Virtustream Blog / Virtustream Blog en-us Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:35:01 +0000 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:35:01 +0000 Enterprise Security: Basics are Back in Business /blog/enterprise-security-basics-are-back-in-business

I remember getting a frantic call from a customer many years ago. He had an enormous data center hosting several hundred public websites and was telling me that all the sites were down and nothing was working. I tried my best to calm him down and figure out what was going on. After asking some basic questions, I concluded that he had a virus running through his network, bogging down all his servers. He adamantly protested there couldn’t be a virus because he took care of his servers, so much so that he got upset I even suggested such an outrageous idea. After that short conversation, he convinced me to pay him a visit.

There Couldn’t Be a Virus

I walked into the data center and couldn’t even see the other wall. Not only was the data center gigantic, but it was built exceptionally well. Remember, this was around 2002, and almost everyone in the industry has a horror story of walking into a poorly constructed data center back then. I couldn’t even imagine every system in this entire network being unresponsive. Well, after about 15 minutes of being on the network we found that 6 servers were infected, causing the whole network to be flooded. The obvious solution was to shut down the systems and go from there. After we did that, everything slowly came back online, and the websites and servers were reachable once more.

The customer apologized when he realized there, in fact, was a virus running rampant in his data center. After retracing his steps and asking a few questions, we discovered the infection manifested in new servers that had just been loaded. The smoking gun? The engineer didn’t have enough time to patch them or put on any base tools, such as anti-virus.

Obviously, these servers running without protection or patching were easy targets to get compromised, resulting in the take-down of the entire data center. This customer was certain they were adequately protected, but ended up proven wrong because the data center team didn’t establish and follow the fundamentals of data protection. Whether it be 2002 or 2018, these core basics are critical to securing your data and keeping viruses and intrusion at bay.

Bringing Security Back to the Basics

This story is just one of the many examples I lived through while helping my customers understand how data security should look and how it should be architected. We’re all aware of the massive attacks and data breaches on the news, but many people don’t realize these security failures can all be brought back to some primary control or function that was “supposed” to be there but either wasn’t or functioned incorrectly.

These basics are critical to get right. I can’t tell you how many security professionals focus only on the “cool” tools and functions. They have the most expensive software that will correlate any attack and do amazing things, but if you ask them how they validate their basic controls, they won’t have a great answer for you. Every day I wake up, open my inbox, and see marketing material from a provider with the latest-and-greatest security tool with new capabilities. Yes, I admit they are fun and can provide real benefits for your organization when used correctly, but if you don’t have your fundamentals in order you shouldn’t even begin to explore these tools.

Fundamentals of Security

Everyone defines the fundamentals of security differently because it’s subjective and we all have different opinions. Especially security professionals, who often have a firm idea on what they believe these fundamentals should be and can sometimes be unwilling to waver. There are many standards to follow that may help us view the fundamentals with the same understanding, but ultimately it’s all building blocks. The important part, however, is to never forget about the base of that building as you are stacking blocks.

Here are my fundamentals of security, often overlooked or thought of as expected:

  • Employ good patching methodologies
    • Your first line of defense is keeping your systems patched with vendor patches. This is an essential function that needs to be watched and verified. Without a good patching policy and activity, you can expect security-related issues.
  • Ensure that systems, once established as fundamentally sound, stay that way
    • This goes back to the configuration management function. There are many ways to track this, but once you spend the work to ensure a system is secure, you must make sure it stays that way!
  • Guarantee a good anti-virus system
    • While you may think that everyone would have this and it's working fine, many people can’t tell you for sure if that's the truth. There needs to be a function in place to guarantee all systems not only have this installed, but have this working. I have seen many issues when a system becomes compromised because it's not up to date or not functioning correctly.
  • Gain insight through alerting
    • We work in technology, and something will break eventually. The key is knowing when things break and then fixing them. Without proper notifications you can’t act on anything. This is important because when something breaks, time becomes critical, and the longer you don’t react the worse it will become for you.
Ensuring Security for Your Enterprise

As I said in the beginning, this blog is probably not new information for you, but serves as a reminder that you should always guarantee the basics are in place and stay that way. Here at Virtustream, we are working every day to create new tools around security automation and reconciliation that make sure all systems stay exactly the way we want them to, and we can prove that is the case. Yes, we still have all the fun, fancy tools, but those come after a well established base has been built and maintained. So if you have spare time today, take a glance at your security posture and see if you are as protected as you think. Remember, sometimes it only takes one unpatched server to take down your database.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:15:00 +0000 sam.schoelen /blog/enterprise-security-basics-are-back-in-business
Alleviating Cybersecurity Concerns by Asking the Right Questions /blog/alleviating-cybersecurity-concerns-by-asking-the-right-questions

During the month of October, companies and governments around the world participated in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, raising awareness about the importance of security in our organizations and communities. Now that October is far behind us, it’s critical to remember that security awareness is not just a one-month endeavor. It’s a daily practice that needs to be embedded within both an organization and the cloud provider they select.

Securing Your Information Assets with the Right Cloud Provider

When choosing between the variety of cloud providers that exist in today’s market, you want to make sure you’re asking the right questions about how they provide security for your data in their cloud environment, such as:

“How do you maintain compliance within your cloud?”

Be certain that your cloud provider not only secures your data, but adheres to the specified compliance regulations they say they adhere to. A provider’s cloud-delivered systems should be compliant with both regulatory standards (global, regional, and industry-specific regulations) as well as obligations they specify in service-level agreements (SLAs).

“Will you sign legal agreements relative to the security of data, and data protection regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, or at least sign agreements relative to protecting customer data according to applicable industry standards, frameworks, and regulations?”

Trusting what a cloud provider is telling you about how they maintain compliance and having them sign a legal agreement relative to maintaining that compliance are two completely different stories. You want certainty that regulations and standards will be followed, and, just as important, you want to be able to prove it when you're audited.

“Can you demonstrate independent assessments and due diligence has been performed? And can you produce PCI, ISO 27001, SOC 2, CSA STAR, HIPAA audit reports, certifications, or attestations?”

When an audit comes around, the cloud provider you choose should provide the reports needed to verify compliance. Select a cloud provider who can provide audit reports when asked, and can prove their assessments are being completed on a regular cadence. For publicly traded companies, you should also look to ensure they have an audit committee as part of their board who reviews risks related to information security.

“How do you train the people who are handling our data?”

Aside from assuring the compliance of a provider’s cloud services, you also want to ask about the people who are handling your data. Does the cloud provider perform background screening on new hires? Is their technical data center personnel government security cleared? Does the company provide them with training on information security awareness, secure data handling practices, incident response, and data privacy? These are questions to consider asking that are separate from only infrastructure compliance.

“What happens to my data and applications if something goes wrong?”

Disaster recovery solutions cover a wide array of possibilities, and enterprises should make a determination before selecting a cloud provider regarding what applications and data need disaster recovery. This can range anywhere from a full suite of disaster recovery capabilities to only having data backup and recovery options for specific workloads, such as mission-critical applications.

“How does your organization guarantee disaster recovery for my data and applications?”

After determining your disaster recovery needs, you should open up discussion with your potential cloud provider regarding their recovery-point objective (RPO) and recovery-time objective (RTO) capabilities. Likely, you will want SLAs created that can that guarantee their RPOs and RTOs.

“You don’t have a disaster recovery solution? Then what should I do?”

If you’re exploring public cloud services, you will find most don’t provide disaster recovery or data backup and recovery solutions as a standard component of their cloud services. This is fine for enterprises who don’t need disaster recovery, but enterprises who do need it will be forced to design, implement, and test their own disaster recovery solution themselves. This results in a time consuming and costly process which will cause your staff to focus on deploying and maintaining your disaster recovery solution rather than innovation. Another option would be hiring a third-party contractor, but having this offering built-in to your cloud service providers offering is often easier and more cost effective.

“Do you have a secure software development lifecycle?”

When migrating mission-critical applications, you want offerings which were engineered to be the most secure at every level. A security development lifecycle process can help reduce vulnerabilities and provide a highly trusted cloud platform. When asking a provider about software, you will also want to know if their software has been tested against the common coding vulnerabilities, such as the OWASP Top 10.

“What additional security services do you offer for cybersecurity?”

Most cloud service providers have built-in ways to deliver the basic security your enterprise needs. In a traditional cloud, the customer would remain responsible for the applications, user access, and databases, while the cloud provider would take responsibility for the security and protection of the infrastructure that runs their cloud services. However, sometimes your requirements exceed this typical responsibility model, resulting in a need to shift security from the operating system and databases to the cloud provider.

“Do you test for security vulnerabilities at the network, system, virtual machine, container and application layers via vulnerability scanning systems and qualified penetration testing teams?”

Vulnerability scanning across the entire infrastructure can play a key part in lowering risk. Some cloud providers also deliver a recurring vulnerability report which can be used to schedule maintenance windows and system patches to ensure that the systems are kept up to date.

In addition to vulnerability scanning, you should ask potential cloud providers about their approach to security monitoring. Ideally, your cloud provider will have a team focused on monitoring the security of your cloud 24x7x365, gathering and monitoring security logs. A cloud provider should also have a clear process to notify you when an event of significance occurs, ensuring that threats to your systems and data don’t become incidents.

“Do you offer data encryption solutions, IDS, AV, or other services?

Your will want to understand the full range of services offered which you can take advantage of which help fit into your enterprise security model needs.

Find a Cloud Provider You Can Trust

Cybersecurity in an important component when working with sensitive data in a cloud environment, and organizations feel more comfortable when they receive this security from a cloud provider they trust. Trust is at the foundation of Virtustream’s strategy, and is essential to customers who rely on us to maintain the security, compliance, and integrity of their most important applications. We are committed to sustaining customer trust, which is why we feel confident letting you know what we are doing, when we are doing it, and why.

To discover how Virtustream keeps customer workloads and data secure visit our Trust Center. Visit StaySafeOnline to learn more about the recent National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and see what you can do to promote a safer and more secure internet for everyone.

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Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:16:00 +0000 adam.lyons /blog/alleviating-cybersecurity-concerns-by-asking-the-right-questions
Cloud Files Episode 4: Consider the Economics /blog/cloud-files-consider-the-economics

When considering your cloud migration strategy, the economics of running workloads in the cloud are as important as the performance.

That’s one of the key takeaways from our latest episode of Cloud Files – an interview series where I sit down with top cloud industry experts to talk about the big questions and challenges surrounding cloud migration. This time, I’m joined by two of the world’s leading experts on cloud economics – Owen Rogers, Research Director at 451 Research and head of the firm's Digital Economics Unit, and James Mitchell, CEO and co-founder of financial cloud broker Strategic Blue – for a discussion on cloud pricing, the optimization process, how to price risk and more.

Here are a few of the top takeaways for organizations looking to improve their cloud economics: 

Invest in optimization from day-one

A lack of optimization when planning cloud migration is a significant issue we see enterprises face on a daily basis. Often, enterprise IT teams start their venture into cloud computing by making ad-hoc decisions rather than creating a deliberate cloud strategy. The result is a patchwork of services and integrations that becomes more difficult to optimize by the day.

For many years, organizations first integrated different cloud platforms by making specific commitments when buying Reserved Instances to save on price. Organizations with large teams of developers – each with an account and choice of their availability zones, operating systems, and so on – would end up with a huge cloud sprawl.

“It’s been a complicated exercise to work out the most economical way to reduce the number of resources that you need to forecast in order to make sensible commitments that get you down to a lower price,” explained James.

Owen provided an example to illustrate the complexity of this issue: “’Hyper-scalers’ have around 500,000 individual line items for sale between them. So to optimize that manually without any experience, I would argue, is an impossible task,” he said. “I think enterprises need clever algorithms and clever people to guide them through that world and to show them how they can optimize on an ongoing basis.” 

Communicate effectively to management teams

When discussing the importance of investing in an optimization process, James explained that the biggest issue is how it is communicated to management.

“The self-service tools we have seen so far – unless you’re really, really on the ball – are actually still quite hard to use in order to get the appropriate sign offs at CFO-level and sometimes even at board- level,” he said. “There seems to be a habit among people of promising 100 percent of the savings, rather than an acknowledgment that there will be some under-utilization of commitments.” 

By helping your executives wrap their heads around cloud economics, you ensure they understand that the benefits – including flexibility, low cost, and the on-demand model – come from sharing IT infrastructure with other customers of the cloud service provider.

James recommended that organizations begin with a model that employs the most sharing — ie. hyper-scale public cloud providers — “...and then work backwards from there as you realize that there are aspects that need to be shared less. If you work from the assumption that sharing is the default, you should be able to optimize the economics pretty well.” 

Consider the risk and make a plan

Hiring cloud providers comes with two implicit risks: (1) investing in the wrong cloud environment for your highest-priority workloads, and (2) the environment failing to meet the performance demands of those workloads. These risks can be remedied by enterprises paying attention to more than just the sticker price when selecting a cloud provider. They must also consider what happens if things don’t go as planned; for instance, if demand is far greater than anticipated or performance is far worse.

“I don’t think there’s enough scenario planning really going on to anticipate and protect against that risk,” Owen said.

While on-demand economics allows you to respond to risk in real-time, it also exposes you to greater uncertainty over the long term. Successfully managing this risk comes down to understanding your business. There are many enterprise workloads and data sets that require much longer planning cycles – one size doesn’t fit all. In these cases, leveraging specialized clouds that are purpose-built for specific workloads can greatly simplify the optimization process and help you drive better business outcomes.

To learn more about the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, and how our unique MicroVM based consumption economics help address many of these challenges, connect with one of our cloud experts today

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Thu, 01 Nov 2018 17:15:00 +0000 Rob /blog/cloud-files-consider-the-economics
Advancing State-of-the-Art Architecture with SAP HANA on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure /blog/sap-hana-on-hyper-converged-infrastructure-hci

Every customer who selects Virtustream entrusts us to handle their most critical enterprise applications. Whether it be SAP, Guidewire, Oracle, or one of many others, our customers trust us to ensure that their mission-critical workloads run on an enterprise-class cloud, are managed by experienced professionals, are secure and are delivering against their service quality expectations. Unlike the deployment of many other applications and database platforms, we know deploying an SAP HANA production environment requires adherence to stringent hardware and software specifications to ensure optimal performance. These requirements, mixed with the fact that we deliver SAP HANA on a modern, multi-tenant cloud platform, create a challenge with unique and demanding complexity. Adding to this is our customers’ expectations that they will be operating on a fully SAP certified, performant, secure and durable platform that delivers compelling economics. At Virtustream, we accept this challenge.

Building a Resilient Architecture for SAP HANA

When designing infrastructure for enterprise applications, there are few designs as opinionated as those for SAP HANA systems. As mentioned previously, SAP HANA has highly prescriptive hardware and software requirements focused on achieving optimal performance, availability and durability for the services that SAP HANA databases provide. Meeting these requirements isn’t simple, but, by leveraging best of breed server and enterprise class storage systems from Dell EMC, Virtustream has been able to deliver SAP HANA on a Virtustream Enterprise Cloud platform that commits up to 99.999% infrastructure SLAs, while delivering strong, consistent performance results.

Virtustream was founded on the belief that large, critical ecosystems can be run in the cloud. We want enterprises to get the most out of their cloud solution, and are constantly innovating with our Dell Technologies partners to deliver advancements, such as running large SAP HANA systems on VMware vSphere or “bare metal” Dell EMC PowerEdge servers. Combined with Dell EMC VMAX all-flash storage arrays and our expertise in SAP Landscape management, we believe our platform is the best in the market for running mission-critical applications in the cloud.

But we don’t just want to say we are the best. We want to prove that we are the best by pushing our innovation even further and advancing the status quo for our customers – particularly when it comes to performance and cost. One of the key opportunities we see to advance our state-of-the-art architecture is with hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). We are committed to provide our customers a certified HCI cloud platform with enterprise-class architecture designed to run their SAP HANA production workloads.

SAP HANA on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Virtustream and our Dell Technologies partners, including VMware, have been quietly working together on building a new reference architecture that takes the stringent SAP HANA requirements and considers the “what if” questions around a tightly integrated hyper-converged infrastructure solution for large SAP HANA instances. This work has led to a hyper-converged prototype that has achieved SAP certification.

By incorporating HCI, we can simplify the stack and operations, enabling greater opportunity for enhancements in productivity and performance, in addition to aiding your economic concerns. HCI brings our customers a tightly integrated hardware and software infrastructure platform that enables more efficient operations, reduced fault domains and much simpler automation.    

Certifications are essential to ensure that SAP HANA performance requirements are consistently met. Additionally, SAP support for production and non-production workloads is extremely important for our customers’ success.

In keeping with our promise to support industry standards, this infrastructure stack focuses on the latest configurations from Virtustream, our Dell Technologies family, and our work with SAP.

The Configurations

There’s always someone who is interested in the exact architectures that Virtustream uses for our cloud, and we support that. Customers should strive to learn the ‘how’ and ‘why’ surrounding the inner-workings of Virtustream’s cloud. We believe that architecture matters, and are open to providing a transparent view into the specific components that were certified:


All of our work was based on Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th Generation R940. The compute nodes feature all flash VSAN storage for capacity, and the back-end network leverages multiple discrete multi gigabit per second Ethernet interfaces for VSAN and customer workloads. This is the platform that Virtustream intends to support in our hyper-converged offering for SAP HANA and other large memory requirement workloads.

We Are Excited About the Results So Far

The certification is incredibly important, and we are excited about the results that we’ve observed in the performance, scalability and stability throughout the process. These certifications open the door for us to add these technologies to our Virtustream Cloud offering and will enable exciting new capabilities moving forward. Stay tuned for more information on how Virtustream focuses on architecture that matters in every aspect of how we plan, deploy and operate our infrastructure. We cannot wait to help our customers’ lower costs and increase their performance by leveraging this exciting new capability.

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Thu, 25 Oct 2018 13:00:00 +0000 ChrisBennett /blog/sap-hana-on-hyper-converged-infrastructure-hci
When Failure is Not an Option, Automation is the Answer /blog/automation-is-the-answer

Onboarding, monitoring, managing and securing a mission-critical application environment is a complicated undertaking for any organization. In response to constantly changing business and workload requirements, ongoing tuning and maintenance are needed to ensure optimal and compliant operations. Typically, this constitutes a manual effort; yet, with many disparate systems involved, this proves to be an inefficient, time-consuming and error-prone process. Automation is the answer when failure is not an option, and enterprises should further investigate how their cloud provider employs its capabilities to safeguard their workloads. 

Manual Inefficiencies

In a manual world, organizations have limited controls to protect their most important applications. Conceivably simple tasks involve multiple steps and a fundamental awareness of operational dependencies. Unfortunately, the stakes are high for oversight, often entailing costly business downtime, financial penalties or contractual breaches.

Our partnerships with customers worldwide have shown this to be a pervasive pain point across industries and use cases, though one unsolved by today’s cloud providers. Consider, for example, the effort required to bring your entire IT environment on or offline. Without an easy mechanism to do this, you would need to unilaterally access all systems and then perform and validate each action — all while ensuring other activities weren't impacted in the process.

Now imagine if you could automate, schedule and holistically manage these operations with a single interface. The advantages transcend cost and time savings to improved efficiencies in every corner of the business. Supported by systematic and fool-proof operations, organizations can focus greater effort on activities ‘above the value line,’ that drive their competitive differentiation. To this end, we continue to rev our innovation engine to empower customers with superior automation capabilities and self-service experiences.

Application-centric Oversight

The Virtustream xStream portal grants customers complete oversight of their IT landscape, through a single, self-service control plane. Users are equipped to maintain their environments with ease, with robust tools and insights to help them understand and anticipate system costs, as well as accelerate application deployment through policy and batched-based provisioning capabilities.

Behind the scenes of xStream lies our end-to-end automation framework, that ensures consistent, repeatable and auditable business processes. We recently released new technology that interconnects all the underlying systems and services and facilitates the real-time exchange of information between them. It enables customers to benefit from advanced functionality, while allowing them to utilize point-and-click capabilities to automate and schedule system operations.

In turn, this provides key advantages to enterprises on several fronts, translating to such benefits as:

  • Validation and assurance: Automation includes validation checks that eliminate the chance of human error, so you can rest assured knowing your IT operations have been properly executed, without jeopardizing your mission-critical workloads
  • Self-service monitoring and management: xStream’s self-service control plane provides you with complete, application-centric control of IT landscape, as well as robust management and monitoring capabilities
  • Scheduled operations: Not only can you automate the start and stop operations of your systems, but you can proactively schedule them according to the needs of your business — whether one-time or on a recurring basis. For example, you can configure systems to shut down on Friday evenings and resume at a designated time on Monday mornings. With the flexibility of Virtustream’s consumption-based billing model, you’ll recuperate cost savings during non-business hours and when workloads are not required to be running.
  • Cost savings: Virtustream makes it easy to schedule the uptime and proper shutdown of systems, so you will only pay for what you use, without unnecessary overhead
  • Real-time notifications: You’ll always know the state of your IT environment because our automation framework generates real-time notifications as system operations complete, including the intermediary actions between the start and shutdown of a system
It’s About Trust

Virtustream is committed to providing exceptional customer experiences and earning our customers’ trust through a world-class portfolio of lifecycle-managed offerings for mission-critical applications. We recently launched the Virtustream Trust Center to demonstrate our unwavering commitments to enterprise-grade security, proactive compliance, data privacy, operational transparency and top-notch service quality across everything we do.

We offer our customers an option to have built-in, on-demand security and compliance monitoring and management across their cloud and on-premises workloads in a single view. This technology enables snapshot-based audits, which can be run at any time to validate the current landscape against PCI or other critical compliance needs.

Everything in Virtustream is about automation and simplification for our customers, and we are centered on giving them the best in the industry! We utilize automation tools that enable repeatable and auditable processes for our customers’ mission-critical application landscapes. By automating complex IT operations, our administrators mitigate risks, drive business excellence and offer customers peace of mind by safeguarding their mission-critical workloads.

Contact us today to talk with one of our enterprise cloud strategists about the benefits your organization can realize by choosing Virtustream to advance your digital transformation.

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Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:19:00 +0000 peter.cutts /blog/automation-is-the-answer
Cloud Files Episode 2: Hybrid Happens /blog/cloud-files-episode-2-hybrid-happens

Today, we’re bringing you another episode of our new podcast, Cloud Files, where I sit down with top cloud industry analysts and reporters to discuss the big questions and challenges today’s enterprise CIOs face when moving to the cloud.

In our latest episode, I’m joined by Melanie Posey, Vice President at 451 Research and General Manager of the firm’s Voice of the Enterprise research, and Chris Preimesberger, Editor of Features and Analysis at eWEEK, to discuss the evolution of the enterprise cloud market. In particular, we explore the key technological developments of the past decade that set the stage for the proliferation of the cloud, the latest trends in enterprise cloud adoption, and the reason why every enterprise inevitably embraces hybrid- and multi-cloud. 


Here are a few highlights:

Conversations about cloud have turned the corner

As the cloud evolves, the conversations enterprise business leaders are having about it does too.

“There are very few organizations sitting around and saying ‘Should we go to the cloud; should we not go to the cloud?’ That ship has sailed already,” explains Melanie Posey. “Now, the conversations are more about which workloads can be moved to the cloud and how to optimize them.”

By that same token, enterprise business leaders have also become more grounded in their strategies and expectations for cloud migration. Once viewed as a panacea, reachable by “lifting and shifting” on-premises IT into a new cloud environment, it’s now widely understood that not all workloads run better in the cloud.

“There is a growing realization that cloud is not necessarily cheaper on a byte by byte basis, but some of the other benefits are the flexibility and agility and scalability,” said Posey. “This quickly came to the fore when organizations stopped trying to lift and shift legacy IT to the cloud and started doing cloud-native programming and development.”

Technology is not what’s driving enterprise cloud adoption

In recent years, cloud technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. “We've had this huge perfect storm of IT factors that have come together in the last five years,” said Chris Preimesberger. “We now have unlimited storage, processors that do incredible loads on very low power, lean software, massive networks, and new architectures and applications that are incredible. This means we can really realize the value and the promise of the Cloud at the enterprise level. We couldn't do this during the bubble years, of 2005 to 2010. Now we can.”

However, while cloud innovation has helped set the stage for widespread enterprise cloud adoption, the true driver behind its growth in the enterprise is far more basic: survival. “I would say the tipping point for Cloud is not so much technology,” said Posey. “It's what the technology enables your business to do in terms of business velocity and business transformation. You can't transform your business with legacy IT and managing everything on prem. It's just not going to happen.”

Hybrid cloud is inevitable for most enterprises

As more enterprises move to the cloud, research clearly shows that hybrid and multi-cloud are the most common environments.

“Where everybody lands is some kind of hybrid IT or multi-Cloud type environment,” said Posey. “About 60% of organizations are fully expecting to have a hybrid environment, which is defined as a combination of on-premises and off-premises resources, various different types of cloud (public and private), and to some extent bringing some non-Cloud infrastructure into the mix as well.”

“We are going to see more and more work processed outside the data center,” Preimesberger added. “It’s happening out there in the devices, and in the branch offices, and in the wild, where the research is being done.” As a result, we can expect to see more cloud-agnostic cloud environments in the future.

“You know, nobody sits down and says ‘Okay. You know what? We're going to have a hybrid IT strategy. Let's sit down and work out what our hybrid IT strategy is going to be.’,” said Posey. “Hybrid, like a lot of things in life, just happens. Nobody plans for it. It is what it is -- let's figure out how to deal with it.”

In other words, hybrid happens.

To learn more about how Virtustream can help your organization digitally transform, connect with one of our enterprise cloud strategists today by clicking here.

