Virtustream Blog Virtustream Blog en-us Wed, 04 Aug 2021 19:23:38 +0000 Wed, 04 Aug 2021 19:23:38 +0000 My Internship Experience: Talk Isn’t Cheap… It’s Priceless College is supposed to be the time of your life, an unforgettable four years that prepare you for the world of adulthood, right? Being an undergrad student during the pandemic has been quite a unique experience, to say the least. With fears of health risks, unemployment, expensive housing, and the highest living costs in history, it is a scary time to be a kid in your 20s. As I finally began to feel like I knew how to live on my own, I found myself sent home from my new college town that I was just getting used to.

Although COVID 19 has presented incredibly difficult challenges far more important than my college experience, I think it’s safe to say that many young adults have felt lost and confused during this unprecedented time. And then BAM! During these trying times, I landed an amazing internship at Virtustream this summer. This opportunity was the win I desperately needed, and feeling gratitude is an understatement. With this being my first internship, I faced several firsts during my starting week, from connecting with so many new, amazing individuals, to learning all about the cloud and technology industry nearly overnight.

I experienced my fair share of “aha” moments during my first week, but one particular area has stood out from the rest for me – and that is Virtustream’s unbending focus on customers.

As a communications major, I have learned about the importance of communication in the workplace throughout my course work. I’ve had outstanding professors who have taught communication theories in great detail. Still, in my first weeks as an intern, I gained a new appreciation for my chosen field. You can study communication theory front to back, however, without hands-on experience and working on communications that engage your customers directly – I believe you can never truly understand the importance and power of strong communications in a corporate environment.

Working with the Global Communications team and larger Global Marketing organization at Virtustream has shown me how important the communications function is and how a company can flounder without it. From a company’s culture to its brand reputation in the market, communications play a significant role.

Every new product, service, solution or internal initiative requires inputs from multiple teams, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how the communications function often serves as the bridge between different areas. Additionally, I’ve learned that strong communication skills are useful for any role in the corporate world. To this point, I’ve already had the pleasure to meet with several executives, and all have stressed the value of smart communications.

Putting the Customer First

Now that I have completed the first month of my internship, I have become well acquainted with Virtustream’s customer focus. Although every employee has their role within an organization, there is a teamwork attitude throughout to ensure that services are delivered and deadlines are met. It almost feels like a continuous group project centered on our customers that never ends. I’ve learned a lot about collaboration tools as a result.

Of course, internal communications for employees is critically important, but I have come to understand the significance of consistent and concise communications with our customers as well. Virtustream ensures that the customer is the top priority, and their positive experiences and satisfaction are paramount.  As my internship experience is only a few months in, this is just a glimpse into the value of communication in the workplace. I have already learned so much in my short time here at Virtustream, and I can only begin to imagine how much more I’ll learn by the end of the summer.

I look forward to the lessons and challenges that lie ahead and hope to gain valuable work experience from them all.

Tue, 13 Jul 2021 11:33:00 +0000 sophia.pavlik
Residency Services: Three Keys to Unlocking Maximum Value and Accelerating Your Cloud Transformation

In the past year, IT transformation challenges have accelerated in new and unprecedented ways, impacting budgets, resources and the ability for organizations to realize the maximum value of their IT investments. Many enterprise organizations looking to maximize their return on investments today believe cloud services and technology can mitigate these transformational hurdles and provide a long-term solution for budgetary constraints. CIOs and other technology leaders are looking for any lever they can pull to accelerate their initiatives and help their teams get more value out of investments in new technologies.

One way workforce decision makers are addressing this high-value mandate is by working with their cloud service providers to fill existing IT skill and resource gaps with on-site experienced, certified professionals – or residents – who know the new technologies and applications best. Resident-based services delivered through a service provider with proven, best-in-class IT talent can accelerate technology adoption, improve IT resource management and lower costs. Based on an IDC InfoBrief sponsored by Dell Technologies, respondents to IDC’s study stated the top three reasons for leveraging resident resources:

  1. Drive new technology adoption
  2. Optimize and improve performance of existing technology
  3. Transfer the full knowledge of an on-site resident’s expertise (such as best practices)

In this same survey, 99.5% of respondents reported that they recognized direct value from their residents.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these residency benefits and connect them to the value they can deliver to your organization, particularly when it comes to your mission-critical applications, such as those from SAP for the enterprise space or Epic in the healthcare space.

Drive new technology adoption

As noted in IDC’s Top 10 Worldwide IT Industry 2021 Predictions, IT leaders and organizations are facing increased pressure to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure and applications twice as fast as prior to the pandemic. However, many IT organizations do not currently have resources with the skillsets necessary to deploy and utilize these technologies to their fullest. Leveraging residents can bring immediate knowledge of a given technology, as well as access to the broader knowledge base of the service provider. Virtustream’s Residency Services include a direct plug-in to Virtustream’s support network as well as its trusted technologists who have the validated expertise and skills needed to supplement a customer’s workforce. Residents can save weeks of work for technology transitions all while reducing incidents and longer-term problems during those transitions.

Optimize and improve performance of existing technology

As IT budgets get tighter and delivery expectations increase, the importance for technology leaders to do more with less has escalated. While new technology adoption is a critical first step for IT transformation, the key second step is being able to optimize those assets to get the most value out of them.

