Matt Liebowitz – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:18:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Dell EMC Services Podcasts Matt Liebowitz – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean episodic Matt Liebowitz – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services casey.may@emc.com casey.may@emc.com (Matt Liebowitz – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services) Dell EMC Services Podcasts Matt Liebowitz – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services /wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg https://infocus.dellemc.com Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way! https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/virtualize-active-directory-right-way/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/virtualize-active-directory-right-way/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 11:35:07 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=32134 Virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers, and business critical applications in general, is near and dear to my heart.  I firmly believe that there are almost no applications left that can’t be virtualized, and this session gives me an opportunity to share my experiences and help others become successful. Business critical applications have become, for […]

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Virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers, and business critical applications in general, is near and dear to my heart.  I firmly believe that there are almost no applications left that can’t be virtualized, and this session gives me an opportunity to share my experiences and help others become successful. Business critical applications have become, for the most part, the last applications and servers that are still physical for many organizations. Getting as to close to 100% virtualization as possible is an important goal to strive for.

Why is that important? Another firmly held belief of mine is that virtualization is truly the on-ramp to the cloud. By virtualizing even your organization’s most important workloads, you take one step closer to a future state where you can start taking advantage of cloud computing in your organization.

Of course, simply having a virtual infrastructure doesn’t mean you have a cloud. Having a true hybrid cloud involves additional components to facilitate automation, orchestration and to provide users with that service catalog where they can consume IT resources on a self-service basis. Virtualizing your organization’s servers makes it easier to start layering in those cloud components, and once in place you’ll want even your business critical servers virtualized, so you can start taking advantage of what a true hybrid cloud has to offer.

It’s that time again – the annual VMworld conferences.  This is my 13th VMworld!

Twitter Image - VMworld Realize ThemeThis year I’m presenting a session called, “Virtualizing Active Directory: The Right Way!” on Tuesday, Aug 29, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  It was a top 10 session last year, so if you’re at the conference, come by early to get a good seat.  Bring your copy of Virtualizing Microsoft Business Critical Applications on VMware vSphere or VMware vSphere: Performance and I’ll be happy to sign it.  Let me (@mattliebowitz) know what you think of the session, the book or the conference.
If you’re walking down the halls at VMworld and happen to see someone who looks like former VMware CEO Paul Maritz, stop him and say hi.  It’s probably me!

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Does Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Fulfill the Promise of “True” Hybrid Cloud? https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/enterprise-hybrid-cloud-fulfill-the-promise-of-true-hybrid-cloud/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/enterprise-hybrid-cloud-fulfill-the-promise-of-true-hybrid-cloud/#comments Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:00:27 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=28886 Late last year I read a great article from Wikibon called “True” Private Cloud will begin shipping to the market in 2016. I really liked how their definition of private cloud matched up with the capabilities and structure of our own Enterprise Hybrid Cloud. As I sit here on this long flight from New Jersey […]

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Late last year I read a great article from Wikibon called “True” Private Cloud will begin shipping to the market in 2016. I really liked how their definition of private cloud matched up with the capabilities and structure of our own Enterprise Hybrid Cloud. As I sit here on this long flight from New Jersey to Las Vegas for VMworld 2016, I decided to revisit that article and see how well it’s stood up in 2016 and if our Enterprise Hybrid Cloud really meets their definition of True Private Cloud. And, more importantly, talk about why it’s important to have hybrid as part of your cloud strategy.

Comparing True Private Cloud to Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

To start off, let’s look at how Wikibon defines True Private Cloud and how it compares to Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

Converged infrastructure

“Built with a foundation of converged (or hyperconverged) infrastructure, that can be highly automated and managed as logical pools of compute, network and storage resources.”

Since the release of Enterprise Hybrid Cloud in 2014, our company has supported converged solutions like Vblock and VxBlock as the platform of choice. We’ve also supported a “bring your own” model where a customer can choose their own hardware and, provided it meets the requirements, our services team helps the customer convert it to Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

Despite that, the vast majority of our customers have gone down the route of converged infrastructure. Why? Customers get it. They know that converged infrastructure is the fastest path to success, simplifying the architecture while providing a powerful and supported combination of industry leading technologies.

Self-service

“Enables end users (developers, line-of-business, etc.) to have self-service access to resource pools and have visibility to internal costs or IT chargeback pricing.”

It’s true: you can provide powerful hardware to run your cloud. But the truth is, if IT consumers can’t easily get access to your cloud solution, they’re going to find love in the arms of another cloud. A true private/hybrid cloud needs to provide that same self-service provisioning and cost visibility that public clouds provide.

The Enterprise Hybrid Cloud leverages the power of VMware’s vRealize Suite to provide powerful self-service capabilities and cost visibility back to the business.  That suite of software gives them a powerful self-service catalog and orchestration engine, a tool to monitor performance in the environment, and cost visibility for the resources consumed.  Combined with the extensive engineering that went into creating Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and it provides customers with a very functional cloud solution.

One-stop shopping for support

“A single point of purchase, support, maintenance, and upgrade for a pre-tested and fully maintained complete solution (a single throat to choke).”

As a technologist it’s often easy to get caught up in the “speeds and feeds” of a cloud solution. While that may be technically interesting, the thing that CIOs care about is driving business value from IT. Creating a cloud from scratch is a daunting task for customers and the fact that Enterprise Hybrid Cloud has been created with thousands of hours of engineering effort makes it a very compelling solution. Customers know when they unwrap their Enterprise Hybrid Cloud it’s not an “assembly required” platform. They know it’ll be delivered quickly and be ready to go “out of the box,” quickly driving business value right away instead of months in the future.  Again, customers get it.

