Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Virtualization, cloud services make a new network/app management world

laptops surrounding a world globe

In my last post, I pointed out that today’s speedy, low-cost connectivity is impacting network and application management. This time I’ll concentrate on the other significant trend changing network and application management: Virtualization and cloud services.

Today’s datacenter environments are not only quickly becoming hyper-connected, most have also undergone at least some degree of virtualization and use of cloud services. The combination results in new kinds of business applications and, ultimately, a new kind of network infrastructure that exhibits…

  • Greater traffic volume, notably storage traffic
  • A shift in traffic flows from top-down/bottom-up to peer-to-peer, server-to-server, and virtual machine-to-virtual machine (now as much as 80% by some estimates)
  • Increasing amounts of synchronization and replication data across the network
  • A flatter network hierarchy

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Fast, cheap connectivity opens up network/application management options

3 smart phones

As 2013 begins, I notice plenty of commentary about mobile devices but less talk about the implications of mobility and other current events on business network and application monitoring and management requirements.

I see two key trends impacting network and application monitoring and management in the coming year: Fast, cheap connectivity and virtualization/cloud services. In this post, I’ll focus on the first of those — connectivity, which is most apparent in the current push toward (you guessed it) mobility.

Chicken or egg: Mobility ↔ connectivity
These days, your employees’ desktop functions are shifting to increasingly powerful mobile devices. At the same time, cloud services make the connectivity of those devices pretty much ubiquitous. So the value of much of your traditional infrastructure diminishes because it costs too much, is too complex, takes up too much space — and, too often, it doesn’t get the job done anymore.

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Do your Cloud provider due diligence

Checklist with a cloud on it.

Whether or not we give it much explicit thought, we all do at least some due diligence every time we buy something.

When it comes to Cloud services, due diligence ought to be done explicitly and with forethought — because getting out from under a bad Cloud choice can be onerous. It’s worth your while to choose well in the first place.

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Details, details: A look at the hybrid Cloud SLA

Hybrid Cloud Computing

Reading a service-level agreement (SLA) may be as exciting as watching paint dry — but when it comes to creating a hybrid that fits your organization and truly meets its needs, bringing your full attention to your SLA can make all the difference.

So here’s my version of Hybrid Cloud101:

Expect to customize your hybrid cloud SLA. The whole point of a private cloud is to design and customize cloud capabilities to address your unique needs, and you need a Cloud services provider willing and able to do that in ways that precisely reflect your business requirements so you can achieve the flexibility, scalability, cost reductions, efficiencies, redundancy, and disaster recovery protections you need — without overspending on overcapacity.

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Security in the cloud: What you need to know

Cloud icon with a lock to represent Cloud computing security

Cloud computing gets immense attention these days as a profound agent of change affecting how IT serves the business. In particular, Cloud computing has begun the untethering of employees from their desks and their offices. Because the mobility of today’s, and tomorrow’s workforce cannot happen without the Cloud.

Yet worries about Cloud security abound, and for good reason: Cloud computing that involves processing sensitive or regulated data in shared environments needs extra scrutiny in terms of security (as well as codifying requirements, defining a cloud services contract, managing the transition from in-house to cloud, and overseeing the resulting mixed IT environment).

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What’s Happening to the IT Department?

Where once IT departments were the sole source when it came to technology implementation, today technology is finding its way into corporate America through nearly every department.

Marketing folks may have been among the first to leave the IT department fold when they ditched cumbersome CRM systems for easy-to-use Salesforce.com, but they were just the tip of what has grown into a pretty big iceberg.

Virtually every day sees a new app available to help workers be more productive — and those workers aren’t hesitating to download those apps and get on with business.

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Securing your virtual environment

Securing Virtual Cloud Environment

Odds are your IT environment is somehow engaged in virtualization — either directly in your data center or indirectly via the service providers you’ve engaged.

But how much have you — or your IT people — thought about virtualization security? This matters more than you may think. One Gartner analyst has estimated that 60% of virtualized servers will be less secure than the physical servers they’ve replaced.

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