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Setting aside the recent controversy and struggles between the two companies over Mark Hurd’s move from HP to Oracle, HP has recently announced a new set of solutions that are designed to run a number of Oracle apps via a private cloud architecture. Hurd’s move took place after a scandal that accused him of falsifying expense reports as well as having an inappropriate relationship with a contractor. Hurd was named the co-president of Oracle, which was followed almost immediately by a civil suit from HP declaring that Hurd won’t be able to do the job without violating a confidentiality agreement portion of the severance package that HP provided. Further complicating the matter is the recent acquisition of Sun by Oracle, which puts Oracle in the hardware business and positions them as a direct competitor to HP. While all of that is mildly interesting, the real questi... (more)

At-a-Glance: Comparing VMware vSphere 5.5 & Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V

There’s been lots of buzz on the virtualization front over the past month …  In August, Microsoft announced the RTM version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2, the latest major releases of the Windows Server and System Center families.  In addition, at VMworld this year, VMware announced the latest edition of their vSphere hypervisor platform: VMware vSphere 5.5. IT Pros have been very interested in learning about the pros and cons presented by each offering – particularly because the total cost of Windows Server 2012 R2 + System Center 2012 R2 can be quite attractive in comparison to VMware’s offerings. More information: See Shopping for Private Clouds for a sample cost comparison between Microsoft and VMware virtualization solutions based on real-world requirements. With so many features called by differing names in each virtualization platform... (more)

Nimble Flashes New Private Cloud Reference Architecture Around

Nimble Storage, one of the darlings of the new storage breed - darling if for no other reason than it's managed to collect $98 million from the VC crowd since it started in 2008 - that's pretty darling - has been waving around the plans for a new Microsoft private cloud that's pre-configured, turnkey and certified as a scalable on-premise infrastructure platform. The Microsoft reference architecture involves a Nimble SmartStack for Windows Server and System Center running on Cisco's UCS servers. It's supposed to be good for 75 virtual machines created by Microsoft's Hyper-V in a highly available environment. The plans involve a 3U Nimble array, the flash-optimized hybrid storage from its CS200 Series, a minimum of two Cisco C220 M3 rack servers scalable to four, two Cisco UCS fabric extenders and Cisco UCS fabric interconnects, Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V and S... (more)

Cloud Computing, SOA and Windows Azure

For a complete list of the co-authors and contributors, see the end of the article. Microsoft's Software-plus-Services strategy represents a view of the world where the growing feature-set of devices and the increasing ubiquity of the Web are combined to deliver more compelling solutions. Software-plus-Services represents an evolutionary step that is based on existing best practices in IT and extends the application potential of core service-orientation design principles. Microsoft's efforts to embrace the Software-plus-Services vision are framed by three core goals: User experiences should span beyond a single device Solution architectures should be able to intelligently leverage and integrate on-premise IT assets with cloud assets Tightly coupled systems should give way to federations of cooperating systems and loosely coupled compositions The Windows Azure platfor... (more)

The Public Cloud Sector Heats Up with ScaleMatrix and AppLogic

As mainstream cloud adoption picks up pace, concerns such as security and compliance have spurred growth in the private cloud sector. New offerings in this sector seek to balance the economies of scale that a public cloud can offer with the security and control that a private cloud offers. Whereas the original offerings in the public cloud space were cloud-washed hardware and software products haphazardly thrown together, several firms have introduced well-executed complete solutions that integrate all aspects of cloud infrastructure and scale with the needs of the end-user. San Diego based ScaleMatrix is one such company that provides a revolutionary new private cloud solution. Built on top of AppLogic technology, the ScaleMatrix private cloud solution takes the virtual private data center concept to the next level, allowing you to deploy cloud services (and their ... (more)

Reduce VMware Storage Costs with Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces

Windows Server 2012 can provide key advantages in one of the areas that is near-and-dear to every VMware administrator's budget: Storage! In this article, we'll explore the storage enhancements that Windows Server 2012 offers, and along the way, we'll see how it can help to "right-size" your VMware storage costs so that you have more budget for strategic IT investments ... Do I need to migrate to Hyper-V to benefit from Windows Server 2012? Not necessarily. Sure, lots of IT Pros have migrated to Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 - or Hyper-V Server 2012, our FREE bare-metal enterprise-grade hypervisor – AND, they’ve experienced the benefits that I mentioned above.  BUT, Windows Server 2012 also includes end-to-end improvements in other important areas, such as Storage, Networking, Security and Management. Windows Server 2012 Enhancements – Much more than just Hyper-V! ... (more)

Windows Server 2012 R2 Is Here, What Is It and Where Is Here?