There are other pieces of Wikibon’s definition of True Private Cloud that I encourage you to read, but you might be wondering why I’m talking about Enterprise Hybrid Cloud in the context of private cloud. Maybe I’m hopeful next year Wikibon will change their definition to True Hybrid Cloud?

The key to a successful hybrid cloud implementation

The fact is customers need to adopt a solution that has both private cloud capabilities and public cloud capabilities. The key to making the hybrid model successful is to use a platform that provides hybrid functionality along with private. If IT tells its developers to go to one tool for on-premises and another tool for off-premises it’s likely to end badly.

Most developers or end users don’t care where their workload is provisioned. They care about things like performance characteristics, capabilities, and cost (to name a few). Making all of this visible for both public and private clouds all from the same interface allows the consumer of cloud resources to make the decision based on the needs of the business and not the limitations of the technology. We know customers want this, and we listen to our customers.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud supports “out of the box” integration with public cloud provides like VMware vCloud Air and Amazon Web Services. In the future we’ll see even more public clouds supported, providing customers with the choices they need to enable them to make the decisions that are right for their business.

In closing, I think the Wikibon article does a great job of defining not only private cloud but also hybrid cloud. And I’m also happy to see that Enterprise Hybrid Cloud “checks the boxes” of private cloud while also providing hybrid capabilities that our customers are asking for.

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Tips for Unlocking Business Value with Cloud https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/tips-unlocking-business-value-cloud/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/tips-unlocking-business-value-cloud/#respond Mon, 03 Oct 2016 11:00:43 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=28889 As I’ve talked about both with customers and in previous blog posts, cloud needs to drive business value. CIOs are not interested in deploying cloud because they read a blog post about it or because Gartner says they should. Ultimately they understand that the world of technology is changing and people are increasingly expecting a […]

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As I’ve talked about both with customers and in previous blog posts, cloud needs to drive business value. CIOs are not interested in deploying cloud because they read a blog post about it or because Gartner says they should.

Ultimately they understand that the world of technology is changing and people are increasingly expecting a self-service model in everything they do. This is true whether they’re downloading an application on their smartphone, calling for a car, or provisioning IT resources. CIOs need to adopt this model (IT as a Service) to help bring value to the business and drive the necessary outcomes of the business.

What does it actually mean to drive business value? It sounds really good to say it and people think you’re smart, but obviously there’s more to it than that. Let’s look at some examples of how cloud drives business value for customers.

It’s all about the applications

For those of us in technology we sometimes spend a little too much time thinking about the hardware in our solutions. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of it, too. When a new smartphone is being released I’m always interested in how much RAM it has and how many CPU cores it has—as if I’m going to run virtual machines on it (I totally would, if I could, but that’s beside the point). When you think about it, what good is the extra RAM or CPU power in a smartphone (or cloud) if it doesn’t run the software you need. It all comes down to the applications.

One way to extract business value out of cloud is a simple “lift and shift” of your application workloads into the cloud. The inherent capabilities of a cloud like Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, including self-service management, cost visibility, and backup as a service brings capabilities that were likely not there previously. That does bring some value, but dropping an application into a cloud doesn’t typically provide enhanced automation and orchestration at the application level. Making the application owners more nimble and providing capabilities beyond what were available prior to moving applications to the cloud is when you really start driving value.

Enterprise application blueprints drive value

EMC has invested thousands of hours of engineering the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud platform, creating integration with Dell EMC products and providing lots of great functionality. One area where significant engineering effort was spent was in creating a set of application blueprints for common enterprise applications. These include Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and the Oracle database platform just to name a few.

We hear from customers all the time that their teams want database as a service (DBaaS), allowing developers to more quickly provision and manage databases for the applications they’re writing. The Engineered Blueprints for Microsoft SQL Server opens the door to DBaaS by allowing our Dell EMC Services team to drop in a set of fully engineered blueprints for SQL Server that provides DBaaS capabilities. For example, these blueprints allow provisioning and de-provisioning of individual databases, database instances, or even entire database servers. End users scan also backup and restore databases on demand, freeing them to work more quickly and not have to wait for IT or DBAs to perform many of these functions for them.

It doesn’t just stop at SQL Server. These Engineered Blueprints can provide functionality for Exchange Server, like email as a service, automated provisioning of highly available email infrastructures, and backup/recovery on demand. Similar functionality is available for SharePoint Server, Oracle, and SAP applications, too.

By giving application users and developers access to capabilities they didn’t have before, they become more agile and efficient. When businesses can create the applications or enterprise systems they need to compete and to provide products and services to their customers, that’s when real value is unlocked.

Give the people what they want

The right tool for the job is important—whether you’re building a house, repairing a car, or working with an organization’s application portfolio. Most organizations today have a mix of “off-the-shelf” applications, “home-grown” applications, and more modern applications built in cloud-native frameworks. One tool or technology is not necessarily right for all of those workloads as their needs and requirements are different. We believe in providing choice to our customers, and that’s no different here.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is a fantastic platform for the off-the-shelf enterprise applications from vendors like Microsoft, Oracle, and others. It’s built from the ground up for this class of application. As I described it above, Enterprise Hybrid Cloud has the capabilities to provide real business value. Dell EMC also has another cloud solution called Native Hybrid Cloud for those customers that are writing the next generation of cloud-native applications. Native Hybrid Cloud provides a turnkey cloud platform leveraging a scale-out architecture and platform integration with Pivotal Cloud Foundry to give developers a platform that accelerates their creation of the next generation of applications.

