Provision Virtual Machines with an Open Source Physical Infrastructure Solution

Rob Hirschfeld, CEO/Co-Founder, RackN created a new Digital Rebar Provision (DRP) video highlighting the creation of virtual machines within the standard automation process. Highlights:

  • Create a New Virtual Machine from the Physical Provisioning Tool – DRP
  • VirtualBox IMPI Plugin – Preview of Pre-Release Tool
  • RackN Portal will inventory virtual machines available on network for management
  • Packet IMPI Plugin – enable creation of VMs on Packet cloud hardware

This expansion to virtual machines allows DRP users to not only provision physical infrastructure but virtual as well both locally and in clouds.

More information on the Digital Rebar community and Digital Rebar Provision:

Standardize your Operational Chaos for Provisioning Bliss

A common side-effect of rapid growth for any organization is the introduction of complexity and one-off solutions to keep things moving regardless of the long-term impact. Over time, these decisions add up to create a chaotic environment for IT teams who find themselves unable to find an appropriate time to stop and reset.  

IT operations teams also struggle in this environment as management knowledge for all these technologies are not often shared appropriately and it is common to have only 1 operator capable of supporting specific technologies. Obviously, enterprises are at great risk when knowledge is not shared and there is no standard process across a team.

Issue :  Infrastructure Management

  • One-Off Operations – Customized operation tooling per service leads to team dysfunction as operators cannot support each due to inexperience with unique tools
  • IT Productivity – Data centers struggle to meet business needs with no standard process or tools; cloud platforms expose this deficiency causing business to go shadow IT

Impact : Delivery Times

  • Costly and Slow – Many data centers operate with dated processes and tools causing significant delays in new service rollout as well as maintaining existing services
  • Cross Platform Support IT teams MUST maintain control over company services by supporting internal data centers as well as cloud deployments from a single platform  

RackN Solution : Global Standard

  • Operations Excellence – RackN’s foundational management ensures IT can operate services regardless of platform (e.g. data center, public cloud, etc)
  • Operational Standardization – RackN delivers a single platform for IT to leverage across deployment vehicles as well as ensure IT team efficiency across services

The RackN team is ready to start you on the path to operations excellence:

Take part in the Digital Rebar Community

Rishidot Research Briefing Notes on RackN

Rishidot Research recently published a profile of the new RackN Beta program, Briefing Notes: RackN Launches in Beta. This document contains a Market Overview, RackN Offering, SWOT Analysis, and Conclusions.

Rishidot provided several key messages in their briefing notes that are worth highlighting:

  • Bare Metal as a Service – offers a better fit for running containers in the enterprise without the overhead of virtualization.
  • Simplification and Choice – by decoupling provisioning, management, and orchestration into distinct layers, RackN allows customers flexibility in choosing orchestration tools already in use
  • Data Center vs Cloud – RackN automation to underlying infrastructure makes datacenter provisioning competitive in a cloud world

Read the Complete Briefing Notes

Disclosure: RackN has hired Rishidot in the past.

About Rishidot Research

In ancient Indian mythology, the Rishis were the embodiment of all-encompassing knowledge with the ability to foresee the future and help handle change. Named after the mythical Rishis, Rishidot Research LLC is an analyst firm dedicated to deep understanding of technology and the ability to foresee trends.

Unlike ever before, technological evolution is happening at an exponential rate. In order to maintain their competitive edge, organizations need to both keep up with emerging technologies and align the IT goals with their business objectives. Rishidot Research helps organizations transform to Modern Enterprise by offering strategic advise to leadership on their modernization strategy and help teams understand and navigate the technology landscape. Our focus is on helping enterprises decipher and adapt to the fast changing technological landscape dominated by cloud computing, Big Data, IoT and AI.

Contact: Krishnan Subramanian at @rishidot or +1-617-657-4744

Deep Thinking & Tech + Great Guests – L8ist Sh9y podcast relaunched

I love great conversations about technology – especially ones where the answer is not very neatly settled into winners and losers (which is ALL of them in IT).  I’m excited that RackN has (re)launched the L8ist Sh9y (aka Latest Shiny) podcast around this exact theme.

Please check out the deep and thoughtful discussion I just had with Mark Thiele (notes) of Aperca where we covered Mark’s thought on why public cloud will be under 20% of IT and culture issues head on.

Spoiler: we have David Linthicum coming next, SO SUBSCRIBE.

I’ve been a guest on some great podcasts (Cloudcast, gcOnDemand, Datanauts, IBM Dojo, HPEFoodfight) and have deep respect for critical work they do in industry.

We feel there’s still room for deep discussions specifically around automated IT Operations in cloud, data center and edge; consequently, we’re branching out to start including deep interviews in addition to our initial stable of IT Ops deep technical topics like Terraform, Edge Computing, GartnerSYM review, Kubernetes and, of course, our own Digital Rebar.