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Mon, 08 Oct 2018 19:29:00 +0000 Rob /blog/cloud-files-episode-2-hybrid-happens
Cloud Forecasting: Top Takeaways from 2018 Market Analyst Research /blog/cloud-forecasting-top-takeaways-from-2018-market-analyst-research

Across every industry, enterprises are looking to the cloud as the springboard for digital transformation. With cloud spending on the rise, so too are the number of cloud technology vendors looking to capture their piece of this considerable pie. According to the latest findings from IDC research, total spending on cloud IT infrastructure will reach $52.3B in 2018, with 10.8 percent growth expected over the next five years.

Industry research firms have responded by ramping up their focus on the cloud sector. Today, every major firm has at least one team dedicated to cloud research and analysis. As a result, there are new reports coming out every week to help enterprises navigate the growing complexity of the cloud services market and stay on top of the latest strategies for making cloud technology work for their business.

To help you make sense of it all, here’s a look at three key pieces of research published by cloud analysts so far in 2018:

IDC: Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker (September 2018)

Lots of tech industry analyst firms publish forecasts on the cloud market these days, but IDC’s Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker offers a uniquely powerful lens. Published quarterly, the research gives decision makers a comprehensive look into the global market for cloud IT infrastructure services.

In the latest forecast, IDC found that cloud IT infrastructure is now a $62+ billion market, growing at a rate of 31 percent year-over-year. What’s more, combined spending on private and public clouds now represents 48.5 percent of worldwide spending on IT infrastructure overall – up from 43.5 percent last year.

According to IDC Research Director Natalya Yezhkova, "As share of cloud environments in the overall spending on IT infrastructure continues to climb and approaches 50 percent, it is evident that cloud, which once used to be an emerging sector of the IT infrastructure industry, is now the norm. One of the tasks for enterprises now is not only to decide on what cloud resources to use but, actually, how to manage multiple cloud resources.”

Forrester: Multi-Cloud Arises From Changing Cloud Priorities (July 2018)

With 20+ analysts dedicated to the cloud market, Forrester Research has some of the best cloud coverage you can find anywhere. That’s why we decided to partner with the firm earlier this year on research into today’s top enterprise cloud strategies.

Outlined in the report, Multi-Cloud Arises From Changing Cloud Priorities, the research explores shifting business priorities in the enterprise and how they are driving enterprises to adopt multi-cloud strategies. The research found that 86 percent of enterprises now describe their cloud strategy as multi-cloud, with performance and innovation outpacing cost savings as the top measures of success.

What’s more, researchers found that nearly half of the enterprises surveyed are spending at least $50 million on cloud technology and services annually, and that 60 percent of enterprises are actively moving (or have already moved) mission-critical applications to the cloud – both signs of maturing technology.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Storage Services, Worldwide (July 2018)

When it comes to analyst reports, scarce few come close to matching the influence of the Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ). For cloud decision makers, there are six to choose between – we recommend the Public Cloud Storage Services Worldwide MQ, which is by far the most encompassing and informative.

The latest report praises Virtustream for its credibility amongst enterprises and ability to deliver attractive and predictable pricing options. What’s more, Gartner highlights the growing value of Virtustream’s strategic alignment with Dell EMC. According to the findings, Virtustream Storage Cloud is “uniquely differentiated as the only public cloud storage offering that is co-engineered, co-sold and commonly supported with Dell EMC solutions.”

Ready to learn more about how Virtustream can help? Connect with a cloud expert today.

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Wed, 03 Oct 2018 22:16:00 +0000 jennifer /blog/cloud-forecasting-top-takeaways-from-2018-market-analyst-research
Introducing the Virtustream Customer Trust Center /blog/introducing-virtustream-customer-trust-center

Earning our customer’s trust has been at the foundation of the Virtustream culture since the beginning. As part of taking that commitment to the next level, we are introducing the Virtustream Trust Center: a single destination that explains how Virtustream fosters customer trust in all we do.

As we move forward into the second decade of cloud, the Virtustream Trust Center will be the go-to destination for information relating to our security, compliance, privacy, transparency, and service quality programs. A one-stop-shop for customers, prospects, and industry experts to learn how Virtustream is delivering the service levels that our enterprise customers demand when trusting us with their most critical business applications.

Great, you might say. Why introduce it now?

Organizations that want to modernize their businesses have learned it’s a tough road to go alone. The transformation journey generally requires a move to cloud, which often includes migrating your core mission-critical systems. These core systems – manufacturing systems, ecommerce systems, ERP systems, etc. – drive your business and manage critical data. These are not simple applications, and migrating them to a cloud environment is not to be taken lightly. These applications demand high, consistent, and assured performance protected by committed service levels, robust security, and an increasingly complex set of compliance requirements. Enterprise customers understand the risk associated with these applications, and need to work with providers that can earn their trust in order to advance their transformation programs.

Virtustream cloud operations, migration and management services, security and compliance programs, data privacy practices, operational transparency, and service quality are all designed to deliver on these requirements and to earn our customer’s trust.  The Virtustream Trust Center represents the work we do to earn that.

To get you acquainted, here’s the 5 tenets of Virtustream trust:

Security 

According to a Forrester Consulting thought-leadership paper, more than a third of the security challenges cited by the IT leaders surveyed involved privacy (42%) and the cost and time to modify security to not be perimeter based (33%). With expertise in this area, Virtustream cloud services employ industry-leading security capabilities to ensure data privacy and network access controls for its customers. Virtustream provides security services such as two-factor authentication and firewall setup as part of the base service. Additionally, Virtustream delivered security managed services are also available. Organizations can elect to use Virtustream expertise for anti-virus/anti-malware, host and network intrusion detection and prevention, firewall management, and log monitoring and management to enhance cloud security and to free staff to drive digital transformation.

Compliance 

In addition to being secure, clouds must be compliant with regulatory standards, which encompasses global, regional, and industry-specific regulations, as well as obligations specified in service agreements. With a strong compliance program in place, all Virtustream services have the appropriate certifications and attestations for regional laws, industry regulations, frameworks, and standards. Additionally, Virtustream technical data center personnel are government security cleared.

Privacy 

Data privacy is among the biggest security challenges facing enterprises across the globe. In addition to hardened physical data centers and security best practices, Virtustream, as a Dell Technologies business, works closely with the Dell Global Privacy Office to address this challenge. The Dell global privacy program is focused on ensuring the proper use and disclosure of customer’s personal data, including personal information subject to European Union (EU) data protection laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as fostering a culture that values privacy through awareness. All Dell employees, including Virtustream employees, are trained on the proper use and disclosure of customer data.

Transparency

Trust goes hand-in-hand with transparency; you can’t have one without the other. Virtustream provides you with visibility into how and where we process and store your data, and who has access to it. When requested, we also share audit reports with you as proof that what we say is what we do.

Virtustream believes in open dialog. We have established a customer advisory board as a forum for exchanges with customers and are always available to talk—or better yet, listen.

Service Quality 

Mission-critical applications require an enterprise-class cloud. Not surprisingly, IT professionals and users alike hope the move goes without a hitch and applications perform at least as well in the cloud as in in-house data centers. Unfortunately, per Forrester’s thought leadership paper, the majority of the early migrators surveyed (88%) experienced performance challenges while migrating mission-critical applications to cloud.

Unlike hyper-scale cloud providers, Virtustream addresses these challenges with Virtustream professional services for planning, migration, and onboarding, in addition to Virtustream managed services up to the operating system (OS) and database for running applications in the cloud. Service-level agreements (SLAs) guarantee 99.999% (5 nines) availability for infrastructure services (IaaS) and 99.99% (4 nines) availability for the OS and database layer, compared to hyper-scale cloud providers who provide 99.99% (4 nines) availability only up to the IaaS layer at best.

Virtustream Enterprise Cloud is a cloud you can trust for your mission-critical applications. Please visit the Virtustream Trust Center to learn more about the 5 tenets of Virtustream trust.

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Mon, 01 Oct 2018 17:51:00 +0000 Rob /blog/introducing-virtustream-customer-trust-center
Orchestrating Enterprise Data with Data Hub Service /blog/orchestrating-enterprise-data-with-data-hub-service

In recent years, we have seen an explosion of data. Social media, Internet, IoT and cloud are some of the sources of the massive and exponentially growing set of data that exists today. According to a recent IDC whitepaper on data growth, total worldwide data is expected to reach approximately 160 Zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. That’s 160 trillion Gigabytes! Approximately a 10-fold increase of the worldwide data that exists today.

Businesses have been making significant investments in their Big Data initiatives for several years. Yet, they are struggling to extract real value from their increasingly complex data landscape. To be a truly data-driven enterprise, your business must be able to monetize its data assets regardless of the type of data and where it resides. Unbelievable but true, less than 0.5% of all accessible data is being analyzed and used. Imagine the opportunity! There is an ocean of data that is waiting to be explored.

Data Management Challenge

The business data landscape is getting increasingly complex and diverse. Data assets are massive, come from various sources, exist in various forms and are everywhere. Data resides on-premises, in the cloud, in enterprise data warehouses, in data lakes and so on. Data is constantly being generated from ERP apps, mobile apps, Internet and IoT to name a just a few. These data assets are comprised of both structured and unstructured data, historical and real-time data. Because of this diverse data landscape, enterprises are having a difficult time integrating the data, classifying their use and relevance. To holistically solve these data management challenges, different data processes must be orchestrated to collect, manage and integrate all of the data assets.

SAP Data Hub Vision

The true value of your data assets will be realized when you can bring together data from various data locations and sources and combine, analyze and integrate them alongside your existing business processes in SAP or other mission-critical systems. SAP Data Hub acts as the center-piece for integration of data-driven processes across enterprise services to process and orchestrate data in the overall data landscape. It manages data processes and shares them across the enterprise with seamless and unified data operation capabilities. These capabilities include:

  • Data Discovery - Catalogs and profiles data, allowing data scientists to better understand data uses, relationships and quality by providing a detailed and easily understood view of how to integrate data across the data landscape
  • Data Governance – Provides metadata management of all forms of data, resulting in management of the availability, usability, integrity and security of data across the data landscape
  • Data Refinery – Transforms and enriches data natively without ever leaving the data source
  • Tool Orchestration – Orchestrates and integrates existing data integration tools like the SAP Data Services
  • Data Orchestration - Orchestrates the flow of data across data landscapes while meeting data governance requirements and isolation of use cases for resource optimization. This allows data processing to be close to the data source first and then data orchestrating.
  • Data Ingestion – Processes data for immediate use or stores data in a database. This means streaming data in real-time or in batches and connecting them to data integration tools.
  • SAP Vora – Acts as the runtime and leverages massive distributive processing while bridging various analytics environments such as Hadoop and SAP HANA

Whether you are utilizing SAP HANA for in-memory processes, Hadoop and object storage for persistent data or both, SAP Data Hub enables you to integrate these environments and data integration tools to create powerful data pipelines, connecting data in various formats to make them accessible for numerous analytics algorithms. 

Data Hub Service

Virtustream has a long running and deep partnership with SAP. We were the first cloud provider to have a production SAP customer in a multi-tenant cloud, the first to run production SAP ECC on HANA in the cloud and the first to run production SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. Recently, we partnered with SAP to offer Data Hub Service.

Virtustream’s SAP Data Hub Service is designed to access, harmonize, transform and process your enterprise data from disparate sources, allowing your organization to leverage existing investments in HANA, Hadoop/Spark and other data management solutions. Major benefits of the service include:

  • Full management below the application container including patch, capacity and upgrade management
  • Integration with SAP environments to enable SAP HANA and BW data integration
  • Support for multi-tenancy with data pipeline isolation
  • SAP Data Hub pipeline deployment and management through Kubernetes
  • Container-based Architecture for flexibility, deployment, orchestration and version controls

The service also supports Hybrid Data Hub service to enable your enterprise to build applications to harness data where it currently resides - from on-premises enterprise sources, data lakes, data warehouses and the cloud. Overall, our solution off-loads data operation complexities, simplifying management and control of your enterprise-wide data assets to help you monetize your data. 

It's About Value Creation

Enterprises’ digital transformation is being fueled by data. At the end of the day, you want to leverage all of your data assets to better understand your customers, aid in innovation and, ultimately, drive revenue growth. By providing a better understanding of data usability, relevance, quality and creating powerful data pipelines between various data sources, Virtustream’s SAP Data Hub Service makes your data assets accessible and establishes greater confidence in your data scientists. In turn, it helps them build data-driven applications that analyze the data for deep and actionable insights. Our goal is to truly empower you with the ability to access and analyze all of your enterprise data, not just the 0.5%.

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Mon, 01 Oct 2018 13:44:00 +0000 ahsan /blog/orchestrating-enterprise-data-with-data-hub-service
The Evolution of Enterprise Cloud: 15 Years of Shaping the Future at VMworld /blog/the-evolution-of-enterprise-cloud-15-years-of-shaping-the-future-at-vmworld

This week marks the 15th annual VMworld Conference, the world’s largest industry event dedicated to all things virtualization. With more than 20,000 industry experts coming together in Las Vegas to discuss the future of software-defined business and the digital infrastructure powering it, VMworld 2018 is already looking like one for the record books.

Following a breakout year for cloud technology in the enterprise, VMworld attendees can expect to see cloud innovation everywhere at the big event. But before you catch a glimpse of the future of the enterprise cloud, here’s a look back at its remarkable evolution over the last 15 years of VMworld conferences:

2004: Join the Virtual Evolution

When VMware hosted the very first VMworld Conference back in 2004, the cloud as we know it did not exist. At that time, it was still largely conceptual – a new field of virtualization that would take years to develop. Nevertheless, roughly 1,600 technologists gathered to discuss the underlying virtual infrastructure that would go on to underpin many aspects of today’s cloud.

2005: Virtualize Now

The very next year, VMworld doubled in size. Virtualization was taking the industry by storm as enterprise technologists started to fully grasp the power and implications of this emerging technology. In her keynote, VMware President and CEO, Diane Greene, unveiled VMware Player, the first product of its kind to demonstrate how desktops stored on virtual servers can be accessed and controlled by any PC – a watershed moment for the industry.

2006: Software-as-a-Service

2006 marked the beginning of the second phase of virtualization. With trust in the technology on the rise and its benefits becoming increasingly clear, it was time to start talking about the possibilities created by virtualization. That started with making it more accessible to enterprises, which put “virtual appliances” on the mainstage in 2006 – pre-configured virtual machines supporting on- and off-site computing.

2007: Embracing Your Virtual World

In her last year as CEO of VMware, Diane Greene opened the 2007 event with a powerful quote that would go on to define VMworld 2007: “A year ago, we were talking about virtualization becoming mainstream. Now, we are talking about a virtualization industry.” At the same time, the industry was starting to sense something way bigger than virtualization was just over the horizon.

2008: Virtually Anything is Possible

Everything changed in 2008. At VMworld, new CEO Paul Maritz announced the vCloud initiative – a new campaign backed by 100 enterprise partners to help companies “safely tap compute capacity inside and outside their firewalls – how they want, when they want, and as much as they want – to ensure quality of service for any application they want to run, internally or as a service.” This kicked off an entirely new period in virtualization – the enterprise cloud era.

2009: Hello Freedom

By the following year’s conference, the enterprise cloud was picking up steam. In addition to showcasing new enterprise cloud product releases, VMware announced that its vCloud Initiative had expanded 10x to include 1,000+ VMware-virtualized service providers, including AT&T, Terremark, and Verizon Business.

Meanwhile in Bethesda, Maryland, Virtustream’s founders were hard at work on an breakthrough idea of their own – creating a new class of cloud infrastructure products and services to help large enterprises migrate to the cloud in an even more simple and secure way.

2010: Virtual Roads, Actual Clouds

At VMworld 2010, the enterprise cloud expanded dramatically with the unveiling of six new VMware products and services designed to speed up enterprise cloud adoption. As Raghu Raghuram, SVP and GM of Virtualization and Cloud Platforms at VMware put it, “Enterprises are embracing a new model of infrastructure to deliver IT as a Service through hybrid cloud computing. The products and services we are launching today provide a comprehensive enterprise architecture that will deliver the agility and economics of the cloud with the security and quality of service our enterprise customers need.”

2011: Your Cloud, Own It.

By the time VMworld 2011 arrived, the enterprise cloud was popping up everywhere. The vCloud Initiative's partner program had grown by 174% to an impressive 5,600 members in 62 countries. Meanwhile, cloud innovation continued to expand with another round of new product releases geared toward global availability (Global Connect), interoperability between public and private clouds (vCloud Connector), and disaster recovery (vCenter Site Recovery Manager) and application performance (vFabric).

2012: Right Here Right Now

In 2012, VMworld attendance skyrocketed to 21,000 customers, partners, press, and analysts. Without a doubt, the era of enterprise cloud had arrived in full force. Among the many new products released at VMworld 2012 was the vCloud Suite – the world’s first comprehensive solution for software-defined data centers, bringing together all of the components customers needed to build, operate, and manage cloud infrastructure.

2013: Defy Convention

Five years after introducing the world to the enterprise cloud, VMware changed the game yet again in 2013 with the vCloud Hybrid Service for seamlessly extending data centers into the cloud. According to CEO Pat Gelsinger, "VMware's mission is to radically simplify IT and help customers transform their IT operations. Today, with the introduction of the VMware vCloud® Hybrid Service, we take a big step forward by coupling all the value of VMware virtualization and software-defined data center technologies with the speed and simplicity of a public cloud service that our customers desire."

2014: No Limits

Heading into VMworld 2014, advances in enterprise cloud innovation and adoption were reaching unprecedented levels and the scope was also getting broader. This was the year VMware turned its sights to the broader ecosystem, announcing several major partnerships, including a joint networking solution with HP and initiatives with Docker, Google, and Pivotal to simplify enterprise adoption of container-based architecture. Virtustream’s recent launch of xStream 3.0 was also turning heads at VMworld 2014. With the release, customers were able to provision, run, and manage VMware and OpenStack workloads within the same xStream user interface.

2015: Ready For Any

The unrelenting advance of enterprise cloud continued at VMworld 2015, with new products and major improvements across VMware’s entire cloud product lines, as well as new ecosystem partnerships. Perhaps the biggest story was the turnout: in addition to 23,000+ attendees, more than 50,000 tuned in for keynote live-streams. With technologists all over the world now paying attention to the enterprise cloud, VMware started ratcheting up its focus on user experience and accessibility.

It’s no wonder then that VMware’s parent company, EMC, announced plans to acquire Virtustream in the months leading up to the big event. Hailed as a “game changer” by former EMC Chairman and CEO, Joe Tucci, the Virtustream acquisition “uniquely positioned [EMC] as a single source for our customers’ entire hybrid cloud infrastructure and services needs.”

2016: be_Tomorrow

Digital transformation took center stage at VMworld 2016. The show featured stories from 30+ customers who transformed their IT operations with the VMware NSX® network virtualization platform. To help expand the footprint and usability of NSX even further, Virtustream announced plans to integrate the platform into its fast-growing enterprise cloud.

On the innovation front, attendees were introduced to the new VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture – a major extension of the company's hybrid cloud strategy that has gone on to define much of the current conversation about cloud today. As explained by Raghu Raghuram, then EVP and GM of VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center Division, "Customers are increasingly relying on multiple public and private clouds to run their applications, but are daunted by the challenge of managing and securing applications across diverse cloud platforms."

2017: I Am…

The big story at VMworld 2017 was the burgeoning enterprise cloud ecosystem. Beyond improvements to core products, a vast number of new ecosystem partnerships and collaborations were announced with AWS, Google, HP, Pivotal, Virtustream, and a long list of others. Unsurprisingly, hybrid and cross-cloud were an even greater focus at VMworld 2017, with Virtustream helping to drive the message home by joining the Global Dell EMC Partner Program and launching Enterprise Cloud Connector for VMware vRealize Automation.

2018: Possible Begins with You…

At this year’s VMworld conference, attendees can expect another action-packed week of enterprise cloud innovation, complete with new projects and partnerships that will no doubt set the pace for enterprise cloud for the next year. If you are heading to Vegas for the big event, be sure to bookmark Virtustream’s VMworld 2018 Cheat Sheet and visit our team at Booth #1234.

Can’t attend in person? Not to worry – VMworld’s on-demand video library has you covered. 

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Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:17:00 +0000 jennifer /blog/the-evolution-of-enterprise-cloud-15-years-of-shaping-the-future-at-vmworld
Simplifying Complex Public Sector Environments /blog/simplifying-complex-public-sector-environments

Agencies continue to seek ways to improve agency services and mitigate the risk of migrating mission-critical applications to the cloud.  Already, many agencies, focused on improving the citizen experience, have set their sights on the cloud. Flexible, agile and affordable, managed cloud can accelerate the agency mission.  Still, CIOs are cautious about which applications to prioritize and what steps they must take to ensure the reality fulfills the promise.

Since the White House released the Cloud First Policy in 2011, agencies are prioritizing the evaluation of cloud computing before making any new investments in IT infrastructure or software. Agencies have cautiously deployed sub-sets of applications in the cloud, like email, and an increasing number of agencies have undertaken projects to develop cloud-native applications in the cloud. Successful deployments and more cloud choices are increasing confidence in cloud.

The Benefits of Cloud Are Real

Originating with the government, mission-critical is a term now used by all organizations to describe the crucial dependency of an organization on an application and its relationship with the business of governing. Delivering mission-critical applications more efficiently saves taxpayer dollars, strengthens security and enables agencies to do more with constrained budgets. Migrating legacy workloads and applications to the cloud frees up the budget to tackle transformative new projects and programs.

The financial incentives for migrating traditional applications to the cloud are real. Analysts estimate that in 2018, 70% of the $95.7 billion U.S. federal IT budget will be spent on operating and maintaining existing IT investments.

Migration Speedbump: Reliance on Core Enterprise Applications

While modern web-scale applications were designed to run in the cloud, most organizations still rely on a broad mix of existing mission-critical applications, many of which were not intended to operate in a cloud computing environment and some that were not designed to scale up or down on-demand. Further complicating migration planning, applications may require stringent security or compliance controls to ensure that regulatory guidelines are met.

While agencies are increasingly eager to move to the cloud, many soon realize that it takes considerable time and resources to plan, re-architect and manage the new solution. The majority of today’s mission-critical workloads do not fall into the category that makes it easy for public sector organizations to migrate and gain authority to operate (ATO) quickly and cost-effectively. Most public cloud offerings do not allow these organizations to realize true IT transformation since the self-service nature of public cloud requires agencies to perform most of the management activities themselves still to support the workload and the end-user base.

Virtustream Federal Cloud – The Public Face of Transformation

Virtustream offers public sector organizations a better path to the cloud with secure and cost-effective managed cloud solutions that allow them to run the complex, mission-critical applications of today. Virtustream Federal Cloud was built to handle mission-critical applications for the most-complex, highly-secure IT landscapes in the world. While organizations’ public sector IT budgets remain stagnant or even decrease, expectations for new technology are continually rising. Virtustream allows agencies to cut costs from their most expensive and time-consuming mission-critical applications.

Accelerate Time to Value

Virtustream helps public sector and federal government organizations increase the performance and reliability of mission-critical applications while simultaneously helping them manage and contain costs from their most expensive and time-consuming mission-critical applications. Virtustream enables agencies to step into the cloud today by deploying existing applications with minimal changes and gain ATO sooner, versus taking a giant leap to re-architecting every application from scratch to be cloud-native.

Security and Compliance Come Standard

Virtustream understands that different applications have different use case characteristics and reinforces why we have architected and operated Virtustream Federal Cloud to address the specific requirements of migrating mission-critical applications. For federal clients, this includes understanding their security requirements such as FedRAMP, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG). Our approach to cloud ensures continuity of operation and shortens time to value for our customers without compromising essential aspects like security and compliance. Virtustream Federal Cloud is accredited and holds a Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) at FedRAMP Moderate, and hosts customers with corresponding FISMA ATOs that inherit platform FedRAMP controls.

Virtustream can also support International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance for those organizations with ITAR-controlled workloads and data with specially designed nodes that have enhanced logical and physical security mechanisms.

Manage Costs

Even though public sector IT budgets are often stagnant or decreasing, expectations for new technology are continually rising. Virtustream Federal Cloud allows organizations to realize operational efficiency while increasing cost transparency and gaining the ability to allocate cost to specific programs, allowing them to achieve improved financial flexibility to choose the right services and resources for the right workload, and cut costs from their most expensive and time-consuming mission-critical applications. Virtustream’s true consumption-based pricing model allows federal government IT departments to only pay for what they use—improving economics beyond basic virtualization, and freeing up budgetary funding to be allocated to other areas.

Offload Management Burden

Cloud platform infrastructure is only part of the mission-critical workload story. With Virtustream Managed Services, organizations can realize true IT transformation through comprehensive IT management solutions that raise the bar on current operations and ensure that the most value and performance is gained from information infrastructures. Using industry-leading methods and innovative tools, our advisors provide real-time metrics to detect, diagnose, repair, and report on issues in the most complex business IT environments.

Focus on the Mission

With vast experience and proven, repeatable processes, Virtustream helps government agencies navigate the complexities of digital transformation and modernization. Virtustream allows agencies to deliver mission-critical applications more efficiently, strengthen security while simultaneously enabling them to tackle transformative new projects and programs.

Begin Your Transformation

To learn more about how Virtustream can help transform your agency’s operations to deliver better services to your constituents while beating budget pressure, contact your Virtustream account manager or reseller partner today. You can also click to learn more about Virtustream Federal Cloud and our public sector solutions here.

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Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:13:00 +0000 DavidAyers /blog/simplifying-complex-public-sector-environments
We Live in a Multi-Cloud World /blog/we-live-in-a-multi-cloud-world

You don’t need to look beyond your daily life to see we live in a multi-cloud world. Just think about the many different products and services we use every day. Media and entertainment, retail, transportation, financial services, even healthcare – all available through cloud services. Everything we can imagine is available at our fingertips to ensure we get exactly what we want, when we want it-- all because of cloud services. And, more accurately, because of multiple cloud services.