Windows Server 2012 R2 entered a new Milestone on Friday Oct 18, 2013. It was released for General Availability (GA) which means anyone and everyone can now get there hands on it.  It can be purchased, used in production and is fully supported.  However there was no massive launch campaign around this monumental milestone for what is now the latest and greatest operating system Microsoft has to offer.  Is the new product worthy of an upgrade? How can the new product help me in my business?  Where do I get it?  How to install it?  What should I be looking at when I kick the tires?  Where are the improvements?  Are the improvements minor, major, must have?  In this article I will answer all of these questions and more. Windows Server 2012 R2 is a major upgrade where they focused on four key elements. Mobility - Great user experience from anywhere! Apps - Modern, agile... (more)

Public vs. Private Cloud Debate is Real

Zebras and tigers and bears, oh my! Well, there were no bears on an invigorating Power Panel at the 4th International Cloud Computing Expo in Santa Clara Tuesday night, but the subject of the two striped animals mentioned above did come up. Re-visiting a topic that re-appears during times of seismic change in the IT industry, panel moderator Jeremy Geelan, SVP of the event's producer SYS-CON Media, mused as to whether the private cloud was a zebra (based on a comment he heard from way high up in HP) and the public cloud a tiger, ie, you're discussion two completely different animals here that both happen to have stripes. Panel members included Rob Walters from The Planet, Willie M. Tejada of Akamai, and three small-company CEOS--Terry Woloszyn of PerspecSys, Adam Blum of Rhomobile, and Greg O'Connor of AppZero. Geelan's question went to the heart of the private vs. ... (more)

Terracotta and Eucalyptus to Drive Scaling in Private Cloud Environments

The companies claim that their partnership is aimed at helping enterprises get a better handle on challenges related to the elastic provisioning of compute clouds on existing data center infrastructure. The joint solution specifically targets the problem that companies face due to the inability of the data layer to scale at the same rate as the compute layer. The combo stack is intended for large-scale businesses to provision private clouds on the Eucalyptus cloud platform. Terracotta which provides software for Java applications,  facilitates private cloud deployment and helps applications scale from a single server using industry-standard interfaces such as Ehcache to many nodes through data virtualization. The company recently acquired open source job-scheduling software Quartz that can be found in many Industry products from companies such as Atlassian, Spring... (more)

Public Cloud Computing: Enabling the Elastic Enterprise

Sometimes the results of a Google search can be most enlightening for what they don't show.  For instance, I was wondering about the differences between private and public cloud computing in terms the strategic business benefits of each, so I did a Google search that looked like this: As you can see, that search only returned 24 results, and ten of those were duplicates!   Not only is 14 a surprisingly tiny number, but about half of those were cases where the two phrases happened to occur on the same page with no semantic relationship between them, and the remainder all expressed the same view: "Private cloud computing provides no strategic business benefits". Is that true?  I think it depends on how one defines "private" and "public".  In my view, cloud computing infrastructure and applications operated within an organization's private network and only made availa... (more)

Is Hybrid Cloud the Future?

In today's world where most IT organizations are inclined to use cloud architecture for their IT Infrastructure, the question still remains as to whether to adopt a public cloud or set up a private cloud. While a decision on this is driven by several factors based on the enterprise business requirements, each has its own pros and cons that are widely known. While it is becoming clear that the future that is emerging is a hybrid cloud model, what needs to be ascertained is how difficult or how easy is it for any Cloud consumer to adopt an hybrid cloud model and the technicalities involved around it .The general perception for a Hybrid cloud is that it is a combination of a Public & Private cloud wherein the private cloud can be on premise or off premise. The data can be securely retained in the private cloud while the computation tasks can be carried out on the public... (more)