TechCrunch whiffs out the possibility that private cloud is a thing

“We’re seeing a big trend among customers to move cloud stacks inside customer’s data center for security, performance and governance,” Wang told TechCrunch.

There’s not really any qualitative (market share, penetration, or surveys – all pretty easy to lmgtfy) bits here, but I’d take it more as a slightly eyebrow raising thing along the lines of “if even TechCrunch wiffs out private cloud, maybe there’s some fire there.”

Plus, analyst quotes.

Link

US Air Force & Pivotal digitizing flight-ops together – $2.7m contract

The $2.7 million contract involved in the program is between the Air Force and a Silicon Valley company, Pivotal Inc., that has often worked with large corporations such as Ford and Home Depot. The effort is expected to reach beyond the operations center in Qatar to eventually assist in similar U.S. military facilities across the world.

It was a project to digitize refueling aircraft, from the previously analog approach:

The visitors, part of then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s new Defense Innovation Board, were surprised to see that the Air Force used a white marker board to plan the elaborate daily effort to refuel aircraft involved in the war in Iraq and Syria, said Joshua Marcuse, the board’s executive director.

Next project:

The next project will focus on improving the coordination and management of airstrikes. An initial version could be available by next month, and DIUx is hopeful deployed airmen could use it within a few months, Oti said. Other programs planned will focus on compiling analytical data about airstrikes and studying potential targets.

Source: The Pentagon has tried to get Silicon Valley on its side for years. Now it’s part of the air war against ISIS.

What’s in Microsoft Azure Stack

Some BOM’ing of Azure Stack:

Azure Stack is made of two basic components, the underlying infrastructure that customers purchase from one of Microsoft’s certified partners (initially Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo) and software that is licensed from Microsoft.The software includes basic IaaS functions that make up a cloud, such as virtual machines, storage and virtual networking. Azure Stack includes some platform-as-a-service (PaaS) application-development features including the Azure Container Service and Microsoft’s Azure Functions serverless computing software, plus MySQL and SQL Server support. It comes with Azure Active Directory for user authentication.Customers also have access to a wide range of third-party apps from the Azure Marketplace, including OS images from companies like Red Hat and SuSE, and templates that can be installed to run programs like Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes and Mesosphere.On the hardware side, Azure Stack runs on a hyperconverged infrastructure stack that Microsoft and its hardware vendors have certified. The smallest production-level Azure Stack deployment is a four-server rack with three physical switches and a lifecycle management server host. Individual racks can scale up to 12 servers, and eventually, multiple racks can be scaled together. Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo are initial launch partners. Cisco plans to offer a certified Azure Stack platform based on its UCS hardware line by the end of 2017 and Huawei will roll out Azure Stack support by the end of 2018.IDC Data Center Networking Research Analyst Brad Casemore says he believes customers will need to run at least a 10 Gigabit Ethernet cabling with dual-port mixing. Converged network interface cards, support for BGP and data center bridging are important too. Microsoft estimates that a full-sized, 12-rack server unit of Azure Stack can supply about 400 virtual machines with 2 CPUs and 7 GB of RAM, with resiliency.

And Lydia explains the “people want private cloud ¯_(ツ)_/¯” angle:

“This is definitely a plus in the Microsoft portfolio,” says Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Lydia Leong, but she says it’s not right for every customer. “I don’t think this is a fundamental game-changer in the dynamics of the IaaS market,” she notes, but “this is going to be another thing to compel Microsoft-centric organizations to use Azure.”

Leong expects this could be beneficial for customers who want to use Azure but some reason such as regulations, data sensitivity, or location of data prevents them from using the public cloud. If a customer has sensitive data they’re not willing to put in the public cloud, they could deploy Azure Stack behind their firewall to process data, then relatively easily interact with applications and data in the public cloud.

Source: “Azure Stack: Microsoft’s private-cloud platform and what IT pros need to know about it,” Brandon Butler

AWS’s private cloud stuff to day, plus VMware

Good round-up of AWS’s private cloud stuff:

  • AWS added on-premises support to its CodeDeploy continuous-delivery service in 2015.
  • AWS introduced the Snowball storage server companies could use to copy data and then ship it to the cloud in 2015.
  • AWS added on-premises support to its EC2 Run Command tool for running shell scripts on many machines at once in 2016.
  • AWS unveiled the Snowmobile truck for copying even larger supplies of data and then hauling it off to Amazon in 2016.
  • This past November AWS released a container image of its Amazon Linux server operating system for use on corporate servers.

