Category Archives: Virtualization

Virtualization, the Cloud, and HPC

Virtualization has been proven to be a viable architectural approach that addresses the many challenges of today’s datacenters. Now HPC is adopting virtualization in new and exciting ways that don’t compromise on performance.

By creating a virtualized infrastructure, the IT organization ensures that:

  • HPC Virtualization Guide - CoverDepartments, principal investigators and other key stakeholders receive the HPC resources they need when they need them Clusters and cluster nodes can be sized to meet specific application requirements
  • Different operating systems and software stacks can be hosted simultaneously on the same infrastructure and adjusted dynamically
  • IT can make efficient use of the underlying host hardware even though individual user jobs may only require a small number of CPUs
  • Hardware can be shared while providing fault and security separation between users
  • Policies can be enacted that allow high priority jobs to receive a higher “fairshare” of the underlying resources

For HPC environments, wrapping the virtualization infrastructure in a secure private cloud provides the most value to both the end users and the IT organization.

This approach enables self-provisioning, allowing researchers and engineers to instantiate the resources they need for a particular project without waiting for IT to create the resource for them. To instantiate a virtual HPC cluster, the user applies a previously defined blueprint that specifies the required virtual machine (VM) attributes, the number of machines involved, and the needed software – including the operating system and middleware. Users can fully customize the VMs to meet their specifications. The blueprint also allows the centralized IT organization to enforce corporate IT mandates – for example, security and data protection policies.

This solution assumes that end users will continue to run their familiar HPC batch schedulers within their virtual HPC clusters. At the same time, the VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and other components are able to dynamically manage the placement and priority of virtual machines on the underlying physical resources.

What the end user sees is an HPC cluster that looks just like a standard bare metal cluster running a standard job scheduler – there is no indication that they are interacting with virtual machines. This allows multiple engineering or research clusters to be instantiated on the same physical infrastructure – all available through a private cloud.

Underneath it all, virtualization is handling load balancing, protection, network services and all the other fundamentals that allow for multi-tenancy on the physical hardware while still delivering high performance. Cloud automation provides policy-based governance and logical application modeling to make sure that multi-vendor, multi-cloud services are delivered at the right size and service level for the task that needs to be performed.
Virtualization and cloud automation are fundamental attributes of a software defined data center, which allows IT to create private clouds that deliver agility and economies of scale while maintaining data sovereignty and governance.
Protecting Applications
Virtualization allows the adoption of advanced resiliency practices such as using telemetry from the underlying system to predict impending hardware failures and then proactively migrating the workload to another host to avoid application interruption. For example, the system would detect a potential fan failure or an increase in the rate of soft memory errors and take action to make sure the workload continues despite incipient system problems.

This approach should also reduce the need for frequent checkpointing and restoration, resulting in increased overall job throughput.

To learn more, download the insideHPC Guide to Virtualization, the Cloud, and HPC.

Strategy Analytics: Huge Changes Coming Down the Pike with Cloud-Driven Technology

At FierceMobileIT, Fred Donovan reports on Strategy Analytics study that predicts huge changes across multiple platforms in Communications Networks, Content and Technology sectors.

“The realization of the third industrial revolution will be driven by cloud computing, big data analytics and the consumerization of business services. IoT developments and M2M will create new partnerships with disruptive new business models,” observes Andrew Brown, executive director of enterprise mobility and M2M at Strategy Analytics.

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VMware Looking to vCHS to Take on the Giants in the Cloud

Over at SearchCloudComputing, Beth Pariseau reports that while VMware certainly is the big player in the server virtualization world, it has a way to go in taking on the likes of AWS and Microsoft’s Azure. The company’s latest offering in the arena, vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS), does give them a chance to perhaps catch up down the road.

“As IT pros move from server consolidation to automation and cloud computing, VMware has also evolved into a cloud-centric company. It offers several on-premises cloud computing products bundled into the vCloud Suite, which includes vCloud Automation Center as well as server virtualization software. And last fall, it entered the public cloud with its vCloud Hybrid Service.

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MPSTOR Announces New VMware Version of its Orkestra Open Source Software

MPSTOR has announced a new version of its OpenStack-driven cloud software called Orkestra that repurposes VMware. Orkestra and the VMware datacenter work excellently in concert with Open Stack technologies and provides superb flexibility.

“We were able to save significant capital and operating expenses and avoid vendor lock-in while simply migrating our existing infrastructure onto the open platform using MPSTOR’s VMDK version of Orkestra IaaS,” said Christian Sestu, CTO of cloud resources at Filippetti, a leader in Cloud Computing and IT solutions in Italy.  “It was simple to install and runs seamlessly on top of our existing VMware.”