If customers try to cram a square peg into a round hole and use the wrong platform for the job, it becomes much more difficult to unlock the value that the business needs. Both Native Hybrid Cloud and Enterprise Hybrid Cloud are designed to be delivered quickly from our Dell EMC Services team in order to enable our customers to quickly see the value of their investments.

Listen and learn

One of the most important part of any of our cloud projects is talking to our customers to understand their goals, business objectives, and outcomes they’re trying to achieve. It sounds obvious but it’s true – our goal is not to simply drop off a cloud solution in a “one size fits all” manner. We sit down with our customers to understand where they’re going, and then, using our cloud solutions as a foundation, work together to craft an architecture that meets their goals. It’s very consultative and is outcome-focused.

We want to help our customers achieve their goals and build a lasting relationship. We wouldn’t be successful if we approached cloud as a single solution for everyone, as not all organizations measure the business value derived from their IT investments in the same way. We listen, learn and adapt based on the requirements of all of our customers.

We’re in this together with our customers in marching towards a “cloudy” future. Our goal is to provide solutions that help our customers solve their business problems. It’s an exciting time to be part of our Dell EMC Services team!

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From Factory Automation to Cloud Automation https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/from-factory-automation-to-cloud-automation/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/from-factory-automation-to-cloud-automation/#respond Mon, 22 Aug 2016 12:47:16 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=28636 My six-year-old son loves the show How It’s Made on the Science Channel. There are usually many episodes back-to-back on Sunday mornings, and he’ll be up at 7 a.m. or earlier ready to watch. I’ll usually sit down and watch the episodes with him and am fascinated by the automation that goes into creating some […]

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My six-year-old son loves the show How It’s Made on the Science Channel. There are usually many episodes back-to-back on Sunday mornings, and he’ll be up at 7 a.m. or earlier ready to watch. I’ll usually sit down and watch the episodes with him and am fascinated by the automation that goes into creating some of the things we use in our everyday lives.

As I thought more about it, I thought about how it’s not that different from when we work with our customers to adopt cloud computing. These customers need to look at their operational procedures, processes, and how they run their business and begin to identify areas where automation can bring about real savings. After all, cloud is not very useful unless you can automate your IT processes and then offer it out as a service to users and customers. Let’s take a look at some of the lessons we can learn from these big factories that automate their assembly lines to create the products we use.

How did they figure that out?

One thing that I always end up saying to myself while watching the show is something along the lines of, “How did they figure out all of these complex procedures?” In other words, how do they know that the metal they’re working with needs to go into an oven that cooks at a specific temperature for a set period of time in order to harden it properly? How do they know exactly how much ice cream to portion out for each ice cream sandwich?

The answer, in all cases, is that the company who designed the product fully understands what is involved in the process of creating the product. It sounds pretty simple and obvious, but unfortunately many IT departments don’t follow this same logic when they approach automation. IT departments understand they need to automate the process, but in their rush to do so they don’t fully understand all of the implications.

A relatively basic example of this would be the deployment of application workloads. Before cloud and automation, the requestor would typically request the server from IT. Now that most workloads are virtualized, it’s relatively easy for IT to create a new virtual machine. And they can often complete this in a matter of hours or days. In some case they’ll log the entry into a CMDB or update a ticket in an ITSM system and then hand the server off to the requestor.

In that scenario, IT may not have any sense of what happens after the server is deployed. Does the software being installed have any special licensing considerations? What is the expected lifecycle of the server? Does it need to integrate into any other systems? Simply put, if they don’t have the answers to these (and likely other) questions, how can IT be expected to properly automate the deployment of that application? IT needs to work with application owners, developers, and other stakeholders, in order to fully understand what is required before trying to automate the application workloads. By working together with the people who will be using the application they can properly automate it and bring real value to the business.

They use the right tool for the job

In the factory some of the tools used to create products are custom-made, and others can be repurposed. The same factory that makes packaged turkey can likely also create other packaged foods due to the similarities in requirements for automating those processes. Likewise, in the world of cloud, there are many different tools available to automate functions and choosing the right one is crucial to making the most of your investment.

When we work with customers deploying Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, we spend a lot of time up-front understanding the customer’s current state. What tools do they have in place? What skills does the customer’s IT team have, and what technologies can they support? Gathering this information helps us recommend the best solution for each customer. After all, why write a script for something when an existing tool might already be available?

Our customers are often already using tools like Puppet or Chef that can provide key functionality for cloud automation and orchestration. For integrating with third-party systems, there may be existing plug-ins for tools like vRealize Orchestrator that provide this functionality. And, of course, there are other systems that require custom-written scripts to properly automate functions.

When picking the right tool for the job, organizations need to consider many factors. We help them figure that out up-front so they can see real, tangible benefits and savings with Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

Automate everything?

Occasionally How It’s Made will show certain items being created by hand. In many cases this is due to the precision required for what they’re making. There may be another important reason that the show leaves out: scale.

