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vForum 2010

October 27th, 2010 Comments off
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After spending two days at VMware’s vForum I have to say one thing. There are a lot of people out there who still don’t know, or understand, what cloud computing is. What makes it worse is the culprits are the vendors and the System Integrators, possibly confused by the cloud washing of their portfolio.

On more than one occasion there was the comment “everyone has their own definition” which is OK as a starting point but did anyone try sit-down and educate the great unwashed? Virtualisation != Cloud Computing.

Please, just to get you started have a read of the NIST definition. Whilst it may be considered lacking in parts, it is certainly better than the veritable blank slate of today.

The two things that did seem to be common with most of the speakers were: Management, at the highest level, needs to be driving this; and have a solid, functional security policy. What is funny is that it sounds like both of these are new ideas in the IT world. Those with half a clue know this not to be the case. Hopefully what events like today have done is remind everyone that these technological masterpieces we create are a means unto an end. They deliver a function for the business, or at the very best are the business enablers.

The other topic that lay just under the surface was that any migration, be it to an internal, private cloud through to an external, public cloud (and all variants within) is an extremely complex task, navigating technological and potentially regulatory pitfalls along the way; I found interesting  the sheer volume of “experts” available to help you along your journey, despite the sheer lack of services available domestically (notice yours truly in the pic).

Silly rants aside. It was great to get out and see the bits of the market I’ve been too busy to pay attention to, like the fact that VMsafe has now morphed into vShield endpoint or that vShield zones is now becoming more of a reality through vShield App and vShield Edge. We’re slowly starting to see feature parity with the physical world. The other nice piece of news was vMware’s “Project Horizon”, and accompanying demo. I’ve always said, give your staff the tools the want, else they will go out and get them themselves, whilst playing catchup to other players in the market, it is still a great sign. Having more than one player in the space will drive innovation further.

All in all I’m glad that I was able to attend this year and looking forward to all those vendor followups đŸ˜‰

TRILL, what is it?

May 8th, 2010 Comments off
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This is a half baked post today, but it is an attempt to get back into the swing of things.

One of the things on the “lists of posts to finish” is one on the emerging Data Centre technologies and the benefits that they they offer, or could offer, to the network Architect and Engineer. There have been some great articles written lately covering off NIV, FCoE and the odd article, and I do mean odd, about the wonders of RDMA over Converged Ethernet. One of the things I wanted to write about was TRILL. In a nutshell, TRILL is a L2 path selection algorithm (link state) designed to replace our good friend spanning tree.

Rather then bore you with my version of how it works and the benefits of TRILL to today’s design issues, have a look at the awesome write up done by @bradhedlund over at Cisco.

I’m still trying to find some time to get the back log of posts out of my head an onto paper/or here.