Read the Press Release.

NewCloud Networks Announces Nationwide Data Center Expansion for 2014

NewCloud has announced an ambitious plan to open data centers throughout the US. The company’s plan comes on the heels of a four consecutive years of growth and will give users cloud-based services that utilize provisioning, recovery and security.

“This is a high quality architecture that provides robust infrastructure for Could Computing,” says Sam V. Kumar, President of NewCloud Networks. “We are standardizing on this design for all of our future cloud Pod locations across the country.” In addition to Phoenix, NewCloud has plans to deploy Cloud pods in Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York/New Jersey. All of these Cloud pods will be tied together with a redundant private MPLS back bone with 10 Gig bandwidth. Kumar says this will give NewCloud “seamless nationwide coverage not only for back up and disaster recovery, but also for virtual servers and desktop-as-a-service deployments.”

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Red Hat Refreshes Private Cloud Stacks for the Enterprise

Over at ITWorld, Joab Jackson writes that Red Hat has revamped a number of offerings for the enterprise to better run private clouds.

“The journey to the open private cloud has got multiple stages. We’ve got offerings to help you along every single step of the way and today we’ve refreshed all these offerings so you can take these capabilities into your environment and get to an open private cloud sooner rather than later,” said Radesh Balakrishnan, Red Hat’s general manager for virtualization business, in a Wednesday webcast detailing how the new products could be used in enterprises.

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Social Security Administration Looking for its Private Cloud Provider

Over at InformationWeek, Elena Malykhina reports that the SSA is in the process of shopping potential cloud software providers. The agency believes that a private cloud will help automate current tasks as well as streamline operations end-to-end.

The “desired software” would be integrated into the SSA’s VMware server virtualization infrastructure to “create a self-service virtual machine (VM) provisioning portal, automate common administrative tasks like VM creation, recoup unused resources, and infrastructure maintenance tasks,” the agency said in the RFI.

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HP is Looking for a Software Engineer–Cloud in our Job of the Week II

Hewlett-Packard in Sunnyvale, CA is looking for a Software Engineer–Cloud in our Job of the Week II.

“Do you like wearing multiple hats and contributing to and owning the development and testing of a Product from conception through delivery to Enterprise Customers World-Wide? Come join an agile Quality Assurance & Engineering Services team working in a startup environment at one of the world’s leading technology companies, HP, on the Open Source project OpenStack. We are seeking a Software Engineer with experience Developing & Supporting Enterprise Products on Linux and the OpenStack platform running at Cloud-Scale to Enterprise Customers.

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OpenStack’s Momentum in 2013 Shows no Signs of Slowing

Over at V3, Daniel Robinson reports on OpenStack’s incredible 2013 as the foundation now has major support from the big players such as Cisco, IBM and HP.

“The platform saw two releases this year, with ‘Grizzly‘ coming in April and ‘Havana‘ in October. The latter added key updates such as a metering module codenamed Ceilometer, and an orchestration module codenamed Heat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, key Linux firms have begun to not only offer pre-configured OpenStack builds based on their operating system distribution, but also to synchronise their releases with OpenStack, as Ubuntu has.

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Evolve IP Acquires Paragrid–Continues Expansion Bid

Over at Talkin’ Cloud, CJ Arlotta reports that Evolve IP has purchased Midwest U.S. cloud management company Paragrid for undisclosed terms. The acquisition is expected to boost Evolve IP’s virtualization portfolio to deliver increased portability, availability and data security.

“Evolve IP COO and General Manager Guy Fardone told Talkin’ Cloud that the company “evaluates dozens of companies in an ongoing manner” in its quest for companies to buy. “This is our fourth acquisition, and we intend to do many more,” he said. “Paragrid was selected because of their people, their success in the cloud, in building a substantial customer base with mid- and enterprise-sized customers (Evolve IP’s target market), and their geography in the Midwest region which complements what Evolve IP already has now as part of our national expansion.”

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Xangati Taps S. ‘Sundi’ Sundaresh as President and CEO

Xangati today announced the appointment of S. ‘Sundi’ Sundaresh as President and CEO of the cloud performance management company. Mr. Sundaresh brings a wealth of technology experience to the organization and will focus on growing revenue as well as fund raising.

