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Convergence: Hybrid, Multi & Community Cloud merge to create best of all worlds

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What you look for in a cloud provider depends to a large extent on the drivers and challenges that you are experiencing:

Hybrid Cloud Solution

A.     People with large legacy estates tend to be looking for a Hybrid Cloud solution that can support both their old legacy workloads and their new cloud ones. Some see this as a transitional arrangement to cover the period in which workloads are migrated to the cloud, but many realise that there are certain workloads for which migration will never be either technologically possible or economically practical.

Multi Cloud Solutions

B.     Many people with heterogeneous environments tend to be looking for a Multi-Cloud solution. They may be doing this by design, such as in moving their Oracle workloads onto an Oracle cloud environment and their Microsoft ones to an Azure cloud environment. There may also be an element of shadow IT, with some workloads strategically moved to SaaS environments like Salesforce while a host of other SaaS options may also have been adopted by individual departments.

Community Cloud in Cloud Computing

C.     There are others that are keen to collaborate with peers or partners in the cloud which tend to be looking for community clouds. In the USA, the main public cloud providers have set up dedicated regions as community clouds to allow US government agencies at the federal, state and local level, along with contractors and educational institutions to collaborate using sensitive workloads and data sets while meeting specific regulatory and compliance needs.

Meanwhile in the UK, UKCloud has created a community cloud for public sector and healthcare that has succeeded in attracting over 220 projects, capturing over a third of the G-Cloud IaaS workloads. Other sectors where such collaboration is becoming increasingly common include manufacturing with data sharing across the logistical supply chain, in public services and transportation where logistical and geospatial data is shared, and in health and social care where access to patient records or genomic sequencing data is shared.

There is no reason, however, for not being able to have the best of all worlds. New appliances, such as Customer@Cloud from Oracle and Azure Stack from Microsoft have been designed to enable seamless hybrid environments. However, these hybrid environments don’t need to operate in isolation. Heterogeneous environments can be created with hybrid appliances to support both Oracle and Microsoft workloads.

Further combining these options with cloud native options like OpenStack and with container management as well creates a cross-over between hybrid and multi-cloud. Indeed, some providers are now starting to offer this kind of heterogeneous cloud with an array of technology stacks, all within dedicated community clouds, giving you the best of all worlds. You get a combination of hybrid and multi-cloud within a sector-specific community cloud.

There are many compelling advantages to this ‘have-it-all’ approach:

  • Customer Centricity: As a technology matures, vertical-industry expertise and talent becomes the ultimate differentiator as customers want to know that their technology suppliers are just as committed to their industry and its specific needs as the customer itself is. In effect technology wizardry becomes table stakes, while customer expertise trumps all. And we are now seeing this in the Cloud arena. With global public cloud providers, you can be treated a bit like a number, but the sector specific nature of community clouds enables them to be very customer centric – centred around key workloads and data sets. Then adding a multi-cloud dimension allows you to use API calls to access advanced functionality in the public cloud in areas like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Multi-cloud also allows customers to create rich heterogenous solutions that address a wider set of requirements than is possible using only cloud native technologies or any single cloud platform, while maximising choice and flexibility and minimising lock-in.
  • The Clustering Effect – partners: Such sector-specific community clouds can spark a clustering effect, where, as more customers from a particular sector join, it attracts specialist application providers, both Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), which in turn then attract more customers in what becomes a virtuous circle.
  • Minimising Latency: appliances like as Oracle Customer@Cloud and Azure Stack are part of a movement away from big centralized clouds, to clouds that are closer to their data origins and help cut down on latency. This is taking two forms: fog computing, and intelligent edge computing. Latency can occur either between the users and the workload that they are accessing, or between different workloads and datasets that need to work together, but are often based on different technology platforms. In the first instance, the appliance can be located as close to the main user groups as possible in order to minimise latency. In the second instance, it is better to locate the appliance within a community cloud alongside as many of the key datasets, workloads and platforms that need to interoperate and if possible to provide connectivity to this community cloud via secure, high performance networks.

Whatever you current situation, bringing together the best aspects of Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud and combining them within a Community Cloud can create the best of all worlds – especially if you work within a sector where collaboration between partners and peers is important.

For example, an NHS trust in the UK may have a collection of legacy workloads that are Microsoft or Oracle based, along with a few newer cloud native applications. It might also have legacy systems that cannot be moved to the cloud, but that could be hosted in a secure facility and it might want to access cloud based applications offered by leading health provides (either SaaS or ISV) as well as core data sets like the 100,000 Genomes Project database.

Ideally the trust would want as much of this as possible available in a single community cloud with close proximity between systems to minimise latency. The trust would also want to be able to access this heterogenous environment via HSCN and also to be able to connect onwards to peripheral workloads hosted elsewhere or even to public clouds via API calls for things like artificial intelligence. Fortunately for UK healthcare and the public sector this is all available today.