Per the findings of IDC’s InfoBrief, half of all respondents indicated that resident engineers helped their IT organizations get more value out of new technologies and, more importantly, 47% stated that their residents were able to help them use those technologies to directly increase revenue. Additionally, 47% responded that the residents helped to reduce their overall IT costs and 45% reported that residents were more cost effective than a permanent IT hire. This is especially relevant when working with complex workloads, such as those from SAP and Epic; in both cases, Virtustream has deep experience in migrating and managing their applications.

When working with mission-critical applications and systems, which are the bedrock of an organization’s IT landscape, feature optimization and system performance should be prioritized. Certified residents in these cases should be thoroughly interviewed during the selection process to ensure they possess the specialized skills best suited for an organization’s specific needs.

Transfer knowledge

Residents handle both present day situations (such as a cloud migration project) as well as future-proofing systems for growth and evolving needs down the road, providing greater business value by properly positioning IT staff and aiding in the planning and execution of future transformation projects. Residents should become a fundamental member of the IT team and work together in full alignment with existing staff to establish best practices and process improvements, which can often lead to a more cohesive work environment.

As IDC found in their InfoBrief, 86% of respondents stated that residents helped improve the relationship between IT and business managers. With improved business relationships and insights, nearly 60% said the residents helped implement new features and functionality that directly improved how business managers use the technology. This knowledge transfer can help organizations further optimize their own teams and technologies.

While the vast majority of surveyed organizations experienced a high degree of satisfaction with their residency services, the process is dependent on choosing a resident who can not only meet your technical criteria, but also work seamlessly with your existing IT staff to deliver smooth and consistent project execution.

Virtustream’s Residency Services have been designed to help solve our customers’ most challenging environments and organizational gaps, backed by more than 10 years of experience migrating and managing mission-critical workloads in the cloud. Learn more about our Residency Services or contact us to discuss how a Virtustream resident can address your organization’s unique needs and make an immediate impact.

Wed, 16 Jun 2021 03:00:00 +0000 jack.crowley
Moving SAP® Workloads to the Cloud? Three Dos and Don’ts to Guide Your Journey

Many organizations fast-tracked their timelines for moving SAP workloads to the cloud last year in response to the pandemic and the need to support the rapid adoption of remote workforces. Many IT organizations hoped their move to the cloud would be the last mile to better business continuity and improved IT efficiencies. However, there are many aspects to be explored to ensure a smooth and secure journey to the cloud, including cloud expertise, proper advanced planning and system integration. 

Don’t Give in to the Lure of ‘Lift-and-Shift’ Migrations

It’s easy for IT organizations to be lured by the comparatively fast results that a ‘lift-and-shift’ approach to cloud migration can offer. Taking a narrower approach, with only limited code or configuration changes, may help drive a quicker route to cloud, as well as potentially lower upfront costs compared to re-platforming and refactoring. However, what is often missed in this abbreviated approach is whether this path is best for an organization’s long-term cloud performance, scalability, security, and cost requirements where legacy workloads can play a pivotal role in the planning process.

Many organizations have relied on the same legacy applications for years or even decades now, so much so that they have become mission-critical to their businesses. Through the years, unfortunately, a lack of proper evaluation of which applications should be continued, consolidated, decommissioned or replaced can lead to higher costs and other inefficiencies in the cloud down the road. Not only this, but legacy applications may experience difficulties operating outside of their old infrastructure, causing an increased demand for broader IT support. It’s important that organizations take the time to properly plan for their migrations and carefully consider their potential longer-term needs.

Do Have a Comprehensive Understanding of Your Applications in Cloud Environments

It’s critical that organizations have a clear understanding of the relationship between their applications and environments during and after cloud migration. However, many organizations focus too much on some areas, like where their users or data centers are located, and not enough on other critical questions, like identifying application dependencies. Applications that are reliant on each other may not function properly if migrated separately and could even be detrimental to the entire migration effort, causing severe performance issues for applications in the cloud or for other applications left outside of the cloud environment.

Keeping this in mind, some organizations decide not to move everything to the cloud and instead keep some workloads on-premises, integrating the environments in terms of applications and shared data. When first implemented, this workload separation may appear to be a sound solution, but as organizations move into day-to-day operations some struggle to get a good grasp of their workload volumes and where the data is flowing. As a result, many organizations find that they can’t properly manage their data or predict the high fees caused by the data being passed between the cloud and on-premises environments. Careful planning, managing and monitoring is required to find a hybrid approach that is tailored specifically to an organization’s IT needs.

Do Prioritize Fortifying Your Cloud Security Posture

It’s important for organizations to secure their data and applications before, during and after migration. Without a deep appreciation that security is a continuous process, organizations can leave themselves open to serious cyber threats.

Securing cloud environments involves much more than working with cloud providers to implement security tools; it’s also about defining clear objectives to achieve an agile and comprehensive security posture. Security should also be a shared responsibility between IT organizations and their cloud providers, with a clear understanding of who is responsible for the security and protection of the infrastructure that powers the cloud services as well as who is accountable for application updates and patches. Putting this into practice can be complex, which means organizations should seek a trusted and transparent relationship with their cloud partners to avoid making any dangerous assumptions about their comprehensive and integrated security measures.