Obviously, as consumers, this immediate access to goods and services has improved our lives dramatically. Gone are the days when we needed to ask the store clerk if they could “check in the back” for a specific size, color, or model. In those days, you had to be ready to compromise or go home empty-handed. Today, however, with so many cloud services available to get exactly what we want, why would we ever compromise again?

The no-compromise, multi-cloud data center 

Just as multiple cloud services are available to the consumer, they are also available to the enterprise IT buyer. The same question should be asked in the enterprise: With multiple cloud services available for just about every IT requirement, why would we compromise our IT service capabilities with anything but the best service for our needs?

Well, as it turns out, according to a global survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, enterprise IT buyers won’t compromise either. The survey, Multi-cloud Arises from Changing Cloud Priorities, found that a clear majority (86%) of respondents describe their cloud strategy as multi-cloud. This means they are using two or more cloud services within their enterprise for a variety of needs – ranging from infrastructure and software services, to Platform-as-a-Service, and much more. They do this, as the study suggests, because they want to optimize their IT performance and meet business objectives – and they need multiple cloud services to do it.

This likely won’t be a surprise to most IT providers. As we know, not all applications are created equal, and as stated in the survey, “no single cloud platform meets all enterprise workload requirements”. Therefore, because applications have varying performance requirements, cost sensitivities, security and compliance requirements, and many other service variables, it makes sense that we deploy multiple cloud services to match the unique needs of our applications.

Multiple clouds help fine tune the business and enable innovation

The reality is that the benefits of deploying multiple cloud services go well beyond matching application requirements. They enable us to fine tune our capabilities to meet or exceed our business requirements, and focus on what matters most to the business: Innovation.

As example, managed cloud providers enable businesses to shift the risk of owning, migrating, hosting, and managing complex, mission-critical application landscapes to vendors who are experts in these applications and services. At the same time, these businesses can move their development or testing activities to a general-purpose cloud provider and keep other segments of their application landscape on-premises. In this example, the business has effectively right-sized their IT requirements through the selection of multiple clouds which optimizes cost, effort, time, and other variables and frees up time and resources that can be better spent on innovation.

Virtustream in a multi-cloud world

At Virtustream, we support the multi-cloud world by delivering cloud services that focus on running complex, mission-critical application landscapes like SAP and Oracle, for industries with sensitive data like healthcare, and for organizations that require high levels of security like in the public sector and in the Federal Government. Our goal is simple: Give customers an enterprise-class experience in the cloud that not only complements other cloud services and allows them to innovate, but more importantly, ensures that when it comes to their mission-critical applications, they never have to compromise. 

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Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:08:00 +0000 Editor /blog/we-live-in-a-multi-cloud-world
VMworld 2018: Virtustream Cheat Sheet /blog/vmworld-2018-virtustream-cheat-sheet

We’re closing out the summer with a bang this year at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas! If you are one of the 20,000+ technology leaders heading to the big event, keep this post bookmarked so you can find us throughout the week.

Our team of cloud experts will be talking shop on the expo floor, leading breakout sessions on the latest cloud developments, and hosting the conference’s top after-hours networking events. We can’t wait to see you there! 

Ongoing happenings at the Virtustream booth (1234) throughout the show:  

Schedule a meeting with us

As always, we’ll be at the Virtustream booth talking with folks throughout the expo, but if you’d like to dive deeper with our team of experts, request a 1:1 meeting here

Illustrative whiteboarding sessions

  • Come one, come all: Join us at the Virtustream booth during the show to experience our famous whiteboarding sessions. Stop by during expo hours to hear Virtustream’s top experts discuss the latest trends in cloud while a professional illustrator whiteboards the discussion in real time.
  • Sunday, August 26 - Wednesday, August 29

#VirtustreamInAction is back again with Cradles to Crayons 

At this year’s VMworld, we’re partnering with Cradles to Crayons once again! Here’s how you can give back at the show:

  • Stop by the Virtustream booth and attend one of our whiteboard sessions – pay close attention; there will be trivia questions at the end.
  • For every trivia question you answer correctly, you will receive a ball representing a $10 donation.
  • Drop your ball off at the collection station in Virtustream booth and watch the donations grow – we’re aiming to raise another $10,000 this year!
  • Share photos of the collection station and tag @Virtustream, @cradlescrayons and #VirtustreamInAction. If you show us your post or we spot you sharing the photo on social, you’ll earn an extra ticket for our grand prize giveaway.

Grand Prize: HD Wacom Cintiq Digital Folio

  • Stop by the Virtustream booth to find out how you can participate in our grand prize giveaway and make it back by 4:15pm PT on Wednesday, August 29th for the drawing.  You must be present to win!

Let’s get social

  • Snap a picture at our booth, share a favorite moment from a speaking session, or just say hello on Twitter at @Virtustream. 

Mark your calendars now! The daily breakdown of Virtustream events: 

Monday, August 27:

  • AI in the PaaS Lane: Toshiba and Virtustream Combine AI and Cloud
    John Arrasjid, Office of the CTO and Office of Innovation, Virtustream
    11:30am - 12:30pm PT
    Session ID: IOT3165BU
  • Security & Multi-Tenancy – Tips and Best Practices for VMware-based Clouds
    Gregsie Leighton, Senior Director, Product Security Engineering, Virtustream
    1-2pm PT
    Session ID: SAI3761BUS
  • Developing a Cloud for IoT
    John Arrasjid, Office of the CTO and Office of Innovation, Virtustream 
    Chris Gully, Senior SDDC Architect - Cloud Foundation, VMware
    4:30-5pm PT
    Session ID: VMTN5602U

Wednesday, August 29:

  • Virtustream Enterprise Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation
    Drew Gonzci, CTO Cloud Platforms, Virtustream
    8-9am PT
    Session ID: PRV3709BUS
  • Powershell, it’s not just for Windows anymore
    Chris Nakagaki, Sr. Technologist, Virtustream
    10:45 - 11am PT
    Session ID: VMTN5597U

We’re looking forward to another amazing VMworld – we’ll see you there!

- Team Virtustream

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Wed, 22 Aug 2018 16:23:00 +0000 jennifer /blog/vmworld-2018-virtustream-cheat-sheet
SAPPHIRE NOW 2018: News, Highlights, and Media Takeaways /blog/sapphire-now-2018-news-highlights-and-media-takeaways

Improve people’s lives through the power of business.

That was the message resonating through the recent SAPPHIRE NOW conference, following SAP CEO Bill McDermott’s keynote kicking off this year’s event. Over the next three days, SAP led attendees in a variety of in-depth discussions about how today’s enterprises can get ahead of the digital curve. Needless to say, Team Virtustream was excited to be a part of it.

From Charlize Theron’s candid discussion with SAP executives on tomorrow’s change makers to Jon Bon Jovi’s insightful take on the importance of purpose and perspective, it was a big week for creative discussions on the evolving technology landscape and the challenges facing every business leader today. The following are a few key highlights from the show:

Cloud is the next step in building an “Intelligent Enterprise”

SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner centered his keynote on two words that dominated conversations at the show (and afterwards): “intelligent enterprise.” SAP urged channel partners to step in and guide customers toward being intelligent enterprises – and for Virtustream, this is all about the cloud. According to reporter Scharon Harding, SAP is well on its way to seeing its goal of all partners working with cloud by 2020 – we’re glad to see we’re aligned with our partner. Karl Fahrbach, SVP, Global Head of Channels at SAP, said it’s time for SAP and its partners to start thinking about judging the success of cloud business  beyond traditional metrics, such as business growth and sales numbers. Bill McDermott noted in his keynote that questions like "Do we have a single view of the customer? Do we really know them?" and, "How will we know if customers are really happy?" will be important when gauging success.

SAP unveiled C/4HANA and announced the SAP HANA Data Management Suite

In his keynote speech, Bill McDermott unveiled SAP C/4HANA, a new suite of applications which SAP says will help businesses serve and retain customers. In his coverage of the show, Jesse Scardina of TechTarget noted that SAP has been aiming to combine its industry-leading ERP tools and CRM tools for some time now, and while the move makes SAP the first major vendor to combine front- and back-office capabilities, Jesse said it appears the company is on the right track.

Later in the conference, SAP also announced the SAP HANA Data Management Suite, which will enable enterprises to maximize the potential of massive amounts of data safely, simply and efficiently. As Mike Vizard of IT Business Edge points out, this news points to a trend in customer experience – “the concept of customer relationship is giving way to something that is much more focused on trying to create a customer experience that hopefully is a lot more memorable for all concerned.”

SAP found a home for its Data Hub

… the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud! You can check out our coverage from the show (including Chris Preimesberger’s article in eWEEK and Stephanie Simone’s article in Database Trends and Applications) for details about the expanded partnership. In short, enterprises now can deploy SAP Data Hub on Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, allowing customers to accelerate and expand the flow of data across their organization. We’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with SAP in the future as we both look for new ways to improve lives through the power of business.

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Sat, 23 Jun 2018 12:17:00 +0000 Editor /blog/sapphire-now-2018-news-highlights-and-media-takeaways
Driven by Diversity: Virtustream Celebrates PRIDE Month around the Globe /blog/driven-by-diversity-virtustream-celebrates-pride-month-around-the-globe

As a Dell Technologies business, Virtustream is among some of the most diverse organizations in the technology industry, and we believe diversity and inclusion are the cornerstones for success. We recognize that different perspectives bring vantage points that enhance innovation, cultivate collaboration and ultimately improve the customer experience.  In June, we celebrate PRIDE month to acknowledge the ways Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people have shaped our culture around the world.

Virtustream and Dell’s commitment to diversity and inclusion are evident in the programs and initiatives we support. Our leadership team implemented policies, programs and benefits to ensure inclusivity of our LGBTQ team members. A few of those initiatives include:

  • Comprehensive transgender benefits. Dell is one of the first U.S. companies to offer these benefits
  • Mandatory global training courses on Implicit Bias and Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employee-led Resource Groups (ERGs)
  • Executive-level Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board
  • Equal Opportunity non-discrimination policy that covers sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, which has been in place for several years
  • Sponsorship and participation in LGBTQ activities globally through Pride parades, workshops, and community outreach
  • Presenting Sponsorship of the 2017 Out & Equal Workplace Summit
  • Executive membership on the Out & Equal Board of Directors and Global Advisory Committee

In addition to sponsorship and participation in LGBTQ programs, Dell also offers a vast Employee Resource Group program. ERGs bring together team members who share similar interests and backgrounds. With more than 300 chapters within 60+ countries around the globe, Dell’s ERGs serve a variety of groups such as caregivers, veterans, LGBTQ and more.

At Virtustream, value the many characteristics and perspectives that our team members contribute to our corporate culture. We do not aim to blend our differences, but to embrace and appreciate them for their own unique connection to our community. Not only does this connect us, we believe our diverse corporate culture is a key factor in our growth and success. 

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Fri, 22 Jun 2018 16:11:00 +0000 Editor /blog/driven-by-diversity-virtustream-celebrates-pride-month-around-the-globe
Life at Virtustream: Meet Our Leaders, Cherie Whitney /blog/life-at-virtustream-meet-our-leaders-cherie-whitney


Welcome to our new “Meet our Leaders” series, an inside look at the team behind Virtustream’s innovative cloud technology and services. In the coming months, we’ll bring you interviews with leaders across the organization, from product and marketing to talent and culture, customer care, and more. We’ll discuss their lives in and out of the office, their stories of professional growth and achievement, and the visions that drive them.

First up is Cherie Whitney, our Vice President of Corporate Development at Virtustream. In this interview, Cherie discusses her background in technology and path to leadership at Virtustream, as well as her goals for the future, and advice for aspiring female technology leaders. Keep up with the conversation on Twitter by following @CherieLWhitney and @Virtustream.

Meet Cherie Whitney:

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

My passion is propelling Virtustream forward in the cloud market. I’m motivated by the work I do, I enjoy being constantly challenged by the fast pace of our market and company, and I love being surrounded by incredibly talented people. The work I do with my team to assess and advance Virtustream’s strategic priorities is very rewarding. I’m also excited by the opportunity I have to drive engagement with our employees, as well as within the communities in which we live and work. Programs such as Livin’ the Stream empower Virtustreamers to connect with each other across the globe and our Community Outreach programs enable us all to help children around the world live better lives. I also really enjoy working on the development of our new spaces for our teams and seeing our culture come alive within the physical spaces. When you walk into a Virtustream office, you know undoubtedly that it’s Virtustream – not just because of the design elements, but because of the energy of the staff and the way we manifest our corporate values.

How did you end up in the cloud industry?

I spent close to 15 years in the technology industry at Dell EMC, predominately working in the corporate development organization, leading acquisitions, integrations, and joint ventures. I began considering a transition into an operations role around the time that Virtustream was acquired by EMC – I felt it was the right opportunity at the right time. I wanted to work for a fast-paced, growing organization and Virtustream was the perfect fit.

Describe what makes your team successful?

The Corporate Development/Strategic Planning team collaborates across our stakeholders to design and execute on a prioritized set of initiatives to drive growth, profitability, and operational efficiency for Virtustream. I believe we are successful as a team because of our analytical mindset, capacity to work cross-functionally, and ability to present and communicate success effectively.

What advice could you share with team members who aspire to leadership roles within the organization?

Take initiative and focus intently on execution. Seek and take advantage of opportunities to lead projects and teams, and proactively build your skill sets and relationships. In the process, remember to continually market yourself.

What are your top goals or objectives for next year?

Most of my effort is focused on advancing our strategic priorities as an organization by evaluating innovative means to scale, developing business cases for critical investments, and assessing our performance. The other top goal I have is to continue building strong engagement across our teams and communities, driving diversity initiatives for women, and encouraging collaborative office environments.

What are some of the most important trends in the cloud industry today?

I think it’s an incredibly exciting time to be a female in the technology industry, given the current movement to achieve equal representation and compensation, and to really promote the participation of more women in STEM-related fields. If you look at Virtustream, we have a high percentage of women, including at the executive level, compared to other players in the industry. Virtustream is at the forefront of this movement. I’m also encouraged by future generations of women in tech with today’s trends in STEM in the classroom.

What’s the best advice you have received in your career?

Make your own path and do it authentically. It’s as simple as that for me.

What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?

I’m a total foodie. I love to cook, try new foods, and travel with friends and family. With a three-year-old daughter, however, my free time is typically spent playing dress up and hide-and-seek. The fun part is that I get to teach her how to bake (anything chocolate, of course) and that’s been a joy. 

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Thu, 07 Jun 2018 12:46:00 +0000 cherie.whitney /blog/life-at-virtustream-meet-our-leaders-cherie-whitney
SAPPHIRE NOW 2018: Virtustream Cheat Sheet /blog/sapphire-now-2018-virtustream-cheat-sheet

Will you be joining us in sunny Orlando, Florida, next week for SAPPHIRE NOW 2018? We sure hope so! To help you keep track of Team Virtustream and all of the activities we have planned at this year’s event, here’s your Virtustream Cheat Sheet, SAPPHIRE-edition. Keep it bookmarked on your mobile device and come find us anytime next week to talk SAP and the future of cloud.

Virtustream booth 351: Where cloud + SAP converge 

Schedule a meeting with us

As always, we’ll be working the show floor and talking cloud with thousands of SAP power users. Our team of experts will also be available for 1:1 conversations with SAP pros looking to go even deeper. Schedule a meeting with our team here.

Interactive video wall and illustrative whiteboard sessions

  • Last month, we unveiled Virtsutream’s new interactive video wall at Dell Technologies World 2018. It was a hit, and so we’re bringing it to SAPPHIRE NOW to show off the latest customer stories, product features, and more.
  • Our whiteboarding sessions continue to be a crowd-favorite! Join us throughout the week to hear Virtustream experts discuss trends in SAP, cloud, and more, with a professional illustrator whiteboarding the discussion in real time.
  • Stop by during expo hours: Tuesday, June 5 - Thursday, June 7.

Give back at SAPPHIRE NOW

We’re partnering with CURE Childhood Cancer this year! Here’s how you can help us conquer childhood cancer:

  • Stop by the Virtustream booth and attend one of our whiteboard sessions – pay close attention, there will be trivia questions at the end.
  • For every trivia question you answer correctly, you will receive a ball representing a $10 donation.
  • Drop your ball off at the collection station inside the Virtustream booth and watch the donations grow – we’re aiming to raise $10,000 this year!
  • Be sure to share photos of the collection station and tag @Virtustream, @CUREchildcancer and #VirtustreamInAction. If you show us your post or we spot you sharing the photo on social, you’ll earn an extra ticket for our grand prize giveaway.

Grand prize: HD Wacom Cintiq Digital Folio

Stop by our booth on Thursday, June 7th, at 4:45pm ET for the drawing of our grand prize giveaway – must be present to win.

Engage with us on social

Grab a picture with our team at the booth, share your favorite session from the day, or just say hello on Twitter at @Virtustream.

Mark your calendars – here’s the daily breakdown of Virtustream events:

Monday, June 4

Disrupting with Purpose
Christina Colby, Virtustream
10:30 - 10:50am ET
SAP Global Summit, Hyatt Regency

Tuesday, June 5 

Enhance Data-Landscape Asset Value with Data-Driven Processes
Mike Eacrett, SAP & Gary Patterson, Virtustream
12 - 12:20pm ET
Platform PL411

Wednesday, June 6

How Sweet It Is: Hershey’s Experience Deploying SAP S/4HANA in the Cloud
Achim Welter, Hershey & Jake Echanove, Virtustream
11am - 12pm ET
S310A (South Concourse, 3rd Floor)

Enterprise-Class Cloud Stacks Power Mission-Critical Applications
Henrik Wagner, Virtustream
12pm - 12:20pm ET
Theater District: Theater 2

Thursday, June 7

Harness the Value of your Data Assets, with Virtustream’s SAP Data Hub Service
Michael Harding, Virtustream
11 - 11:20am ET
Theater District: Theater 4

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Wed, 30 May 2018 11:56:00 +0000 Editor /blog/sapphire-now-2018-virtustream-cheat-sheet
Virtustream Globetrotters: #VirtustreamOnTheRun /blog/virtustream-globetrotters-virtustreamontherun Our Virtustream family spans the globe! Virtustream employees are based all over the world and they’re constantly on the move. A few Virtustreamers captured their recent travels to give us an inside look at where they've been!

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Thu, 24 May 2018 14:13:00 +0000 Editor /blog/virtustream-globetrotters-virtustreamontherun
What Top Cloud Influencers Are Saying About Dell Tech World /blog/what-top-cloud-influencers-are-saying-about-dell-tech-world

Last week, we gave you a rundown of top analysts to watch at Dell Tech World 2018. Here’s a look at what they had to say about the big trends that will dominate the cloud industry over the next year, as well as other great observations coming out of the four-day event.

Torsten Volk, EMA
Roy Illsley, Ovum
Edwin Yuen, ESG

And here are a few bonus tweets from other analysts that joined us at this year’s Dell Tech World:

Elaina Stergiades, IDC
Scott Sinclair, ESG
Rhett Dillingham, Moor Insights & Strategy

Want to continue the conversation? Tweet to us @Virtustream. Our experts are always up for talking about digital transformation and the future of cloud infrastructure. 

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Wed, 23 May 2018 18:53:00 +0000 Editor /blog/what-top-cloud-influencers-are-saying-about-dell-tech-world
In Case You Missed It: Virtustream Healthcare Cloud Twitter Q&A with Drew Fassett /blog/in-case-you-missed-it-virtustream-healthcare-cloud-twitter-q-a-with-drew-fassett

We recently unveiled the latest updates and roadmap for the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud at Dell Technologies World 2018. With healthcare organizations all over the world racing to the cloud, the interest and excitement at the show was remarkable.

After the announcement, we grabbed Drew Fassett, vice president of global industries at Virtustream, for a candid Twitter chat about the future of healthcare in the cloud and how Virtustream is helping to advance the entire ecosystem with purpose-built cloud technology.

We covered a lot of ground over the course of an hour, but don’t worry if you missed it in real time. We’ve recapped the conversation here for you and in case you have any further questions, feel free to field them to @Virtustream on Twitter and be sure to give @DrewFassett a follow to stay in the loop on the latest in cloud.  

Virtustream is on a mission to accelerate the global health IT revolution with enterprise-class cloud infrastructure that works for healthcare service providers of every kind. To learn more about how Virtustream can help your healthcare organization digitally transform, schedule time to connect with a Healthcare Cloud specialist today.

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Wed, 23 May 2018 15:36:00 +0000 Drew /blog/in-case-you-missed-it-virtustream-healthcare-cloud-twitter-q-a-with-drew-fassett
Virtustream is Committed to Providing a True Enterprise-Class Cloud /blog/virtustream-is-committed-to-providing-a-true-enterprise-class-cloud

When most people hear or read the term “public cloud,” they often think of the various general-purpose clouds that enable customers to rent compute instances by the day, hour, or minute. These clouds are appropriate for many business applications with limited performance, availability, and other reduced requirements.

Virtustream, however, has a decidedly different public cloud strategy. Virtustream’s public cloud offerings have always been purpose-built to meet the needs of enterprise customers. In other words, customers with applications that are mission-critical and often more complex than applications that can run in a general purpose cloud.

This has been Virtustream’s focus since its founding. Many enterprise workloads are not well-suited for general-purpose clouds, whether it be because of high resource usage requirements, the workload not fitting a scale-out model, or concerns over security and compliance.

Virtustream remains committed to meeting the needs of enterprise customers today. More importantly, we have increased our commitment to improving our enterprise customers’ experience in the cloud.

As examples of this commitment, I invite you to look at Virtustream’s announcements from the Dell Technologies World 2018 conference earlier this month. The first announcement was on enhancements to our Healthcare Cloud and the second was on enhancements to our automated risk and compliance management software, Virtustream Viewtrust. Between them, these two offerings address the needs of some of our customers’ most demanding applications and environments.

Virtustream Healthcare Cloud is a purpose-built cloud offering designed to meet the specific increased security and regulatory compliance needs of healthcare providers. The enhancements to Virtustream Healthcare Cloud include:

  • New flexible disaster recovery options for customers using Epic for their electronic health records (EHR)
  • Improved operational and patient insight available through SAP Health, powered by SAP S/4HANA solutions
  • Enhanced ease of migration and integration of EHR systems that help advance precision medicine and personalized patient care

(Details on the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud announcement are available in the press release here.)

Virtustream Viewtrust is our risk management and continuous compliance monitoring solution. It proactively identifies potential risks, enables immediate remediation, and delivers the reports needed for regulatory oversight. Organizations can implement a comprehensive information security strategy to comply with many compliance requirements such as FISMA, SOX, PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, FedRAMP and more, in addition to providing for custom user-defined compliance frameworks. Previously, Viewtrust has been available to customers as either an on-premises software deployment or as a managed service offering within Virtustream Enterprise, Federal, or Healthcare Cloud. The announcement at Dell Technologies World centered on how Viewtrust will now also be available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering.

This new deployment offering is a big deal for enterprise customers for several reasons:

  • It allows customers the option of receiving all the benefits of Viewtrust through a true self-service model
  • It enables customers to have a single view of their entire enterprise IT landscape and gives organizations the ability to remediate systems in a proactive, efficient, repeatable, and consistent manner across the entire business, regardless of location, through a simplified Software-as-a-Serivce (SaaS) consumption model
  • It provides customers with a single risk and compliance dashboard view of their entire IT environment, despite the ever-increasing volumes of data involved

(Details on the Virtustream Viewtrust announcement are available in the press release here.)

As you can see, here at Virtustream we are committed to providing the best enterprise-class cloud offerings and services to our customers, and then improving upon that. Look for more examples of this commitment in action in the other announcements we’ll be making later this year.

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Tue, 22 May 2018 11:37:00 +0000 Editor /blog/virtustream-is-committed-to-providing-a-true-enterprise-class-cloud
Introducing the Next Generation of Virtustream® Viewtrust: Risk Management and Continuous Compliance Monitoring Now Available as-a-Service /blog/introducing-the-next-generation-of-virtustream-viewtrust-risk-management-and-continuous-compliance-monitoring-now-available-as-a-service

When Virtustream acquired Viewtrust in 2014, we saw a visionary and highly-sophisticated technology company that was well ahead of its time. With the great enterprise cloud migration just starting to get underway, it was clear that security and compliance would quickly become a top priority for companies across major industries.

Four years later, Viewtrust is one of the most important and valuable tools in the Virtustream suite of products. Relied upon by major public sector agencies and global enterprises, Viewtrust protects customers from persistent and evolving cyber threats.

This year at Dell Tech World, we proudly announced the next generation of Viewtrust, our trademark risk management and continuous compliance monitoring solution – now with Software-as-a-Service Support.

With this release, Virtustream evolves its ability to extend secure compliance and risk management capabilities to the cloud. Now available to all customers as a self-service SaaS or managed service model, Viewtrust provides organizations with a comprehensive and near real-time view of their entire risk and compliance posture across physical and cloud environments whether private, public or hybrid.

Additionally, with continuous monitoring and automated risk analysis based on customized threat and impact values, organizations can assess and address issues in a more proactive, efficient, repeatable and consistent manner across the entire business. 

Key features and benefits include: 

Regulatory compliance with lower costs and less complexity
Viewtrust continuously monitors the IT landscape, identifying potential risks and alerting teams to potential issues for proactive remediation. Like all Viewtrust builds, the latest version fully meets major industry compliance requirements, including FISMA, SOX, PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, FedRAMP, in addition to adhering to GDPR requirements and custom user-defined compliance frameworks.

Continuous monitoring at massive scale
With Viewtrust, organizations have a scalable cloud-native platform for ingesting, collecting, storing and processing data across all data sources. The new Viewtrust employs the latest and most advanced risk-scoring algorithms to ensure regulatory compliance control requirements are always being met. Every key detail is stored in an easy-to-use dashboard for easy compliance reporting. 

