Bringing converged thinking to the branch office


Rumors of a VMware-engineered hyper-converged infrastructure have been circulating for months, mostly under the code name MARVIN. The rumors turned out to be true: this week, at VMworld San Francisco, VMware announced VMware EVO:RAIL, which combines compute, networking, and storage resources, plus vSphere and vCenter and vSAN, into a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance to create a simple, easy to deploy, all-in-one solution. This seems like a solid building block for the small-to-midsized enterprise that is interested in quickly deploying resources tailored for the software-defined data center. As Riverbed’s Rob Whiteley (@rwhiteley0) points out, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions will change the way virtual machines are provisioned and protected:

Can you deploy WAN optimization and traffic management in vCloud Air?

Just before VMworld 2014, VMware rebranded it's vCloud Hybrid Service to vCloud Air. But one thing that hasn't changed is that, as a user, you can't just walk into VMware's cloud and rack and stack whatever services you want in there.

The good news is that Riverbed also achieved VMware Ready - vCloud Air status for SteelHead CX, SteelApp Traffic Manager, and SteelCentral Services Controller for SteelApp. As virtual appliances and cloud instances, you don't need to have a key to VMware's data center to deploy and run these services to optimize, scale, and control your applications running in vCloud Air.

Check out this video with Brian Gautreau (@brian_gautreau) as he discusses how Riverbed can help ease your transition to vCloud Air by giving you more control over performance and cost:

What is the network impact of VMware Horizon Mirage?

Managing desktops has long been a huge challenge - and security risk - for IT. While there is an appeal in the idea of locking up all the desktops in the data center and providing access through VDI, the reality is that there are still many users for which that model is not appropriate. So, that still leaves the challenge of managing desktops.

Enter VMware Horizon Mirage. The desktop image management software supports physical and virtual desktops to help with Windows migrations, BYOD, and desktop data protection. But when you deploy Horizon Mirage in a remote office, that involves pushing out updates and pulling back backups over the WAN.

Check out this video with Faisal Memon (@fymemon) to hear how Riverbed SteelHead can help Horizon Mirage deployments, by:

Visibility into VMware NSX environments for control and accountability

We spent four-days chatting with lots of IT folks this week who have recently adopted or who are considering adoption of the virtualized network technology of VMware NSX at VMWorld 2014. Most of them would acknowledge how they've gotten used to virtualized desktop and server environments and rely on them exclusively for much of their computing and infrastructure.

But the networks too?

Is it a bit wild to consider running networks on bare metal—spun up by software instead of configuring routers with ACL's and routing policies for business critical functions in your organizations? What is it that is holding us back? Job security. Nah, we know that argument doesn't work in our modern, whoever-gets-products-to-market-the-fastest usually wins culture. We need to do things faster and with less resources to keep our jobs!

VMware Horizon View on branch converged infrastructure

VDI deployments tend to start as small pilot projects and then grow from there. At some point, enterprises start looking at deploying VDI in remote office locations. That introduces a challenging trade-off: let users suffer poor performance from the latency and unpredictability of accessing their desktop over the WAN, or run a bunch of infrastructure in each branch locations.

At VMworld 2014, I caught up with Chris Wong of Riverbed to find out how Riverbed SteelFusion branch converged infrastructure eliminates this painful trade-off with VMware Horizon View. Watch this video to hear how users can get the performance they need in a remote branch location, but IT can minimize the infrastructure and cost, while exercising centralized control:

Explain it to me like I’m 5: What is NSX?

We asked attendees at VMworld to try to explain what VMware’s NSX is… to a five year old. As you’ll see in this video, most of their answers seem to assume kindergarteners these days are setting up more clusters than coloring books. But the last one will make you never look at trains the same way again.

Dealing with “Layer 8” network issues?

As performance troubleshooting teams around the world know all too well, relying on out-of-date network configuration data, change, and topology while keeping up with business-critical network and application obligations drives high IT operational costs and poor staff productivity. It’s not good for your business to troubleshoot outages after the fact; it’s much better to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Cloud-To-Cloud Resiliency: What It Is, And Why You NEED To Know About It

A few weeks back, I wrote about the CodeSpaces debacle where the source code hosting company was forced to shut its doors after sustaining a DDoS attack and being hacked. There were a lot of lessons that could be learned from this event, but the biggest one was a simple "Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Or, “Place a secondary set of eggs in another basket that is located far enough away from the first basket and with the necessary domain separations, that it isn’t subject to the majority of the same risks.” Did I stretch the metaphor too far?

Experts agree that if you have critical data, you need to protect it, usually with secondary and tertiary copies that are independent from the primary. Usually this comes in the form of disaster recovery technologies (like replication) ALONGSIDE point in time technologies (like backup and snapshots), and then transporting the data offsite. Most of you are probably thinking, DUH. DUH, I agree. But why is it, that when it comes to cloud, organizations forget these simple rules? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it againIf you protected data onsite, you must protect it in the cloud. Whether it’s SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or anything else -aaS, if you would protect it on-premises, you need to protect it in the cloud.

This is where cloud-to-cloud resiliency comes in.

Optimizing application and data performance across the hybrid enterprise with VMware

In today’s IT environment, more organizations are moving toward the hybrid enterprise. The typical enterprise is transforming into a mix of on-premises applications and cloud-based services, with core applications and data running in private data centers and others running in the public cloud.

As more organizations experience this transformation, they face specific performance challenges, including architectural complexity and blind spots for support, management and security. Organizations must prepare for and learn to manage these challenges in order to optimize application and data performance.

Riverbed sees inside VMware NSX virtualized networks

Why spin up individual VMs when you can create a whole network of connected VMs?

That's what VMware NSX technology does. Think of it as a hypervisor for each of your software-defined data center networks—one for sales, one for HR, one for engineering, and so on.

Whether you're a service provider, deliver SaaS, or have internal or external customer Riverbed NetProfiler and VMware NSXnetworks, you can create virtual network offices for just about any type of network.

We know what you're thinking:

"Please don't mess with what we have now, we've spent a lot of time and resources getting our current infrastructure to work."

"And besides, how are we going to monitor these networks?"

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Riverbed. WAN optimization for your network: Application acceleration, WAN bandwidth optimization, and IT consolidation. Riverbed is the IT performance company. WAN optimization solutions from Riverbed liberate businesses from common IT constraints by increasing application performance, enabling consolidation, and providing enterprise-wide network and application visibility – all while eliminating the need to increase bandwidth, storage or servers. Thousands of companies trust Riverbed to deliver greater productivity and cost savings by making their IT infrastructure faster, less expensive and more responsive. Riverbed solutions are also available as managed services through select providers.

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