Maximizing the Benefits of Cloud Moving Forward 

This year is an opportunity for IT organizations to re-evaluate their migration approach. The key to success is often accelerated by working with the right cloud partner and leveraging the managed services from deeply experienced providers who understand their mission-critical requirements in the cloud. 

At Virtustream, we understand that no two businesses are the same and that cloud goals for performance, costs, security, flexibility, support and more can differ greatly depending on the customer. Learn more about our offerings and approach today:

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 03:00:00 +0000 rob.scott
Choose the Right Partner to Maximize Your Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital transformation has never been more important. In 2020, businesses in every industry accelerated their transformation strategies at a pace that none of us had anticipated. Partly driven by the pandemic’s urgent needs to enable remote workforces overnight, the time to modernize shifted from ‘eventually’ to ‘immediately’ for most organizations. Taking that first real step toward digital transformation, however, can be intimidating.

At the International SAP Conference for Utilities 2021, running from May 18 - 20, this will be an important topic of conversation among attendees. On the second day (May 19) of the virtual event, I will join Russell Boyer, global energy field director at Dell Technologies, in leading a session with Nari Thouda, director of retail business platforms at Vistra,  to share best practices on how Vistra successfully migrated mission-critical SAP workloads to the Virtustream cloud – all done fully remotely during the ongoing global pandemic. This took careful planning, expertise, a trusted partnership and sharp, strategic leadership.

A Closer Look at a Utility Customer - Vistra

Vistra is a leading, Fortune 275 integrated retail electricity and power generation company based in Irving, Texas, providing essential resources for customers, commerce and communities. The company brings its products and services to market in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including six of the seven competitive wholesale markets in the U.S. and markets in Canada and Japan, as well. Serving nearly 5 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas, Vistra is the largest competitive residential electricity provider in the country and offers over 50 renewable energy plans.

Vistra had two primary objectives for its digital transformation journey: first, to reduce overall IT costs and reliance on systems integrators; second, to optimize its SAP operating model in order to offload day-to-day operations and redirect budget and resources toward more strategic, higher value innovation.

Like so many organizations, Vistra found that choosing the right platform and the right partner was the key to a successful migration. Why is this so important?

Businesses understand that adopting cloud technologies for their mission-critical workloads is essential to their IT modernization strategies. However, many enterprises lack the internal resources or skill sets necessary to successfully migrate mission-critical workloads to the cloud. It can be a complex process that may introduce significant risks. Vistra, with a sophisticated IT landscape, wanted to avoid a long and cumbersome migration project with unpredictable outcomes. To avoid this, they turned to Virtustream’s professional and managed services for our proven methodologies and to help them implement a successful cloud transformation strategy – from planning and optimization to full migration and deployment.

As the trusted end-to-end cloud partner for Vistra, Virtustream simplified and personalized their journey to the cloud. We provided the technical expertise required for their mission-critical SAP systems and applications, as well as streamlined approval processes that enabled a seamless transition from migration to steady-state operations. We also created a fully tailored experience, with a specific configuration to optimize Vistra's system performance in the cloud.

One of the other important benefits of working with a managed services provider is the ability to leverage expertise in the face of unexpected challenges. For example, as part of this project, we were expecting a 10 Gbps network bandwidth. In reality, however, we experienced less network capacity, so we quickly shifted to an alternative method to overcome this limitation and still finished the project within the original timeline.

As a result of our work together, Vistra has achieved the following business outcomes:

  • Improved efficiency: With the migration of Vistra’s SAP workloads to the cloud and with Virtustream managing the entire SAP landscape, Vistra’s IT staff is now able to focus on more strategic IT initiatives and more innovative digital transformation projects.

  • Smooth migration during COVID-19 with minimum downtime: Migrating a system that has 80TB of data across 15 SAP production instances can typically take several weeks or longer. However, even with the migration orchestrated fully remotely due to COVID-19, the project was completed in just 36 hours.

  • Reduced costs: Vistra estimates annual savings in the millions, which will be re-invested into the business for modernizing and future-proofing its IT environment going forward. This will allow Vistra to optimize systems and continue to meet the ever-evolving needs of its growing customer base.

If you’re attending the virtual International SAP Conference for Utilities 2021 event, I hope you’ll join our session to learn more. The session will take place at 7:30 a.m. Central Time (2:30 p.m. Central European Time) on May 19. More information and registration details can be found here. We hope to see you there! If you’re not attending the event, but would like to learn more, you should start here.

Wed, 12 May 2021 02:00:00 +0000 lofan.leung
Top Tips for Securing the New World of Remote Work in 2021

Looking back, no single year has altered the threat surface and security posture of organizations quite as drastically and rapidly as in 2020. With the business world turned upside down, we saw working remotely go from the exception to the norm, and even a legal requirement for many during the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders experienced worldwide. For some organizations the transition was simple, for most it was a herculean effort for their IT teams and a rapid shift that they weren’t prepared for.