So why just focus on looking for Hybrid Cloud or Multi-Cloud or Community Cloud when it is possible to have it all.

Cloud

Commvault & Oracle expand partnership to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

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Commvault and Oracle just announced an expanded strategic partnership to offer Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) from Metallic, a Commvault venture, on Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

At a time when enterprise organisations and their data management teams are grappling with seemingly endless increases in cyber security & data protection risks, this expanded partnership between Commvault and Oracle brings very welcome and timely relief with regard to data management when it is most needed.

Commvault state that this expanded partnership forms part of their multi-cloud strategy, to offer their Metallic data management solutions as consumption based cloud services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in all global commercial OCI regions, with the aim of accelerating enterprise hybrid cloud adoption, as part of Commvault’s continued support for customer’s hybrid and multi cloud journeys, and that this expansion includes joint roadmap planning and go to market, as well as expanded Metallic support for the Oracle ecosystem.

For data management professionals, combating ransomware and cyber attacks is in effect their “new normal” – Metallic DMaaS on OCI now offers a mission critical “as a service” solution suite designed to help those tasked with protecting enterprise data from corruption, unauthorised access, and other threats, seamlessly back up their digital footprint in any consumption model, from cloud-native to on-premises workloads, including databases, virtual machines, Kubernetes, as well as file and object storage.

Organisations looking to focus on their core business, by selecting the best partners of choice to address increasing requirements for data management and data protection, can now include the combined strengths of Commvault and Oracle with world class data management offerings and capabilities in enterprise data management, knowing both come with long established proven track records in this space.

Of this expanded partnership, Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure said, “We’re excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data. Data protection and compliance requirements are necessities in today’s business environment, which is why we’re confident that OCI’s built-in, always-on security features combined with Metallic DMaaS will provide additional peace of mind for our joint customers.”

This expanded partnership now sees the Metallic DMaaS solution available to Commvalt customers across major cloud platforms from Microsoft, Amazon and now Oracle. By adding support for protecting OCI workloads and writing to OCI Storage, Metallic’s data protection now spans OCI Virtual Machines (VMs); Oracle Databases; and the Oracle Container Engine.

Additionally, Oracle Linux is available to over 400,000 Oracle enterprise customers and over 100,000 customers who have relied on Commvault technology and are looking to leverage Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to protect their mission-critical data.

As a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, Commvault will jointly market and sell Metallic DMaaS with Oracle in an alliance that will accelerate Metallic’s global expansion efforts. Metallic DMaaS is available in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.

Sanjay Mirchandani, president and chief executive officer at Commvault, said of the expanded partnership, “Resilience has never been more critical than it is today, our partnership gives customers the trusted industry-leading solutions they need to rein in data sprawl and protect their data in an unrelenting threat landscape. All while accelerating their critical cloud journeys.”

Key benefits this expanded partnership offers Commvault & Oracle customers include:

• Speeds up cloud adoption for data protection & backup copies, driving data to OCI

• Increases ease of data mobility, making it simpler for customers to securely move VMs and apps to OCI

• Provides seamless protection of OCI workloads to OCI, with single pane of glass management across full data estate

• Offers secure backup from both Ransomware and Malware

• Provides secure air-gapped ransomware protection, with encryption built-in

• Offers flexible options to meet long and short-term data retention needs with OCI Standard and OCI Infrequent storage tier backup targets for Metallic DMaaS

• Delivers a simple single pane of glass management of Purchase, Add, and Apply, making administration easy

This newly announced expanded partnership now sees Metallic and OCI offer solutions to help Commvault & Oracle enterprise customers accelerate their OCI transition, and protect critical data assets in the cloud and across their entire data estate, with a broad range of price-performance options, built-in enhanced security, and simplified recovery and management for hybrid environments.

Further information about Metallic DMaaS on Oracle Cloud is available from: https://bit.ly/metallic-oci

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DBA and the Cloud: Not Never, Always, All, or Nothing!

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As more and more data is pumped into the cloud the necessity of the DBA is being questioned. Of course, not by DBAs, but by almost everybody else. Most DBAs are, more than likely, shaking their heads and trying to figure out why folks think they are now dispensable.

You see, the typical extolled value proposition of cloud computing is to reduce cost and minimise work. And sure, if you implement your cloud computing strategy effectively, it is possible to achieve both of these objectives. But wise organisations will not be eliminating all of their DBAs even as they move more work and data to the cloud.

So let’s say your organisation has moved one of its large enterprise databases to a managed cloud service. Doesn’t matter which one, just that the cloud database will be managed by the cloud service provider. Management looks at this and inevitably thinks “If the cloud provider is managing the database why do I need DBAs? That was their job.”

Certainly this is an understandable position unless you review what is actually going on. It gets to a basic point — one highlighted in the title of this post — that I frequently make: “Almost never say always or never or all or nothing!” Yes, the promise of cloud database is to remove tedious, rote processes like backups (note I did NOT say recovery), upgrades, and other simple administrative efforts. But it does not remove ALL of them. There are still many things that require DBA attention and you will want your DBA staff to be there to ensure that they are handled.

First, look at backup and recovery. It is definitely possible for a remote managed service provider to perform some standard backups on your databases. That said, based on your application needs and recovery time objectives, you may need more than a simple daily backup. DBAs will know this and be able to work with the cloud provider to either provide customised backup scheduling or to do it themselves.

From a recovery perspective, the cloud service provider is certainly capable of performing recovery from a catastrophic hardware failure. After all, the hardware is their responsibility, too. But what about an application recovery, where only certain transactions need to be backed out? Or what is an application process encounters an issue that requires only certain objects to be recovered? It is unlikely that your cloud provider has this level of intimate knowledge of your applications’ but your DBAs will.

And recovery is just one example. Think about software upgrades and patches. Most DBAs will be thrilled to rid themselves of this laborious and tedious task. Turning it over to the cloud service provider makes sense. But even then there are things that your DBAs must get involved with. Why is that?

Well, most cloud service providers are unwilling to take on understanding your applications. But it is not uncommon for a new DBMS version (or even a patch) to change things like reserved words or even SQL functionality. So what if an application is using one of the new reserved words as a variable? Or what if the results of an SQL statement changes because of a tweak to the results that a built-in function returns? Or what if a problem is corrected in the new version that stops some SQL from working? All of these are real examples of issues that I have faced as a DBA over the years. And they are things that your cloud service provider will not fix for you.

And one final example: most cloud service providers will put the onus of application performance on you. Sure, they will offer monitoring solutions, but interpreting the performance reports and identifying what needs to change in the application typically remains the responsibility of the client. And when it comes to database applications, that is the responsibility of DBAs (in tandem with developers at times).

There are many technical reasons that this is not so. And there are non-technical reasons, too. If you get rid of your DBAs then the only folks who will know your databases in any reasonable detail will be at your cloud service provider. This can be a recipe for disaster because the service provider will always put their companies’ best interests first, as they should. You need DBAs who put your companies’ best interests first!

So pump the brakes before saying that the cloud will make DBAs obsolete!

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VMware Container Solution Tanzu: Evolve Event 2

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VMware Tanzu Container Solutions

On October 26th at 4 pm AEST, I hosted & moderated the 2nd in our “Evolve” series of live-stream expert panel discussions.

Evolve is a series of live stream panel discussions and briefings focused on expert-driven. It offers thought leadership to partners and customers on their most pressing challenges and how HPE and their alliance partners can help with these challenges.

Evolve Event #2 Overview:

This event kicks off with a quick market update on significant trends in the world of Cloud Computing and the adoption of VMware containers in the Enterprise market by Harris Schneiderman. He is the Director of the Hybrid Cloud Practice at HPE.

Following Harris’ opening market update, we continued our “main stage” expert panel discussion. Today, we focused on VMware container Tanzu where our expert panel delves into crucial topics,

  • Challenges and Opportunities.
  • The Technology and Solution Fit
  • The Journey: Trials & Deployment to Operational.

This events panel includes::

Host & Moderator:

Dez Blanchfield ( connecting from Sydney )

+ Founder / CEO

+ Sociaall Inc.

Panellist #1:

Harris Schneiderman ( connecting from Melbourne )

+ Enterprise Sales Director for the Hybrid Cloud Practice

+ HPE SouthPac ( South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand )

Panellist #2:

Murali TS (connecting from Singapore )

+ HPE Pointnext APAC

+ Director of Technology for Containers & DevSecOps

Panellist #3:

David Kari ( connecting from Sydney )

+ Head of Solution Engineering

+ VMware Tanzu

Key Panel Topics

Topic #1 – Challenge & Opportunity

At the very beginning, we focused on how & where to implement VMware container solutions; they shared their insights and expertise and real-world instances of where containers can help earn business value.

Topic #2 – Technology & Solution 

Further, the panel addressed how & where to combine them in a business environment and shared knowledge and consumer stories/anecdotes of real-world applications and illustrations on obtaining a competitive benefit with VMware container Tanzu.

Topic #3 – The Journey: Trials & Deployment to Operational

We ask our panel to share their experience and illustrations of where to begin. They explained VMware containers with real-world examples, especially those where their organisations and teams have led or been part. Later, we dive into who companies and organisations must be looking to obtain the support they need from partners who can help them reach thriving results by taking advantage of Container technologies, platforms, and tools like the VMware Tanzu offering.

Q & A Section

We wind up with a brief Q&A section, where our live audience & attendees get to hop into the consolidated experience and brainpower of today’s wonderful panel.

Thank you to the fantastic teams at HPE APAC, HPE Pointnext, and VMware Tanzu. for making it achievable.

For more information, visit:

HPE Australia – http://bit.ly/hpeaustralia
HPE Pointnext – http://bit.ly/hpepointnext 
VMware – http://bit.ly/vmwareaustralia

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