Veeam's Quasi-Q3 Report

Veeam is back with its third-quarter report that falls just short of actually being one because the company -- which appears to be doing just fine -- does not disclose its revenues in it. What it does report is that total Q3 bookings revenue grew 43 percent over the same period last year, and that new license bookings increased 30 percent during that period.

There is more good growth news. "We are very happy to have reached the milestone of 50,000 customers just six years after our founding," said Veeam major domo Ratmir Timashev, "as this represents strong validation of the quality and innovation of our products. It's great to see the success our customers and partners are having, especially with our Backup & Replication product, the industry leader for VMware and Hyper-V backup and data protection."

Ratmir has said in the past that he could be bringing the company public sometime soon, but he is a my-way-or-the-highway type of guy with a very successful track record, and he is not about to make a big move until he is good and ready.

The president and CEO is somewhat elusive. You never know where he might show up. It is interesting to note that Veeam press releases are bylined from Baar, Switzerland, a scenic, 9.6 square-mile village in the canton of Zug whose founding dates back to 1045. It's not hard to imagine Ratmir holed up in some majestic, 11th century castle, plotting his next moves from there.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/24/2012 at 12:48 PM4 comments


Citrix Barcelona: Clouds, Mobility Take Top Billing

Citrix is getting good use of its Synergy bully pulpit in Barcelona by making extensive announcements to fortify its cloud and consumerization initiatives. Major cloud-related thrusts include protecting its lucrative Windows applications and desktop business with a focus on two new releases of Project Avalon. On the consumerization side, Citrix has focused on its lynchpin Citrix Receiver product, while unveiling a new version of XenClient and addressing unsecure consumer cloud services via Citrix ShareFile with StorageZones.

The final piece in Citrix's consumerization armada is a pumped-up version of Citrix CloudGateway with Mobile Device Experience (MDX) technology designed to provide CloudGateway with a set of mobile application technologies that bring comprehensive security and control over native iOS, Android and HTML apps.

On the cloud front, Citrix made it clear that even though Windows apps no longer hold the same position of preeminence that they did pre-mobility, these apps are still a very high priority for the company, which is providing users with "a simple, pragmatic path to the cloud," created to make it easier for those users to not only transform Windows apps and desktops into cloud services, but to build Amazon style clouds, connect to inexpensive capacity in third-party clouds, and deliver a spectrum of apps, data and video services over any network.

Project Avalon is extremely important to Citrix, and the intensity of the company's commitment to it is reflected in the two new releases, Excalibur and Merlin. Excalibur will be available this quarter as a tech preview, and was created to "simplify the management of virtual apps and desktops, giving Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop users a single, unified way to design and deliver any mix of virtual applications and desktops from a common management console, and deliver them to end users with any mix of virtual delivery technologies." Excalibur also features enhanced HDX high-definition experience technology in the areas of video, graphics and rich media for mobile devices.

Merlin will be available as a tech preview in the first half of 2013, and is being touted by Citrix for its ability to help users quickly role out personalized Windows apps in public cloud environments across individual or multiple sites while employing public clouds in a "capacity-on-demand" methodology to support fluctuating business needs. The goal is to enable customers to adopt new upgrades and features at their convenience, which will allow them to mix and match disparate versions of Windows Server, XenDesktop and Xen App in a single, hybrid cloud.

Citrix also announced new support for Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack, which is aimed at making it easier for users to build Amazon-style clouds. Citrix says over 500 CloudStack clouds are being deployed each month, and the CloudStack community now has over 30,000 members.

Citrix Cloudbridge is a key cog in Citrix's effort to make it easy for enterprises to link their datacenters and private clouds to external, third-party cloud services. The company described two new strategic CloudBridge initiatives, saying, "The new Citrix CloudBridge for Amazon Web Services program, available in November, will allow companies to move production workloads securely and transparently between private datacenters and the Amazon cloud." These companies will reportedly be able to consume CloudBridge as a cloud service from Amazon on a usage-based model, avoiding infrastructure investments. The second CloudBridge initiative is Citrix CloudBridge for Microsoft Windows Azure, which will "extend this same value to customers of the Azure cloud."