In Dell Technologies’ 2020 Digital Transformation Index research conducted by Vanson Bourne, the findings show that security concerns continue to be a top barrier for enterprises. Compounding those concerns, according to recent research from the Cyber Risk Alliance and Proofpoint, over three quarters (76%) of IT leaders saw an increased cyber risk exposure to their organizations due to employees working remotely, yet 54% of those surveyed said they expect to have a permanent work-from-home workforce six months from now. The risks may be higher, but for many the trend is here to stay.

While the focus in the first half of 2020 may have been on quickly enabling remote workers, as we see the situation becoming more permanent in 2021, the priority is now shifting to ensure that security policies and defenses are shored up to protect organizations from threats designed to exploit remote working. In this blog, I share important tips for both organizations looking to adapt their security to this new normal, as well as for remote employees to stay safe while working remotely.

Steps Organizations Can Take to Improve IT Security

1. Protect your endpoints

Organizations’ first priority should be securing all employee devices. This means first and foremost gaining visibility and awareness over all the devices being used, ensuring they have all the necessary security controls in place and are continually maintained with the latest patches and software updates. Some of the key controls include multi-factor authentication, data encryption, anti-malware, firewall and data leakage prevention.

2. User awareness and education

When users are working outside the walls of your secure physical environment, they become targets and their actions can mean the difference between a normal day and a cybersecurity disaster. New cultural changes take time to embed themselves as routine and require new teaching and learning requirements. Organizations should conduct regular training and awareness programs informing users about how to spot and respond to threats and also how to better secure their home networks.

3. Bolster incident response capabilities

When employees and their devices aren’t all under one roof, responding quickly and effectively to a security incident can be more complicated. It is critical that initial IT issues do not spread and lead to widespread damage or loss of data. The remote working model means that IT teams should put contingency plans in place to make sure infected devices are addressed immediately. From a cloud and multicloud perspective, organizations need to gain ‘single pane of glass’ visibility over all their clouds environments and identify any gaps or inconsistencies in settings or policies before disaster strikes, and have a plan in place to keep any cloud-born incidents contained. A step-by-step playbook with frequent incident response training for all the stakeholders is key to effective incident response preparedness.

Steps Remote Workers Can Take at Home

1. Recognize your risks and your responsibilities

It’s easy for cybersecurity to fall down the list of priorities when you’re heads-down on a big project or juggling a busy schedule. Cybercriminals know this and that’s why 90 percent of corporate data breaches in the cloud happen due to social engineering attacks which target employees (Kaspersky Lab, 2019). With attacks such as email phishing, just one thoughtless click on a harmless-looking link can mean disaster for your company. When you’re working remotely, take time to engage with your company’s cybersecurity training programs and think twice before clicking on questionable links or opening unexpected attachments.

2. Protect your own network

When you’re working from home, your router is your connection point not only to the outside world of the internet, but also to your organization’s corporate network. Make sure that your WiFi connection is using the strongest level of encryption, usually called WPA, and be sure to change any default administrator passwords. It’s also a good idea to perform some degree of network segmentation by connecting any Internet of Things devices, like smart lights, speakers or appliances, to a separate network on your router. That way, any external threats won’t find their way in to compromise your organization’s network.

3. Keep it strictly business

One of the simplest yet most powerful behavioral changes you can make to bolster your cybersecurity levels is by keeping your digital personal life and your work digital life separate. Even things as basic as checking your personal emails on a corporate device can introduce all kinds of new external threats to the business. Any personal use should be limited to your own devices, and refrain from letting any other family members use your corporate-owned device.

The Silver-Lining of 2020 – Better Security Awareness

2020 has certainly been a learning experience for everyone, and when it comes to security, it has forced many organizations to re-think their entire strategy and their understanding of where the risks truly lie. Whether we’re talking on-premises data centers, private cloud or multicloud environments, the number one exploit used by cybercriminals is the path of least resistance: people. You need to consider that your security perimeter is no longer a corporate network fortress: It is wherever your employees are – or, in the case of cloud computing, wherever your data resides. If there’s a silver-lining from this past year, it is that those businesses who were slow to adapt to the new cybersecurity model have now realized the importance of a proactive -- rather than reactive -- approach to security, and they will go into 2021 stronger and more secure than in 2020.

A comprehensive security strategy with clear visibility across your entire IT landscape is the cornerstone for building trust and transparency in the cloud. At Virtustream, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with the highest levels of security and compliance to protect your enterprise in the cloud. Find out more here:

Tue, 16 Feb 2021 00:27:00 +0000 Editor
2021 Prediction: Healthcare’s Electronic Health Record Cloud Migration Takes Flight

Healthcare Providers Are Rapidly Tapping Private Hosted Clouds for their Electronic Health Record (EHR) Workloads to Improve Patient Care

COVID-19 has dominated the headlines this year, with technology developments often taking a backseat in the news. However, that doesn’t mean it’s been quiet. There have been advances across every sector, but 2021 is shaping up to be the year that healthcare organizations head to the runway en masse to migrate their mission-critical applications to the clouds. The technological evolution of the healthcare industry has been prolific in 2020, and no more so than in the management of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in the cloud. 