Just because something can be automated doesn’t necessarily mean it can scale. And, more importantly, just because something can be automated doesn’t mean that it should be automated. It may cost more money, time, and effort to create the automation than the benefit customers and end users will realize. The big factories know and understand this, and IT needs to as well. Fully understanding everything that goes into automating your processes, or making ice cream sandwiches, will allow organizations to get the most benefit.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud brings real value to customers by helping them package up and deliver IT as a service, and automation is a key element of that. By fully understanding what needs to be done to properly automate something—knowing what tools you have available at your disposal and making decisions around the value of automating processes—organizations can derive real value from their cloud investments.

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How TiVo Taught My Wife About Hybrid Cloud https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/how-tivo-taught-my-wife-about-hybrid-cloud/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/how-tivo-taught-my-wife-about-hybrid-cloud/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:45:12 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=23037 There’s a famous quote that says, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” That statement is true. But I’m sure many of us have examples of where we’re challenged to explain something we know very well in a simple manner. Take the example of working in technology and explaining what […]

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There’s a famous quote that says, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” That statement is true. But I’m sure many of us have examples of where we’re challenged to explain something we know very well in a simple manner.

Take the example of working in technology and explaining what you do to family or friends who are in completely different fields. Can you easily explain virtualization, for example, to your car mechanic? What about explaining the concepts of hybrid cloud to an airline pilot (who has an altogether different view of clouds)?

Usually, the easiest way to explain a complex subject to someone who has never been exposed to it is to put it into terms of examples that they already understand. And so it was that I found myself talking with my wife about the benefits of hybrid cloud in terms of our TiVo DVR.

For years we’ve used TiVo to record shows for ourselves and our kids. TiVo has had a feature called Season Pass that automatically records all episodes of a TV show when they air on a particular channel. Recently, TiVo upgraded the Season Pass into a new feature called OnePass that brings together content on your TiVo with content available via streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.

We were recently at a party where someone recommended we watch a show we had never heard of. When we got home we decided to record it, and we got to see how the OnePass feature worked with this new show. The feature would allow us to record all new episodes of the show directly on our TiVo while also allowing us to use streaming services to catch up on the previous season that we haven’t seen. It does this all from the same familiar interface, grouping the newly recorded episodes and those episodes available from streaming services together into the same view.

2015-03-25 09 55 37You can see an example of what this looks like using my son’s favorite show Chuggington. From the same view, I can choose to stream episodes from multiple sources (in this case Amazon and Netflix, as shown in the lower right) indicated by the three little blue lines next to the name of the show. Or I can watch episodes I already recorded on my TiVo as indicated by the green dot next to each episode. It works great—I get all of the content that I want in one interface that I’m already familiar with.

Lest you think this is just a blog post advertising TiVo, let me bring it back to hybrid cloud. Those of you already familiar with the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud probably already see the connection here. What TiVo has done with the OnePass feature is provide choice, allowing us to record shows directly on our TiVo (on-premises infrastructure) while also letting us consume content from streaming services (off-premises cloud) all from the same interface. We could make the decision to use paid services like Netflix to catch up on old episodes, or simply record them directly on the TiVo (at no extra cost above our normal cable bill) when they air again.

The Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud provides that same type of functionality. You can choose to deploy workloads or services on-prem or use public clouds like vCloud Air all from the same interface. Consumers of cloud services usually don’t care where the workload runs, they just want the ability to consume it based on criteria like cost, data protection, recovery levels, or performance just to name a few. We talk a lot about how the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud provides choice, and this is an easy-to-understand example of how we provide that choice.

Of course, Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud doesn’t just stop at the creation of workloads. Cloud consumers can choose to back up or restore provisioned workloads on demand. They can also provision entire application stacks in a fraction of the time that it would have taken without a cloud infrastructure. And they can do this while having the visibility into the costs for all of the decisions that they make, helping them decide upon the most appropriate place for their workloads to run.

And so I bring it back to where I started. Hybrid cloud can be a complex topic. But I was able to explain it to my wife in terms she is familiar with, and she instantly understood the benefits. On that night everybody won—I got to explain the benefits of hybrid cloud in a new way that gave me the idea for this blog post, and we ended up with a new show to watch. Now if she’d ever give me the remote control, I might actually be able to watch it.

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EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Helps You Replatform https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/emc-enterprise-hybrid-cloud-helps-replatform/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/emc-enterprise-hybrid-cloud-helps-replatform/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:00:36 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=22059 When you think of the hybrid cloud computing and how you might envision using it in your organization, you might first conjure thoughts of the next generation of applications. Or maybe you want to provide your developers with easy access to provision new servers or applications on the fly without needing to wait for IT. The […]

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When you think of the hybrid cloud computing and how you might envision using it in your organization, you might first conjure thoughts of the next generation of applications. Or maybe you want to provide your developers with easy access to provision new servers or applications on the fly without needing to wait for IT. The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is built from the ground up to provide this kind of functionality (and more), but there are a lot of other potential use cases (some of which I discussed in an earlier blog).

In fact, when I think about the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, it makes me want to party like it’s 2003.

End of Support for Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 will reach what Microsoft refers to as End of Support on July 14, 2015. After that date, customers will need to pay for a custom support agreement from Microsoft in order to continue to receive any support on that version of Windows. You might be sitting there thinking, “Who cares? How many servers running Windows Server 2003 could still be out there?” The answer: a lot.

