Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A man takes his Rotteweiller to the vet

I could not resist posting this...

A man takes his Rotteweiller to the vet. 'My dog is cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?''
Well,' said the vet, 'let's have a look at him'So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then he checks his teeth.
Finally, he says, 'I'm going to have to put him down.'
'What? Because he's cross-eyed?''
No,
... because he's really heavy'

Thursday, 23 September 2010

HP Jumping on the Cloud bandwagon (finally!) - "HP Cloud Start" (HP version of vBlock?)

So,

It looks like HP are finally jumping on the cloud bandwagon and
releasing their own Virtual DC / Cloud brand. I am guessing this is a
response to EMC / Cisco / VMWare's Arcadia setup (jeez are they lagging
behind!).

HP are calling it CloudStart - I guess this move was inevitable, given
the h/w and s/w stack they now own. It looks to wrap up all of the
consultancy, design, build, deploy and then handover will form a part of
this (an assumption on my part).

What is unclear are the components that will be included / excluded as
part of this wrapper... For example will HP's automation tools be
included (Server Automation, Stratavia) etc. We can be sure however that
there will be inclusion of its network tech (formaly 3COM) with some of
its flexfabric modules thrown in for good measure, Server Kit (C7000
chassis if they have any sense) and some storage solution (iBRIX / 3PAR
/ Lefthand??)

Are we in fact going to see a Cloud Start-1, Cloud Start-2 and Cloud
Start-3 (of course - if i had started from 0 - it would be to close a
certain other block virtual data centre offering - and wouldnt want to
start an upset there would we ;-)

I guess there are a bunch of pieces missing from their portfolio if they
want to own the complete end-to-end, the most obvioust being a database
warehouse of some description (maybe they will go chasing after
terradata!) and I am not sure what they have on the security side - some
work here may be required!

So final thought - It will be interesting to see how they bring this lot
to market, and if they can pull it off and get interest from the enterprise.

Lets see what happens.

Cheers,

Stuart.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Where technology really makes a difference

For those of you that know me - you know that i have a pretty big love
for all sorts of technology, love the odd gadget or ten and really enjoy
the compute infrastructure area that i work in - its great fun and i
couldn't imagine doing another job that satisfies both my tech curiosity
and the ability to work out why things do what they do...

Basically - I think technology is really cool - and I just love playing
with it.. However, i have now got a new appreciation for technology and
how it can help us (shame it took me 38 yrs to build this view!).

You may not be aware that my wife (Jill) gave birth to our 3rd child on
Thursday 16th September 2010 to Holly Isabella. As you would expect a
proud father to say, she is truly stunning and has changed our lives
forever.. And Jill, well she just continues to amaze me - after giving
birth and having her body put through physical stress that i can only
imagine - she was up and around 4 hours after giving birth, taking care
of Holly, fussing over our other two children (Conor and Abbie) - the
next day, back home and with the exception of taking a few paracetamol
was walking around as normal (like i say - pretty amazing!)

So - what is this article about, well - the thing that truely amazed me
was the tech that was to be found in the birthing suite where Holly was
born... Was it shiny and fancy looking - No! But this stuff is far
cooler that that - this stuff saves lives, monitors health and really
helps us out!

You could monitor and see what was going on with Holly before she was
born, you could see how Jill was doing, tell when things were going well
(and in some cases not so well, where heart rates started to drop etc).
The combination of all these monitors and machines with the medical
experience of doctors, nurses, midwives etc was just mind blowing. This
tech allowed them to make informed decisions that truly made differences
to peoples lives (not just adding $'s onto some business transaction).

Our No.2 Child was born just over 6 years ago, and the other thing that
surprised me this time round, being in the hospital was the advancement
of some of the machinery...

I guess what i am trying to say is that it was nice to see technology
really make a difference to peoples lives rather than funding some bank
balance, building some war machine or driving some multi-zillion dollar
transaction that makes no real fundamental difference to peoples lives

Anyway - thats it really, other than to say- Baby Holly is doing fine,
Jill is doing great and we could all do with just a tad more sleep!

Cheers,

Stuart.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Another Acquisition war unfolds - The Database Stack

You have to wonder where the next round of tech acquisition is going
to come from. My bet - another in the database world (and this follows
the recent IBM news on Netezza)...

EMC now have Greenplum which has the makings of a very interesting
database machine, Oracle obviously already have Exadata and the
internet is buzzing to the sound of IBM buying Netezza

So who needs one... Well HP Obviously (little bit of humor here - but
just a little!) They have just purchased 3PAR and now have a complete
H/W stack that can offer a virtual data centre infrastructure - they
just need some services to run on it. Database would be a big market
to go play in - and keep the EMC's, IBM's and Oracle's of this world
honest.

So who would HP take a punt at then? My money is on Terradata. They
could afford them (just need to convince the shareholders that it
would be worth the cash, after a big bunfight with dell over 3PAR)

I have to say - its pretty interesting watching this "stack war"
unfold.... Will be interesting to see who the final 4 vendors are that
will control this market. I have concerns about Dell making it - they
have lost out on the storage platform, have showed their cards once to
EMC - where would another acquisition war leave them (especially if
they lost again?)

Cheers,

Stu.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Cloud services - As long as its x86 only!

The current release of cloud enabling products, automation services,
virtualisation products and hardware stacks that are allowing us to
build internal and external cloud services at the moment is stunning.

There is a whole heap of acquisitions that are occurring, VMWare bring
products such as vCloud Director to bear and spring source for the
development community are driving things into a bit of frenzy (and i
almost forgot to mention that Microsoft are out there winding it up also).

However - I have a problem with all of this brand new shiny stuff / way
of working - and it is just that - its brand new and shiny, and only
potentially accounts for the net-new environments that are being
provisioned (and not even all of these are being catered for (SPARC?
AIX? Sol Zones?)).

The whole point of cloud services is that it is just that - a service,
and should be able to abstract any platform regardless of what hardware
/ OS / virtualisation product / application that maybe running.

Few of the vendors / end users out there are taking notice of the "to
hard to do pile" and are focusing on the easy to do pile (OS's that run
on x86 and can be virtualised by either VMWare or Hyper-V seem to be the
current trend!)

What about AIX?
What about Solaris on SPARC?
What about being able to span Solaris Zones
and the list continues (if you want my full list - please feel free to
contact me)

As for the argument that commodity hardware is where we going and we
should focus on this area (again - read x86 platforms) we have a huge
current estate that covers a whole bunch of non x-86 platforms and i
would want to do the lot... Surely the vendor community does not want to
suggest i now have two support teams, one for new shiny cloud and one
for current way of working? - That's just not viable!

One last thought on this subject - All vendors are now coming out with
there own vertical stacks (such as oracle exadata) - we will see more of
this trend, be it server, database, application - so these cloud
enabling tools had better be able to intgrate with these type of
approaches or that to-hard pile is going to start increase, and the
whole concept of cloud will just fall away.

Cheers,

Stuart.