Now an industry requirement, EHR applications are designed to provide easy access and an efficient, structured and evidence-based approach to patient care. Like all mission-critical workloads, managing these platforms has presented healthcare providers and payers with a number of challenges – not least because many have long relied on their own on-premises datacenters. Concerns over access to records and security breaches continue to plague healthcare providers – with more than 230 million US medical records lost, exposed or stolen between 2009-2019 alone according to a study by PrivacyAffairs. Add to this the increased targeting of healthcare organizations by ransomware attacks in 2020, according to Becker’s Health IT article, and healthcare providers have realised that, to ensure security and compliance, they can no longer put off the modernization of their IT infrastructure. The time to modernize is 2021.

Struggling to Adapt at a Blazing Pace

Popular EHR applications like those provided by Epic and Cerner, when run on-premises, can require long-term commitments to ongoing optimization and potential unplanned hardware upgrades based on evolving IT requirements. Additionally, the EHR world doesn’t sit still when it comes to software innovation, leaving many healthcare organizations struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of change and enhancements in frequent software updates when running these workloads in-house and on-premises.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that according to a 2020 survey conducted by Black Book Research, nearly 60 percent of hospitals holding less than 150 beds doubted that their current health information technologies could deliver business value and more than a quarter of those respondents said they were actively assessing the potential of a cloud-based EHR replacement system. These small and midsize hospitals (including specialty hospitals and critical access facilities) are building momentum in the adoption of cloud-based EHR and Virtustream expects to see this continue to rise dramatically in 2021.

What’s Driving the Shift to Cloud?

In addition to ongoing management challenges and mounting costs, new legislation in the US - designed to improve interoperability between clinical systems and healthcare providers, and to provide patients with highly secure access to their health data via third-party apps - is driving healthcare providers towards cloud-based EHR solutions. The legislation was passed last March, but enforcement has been delayed until 2021 to allow the industry to remain focused on the pandemic and to provide more time for infrastructure preparation and data migration. The requirements and implications of this new legislation are now approaching quickly.  

Similarly there have been calls for action in the UK for greater interoperability on EHR platforms to significantly improve access to health information. Based on what I’m hearing from customers lately, widespread migration to cloud is now at a tipping point. I expect to see this continuing to ramp-up significantly in 2021 with compliance deadlines looming and cost reduction programs kicking-in thanks to economic pressures.  

The Healthcare Cloud

So, what does cloud offer EHR workloads? Put simply, the virtual nature of the environment transforms an EHR application from records management to a modernized, sophisticated care system whereby healthcare practitioners have remote access to real-time patient data across multiple locations and devices. Other benefits include advanced safety and security controls around patient information and vastly improved interoperability – so that the sharing of health records can be carried out securely. This means that organisations can be more agile in their decision-making processes, truly collaborate, and, when needed, have the flexibility and agility to quickly meet new legislative updates.

Operational efficiencies and cost-savings are also important benefits of a cloud strategy. This was something Franciscan Health, which serves Indiana and parts of Illinois, realized when it migrated its Epic EHR platform to Virtustream Healthcare Cloud earlier this year – part of its long-term plan to expand its cloud strategy in order to focus more IT staff resources on patient care initiatives.

Likewise, in the year since migrating Novant Health’s Epic EHR platform to Virtustream, the healthcare provider reduced its VM footprint by nearly half and has saved significant capital investment dollars allowing it to re-allocate those funds to support IT projects that directly focus on improving patient care.

Given the sensitive nature of healthcare data, security will always be a top concern. Virtustream offers customers an extra set of services, in addition to the core portfolio, that allows them to further extend their security posture and protect patient data. Checking the critical IT boxes – including security and compliance – is one of the reasons Advent Health appointed Virtustream in February as its standard platform for powering its new single, integrated Epic EHR platform.

Taking flight

I think we can all agree that after this difficult year, it is more important than ever for EHR applications to be securely accessible and in a format that enables experts to make confident healthcare decisions that provide a greater level of care.

Legislation is driving interoperability, and together with the need for more modern and agile EHR systems, moving to the cloud is the natural step forward for many healthcare providers today. To learn more about how Virtustream can help your healthcare organization, click here.

Virtustream enables healthcare providers to modernize health IT environments within a HIPAA/HITECH-compliant cloud purpose-built for mission-critical enterprise applications. Virtustream Healthcare Cloud is designed for the applications that matter most – the most capable and modern EHR solutions – and can improve quality of care by expanding usage and launching new patient engagement systems and precision health platforms whilst maintaining the security of protected health information (PHI) and reducing operational costs.

Wed, 13 Jan 2021 03:30:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Three Keys to Customer Experience Excellence in the Cloud

Last month, we were delighted that Virtustream was crowned the winner of the ‘Best Cloud Support Provider’ category at the prestigious Computing Cloud Excellence Awards 2020. This news followed on the heels of Virtustream being named a finalist in the ‘Innovation in Managed Services Strategic Adaptation’ category at the influential Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA)’s 2020 STAR Awards for our xStreamCare Services offerings. 

It is an honor to be publicly recognized by both organizations for our commitment to outstanding innovation, leadership and excellence in our services and support, and is a testament to the great team we have at Virtustream focused on making the magic happen for our customers.