When it came to coining a nifty tagline for consumerization , Citrix went with "Citrix Gives Customers the Power to Say Yes to Enterprise Mobility at Citrix Synergy Barcelona." That means yes to the company's universal and software client, Citrix Receiver, which is now free on consumer app stores, and reportedly supports over three billion diverse devices.

Citrix will be looking for more yes answers from buyers of the most recent version of XenClient, which provides virtual desktops to go with the millions of new, lightweight Ultrabooks. XenClient for Ultrabooks employs a client-side hypervisor that runs directly on the laptop, but is linked to corporate data centers for centralized synchronization and management. The big takeaway for users here is getting all of the power of a local Windows experience on laptops and Ultrabooks even when they are disconnected from the network -- plus their changes are automatically synched with a central image in a datacenter when they reconnect. Another takeaway: All benefits of VDI are extended to mobile workers with "no compromise in performance or security."

Mobile device security is a leading headache for IT departments, who are trying to keep track of the many devices finding their way into corporate computing environments. The vacuum in this area has led users to rely on consumer cloud services such as Dropbox, that offer less than stellar security. The newly introduced Citrix solution to this burgeoning problem is Citrix ShareFile with StorageZones, which provides employees with "flexibility, while making it possible for IT to choose where corporate data is stored, including on-premise, within their own, secure datacenters."

Citrix notes, "Because ShareFile supports enterprise client-side security, corporate data accessed on personal devices is encrypted and can remotely wiped by the business at any time if the employee leaves the company, or the device is lost or stolen."

When it comes to the management of mobile apps, data and devices into a single, unified controlled point, Citrix relies on Citrix Cloud Gateway, and the company showed it off at Synergy with a live, public demo of the latest CloudGateway version with MDX. The product now has a set of mobile app management technologies that provide security and control over native iOS, Android and HTML 5 apps. Via its integration with the new Me@Work mobile app family, Citrix says Cloud Gateway is the "first product to offer customers a single unified control point for any mix of mobile, web, SaaS and Windows app and data, delivered to of corporate and personal devices."

Under the guidance of Citrix chief Mark Templeton, the company is at least staying step-for-step with VMware and it's not hard to make the argument that this mobility-based extension of Citrix's traditional desktop leadership is putting it in the position of numero uno.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/18/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments


Desktone, NetApp Streamline DaaS

At a time when high upfront costs, complex architectures, and shared storage bottlenecks have been dogging mainstream VDI products such as XenDesktop and View, Desktone offers a tempting alternative built on its cloud-based desktop-as-a-service platform. Currently designed for enterprise and services providers, the DaaS offering prides itself on its economical, no-muss, no-fuss approach to VDI, which has been poised for a popularity liftoff that has yet to occur.

Enter NetApp. Combined with Desktone, the major domo storage player is enabling a solution that further simplifies the delivery of DaaS. The good news for service providers and users alike is the NetApp/Desktone offering reportedly helps service providers reduce those high, upfront costs and alleviate the nagging complexity, while igniting a surge in performance. In addition, with this joint offering, service providers can quickly deploy a full-featured service that allows customers to realize the benefits of virtual desktops such as support for mobile users, less expensive desktop support, and BYOD compatibility -- which doesn't seem like a lot to ask for, given the amount of hyperbole that users have been exposed to for the past few years.

According to Desktone, "the Desktone Platform is the only solution that enables virtual hosted desktops to be delivered as an outsourced, cloud subscription service," adding that it is "currently powering the cloud-hosted desktop offerings of more than a dozen global service providers."

As would be expected, NetApp is bringing its storage expertise to the table in the form of thin provisioning and deduplication that are expected to reduce storage requirements on a platform that was already storage conscious. Desktone says that NetApp "enables the near-instant provisioning of new virtual desktops so that new customers and users can be up and running on the service fast. NetApp integrated data protection features allow service providers to deliver enterprise-level data protection including point-in-time backups for user data, self-restore and data archiving."

Also included in this package is FlexPod technology, a pretested networking, computing and storage datacenter platform that includes NetApp unified storage systems, Cisco Unified Computing System server and Cisco Nexus switches.