In fact, we’ve spoken with customers that still have thousands of servers running Windows Server 2003. It’s a major effort to migrate from Windows Server 2003 to a more modern version like Windows Server 2012, bringing customers dangerously close to the End of Support date for Windows Server 2003.

Let’s talk about how the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud can help.

To The Cloud!

Imagine you’re that organization that still has thousands of servers running Windows Server 2003. This isn’t a case of needing to migrate off the underlying hardware, so you can’t simply convert these servers to virtual machines and call it a day. To solve this problem, you actually need to deploy new servers running a modern version of Windows and replatform your applications. Without a modern cloud infrastructure like the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, that likely means a lot of manual provisioning of new virtual machines using lots of spreadsheets. IT becomes the bottleneck in terms of provisioning the servers and making sure the individual requirements of each server are met.

With the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, IT can allow application owners to provision their own servers at their own pace all through a service catalog. Instead of managing spreadsheets that are prone to human error, you can let the folks who know the systems better do the actual provisioning of servers. IT is no longer the bottleneck. Multiple application owners can provision servers to their specific requirements on their own which can significantly increase the speed of server deployment.

Measure and Monitor

Provisioning new servers is just one step in the process. You’ll also want to be able to monitor these servers better than you could before. Part of the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution is VMware’s vCenter Operations (now referred to as vRealize Operations), which provides enhanced visibility into the performance characteristics of your servers. All workloads provisioned onto the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud are automatically monitored by vCOPs, providing realtime visibility into their performance characteristics. It also provides another valuable piece of data: capacity planning. vCOPs can look at the workloads that have been provisioned and make a determination as to whether or not they are oversized. This opens up the opportunity to right-size servers that the application owner may have oversized.

Another area where the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud helps is with providing the true cost of deploying and maintaining these servers. With the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, you can assign costs to each component in a server and provide the true cost of deployment and maintenance. By providing the cost of each server, application owners can easily compare the cost of that server running on the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud with the cost of running the same server on a public cloud like vCloud Air—allowing them to make intelligent decisions about where their workload should run. You could then use the cost models to charge the business units for the servers they provision.

Many organizations are not quite ready for a chargeback model but still want to be able to report on the costs. The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud can provide “showback” (or my favorite, “shameback”) costs to the application owners so they can see what this would cost in case your organization ever adopts a chargeback model.

Don’t Forget Backup

You’ve gone to the trouble of provisioning hundreds or even thousands of new servers to support your Windows Server 2003 replatforming effort. You’re monitoring these new servers better than you have before, and you can even calculate the cost of each. Clearly these workloads are important to you so you probably want to protect them, right? There’s an app for that!

In my last post I talked about what makes EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud different from other hybrid cloud solutions. One of those things is our custom workflows that integrate Avamar directly into the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud service catalog. Without the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, an administrator might need to add each provisioned server to a specific Active Directory group or Organizational Unit, or they might need to choose specific backup policies within Avamar for every server. That sounds awful.

The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud has the ability to let administrators and application owners choose their backup policy when they’re provisioning the workload, automating a series of manual tasks and saving a significant amount of time. Even better, it gives control over backup and restore to the owners of the servers. They can simply navigate to the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud service catalog and choose to run a backup or restore a previous backup rather than needing to involve IT and potentially having to wait.

Hopefully, this example has helped paint the picture of why I think the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud  can significantly aid in Windows Server 2003 replatforming. It can help speed up the deployment of new servers, provide better visibility into the performance and cost of these servers, and automate backup and recovery, too. The efficiencies gained can help customers move much more quickly to avoid the July 2015 End of Support deadline.

Of course, replatforming requires more than simply provisioning new servers with an updated operating system. You need to plan, migrate data and applications, test, and much more. EMC Global Services has a series of services that can assist you with your replatforming efforts all the way from planning and discovery to actual application and data migrations. Add the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud into that mix, and you have a powerful combination.

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What Makes EMC’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Different? https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/what-makes-emc-hybrid-cloud-different/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/what-makes-emc-hybrid-cloud-different/#respond Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:15:36 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=21148 EMC announced a series of powerful hybrid cloud solutions and services this week built up on our previously discussed EMC Hybrid Cloud solution.  As a refresher, the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud will be available in three different editions: EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, Federation SDDC Edition – a hybrid cloud solution based on our Federation partner […]

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EMC announced a series of powerful hybrid cloud solutions and services this week built up on our previously discussed EMC Hybrid Cloud solution.  As a refresher, the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud will be available in three different editions:

  • EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, Federation SDDC Edition – a hybrid cloud solution based on our Federation partner VMware’s technologies
  • EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, Microsoft Edition – a hybrid cloud solution that leverages the powerful stack of cloud automation tools from Microsoft.  Think EMC and Microsoft aren’t well acquainted?  We’ve won Microsoft Partner of the Year a total of 22 times.  We’ll go into that more in a future post.
  • EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, OpenStack Edition – a hybrid cloud solution that shows our commitment to OpenStack.

You’ve probably heard or seen a good deal  of this news already, so what am I going to add to the conversation?  I wanted to dig into  what makes EMC’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud different.  Why didn’t we just call it Enterprise Hybrid Cloud?  What makes it “EMC” Enterprise Hybrid Cloud?  Read on.