Over the past 10 years we’ve learned a thing or two about how to deliver the highest standard of customer experience for organizations looking to run mission-critical SAP and Healthcare workloads in the cloud. Here are three attributes we live by at Virtustream that I’m proud of and that set us apart:

1.  Offer full accountability through a ‘one-hand-to-shake’ approach

Since the launch of xStreamCare Services in May 2019, we have always championed a ‘one-hand-to-shake’ approach in our engagements with customers, continually extending what we can do for them, and offering a unified end-to-end model, via a dedicated and focused team. Customers in large enterprises and healthcare organizations value clarity and simplicity, particularly since our work involves the migration and implementation of complex mission-critical applications and workloads. Our model means that Virtustream provides complete accountability as the single provider of enterprise cloud, modernization, migration and ongoing management as well as 24x7x365 support. In other words: our customers know that we are their one-stop shop. This all-encompassing approach eliminates the complexities of dealing with multiple vendors, hardware and software procurement, or upskilling the existing IT staff.

2.  Take action on customer feedback

It may seem obvious that listening to your customers is fundamental to making sure you’re delivering the highest quality services, but just hearing what they have to say is only half the story. Customers only feel like they are truly being heard when their technology and service partners acknowledge feedback and are actively prepared to make changes and adaptations to any aspect of the service they provide.

From the Virtustream perspective, xStreamCare Services found its genesis in our customer engagement. Customer discussions consistently focused on requests for more automation, such as Ticketing Integration Services, adopted by several customers including leading healthcare provider Franciscan Health. By integrating its ticketing environment with Virtustream’s ServiceNow instance, our customers are better supported through automated bi-directional ticket updates, increased ticket data accuracy and quicker time to resolution resulting from human-error reduction and improved response times. In general, our customers are looking for service and support models that accelerate their initiatives and reduce risk. As the cloud landscapes become broader and more complex, customers will increasingly seek trusted advisors to guide them through decisions and simplify ongoing operations.

3.  Don’t sit still! Innovation needs to be integral to your culture

Everyone in our xStreamCare Services and Support organization is committed to continuous innovation and improvement of the portfolio, and we’re not stopping there! It is precisely our customer conversations that have helped us make our service uniquely personal and customized to each customer’s needs. In the next phase of self-service capabilities, we are expanding our fully tailored experience throughout our support organization. A new business portal will bring together multiple customer entry points into a unified view. This single interface across distributed IT platforms can be added to existing IT environments to enhance a customer’s overall cloud experience. We value the close partnerships that we’ve built with our customers and make sure we are constantly adapting to changes in their needs and requirements. That’s the Virtustream difference!

Enterprise IT leaders around the world are looking to optimize performance, reduce operating and support costs, and improve service levels. xStreamCare Services enable these leaders to take a strategic, platform-agnostic approach by optimizing the management of traditional workloads while accelerating cloud-native application deployments. By building on Virtustream’s decade-long experience, end-to-end industrialized processes, and deep technical expertise in migrating and managing enterprise-class applications in the cloud, xStreamCare Services deliver a proven modernization process for your enterprise applications.

To find out more about the xStreamCare Services portfolio, click here:

Mon, 14 Dec 2020 04:00:00 +0000 rob.scott
Redefining Mission-Critical – How Do You Ensure Cloud Stability in Uncertain Times?

During times of crisis, business stability and continuity is key. In 2020, the world is facing not only the unprecedented challenge of protecting global health, but also the resulting economic impact on businesses in all sectors and of all scales. Especially those businesses working with mission-critical applications and data.

In the business world, we refer to certain processes, workloads, applications and data as ‘mission-critical’ when their continuity, integrity and security are paramount to the fundamental functioning of a business. In fact, when Forrester Consulting recently asked businesses around the globe about their multicloud environments, more than half of the respondents said that applications dealing with customer, financial and sensitive data were mission-critical applications. You can check-out the new research, commissioned by Virtustream, here.   

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has already shown that the definition of mission-critical has rapidly morphed and intensified. Those previous mission-critical IT processes, in sectors such as healthcare, shipping and manufacturing, are now more critical than ever as the world comes together to save lives and secure the economy. And with more than a third of the world’s population continuing to be under shelter-in-place mandates, much of the world’s workforce is working remotely, resulting in an escalated level of importance for the security, connectivity and access to business data. For enterprises, keeping their systems and applications running efficiently and securely in the cloud will be fundamental to weathering the storm.

No time for downtime

Several industries are now under even more pressure to ensure continuity of service. Naturally for healthcare providers, their mission-critical applications and patient data are more critical than ever as workloads increase and resources come under pressure. Similarly, key manufacturers, logistics companies and others face growing demands and tight deadlines to produce and deliver vital products and services to other businesses.

Enterprises of all sizes have built their businesses on core applications like those from SAP. These are mission-critical workloads that require near-zero downtime in many cases, like train and metro systems, air travel, banking, pharmaceutical research and healthcare to name just a few industries. In fact, more than 60% of the respondents to a recent Statista study say enterprise downtime can cost a business anywhere from $300,000 to $5,000,000 per hour.