In a nutshell, the Desktone-NetApp combination provides expanded mutli-tenancy, enhanced overhead provisioning, an administrative self-service portal, and scale-out architecture.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/16/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


HyTrust Precludes Dooms Day for Virtualization Users

The newly introduced HyTrust Appliance Version 3.0 is reminiscent of the 1964 movie, "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." In that Cold War classic, a demented Air Force colonel, Jack D. Ripper (played by Sterling Hayden), sends a wing of B-52s to bomb a Russian ICBM complex, and refuses to share the recall code with his executive officer, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (one of three roles played by Peter Sellers). Skipping ahead, even though the recall code call is eventually ferreted out, the world is annihilated in a nuclear holocaust triggered by a "Dooms Day Device." Believe it or not, this is a very funny movie.

In order to avoid disasters of a less serious, but still highly important nature, HyTrust Appliance Version 3.0 employs another Air Force-inspired idea based on the "two-person rule," which HyTrust founder and president Eric Chiu describes thusly: "According to U.S. Air Force Instruction (AFI) 91-104, the two-person rule was designed to prevent the accidental or malicious launch of nuclear weapons by a single individual."

Chiu cites the relevance of the Air Force regulation by noting that HyTrust's new Secondary Approval feature mandates that designated approvers authorize high-impact operations prior to users with administrative privileges being able to execute actions that can impact the business or even bring down the entire datacenter. He also says that VMware and other virtualization platforms do not provide adequate control, "including viable methods of requiring additional levels of approval for actions that can result in negative consequences."

Other features associated with the new appliance include advancements for secure multi-tenant private clouds, labels for VMs and other virtual resources for greater policy enforcement and security, and ease of use, plus availability, performance and scalability enhancements.

Available now, HyTrust Appliance 3.0 is licensed at $750 per CPU for each ESX or ESXi host. In addition, the free, full-featured HyTrust Appliance Enterprise Edition, which supports up to three hosts, is downloadable from www.hytrust.com/freetrial.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/15/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments


XenServer 6.1 Features Storage XenMotion

XenServer keeps on truckin'. Citrix claims the free edition has been downloaded somewhere in the neighborhood of a million times, and that XenServer manages workloads in over 50 percent of Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Gartner included it in the leaders' quadrant of its 2012 Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure. Not bad for a product that was pretty much written off as dead a few years ago.

Overall, Citrix says XenServer 6.1 "strengthens its server virtualization feature set for datacenter consolidation and simplifies the path to cloud computing with advanced virtual machine migration, enhanced networking and security, increased vendor compatibility and automated virtual machine conversion tools."

Specifically, Citrix notes that direct integration with the open source Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform -- which is powered by Apache CloudStack -- makes it possible to partition firewalls, balance workloads and prevent attacks on systems in both private and public cloud environments.

Via the all new Storage XenMotion technology, version 6.1 enables users to move running VMs without the need for shared storage. This technology also enables live migration to happen using a shared-nothing architecture in which the storage associated with virtual disks moves freely within and across pools for optimized storage utilization, simplified backup and serviceability.

The XenServer Conversion Manager automates batch conversions of VMware VMs into XenServer VMs, enabling users to make sure they are employing the best virtualization for their chosen apps both in the datacenter and cloud.

Available for download now, XenServer 6.1 is delivered in four product versions: free, Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum. All XenServer versions include XenCenter management and are available on a per-server licensing structure with premium editions starting at $1,000 per server.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/10/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


VMware Tightens Management Infrastructures

VMware is on course to assemble an impervious management infrastructure that will complement its software-defined datacenter plans and solidify its leadership position as a purveyor of private and hybrid clouds. Building on its recently announced VMware vCloud Suite, the company is now focusing on customer service provisioning, cloud operation management and cloud business management.

Four new Enhancements to vCloud Suite include vCloud Automation Center 5.1, vFabric Application Director 5.0, vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6, and vCloud Connector 2.0.

vCloud Center 5.1 is based on DynamicOps technology VMware acquired when it purchased DynamicOps last summer. Via multi-cloud infrastructure and desktop provisioning capabilities, this new product employs a self-service portal -- what VMware calls "essentially a cross-cloud storefront" -- that enables authorized admins, developers and business users to request new IT services or manage existing resources.