Custom Integration with EMC Products

One of the things that makes EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (we’ll still use EHC for short) unique is integration with EMC technologies.  The EHC Federation SDDC Edition includes VMware’s powerful set of cloud automation and orchestration tools, including vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) and vCenter Orchestrator.  We’ve used these tools to create custom workflows that integrate our products directly into the hybrid cloud, providing powerful functionality that the VMware stack is not capable of out of the box.  That’s an example of the type of integration we’ve included in EHC.

We’ve created custom integration between vCAC and Avamar to provide powerful data protection capabilities built right into the cloud.  This integration allows for on-demand backup and recovery of cloud provisioned virtual machines, eliminating the need for end users or developers to rely on IT for these services.  When provisioning new virtual machines, users can also select their backup service tier and have their workload automatically protected.

EMC is uniquely positioned to offer this integration – these are our products, after all, and we have tight alignment between said product groups to support this.  When you consider the power of VMware’s technology automating EMC’s hardware and software stack, you can start to see why there has been tremendous interest in EHC.

EMC Support

It’s not surprising that organizations are hiring companies to help them adopt IT as a Service (ITaaS) and deploy their own private and hybrid clouds.  There are many different companies that offer this service today, but not many that offer what EMC offers: support.  EMC treats EHC similar to a product just like any of our other hardware or software products, and as such provides customer support.

If we’ve workecust serv repsd with a customer to deploy EHC and they have a problem, they can pick up the phone and call the same number they’d use today if they were having a problem with their VMAX array.

This level of support is another differentiating factor for EMC’s EHC offering.  We built it, we help customers deploy it, and then we stand behind it.

EMC Services

Of course, I saved the best for last – EMC’s services to help customers deploy EHC and adopt ITaaS.  Trust me when I say that although I’m part of the EMC  Global Services team and it’s hard to be impartial, what we have done for services around EHC is truly remarkable.

Customers tell us that they’ve overwhelmed with operational support of their infrastructures and often don’t have the time or resources to transform the way they want.  Even if they have the required resources, the technical know-how involved with hybrid cloud spans numerous technologies and processes, leading to long deployment times and higher risk.

EMC has developed services that can stand up EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud for our customers in as little as 28 days.  That’s right – we’re able to do in only 28 days what customers have told us would normally take them months to complete on their own.  Let’s face it, customers are being confronted  with shadow IT challenges and losing control of workloads to public cloud providers because their IT organization simply cannot offer  services to match what Amazon and others can provide.  The accelerated deployment benefit from EMC is designed specifically to address that gap – taking customers from nothing to a fully functional hybrid cloud that can provide true cloud services to their end-users within a very short period of time.

We’re in an exciting time in the IT industry as the cloud is rapidly transforming not only customers but also companies like EMC too.  EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is proof of that – we’ve created a solution that differentiates ourselves from others with our technologies, our support, and perhaps most importantly, our services to help customers achieve their goals.

Have a question about EHC?  Feel free to leave a comment in this blog or even find me on Twitter for a quick chat.

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The Future is Hybrid: VMworld 2014 https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/the-future-is-hybrid-vmworld-2014/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/the-future-is-hybrid-vmworld-2014/#respond Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:10:07 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=19902 This time of year is always an exciting one for me.  No, it’s not that I love summer or can’t wait for the start of hockey season (ok maybe that last one is true).  For me, late August always means it’s time for one thing: VMworld. VMworld is VMware’s annual conference where they bring together […]

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This time of year is always an exciting one for me.  No, it’s not that I love summer or can’t wait for the start of hockey season (ok maybe that last one is true).  For me, late August always means it’s time for one thing: VMworld.

VMworld is VMware’s annual conference where they bring together the best and brightest in the virtualization industry to share knowledge, discuss new features, and introduce the world to new products or technologies.  The first VMworld I attended was back in 2005 where the attendance was only 3,000 people.  At VMworld 2014 they’re expecting over 20,000 people which is a testament to how much this industry has grown.  This year will be my 8th VMworld and I couldn’t be more excited!

vmw2014It’s exciting for me because this is the first year I’ll go from being an attendee soaking up information to being a presenter who gets to share.  I’m presenting a session called, “Virtualizing Active Directory: The Right Way!” that goes to my roots as someone who believes in virtualizing business critical applications.  I’m co-presenting this session with Deji Akomolafe from VMware, another seasoned expert in virtualizing business critical apps.  Our session was originally scheduled to just run once, on Thursday the 28th at 10:30am, but demand was so high they’ve added another spot for us on Monday the 25th at 1:00PM.  If you’re at the conference, feel free to come by the session or stop me in the halls and say hi!  Or bring your copy of Virtualizing Microsoft Business Critical Applications on VMware vSphere or VMware vSphere: Performance to my book signing in the VMworld bookstore on Tuesday the 26th at 12:00PM.

Virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers, and business critical applications in general, is near and dear to my heart.  I firmly believe that there are almost no applications left that can’t be virtualized, and this session gives me an opportunity to share my experiences and help others become successful.  Business critical applications have become, for the most part, the last applications and servers that are still physical for many organizations.  Getting as to close to 100% virtualization as possible is an important goal to strive for.

Why is that important?  Another firmly held belief of mine is that virtualization is truly the on-ramp to the cloud.  By virtualizing even your organization’s most important workloads, you take one step closer to a future state where you can start taking advantage of cloud computing in your organization.