Automated 360° views of risk and compliance
Viewtrust automates compliance and reduces the costs associated with risk management by delivering a true 360° enterprise risk view that can cover virtually any collection of existing systems. This empowers enterprises to minimize risk and improve compliance across physical and cloud IT environments.

Audit reporting made easy
With preformatted and fully-customizable reporting templates built in, the new Viewtrust makes auditing and compliance even faster and more efficient. Workflow-based automation manages the entire audit package creation lifecycle, from initiation and validation all the way to certification and accreditation. 

Defense Information Systems Agency eMASS integrations
Viewtrust integrates directly with the US Government’s Defense Information Systems Agency’s Enterprise Mission Assurance Support Service (eMASS) application. This enables Information Assurance teams to automate the publication of compliance statements, assessments, artifacts and Plan of Action and Milestones into eMASS. Viewtrust automation significantly reduces the time spent completing steps three and four of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) risk management framework, which significantly reduces the time that teams spend documenting the compliance requirements of federal agencies.

As the world of enterprise information security, risk management and regulatory compliance continues to grow more complex, virtualized and distributed, Virtustream is committed to helping organizations stay secure and compliant without the traditional headaches of risk and compliance monitoring. It’s no wonder so many major public sector agencies and global enterprises rely on Viewtrust to monitor compliance and protect their systems and customers from cyber threats.

To learn more about the next generation of Virtustream Viewtrust, visit our website. For a deep dive on the product and updates, check out the latest Viewtrust data sheet and white paper or reach out to our team today to schedule a meeting that fits into your schedule.

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Mon, 21 May 2018 12:58:00 +0000 DavidAyers /blog/introducing-the-next-generation-of-virtustream-viewtrust-risk-management-and-continuous-compliance-monitoring-now-available-as-a-service
Dell Tech World: Accelerating the Global Health IT Revolution with the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud /blog/dell-tech-world-accelerating-the-global-health-it-revolution-with-the-virtustream-healthcare-cloud

Cloud technology is transforming healthcare in every way imaginable. From advances in patient care and prevention, to personalized medicine and the proliferation of electronic medical records, we are currently witnessing one of the greatest revolutions in the history of health and wellness.

It’s no surprise then that today’s leading healthcare organizations are racing to the cloud. As healthcare technology becomes smarter and more personalized, consumer expectations are changing fast and the pressure to modernize health IT environments is mounting.

Bringing health IT into the future requires secure cloud systems that can seamlessly manage mission-critical applications and electronic medical records while also reducing operational costs. This is the key to expanding electronic health record (EHR) usage, adopting precision health platforms, and launching innovative new patient engagement systems.

At Virtustream, we’re on a mission to accelerate the global health IT revolution by providing purpose-built, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure and solutions to health organizations of every kind with the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud.

Launched at last year’s Dell Technologies World, the premier tech conference for technologists, thought leaders, and executives, the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud is designed to help healthcare organizations improve patient care by laying the optimal foundation for new digital services. Specifically, it brings together the right combination of solutions for modernizing IT infrastructure, reducing costs, and delivering the highest standards of availability, security, and compliance. What’s more, Virtustream Healthcare Cloud is fully compliant with both HIPAA and HITECH and delivers rigorous, end-to-end security to protect patient health information.

With the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, for example, IT teams can securely migrate and integrate EHR systems, such as Epic – a key step to advancing next generation precision medicine, personalized patient care, and improved operational insights.

Since its debut, interest and adoption in the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud throughout the healthcare sector has been remarkable. Today, a growing number of healthcare organizations around the world are choosing Virtustream to guide their Digital Transformation journey.

This momentum is a testament to the growing need in for this type of cloud solution and level of support the healthcare industry. It has also informed our roadmap, inspiring new disaster recovery capabilities for Epic and a deeper partnership with SAP to make enhanced patient and operational insights available through SAP Digital Health, powered by S/4 HANA, both of which were showcased live on stage today at Dell Tech World. 

Looking ahead, Virtustream Healthcare Cloud is poised for another year of explosive growth. We plan to continue expanding partnerships with top healthcare IT software and electronic medical record providers to expand our capabilities and introduce new features based on customer demand.

To learn more about how the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud can transform your organization, schedule time to talk with one of our dedicated Healthcare Cloud specialists today.

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Fri, 04 May 2018 15:46:00 +0000 DavidAyers /blog/dell-tech-world-accelerating-the-global-health-it-revolution-with-the-virtustream-healthcare-cloud
Top Analysts Heading to Dell Tech World 2018 /blog/top-analysts-heading-to-dell-tech-world-2018

As Dell Tech World draws near, we are eager to hear from the industry’s leading analysts on what trends they’re seeing in today’s age of digital transformation. Without a doubt, enterprise cloud adoption has spiked since last year’s show, with enterprises everywhere now racing to migrate mission-critical applications to the cloud–– two key trends our team at Virtustream are following closely. 

This year’s Dell Tech World attendees will include some of the analysts at the very forefront of these conversations. To help you make the most of your time at Dell Tech World here’s an overview of top analysts to follow on social media for the latest insights on how the industry is evolving, and how forward-looking enterprises are adapting.

  1. Craig Lowery, Gartner: Craig is a research director at Gartner where he covers cloud computing from both the vendor and end user perspectives. He’s also a published author, active cloud computing blogger, and a great person to follow if you’re interested in the cloud service provider market, including hyperscale providers. You can find his latest research at Gartner and follow him @DrJCL.
  2. Edwin Yuen, ESG: As an analyst at ESG, Edwin covers cloud platforms & management, including automation and orchestration technologies. Edwin focuses on cloud providers and management offerings, both traditional on-premises solutions and newer, cloud-based solutions. He also covers the emerging areas of IT automation with DevOps and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings. Find his recent posts at ESG and follow him@edwinyuen.
  3. Glenn O'Donnell, Forrester: Glen is a vice president and research director at Forrester who works with infrastructure and operations professionals. He’s a thought leader to remember if you’re following trends in IT service management, IT operations, and the broader social implications of technology evolution. Glenn's specialties are in data center automation and operational excellence. You can read his blog posts at Forrester and follow him @glennodonnell.
  4. Henry Baltazar, 451 Research: As a research VP of Infrastructure, Henry and his team are responsible for driving 451 Research’s server, networking, storage and HCI coverage. Find him at the show if you’re looking for updates on flash, cloud and everything storage. Follow him at @StorageZar.
  5. Rob Enderle, Enderle Group: Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR. Follow him at @Enderle.
  6. Roy Illsley, Ovum: Roy brings more than 35 years’ IT experience to his role as principal analyst at Ovum, where he is the lead analyst for Virtualization and Cloud Computing. Roy’s key areas of research include cloud computing, software defined technologies, IT strategy, service management and data center technologies. View his latest research at Ovum and follow him @royillsley.
  7. Rick Villars, IDC: Rick is a senior member of IDC's IT Infrastructure research team as a Research Vice President of Datacenter and Cloud. He and his team are continuously assessing the evolution of datacenter design, placement, and management strategies, as well as the exploitation of rapidly-evolving technologies in the areas of big data and cloud. Rick is the go-to person if you’re looking to learn more about workloads driving adopting of converged and software defined IT solutions, as well as private and public cloud solutions. You can check out some of his research at IDC.
  8. Torsten Volk, EMA: Torsten is a managing research director at EMA where he specializes in topics and trends that connect the dots between hybrid cloud and the software-defined data centers, to a more business-defined concept of enterprise IT. He leads research projects on hybrid cloud and machine learning combined with an application- and service-centric approach to hyperconverged infrastructure, public cloud, hyperscale computing and more. With over 15 years of enterprise IT experience, Torsten is an analyst to look out for the show. Check out his blog at EMA and follow him @TorstenVolk.

Have something you want to add to the conversation? Come say hello at the Virtustream booth, refer to our cheat sheet to find Team Virtustream during the event or tweet to us @Virtustream

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Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:34:00 +0000 Editor /blog/top-analysts-heading-to-dell-tech-world-2018
Dell Technologies World 2018: Virtustream Cheat Sheet /blog/dell-technologies-world-2018-virtustream-cheat-sheet

Heading to Las Vegas soon to attend Dell Technologies World 2018? With all the excitement soon to be taking place at the Venetian, we want to make sure you know where to find Team Virtustream during the big event. Keep this cheat sheet bookmarked next week and come find us anytime.

Virtustream booth #1417: Come for the contests, stay for the cloud

Schedule a meeting with us 

We’ll be at the booth geeking out with attendees all week and our cloud specialists are also available for in-depth one-on-one discussions. To schedule a meeting with our team, sign up here.

Interactive video wall and illustrative whiteboard sessions
  • We’re adding a new feature to our booth this year! Stop by to see our new video wall highlighting amazing customer stories, the latest product features, and some of our proudest moments from the past year.
  • Back by popular demand, we’ll also be hosting our famous whiteboarding sessions at the booth. Stop by to see Virtustream cloud experts and partners dish the latest in cloud technology while a professional illustrator whiteboards the discussion in real time.
  • Stop by during expo hours from Monday, April 30 - Wednesday, May 2.
Give back at Dell Tech World

We’re partnering with Make a Wish Foundation again this year! Here’s how you can help us grant a child’s wish:

  • Pay close attention at any Virtustream session you attend – there will be trivia questions at the end. 
  • For every trivia question you answer correctly, Virtustream will give you a ball representing a $100 donation. 
  • Drop your ball off at the collection station inside the Virtustream booth and watch the donations grow – we’re aiming to raise $10,000 this year! 
  • Be sure to share photos of the collection station and tag @Virtustream and #VirtustreamInAction. If you show us your post or we spot you sharing the photo on social, you’ll earn an extra ticket for our grand prize giveaway.
Grand prize: HD Wacom Cintiq Digital Folio
  • Stop by our booth on Wednesday, May 2nd at 4:15 for the drawing of our grand prize giveaway – must be present to win.
Engage with us on social
  • Snap a picture with us at our booth, share a sound bite from a speaking session, or just say hello on Twitter: @Virtustream or @VirtustreamJobs and tag #VirtustreamDoesDTW. 
Hands-On-Lab: Enterprise Cloud with Virtustream Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) Service
  • We’ll be offering a hands-on experience every day of the show so attendees can explore each aspect of our Virtustream cloud offering. Be sure to stop by!
Mark your calendars – here’s the daily breakdown of Virtustream events:
Monday April 30
  • Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Powers Enterprise Apps
    Michael Fink, Senior Solution Architect
    8:30am - 9:30am PT
    Lido 3005
  • Developing a Cloud for Internet of Things
    John Arrasjid, Engineer Technologist, Office of the CTO
    12pm – 1pm PT
    San Polo 3403
  • United We Stand: the 7 Dell Technologies Companies Discuss Why an IoT Partner Ecosystem is Critical
    Dell EMC: Steve Todd, VP and Dell Fellow | Pivotal: Jacque Istok, Head of Data Technical | RSA: Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO | Secureworks: Ryan Davidsen, VP Worldwide Sales Engineering | Virtustream: Vince Lubsey, SVP and co-founder | VMware: Mimi Spier, Vice President, Internet of Things Business
    1:30pm - 2:30pm PT
    San Polo 3405
  • Virtustream and Pivotal: Run Cloud-Native Mission-Critical Apps in Enterprise-Class Cloud
    Christina Colby, Senior Vice President Strategic Alliances – Virtustream & Craig Steel, GM Strategic Alliances, Pivotal
    3pm - 4pm PT
    Lido 3005
Tuesday, May 1
  • Technology Tremors: The Tectonic Plates of Technology are Shifting, Revealing a Dramatically Different Infrastructure Future
    Peter Cutts, Senior Vice President, Office of Portfolio Management & Strategy
    8:30am – 9:30am PT
    San Polo 3403
  • Virtustream Storage Cloud Expert Panel: Simplifying Cloud Storage for Dell EMC Solutions
    Mike Sampson, Portfolio Management & Ron Schmidt, General Management
    12pm - 1pm PT
    Marco Polo 701
  • Virtustream Enterprise Cloud for Driving Enterprise Digital Transformation with SAP
    Michael Harding, Senior Director of Product Management
    1:30 - 2:30pm PT
    Murano 3205
  • Virtustream PCF Service Brings Cloud-Native to the Enterprise
    Clayton Tino, Director Cloud-Native Products and Strategy
    3pm - 4pm PT
    Marco Polo 701 
  • IT Strategies to Tackle Growth Workloads of Machine Learning & Deep Learning
    John Arrasjid, Engineer Technologist, Office of the CTO
    3pm – 4pm PT
    San Polo 3403
  • Happy Hour in the Solutions Expo – Stop by booth 1417 for a cold drink and good company from 4pm - 5:30pm! 
Wednesday, May 2
  • United We Stand: the 7 Dell Technologies Companies Discuss Why an IoT Partner Ecosystem is Critical
    Dell EMC: Steve Todd, VP and Dell Fellow | Pivotal: Jacque Istok, Head of Data Technical | RSA: Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO | Secureworks: Ryan Davidsen, VP Worldwide Sales Engineering | Virtustream: Vince Lubsey, SVP and co-founder | VMware: Mimi Spier, Vice President, Internet of Things Business
    8:30am - 9:30am PT
    Lido 3003
  • Virtustream Enterprise Cloud for Driving Enterprise Digital Transformation with SAP
    Michael Harding, Senior Director of Product Management
    8:30am - 9:30am PT
    Delfino 4003
  • Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Powers Enterprise Apps
    Michael Fink, Senior Solution Architect
    1:30pm - 2:30pm PT
    Marco Polo 704
  • Virtustream and Pivotal: Run Cloud-Native Mission-Critical Apps in Enterprise-Class Cloud
    Christina Colby, Senior Vice President Strategic Alliances – Virtustream & Craig Steel, GM Strategic Alliances, Pivotal
    3pm - 4pm PT
    Delfino 4005
  • Happy Hour in the Solutions Expo – Don’t miss your last chance to share a drink with our team at booth 1417 from 4pm - 5pm! 
Thursday, May 3
  • Virtustream PCF Service Brings Cloud-Native to the Enterprise
    Clayton Tino, Director Cloud-Native Products and Strategy
    10am - 11am PT
    Delfino 4003
  • Virtustream Storage Cloud Expert Panel: Simplifying Cloud Storage for Dell EMC Solutions
    Mike Sampson, Portfolio Management & Ron Schmidt, General Management
    1pm - 2pm PT
    Murano 3205

We can’t wait to kick off a great week at Dell Technologies World – we’ll see you there! 
- Team Virtustream

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Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/dell-technologies-world-2018-virtustream-cheat-sheet
How to Handle the Most Extreme Workloads /blog/how-to-handle-the-most-extreme-workloads

As any IT professional knows, running large and resource intensive workloads in the cloud is hard. The cloud is often billed as a panacea, but the truth is that for most companies, architecting large workloads in the cloud is a heroic endeavor – one that must be executed with exact precision. There is no margin for error, and one small misstep can result in nightmares for CIOs.

Running mission-critical applications in the cloud is even harder. Alleviating risk and limiting disruption to the business during a move requires extensive experience and a special skill set that is rare in the industry. 

A few months ago, I was speaking with a potential customer about his company’s current infrastructure situation. He was in a tough spot: to stay competitive, his company needed to push its SAP workloads to the cloud. However, in his view, this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. With a 50+ terabyte database and over two million transactions daily, shifting to cloud wasn’t a real possibility -- not even a remote one.

“There’s no way you can do that,” he told me.

His general thinking is actually correct. Most cloud services providers can’t handle what he was looking for. However, with the right experience, technology, and approach, it can be done.

Here at Virtustream, we’ve solved our fair share of difficult engineering problems, including some like this. Here’s how we approach extreme workloads:

Purpose-built Hardware 

As part of the Dell EMC family, Virtustream’s cloud infrastructure is powered by hardware that is purpose-built to support mission-critical workloads. Our reference architecture capitalizes on enterprise-grade infrastructure to provide the storage, compute, and networking equipment needed to handle even the most aggressive workload requirements.

Connected Infrastructure-as-a-Service

One of the most powerful features that we’ve built is Connected IaaS, a dedicated kit that supports the most resource intensive workloads. The environment connects to our general, multi-tenanted infrastructure, so that our customers are able to run workloads such as the 50TB, multi-million transaction beast mentioned above. Additionally, Connected IaaS helps to meet the most stringent compliance and security requirements, and connects with our other cloud services.

xStream Management Platform

Our xStream Cloud Management Platform provides a unified, cloud-agnostic control pane that brings together infrastructure orchestration, enterprise application automation, business intelligence and service delivery into a single tool.

This allows our customers to run mission-critical enterprise applications in the cloud, with the performance and scalability they need to be competitive.

Virtustream MicroVM (μVM) Technology

Virtustream’s μVM is our unique cloud resource technology that ensures cost efficiency, no matter how demanding or complicated the workloads. As part of our xStream Cloud Management Platform, the μVM construct dynamically tailors resource allocation to meet the exact workload demands and then, like a utility provider, only bills for the resources customers use.

While migrating and managing mission critical applications in the cloud has its challenges, working with an experienced partner will ensure success. Virtustream expertise in running SAP in the cloud is unmatched and our experts have extensive experience working directly with SAP applications. To find out more about how Virtustream helps enterprise customer migrate SAP and other mission critical applications to the cloud, click here

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Sun, 25 Mar 2018 12:27:00 +0000 Jake /blog/how-to-handle-the-most-extreme-workloads
Virtustream Deep Dives: EMA’s Latest Report and Decision Guide /blog/virtustream-deep-dives-emas-latest-report-and-decision-guide Virtustream tops the list of enterprise-class hybrid cloud solutions, according the latest Decision Guide from IT industry analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). Researchers surveyed 260 randomly-selected companies in North America with 500+ employees to identify top enterprise IT priorities. EMA then identified the top IT vendors across each category, with Virtustream leading across the board.

To help enterprise decision-makers better understand what sets Virtustream apart, I sat down with EMA’s Managing Research Director, Torsten Volk, for a series of video deep dives on key topics ranging from information security and compliance to APIs and application onboarding.

Here’s a quick look at each video with key highlights: 

Mission-critical apps

The vast majority of enterprise IT resources are still focused on delivering legacy applications. Teams work tirelessly to keep them running which limits their ability to focus on innovation. Virtustream built a set of cloud services focused specifically on these apps, which helps deliver cloud value without having to re-architect or replace them, and enables the organization to focus on innovation rather than operations. This greatly improves time to value, and reduces total cost of ownership (TCO).

Security and compliance


Security is always evolving. The major trend today is baking security in at the application layer instead of attaching it to perimeter. This makes sense when architecting new apps, but it’s easier said than done for legacy applications, and the cost of getting security wrong for the enterprise is getting higher by the day. In this video, we discuss how Virtustream helps enterprises address security and regulatory challenges as part of a cloud migration strategy.

Application onboarding


How do IT teams compromise between cost and risk? It’s about building competency, expertise, and bulletproof processes. Enterprises often try to take these tasks on themselves, but don’t have the bench to do it properly and struggle to make it work. The whole premise of cloud is to focus on core competency, and this should apply to migration and management as well. We discuss alternative strategies for building and managing migration teams in this video. 

The API race


Nowadays, everyone is building APIs for everything. We believe in the API economy, and leveraging automation and integration to create scale. With legacy enterprise applications, however, this isn’t always the place to start.  With some apps, you need a different approach. What’s more, we believe there is a critical mass of internal, legacy applications in the enterprise that will always need to run in a private, highly secure environment. 

Backup and recovery


Backup is boring – until you need it. With many existing enterprise mission critical applications lacking integrated “cloud triggers” and native horizontal scaling capabilities, backup is a critical component of your infrastructure architecture. That’s why all Virtustream data centers are paired and replication is built into the system. With every cloud migration, Virtustream provides replication at the infrastructure layer via private networking.

Healthcare cloud


Mission-critical enterprise migrations are Virtustream’s bread and butter. We have always focused on core enterprise applications like SAP, but we believe there are many industries with applications that are not well-suited for hyper-scale public clouds, such as healthcare. That’s because when it comes to critical applications and highly-sensitive data, it’s always best to use purpose-built tools.  Our Healthcare cloud offerings enable the application of our core focus to services like EMR, records storage, and long term archiving of imagery data. 

To learn more about how we are different, and how Virtustream can help your enterprise navigate cloud migration, connect with one of our migration specialists today.

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Wed, 07 Mar 2018 17:01:00 +0000 Rob /blog/virtustream-deep-dives-emas-latest-report-and-decision-guide
The Cloud in 2018 and Beyond: A Conversation with Virtustream President and CTO Kevin Reid /blog/the-cloud-in-2018-and-beyond-a-conversation-with-virtustream-president-and-cto-kevin-reid

By all indications, 2018 is shaping up to be a watershed year for the cloud. With cloud partnerships on the rise, as well as rapid advances being made in edge computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and many other key cloud technologies, we are currently witnessing the beginning of a new multi-cloud, enterprise-friendly era.

Using Forrester’s 2018 cloud computing predictions as a guide, Virtustream President and CTO, Kevin Reid recently sat down with guest Lauren Nelson, principle cloud infrastructure and operations analyst at Forrester to discuss the latest developments in cloud technology, enterprise adoption, and what the future has in store. To watch their full conversation via video, click here.

Key takeaways include:

Buyer IQ is Higher than Ever

When Virtustream launched in 2009, the total market for cloud technology and services was a mere $60 billion. Today, it is closer to $260 billion -- and by 2020, it’s expected to exceed $400 billion. That’s an astounding 500% increase in just over ten years.

As the data suggests, buyer awareness for cloud services is higher than ever. Reid calls this “buyer IQ,” and he has seen it significantly improve over the past three years, especially when it comes to overcoming misconceptions about security and the barriers to entry for the cloud.

“Six or seven years ago, we were pushing the market and saying, ‘Here’s what we think you need,” said Reid. “Now we’re at a point where we can sit back and say, ‘Okay, clients, tell us what you need.’”

Nelson pointed out that just two or three years ago, “we were talking about the basics of cloud economics and trying to wrap our heads around those concepts.” She went onto provide an interesting lens on the evolution of cloud by recounting popular metaphors used to describe cloud in years past, such as cloud providers being “hotels” for data.

Private Cloud Has New Life 

In July 2017, Microsoft announced the launch of the Azure Stack, a hybrid cloud platform that would allow organizations to run the Azure public cloud in their own datacenter. This announcement was monumental: It meant that for the first time enterprises could have the experience and functionality of a major public cloud provider – but on-premises, and without having to jump through hoops to meet the strict security and compliance regulations of their industries in the public cloud.

According to Reid, this type of product was inevitable. For years, Virtustream had known about the growing demand for public cloud experiences delivered on-premises, he commented. However, as Reid goes on to note, there is still a disadvantage to this solution: users are forced to run an incredibly complicated infrastructure to make it work -- and do it all on their own. Having spoken with countless customers over the years, Reid isn’t worried about the competition -- he knows what customers want.

Cloud Native on Mission Critical is Just Beginning

Although cloud native applications are now being run on enterprise-class clouds, Reid believes we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible in enterprise cloud environments. In his view, enterprises are now realizing that cloud native is really just a mindset about how to approach building applications -- not a means to an end.

Enterprises are starting to focus on developing cloud native applications that aren’t just built for high user bases, but instead also take into account traditional enterprise needs, such as having a stateless infrastructure that can upgrade applications in one swoop.

Companies have “shifted their own development strategies,” he says, and as a result, “there are more and more apps you can develop and run locally that don’t require a tremendous amount of compute.” Companies are “recognizing that if they actually developed some of those apps in cloud-native style,” their lives would be a lot easier.

Nelson added that many companies are now beginning to build their enterprise architectures with one simple question in mind: “How do I look at this as a platform that is going to make my life easier when it comes time to upgrade?”

The Rise of Industry-Specific Clouds

For Reid, the cloud will continue to grow on two separate planes: one following the current trajectory (i,e., business functions cutting across multiple clouds), while the other embraces vertical-specific clouds.

As he explains, customers in highly-regulated industries are prone to audits and other demands of oversight where it is absolutely crucial to stay on top of their data and follow all regulations. “If I’m a healthcare company, there are certain things at the end of the day that I need to attest to,” says Reid. “It’s not good enough for me to say my main electronic health records system or my EMR system is running on a HIPAA-compliant cloud. I’m going to have to collect all of these control points and produce artifacts.”

Therefore, the key for customers in highly-regulated verticals, says Reid, will be finding a cloud that excels in security and compliance, not just rapid growth. This means having an infrastructure in which “whenever they need to do an audit on-demand or prove compliance on-demand, they can actually do that.”

The Future is Multi-Cloud and Hybrid

As enterprises continue down the path of digital transformation, Reid believes that the cloud’s future will be both multi-cloud and hybrid. This is by necessity, rather than choice. After all, there is no “one-size-fits-all” cloud solution, and companies must work with the original systems of records they have in place, as well as the compliance regulations specific to their industries.

Every company’s approach to the cloud may vary, but the end goal always remains the same: a digital transformation that works uniquely for them.

View the video of Reid and Nelson’s interview and receive a complimentary copy of Forrester’s report, “Predictions 2018: Cloud Computing Accelerates Enterprise Transformation Everywhere.”

 

Source: Predictions 2018: Cloud Computing Accelerates Enterprise Transformation Everywhere, Forrester Research, Inc, Nov 7, 2017


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Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:49:00 +0000 Editor /blog/the-cloud-in-2018-and-beyond-a-conversation-with-virtustream-president-and-cto-kevin-reid
The Cloud in 2017: Top Virtustream Stories from Last Year /blog/the-cloud-in-2017-top-virtustream-stories-from-last-year

2017 was another strong and eventful year for Virtustream and its enterprise customers.  Over the course of this past year, we marked the first anniversary of joining Dell Technologies, entered new vertical markets such as healthcare, drove global expansion in new regions including Australia and Japan, built world-class partnerships with top companies such as Pivotal, and continued to innovate our core technology and infrastructure offerings.