With a nod to VMware's growing emphasis on software-defined services, the company says "vCloud Center 5.1 will now be integrated with VMware vCloud Director to allow customers to leverage virtual datacenters comprised of VMware vCloud Suite's software-defined services."

vFabric Application Director 5.0 was created to provision applications on any cloud by standardizing and streamlining the ways customers model and deploy multi-tier applications using blueprints with pre-approved operating system and middleware components.

VMware says that while vFabric Application Director 5.0 was primarily created for VMware vCloud Suite-based products, "It will make it possible for customers to use the same blueprints to deploy apps across multiple virtual and hybrid cloud infrastructures, including Amazon EC2." The product will also feature application support for all Microsoft packaged apps -- Exchange, SQL, Sharepoint--as well as custom apps--Java, .Net, Ruby on Rails.

vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6 boosts hybrid cloud computing by applying patented analytics to integrated performance, capacity and configuration management, This provides the intelligence users require to proactively enable service levels in hybrid clouds. According to VMware, "The VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite can double the operational savings customers receive from VMware vSphere. With this release, VMware will include the performance management capabilities of the VMware vCenter Operations Suite in all versions of VMware vSphere."

Enhancements to v5.6 are driving VMware's strategy to converge management capabilities, incorporating new compliance views into the operations dashboard to help customers proactively enforce IT policy compliance, as well as security guidelines and regulatory environments.

VMware took the opportunity to spruce up vCloud Connector 2.0, toward the goal of hybrid cloud portability. This package, which provides a unified look at transferring and managing workloads between vSphere-based private and public clouds, extends the logical boundaries of the datacenter, "enabling the transfer of workloads across clouds without the need to reconfigure the network after workloads have reached their destinations."

Also on the announcement agenda was VMware Business Management Suite 7.5, which helps users manage their businesses by measuring the performance and cost across all cloud services; and VMware Cloud Ops Service and IP, announced in August, and now touted as "a new operating model where IT shifts from a reactive, tactical relationship with the business to the role of a strategic partner, helping broker critical, value-added services across an organization."

VMware cloud automation solutions are expected to be available during Q4 2012. VMware Cloud Automation Center 5.1, VMware Cloud Connector 2.0. VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6 and Fabric Application Director 5.0 will be included in the VMware vCloud Suite, which is licensed per processor with no core, vRAM or number or VM limits. Prices start at $4,995 per processor.

VMware vCenter Operations Suite Foundation will be available for free download to all vSphere customers with active support. The VMware IT Business Management Suite is licensed per user, and all of VMware's cloud management solutions will be available a la cart and priced per VM.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/09/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


Greenbytes Targets Excessive IOPs

Greenbytes was a data storage vendor for some five years, and during that time the company was butting heads with competitors like EMC and HDS that were many times larger and wealthier than them. Then, Greenbytes made an abrupt about face, turned competitors into compatriots, and put a "laser focus" on VDI vendors by offering them an appliance to help them with their IOPs problems.

Specifically, the company is complementing its former foes via its new IO Offload Engine, a small footprint plug-and-play device which was designed to accelerate conventional disk storage systems. Greenbytes, which now bills itself as "a developer of cloud-scale IO-offload solutions that enable organizations to meet VDI performance requirements using their existing architectures," created this new network infrastructure product to drain off transient IO associated with VM booting, rapid provisioning and disk swap.

The beauty of the system is its ability to enable SANs -- which have been widely criticized for creating shared-storage nightmares -- to accommodate only lower IO loads which are required to store and protect application and user data, "dramatically improving performance and driving down expenses commonly caused by VDI/VM environments."

According to Mike Lehrer, Greenbytes' west coast sales director, the IO Offload Engine doesn't touch user data, it just offloads the boot, which has stopped more than one VDI system in its tracks, and performs the swap, without requiring users to alter their existing infrastructures, including their VMware View stacks. The product is purpose-built for managed service providers, telcos and enterprises.

Lehrer says these days, his company is competing with its hardware-based product against companies like Atlantis Computing, which he says employs a more expensive, software-based tool that requires user involvement.