Source: AWS talking with VMware about building on-premises software: report

Rackspace partners with Pivotal to launch managed services for Cloud Foundry

“Managed Pivotal Cloud Foundry is Rackspace’s first step into the managed platform space, as we move up the stack to solutions that customers want our help with,” wrote Brannon Lacey, vice president of applications and platforms at Rackspace, in today’s announcement. “It is a solution that helps customers get up and running on Pivotal Cloud Foundry quickly and stay up and running, with operational support and proactive monitoring. This way, in-house teams can focus on innovation and getting out to market quickly while Rackspace handles the backend.”

Source: Rackspace partners with Pivotal to launch managed services for Cloud Foundry, Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

Alternate headline: 26% success in IoT projects is on-track, totally normal

Despite the forward momentum, a new study conducted by Cisco shows that 60 percent of IoT initiatives stall at the Proof of Concept (PoC) stage and only 26 percent of companies have had an IoT initiative that they considered a complete success. Even worse: a third of all completed projects were not considered a success.

While 26% may, at first, seem bad, if you baseline it against the Standish Chaos reports, it looks pretty normal for an IT project:

In 2015, Standish’s study said about 29% of projects were considered a success. There’s a 2016 report out too, but it’s hard to find anything more than an outline of it. I’ve never figured out how legit the CHAOS report is, but it seems a-OK.

Point being: innovating in software, let alone the business around that software, is all about failure. ~25% success rate is pretty good.

Source: Cisco Survey Reveals Close to 3/4ths of IoT Projects Are Failing

James Governor: The incredible shrinking time to legacy. On Time to Suck as a metric for dev and ops 

Turns out of course it’s not just Developer Time To Suck that is shrinking. Operations is heading the same way. Folks at Pivotal are saying that operating systems don’t matter, as we’ve moved further up the stack. Cloud Native is a proxy for saying much the same thing. But then, something is being written right now that will supplant Kubernetes. If we’re not running our own environments in house, operations disposability become increasingly realistic. Cattle not pets, for everything.

Source: The incredible shrinking time to legacy. On Time to Suck as a metric for dev and ops – James Governor’s Monkchips

American Airlines is a good profile of enterprise cloud buyer’s needs, hopes & dreams – Notebook

While this is sort of a bummer story for Pivotal (we’d like to have this account), it has a good profile of American and their needs in it. All of which are representative of other large organizations, e.g.:

  • Application types: “The first result is that the airline will migrate to the IBM Cloud some of its critical applications, including the main website, its customer-facing mobile app and its global network of check-in kiosks. Other workloads and tools, such as the company’s Cargo customer website, also will be moved to the IBM Cloud.”
  • Managed data-centers/cloud: “The airline will be able to utilize the global footprint of IBM Cloud, which consists of more than 50 data centers in 17 countries, in addition to a wide range of application development capabilities.”
  • Long-term planning: “We wanted to make sure that the cloud provider would be using Cloud Foundry and open-source technologies so we don’t get locked in by proprietary solutions,” Grubbs said. “We also wanted a partner that would offer us the agility to innovate at the organizational and process levels and have deep industry expertise with security at the core.”
  • We want to do all the new meat-ware: “As part of this process, American will work with IBM Global Services to use IBM’s Garage Methodology of creating applications through a micro-services architecture, design thinking, agile methodology, DevOps and lean development, the company said.”
  • Legacy, it’s how you got here: “IBM Cloud will help enable developers to build and change application functionalities for the airline’s customers. These customer-facing systems will be on the IBM Public Cloud, while American will maintain backend connectivity to other on-premise legacy and third-party systems, for true Hybrid Cloud functionality.”
  • There’s a lot going on: “American Airlines and its subsidiary, American Eagle, offer an average of 6,700 flights per day to about 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.”

Source: American Airlines Heads for a New Cloud with IBM

Avoiding your rival’s cloud with multi-cloud capabilities

[O]ne well-publicized case in that vein, they said, was Home Depot directly working with Pivotal Software to introduce Pivotal Cloud Foundry to Google Cloud Platform. The home improvement retailer wanted to continue to use the popular development environment in the public cloud, but avoid giving business to Amazon’s largest profit-generating division.

A Pivotal spokesperson told CRN that Home Depot, like other Fortune 500 retail customers using Pivotal Cloud Foundry for app development, prefer Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure above AWS. Pivotal and Google “rapidly accelerated joint R&D efforts to add new capabilities,” he said, “encouraged” by those retail giants.

At the same time, Pivotal and Microsoft have also stepped up efforts to integrate capabilities on Azure, “primarily driven by automakers,” he said.

Source: Partners Grapple With Conflicts Between Retail Customers And Amazon – Page: 3 | CRN