As we head into 2018, here's a quick look back at some of the most prominent Virtustream stories of 2017:

Leadership

Fortune, June 13, 2017

Michael Dell's Cloud Plan Includes a Big Dose of This Company

By Barb Darrow

Barb Darrow sits down with Virtustream CEO, Rodney Rogers to discuss the unique position of Virtustream within the cloud market. While do-it-yourself public clouds are a dime a dozen for businesses, Rogers explains, Virtustream is the only cloud service provider that can provide tailored solutions that make sense for the unique and strict needs of the enterprise.

“Michael Dell has said since embarking on the EMC acquisition two years ago, the goal is to offer customers a choice of clouds,” says Darrow. “Virtustream’s public cloud will have a prominent spot on that menu.”

CRN, June 30, 2017

Virtustream CEO: We Are Betting Big On Deep Integration With VMware, Pivotal, Dell EMC

By Matt Brown

Building off Virtustream CEO, Rodney Rogers’ blog post from earlier this year, CRN writer Matt Brown covers Virtustream’s growth strategy in detail. He notes our deep push to integrate within the Dell EMC family and our overall goal to become the top company in the market for mission-critical public cloud.

"We see a tremendous opportunity with Virtustream and see them as very well integrated with both Dell EMC and VMware," said Dan Serpico, CEO of FusionStorm, a San Francisco based channel partner that Matt spoke to for the article. "They're really working collaboratively with our sales teams, and we're genuinely excited about it."

Solutions

ZDNet, May 8, 2017

Virtustream Launches Healthcare Cloud

By Stephanie Condon

While it’s hard enough for enterprises today to move to the cloud; the sensitive nature and regulations surrounding healthcare makes cloud migration for this important industry segment even harder. Stephanie Condon covers our launch of the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, noting the unique advantages Virtustream brings to the table that no other providers can offer, making cloud migration a seamless experience instead of a painful one.

“Virtustream is in a strong position to offer the Healthcare Cloud, thanks to its capabilities around highly regulated workloads and the expertise its parent company, Dell Technologies, has in the healthcare sector,” says Condon. 

Partnerships

TechTarget, May 12, 2017

Dell EMC World 2017: Partners can sell Virtustream Enterprise Cloud

By Spencer Smith and John Moore

This year’s Dell EMC World Conference broke records for attendance, with more than 13,000 joining us in Las Vegas in April -- more than double the 2016 attendance rate. Against this backdrop, Spencer Smith and John Moore highlight the addition of the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud to the Dell EMC channel partner program.

"Dell EMC partners can now partner with Virtustream, and I think it's a game-changer," said one Virtustream executive. "This is hands-down the strongest partner value proposition in the industry."

The Kicker

WSJ CIO Journal, December 4, 2017

The Morning Download: CIOs Must Integrate Growing Multitude of Clouds

By Angus Loten

Sometimes the best articles are short and sweet. In a classic Morning Download newsletter extra, CIO Journal writer Angus Loten talks exclusively with Virtustream CTO and President Kevin Reid about why the multi-cloud is key for any enterprise, and why going with a single cloud vendor can be a much bigger nightmare than migrating workloads.

“While cloud represents a new solution that might appear on the surface to lend itself to more ubiquitous use cases,” Reid says, “the truth is that the applications and organizations they support come from a similarly varied set of vendors and backgrounds with their own specialized requirements that must be considered.”

We’ve helped thousands of enterprises successfully move to the cloud and digitally transform their business. See how Virtustream can help your business get to the cloud in 2018 today.

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Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:19:00 +0000 Editor /blog/the-cloud-in-2017-top-virtustream-stories-from-last-year
Dell EMC Future-Proof Program: Commitment Beyond the Box /blog/dell-emc-future-proof-program-commitment-beyond-the-box

There is an analogy in the investment world known as “weak hands vs. strong hands”. The concept is simple. When the market gets volatile, how does the investor respond? Will they stay strong and remain committed – or will they cut their losses and close their investment position.

A similar analogy can be used to describe the IT industry - not in terms of customers committing to a specific investment, but rather, in terms of market leading vendors that are in a position to commit to their customers and do, despite a volatile environment.

Over the last few years, the storage industry has experienced just such an environment. Mergers, acquisitions, splits, IPOs, and bankruptcies have all changed the storage industry landscape and left customers with a justifiable level of uncertainty as they make purchasing decisions:

  • Will the technology be relevant in three years?
  • Will it be possible to upgrade in the future?
  • Will the vendor’s broader portfolio keep pace with my business requirements?
  • Will the vendor innovate?

Commitment

Whether or not the vendor will be around in three years is a question for another blog. For now, let’s assume the vendor has a strong, profitable business that will be viable over the long term. Apart from business confidence, customers want more. They want investment protection beyond the physical hardware. They want to know that their technology investments are safe and that the vendor is committed after the purchase. They want assurances that if issues arise (including missed expectations), the vendor will respond accordingly:

  • Performance.  Customers want vendors to guarantee the solution will meet their expectations for more than a trial period. (think, years)
  • Cost savings. Cost savings and capacity efficiency are critical to the decision making process. Customers want vendors to ensure that these benefits are realized “as advertised”.
  • Investment protection. Knowing a solution will have trade-in value or a simple upgrade path to the next generation solution brings customers additional peace of mind. Customers want to know that getting the latest technology (when they need it) will be easy.
  • Pricing. Two words: Predictable and consistent.
  • Bonus points: Vendors know that customers have many elements comprising their IT strategy. Thinking outside the box goes a long way in customer value – and loyalty.

Future-Proof Portfolio

Committing to the customer means delivering more than just the marketing promise. The strongest vendors are doubling down on customer commitment by including guarantees for performance and efficiency, and all-inclusive capabilities. To that end, Dell EMC recently announced the Dell EMC Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program. This program was designed to protect the customer’s investment before, during, and after the purchase.

Forward Thinking

The Future-Proof program was also designed with the customer’s broader IT strategy in mind. Included in this program for Dell EMC Unity is Virtustream Storage Cloud capacity. This cloud storage capacity quickly and easily enables customers to benefit from high-performance storage and cloud economics with an enterprise-class cloud storage service. With the combination of Dell EMC Unity and Virtustream Storage Cloud, customers benefit from the best of both on- and off-premises worlds with a hybrid cloud solution engineered, sold, supported, and guaranteed all by one vendor.

Today, the strongest vendors are focused on commitment to the customer over the long term by offering long-term investment protection of their hardware. At the same time, these companies are helping customers prepare for their adjacent and future business needs by considering additional technology strategies alongside the hardware, including them in simple packaging, and providing straightforward guarantees. In the storage industry, this is called the Future-Proof commitment. In investment parlance, it’s called a “safe bet”.

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Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:22:00 +0000 Editor /blog/dell-emc-future-proof-program-commitment-beyond-the-box
Who to Watch in 2018: Top 10 Cloud Influencers /blog/who-to-watch-in-2018-top-10-cloud-influencers

As we begin 2018, many are reflecting on the cloud sector’s remarkable progress in 2017. Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen enterprise cloud adoption rise to all-time highs, mission-critical app migration rates grow, enterprises embrace multi-cloud and more.

The great cloud migration is underway, and 2018 is shaping up to the biggest year yet. To help you keep up with the latest, here’s our list of top cloud industry influencers to follow. Reporting from the front lines of cloud, these journalists, analysts and thought leaders are in a league of their own.

1. Angus Loten, The Wall Street Journal: Covering enterprise IT for The Journal, Angus Loten’s articles span an ever-growing array of technologies, including cloud. He reports on the digital trends impacting businesses at the CIO level and goes deep on every story. One of our favorites is, “CIOs Contend With Ever-Expanding Range of Cloud Services.” Read more of his stories here and follow him @angusloten

2. Barb Darrow, Freelance/The Information: Formerly the top cloud and enterprise reporter at Fortune, Barb Darrow is now covering the cloud sector at The Information. With 20+ years in the business, she’s widely considered the go-to reporter on all things cloud. Read her stories for an in-depth look at what’s happening in the industry and how it’s being shaped by the major cloud players. Follow Darrow @gigabarb and keep a look out for her stories at The Information (and be sure to check out some of her previous ones at Fortune). 

3. Brandon Butler, IDC and formerly Network World: Brandon Butler is a senior research analyst at IDC and formerly Network World’s leading cloud computing reporter, where he covered larger cloud vendors, and exciting new startups. Brandon now focuses on enterprise networks at IDC and is responsible for marketing and technology trends, forecasts, and competitive analysis. Check out his Cloud Chronicles blog for his earlier stories that cover the technical aspects of cloud, its business impact and broader industry trends. You can follow him @BButlerIDC.

4. Charlie Babcock, Formerly InformationWeek: Although recently retired, Charlie Babcock remains one of the sharpest reporters in the cloud industry. Check out his profile on InformationWeek if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of cloud and other enterprise technology. You can follow him @babcockcw for regular commentary and insights.

5. Clint Boulton, CIO: Clint Boulton is a senior writer at CIO, where he covers a variety of topics related to enterprise tech. While he doesn’t specialize in cloud specifically, Clint knows the industry and often writes about how businesses are finding value from cloud advancements. Learn more about everything from cloud computing to machine learning from his CIO articles and follow him @ClintBoulton.

6. Derrick Harris, Architect: A former enterprise reporter at Gigaom, Derrick Harris recently launched his own publication, Architect, which delivers the latest news and analysis on cloud computing. If you’re interested in the business of cloud and how companies can continue to differentiate themselves in a constantly growing market, he’s your guy. Follow Harris @derrickharris and sign up for Architect’s newsletter.

7. George Anadiotis, Analyst and ZDNet contributor: A jack of all trades, George Anadiotis comes from a traditional IT background and now runs his own consulting agency, where he helps enterprises capture the most value from technology and big data. He is also a regular contributor at ZDNet, where he shares insights on a range of topics, from cloud computing to blockchain to big data. Follow him @linked_do

8. Lauren Nelson, Forrester: Specializing in enterprise cloud adoption trends, the state of cloud standardization, and cloud metrics creation, Lauren Nelson is Forrester’s lead analyst on all things cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Check out her latest research and commentary at Forrester and follow her @lauren_e_nelson.

9. Lydia Leong, Gartner: Lydia Leong is a distinguished Gartner analyst covering cloud computing and infrastructure strategies – particularly IaaS. As cloud technology continues to shape the IT landscape, Lydia covers a range of topics related to the transformation of IT organizations and provides strategic and quantitative research for vendors and investors. Read some of her recent Gartner research and follow her on Twitter @cloudpundit.

10. Michelle Bailey, 451 Research: Michelle Bailey is the Chief Research Officer at 451 Research, where she focuses on quantifying the impact of emerging and disruptive technologies. One of the first to articulate the short and long-term impact of cloud computing, she’s a must-watch analyst in the cloud space. Follow her @mbailey316 and check out her research to get ahead of the newest trends in cloud and for the latest on all the major companies in the industry. 

Bonus! Dina Bass, Bloomberg: Dina Bass is a Bloomberg News tech reporter covering AI, the broader software industry, and cloud infrastructure trends and technologies. Stay up to date with her coverage to see how the market is moving and what the business implications are for organizations when it comes to cloud. Read her latest stories here and follow her @DinaBass.

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Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:32:00 +0000 jennifer /blog/who-to-watch-in-2018-top-10-cloud-influencers
Virtustream Global Communications Advisory: Intel Side-Channel Analysis Method /blog/virtustream-global-communications-advisory-intel-side-channel-analysis-method Overview:

On January 3, 2018, media reports surfaced regarding a vulnerability in Intel chipsets going back at least a decade. Intel has published an article on their newsroom addressing these reports at https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-responds-to-security-research-findings/.

The issue is not specific to Intel products and takes advantage of techniques commonly used in most of the modern processor architectures. Intel has stated that it is coordinating with technology companies and operating system vendors (e.g. Linux, Microsoft, Apple), including hypervisor vendors, to facilitate microcode and OS updates.

Virtustream is currently working with all our current vendors to identify and deploy the appropriate patches to mitigate this vulnerability.  This process began on January 3rd when the issue was identified and will continue until all Virtustream systems identified as being affected have been patched. 

All press inquiries should be directed to Jennifer.Brenner@virtustream.com.

Please share this Advisory as appropriate. We will provide updates as we remediate.

Product Security Incident Response contacts:

Virtustream Security Incident Response Center:  CPO-Security-SIOC@virtustream.com
Dell client products: Mohit Arora Mohit.A@dell.com

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Thu, 04 Jan 2018 21:32:00 +0000 Editor /blog/virtustream-global-communications-advisory-intel-side-channel-analysis-method
What is a MicroVM (µVM)? /blog/what-is-a-microvm-µvm Virtustream MicroVM™, or µVM™, is an incredibly cool, surprisingly simple, yet often misunderstood piece of cloud technology. There seems to be some confusion about the MicroVM’s function, and even what it actually is – so much confusion, in fact, that I believe some folks might not understand the full benefits that Virtustream MicroVM can give them.

MicroVM as a Unit of Measure

A MicroVM is a unit of measure that summarizes cloud computing resource consumption. Virtustream uses this measurement of resource consumption to determine a customer’s monthly bill. This is similar to how your electric company bills you based on the amount of electrical current you actually use, rather than the number of power outlets you have, or the electrical devices you own. Virtustream doesn’t bill based on instance size or resources allocated, but instead bills based on the amount of cloud computing resources you actually use.

A MicroVM is calculated from other measurements. This isn’t so unusual – many measurements are calculated from other measurements, for example Miles per Gallon (MPG) is the measure of distance traveled divided by the amount of fuel consumed, and the volume of a rectangular solid is its height multiplied by its width multiplied by its depth, given as cubic inches or feet or as cubic centimeters or meters as appropriate.

Just as MPG is a measure of two dimensions and volume is a measure of three dimensions, MicroVMs are a measure of four “dimensions” of resource consumption. A MicroVM takes measurements at the hypervisor level of a virtual machine’s CPU usage, memory usage, storage I/O per second, and network bandwidth usage.

Unlike the other multi-dimension measurements for MPG and Volume, calculating MicroVMs of resource consumption for a virtual machine is mathematically much easier. Determining a “MicroVMs’ worth” of each of the four dimensions is measured as follows:

  • CPU usage in increments of 768MHz
  • Memory usage in increments of 2GB
  • Storage IOPS in increments to 40
  • Network bandwidth usage in increments of 2Mbps

Then, whichever of these four dimensions of the MicroVM is largest becomes the MicroVM measurement at that moment, as shown in Figure One below.

Figure One: MicroVMs as Measured for Individual Virtual Machines

Figure One shows the MicroVM measurements taken on four different virtual machines. xStream, our cloud management platform, takes these measurements at the hypervisor level on all virtual machines running in Virtustream Enterprise Cloud.

By totaling the MicroVM measurements, we see that, at this moment, the four virtual machines are using 14 MicroVMs’ worth of cloud resources.

MicroVM Classes

Of course, real-world IT isn’t quite so simple and straight-forward, and not all cloud resources are created equal. Different customers have different needs for their virtual machines, and often a single customer has different needs for different virtual machines.

In order to meet these needs, Virtustream has identified multiple classes of virtual machines. We use these classifications to assign virtual machines to the infrastructure that best serves their respective needs. Some considerations that go into determining a VM’s Class include:

  • Does the VM require access to the Internet, or should it be isolated from outside connections?
  • Is the VM standalone, or will it be replicated so it can failover to another data center?
  • Does the VM have a requirement for a large amount of memory (more than 64GB)?

All of a customer’s VMs in a particular class are run within different zones of our infrastructure, ensuring we’re able to best meet the customer’s needs. For example, VMs that do not require Internet access are run on infrastructure that has no connections to the Internet, helping to ensure greater security.

To simplify billing across the different Classes, MicroVM measurements are aggregated across all VMs within each Class. This is accomplished by combining the measurements from each VM into a single measurement. The measurements for CPU usage are combined, as are the measurements for memory, storage IOPS, and network bandwidth usage. These combined measurements are then used to calculate a single MicroVM number for all VMs in that Class.

Figure Two below shows how this aggregation would be done for the four virtual machines used as the example in Figure One.

Figure Two: MicroVMs as Measured Across Virtual Machines in the Same Class

Figure Two shows all of the four dimensions of the MicroVM measurements for the four virtual machines shown in Figure One, combined for each dimension. Combined, all four VMs are currently using eight MicroVMs’ worth of CPU. Since that is the largest of the four dimensions at the time of this measurement, this customer would be measured as consuming 8 MicroVMs across the entire Class.

It’s pretty easy to see how this aggregation benefits Virtustream customers – eight MicroVMs across the entire class is approximately 42% lower than the 14 MicroVMs when measured individually.

What Our Customers See

Virtustream customers see MicroVM measurements in two different ways.

First, customers receive reports showing all MicroVM usage on a per-VM basis for all VMs they have hosted in Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. This allows customers to easily determine which VMs are the largest consumers of resources, and can provide clear starting points for optimization efforts.

Secondly, Virtustream uses MicroVMs to calculate customers’ monthly bills. As we discussed earlier, your electric company doesn’t bill you based on kilowatts, but instead uses the meter’s measurement of kilowatt-hours. Virtustream uses a similar approach and bills based on MicroVM-Hours. Virtustream measures MicroVMs of resource consumption every five minutes (as in Figure One), and uses those numbers to calculate the MicroVMs of resource consumption for the entire Class (as in Figure Two). Twelve consecutive measurements are then averaged to calculate the MicroVM-Hours consumed by all of the customer’s VMs in that Class during that hour. The monthly bill for each Class totals all the MicroVM-Hours consumed by that Class during the month.

To Sum Up

In all, it’s easy to see how the MicroVM:

  • Allows Virtustream to avoid use of pre-sized instances
  • Frees customers from concerns about “one size fits some” VMs
  • Provides customers with cost savings through a combination of aggregation and only charging based upon cloud compute resources they actually use.

If you’d like to learn how your organization can start to benefit from MicroVM technology, contact your Virtustream account manager or reseller partner today. Tell ‘em Dave sent you.

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Wed, 20 Dec 2017 15:41:00 +0000 Editor /blog/what-is-a-microvm-µvm
Life at Virtustream: Employee Q&A /blog/life-at-virtustream-employee-q-a From food to the way we dress to the way we interact with each other, culture impacts everything in our personal and professional lives. And while we are working toward a centralized company mission, we each have our unique way of doing things. 

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Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:10:00 +0000 Editor /blog/life-at-virtustream-employee-q-a
Life at Virtustream /blog/life-at-virtustream With a large, global team and major operations in 10 countries, we’re leading the world’s most important businesses on their journey through cloud transformation. Here’s a snapshot of what our  employees across levels, teams and offices are saying about #LifeAtVirtustream.

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Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:24:00 +0000 Editor /blog/life-at-virtustream
Virtustream at VMworld 2017 /blog/virtustream-at-vmworld-2017 VMworld 2017 was one for the books! Our week was filled with speaking sessions, whiteboarding and discussing all things cloud with people from across the globe. We wanted to share a few of our highlights from the show, so take a look for a glimpse at Team Virtustream at VMworld 2017!

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:14:00 +0000 Editor /blog/virtustream-at-vmworld-2017
Maintaining Culture While Scaling Your Business /blog/maintaining-culture-while-scaling-your-business Blog-Culture.jpg#asset:3348

Culture is critical to the success of any company. From early-stage startups to the Fortune 500, culture is what brings teams together and drives them to achieve their goals. But culture isn't always easy to build and maintain – especially when a company undergoes rapid growth and expansion.

Here at Virtustream, we’ve been through it all: In the past eight years, we have scaled from a scrappy startup to a market leader in cloud and later joined the Dell Technologies family of businesses. We have learned a lot through these transitions and I’m proud to say we have succeeded in maintaining our unique culture through every growth spurt.

How did we do it? Here are a few key strategies that helped us maintain our sense of “us” through each stage:

Define your culture and get specific

While culture is something that happens organically, maintaining it while your company scales takes work. It’s important for senior leaders to get strategic and define exactly what the company’s culture is – and what it isn’t. Where do you start? Think about the specific qualities that employees are already embodying to support the overarching mission. Understanding the mission statement and how everyone has agreed to get there is your blueprint for defining the culture. 

At Virtustream, our culture is informed by our mission to deliver the strongest advantages and efficiencies in cloud computing on the market, meaning our culture is defined by people who are highly motivated, tech-savvy and ready-to-learn.

Lead by example

Culture has to start at the top and trickle its way down through the rest of the team. Executives need to buy into the culture and demonstrate its values consistently throughout every victory and every loss.

At Virtustream, our culture has always been driven by our co-founders, Rodney Rogers, Kevin Reid, Matthew Theurer and Sean Jennings. They are a force to be reckoned with and their passion is infectious. Their mission to provide the best cloud computing services has remained unchanged since 2009 when we were first getting started all the way up to today as a major player in the cloud space. Their continuous drive is the source of our culture and the energy they bring has spread widely throughout the company as we have scaled from a dozen employees to nearly 3,000.

Be proactive

Culture is not a part time priority – it takes senior leaders who consciously instill their values into their day-to-day activities, and a team that is always seeking out new ways to contribute. Culture won’t fall into your lap, so it’s important to cultivate it proactively, which can take many forms, such as quarterly happy hours for new hires and designated committees to engage people outside of their specific roles. It’s also important to keep an eye out for when the culture might be veering off track; recognizing when you need to self-correct is equally important.

At Virtustream, we strive to ensure every employee feels empowered to ask questions, be bold and take risks. That means actively training managers to deploy an open-door policy and giving employees the opportunity to explore the broader industry beyond their immediate role and responsibilities. We also rely on our employees to keep us honest when things might be shifting off-course and have set up an email alias where employees can reach out with any concerns, and a member from our senior leadership will personally respond.

Culture is powerful, but it's not always easy. Be sure to keep these tips in mind to maintain a strong culture as your company scales. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it's a good starting point. Have you gone through a similar experience at your company? I would love you hear your personal experience and best practices on Twitter at @VirtustreamJobs

Want to learn more about our day-to-day culture? Follow us on Twitter at @VirtustreamJobs and @Virtustream

Interested in joining the Virtustream family? Check out our open positions and send us your resume today.

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Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:40:00 +0000 Editor /blog/maintaining-culture-while-scaling-your-business
Five “Gotchas” When Migrating to SAP HANA /blog/five-gotchas-when-migrating-to-hana Mouse-Trap.jpg#asset:3321

One of my C-level execs shot me a short email the other day:

Jake:

In your experience, what are the five most common 'gotchas' that a customer should prepare for when migrating to SAP HANA® and the business suite?

And how do we help them with these?

I wrote the following response in about 10 minutes.

  • Sizing - Many customers have found it easy to add additional disks for their Oracle, DB2 or MSSQL databases (DBs). Adding disks gets expensive when moving to in-mem with SAP HANA, and RAM is much more expensive than disk. This is why accurate sizing is important.
  • Maintenance, housekeeping, and archiving – This goes back to sizing, but there are plenty of basis tables that can be "cleaned" prior to migration to decrease the memory footprint. Most customers don't bother to archive and have a lot of historical data that is never accessed. This is often an afterthought with disk-based DBs. InfoArchive as a Service can help with this.
  • Business value - It’s important for customers to understand the business value of going to SAP HANA. This isn't a magic bullet and custom code often needs to be reworked to take full advantage of SAP HANA. That's because the processing is pushed from the app server to the DB with SAP HANA. In some cases, programs may need to be rewritten to take advantage of this.
  • Underlying application problems - This is where we emphasize the value of a Proof of Concept (PoC). Customers should outline specific, expected outcomes. They should take baseline measurements of existing, long running jobs and do an analysis of where they expect improvement after going to SAP HANA. It’s important to do a lift and shift to cloud before the SAP HANA migration, and then conduct performance testing. This will ensure the customer realizes that moving to the Virtustream platform will be as good and will likely perform better than their current environment. Then, we migrate to SAP HANA and perform the same tests.  For example, with one of our enterprise customers, we did a lift and shift of their DB2 environment and noticed a 20 percent increase in performance. We then migrated to SAP HANA and documented a 10 percent increase in performance from their on-premises environment. The reason for the performance difference was that they needed to do application work before taking advantage of SAP HANA.
  • Support - Most companies will not have the in-house expertise to troubleshoot and manage SAP HANA. If it is their first experience with SAP HANA then they will rely on their Service Provider's expertise as SAP HANA is quite different than traditional DBs and having the expertise to identify performance and functional issues may be lost on the legacy basis team. At Virtustream, we have experience and extensive knowledge on a variety of SAP HANA specific problems, and our customers rely on us to provide expert guidance.


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Thu, 07 Sep 2017 12:57:00 +0000 Jake /blog/five-gotchas-when-migrating-to-hana
How to Write a Winning Resume /blog/how-to-write-a-winning-resume Resume.jpg#asset:3318

Applying for a new job is a strenuous process and it all starts with writing your resume. A study from The Ladders found that on average, recruiters spend only six seconds reviewing an individual resume. Six seconds to make your first impression with just words on paper! That’s not much time to make a lasting impression. With this in mind, I’ve compiled some reminders for when you’re writing your resume to ensure it packs a punch:

1. Be yourself: While everyone strives for a glowing resume, no interviewer wants to be surprised to find your actual experience doesn’t match what you wrote on your resume. Be truthful about your roles and responsibilities; embellishing is an immediate disqualification, so make sure it accurately represents you. If you’re feeling insecure about any aspects of your resume (i.e. an unfinished degree or a gap year), rest assured that employers will be more accepting of honesty and transparency. 

2. Write like Hemingway: This should go without saying, but make sure the writing on your resume is clear, concise, and grammatically correct. You’d be shocked by how many resumes cross recruiters’ desks with careless errors. Take the time to triple-check your work and have someone else review it. 