Of course, simply having a virtual infrastructure doesn’t mean you have a cloud.  Having a true hybrid cloud involves additional components to facilitate automation, orchestration, and to provide users with that service catalog where they can consume IT resources on a self-service basis.  Virtualizing you organization’s servers makes it easier to start layering in those cloud components, and once in place you’ll want even your business critical servers virtualized so you can start taking advantage of what a true hybrid cloud has to offer.  A great use case for combining business critical applications with a hybrid cloud is Database as a Service (DBaaS), which I talk about in a previous blog post.

Speaking of hybrid cloud, EMC will be demonstrating the EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC) solution this year in our booth.  If you’re just hearing about EHC, take a look back at my three part blog series on EHC (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) to get a primer for what’s in store for EMC at VMworld.  It’s a very exciting time to be at EMC as we focus heavily on EHC, enabling our customers to adopt a true IT as a Service model and change the way they run IT.

Even though this is my 8th time attending VMworld, I’ve never been more excited.

I can’t wait to present my session on virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers and help organizations successful in their virtualization/cloud journeys.  And with the hybrid cloud being such a big focus, it’s really a fun time to be at EMC.

If you’re walking down the halls at VMworld and happen to see someone who looks like former VMware CEO Paul Maritz, stop him and say hi.  It’s probably me!

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Introduction to EMC Hybrid Cloud Part 3: Use Cases https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/introduction-to-emc-hybrid-cloud-part-3-use-cases/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/introduction-to-emc-hybrid-cloud-part-3-use-cases/#respond Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:00:42 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=19728 This is Part 3 of a 3-Part series. Be sure to view Part 1 and Part 2. In the first blog in this blog series, we talked about what a hybrid cloud is in general (and why customers are interested). In the second blog, we talked specifically about the EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC) solution. Now that we understand the architecture […]

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This is Part 3 of a 3-Part series. Be sure to view Part 1 and Part 2.

In the first blog in this blog series, we talked about what a hybrid cloud is in general (and why customers are interested). In the second blog, we talked specifically about the EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC) solution. Now that we understand the architecture of the EMC Hybrid Cloud, the next obvious question becomes, “This all sounds really cool, but what can I actually do with EHC?” I’m glad you asked…

Defining Use Cases and Your Service Catalog

Before we go into specifics, it’s important to take a step back and talk at a high level about use cases. EHC is a powerful solution, but it’s only a stack of hardware and software just waiting for you to tell it what to do. Not every organization wants or needs the same things out of a hybrid cloud, so there is no “one size fits all” solution.

First, you need to figure out your use cases. In other words, what do you want EHC to provide for your developers, administrators, and users (your “cloud consumers”)? Those use cases will ultimately populate your service catalog, which is what your cloud consumers will use to provision these resources. Think of it like a restaurant menu—you wouldn’t open up a restaurant without knowing what you were going to put on the menu.

Infrastructure as a Service

EHC was designed from the ground up to be deployed quickly. We were able to deploy EHC at EMC World in just 48 hours using a set of predefined use cases. The idea behind deploying so quickly is to help get customers up and running on a hybrid cloud without the usual months of effort. The primary “out of the box” use case for EHC is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which allows you to provision new servers directly from a service catalog. For customers that are still provisioning servers manually, this is a huge win.

As we discussed in part one of this blog series, we frequently hear from customers that business units are going around IT and deploying their own resources directly from services like Amazon. It’s not that these users prefer Amazon, it’s simply that Amazon can provide this capability while IT cannot. Enter the EMC Hybrid Cloud.

With EHC, IT now has the same capabilities as Amazon to deliver those resources quickly and easily. Most users don’t care where the server lives, they only want it deployed quickly when they need it. EHC allows IT to better control those resources while still giving their users what they need.

Once IT becomes comfortable with the IaaS components of EHC, it’s time to start thinking about additional add-on use cases that can bring you closer to a true ITaaS model.

Applications as a Service

If you saw our Build a Hybrid Cloud Live demonstrations at EMC World, you saw that we didn’t stop at IaaS. As part of the demo, we showcased the ability to deploy applications or an entire application stack all from within that same service catalog. For example, we showed that EHC can deploy the entire software stack for a Microsoft SharePoint Server environment, including an Active Directory domain controller, a SQL Server, and a SharePoint Server all with just a few clicks.

Consider the SharePoint developer who wants to test a new application server, new code, or perhaps even a newer version of SQL Server. Rather than waiting days for IT to provision those resources, the developer can simply access the portal and have that entire environment in a matter of hours. This use case could be extended to include other applications or development environments, making EHC the “one stop shop” for developers in your environment.

You could also leverage EHC to deploy database as a service (DBaaS), as I discussed in a previous post. The EHC service portal can let developers and DBAs provision new database servers or individual databases, providing another layer of service to make IT more efficient.

User Provisioning

You might not automatically think about hybrid clouds when talking about creating new users or services for those users in your environment. In fact, a typical new user process (often triggered by a workflow from HR) is often a manual process that has numerous steps that are prone to human error. Why not automate that process?

The automation engine of EHC is VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), a powerful tool that can integrate into numerous other systems. vCAC can integrate into Active Directory to provision a new user account and grant access to the appropriate virtual desktop pool, integrate into your email platform to create a new mailbox, and provide access to a department-wide Syncplicity share—just to name  a few examples.

Storage as a Service

EHC includes ViPR, EMC’s technology for true software-defined storage. ViPR can be integrated into the vCAC service catalog to provide access to storage provisioning in a way that is truly unique. This allows management and provisioning of storage that is automated and policy based, making it easier to quickly deploy storage for new projects. As your hybrid cloud grows and new storage platforms are added, they can all be managed by ViPR and provisioned via EHC.

