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Convergence Inflexibility or Virtualization Inception

In one of the more recent blog posts from my colleague entitled KVM or VMware: Why KVM is Right for the Times (Part 1 of 2) these technical reasons for choosing KVM were given:

  1. Native Support for any Guest OS
  2. Efficient Code and Better Performance
  3. Open Source and Flexible

The first two reasons don’t need much explanation, but most people only read “Open Source” in the third reason and move on.  I want to dig a bit deeper into the flexibility aspect, or specifically why other methods of convergence are inflexible and wasting your resources.  Sherman, set the Way Back Machine to 1998. Continue reading

Under the Hood – HC3 Architectural Design Goals

The first two posts of this series discussed the high availability and ease of use requirements that went into the design of HC3.  With those overarching user needs as a backdrop, we will now transition into a more technical look under the hood at the hardware and software aspects of the HC3 system.

HC3 and the ICOS (Intelligent Clustered Operating System) that it runs on were designed to put intelligence and automation into the software layer allowing the system to provide advanced functionality, flexibility and scalability using low cost hardware components, including the virtualization capabilities built into modern CPU architectures.  Rather than “scaling up” with larger, more expensive hardware that also requires equally expensive idle “standby capacity” to operate in the event of a failure, HC3 was designed to aggregate compute and storage resources from multiple systems into a single logical system with redundancy and availability designed in. Continue reading

Vendor Programs: Do Resellers Really Give a Damn Anymore?

In my last post, we talked about the difference between evangelists and missionaries, and how the more innovative your product or solution, the more you need missionaries. The idea here is that missionaries do their job not for glory or riches, or even notoriety, but for the belief in the value of the mission itself to those being “converted.” As I said before, the missionary is fearless – he burns with “missionary zeal”. To bring something to market that potential customers (the unconverted) don’t even know can help them, takes that kind of fearlessness – and not just from the sales team, but from everyone in the company. In Startupland, everyone is in sales, every day.

One major challenge young companies have is how to get your channel partners to buy-in to the mission. After all, your resellers are going to represent you to the customer and if they don’t believe, you may never even have a chance to convert that prospect. Continue reading

Virtualization 101: The Phantom Multics

 

I don’t know about you but I have seen enough virtualization 101 articles, blogs, and explanations to make my eyes bleed. And, they all say the same thing.  They talk about which company popularized virtualization, discuss server consolidation, maybe mention total cost of ownership (TCO), or return on investment(ROI).  If the author is really savvy, he/she may mention IBM and the fact that what they are really discussing is server virtualization and explain the different types.  Yet, rarely do they give you a glimpse into earlier versions of virtualization.  You do not get to hear the inside scoop of how virtualization came to be and why it is extremely important for IT.  I want to give you a piece of that prequel. Continue reading

KVM or VMware: Why KVM is Right for the Times (Part 2 of 2)

The Holy Grail of IT, especially SMB IT, is to have a datacenter that’s simple and easy to use. Preferably, as easy as an iPhone or Android phone with enterprise software that is as easy to access and run as Angry Birds is from an app store.

Thanks to KVM and Scale Computing, that vision is possible. And, well on its way.

This blog continues where Part 1 left off and describes how KVM is implemented within Scale’s HC3.

Strategic for the Customer and Scale Computing

Both commercial developers and consumers need to worry about the EMC trap. The company owns VMware and is well-known in the industry for its aggressive business moves. VMware storage partners who are developing converged solutions based on VMware are tying their company’s future to their competition. It’s quite probable that EMC could create a hyperconverged version of VMware that only runs on EMC storage gear. All other vendors could be locked out, severely limiting choices for vendors, resellers and especially users. Continue reading

KVM or VMware: Why KVM is Right for the Times (Part 1 of 2)

 

The Holy Grail of IT, especially SMB IT, is to have a datacenter that’s simple and easy to use. Preferably, as easy as an iPhone or an Android with enterprise software just as easy to get and run as Angry Birds is from an app store.

Thanks to KVM and Scale Computing, that vision is possible. And, well on its way.

In August 2012, Scale Computing launched the first and only hyperconverged infrastructure based on KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) into the marketplace. Called HC3, the multi-award winning solution integrates servers, storage and networking into a clustered appliance with a single operating system called ICOS® (Intelligent Clustered Operating System). Continue reading

Evangelist or Missionary: Which one are you?

In my last blog post, I mused on why we don’t drink bourbon in the office anymore – like JR Ewing of Dallas used to – and why his habits and business dealings made him such a compelling (if sometimes evil) character, and even a guide for certain positive business behaviors.

Today, I want to talk about Technical Evangelists and Missionaries. “Technical Evangelist” is a role aspired to by a lot of people in Startupland, or in the IT industry at large. Guy Kawasaki from Apple made this into a glamor position in the industry a few years ago. After all, it’s fun to get out there and talk about the cool new stuff we are creating in this tech world and how customers should want to hear about it –  and, of course, how great and smart we all are.

Really, what does the Evangelist (any kind, technical or religious) actually do? The Evangelist says he is going to speak on a subject and people will go to where he will be, because they want to hear what he has to say. They may agree with him, they may disagree with him. They may love him or hate him, or what he says and stands for. They may give him their money, or snap the TV off. (Check out any number of religious televangelists and see if you don’t agree.) But the point is, people will go and listen to the Evangelist because they are interested in hearing what he has to say, period. Continue reading

Watch out for an Exploding Market!

I heard a sad, but true story recently from one of our reseller partners. It’s one that has been told thousands of times over the last few years, but one that is also being relegated to the antiquities of IT lore. The partner told of a $160,000 virtualization deal that went sour because the end customer decided virtualization was simply too complex to learn and implement in his limited time frame. Continue reading

Limit the Buzzwords, Please!

Virtualization, cloud, SaaS, IaaS, software-defined datacenter, follow-the-sun computing, big data, VDI, etc.  As a 15+ years industry veteran of startups and small and medium-sized companies (I know, I know, I’m a young pup to some of you), I must admit that I have used these buzzwords.

As a Sales and Systems Engineer and Manager, and Director of Sales/Systems Engineers, I know these topics have defined conversations at customers in the Fortune 1000 – and beyond. Companies such as Salesforce, Facebook, Sony, and Texas Instruments have leveraged myself or my peers at previous companies that I have worked for (such as VMware) to explain how they will affect internal processes. These concepts are transforming IT as we know it and their discussions dramatically impact a mature business.

Continue reading

Under the Hood – HC³ Ease of Use Design Goals

In the first “Under the Hood” series of posts, I introduced the high level design goal for HC³ and talked about the high availability benefits.

Our HC³ products were specifically designed to lower cost and complexity for IT administrators within small- to medium-sized organizations who need to run their applications in a highly available manner.

But high availability can be provided many other ways if you are willing to spend the money, integrate pieces together and have the human resources and skills to set it up and manage it.  So what does HC³ do differently?

Continue reading