3. Skills that don’t pay the bills: Toward the end of your resume, be sure to mention the hobbies and interests you have outside of the office. Think about some of your favorite things to do after work that you’re passionate about and show a bit of your personality. Keep them light, easy and relatable to anyone who might be interviewing you. Are you on an intramural dodgeball team? Are you a foodie that knows the best restaurants in town? Are you a marathon runner? Give the reader a glimpse into what makes you you. 

4. Use visuals sparingly: More people are including flashy personal brand “logos” on their resumes lately. Unless you’re in graphic design or a similar industry, I recommend steering away from them. Graphics, headshots and hard-to-read fonts typically end up being a distraction from the actual content on your resume. Remember that most people will read your resume on a mobile device, so keep it simple and help them to get to the important parts of your resume right away. 

5. Consider your digital presence: Most times, your LinkedIn profile is the first image of you a recruiter sees, so keep it updated and aligned with your formal resume at all times. You should also think about the role other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter play in your “unofficial” resume. Some recruiters will take your digital presence on other channels into consideration, so make sure you are comfortable with an employer seeing any and all of your online profiles. 

6.  A few other quick fixes you can make: 

  • Make sure you have a clear objective statement at the top of your resume 
  • Organize your experience in chronological order, with the most recent at the top
  • Hyperlink your email address
  • There’s no need to say “references available upon request” anymore
  • If you’ve been in your industry for more than five years, put more thought into the content than the length – gone are the days of one-page resumes
  • Unless you have recently graduated, move your education to the bottom of your resume
  • Write in the first person – resumes in the third-person come across as outdated 

Having looked at hundreds of resumes, these are my best tips for building a resume that will catch (and hold!) the attention of any recruiter or executive. Good luck!

Does your resume fit the bill? Check out our open job reqs and send us your resume today.

Have any personal favorite resume tips? Share them with us on Twitter at @VirtustreamJobs.

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Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/how-to-write-a-winning-resume
Virtustream A Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Hosted Private Cloud Services, North America, Q2 2017 /blog/virtustream-a-leader-in-the-forrester-wave-hosted-private-cloud-services-north-america-q2-2017 Forrester-Wave-Blog.jpg#asset:3326

Cloud looks much different than it did in 2014. Scores of new companies have entered the market and the hosted private cloud sector is now the fastest growing area of the market overall. The upward trajectory has been nothing short of extraordinary – and it shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.

That’s why we are so pleased that Virtustream been recognized as a leader in the latest Forrester Wave report on this rapidly expanding market.

Recently released, the report offers a unique window into the world of hosted cloud services. It’s filled with key insights, including three major takeaways that stand out for the Virtustream team:

Hosted Private Clouds Are Essential for Cloud Migration

The appeal of hosted private clouds is that they offer companies an alternative to outdated on-premises solutions without the exposure and risk associated with public clouds. In this year’s report, Forrester found that a new category of hosted private cloud adopters have emerged since the fall of 2015: companies that are looking to migrate, some, if not all, of their infrastructure to the cloud. The report refers to this category as “cloud migrators seeking less resistance.”

Companies are gravitating towards hosted private clouds because they provide the flexibility needed to digitally transform their organization – even in the most highly regulated industries. In contrast with the one-size-fits-all model of public clouds, hosted private clouds offer the benefits of managed hosted services with a cloud infrastructure that enterprises know is suitable for their on-premises solution and security setup.

Virtustream has been helping companies migrate to the cloud for close to a decade. As we believe this year’s Forrester Wave highlights, Virtustream understands the cloud migration challenges facing companies of every shape and size, and we provide tailored solutions to meet them.

Digital Transformation Begins with Integration, Automation and an Ecosystem

Companies today operate in an increasingly digital and cloud-based world. In order to cross the digital divide, businesses across sectors are searching for ways to plug into the growing digital business ecosystem. This includes having an infrastructure that works with today’s leading service providers, supports the most mission-critical production applications used today, and meets the challenges of highly regulated industries.

Virtustream integrates with some of the world’s leading technology providers. In the last six months alone, we’ve announced integrations with Pivotal Cloud Foundry (the platform of choice amongst CIOs for deploying cloud-native applications), expanded our SAP HANA supplier capabilities, and extended our integration with VMware. Virtustream also expertly handles ERP, CRM, HCM, and we have many industry-specific cloud infrastructure platforms, such as our Healthcare Cloud and Federal Cloud.

Virtustream Among Vendors That “Lead the Pack”

Forrester evaluated Virtustream alongside eight other vendors. We believe that the report highlights three of Virtustream’s greatest strengths:

  • Market Position: Noting client references that cite “generally positive experiences,” the report notes that our market position is unique and our “overall vision and approach for future enhancements characterize a highly developed strategy.”
  • Technology and Service Offerings: Virtustream scored highest overall in terms of the current offering category. In particular, we received the highest possible score of five in the certifications, SLAs, and contract agreements criteria. Forrester recommends that “customers looking to host their most challenging mission-critical packaged applications….should consider Virtustream.”
  • SAP Capabilities: Forrester also called attention to Virtustream’s position in the SAP hosting market, calling it “unmatched.” The report also points out the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud interface portal for SAP, noting that it is “highly intuitive” and has “high self-service potential.”

Having crossed the halfway mark on what is shaping up to be the biggest year in Virtustream’s history, we could not be more proud of our showing in this year’s Forrester Wave on the hosted private cloud market.

Historical precedent suggests that when companies get acquired, a slowdown is imminent. Not so for Virtustream joining the Dell Technologies family: we are in a continuous high growth mode. With relentless collaboration and support from Dell Technologies, we are expanding into new markets around the globe and pushing the limits of technology and innovation.

We are honored to receive this recognition from Forrester and our customers. It motivates us even more to make our mission a reality and help all enterprises cross the digital divide.

To read the full report, visit Forrester Wave: The Forrester Wave™: Hosted Private Cloud Services, North America, Q2 2017.

For more information on how Virtustream can help your business navigate cloud migration and pave the way for a successful digital transformation, see here.

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Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/virtustream-a-leader-in-the-forrester-wave-hosted-private-cloud-services-north-america-q2-2017
Accelerate your SAP HANA Cloud Deployment /blog/accelerate-your-sap-hana-cloud-deployment Cloud-Deployment.jpg#asset:3285

The cloud has enabled hundreds, if not thousands, of customers to realize the value of HANA without the lengthy and expensive procurement process of acquiring HANA certified compute nodes, and consequently has become a great platform for proving the HANA business case. SAP has continually introduced new tools and partnerships to help accelerate HANA adoption. DMO with System Move is the most recently released tool that is focused on helping customers to quickly realize the business value of SAP HANA.

I remember working on an early version of DMO in 2013 while sitting at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, California. As with any early software release, versions of DMO were far from perfect and required our Value Prototyping team to be in constant communication with the developers to work through various issues. DMO is now a mature product and has been used for thousands of upgrades/conversions and migrations to HANA. One of DMO’s limitations was that the target system had to be up and running and data was transferred via pipes from the source to the target. This made it difficult to use DMO to combine the upgrade/conversion and migration into a single downtime when moving between datacenters or into the cloud.

Traditional homogeneous and heterogeneous migrations allowed the use of a DB backup or an export to file. The data could then be easily transferred over the wire or via a shipped NAS device to the target datacenter. Then the data would be imported to complete a system copy. The next step was the upgrade/conversion and migration to HANA using DMO. This process had additional costs and time, because it required a two-step process and more than one downtime to complete the full migration to HANA.

SAP solved this conundrum in 2014. At the time, I was a cloud architect at SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) and we were introduced to an internal solution labeled “DMO to Cloud.” For approximately three years, SAP has had an internal version of SUM DMO that could be used to perform a single step upgrade/conversion and migration to HANA by exporting to file, instead of requiring direct connectivity to the target system to transfer the data. Until now, this was only available to perform migrations to HEC. SAP has just released SUM 1.0 SP20 and has relabeled the functionality DMO with System Move. More details can be found at 2377305 - Database Migration Option (DMO) of SUM 1.0 SP20.

I have been waiting for this functionality to be released for some time and was excited to learn while at SAPPHIRE 2017 that it was shifting to general availability (GA). This means that customers can not only take advantage of the cloud for deploying the target HANA environment, but will also realize faster time-to-value by completing the upgrade/conversion to HANA and the migration to cloud in a single step.

Virtustream has extensive experience migrating complex mission critical systems such as SAP to the cloud. SAP has also completed well over 600 HANA migrations and deployments. Businesses are looking for ways to easily prove the business case for HANA, and Virtustream will take full advantage of the DMO with System Move functionality to help our customers become more agile and quickly realize the value of HANA.

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Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:58:00 +0000 Jake /blog/accelerate-your-sap-hana-cloud-deployment
The Perils of DIY Public Cloud: A Cautionary Tale /blog/the-perils-of-diy-public-cloud-a-cautionary-tale DIY-Public-Cloud.jpg#asset:3282

If you have been following cloud news lately, you will have surmised that for all its promise, cloud computing is ... hard. In recent weeks, several well-known enterprises have accidentally exposed private data from millions of customers.

It’s easy to assume that their hyper-scale cloud providers are to blame for these and other recent data breaches through some fault or security issue, but that is not true. In each case that I looked at, the necessary security controls and tools existed – these were not “hacks.” In reality, the fault lies either with the users themselves or with their partners. Somewhere in the configuration process, enabling these security controls was overlooked or they were turned off, and their data was left unprotected.

As these issues illustrate, leveraging a very complex, broadly-featured, internet-facing public cloud can create a great number of challenges for companies. Here are a few of the biggest challenges companies face when making the move to the public cloud on their own:

Every Mistake is Magnified

When it comes to configuring your company’s infrastructure, the stakes are always high. But when you’re doing it on a public cloud, the stakes are even higher.

There are two simple questions that every IT leader needs to ask when migrating to the cloud: Are the people responsible for migrating and managing my applications in the public cloud experts? Do I have the right people, strategy, and governance processes in place to be successful long term?

Let the recent string of security incidents be a perfect example: if you don’t know what you’re doing, and sometimes even when you partner, you can end up with unintended (and sometimes disastrous) consequences. Even more so when your servers are connected to the open internet. These types of issues are magnified when customer data is involved. Downtime issues and the like can have reputational impacts, which are bad enough. Add in customer data and the consequences become much bigger – regulatory, fiduciary, and legal impacts can easily follow. In cases such as these, using cloud services not exposed to the public internet, or a solution like hosted private cloud may present a more risk-managed solution.

No Clear Path Forward

It’s a common misconception that the primary driver of moving to the cloud is cost. The real driver is usually the flexibility and agility that it provides, which brings about many benefits, including lower costs. Done right, the cloud can help your company increase production levels while also increasing efficiency and savings. That being said, I don’t envy the CIO who has 10,000 physical servers and 50,000 virtual machines to consider for migration. He or she needs to find a platform that will best optimize organizational assets and help drive the business forward.

The general-purpose nature of public clouds makes this difficult. Beyond the core technical challenges, many companies also have to account for specific governance, risk and compliance (GRC) regulations in their industry. Building these systems requires meticulous planning and deep expertise. Without the right advisers, both the time-to-value ratio and the propensity for human error are high. Organizations need to determine if this will be a core competency for them. If so, they need to build out the right teams, processes, and governance models to support it. If not, it is crucial to find the right partner who can manage this for you. Sometimes the best solution starts with understanding that different applications have different requirements. Rather than trying to “force fit” everything into a general-purpose public cloud – which can easily lead to non-optimal outcomes – go with solutions that are purpose-built for the task at hand.

Hidden Costs Everywhere

Getting started with a public cloud provider may be as simple as entering your credit card information, but troubleshooting non-obvious issues and building non-optimized applications and solutions can result in extremely large hidden costs. The cost of learning as you go can be steep. In fact, this is such a big problem that there’s actually an entire industry dedicated to helping companies gain visibility around and control costs in the cloud – and it’s thriving.

Unused instances, data transfer charges, improperly configured instances and applications – there are many factors that can spike your public cloud infrastructure bill. If you are not completely on top of your game, running public cloud infrastructure yourself can lead to runaway costs in no time. Just ask customer data startup Segment, who wrote about its three-month quest to shave one million dollars off their out-of-control cloud bill – and this is just one of many companies struggling with this problem.

The bottom line is: don’t build and manage your infrastructure alone. As the world continues to digitally transform, we’re all finding that the cloud is not a panacea. It’s an extremely useful tool, but like all powerful tools, it’s also highly complex and demands expertise. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

See how Virtustream can provide you with a clear migration path toward the cloud, and how our managed services offerings and µVM Technology can ensure your organization will achieve true economies of scale. 

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Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:28:00 +0000 Rob /blog/the-perils-of-diy-public-cloud-a-cautionary-tale
All Things Virtustream at VMworld U.S. /blog/all-things-virtustream-at-vmworld-u-s VMworld-2017.jpg#asset:3263

If you’re headed to VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas, make sure to connect with Virtustream while you’re there. We’ll be showing up in full force, bringing all sorts of enterprise-class cloud goodness with us. As excited as we are about the technical content we’ll have, I want to share something else we’re just as excited about.

Charitable Efforts

Passion is one of the core values here at Virtustream. Many of our employees are not only passionate about building the best cloud services possible, but also about doing whatever we can to help people in our communities, locally and worldwide. With that in mind, I’m proud to tell you about the two charities Virtustream is supporting at VMworld this year.

The Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded-Warrior.jpg#asset:3278

The Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization that supports veterans and service members – as well as their families – who have received a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound co-incident to their military service. They deliver this support in numerous ways, including free physical and mental health and wellness services, providing career counseling, job search assistance and more.

With that in mind, Virtustream is sponsoring Team xStream’s entry in the Ninth Annual v0dgeball Tournament at this year’s VMworld with 100 percent of the funds raised from this event going directly to the Wounded Warrior Project to help support their mission. The event is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, August 27 at the University of Nevada, 4504 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas.

You can get more info on the v0dgeball Tournament here. Stay up to date on the action by following #v0dgeball on Twitter.

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles-to-Crayons.jpg#asset:3279

Cradles to Crayons is another great organization that works to provide children with the essentials they need such as clothes, shoes, blankets, hats, mittens, warm coats, school supplies and more. Giving children of poverty a brand-new backpack stuffed full of school supplies not only helps serve their educational needs, but also helps those children feel like they fit in with their peers, which can be key to their educational success.

Everyone attending a whiteboard session in the Virtustream booth will be given a crayon. After the session ends, attendees are encouraged to drop their crayon in the collection box. A full – or hopefully, overflowing – collection box at the end of the show symbolizes the monetary donation Virtustream will make to Cradles to Crayons. Tweet a photo of yourself at the collection box. If you tag the photo with the #VirtustreamInAction hashtag, you’ll get an extra entry in our raffle drawing – more on that below. Now that you know the good that we’re up to, let me tell you about the enterprise cloud goodness we’ll be bringing with us.

Solutions Exchange

Booth.jpg#asset:3280

Stop by the Virtustream booth, #624, to get details on our enterprise-class cloud offerings. We’ll be doing whiteboard presentations in our booth’s theater area on topics such as:

  • Mission-Critical Applications in the Cloud
  • End-to-End Data Security with Virtustream Storage Cloud
  • Managed Services for the Enterprise Cloud
  • Managing and Mitigating Risks Proactively
  • Running SAP HANA in the Cloud
  • Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Connector for VMware vRealize Automation
  • Accelerating Your Move to the Cloud

These whiteboard sessions will be in collaboration with a professional artist and custom-designed t-shirts will be available for some of the sessions. You’ll also be entered into our raffle for our giveaway of a Wacom Cintiq 13 HD Digital Graphic Tablet that will be announced on Wednesday, August 30 at 3:45pm PT at the booth.

We’ve also got collaboration areas in the booth where Virtustream folks can talk and whiteboard with you one-on-one to answer all of your cloud questions or have a more in-depth follow-on conversation.

Breakout Session

John Arrasjid (VCDX-001) from the Virtustream CTO team will be presenting session LHC3380BUS from 2:30PM to 3:30PM on Monday, August 28, in Islander G on the Mandalay Bay Lower Level. The presentation is titled “Virtustream and VMware Enable Mission-Critical Hybrid Cloud”, and will focus on the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Connector for VMware vRealize Automation. This is a don’t-miss session. You can get more details on this presentation in our earlier blog post about it.

Receptions

In addition to the Welcome reception on Sunday, Virtustream along with our friends from Carahsoft and VMware are co-sponsoring two receptions for public sector customers. The receptions will be:

  • Public Sector, Monday, August 28, 6:00PM to 8:00PM
  • Public Sector Healthcare, Tuesday, August 29, 6:00PM to 8:00PM

These are invite-only receptions, so if you work in these areas and don’t have an invitation, contact your Account Manager.

Not Enough Virtustream Goodness for You?

We have reserved meeting rooms onsite. If there’s something in particular you’d like to get more information on without having to deal with the background noise of the Solutions Exchange, schedule a meeting with us.

You can find a summary of all our VMworld activities in our cheat sheet here.

Last, but not necessarily least, stop by our booth and come see me. I’ll be happy to talk and/or whiteboard about pretty much anything virtualization-, cloud-, or Virtustream-related with you. If I’m not in the booth when you come by, just ask someone in a Virtustream shirt for me. They’ll know how to get me back there quickly.

See you in Las Vegas!

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Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:15:00 +0000 Editor /blog/all-things-virtustream-at-vmworld-u-s
VMworld 2017: Virtustream Cheat Sheet /blog/vmworld-2017-virtustream-cheat-sheet VMworld-2017.jpg#asset:3263

Are you heading to Las Vegas to attend VMworld 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center? Want to keep up with the Virtustream team while you’re there? We thought you might – so we’ve compiled a handy VMworld cheat sheet that has you covered.

Ongoing happenings at the Virtustream booth (624) throughout the show:  

Schedule a meeting with us

  • We’ll be at the booth and talking with folks on the floor throughout the entire show, but if you’d like to have a more in-depth discussion with our team of experts, request a meeting here

Illustrative whiteboarding sessions

  • Stop by our booth to experience one of our interactive whiteboarding sessions. The Virtustream team and our partners will explain infrastructure pain points while a professional illustrator whiteboards the discussion. Be sure to grab a custom screenprinted t-shirt after the session!
    • Stop by during expo hours from Sunday, August 27 - Wednesday, August 30

We’ve partnered with Cradles to Crayons at VMworld! Here’s how you can help:

  • Cradles to Crayons is helping fight childhood poverty by providing children with essential items they need to thrive at home, at school and at play.
  • When you attend a Virtustream speaking session or visit us at the booth, ask our team for a crayon. Keep collecting crayons and drop them in the designated Virtustream crayon deposit station. Watch it fill up throughout the day! A full crayon deposit station is symbolic of the monetary donation we’ll make to Cradles to Crayons after the event.
  • Share photos of you and your team participating on Twitter, tagging @Virtustream and using the hashtag #CradlestoCrayons and #VirtustreamInAction. 

Engage with us on social

  • Snap a picture at our booth, share a favorite moment from a speaking session, or just say hello on Twitter: @Virtustream or @VirtustreamJobs

Mark your calendars! The daily breakdown of Virtustream events: Sunday, August 27:

Sunday, August 27:

  • 9th Annual v0dgeball Tournament featuring Team xStream
    • 3:00pm PT at University of Nevada, 4504 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas
    • We’re a proud sponsor of VMworld’s 9th Annual v0dgeball Tournament where all funds raised from the event will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project to support veterans and service members who have received a physical or mental injury from their time in the military. We hope to see you there!
    • Make a donation or register here and use the hashtag #v0dgeball on Twitter.  

Monday, August 28:

Tuesday, August 29:

  • IT Architect Series: Meet the New Authors  John Arrasjid, Virtustream, Engineer Technologist Mark Gabryjelski, Worldcom Exchange Inc, Virtualization Practice Manager 5:00 - 5:30pm PT Location: #VMTN6676U
  • Book Signing: Art of Infrastructure Design, A Practical Guide to IT Architects
    • This book is the first in the IT Architect series authored by John Arrasjid, Mark Gabryjelski and Chris McCain. You can purchase a copy at the VMworld bookstore and all three authors will be signing books during Vmworld:
      • Turbonomic Booth on Tuesday, August 29, from 1:30 - 2:00pm PT
      • VMworld Bookstore on Tuesday, August 29, from 3:30 - 4:15pm PT  

Wednesday, August 30:

  • We’re giving away a Wacom Cintiq 13HD Graphic Tablet at the end of VMworld. Stop by booth throughout the show to say hello and learn how to participate. The grand prize winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 30, at 3:45pm PT at the booth

We can’t wait to kick off another great year at VMworld – see you there!

- Team Virtustream

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Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/vmworld-2017-virtustream-cheat-sheet
Cloud Infrastructure is the Linchpin of Digital Transformation /blog/cloud-infrastructure-is-the-linchpin-of-digital-transformation Healthcare.png#asset:3260

All across the world, digital technology is upending age-old industries and transforming the way organizations of every shape and size operate their businesses. In fact, according to a recently published report from IDC, the global economic impact of digital transformation to date already exceeds $20 trillion, a staggering 20% of global GDP.

Digital transformation – the trend of organizations shifting away from analog systems in favor of digital options to enable major improvements in operational efficiency and unlock new lines of business value creation – is driven by the proliferation of cloud computing, Big Data, and mobile technologies in recent years.

While all three underpin digital transformation, the linchpin of it all is the cloud.

Flexible, cost efficient and accessible from anywhere across the globe, the cloud has already been a transformative technology for many industries. However, while migrating to the cloud is a top priority for virtually all organizations looking to go digital, the path to get there involves navigating a great many obstacles – especially for those operating in highly-regulated industries. Healthcare is at the top of the list. 

Over the past few years, cloud adoption has been on the rise in the healthcare industry. To date, organizations have primarily been testing the waters by focusing on modernizing the back-end of their systems, moving financial, operational and HR applications in the cloud.

Now there is increasing demand for transforming core healthcare systems and applications. According to a recent study by Accenture, the healthcare industry stands to save $60 billion in the long-term by making the right strategic technology investments today.

However, as anyone managing IT for a hospital or clinic can tell you, making the move to the cloud is not as simple as signing up for a public cloud service. For IT leaders in the healthcare industry, it involves taking into account a wide array of complex factors, including regulatory compliance, information security and organizational change.

To help healthcare organizations overcome these challenges, Virtustream’s Healthcare Cloud is purpose-built for mission critical healthcare applications, with availability SLAs of up to 99.99%, full automation for HIPAA and HITECH compliance, and rigorous end-to-end security to protect patient information.

With nearly a decade of experience helping organizations migrate to the cloud, Virtustream can help healthcare providers get their infrastructure up and running in just six months – instead of 1.5 years. In addition, Virtustream’s consumption billing means organizations are only charged based on the resources they use, allowing for major cost savings. For healthcare providers, the result is a flexible cloud infrastructure that runs as a single entity, no matter the location.

As digital technology continues to transform the healthcare industry, the proper cloud can pave the way for providers of every kind. To learn more about Virtustream’s healthcare offerings, see here.

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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/cloud-infrastructure-is-the-linchpin-of-digital-transformation
Make Room for Virtustream in Your VMworld Schedule /blog/make-room-for-virtustream-in-your-vmworld-schedule VMworld-2017.jpg#asset:3263

If, like me, you’re looking forward to VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas, you’re probably still figuring out how to arrange things so you can get the most value out of your time there. If you haven’t, you should – the event is chock-full of opportunities to expand your knowledge on just about any virtualization-related topic you can imagine.

It’s especially important to start planning right away. The VMworld Scheduler Builder was made available recently, and the most-popular sessions always fill up quickly.

As you go to build your schedule, I suggest making room for Session LHC3380BUS, titled “Virtustream and VMware Enable Mission-Critical Hybrid Cloud,” presented by John Arrasjid from Virtustream’s CTO office.

In this session, scheduled for Monday, August 28th, at 2:30 p.m., John will explain how you can use the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Connector for VMware vRealize Automation to efficiently manage your mission-critical application workloads across both your on-premises data center and Virtustream’s off-premises enterprise-class cloud. He’ll show how enterprises can use it to maximize the security, performance, and scalability of these mission-critical workloads easily. John will also touch on Virtustream Pivotal Cloud Foundry Service, including how it takes advantage of the VMware Cloud Foundation. This gives developers a fully-managed, cloud-native application platform.

If you’ve never seen John present, you’re missing out – he really knows his stuff. You might know him as @vcdx001 on Twitter. (Yes, that handle is accurate.) John was the very first VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX). He’s been around cloud since its very beginning and has been there for each evolution along the way. This is a don’t-miss session.

If you’d like a chance to get even more time with John, you’re in luck. John will be co-presenting Session VMTN6676U with Mark Gabryjelski (VCDX-023), titled “IT Architect Series: Meet the New Authors.” This session is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30th, at 5:00 p.m. John and Mark will use this session to introduce the two newest authors in their IT Architect Series, Daemon Behr, and Melissa Palmer. Daemon will talk about his new book, “Designing Risk in IT Infrastructure,” and Melissa will share more about her new book, “The Journey.” Any IT architecture books that both John and Mark recommend are definitely worth checking out.

Lastly, as long as you’re thinking about your VMworld schedule, make sure to find time to come see me in the Virtustream booth on the Solutions Exchange. I’ll be happy to talk with you about the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, our Cloud Connector, and any of the other Virtustream offerings that may interest you. Look for a post with more detail on what we’ll be covering in the booth soon. Hope to see you there!

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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/make-room-for-virtustream-in-your-vmworld-schedule
Healthcare’s Home in the Cloud /blog/healthcares-home-in-the-cloud Healthcare-Blog-Image.jpg#asset:3265

Virtustream recently announced a Virtustream Healthcare Cloud that provides cloud-based hosting of mission-critical healthcare platforms and applications in an environment built to meet their specific needs. Designed with electronic health record (EHR) applications in mind, Virtustream Healthcare Cloud is a specially-tuned offering within the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud that is ideal for any healthcare-related application.