The margin for IT issues is notoriously thin. In the wake of increased cyberattacks, it’s vital to recognize that any disruption can have a devastating impact on your business – from reputational damage to potentially huge financial losses. Cloud services must be purpose-built to deliver robust uptime SLAs, as well as protect sensitive data. As a result, we are seeing a movement towards dedicated cloud managed services partners to offer enterprises’ assurances that their systems and data are secure.

The mission-critical landscape is changing

With many in the global workforce permanently shifting to remote work almost overnight, IT teams have a monumental task on their hands to ensure these employees are now as capable and productive at home. Providing easy access to mission-critical, cloud-based applications and data can be complex. In fact, most respondents to the Forrester Consulting study say they host mission-critical applications in multiple cloud environments today, with 94% of those organizations reporting that they’ve experienced deployment or ongoing management issues related to their multicloud environments. To combat this, having the right expertise to maximize the benefits of multicloud deployments is crucial, whether that be by adding internal staff with specific multicloud experience, or by seeking out cloud managed services providers with deep expertise across multicloud deployments and mission-critical applications.

The role of technology in humanity’s effort to overcome the threats facing our world in 2020 cannot be overstated. The spotlight may be focused on the race for treatments and vaccines, but equally important are the IT backbones of organizations everywhere -- keeping our hospitals open, our governments running, our factories producing vital supplies, our financial institutions stable, and our communications services humming throughout this time of uncertainty. For businesses of all shapes and sizes there has never been a more critical time to ensure the efficiency and stability of their cloud-based IT, to keep themselves and the world’s economy moving forward.

With mission-critical cloud platforms like Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, and expert managed cloud services like Virtustream’s xStreamCare Services™ portfolio, there’s no need for a business’ IT staff to go it alone. Organizations with complex systems and applications can confidently move to the cloud with expert managed services to help them mitigate their skill gaps, improve security and application uptime, accelerate time to value, and optimize overall performance. Partnering with a time-tested managed services provider with proven methodologies and best practices can ensure a smooth, efficient transformation to a modernized, cloud-based platform, with support for each stage of the journey, from planning to migration to production.

Tue, 25 Aug 2020 03:30:00 +0000 Editor
Accelerate Your Journey to Multicloud with Expert Managed Services

I’m hard-pressed these days to find a customer looking to modernize or transform their IT systems who hasn’t started their journey to multicloud environments. The crossroad is no longer a question about why or when to explore multicloud. The conversation is now focused on how to best navigate the opportunities and advantages that a multicloud strategy presents.

Time is of the essence, of course, and the pressure is on. Every customer I speak to is highly aware that their competitors are expanding their IT environments to multicloud and have already taken their first big steps towards IT transformation. In fact, a new Fortune survey, done in collaboration with Deloitte, found that 77% of the CEO respondents said their company’s digital transformation accelerated during the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a new Virtustream-commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, How Expert Managed Services Accelerate Benefits of Multicloud, enterprises adopting multicloud strategies often find that their approach offers more options and flexibility while delivering benefits like workload suitability, different service, performance, and compliance levels, and better technology compatibility. 

Across the board, however, these enterprises also recognize that their path to success is deeply dependent on expertise and specialized skillsets that may not be readily available within their company’s existing IT staff.

The Cloud Expertise Factor

Overcoming internal skills gaps requires access to multicloud expertise and best practices in order to speed time to value and maximize the benefits associated with multicloud. In response to this need, Forrester’s research uncovered several strategies that enterprises consider, with hiring new staff with multicloud experience at the top of the list at 30%, followed very closely by those who would prefer to partner with a cloud vendor that offers managed services at 29%.

Forrester Consulting’s research found that 99% of organizations who leverage cloud managed services say it has helped them in at least one of the following significant ways:

  • Provides more access to skills and expertise that their organization would otherwise struggle to obtain and retain themselves.
  • Creates ability to move more efficiently, resulting in faster time to results.
  • Provides freedom for internal staff to focus on higher priority strategic initiatives.
  • Drives better coordination and integration of cloud environments with traditional IT infrastructure.
  • Increases access to cloud management and/or cost optimization technology.
  • Avoids costs and time invested in acquiring new staff or retaining existing staff.

Virtustream’s xStreamCare Services™ deliver a proven modernization process for enterprise applications, from the initial planning, migration to the cloud and ongoing operations management. The portfolio is centered on a decade of experience, built with end-to-end industrialized processes and deep technical expertise. With a platform-agnostic approach, we help customers enable Virtustream Enterprise Cloud and public hosted clouds alike.

xStreamCare Services are tailored to our customers’ specific business needs. The portfolio includes professional services to help prepare organizations for their multicloud journey by combining the right people, processes and technologies. Onboarding and migration services are also available to reduce the risk for enterprises and minimize disruption in enterprise IT services. As part of these services, Virtustream takes responsibility for project planning, project management, documentation of all applications and workloads, move sequences, tests, mock cutover and final cutover plans.

Our Managed Services provide a fully-managed, white-glove cloud service from the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) layer up to the operating system, database and basis layer. A comprehensive catalog allows you to select services and parameters suited specifically for the levels your business needs. The catalog includes proactive incident-event management, monitoring, alerts, troubleshooting and other pre-scoped managed services.

