Building Pandemic Proof Infrastructure [Rob on TFIR]

It will disrupt the supply chain. It will create a talent crisis. It may bring our servers and cloud to a halt. IT teams should not think that their cloud is immune to this virus. It’s not.

COVID-19 has disrupted business-as-usual for organisations globally.  While the long-term ramifications of the corona pandemic are yet to be ascertained, there are crucial lessons for businesses, vendors, and technology leaders to learn from the fallout.

In an exclusive interaction with TFIR, Rob Hirschfeld, Founder & CEO, RackN, shares his thoughts on how the corona scourge will impact business and technology, and how corporates can be better prepared to overcome the impending challenges. … read the rest

VMware v7 integrates new and existing capabilities

Note: RackN is a VMware Ecosystem Partner

RackN is working with VMware to deeply integrate v7 into Digital Rebar.  This includes a focus on enabling Secure Boot and Trusted Platform processes and VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) handoffs.  We have significantly streamlined VMware “bring your own hardware” deployments for customers allowing for fully automated processes from first boot to full cluster in under an hour.

In addition to core platform enhancements around networking and storage, v7 brings Kubernetes completely into the VMware platform.  This deep integration gives Enterprises a needed new Kubernetes distribution.  We expect this to enable a new wave of self-managed and hybrid infrastructure.

Listen to RackN CEO, Rob Hirschfeld, discuss critical features and market impacts of the v7 release:

 

 

Digital Rebar v4.3 brings Distributed Infrastructure Automation

ANNOUNCING Digital Rebar v4.3 

[Press Release on Digital Journal, The New Stack, vmBlog]

RackN integrated infrastructure as code (IaC) features can now expand to manage distributed sites.  Customers are using this capability to develop automation in a lab, validate it against a secure test environment and then perform a controlled global roll-out.  Repaving a remote data center now takes just minutes from start to finish.

Key features for v4.3:

  • Distributed Infrastructure as Code – delivering a modular catalog that manages infrastructure from firmware, operating systems and cluster configuration.
  • Single API for distributed automation  – providing both single pane-of-glass and regional views without compromising disconnected site autonomy.
  • Continuously Integrated Data Center (CIDC) workflow – enabling consistent and repeatable processes that promote from dev to test and production.

Introduction Video:

RackN Profile by RedMonk

RackN works with RedMonk for industry analysis and advisory services.  They a consistently leading the industry is deep insights and contributions about how the industry is moving.  For example, ‘s “How to Compete with AWS” frames the remarkable competitive challenge posed by the hyperscale cloud providers in which simply out investing them will not succeed.

Below  provides a balanced 3rd party overview of RackN that explains our structure and place in the data center infrastructure market.

New Client Profile: RackN

Industry Analysis: AWS Outposts

This is the first interview of the multi-part series about AWS Outposts and it’s impact on the IT industry.  While not the first data center appliance in market, Outposts represents the most extreme version of tethered, remote managed infrastructure in market because the control plane for the system remains with AWS and the hardware itself is manufactured by AWS.

In the series, we’ll dig deeply into how the technology works and it’s impact on the broader IT market.

 

Podcast – Rob Lalonde on HPC in the Cloud, Machine Learning and Autonomous Cars

Joining us this week is Rob Lalonde, VP & General Manager, Navops at Univa.

About Univa

Univa is the leading independent provider of software-defined computing infrastructure and workload orchestration solutions.

Univa’s intelligent cluster management software increases efficiency while accelerating enterprise migration to hybrid clouds. We help hundreds of companies to manage thousands of applications and run billions of tasks every day.

 Highlights

  • 1 min 6 sec: Introduction of Guest
  • 1 min 43 sec: HPC in the Cloud?
    • Huge migration of workloads to public clouds for additional capacity
    • Specialized resources like GPUs, massive memory machines, …
  • 3 min 29 sec: Cost perspective of cloud vs local HPC hardware
    • Primarily a burst to cloud model today
  • 5 min 10 sec: Good for machine learning or analytics?
  • 5 min 40 sec: What does Univa and Navops do?
    • Cloud cluster automation
  • 7 min 35 sec: Role of Scheduling
    • Job layer & infrastructure layer
    • Diversity of jobs across organizations
  • 9 min 30 sec: Machine learning impact on HPC
    • Survey of Users ~ Results
      • Machine learning not yet in production ~ still research
      • HPC very much linked to machine learning
      • Cloud and Hybrid cloud usage is very high
      • GPUs usage for machine language
    • 15 min 09 sec: GPU discussion
      • Similar to early cloud stories
    • 16 min 00 sec: Concurrency in operations in HPC & machine learning
      • Workload dependency ~ weather modeling
    • 18 min 12 sec: People bring workloads in-house after running in cloud?
      • Sophistication in what workloads work best where
      • HPC is very efficient ~ 1 Million Cores on Amazon : Successful when AWS called about taking all their resources for other customers 🙂
    • 23 min 56 sec: Autonomous cars discussion
      • Processing in the car or offloaded?
      • Oil and Gas exploration example (Edge Infrastructure example)
        • Pre-process data on ship then upload via satellite to find information required
      • 29 min 12 sec: Is Kubernetes in the HPC / Machine Learning world?
        • KubeFlow project
      • 35 min 8 sec: Wrap-Up

Podcast Guest:  Rob Lalonda, VP & General Manager, Navops

Rob Lalonde brings over 25 years of executive management experience to lead Univa’s accelerating growth and entry into new markets. Rob has held executive positions in multiple, successful high tech companies and startups. He possesses a unique and multi-disciplined set of skills having held positions in Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and CEO and board positions. Rob has completed MBA studies at York University’s Schulich School of Business and holds a degree in computer science from Laurentian University.

Podcast – Antonio Pellegrino on Infrastructure as Software at the Edge

Joining us this week is Antonio Pellegrino, Founder & CEO at Mutable.

About Mutable
Mutable helps software developers create scalable and fast web services by automating DevOps and providing edge technology all around the world.

 Highlights

  • 0 min 35 sec: Introduction of Guest
  • 1 min 09 sec: Are you products edge-focused or just a market to promote to?
    • Building products to meet customers need for containers including edge
  • 2 min 58 sec: Sounds like a platform?
    • Developers create policies on latency, hardware needs, etc
  • 5 min 51 sec: Be aware of the location and structure of deployment hardware
    • Includes management and tracking of network traffic
    • Services see everything as one network even though it isn’t
  • 7 min 49 sec: Why not Kubernetes instead?
    • Kubernetes built for single network
  • 9 min 16 sec: Edge vs Core
    • Temporary services is a big factor in edge
    • HBO and Games of Throne example for supporting access to the feed
  • 13 min 45 sec: Edge is not infinitely elastic
    • Facial recognition example on iPhone
  • 17 min 53 sec: Algorithm to spin up services when needed not always available
  • 19 min 52 sec: How does software learn what to spin up and down
  • 21 min 22 sec: How do you manage storage?
    • Follows standard S3 storage model
  • 24 min 15 sec: NiCs are a core component ~ language for packet management
    • Sounds like a micro-kernel
    • Why people don’t leverage this concept more often?
  • 28 min 32 sec: Manipulate and manage networking at application layer
    • Mutable is building a full stack
    • Operator approach vs developer approach on networking
  • 33 min 21 sec: Control Plane challenges
  • 34 min 27 sec: What is the starting experience with Mutable like?
  • 35 min 55 sec: How is cable industry responding to edge computing?
    • Opportunity to deploy 5G
  • 39 min 23 sec: Wrap-Up

Podcast Guest: Antonio Pellegrino, CEO and founder if Mutable

Antonio is the CEO and founder of Mutable, the next generation platform as a service for microservices and distributed computing. He is a serial entrepreneur, and ran one of the largest e-sports streaming companies of its time. Antonio has built startups centered around developer tools for the past 8 years, saving their customers millions of dollars. Mutable has been a driver in microservices while distributed computing as we now it, allowing developers to push the application to the edge.