What’s Causing Healthcare to Consider Cloud Adoption

In the past, it would be difficult to imagine a healthcare organization even thinking about hosting their applications or data anywhere other than in their own on-site data center. Today, however, there are several reasons that make a cloud-based solution a better option, including:

A Move to New Service Models: To increase the quality of patient care, many healthcare organizations are adopting new models for providing service. Patients can retrieve their test results from a secure web portal. Appointments can be scheduled online. Mobile applications are becoming more common. Applications enable diabetes patients and home dialysis patients, for example, to upload their vitals to their doctor’s office, and there are a growing number of wellness-centered applications. More hospitals and doctors’ offices run virtual desktops on mobile devices, greatly improving responsiveness and the quality of their patients’ experience. The cloud provides the best way to serve mobile applications.

Agility: The agility gained through cloud adoption comes in many forms. Financially, it allows shifting of IT budgets from capital to operational expenses. For deployment, it allows for faster roll-out and shorter time-to-value for new services. From a workload perspective, having services hosted in the cloud allows for automatic scale-up and scale-down in response to real-time increases and decreases in service demand.

Retention Requirements: Originally, healthcare organizations kept records for the life of the patient. Later, saving records for seven years after the patient’s death became common, and more recently, keeping records for 25 or more years after the patient’s death. For research purposes, if patient records can be anonymized by removing any personally identifiable information (PII) from them, a “keep forever” policy is becoming standard. It’s easy to see how these requirements could cause local storage to grow beyond an organization’s ability to manage it easily.

Scale: It’s not just retention requirements that are driving data growth. Now that images from X-ray machines, computerized tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are taken digitally, care providers are more likely to take multiple images as there are no concerns about wasting film. Advancements in imaging technology also cause an increase in storage. An image that can provide twice the amount of detail typically takes up to four times the space. Again, it’s easy to see how data growth can put a strain on infrastructure.

Cost Reduction: Like all other organizations, healthcare providers are looking to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. In effect, to deliver the best service to their patients, they’re looking to provide the most IT services they can with the least amount of resources possible. To meet efficiency goals, the IT services need to be able to scale and to respond quickly. 

Healthcare-specific Requirements

Let’s take a look at the requirements for healthcare applications and infrastructure.

Security and Compliance: Above and beyond the obvious concerns for their patients’ privacy, healthcare organizations need to know that their applications and data are extremely secure. Patient records contain protected health information (PHI) that must be secured. Additionally, healthcare organizations need to be prepared to prove to an auditor that they’re in full compliance with all relevant rules and regulations, especially the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

Virtustream applies rigorous defense-in-depth throughout the entire infrastructure to help ensure security. Many cloud providers allow customers to run compliant workloads, but make the customer responsible for ensuring that compliance. Virtustream Healthcare Cloud provides a fully HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant environment for healthcare platforms and applications.

Reliability: Healthcare personnel depend on these applications and their data to perform their jobs. When doing your job can mean the difference between life and death, anything you depend on needs to work. In an IT context, we usually equate reliability with uptime. While that’s obviously hugely important to healthcare providers, there’s another, just as important, aspect of it. Healthcare professionals need to know that any data provided to them has been kept – and is delivered – exactly as it was initially stored. A loss of data from a patient’s record – or incorrect data in it - could not only cause trouble for the patient, but it could also lead to fines or a lawsuit against the healthcare provider for being out of compliance.

Virtustream offers different Service Level Agreements (SLAs), up to 99.999% uptime, covering any or all of the cloud infrastructure, the desktop access applications, and in this initial release, the EHR database itself. All storage within the Virtustream infrastructure runs regular error-correction checks to ensure the integrity of all data.

High Performance: It’s easy to imagine times when retrieving patient data quickly can be important, with the emergency room and intensive care units being obvious examples. Less obvious perhaps, but also important, is how performance can affect the quality of a patient’s experience. If diagnostic results can be made available to the patient and doctors within hours instead of days, the patient will not only be happier and feel well-cared for, it might reduce the length of some hospital stays.

Virtustream has an infrastructure built for high-performance mission-critical applications, including high-speed links from multiple network carriers in each of our data centers.

Hybrid Service Models for Healthcare

As is only fitting for the cloud, Virtustream offers a choose-your-own menu of managed services that span both healthcare providers’ sites and the Virtustream cloud. I think of it as hybrid services for the hybrid cloud.

At the most basic, Virtustream provides managed services for the underlying Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. This includes management of all infrastructure, meeting service-level agreements (SLAs), our defense-in-depth data security, full HIPAA and HITECH compliance, and our patented µVM (MicroVM) model which offers billing based on the resources you actually use.

Customers also have the option of having Virtustream manage the computing platform that serves their Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon View for their published applications.

Lastly, customers can choose Virtustream Managed EHR Platform Service, which includes managed services for the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, the desktop application delivery, and the customer’s EHR system database.

As you can see, the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, built upon the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, is an ideal platform for healthcare organizations that are ready for, or are considering, a move to the cloud. Combine our cloud offering with our flexible portfolio of enterprise-class managed services, and we can give healthcare organizations what they need to improve patients’ experiences while reducing costs.

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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor /blog/healthcares-home-in-the-cloud
When Being Obsessive is a Good Thing /blog/lede-when-being-obsessive-is-a-good-thing Gaudlip1.png#asset:3180

Some people say I’m a creature of habit. They say this because I must sit in the same spot in a meeting room (always with a view of the door and from the back of the room) or I drink the exact same drink every day (and yes, café baristas know me by name and my drink!).  I do not think that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at all.  I call it, Obsessively Repetitive, Efficient and Orderly Syndrome, or OREOS.  I believe it is known globally as the cookie syndrome.  I have no idea why.

You may be asking why this is relevant.  Well, it’s because when you learn what works in your personal life, you can apply it to service delivery best practices.  

Our customers ask, “How are you innovating and becoming more efficient in your delivery of enterprise cloud services and what can we expect over time?”  I answer with the same approach I take in my personal life.  When there are inefficiencies, our services delivery team and I work hard every day to eliminate them.  

Let’s take socks for example. They always start out as a matched pair.  The same perfect shade and color with their greatest intentions of delivering their services as a team. However, as time goes by, one always decides to go rogue.  We never know where they go, we just know they do.  After a few months, we always have a few mismatched pairs because their twins have left the nesting drawer.  How do I solve this inevitable services dilemma?  The answer is very simple.  You buy all pairs of exactly the same type, at the same time, from the same manufacturer, and enough of them to last a very long time.  

I can assure you, I have never lost a sock because all I have to do is grab two; problem solved with a perfectly matched pair, with zero effort and thought every single time. This is how we are using automation and orchestration within our service delivery.  An individual IT department cannot be innovative to the extent that Virtustream Managed Services can, because they don’t always recognize mismatched socks.  We gain efficiency by discovering inefficiency with one customer, solving it and then returning it as a best practice for all of our other customers to benefit.  A service delivery problem solved with one-time effort, one-time thought, one-time resolution for repetitive applicability every single time.  This is how Virtustream works, we understand risk avoidance and are obsessively repetitive in our problem solving and best practices application.

Let’s take a different example.  I drive a very old pickup truck.  Sure, I like the new shiny ones, but as the old adage states, ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’.  I could not agree more, but this is exactly what some customers believe when they are discussing services.  On paper, the new and improved, or ‘as seen on TV’, doesn’t always turn out that way.  I do a lot of research on the latest and greatest technologies and services.  One item continually discussed is the methodologies of Dev Ops, Lean, Scrum and many others.  Please don’t misunderstand me, these are fantastic and have a place in the evolution of service delivery.  However, I recommend every customer conduct a cultural acceptance and assessment to understand how receptive their organization can change and at what pace.  I call this realization ‘road conditions’.  Most traffic signs will state a speed limit based upon ideal road conditions.  As a decision maker deciding on transforming your IT environment, please take as much time evaluating your IT staff’s willingness to change, their pride in what they have built and their saturation of the OREO syndrome before blindly deciding the road conditions ahead are hazard free.  Transformation of human effort should be calculated, controlled and planned.  Virtustream has a proven methodology for evolution of services, and one that easily adjusts for road conditions.

If you are wondering what innovation Virtustream Managed Services brings efficiency to the service delivery using our Virtustream xStream cloud management platform or how we can transform your environment with our proven Service Delivery Frameworks, please pass the milk and let us explain.

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Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:36:00 +0000 ChrisG /blog/lede-when-being-obsessive-is-a-good-thing
Summer Reading: Simplify Cloud Storage with Virtustream Storage Cloud /blog/summer-reading-simplify-cloud-storage-with-virtustream-storage-cloud Summer-Reading-Blog.jpg#asset:3053

Here we are, now into July, with yet another IT conference and product launch season behind us. Many of us are looking forward to a quiet summer stretch as we unpack our work bags, stretch our legs, and finally get to bed at a reasonable hour (unless you are fortunate enough to get normal sleep in Orlando or Las Vegas).

More importantly, for the most part, we can put high intensity product planning, development, and delivery activities on hiatus for a few months while we focus on the simple, but incredibly important, task of reviewing all the information gathered over the last few weeks. Specifically, customer feedback.

Fortunately for us at Virtustream, the conference and launch season gives us the opportunity to tell our story to thousands of customers, partners, and analysts. The feedback is incredible – both in volume and in authenticity – what to build, how to price, and, essentially, how to quickly address our customers’ most pressing enterprise needs. We use this as an opportunity to prepare for the rest of the year – and beyond.

For those customers looking for cloud storage, this year was no exception. Through hundreds of conversations, there was a common theme that resonated across all customer industries, geographies, and business goals: I want cloud storage, but I want it to be simple, and I want it to be enterprise-class.

Our job starts with understanding what exactly customers mean by simple and enterprise-class. While I have written about this before, here is a short summary:

Simple

  • Cloud storage needs to be ready and easy to use with existing on-premises solutions.
  • Cloud storage service options need to be tightly aligned with the most common use cases.
  • Purchasing and pricing must be simple and predictable over at least a year’s time.
  • Cloud storage needs to be co-engineered with on-premises technology.
  • Customer support needs to be included.

Enterprise-class

  • Cloud storage needs to be available (always). Bonus points for geographic protection against unplanned downtime.
  • The service must have the highest data durability (data protection) available.
  • Cloud storage needs to preserve on-premises solution efficiencies (i.e. Support small object sizes to preserve high deduplication ratios in the cloud).
  • Customers need to be able to choose the datacenter location that best suits their data needs.
  • Customer support needs to be seamless with enterprise, on-premises solutions. This means one number to call from datacenter to cloud.

If you are looking for a quick summer read, and you want to know more about what it means for cloud storage to be simple and enterprise-class, you can find more detail in the following brief by the Enterprise Strategy Group.

Read the paper here:

Enterprise Strategy Group Solution Showcase: Simplifying Cloud Storage for Enterprise Customers with Virtustream Storage Cloud

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 17:16:00 +0000 Editor /blog/summer-reading-simplify-cloud-storage-with-virtustream-storage-cloud
Talent & Human Resources Blog /blog/blog-3-human-resources-and-technology Virtustream India COE team

Day-in-the-Life with Chandra Keyser

Chandra Keyser, ITIL Expert in Pennsylvania

Questions:

1. Tell us a little about your day-to-day role at Virtustream – what are some of your responsibilities and activities you regularly work on?

I currently work in the IT Service Management (ITSM) team, which is a part of our Global Managed Services business. I am responsible for the ITSM Leveraged Services practice, which includes our Global Situation Management service (for 24x7x365 Major Incident support), our Problem Management service, our Continual Service Improvement Program and other supporting initiatives. My day-to-day activities include collaborating with delivery teams, internal leaders and customers to ensure optimal delivery of our services. The scope of my work spans technologies, geographies, companies and industries. There is never a dull day!

2. What is the best part of working at Virtustream and how has the company helped further your career?

The people at Virtustream make it all worthwhile. I work with an incredibly talented group of individuals who are always open to new ideas. We push each other to find innovative ways to accomplish even the most mundane tasks, which makes my work both exciting and challenging. In terms of advancing my career, my leadership team has been extremely supportive of my aspiration to earn the ITIL Expert certification, which I recently completed. The certification required over 120 hours of classroom training and successful completion of six ITIL exams – my teams and managers were a critical part of my journey to achieve this goal.

3. What do you find to be unique about Virtustream’s team culture?

Who ever said you couldn’t have a best friend at work? You can and I have found them at Virtustream! I have “work best friends” from all over the world. We have fun while we work, we appreciate each other and we make time to celebrate each other’s personal and professional successes in our monthly all hands meetings. Our diverse, fast-paced and innovative environment has infused the organization with unparalleled energy. We have a great sense of camaraderie and respect for each other. We are passionate. We are creative. We are celebrated. Most importantly, we are in it together!

4. Which skills (technical and/or soft) are most important for someone looking to work on your team?

Any combination of ITIL, Project Management, Six Sigma or COBIT experience and accompanying certifications have proven to be critical to our Service Management organization's success. We align with our delivery organizations and customers as an integrated team to make ITSM easy, transparent and incredibly effective. Communication, negotiation and diplomatic skills are critical to efficient and quality execution.

5. You recently went on a trip to Virtustream’s Center of Excellence (CoE) in India – can you tell us what you were doing there and what the office/team/culture is like there?

I visited our Center of Excellence in Bangalore, India to meet with team members about our plans and goals for the upcoming year. It was my first visit to India and I was truly impressed by the hospitality I received while I was there. I happened to be there during a team member’s birthday celebration and it was nice to see the same sense of camaraderie and caring that I have been a part of in the U.S. – I can’t wait to visit India again!

- Chandra

Connect with us on Twitter! and catch a glimpse of my trip below.
My visit to Virtustream India's Center of Excellence

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Wed, 24 May 2017 10:15:00 +0000 Editor /blog/blog-3-human-resources-and-technology
Dell EMC World 2017: Virtustream Cheat Sheet /blog/dell-emc-world-2017-virtustream-cheat-sheet Las Vegas awaits

Heading to Dell EMC World next week and want to say hello to the Virtustream team throughout the show? We thought you might – so we put together a quick cheat sheet of where you can find us, when we’re speaking and how to engage with us. Check it out!

Ongoing happenings at the Virtustream booth (673) throughout the show:

Illustrative whiteboarding sessions
  • We’re changing it up this year and are adding in interactive sessions right at the booth! Come see one of our cloud experts explain infrastructure pain points while a professional illustrator whiteboards the discussion.
  • Stop by from Monday, May 8th – Wednesday, May 10th
Daily grand prize: Wacom Bamboo Folio
  • Stop by the booth to say hello and learn how to participate!
We’ve partnered with Make-A-Wish® Foundation at Dell EMC World! Here’s how it works:
  • If you attend a Virtustream speaking session or visit the Virtustream booth, make sure to ask one of our team members for a crayon.
  • Keep collecting crayons and drop them in one of the designated crayon deposit stations. Watch as it fills up throughout the day!
  • One full crayon deposit station = one wish granted.
  • Get involved and help us grant more wishes!
Engage with us on social
  • Snap a picture at our booth, share your favorite part of the latest speaking session or just say hello on Twitter:@Virtustream

Mark your calendars! Daily breakdown of Virtustream events:

Monday, May 8:

Technology Track Session: Virtustream Storage Cloud for Simple Archive, Backup, Tiering to Cloud
  • Drew Gonczi, Chief Cloud Architect
    8:30am - 9:30am PT
    Murano 3205
Technology Track Session: Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Raises the Bar for Mission-Critical Applications
  • Matt Theurer, Co-Founder and SVP Global Systems Engineering
    1:30pm - 2:30pm PT
    Murano 3205

Tuesday, May 9:

Technology Track Session: Virtustream Enterprise Cloud Raises the Bar for Mission-Critical Applications
  • Matt Theurer, Co-Founder and SVP Global Systems Engineering
    12:00pm - 1:00pm PT
    Lido 3005
Birds of a Feather Panel: Virtustream Enterprise Cloud for Mission-Critical Applications
  • Moderator: Matt Theurer, Co-Founder and SVP Global Systems Engineering
  • Panelists: Gary Patterson (Big Data), Michael Hoch (Healthcare), Chris Gaudlip (Managed Services), Kiril Kirov (Engineering), Sebastian Schmidt (Viewtrust)
    1:30pm - 2:30pm PT
    San Polo 3405
Birds of a Feather Panel: Dell EMC Storage with Virtustream Storage Cloud
  • Moderator: Dan Campbell, Senior Vice President, Virtustream Storage Cloud
  • Panelists: Drew Gonczi & Justin Augat (Virtustream), Nicos Vekiarides (CloudArray), Karthik Ramamurthy (CloudPools), Gaurav Khanna (CloudBoost), Narasimha Valiveti (Data Domain)
    1:30pm - 2:30pm PT
    Marco Polo 705
Technology Track Session: Virtustream Managed Services for End-to-End Cloud Management
  • Chris Gaudlip, Managed Services Lead Technologist
    3:00pm - 4:00pm PT
    Galileo 901
Happy Hour and Concert:
  • Join us for a cold drink, good music and excellent conversation!
    4:00pm - 5:00pm PT
    Food and drinks in the Solutions Expo, concert on the Common Stage

Wednesday, May 10:

Technology Track: Virtustream Storage Cloud for Simple Archive, Backup, Tiering to Cloud
  • Drew Gonczi, Chief Cloud Architect
    1:30pm - 2:30pm PT
    Galileo 903
Happy Hour and Concert:
  • Join us for a cold drink, good music and excellent conversation!
    4:00pm - 5:00pm PT
    Food and drinks in the Solutions Expo, concert on the Common Stage

Thursday, May 11:

Technology Track Session: Virtustream Managed Services for End-to-End Cloud Management
  • Chris Gaudlip, Managed Services Lead Technologist
    11:30am - 12:30pm PT
    Lido 3005

We can’t wait to kick off another great week at Dell EMC World – we’ll see you there! - Team Virtustream

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Fri, 05 May 2017 20:33:00 +0000 Editor /blog/dell-emc-world-2017-virtustream-cheat-sheet
Talent & Human Resources Blog /blog/blog-2-human-resources-and-technology bridge to success

Snag The Tech Job You (Really) Want: Part II — Graduation Edition

If graduation snuck up on you sooner than expected, fear not! In my last blog post, I provided some useful tips for securing the tech job of your dreams and now I’d like to share how those same principles apply specifically to recent or soon-to-be graduates. We’ve gone beyond the usual “do your research” and “come prepared with questions” advice to help you secure a lasting, dream job in tech.

fast traffic ahead

Tech be nimble, tech be quick

Last week, we discussed how quickly the tech industry moves and the need to be agile to keep up with a constantly evolving market. You may be wondering how you demonstrate this when interviewing for an entry-level position — here are a few things to consider:

Think about some of the experiences you had during your internships, on-campus jobs or even during finals season when you had to simply make it work. How did you handle stress? How did you choose what to prioritize? Show your critical thinking capabilities by explaining how you would apply that same thought process in a new environment — personal anecdotes go a long way. Remember: you don’t need to know the answer to every challenge, but you should know how you’d approach those challenges!

unique

Identify Your Differentiator

You’re probably feeling the pressure right now and are noticing that some of your peers are starting to lock down job offers. We talked about finding your “it” factor in such a hot industry, but like many, you may need some guidance identifying your competitive edge right out of college.

You already know the importance of internships and these days, every recent grad has several relevant internships under their belt when applying for a job. What you might not know is that it’s equally — if not, more — important to demonstrate you’ve learned something valuable and tangible from each opportunity. During your interviews, showcase what’s so unique about your respective experience and how you could apply it at their company! Did you spearhead a new internal cultural initiative? Did you suggest a new process that improved productivity? Get specific and be sure to advocate for the role you personally played.

cultural fit

Culture is Key

We’ve told you how important culture is when you’re looking for a new job, but you may not be sure what your ideal company culture is yet … and that’s okay! During the interview, discuss some of the hobbies and extracurricular activities that you participated in. Think about what attributes of those activities drew you to them. Do you prefer a team environment because you played sports? Does your love of fiction novels make you crave a creative office environment? Tell the interviewer about yourself and be honest about what type of environments you thrive in.

Keep these in mind as you embark on your journey into the tech world — and get out there and nail your next interview!
- Lauren

Did this blog post summarize you in a nutshell? Check out our open job reqs and send us your resume today!
Feeling social? Join the conversation on Twitter @Virtustreamjobs and @Virtustream lets talk #cloud.
What’s it like to intern at Virtustream? Hear from our team of talented interns for the inside scoop.

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Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:55:00 +0000 Editor /blog/blog-2-human-resources-and-technology
Talent & Human Resources Blog /blog/blog-1-human-resources-and-technology ready to launch

Snag The Tech Job You (Really) Want: Part I

As the technology industry grows more competitive by the minute, many candidates across various levels and roles are finding themselves wondering how to get their foot in the door with their dream company. With over 20 years of experience finding, recruiting and maintaining top tech talent, I’ve seen it all and am ready to share some useful tips you can put into practice when interviewing.

For any recent or future graduates reading this: Check in next week for part two of this blog post, which will dive into some specifics to help you with your search after college!

fast pace

Tech be nimble, tech be quick

The tech industry moves at two speeds: fast and faster. Tech companies of all sizes and shapes are looking for the elusive employee who can keep pace with this rapidly changing industry. Being agile in the workplace is incredibly important – customer needs may suddenly pivot, or you may face an unexpected technology glitch; nonetheless, your teams will rely on you to think on your feet, handle the situation and then pick right back up where you left off. Showing you’re an independent learner and a motivated worker will go a long way when looking to dive into the tech scene.

Companies all know these skills are honed over time and they’re willing to invest in your training and development if you showcase your potential trajectory in the interview phase. Stay hungry and show the company what you can offer them now and what your potential is in, say, two years. Prospective employers love to hear that you’re thinking about your future goals, and how your trajectory at their company could help get you there.

unique

Identify Your Differentiator

The job market is hot right now – good talent is going quickly, and competitive candidates have options. There is also a fundamental shift happening right now where tech companies no longer just want people who can code, but are also looking for candidates with a comprehensive understanding of the technology in addition to the ability to distill and thoughtfully communicate it to others. Find your “it” factor and sell it during your interviews.

For example, are you a marketer who can talk shop with engineers without skipping a beat? Or are you a developer that is also an excellent public speaker and would love nothing more than to deliver a killer talk at a major industry conference? Think about what you have to offer to a company in terms of experience, education or personality that makes you a superior choice to other candidates with the exact same resume.

cultural fit

Culture is Key

For both the employer and the potential candidate, a cultural fit is absolutely essential. Even when your skillset is the perfect match, if you don’t mesh well with your teams and you don’t identify with the company’s values, it will be a counterproductive experience for everyone involved.

Be sure to have a basic understanding of the company’s core values before you walk through the door and pay close attention to the chemistry between yourself and the interviewer. Could you see yourself working with this person every day? Ask specific questions about the team dynamic and try to envision what working in that environment would be like on a daily basis.

We hope these tips help you in your job search – if you’re a recent or soon-to-be graduate, stay tuned for the second part of this blog for specific tips for your interview experience!

Did this blog post summarize you in a nutshell? Check out our open job reqs and send us your resume today!
Still want more? Follow us on Twitter @Virtustreamjobs and @Virtustream for the latest in #cloud talk.

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Mon, 10 Apr 2017 21:45:00 +0000 Editor /blog/blog-1-human-resources-and-technology
Cloud Computing: How to Get Better, Faster and Cheaper? /blog/cloud-computing-how-to-get-better-faster-and-cheaper Instant on dial

As trained technology professionals, we’ve become used to the idea that technology changes faster every year and the need to ‘minimize negative business disruptions’ is even more critical today, when more and more business transactions are relying on effective and efficient IT Services. Many years ago, I learned how difficult it was to be ready- and able- to support hardware, software and, most importantly, customers in the face of this rapid change.

In just a few decades, we’ve gone from mainframe to distributed systems to cloud computing. But, when we look at current times and see the compute power, storage quantity and networking capacity required to handle today’s daily business transactions, the numbers can be amazing. As today’s businesses grow exponentially larger they are demanding faster response times, more compute power, more storage, increased bandwidth and throughput and much faster provisioning just to meet their more basic needs.

Better, Faster, Cheaper

Better, faster, cheaper is and has always been the name of the game; no surprises there. Some organizations, though, can’t quite seem to focus on all three of these attributes at once. They tend to focus on just two, faster and cheaper, and disregard the better. But, can they really afford just two out of three in this case?

I’m often amazed that many organizations pay little to no attention to their IT operations’ maturity level. Organizations large and small, new and not so new, are sometimes so entrenched in delivering the faster and cheaper that they forget that the better can significantly contribute to achieving the performance and cost efficiencies that we all seem to be chasing after and dreaming about.

Cloud computing is certainly not a new concept-  the availability of today’s amazing compute power, paired with fantastic virtualization solutions, represent key contributing factors to achieving faster and cheaper IT service. This is very evident with an efficient orchestration layer that automates provisioning by providing the end customer with a powerful and complete IT catalogue, at their fingertips, to meet their needs faster and cheaper than ever before.

But is it really fast and cheap?

But what happens when companies decide to invest in new cloud computing technologies to make their IT run faster and cheaper, but lack the backbone and processes to deliver better IT services? Better yet, what happens when they invest in cloud computing to migrate business critical applications, such as SAP, to a cloud environment without having the ‘better’ factor in place and actually end up doing damage to their business?

 In these cases, the new solution fails to deliver any of the three desired attributes: It is not faster due to recurring service disruptions, is not cheaper due to the lack of service availability and is certainly not better because it ends up hurting the business.

