Tag Archives: Cloud

The Future of the Network, Part 2

22 May

This post is the second in a series: To read them in order, start here.

There are three trends that I have seen happening over the past few years that are indirectly or directly influencing the future of networks; The first is the use of FPGAs and ASICs to solve problems around distributed applications and network loads(specifically I’m thinking of Bing/Azure and several AI projects — including one that chose to go down the ASIC path — Google. The other path that is intriguing is of PISA by Barefoot Networks, which seems on a positive trajectory.

This has been driven by the need for greater performance and better efficiencies in the data center at extreme scale. These efficiencies also translate into very large amounts of capex that ends up being saved. The use of custom hardware in conjunction with software, brings much better returns because of the purpose built nature (which brings increased efficiency and/or performance). This could even be seen as what would be the equivalent of VMware shipping VMware Workstation. This technology provided the foundation for the virtualization transformation of the last decade, all based on making more efficient use of server hardware sitting in datacenter already. Yes, virtualization brought many many other benefits, but the story that initially took hold was better utilization of hardware.

Another trend has been the explosion of infrastructure technologies and projects, of which most are OSS. These projects include a wide array of technological building blocks that have been contributed by many of those same large cloud companies mentioned earlier. However, in addition to these large cloud companies, many other large software companies and some fast growing small companies like Hashicorp, have also developed and released infrastructure technologies (Infrastructure as Code). Technologies such as:

There is a specific category that I would like to directly address:

Network gear has stagnated so much, that pure software infrastructure has taken over a large swath of functionality that should live in software on network equipment. This isn’t a knock against any of the projects above, they are all quite innovative and are answering an obvious unmet need. This is another key indicator that we need to change the nature of the network and how it integrates with what runs on it.

The final trend is that of microservices and serverless aka (lambda/azure functions/cloud functions). This is increasing in popularity very quickly by proponents (and with good reason). What is intriguing about the technology, is that you can write very small amounts of logic/code to interconnect the equivalent of lego blocks of services and infrastructure functionality. This has the same risk as microservices, in that there is also some complexity to be managed (especially if the implementation is not well thought-out upfront). However the benefits in speed of development, scalability and delivery outweigh the costs in most cases from what we have seen so far.


So how does all this involve the future of networks? Read Part 3 of this series tomorrow to find out what the future of networks is pointing to.


Landing at Dell

3 Aug

A lot has occurred since my last blog post. I am continuing the development of my technology and working in the Cloud, however I have chosen to do this with a great team at Dell. I was approached a while back about this opportunity and as I dug deeper and saw the potential I began to buy in. Finally after meeting the great team of experts involved behind the scenes I decided to join them.
I have worked with some of the team members before including Rob Hirschfeld. Rob and I founded both ProTier (note that PODS ran on VMware’s ESX) and co-founded Surgient together (interestingly Surgient announced its acquisition by Quest Software last week). Rob and I have created a great deal of IP (Intellectual Property) in the past together, including the First Patent around Cloud Computing (This was filed as a Provisional Patent in 2001 and a Full Patent in 2002). Our time at Dell should produce some new and great work in the Applied Architectures and Intellectual Property sides.

Update: Special thanks to Alessandro for the mention on Virtualization.info

VMforce is Java / SpringSource Apps running on vSphere in Force.com Datacenters (PaaS)

27 Apr

The news broke just a little while ago with a few blog posts. One by Stephen Herrod (VMware’s CTO) on the basic strategy of why VMware is becoming an “Open” PaaS provider.

Spring Components and Object in the Cloud

Another by SpringSource’s Rod Johnson (founder) around the architecture and the mention of leveraging the Force.com Database (both for existing data such as credentials and account data, and for storing new data from new applications.)
Force.com also has one blog post accessible, while a bit more short on real content, does purport the ability for developers to see a 5X increase in productivity! There is supposed to be an additional post, however it is not “online” yet.

Is this revolutionary? Not in my opinion, it is more evolutionary. VMware wants to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Google. Microsoft appears to be in their sites with this directly as this would seem to mirror the Microsoft Azure strategy and platform pretty well. Microsoft does have Java bindings to talk to Azure, I wonder if VMware will have .NET bindings to talk to their PaaS offering?

Update 1: In thinking this through, I came to a realization. When is Oracle going to make their PaaS move? They have all of the components necessary to make a PaaS solution. Think about it, with Sun they have Java, Glassfish, etc. and with Oracle they have Oracle and MySQL DB (hence the software components). Hardware wise, they have the Sun equipment for the hardware and both Sun and Oracle have Datacenters. The only question that remains in my mind is WHEN will this happen?

Update 2: The money for Spring/VMware is when you want to move out of the PaaS Cloud and into vClouds, local vSpehere, or elsewhere. You will need Licenses and Support for Spring and VMware!!!! On the Force.com side, if you put any reliance on the Force.com DB, you will have to figure out how to work with it outside of the PaaS solution. Likely it will be more performant locally than remotely right?

Update 3: VMforce is due to be available in a developer preview in the second half of 2010, with general availability anticipated either later this year or in 2011. 2011? Really? That is a LONG time from this announcement in April! –

VMforce – VMware and Salesforce.com to partner?

12 Apr

The Cloud twitter/blogosphere is set ablaze once again with the news of VMforce , a partnership between VMware and Salesforce.com. Speculation has already begun with several sites picking up on the news / rumors.

I will update this post with relevant links as they appear.

  • VMware and Salesforce to announce partnership, VMs hosting rumored
  • ZDNET – VMware, Salesforce.com eye partnership; Virtualization as a service?
  • UPDATE! : It looks like Salesforce will be hosting VMware Virtual Machines!?! After some digging, this was shown in google’s cache: