HPE, VMware, Cisco & Dell need to change the conversation

Coming off of DellEMC World, HPE Discover and Interop, I'm convinced that legacy IT infrastructure companies need a reset. Today, AWS and Google are having conversations directly with the consumers of technology. It's ironic that the theme of digital transformation is to remove friction in a business relationship. Shopping online is disrupts brick and mortar because online shopping removes friction. 

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Network as a Service provider TeloIP #NFD15

Are all Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions alike? With over 40 vendors in this space, I’d say that it’s likely not. Talking with The PacketPushers’ Greg Ferro on Twitter, he believes that many of these vendors will survive. While the space is fragmented, Ferro believes there’s room enough and market opportunity for most of the existing players to make a going concern of the SD-WAN business. It’s the question, of what makes one SD-WAN vendor different from another that I approach the follow-up to the TELoIP presentation at Network Field Day 15 (NFD15). 

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After HPE, VMware and Cisco, why should I trust Google Compute Engine?

The transition to a cloud service model is an arduous journey - whether from the customer or provider side. Going from a legacy IT vendor to a cloud-first vendor is as painful if not more so than moving your enterprise to a cloud-first delivery model. Recently HPE, VMware, and Cisco announced disruptive customer changes to their cloud strategies. It highlights why I frankly don’t trust Google for enterprise cloud. 

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25Gbps vs. 40Gbps Ethernet

Before Ethernet won the LAN wars between Ethernet and token ring, there was a legitimate debate of speed over architecture. In the 90’s, Ethernet moved from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps while token ring moved from 8 Mbps to 16 Mbps. While a significant difference in speed, an argument of dedicated bandwidth in token ring vs. contention-based Ethernet was interesting. The industry settled on raw speed. There’s similar debate in today’s Ethernet. Customer needing speeds above 10 Gbps must make a decision on 25 Gbps vs. 40 Gbps. 

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AWS Snowball Edge doesn't compete with Nutanix but...

I made a hyperbolic statement on Twitter. I claimed that AWS’ Snowball Edge device was a direct competitor to Nutanix and other hyperconverged platforms. It’s Twitter. Tweets like mine are meant to generate conversation. It’s equivalent to clickbait. Of course, Snowball Edge isn’t a direct competitor to Nutanix and other HCI solutions. I further explained my position over on TechRepublic.com. However, Snowball edge strengthens Amazon’s position as a competitor to traditional IT including classic HCI. 

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Don't be quick to build or migrate to cloud

A cloud executive and engineer that I highly respect wrote a blog post detailing why he believes CIO’s should avoid building private clouds. Subbu Allamaraju comes from Yahoo and Ebay. He knows private clouds extremely well. He’s now the VP of Cloud at Expedia. So, he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to building and managing private clouds. I don’t doubt any of his advice. I found the advice well thought from his lens.

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Container networking is hard?

I felt like I heard two completely different pitches surrounding container networking from the two companies best positioned to discuss the topic. Both Google and Docker presented on container networking at the VMware-sponsored FutureNET event. FutureNET is a future of networking summit. It was nearly impossible to tell what company sponsored the event. We heard a ton about OpenStack and SDN with little reference to either vSphere or NSX. Let me share the highlights of the Google talk and then discuss the takeaways from the Docker discussion. 

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VMware - Michael Dell's big bet on Hybrid Cloud

The thought that Michael Dell is going to leave VMware alone is crazy. To play on his statement on theCube when asked if he was going to sale VMware - People simply don’t understand the present and the future of enterprise IT if they believe VMware will remain autonomous. To Dell’s point, EMC is currently a cash machine. With free cash of $5B a year, EMC can service the debt needed to pay for the merger. In theory, this leaves VMware’s cash flow clear for re-investment in R&D and what VMware’s management deems critical to the future of the company. 

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Are you using Public Cloud as an Expensive Data Center?

It’s time to have a discussion on True Public Cloud. Wikibon did a post a few months ago on their definition of True Private Cloud, and I followed that up on my definition of private cloud. I think it’s time to discuss when you truly know your organization has adopted Public Cloud and when you’ve only lifted and shifted your data center from private infrastructure to Public Cloud VMs.

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AWS Security Fundamentals

I’m coming off VMworld 2016. A consistent theme I heard throughout the conference is the need for a multi-cloud strategy. Pat Gelsinger provided stats around cloud usage amongst VMware customers. A couple of interesting numbers were the average number of clouds providers per enterprise and that 50% of data will be stored in the Public Cloud vs. 5% today. VMware believes an average of 8 cloud providers exist within each enterprise. There’s also no consistent API across cloud provider. Without a consistent API, administrators have to manage several security, network and compute domains.

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All Public Cloud roads lead to Hybrid Infrastructure

Can we all just take a minute and calm down and look at Public Cloud for what it is in the enterprise? It’s only another tool in the tool belt of enterprise architects and CTO’s to deliver services to their customers. Will some large companies choose to go all-Public Cloud? Yes. However, the majority of businesses continue to use a mix of Public Cloud and on-premises solutions. Chances are if you are large VMware, Microsoft or Oracle customer, you will continue to be large clients of these vendors. I’ve bet the next few years of my career on the concept of hybrid infrastructures. So, I’m biased. 

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