Final Thoughts

In technology today we’re bombarded by the word “cloud” and all of the magical things it can do and problems it can solve. A lot of it may seem difficult to comprehend or simply too difficult to implement. EHC was designed to address that problem. We showed at EMC World that it can be deployed quickly, and that it can actually deliver on the full potential of cloud computing.

I hope this three-part blog series on the EMC Hybrid Cloud has been informative and useful as you consider implementing a hybrid cloud in your environment. The response from our demonstrations at EMC World has been overwhelming, with many customers looking to adopt EHC in their own environments. There’s a lot more to come from EHC, so stay tuned to this space to learn more about EHC both now and in the future.

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Introducing EMC Hybrid Cloud Part 2: What is EHC? https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/introducing-emc-hybrid-cloud-part-2-what-is-ehc/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/matt-_liebowitz/introducing-emc-hybrid-cloud-part-2-what-is-ehc/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:00:08 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=19633 This is Part 2 of a 3-Part series. Be sure to view Part 1 and Part 3. In the first part of this 3-part blog series, I covered the “why” of hybrid cloud:  Why are customers looking to adopt it? What are the problems that it solves? With the problem statement out of the way and having an […]

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This is Part 2 of a 3-Part series. Be sure to view Part 1 and Part 3.

In the first part of this 3-part blog series, I covered the “why” of hybrid cloud:  Why are customers looking to adopt it? What are the problems that it solves? With the problem statement out of the way and having an understanding of the reasons why hybrid cloud addresses these problems, let’s get into specifics:  What is the EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC)?

At its very core, EHC is a reference architecture for a true hybrid cloud solution. It leverages the vCloud Suite software stack from our Federation partner VMware, as well as EMC’s technologies for software-defined storage and data protection. Of course, a reference architecture is not useful unless it can be adopted by customers to solve their problems. EMC has a set of services to go along with EHC deployments so we can understand our customer’s requirements and design a hybrid cloud solution to meet those requirements.

Below is a graphic that illustrates all of the components that make up EHC. For the purposes of this post, let’s break up those components into three layers: infrastructure, automation, and service catalog.

EMC Hybrid Cloud

EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC) Infrastructure

The core infrastructure of EHC is divided into familiar components of any data center: compute, storage, and network. At the compute layer, we’ll find the servers that will host the virtual infrastructure that supports the hybrid cloud solution. In the example above, we reference Vblock, but the solution does not require a Vblock to run. At the storage layer, you can leverage the full complement of EMC storage solutions, including storage platforms like VNX or VMAX. At the network layer, we leverage VMware NSX to provide network virtualization services.

EHC leverages VMware vSphere as the virtual infrastructure layer, relying on the trusted set of software that is included within the VMware vCloud Suite to provide the platform for the cloud. Additional components, such as those used for data protection and backup like Avamar and Data Domain, exist at this level as well. When you’re investing so much in deploying a hybrid cloud, protecting both your data and infrastructure is crucial.

EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC) Automation

A cloud wouldn’t be a cloud, hybrid or otherwise, without automation. Automation allows users to access a service catalog and choose what they need and have it delivered “as a service”—automatically without administrative intervention. EHC is no exception. At the heart of EHC is VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC). vCAC provides not only the automation layer but also presents the service catalog to end users for provisioning of resources (more on that in a bit).

The technology within vCAC is what makes EHC a true hybrid cloud solution. vCAC can integrate with vSphere and vCloud Director as well as public clouds like VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) or Amazon AWS. Once integrated, services can be delivered out of an on-premises cloud or the public cloud all from a single service catalog presented to users. In the diagram above, we show connectivity to both vCHS as well as other EMC-powered cloud providers (of which there are many) that are compatible with EHC.

Additionally, EHC includes a key piece of EMC software called ViPR that enables a true software-defined storage environment. ViPR can be used to automate the provisioning and management of storage, integrating directly with vCAC to provide storage services from that same service catalog. IT can allow users to provision storage directly from a service catalog, instead of waiting for a storage administrator to allocate and present that storage. The integration of ViPR and a true software-defined storage model is one of the things that makes EHC a truly unique hybrid cloud solution.

EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC)  Service Catalog

Finally, no cloud would be complete without a service catalog. A cloud, after all, is not a location or place where you run your services. It is an operating model for how to manage IT resources either within your own organization or hosted externally. IT resources are presented to users via a single portal—whether they are delivered with internal or external resources. If a cloud were a restaurant, the service catalog would be the menu from which users would order what they want.

The service catalog is presented from vCAC and includes all of the services that IT has chosen to deliver. The service catalog within EHC can be customized to include a company logo and other company branding, giving it a truly custom look and feel. For those that attended EMC World or watched the demos online, you’ve likely seen examples of what a service catalog looks like when it’s populated.

You’ll notice that there are other components in the diagram above, including applications and platforms, that can be used to develop and deploy cloud-based applications. We’ll cover use cases for EHC in a later post, but it’s worth noting that properly defining your service catalog is a key component to being successful with cloud computing in general (public, private, and hybrid).

What’s Next?

In this post we’ve described each of the layers of EHC and the components that live within each layer. Of course, a stack of hardware and software is only useful if you actually do something with it. In the next post we’ll talk about common use cases for EHC that you can leverage to bring value to your organization.

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