Senior Analyst Mark Bowker of the Enterprise Strategy Group, says that the Greenbytes IO Offload Engine leverages existing infrastructure investments without forcing IT organizations to rip and replace costly IT equipment or redesign the architecture, adding, "It captures the IO-intense data stream and processes it in a more effective and efficient manner without interrupting performance of the integrity of the data stream. The offloading can dramatically help streamline desktop provisioning, eliminate boot storms and erase the pain associated with desktop images constantly swapping to disk."

The company also received a patent for primary deduplication technology in April, and $12 million in series B funding in May. Most recently, it announced that it is expanding its business operations in the European market by enhancing its London presence and opening an office in Amsterdam.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/03/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


CipherCloud Encrypts Cloud Databases

CipherCloud, which is looking to change the conversation about cloud security via its cloud encryption gateway technology, expanded its product portfolio. CipherCloud Database Gateway encrypts data at rest for cloud-based database systems -- including IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS products -- in a straightforward way without costly, complex, application, schema or database infrastructure changes.

This is good news for the likes of Amazon RDS, Microsoft SQL Azure, Oracle Database Cloud Service, and database.com, in addition to what CipherCloud calls "millions of existing private cloud and behind-the-firewall database installations of Oracle Database, Microsoft, SQL Server, and MySQL."

Simplicity in the complex world of encryption is CipherCloud's calling card, as the company claims enterprises can now eliminate the data privacy, residency, compliance and security barriers to moving enterprise production databases to the cloud. For app developers, business analysts, database and system admins, CipherCloud says it's as easy as simply specifying database columns and rows to be encrypted of tokenized -- no app, cloud, database or infrastructure changes are called for.

"Before CipherCloud Database Cloud Gateway, cloud database encryption required changing infrastructure, relying on a cloud service provider, or spending an extensive amount of money on custom development," the company says. "These options left database encryption keys in the hands of the cloud provider or other organizations, thus failing to meet data privacy, residency, and compliance requirements of regulators and auditors."

Gartner says that currently less than one percent of enterprises use cloud encryption gateways, but by 2016, that number will jump to 25 percent.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/01/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


HDS Debuts "Net-New" Midrange Storage VM System

In order to separate itself from the rest of the pack (notably HP, NetApp, IBM and EMC), and set a precedent, Hitachi Data Systems has created a net-new SME storage system for companies with between 500 and 1,000 employees that is neither a trumped up low-end version or a dumbed down high-end offering. The result is the Hitachi Unified Storage VM (HUS VM), which HDS says is the industry's first unified storage product that provides enterprise-class virtualization for all data types -- block, file and object -- while offering the lowest operating cost in its class by up to 40 percent.

Based on the company's Command Suite software, HUS VM specifically allows block, file and object data to be stored on the same array and managed with a single suite of management tools.

According to Mike Nalls, senior product marketing manager with HDS, HUS VM supports multiple applications and protocols, which allows users to transparently manage pools of heterogeneous storage, which is good, because Nalls says there is a low level of awareness when it comes to storage virtualization.

Nalls goes on to say that the new system has a wide appeal to IT organizations, including CIOs -- who worry about vendor relationships and cost-effective numbers -- enterprise architecture designers -- who need to support company-wide product compatibility and time-to-value -- and admins -- who want to know how it runs and integrates into their existing tool sets.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 09/26/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments


ESG's Bowker Downplays VDI

The worm continues to turn with VDI. Back in our Feb-March issue of this year, I wrote a piece entitled "Is VDI Still Viable," in which the technology was scrutinized by vendors and analysts. The four topics that kept coming up were intimidating upfront costs, prohibitively expensive operating environments, shared storage bottlenecks and questionable security capabilities. In the end, my conclusion was that VDI remained viable.

Fast forward to the recent VMworld show in San Francisco. In the course of interviewing Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst/guru Mark Bowker for my Microsoft Windows Server 2012 cover story, the topic turned to VDI, and Bowker came down hard on it, saying "I think VDI's pretty short-lived. I think that there's certain use cases, and we're starting to see some of those use cases fill up and that work makes sense. People will spend because it's such a big problem, but now I think that you're seeing people say, ‘OK, you know what, I've gotten to that point where there's other ways I can be addressing this problem.'"