 The better factor is, in my opinion, critical for success in deploying new technologies such as cloud computing. This better factor I’m referring to is also known as maturity. The maturity level of your IT operations is a key factor in provisioning a fast and reliable IT service at the right cost, enabling your organization to meet, and sometimes exceed, business demands.

 Finding the better.

Whether you run your business on a private, public or hybrid cloud, increasing the maturity level of your IT organization and engaging IT service providers with a proven record of effective operational maturity is critical to achieving faster, cheaper and better IT services.

Reaching appropriate Operational Maturity Levels – by yourself and in conjunction with your IT partners – will save you money in the short and long term. You will enjoy the benefits of a proactive support organization that will:

  • Enable your IT services to minimize and even eliminate negative impacts to the business, sometimes even before disruptions actually occur.
  • Empower the business to self-serve their own needs consistently with technology and enjoy higher levels of availability with predictable service levels.

You will also increase retention of key resources. A higher level of operational maturity immediately translates into less “firefighting”, reduced stress and minimized unpredictable working hours.

What can you afford?

So, can you really afford not to focus on the better factor and do you still believe you’ll be able to deliver IT services faster and cheaper without it? Can you afford to not reach an appropriate maturity level in your IT Operations? Can you afford to hire vendors who are lacking operational maturity?

If you think you can, my advice to you would be to take a closer look at your bottom line, particularly around hidden costs such as project delays, loss of business, and loss of potential business. It should become apparent quickly that fast and cheap will not deliver over the long term without the presence of better.

It makes the most sense to partner with vendors who can prove to you how mature their operations are and who will willingly discuss their operational best practices. Include certain maturity level requirements (for whatever level is appropriate for your organization) in your future RFPs before hiring new vendors and make operational maturity a prerequisite that they must meet. This will not only improve your overall services, but will also contribute to increasing the maturity level of your own operations at a much faster pace.

Gabriel
Twitter: @glopezIMS

Gabriel Lopez is a certified ITIL Expert, Lean IT and EMC Proven Professional with more than 20 years of experience in Service Delivery and IT Operations.


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Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:56:00 +0000 gabriel.lopez /blog/cloud-computing-how-to-get-better-faster-and-cheaper
Is Your Cloud Storage “Enterprise-ready”? /blog/is-your-cloud-storage-enterprise-ready ”Enterprise-ready

In early 2016, the 451 Group released a report that forecasted public cloud storage spending to double the current spending percentage by 2017. Cloud storage growth has accelerated over the last few years as companies look to benefit from the scale, efficiency and reduced total cost of ownership provided by off-premises services relative to traditional on-premises storage – which with few exceptions has been waning.

The tyranny of choice?

But, as we have seen with this growing market, new entrants have quickly found their way into the space, presenting new options and choices. With hundreds of options to choose from, prices fall and buyers benefit. However, too many options can also create problems for some buyers who want to leverage cloud, but are also looking for simplicity. Today, there are many service options to choose beyond just capacity, including geography, data protection and access. Depending on your requirements, choosing cloud storage can be a time consuming activity with the potential for significant risk if approached without a plan.

Look to your on-premises IT for guidance

While the definition of “enterprise-ready” cloud storage varies widely, a simple rule of thumb for choosing cloud storage is to establish a framework to preserve “business as usual” and reduce risk while also improving IT capabilities. What does this mean?

Fortunately, most cloud storage buyers already have their own proven framework in place to use as a guide – their existing data requirements. Whether data moves to archive, backup or a lower tier of storage, it’s critical that buyers’ existing data requirements are met.

The second question to ask is how will the cloud storage improve IT capabilities? Are specific benefits required? Not all clouds are created equal, but certain cloud characteristics are considered industry standard. The difference is in how far the vendor goes beyond these standards.

Here is a quick list of criteria to consider when looking at cloud storage providers:

1. Scalability and flexibility
These are standard cloud benefits. If the vendor’s cloud storage is not scalable and flexible to meet your IT needs, look elsewhere.

2. Security and compliance
Deploying application data in the cloud is no longer limited to non-business critical data, or non-sensitive data. Sensitive data, such as health records, are now finding their way to the cloud. As a result, security and compliance is a must, and cloud buyers should focus on industry standard certifications and audits for ISO, PCI, HIPAA and SOC 2.

3. Integration with existing investments
Whether the use case is for simple cloud tiering, archive or long term retention of backups, all data goes through a lifecycle. Seamless cloud tiering allows the automated movement of data to the appropriate tier based on business value by policy.

4. Enterprise level availability
Buyers should focus on availability without compromise – meaning, an availability SLA that meets enterprise needs WITHOUT exclusions.

5. Durability and resilience
The top cloud providers offer a data durability number that reflects the cloud infrastructures data protection capabilities. Some go beyond and offer uninterrupted read access in the event of an unplanned site outage.

6. Predictability and simplicity costs
Customers continue to voice their concerns over pricing complexity with cloud services. Cloud buyers should look for that is simple and easy to predict over time.

7. Support from datacenter to cloud
“Enterprise-ready” cloud storage providers should be able to provide support process from datacenter to cloud.

Most enterprises need to manage the risk of transitioning to cloud while maintaining business status quo. By establishing specific cloud storage criteria, and using these seven guidelines listed when you approach a cloud storage provider, you will be able to collect an ample amount of information and be able to determine if that cloud provider is right for your enterprise. At the same time, when choosing a cloud storage provider, it pays to consider vendors you know for delivering industry leading, on-premises storage solutions to the enterprise.

When it comes to delivering these industry leading storage solutions, Virtustream has the distinct advantage of being a part of one of the most formidable technology businesses today – Dell Technologies. By adhering and adapting to your enterprises specific storage needs, Virtustream Storage Cloud can assist your enterprise in securing, managing and storing mission-critical data in the cloud – while meeting the “enterprise-ready” IT and data capabilities your business requires today.

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Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:49:00 +0000 Editor /blog/is-your-cloud-storage-enterprise-ready
What did we do before GPS or Global Positioning? /blog/what-did-we-do-before-gps-or-global-positioning Before GPS navigation

Explorers navigated by pure luck and chance. Eventually, navigation relied on the sun’s direction during the day, the moon by night, and later by stars with a technology invention called the sextant. Next came radio positioning and now satellites enabling GPS – a technology that is continually improving and can determine your exact location on the globe within inches. This leads me into several conversations I have been having both internally and externally with customers on what on-premises and off-premises actually mean.

It turns out, it can mean both, neither or a combination depending on the baseline of context. For GPS to work, satellites are in a geosynchronous orbit, meaning they never move in relation to the Earth’s rotation. GPS would be useless if they did. And, this is exactly what is happening in our conversations when the basis of on-premises changes based upon the reference point.

Let’s take a customer’s point of view. On-premises may be defined as their wholly owned data centers. But, what if they have a partner colocation? On-premises may be in their defined and contracted location because it is truly theirs. Another may be off-premises. The same location of the collocated center may now be referenced as off-premises, along with a public cloud location that is also off-premises. You can quickly see the discussion definition absolutely depends on your reference point not moving or changing definition during an exploration.

Case in point, I have recently approached my conversations with an establishment of terms. I define three locations like this:

               On-Premises-Private   A dedicated, customer owned and managed location housing their data and physical equipment.

               Off-Premises-Private   A dedicated, usually not customer owned location totally dedicated to their data and their physical equipment.

               Off-Premises-Shared   A shared physical location that is NOT customer owned or customer dedicated. This always has multi-tenancy security controls; however, all physical assets are leveraged and multi-tenant.

This brings us to the use case that defines the workloads.

  • A cloud service provider can provide both off-premises-private and off-premises-shared if some of the infrastructure is dedicated and some of it is multi-tenant.
  • Some of the pure play cloud providers only offer off-premises-shared environments. This is defined as no dedicated infrastructure, bandwidth and other service level guarantees. They may simply be estimates and objectives.
  • Others specialize only in providing services of on-premises-private.

Please don’t take away that I am discrediting any of the above. Just the contrary, I am an advocate for all. However, which one is the best? The answer is none of them, all of them or some of them. I subscribe to workload definition criteria as to where a workload should be housed. This is based on workload requirements, security, business criteria and many service level definitions that are too broad to cover here.

My advice is simply to understand your reference point when evaluating/discussing workloads and physical location criteria. Your reference point must never move and you will be assured you can explain where you are, where you have been and where your workloads are going.

Chris Gaudlip
CTO

Twitter @chrisgaudlip

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Tue, 08 Nov 2016 00:51:00 +0000 ChrisG /blog/what-did-we-do-before-gps-or-global-positioning
Cloud Five Years Later: “Inflated Expectations” to Enterprise Adoption /blog/cloud-five-years-later-inflated-expectations-to-enterprise-adoption Cloud 5 years later

It’s hard to imagine a world without cloud.

Here we are in 2016 and nearly every consumer has heard of, come into contact with or purchased cloud services in one form or another. Many of us are now dependent on cloud benefits as many of the most common life experiences such as listening to music, watching television and learning in a classroom have all been improved by the ability to access, manage and purchase IT resources online.

Businesses are no different. Enterprises are now leveraging the efficiency and on-demand access of cloud more than ever to speed innovation, cut costs and improve productivity. But like many other revolutionary solutions before it, cloud faced many obstacles in early adoption.

A look back at marketing hype: Cloud “everything”

As recently as 2010, IT analysts, vendors and customers were still asking if cloud was “here to stay or is it one of these hyped subjects that inevitably will be forgotten in a couple of years’ time?” Sure enough, no more than a year later in 2011 (according to Gartner’s 2011 Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing), cloud had taken the first step in answering this question by moving beyond the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” and straight into the “Trough of Disillusionment”.

At the time, critics cited “cloud washing” as evidence that cloud could never live up to our expectations. Cloud was everywhere. Eventually, this “cloud washing” helped accelerate its complete dislocation from reality. Fast forward to 2016 and we are confident that cloud is here to stay. In fact, not only has cloud met our “inflated expectations” of 2011, but also it has arguably surpassed what we imagined to be possible. Turns out that we weren’t wrong about the potential of cloud, we were just early.

No longer just for “non-critical” data

One of the more surprising realities of cloud in 2016 has been the rate of business adoption of public cloud services for mission critical applications. Just a few years ago, many of us were convinced that public cloud was great – but was most appropriate for archive, backup and other business “non-critical” data. Non-critical was seen as the “appetizer” of data; the “main course” (mission critical data) would ALWAYS remain on-premises.

What a difference a few years make. Today, SAP, Oracle and other mission critical, traditionally “on-premises” applications are being efficiently run in public clouds. In fact, a recent survey from the 451 Group suggests that three in five (60%) enterprise workloads will run in the cloud by mid-2018, up from around two in five (41%) today.

Remembering the past and planning for the future

While it is true that cloud has become as pervasive as the on-premises hardware it is replacing, it’s important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” cloud. In fact, if there exists any hype in cloud today, it is that any one cloud can be a panacea for all our IT challenges. As a result, smart enterprises are focusing on cloud vendors that lead with attributes that directly contribute to running applications and, therefore, a business.

Looking back five years, we certainly did a great job of hyping cloud beyond all reasonable expectations. But as the cloud momentum continues to press onward, enterprises are developing a plan for the future of their IT landscape with cloud providers in mind. Businesses are requiring their cloud provider to have industry leading performance, efficiency and flexibility across a plethora of integrated cloud platforms, software and managed services. Additionally, as cloud technologies become more intricate and pervasive, companies will rely on the cloud provider’s ability to meet their most demanding enterprise requirements for complex, mission critical applications and data requiring enterprise-class object storage. And lastly, in the future, enterprises will need a cloud provider who can quickly and efficiently build hyper scale cloud environments that provide customers with significant economies of scale, resource flexibility and enterprise control.

Few cloud providers today can deliver on all of the above. The exception is Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business, which has taken this exact approach since day one. With Fortune 500 companies, such as; Domino Sugar and Coca Cola already trusting Virtustream with their cloud environment, you can be assured that Virtustream not only understands the past of the cloud, but will also help progress your enterprise into the future.

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Mon, 24 Oct 2016 22:38:00 +0000 Editor /blog/cloud-five-years-later-inflated-expectations-to-enterprise-adoption
Six Questions to Ask Your Cloud Service Provider Before Moving SAP to the Cloud /blog/six-questions-to-ask-your-cloud-service-provider-before-moving-sap-to-the-cloud 6_Questions_Graphic-768x768.jpeg#asset:1

Moving mission-critical applications such as SAP to the cloud can provide a great return in terms of user satisfaction and fiscal management. It requires careful consideration, however, when choosing the Cloud Service Provider (CSP). Before you take the plunge, ask yourself these six (6) basic questions:

  1. How do you assure performance? Many CSPs will not or cannot provide service-level agreements (SLAs) around performance. Companies looking to move their mission-critical SAP workloads to the cloud must have confidence that the systems will perform off-premises as well, if not better, than they do on-premises. It can be tough for CSPs to provide performance guarantees if they have multiple tenants sharing the same compute and storage infrastructure. Understanding how the CSP will manage potential noisy neighbor issues is an important component to consider when choosing a provider.
  2. What is the billing methodology? Flexibility in billing is one of the areas where a cloud deployment is advantageous. CSPs that bill similar to the old managed hosting model are not offering all benefits of the cloud. Some clouds charge based on the resources allocated, but offer the option to shut down systems when not in use to limit costs. A small number of providers take this a step further and offer true consumption-based billing, similar to how the power company bills for kilowatts. It is possible to sign a long-term commitment, but still take advantage of consumption billing. Signing on for a multi-year contract has benefits in helping to negotiate a better price and providing stability in the financial planning model, but paying on an OPEX model is a key differentiator for cloud based deployments.
  3. Where are your data centers located? The end-user experience should always play a role in the decision making. It is critical that the perceived performance does not decrease when moving systems to the cloud. Latency is a concern whenever moving systems off-premises. Some applications are highly resilient to latency, but others require multiple round trips during communication sessions. Having data centers in advantageous locations is important when choosing where to host cloud workloads. It is also important to work with a provider that has experience with running SAP systems in the cloud and can make architecture recommendations based on experience.
  4. When can you start a migration? An SAP migration is a complex and time consuming process. Working with a CSP that has the expertise and experience of migrating SAP workloads to the cloud will give confidence to customers on choosing one CSP over another. Working with a provider who knows the right questions to ask regarding areas such as scope, risks, downtime thresholds and interfaces will ensure a thorough planning session and enable a greater chance of success.
  5. Who are your customers? It is important for CSPs to provide a list of reference customers that include enterprises of similar scope, size, and motivations. Knowing that Global 2000 companies run their production S/4HANA systems in the CSP’s environment can be reassuring for prospective customers. Sharing a cloud with enterprise customers with common concerns regarding security, compliance, and performance is important for enterprises putting their systems of record in the cloud.
  6. Why are you different than others in the space?Knowing what, if anything, separates one CSP from another is important because this will help you to understand what additional value can be gained by moving to the cloud. Spinning up VMs or allocating more storage on demand are table stakes for most cloud service providers. Others specialize in the SAP world and have purpose built clouds to ensure that HANA runs as expected and SAP has the uptime and performance assurances required for the spinal fluid type applications. Additionally, a small number of CSPs focus on innovation in the SAP world.
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Thu, 09 Jun 2016 01:10:00 +0000 Jake /blog/six-questions-to-ask-your-cloud-service-provider-before-moving-sap-to-the-cloud
PowerPoints to Insomnia Cure /blog/powerpoints-to-insomnia-cure Blog-Banner-PowerPoint-to-Insomnia-768x2


The title says it all…and we have all been through them…at first you are wide awake; by slide 93, you have made a grocery list, shopped online, read your email, instant messaged with a few folks and planned the weekend activities.

But, then there are the presentations that leave you with that feeling that, I just spent an hour of my life, but it was a quality hour, one I am glad I spent on gaining knowledge and more importantly wisdom.   Tidbit: Make sure your presentation instills wisdom and not knowledge.

If you are tasked with being a presenter, then you should think of it as the proverbial iceberg. Roughly 12-15% of it is above water and the part you see with the finished presentation. If you are taking the presentation seriously and it is a large audience, then put the ~85% below the water line as your effort to create the slides in the first place. I take a three-step process followed by my rule of THUMB:

Three Steps:

  1. The ‘Word Message’I first create/brainstorm/re-read once for content, flow, wordiness, message, concept etc. (rinse, lather and repeat)
  2. Then the ‘Visual Message’I look at the fonts, builds, pictures, diagrams, etc. If time permits, use this opportunity to engage your Creative Services department. Because Smart Art is neither Smart nor Art, and these folks can help you boost the production value of your presentations and help reduce the snore factor.
  3. With the third area as the ‘Talk Track Message’This is usually the part most cannot take with them and one to spend some quality time on.

Opposing THUMBs to follow:

T=Talk Track that is

H=Humble, with an

U=Understanding of the

M=Message, without the

B=Blah, Blah, Blah

Follow this process and three out of four dentists will agree it was a valuable presentation.

And who made the rule that a blog has to be lengthy anyhow…ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Chris

Twitter: @chrisgaudlip

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Wed, 11 May 2016 17:49:00 +0000 ChrisG /blog/powerpoints-to-insomnia-cure
10 Tips for Securing Your Data in the Hybrid Cloud /blog/10-tips-for-securing-your-data-in-the-hybrid-cloud Blog-Banner-768x297.jpeg#asset:1016
Introduction

More enterprises are turning to hybrid cloud solutions, looking to employ the best elements of both private and public cloud environments. According to Gartner, nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017 and RightScale’s 2015 State of the Cloud Survey found that 55 percent of enterprises are currently planning for hybrid clouds.

With these increasingly common hybrid deployments, it will be important for enterprises to effectively secure critical data moving forward, minimizing all vulnerabilities, assessing real-time data and meeting industry compliance standards.

Sean Jennings, Co-Founder and SVP of Solutions Architecture at cloud provider Virtustream, says that today’s enterprises can learn many lessons about the unique challenge of securing the hybrid cloud from an unlikely source – ancient Chinese military general Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War.

Develop a strategic plan

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” – Sun Tzu

Before migrating your data, take the necessary time to develop a comprehensive plan for securing it during migration and once in the cloud. By doing so, organizations can avoid worst case scenarios when facing threats in the future. Know what features you require in a cloud provider and have a thorough understanding of how the providers will protect your data.

Be self aware

“Know thyself.” – Sun Tzu

It is important to truly know the cloud environment in which you operate. Understand what your cloud provider does to mitigate risks, how they report incidents and what their plan is to restore and secure data effectively. Know the nature of the data and applications you are migrating to the hybrid cloud, and ensure that the platform of choice is suitable in all material respects.

Be aware of your environment

“Know thy enemy.” – Sun Tzu

It is also important to understand the type of space you are in, what specific threats there are and what, if any breaches, have occurred in your industry. Be able to explain why another company’s data was compromised so you don’t make the same mistakes.

Choose a compliant hybrid cloud

“Invincibility lies in the defence” – Sun Tzu

As a baseline point of analysis, your cloud provider should be fully compliant with the latest security standards and hold certifications widely accepted in the industry, including specific regulatory requirements applicable to your business. You can’t prepare for future threats if your provider isn’t following best practices. Caveat Emptor: be aware that compliance is often a static point in time snapshot.

But don’t rely on standards alone

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.” – Sun Tzu

Many times, enterprises believe their data is completely safe simply because their hybrid cloud provider is compliant with one industry standard or another. The truth is, 3rd party certification of these standards are a snapshot in time, and sometimes obsolete before the ink dries on the certificate. Certifications are necessary, but not sufficient. Continuous monitoring of compliance is a must.

Embrace transparency

“Balk the enemy’s power; force him to reveal himself.” – Sun Tzu

Your cloud provider should be upfront and open about any emerging risks in the industry, including those directed at their technology stack. You want to know that your data is being protected, what the emerging threats and risks are to your services, and how these threats are mitigated. It is important to have clear understanding and reporting of the provider’s responsibilities and your own.

Use all of your resources

“The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands.” – Sun Tzu

While there are many threats in IT today, there are also just as many tools and techniques to keep your data as safe as possible. Make sure you are using everything at your fingertips to thwart potential security breaches, and insist on a robust cloud platform. As an example, does your provider implement two-factor authentication and role based access controls? Is there continuous monitoring? Is encryption of data at rest available?

Stay one step ahead

“To defeat the enemy, become the enemy.” – Sun Tzu

Your security tools – and your provider’s – should be continuous in nature, probing for weaknesses and changes, giving you a real-time look at how your data is being protected in the hybrid cloud. Always find security vulnerabilities and weak points before potential attackers do.

No two clouds are alike

“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” – Sun Tzu

While two clouds may share identical certifications, they will almost certainly have different risk profiles. Understand these risk profiles and their effect on your security plan. The threats and risks are dynamic, and so your compliance and security toolsets and services – and those of your providers – must be as well.

Prioritize risk management

“The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands.” – Sun Tzu

After assessing the state of your hybrid cloud environment, you may identify a number of vulnerabilities. That doesn’t mean you need to fix everything at once; identify which vulnerability presents the greatest risk and remediate it first, and completely. Deploy or consume tooling to continually asses the risk profile of your cloud assets.

Sean 

Twitter: @VCDX17

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Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:32:00 +0000 sean.jennings /blog/10-tips-for-securing-your-data-in-the-hybrid-cloud
AC/DC is Not Only an Australian Rock Band from the 1970s /blog/ac-dc-is-not-only-an-australian-rock-band-from-the-1970s Everyone,

As we enter 2016, I thought I would address a few articles on the ‘Data Centers of the Future’ or simply ‘Smart Data Centers’. One area of innovation over the past few years are called Smart PDU’s (Power Distribution Units). In the years past, a PDU simply monitored power usage and kept power distribution ‘clean’.

Those days are long gone. Today’s PDU’s monitor humidity, heating and cooling areas and so much more than just electricity.

Although I don’t have a specific article to share, a quick search (via your favorite search engine) will display the wares of many of the top PDU makers.

I am always asked, how can we innovate and what are you doing to make services more efficient.

To use an overused term…it’s time to think outside of the storage box or VBlock box, and look around at PDU data center management. We just might differentiate ourselves if our services evolve just like the age old datacenter into SMART SERVICES…and yes, we think outside of all boxes.

Do we offer management and monitoring of PDU’s in a customer data center and use Big Data to correlate it to our storage and backup services? Hmmmmm

A cut and paste from a manufacturer SMART PDE brochure immediately captures the innovation that has swept the datacenter from PDU’s of old that simply provided electricity.

Reduce energy costs

  • Identify high power consumption equipment by using logs and port
    monitoring
  • Find opportunities for consolidation of underutilized equipment
    such as near-idle servers
  • Use environmental monitoring to identify overcooling situations
    where temperatures could be increased for energy cost reduction

Manage and optimize power capacity

  • Use real-time remote monitoring to understand usage vs. capacity
    and make informed decisions on equipment additions and data
    center changes
  • Evaluate actual usage versus design assumptions (using equipment
    nameplate ratings) to understand true power needs which
    may help increase equipment densities

Spot and prevent potential problems to ensure uptime

  • Use alarms to quickly identify problems and drive resolution
    sooner
  • Set alarm thresholds to spot potential problems such as overloads
    that could lead to power loss and downtime
  • Use logs to identify erratic power consumption
  • Use environmental monitoring to evaluate planned vs. actual
    temperatures to identify areas with insufficient cooling

Efficiently control power functions and resolve problems quickly

  • Use individual outlet control to remotely restart equipment or shut
    down specific units
  • Use sequencing to safely start up

Chris

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Fri, 18 Mar 2016 12:20:00 +0000 ChrisG /blog/ac-dc-is-not-only-an-australian-rock-band-from-the-1970s
The Future Looks Very Bright /blog/the-future-looks-very-bright One of the areas I am excited about in 2016 is Virtustream’s extended partnership with SAP – which offers a secure, flexible cloud infrastructure service for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC).

We launched this service in EMEA & MEE this past week at the Barcelona FKOM event and we are launching the same service in North America this coming week at the Las Vegas FKOM event.
The feedback so far from SAP has been very positive, especially once we shared with them Virtustream’s experience, skills set and ability to execute around SAP and HANA Cloud (i.e., over 200 production customers in a multi-tenant cloud, first S/4HANA in a cloud deployment, etc.).

Several key areas unique to Virtustream’s HANA Cloud, which delivers HEC workloads together with SAP, is our industry leading support and certification for “Regulated Industries” including: Government: FedRAMP and FISMA certification
Commercial: PCI-DSS certified
Healthcare: HIPAA certified
As well as Financial Services, Regulated Utilities, and many others.

Another key area is around “Faster Time-to-Market” with our rapid deployment capabilities, which enable us to meet the most aggressive deployment timelines. There are some very cool innovations in this area, where our Application Automation teams are driving innovations at incredible speeds.

A third area is the ability to support Heterogeneous Application Environments. The reality is that most existing SAP landscapes are mixed environments with SAP applications, new HANA platforms, and legacy SAP on “anyDB” environments, as well as connected non-SAP applications. This also includes the ability to provide short-term transition landscapes for non-HANA DBs.

The last area is the ability to support a wide range of SAP HANA sizes. Regardless of ScaleUp or ScaleOut, and regardless of Virtual HANA or Physical HANA, we support the highest capacity available from the SAP approved OEM vendors certifications. And we continue to push innovations in this space to be able to handle the most demanding HANA client requirements.

In my humble opinion, this makes Virtustream’s HANA Cloud capabilities simply the most mature, flexible and cost effective in the industry! We welcome the opportunity to engage with SAP field teams, clients and SAP partners to have conversations in these areas to prove out our capabilities in greater detail.

For more, read Henrik’s entire blog at https://henrikwagner.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/the-future-looks-very-bright

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Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:15:00 +0000 Henrik /blog/the-future-looks-very-bright