Podcast – Ash Young talks Everything in your PC is IoT

Joining us this week is Ash Young, Chief Evangelist of Cachengo and OPNFV Ambassador. Cachengo builds smart, predictive storage for machine learning.

NOTE – We had a microphone problem that is solved at the 9 minute 19 second mark of the podcast. Start there if you find the clicking noise an issue

Highlights

  • 1 min 34 sec: Time to Change Basic Storage Architecture
    • Converged Protocol Appliances & Nothing has changed form early 90s
  • 7 min 8 sec: Sounds like Hadoop?
    • Underlying hardware still used proprietary protocols
  • 9 min 19 sec: Single Drive Cluster – it’s built?
    • 24 Servers and 24 Drives in a 1U ; has done 48 drives
    • Working on a new design for 96 drives in a 1U
  • 11 min 52 sec: Truly a Distributed Storage Array
    • Storage focused microservers
  • 13 min 24 sec: Limitations in Operations with Hardware
    • Hinders Innovation
  • 15 min 40 sec: Lessons Learned on Managing Devices
    • Over-dependence on tunneling protocols requiring full networking (e.g. VPN)
    • Move to peer-to-peer network slicing
  • 17 min 28 sec: Software Defined Networking Topology
    • Introduce devices to each other and get out of the way
  • 18 min 33sec: Every Storage Node is Part of the Network
    • Moves into a world of networking challenges
    • Ipv4 cannot support this model
  • 21 min 06 sec: Networking Magic in the Model
    • Peer to Peer w/ Broker Introduction and then Removal from Traffic
    • Scale out for Edge Computing Requires this New Model
    • 5G Energy Cost Savings are a Must
  • 27 min 28 sec: Issues of Powering On/Off Machines to Save Money
    • Creating a massive array of smaller GPUs for Machine Learning
    • Build a fast, cheap, lower power storage system to get started in the model
  • 34 min 09 sec: Doesn’t fit the model that Edge infrastructure will be Cloud patterned
    • Rob makes a point to listeners to consider various ideas in future Edge infrastructure
  • 36 min 48 sec: State of Open Source?
    • Consortium’s and open source standards
    • Creating the lowest common denominator free thing so competitors can build differentiation on top of it for revenue
    • Not a fan of open core models
  • 41 min 44 sec: Does Open Source include Supporting Implementation?
    • Look at the old WINE project financing
    • You can’t just deploy people onsite for free<
  • 48 min 24 sec: Wrap-Up

Podcast Guest: Ash Young,Chief Evangelist of Cachengo

Technology leader with over 20 years experience, primarily in storage. Created the first open source NAS (network attached storage) stack, the first unified block/file storage stack for Linux, the first storage management software, and the list goes on.

Since 2012, I have been heavily involved in NFV (Network Functions Virtualization). I wrote a bunch of the standards and was editor for the Compute/Storage Domain in the Infrastructure Working Group for NFV. And then I started up the open source effort to close the gaps for achieving our vision of the NFVI. This was the precursor to OPNFV.

The best way to understand what I do is to imagine being a high-level marketing exec who comes up with a whiz bang product and business idea, including business plan, competitive analysis, MRD, everything, but now comes the hand-off with your engineering organization, only to hear a litany of nos. Well, I got tired of being told “No, it can’t be done” or “No, we don’t know how to do it”, so I started doing it myself. I call this skill “Rapid Prototyping”, and over the years I have found it to be a very missing gap in the product development process. When Marketing comes up with ideas, we need a way to very efficiently validate the technology and business concepts before we commit to a lengthy engineering cycle.

I’m just one person, working in a company of over 180,000 people and in a very dynamic industry. My ability to get creative and to influence businesses is never a dull moment; and I will probably be 100 years old and still writing open source software.

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