Cloud Data Centres and VMware vCloud Director tips #3

Busy getting up to speed with vCloud Director? Need a few pointers to help you on the way? Here’s another selection of tips for you, which should hopefully come in handy once you’re up and running with your Cloud Utilities Virtual Data Centre (VDC).

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Cloud Data Centres and VMware vCloud Director tips #2

Welcome to the next batch of tips for new users of VMware’s vCloud Director. If you’re up and running as one of our Virtual Data Centre (VDC) customers, or if you’ve just signed up for a cloud test drive with us, these key features should help you to get the most out of your Cloud Utilities service.

Before we continue, don’t forget that as a cloud customer or test driver, you can get a free VDC walk through with me, where I’ll take you through everything you need to know to get up and running with your space in the cloud — just get in touch using any of the usual methods and we’ll book you in.

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Cloud Data Centres and VMware vCloud Director tips #1

If you’ve just signed up for one of our Cloud Utilities VMware cloud data centre test drives (and haven’t had your guided walk-through with me yet — if not, just ask!) perhaps you’re looking for a few hints and tips about what you can do within your very own piece of the cloud.

This is the first of a new series, where I’ll be highlighting some of the day to day features of vCloud Director that will help you to get the most out of your Virtual Data Centre (VDC).

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Are myths about the cloud holding you back from adoption?

In the fast-moving world of technology, cloud has been around for a long time — especially if we think about it in “Internet Years“. However, because it means different things to different people, the term itself is still open to interpretation, and certainly still suffers from the stigma associated with so much marketing hype.

And then of course, there are the myths that have lead to concerns over data security and resilience. The result is that many organisations are still hesitant to adopt cloud, despite the fact that the enterprise cloud has now reached a point where it is considered a legitimate and progressive IT and business model.

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4 IT headaches, and how cloud computing can help ease the pressure

IT budgets being swallowed up simply by Keeping The Lights On (KTLO), delays in deploying new hardware and the knock on effects for business development… IT teams these days have a lot to cope with when dealing with traditional physical infrastructures. Can cloud computing in the form of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) help?

This infographic from Andy Monshaw of IBM (via CloudTweaks) illustrates four of the big challenges that IT teams and their organisations are increasingly facing as IT continues to take a more central role in the day-to-day operations of the modern business.

The graphic reports that on average, around 70% of IT budgets are consumed by operations and maintenance. That leaves just under one third of IT expenditure for the important concern of strategy and innovation (far from an ideal balance as previously noted) and an inefficient use highly skilled IT staff.

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Power-up with hybrid cloud

If you’re already using a virtualised local IT infrastructure, then we don’t need to convince you of the advantages of private cloud.

No doubt you’re already benefiting from the simplified management that comes from being able to control all of your computing resources from a single point. You may even have had a pat on the back from the people in charge of the purse strings, who have seen the reduced capital costs that have been possible through server consolidation and being able to squeeze the most out of the hardware you already have. Not to mention the improved experience of your users and customers that comes from the added resilience of a cloud environment.

What if you could power-up these advantages, and add even further benefits to your virtual infrastructure? By linking your private cloud with a trusted public cloud you can. Here lies the compelling case for hybrid cloud: it’s cloud as you know it, but this time it’s free of limiting factors.

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We’re VMware Hybrid Cloud Powered®!

We’re pleased to announce that we have achieved “VMware Hybrid Cloud Powered®” status with our cloud technology partners, VMware.

vmware_hybrid_powered partner

This is an important milestone for us and signals the recognition of both our investment in, and commitment to, the leading technologies available in virtualisation and cloud computing.

The VMware Hybrid Cloud Powered program involves meeting criteria to give customers the confidence that their computing workloads can be easily migrated between their existing cloud/virtualised environments, and the Hybrid Cloud Powered public cloud service offered by the provider. This direct interoperability allows organisations to take advantage of compatible public clouds like those offered by 1st Easy, to form so-called “hybrid” clouds, and gain the ability to consume computing resources in the most efficient and flexible way possible.

In conjunction with obtaining this status, we’re offering free test drives of our cloud platform: 30 days full access to your own virtual data centre, so that you can get real hands-on experience of the hybrid cloud — after all, there’s nothing like trying something for yourself to truly understand it and the benefits it can bring.

If you’re interested in getting your own cloud test drive, you can visit our sign-up page, or contact us for more details.

A slice of cloud for everyone: VMware™ cloud servers

Hot on the heels of the launch of Cloud Utilities (our cloud computing platform) it’s time to announce the next evolution in our range of services: Linux and Windows VMware virtual cloud servers. This new service replaces our previous range of virtual dedicated servers, and as “true” cloud servers, they offer many of the benefits typically associated with larger-scale cloud computing.

Improved reliability:
  • The important thing to know here is that a cloud server doesn’t run from a single piece of hardware.
  • Instead, it’s part of a much larger infrastructure (the very same commercial-class infrastructure we designed for Cloud Utilities) and draws the RAM, processing power and storage it needs from a large pool of resources.
  • This means that if a piece of hardware should go down, it is much easier to recover quickly – your cloud server simply pulls in what it needs from elsewhere in the resource pool, while you (and your visitors and customers) carry on without being disrupted by downtime.

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Cloud multimedia (learning resources)

Short of trying something for yourself we think these videos from our cloud technology partners VMware, do a nice job of quickly conveying many of the key concepts and benefits of cloud computing for business.

With the selection we’ve shared on our website, we’ve tried to cover a range of interests — from a simple overview of cloud strategy and how it can help an organisation to achieve IT (and ultimately) business agility, through to more specific content such as a walk through tour of vCloud Director with a VMware engineer, and how it is used to manage a virtual data centre.

Take a look for yourself here: Cloud multimedia (learning resources).

Cloud computing for software and application developers

Whether you develop bespoke software for specific customer requirements, or deliver specialised applications for business processes or vertical markets, what are the benefits that deploying in the cloud can bring to your business (and your customers)?

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is nothing particularly new — for many software houses, online deployment of applications (or at least some element of their functionality) has become the norm. Customers benefit from being able to access their applications from remote locations, they get streaming updates to ensure they have the latest features and security patches, while the impracticalities and costs of shipping physical media and the related on-site installation (not to mention dealing with platform differences) are distant memories for most.

The advantages to both developer and customer are clear.

However, as more software and solutions are delivered online, these old challenges are replaced by new ones…

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