I replied by saying that for the first time, I had been interviewing former VDI naysayers that were agreeing that VDI was past its major problems with expenses, complexity, shared storage and security.

Bowker stood his ground, saying, "Yeah. I'm just not convinced it's that." The way he sees it, VDI -- which Gartner said had two percent of the enterprise desktop space earlier this year -- is but one of many delivery models and only one many ways to improve desktop and application delivery.

He does concede that it's going to make sense in certain use cases, and that its costs are being driven down, primarily by storage.vendors, but also by software innovation.

"Some of the things they're doing with Horizon that involves encapsulating applications and basically putting a container around them on an iPhone or an Android device gets real interesting, but that's not VDI," he says. "That's true application delivery on a SmartPhone and not a VDI model."

Bowker says there are two places in the market that he finds very interesting. One revolves around how do we deliver applications and desktops, and what's that going to change? That involves enterprise mobility. The other one is more datacenter-focused, involving basic integration. That's more about putting servers, storage, and networking together -- changing change the consumption model -- and this is where the HP VirtualSystem, Dell vStart, and VCE come into the picture.

"Those two things I think are super interesting to watch," he says.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 09/21/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments


Bromium Finally Rolls Out vSentry

After much ado over the past year, Bromium announced the GA of its first product, vSentry, which CEO Gaurav Banga says will ease "the great pain" felt by users as they are tasked with providing security for an array of competing technologies, including consumerization, social networks, and cloud applications, to name a few.

At this early point, financial pain is not a problem for Bromium, which in June said it had received $26.5 million in Series B funding from a group led by Highland Capital Partners.

Based on the Bromium Microvisor, a "security-focused hypervisor," vSentry was designed to protect Windows PCs from undetectable advanced malware that attacks the enterprise by tricking users into opening poisoned attachments, documents and Web sites.

In a statement, Bromium said, "vSentry enables IT to safely embrace key trends in mobility and 'anywhere, anytime' access -- empowering users to collaborate, access cloud-hosted applications, and the consumer web, and open unsafe documents and media without risk to enterprise information or infrastructure."

According to Banga -- who has replaced his higher-profile co-founder and spokesperson Simon Crosby as the frontman for this announcement -- Bromium has been seriously soliciting feedback from its early customers since January, and has been tweaking vSentry to comply with their requests. Those early customers include 43 large enterprise customers drawn from the ranks of very large institutions such as financial services, pharmaceutical firms, and government. Banga says all 43 of those customers are going forward with Bromium.

Pricewise, Banga was reluctant to lay out specific numbers, saying only that there is a list price that Bromium will "discount massively" for customers who are considering volume purchases in the six- and seven-figure range.

So far, so good. As Banga puts it, "These are the early days of Bromium. Nobody has said no yet."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 09/19/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


eGEnterprise 5.6 Digs Deeper Into Infrastructures

Users commonly complain that their application performance delivery is too slow, and virtualization, cloud computing, and finger-pointing among admins representing competing vendors only makes the problem worse. In order to come up with a solution to this dilemma, eG Innovations has made it clear that its goal with eGEnterprise 5.6 is to take the user's perspective and provide deeper, end-to-end visibility into physical and virtual infrastructures.

According to eG Innovation CEO Srinivas Ramanathan, the current state of the art when it comes to infrastructure analysis is a fragmented, incompatible mix of products that are not user-friendly. Version 5.6 of his company's flagship product finds bottlenecks by employing a color-coded topology map, new, intuitive dashboards, automated metric aggregation, improved performance prediction, advanced auto-baselining and tight integration with Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager 2012.

Other new features include enhanced virtualization and cloud support -- including monitoring support for VMware vCloud Director -- more comprehensive coverage for databases, storage, Active Directory, virtualization, deeper visibility into Java transactions, and NetFlow monitoring.

Also present in 5.6 is what eG Innovations calls "easy and automated root-cause diagnosis," which features "root-cause diagnosis extensions for cloud environments, auto-discovery of business service topologies, improved Active Directory integration, monitoring configuration, and personalized VM views for use by cloud providers providing managed services."