Soundcloud Subscription Information

 

Podcast: Mark Thiele Talks Cloud, IT, and Jevons Paradox

Rob Hirschfeld, CEO/Co-Founder of RackN speaks with Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy and CIO of Apcera on a variety of cloud and DevOps related topics including Mark’s recent blog post, Why Adoption of Public Cloud Likely Won’t Exceed 17 Percent of Total IT Demand by 2022.

TOPIC                                                                    TIME
Intro to Mark / Latest on Culture                     0:00 – 3:50
Winners/Losers Mentality in IT                       3:50 – 8:35
Bottleneck in IT for Future                                8:35 – 11:00
Pay Down Debt in Interconnected Systems   11:00 – 13:15
IT More Consumable                                          13:15 – 15:10
Resiliency                                                              15:10 – 16:15
Jevons Paradox & Internal/External Cust      16:15 – 22:44
Public Cloud & Edge Computing                      22:44 – 26:55
Problem is People Not Tech                              26:55 – END

Don’t miss Mark talking about the Winchester Mystery House of IT at 12:07

Podcast Guest – Mark Thiele @mthiele10
Chief Strategy and Chief Information Officer – Apcera

Mark Thiele’s successful career in IT spans 25 years and has focused on both operating roles and on driving cloud adoption across enterprises of all sizes. Mark has deep industry experience and extensive knowledge of the requirements of policy-driven cloud computing and drives cross-functional strategic initiatives as Chief Strategy & Chief Information Officer for Apcera. Prior to joining Apcera, Mark was the executive vice president of ecosystem development at Switch SUPERNAP, builders of the world’s highest-rated data centers. He is also the president and founder of Data Center Pulse, an organization created to promote best practices in the data center industry. Mark has held executive roles at HP, Gilead, VMware and Brocade and is a member of nonprofit groups including The Green Grid and Infrastructure 2.0, where he advocates for data center and cloud industry evolution. A globally recognized speaker at leading industry events on a wide range of topics including cloud, IoT, data center, DevOps, and IT leadership. Mark is a regular content contributor to InformationWeek, GigaOm, Data Center Knowledge and other publications. Mark also serves on the technical advisory board of several startups.

Exploring the Edge Series: “Edge is NOT just Mini-Cloud”

While the RackN team and I have been heads down radically simplifying physical data center automation, I’ve still been tracking some key cloud infrastructure areas.  One of the more interesting ones to me is Edge Infrastructure.

This once obscure topic has come front and center based on coming computing stress from home video, retail machine and distributed IoT.  It’s clear that these are not solved from centralized data centers.

While I’m posting primarily on the RackN.com blog, I like to take time to bring critical items back to my personal blog as a collection.  WARNIING: Some of these statements run counter to other industry.  Please let me know what you think!

Don’t want to read?  Here’s a summary podcast.

Post 1: OpenStack On Edge? 4 Ways Edge Is Distinct From Cloud

By far the largest issue of the Edge discussion was actually agreeing about what “edge” meant.  It seemed as if every session had a 50% mandatory overhead in definitioning.  Putting my usual operations spin on the problem, I choose to define edge infrastructure in data center management terms.  Edge infrastructure has very distinct challenges compared to hyperscale data centers.  Read article for the list...

Post 2: Edge Infrastructure Is Not Just Thousands Of Mini Clouds

Running each site as a mini-cloud is clearly not the right answer.  There are multiple challenges here. First, any scale infrastructure problem must be solved at the physical layer first. Second, we must have tooling that brings repeatable, automation processes to that layer. It’s not sufficient to have deep control of a single site: we must be able to reliably distribute automation over thousands of sites with limited operational support and bandwidth. These requirements are outside the scope of cloud focused tools.

Post 3: Go CI/CD And Immutable Infrastructure For Edge Computing Management

If “cloudification” is not the solution then where should we look for management patterns?  We believe that software development CI/CD and immutable infrastructure patterns are well suited to edge infrastructure use cases.  We discussed this at a session at the OpenStack OpenDev Edge summit.

What do YOU think?  This is an evolving topic and it’s time to engage in a healthy discussion.

Containers, Private Clouds, GIFEE, and the Underlay Problem

ITRevoluion

Gene Kim (@RealGeneKim) posted an exclusive Q&A with Rob Hirschfeld (@zehicle) today on IT Technology: Rob Hirschfeld on Containers, Private Clouds, GIFEE, and the Remaining “Underlay Problem.” 

Questions from the post:

  • Gene Kim: Tell me about the landscape of docker, OpenStack, Kubernetes, etc. How do they all relate, what’s changed, and who’s winning?
  • GK: I recently saw a tweet that I thought was super funny, saying something along the lines “friends don’t let friends build private clouds” — obviously, given all your involvement in the OpenStack community for so many years, I know you disagree with that statement. What is it that you think everyone should know about private clouds that tell the other side of the story?
  • GK: We talked about how much you loved the book Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems by Betsy Beyer, which I also loved. What resonated with you, and how do you think it relates to how we do Ops work in the next decade?
  • GK: Tell me what about the work you did with Crowbar, and how that informs the work you’re currently doing with Digital Rebar?

Read the full Q&A here.