Feeds

Some top cloud tools to bash up the bus factor

The path to simplicity

Security for virtualized datacentres

Cloud Few business owners are willing to tolerate a low bus factor on critical endeavours. If your IT infrastructure is based on ten-year-old rebuilt hardware and a heavily customised version of Linux only one or two people truly understand, you’re in trouble.

The simplest means by which the bus factor can be managed is to make the right tools available and ensure that they are used. On paper, VMWare’s vSphere suiteis an expensive alternative to ESXi and some script-fu.

This is false economy. The vSphere suite offers more than lowering the maintenance burden of your systems administrators. It offers business continuity. The proper management tools combined with the proper equipment ensure that any halfway-competent administrator can take over those particular systems.

Simplicity is key and cloud computing exemplifies this. For each service, dozens of providers exist. Each brings their own native toolkit to the table; unique APIs that reduce the long term script-fu. Disparate and incompatible management tools use different terms for similar concepts. Some clouds services offer raw virtual machine access, others offer a platform unto which you can develop your application.

The road to simplicity

One road to simplicity is finding tools that span multiple vendors. For managing the local cloud, open source OpenQRM is a great multi-hypervisor management product. IBM, HP, CA and others have been extending their management stacks to offer similar support. They have the added advantage of being excellent at supporting the underlying hardware as well.

"The hosted cloud still has something of the Wild West about it"

Rightscale, Kaavo, and Zeus are top of mind for offering cross-vendor products for the hosted cloud.

Big names are not left out either; hosted cloud vendors are working to integrate their services with management tools stretching from VMWare’s vCenter to OpenQRM.

If you are comfortable with taking care of provisioning virtual machines on your own – or have existing tools that suit you – consider Rackspace’s recent acquisition Cloudkick. Cloudkick doesn’t offer much in the way of provisioning tools, but it is a fantastic monitoring application covering a diversity of hosted providers. If VMWare is your poison, Cloudkick also offers the ability to monitor virtual machines on your local cloud.

overtaking a bus

Hold the Bus!

The other path to simplicity is that of sourcing your compute resources from a single vendor. The choices are manifold; the hosted cloud still has something of the Wild West about it.

The local computing big shots are all making their cloud plays. The advantage on offer is that of a single provider for all services whether local or hosted. Established internet giants tout their experience at supporting large-scale cloud deployments. The requirements of their own services dwarf all but a handful of other organisations around the world.

The traditional players are only part of the tale; dozens of contenders exist, with more coming out of stealth mode every year. Rackspace is one such example. It is going head-to-head with the established giants on the strength of a commitment to simple yet powerful management tools.

On the other side of the spectrum lies Greenqloud’s play. It is offering compatibility with the big players – your existing management tools will work here – while competing on price and “green” credentials.

Intel’s entrance into this field is of particular interest. Intel has resources that surpass even those of many established players. It has a great deal of cloud experience; its own internal IT systems are enormous. Its target isn’t the developer nor is it the enterprise IT department. The target is small and medium enterprises. A strong focus on powerful – and simple – management tools will emerge as a core component of Intel’s strategy.

Whether you are managing an internal cloud, wrangling hosted services or shuffling workloads between them, reliable management tools are as important to your IT strategy as the people who implement them. Or the vendors that supply them. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights
Airlines given green light to allow gate-to-gate jibber-jabber
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.