The company maintains that eGEnterprise 5.6 provides a easily measureable ROI that pays for itself in months. Currently available, its subscription fees begin at $50 per server per month in the U.S. On-premise perpetual licensing is also available.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 09/14/2012 at 12:48 PM4 comments


AT&T Touts Private Cloud Connections

Private cloud connectivity has not emerged as a high-profile market, but it should come as no surprise that AT&T is the early leader in this nascent area. According to market researcher Frost & Sullivan, the slimmed down behemoth of days past is the "most popular private cloud networking provider" through its use of virtual private networks (VPNs).

Specifically, in the course of surveying 308 U.S. IT decision-makers, Frost & Sullivan found that 48 percent use AT&T to connect their private clouds.

AT&T makes a case for itself by saying how easy it is for customers to link their private networks directly to VMs via AT&T's VPNs, thereby slashing provisioning time and expenses. The company is also bragging about accolades from other sources, i.e. the Info-Tech Research Group, which dubbed AT&T a "champion" for its cloud compute, storage and platform-as-as-service (PaaS) offerings.

Staying on the topic of PaaS, AT&T claims the market research firm Heavy Reading "confirmed AT&T's status as the first telecommunications provider with a Platform as a Service cloud offer."

In addition to providing PaaS for enterprise developers, the company offers numerous managed hosting solutions, including compute and storage offerings, and a virtual private cloud that reportedly enables users to easily shift computing workloads between their private clouds and AT&T's network-based cloud.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 09/13/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments


Virtualization Review Hands Out Awards at VMworld

The winners of the First Annual Virtualization Review VMworld Best of Breed Awards were announced at VMworld, and our Oct-Nov print magazine issue will include an article on the winners. Between now and then, however, I wanted to let everybody know who those winners are, and how we selected them. First, the eight categories, along with triumphant companies and products:

Best Cloud Application
Company: HotLink
Product: HotLink Hybrid Express

Best Backup and Data Protection Product
Company: Dell AppAssure
Product: AppAssure

Best Free Tool
Company: Veeam
Product: Veeam ZIP

Best Innovation
Company: Cloud Physics
Product: Cloud Physics

Best IaaS Cloud
Company: Opscode
Product: Chef

Best SMB Product
Company: Dell
Product: Dell vStart 100

Best Cloud Management Tool
Company: Puppet Labs
Product: Puppet Enterprise

Best New Product of 2012
Company: Nutanix
Product: Nutanix Complete Cluster

How we selected them: Our august panel of judges was composed of myself and three industry experts who were only hampered by their surfeit of industry knowledge, which made it hard for them to winnow down the list. Despite the challenge, however, meeting by meeting, we eventually came up with choices that made us all comfortable. I agreed not to reveal the names of the judges (lest they be called out for making incorrect choices by representatives of the non-winning companies), but I can assure you they were more than up to the job.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 09/10/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments


Embotics V-Commander Delivers IT-as-a-Service

Some smart people in the know are saying that Embotics created something of a VMworld buzz with its latest version of Embotics V-Commander, which delivers IT-as-a-Service using both private and public clouds. The idea behind this new product is to change the management environment from presiding over individual VMs to having control of a wider range of IT services.

The chief beneficiaries of this largesse are the ever-growing numbers end users who are joining the ranks of the empowered by being able to request the provisioning of IT services "consisting of logical aggregates of virtual and physical assets from within a single, self-service catalog, streamlining the cloud management process to provide IT organizations with increased control, speed and agility."

With this version of V-Commander, there is a wide spectrum of devices and their owners that stand to benefit. Automated request and approval workflows for virtual and non-physical assets such as cell phones, laptops and physical servers will reportedly save time, while providing enhanced control to IT administrators who have been spread thin by the BYOD/consumerization tsunami.

According to Embotics, "These configurable service bundles enable users to request the provisioning of mixed IT assets types (e.g. a new employee service bundle that includes a phone, laptop and test VM) and are fully integrated with directory services such as Active Directory. For the modern data center, this is essential to grouping items into logical units at the business level and freeing administrators from manually addressing the many line items normally associated with infrastructure-level provisioning."

Other benefits of V-Commander include better and more encompassing service levels for end users, and the product's extensibility to the Amazon EC2 public cloud platform.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/30/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments


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