“During my tenure as an advisor at Xangati, I was deeply impressed by the breadth of customers, and the quality and robustness of their solutions. Not only were customers expressing sincere delight at being able to solve crucial problems with Xangati, but I rarely heard any complaints. The company has grown well with very little marketing, relying mainly on the strength of its word of mouth,” said Sundaresh. “The recent $11 million funding round allows us to grow our customer base, engage with partners and invest in product development to expand our market. I am delighted to be joining Xangati at such an exciting time.”

Read the Press Release.

Job of the Week II: Senior Enterprise Solutions Engineer at TIAA-CREF

TIAA-CREF in Charlotte, NC is looking for a Senior Enterprise Solutions Engineer in our Job of the Week II.

“The Senior IT Engineer position requires an experienced information technology professional with an advanced level of knowledge and experience in the area of virtualization and cloud computing, enterprise infrastructure for large scale hosting solutions, and proven experience leading the delivering business value with technology. Candidate must have experience engineering application architecture for horizontally scaled environments that are highly virtualized.

Are you paying too much for your job ads? Not only do we offer ads for a fraction of what the other guys charge, our inside-Cloud Job Board is powered by SimplyHIred, the world’s largest job search engine.



High Performance Computing in the Cloud Doubles over the Last Two Years

Over at ihotdesk, Paul Sells reports that the High Performance Computing (HPC) world has increasingly turned to the cloud for data storage and compute power.

“Earl Joseph, program vice president for technical computing at IDC, said: “The most surprising findings of the 2013 study are the substantially increased penetration of co-processors and accelerators at HPC sites around the world. “[Also of note was] the large proportion of sites that are applying Big Data technologies and methods to their problems and the steady growth in cloud computing for HPC.”

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Press Release: CloudPhysics Uses Data Analytics to Give Enterprise Advantages in IT Virtualization

CloudPhysics announces the release of an IT management system that takes advantage of  products from virtualization giant VMware. The IT operations suite utilizes Big Data and the cloud to give real-time and dynamic approaches to storage, compute and networking.

Google uses analysis of anonymized traffic data from everyone’s GPS location streams to help users avoid accidents and bottlenecks and to make better driving decisions. CloudPhysics brings that same kind of power to IT so enterprises can make better operational decisions,” said John Blumenthal, CloudPhysics CEO and Co-Founder. “Our servers receive a daily stream of 80+ billion samples of configuration, performance, failure and event data from our global user base with a total of 20+ trillion data points to date.

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Cloudera and VMware Join Forces to Employ Hadoop in the Cloud

Cloudera announces that employing the best of what VMware has to offer in the cloud and big data environments takes them to an new height in enterprise.

As Apache Hadoop gains traction within enterprises, VMware and Cloudera are collaborating to help customers benefit from virtualizing Cloudera Enterprise, Cloudera’s platform for big data,” said Fausto Ibarra, senior director, Product Management, VMware. “VMware continues to evolve vSphere to make sure customers can take advantage of the leading platform for all their applications and workloads, including Apache Hadoop.”

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Joyent Takes on Amazon Cloud Services

At Information Week, Charles Babcock writes that Joyent is increasing its virtual server selection as it goes toe-to-toe with Amazon.

Joyent is determined to catch Amazon. Wasik said the Joyent cloud was initially equipped with a basic set of 10 virtual server selections. On Thursday, the company introduced 13 instance types that closely align with Amazon’s most popular virtual server types, from AWS Micro up to Standard Extra Large and Quadruple I/O Extra Large.

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Puppet Labs Announces its Inclusion in VMware’s Cloud Services

Puppet Labs, a leading provider of IT automation software, has agreed to a strategic partnership with VMware to push the enterprise data center to the cloud seamlessly.

Together with VMware, we’re transforming customers’ IT capabilities and enabling them to get the speed and scale benefits promised by cloud computing,” said Luke Kanies, founder and CEO, Puppet Labs. “When combined with our solutions for on-premise infrastructure and applications, Puppet Labs gives customers the IT automation tools they need to succeed in hybrid cloud environments.”

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Venyu Cloud Suite Garners Top IT Honors

The Network Products Guide has given Venyu two prizes in the “Hot Companies and Best Product Awards” for its innovative cloud IT services.

We’re committed to providing our customers with the added peace-of-mind that their critical business data is retrievable and available, whenever necessary. Backed by the power of the cloud, our customers continue to drive new levels of efficiency and reliability across their business with Venyu,” said Scott Thompson, chief executive officer at Venyu. “We’re honored to be recognized by our peers and the thought leaders at Network Products Guide for our innovation in SaaS and cloud computing.”

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