. Customers now have a greater range of control than ever before, combined with a much higher degree of security and reliability.
Q: Can you share a little about other offerings Layered Tech provides?
A: Layered Tech’s portfolio of offerings is quite comprehensive, from on-demand managed dedicated hosting and web services to virtualization and grid computing. In fact, we are considered one of the leaders in virtualization solutions with our GridLayer product, which was one of the first commercially available virtualization computing solutions. Learn more at www.thegridlayer.com >>