Mission-critical applications come with their own set of unique challenges. With 24/7, enterprise-class, global support services, our customers can take advantage of fully integrated operational processes for quality control and assurance, including planned and tested disaster recovery. Additionally, many of the organizations we work with leverage one of our customer success managers who serve as an extension of their internal teams and provide a bridge between Virtustream, the various services we are delivering, and the numerous projects that an organization can have in-flight.

There is no reason for you to go it alone on your journey to cloud or multicloud. If you need help transforming your IT and your business, let Virtustream’s experts accelerate your journey and maximize the benefits available in the cloud. 

Tue, 18 Aug 2020 04:00:00 +0000 rob.scott
New Study Reveals Value of Expert Managed Services to Maximize the Benefits of Multicloud

Migrating mission-critical applications to multicloud environments is the industry’s new normal. In fact, findings from a recently released Virtustream-commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, “How Expert Managed Services Accelerate Benefits of Multicloud,” reveals that more than 80% of respondents worldwide have already deployed mission-critical applications in multicloud environments. Additionally, 42% of IT decision makers in North America and Europe consider adopting cloud managed services to be a high or critical priority for them this year.

With the industry’s broad acknowledgment that multicloud can provide a wide range of advantages – including better flexibility, performance and operational efficiencies – the focus for most IT leaders has now shifted to understanding how best to maximize and accelerate those multicloud benefits. According to the study, one factor can make a big impact: expert managed services.

Cloud Managed Services Accelerate Broad Multicloud Benefits

Organizations can utilize cloud managed services providers (MSPs) to accelerate the full realization of benefits associated with multicloud configurations. According to the study, the top overall benefits of using MSPs for multicloud environments with mission-critical applications include:

  • more time for internal teams to work on high-priority strategic initiatives;
  • faster time to value and time to market; and
  • avoidance of costly and time-consuming staff acquisition and retention.

By providing multicloud expertise and established best practices, MSPs can fill skills gaps, and augment internal IT staff during deployment and through ongoing management. According to Forrester’s findings, “Managed services help these firms coordinate and integrate cloud environments with traditional IT infrastructure, provide access to cloud management and/or cost optimization technology, and provide access to skills and expertise that organizations would otherwise struggle to obtain and retain themselves.” Other benefits cited by IT decision makers include improved agility and service delivery processes, reduced overall IT costs, and the ability to unify management through a multicloud dashboard.

From the study’s findings, organizations appear eager to keep those multicloud dividends coming in. According to the survey’s respondents, nearly all organizations currently using managed services say their MSP has helped accelerate their multicloud benefits, and 92% say they plan to increase or maintain their MSP investments in the next two years.

Selecting a Trusted Cloud Partner with an Expert Managed Services Portfolio

Does your organization need help with your mission-critical applications in a multicloud environment? You can leverage Virtustream’s proven expertise to realize the full benefits of your multicloud environment while accelerating your return on investment.

Born in the clouds over a decade ago, Virtustream’s experts have deep technical expertise to deliver proven modernization paths for enterprise applications with an end-to-end industrialized approach. With our unique, one-hand-to-shake approach, Virtustream provides a full range of professional and managed services through our xStreamCare Services™ portfolio tailored to maximize the advantages and benefits of your organization’s multicloud strategy.

To discuss your unique business needs, contact us today to learn more about our Virtustream Enterprise Cloud platform and xStreamCare Services portfolio. You can also download the new Forrester study, “How Expert Managed Services Accelerate Benefits of Multicloud.” 

Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:30:00 +0000 Nina.Hargus
Intel® Optane™ for SAP HANA®: The Persistent Memory Payoff

I get it. Storage can be boring. You’ve been using DRAM and SSDs in your datacenters for years, maybe even a decade or longer, and everything has worked according to your mission-critical requirements. So why should you bother upgrading? Instead, you could spend money where it might be considered more innovative for your business, right? On CPUs, graphics chips or network modifications, for example.

But here’s the tough reality when you don’t pay enough attention to storage and memory: achieving maximum datacenter optimization is not possible if memory bandwidth or capacity are causing bottlenecks in the overall system performance. When using DRAM and volatile memory, especially for complex SAP HANA® systems and applications, there is a ceiling on performance. Although improvements in other areas of your environment might seem more enticing from a productivity and speed standpoint, keeping your storage up-to-date has become a fundamental requirement for mission-critical workloads.

Advancement in memory capabilities is critical to accommodate growing end-user requirements, which is why Virtustream is offering the option of Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory, also known as PMEM, for our customers looking to directly address DRAM limitations head on.

Confronting DRAM Limitations

Intel Optane memory has two primary distinctions that make it extremely capable for addressing DRAM limitations.

  • Massive memory capacity: Intel Optane memory is available at 128GB, 256GB and 512GB, a range substantially greater than typical DRAM solutions, allowing for more data to pass through the memory bus lanes.
  • Persistent memory technology: Persistent memory allows assigned applications to retain data during power cycles.

A configuration guide from Intel, “Intel® Optane™ Persistent Memory and SAP HANA® Platform,” and a brief overview from Dell EMC, Advantages of PowerEdge Servers Configured with Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory Module, do an excellent job covering the technical details of both of these points. In addition to the two distinctions above, Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory technology is offered in two operating modes, each with unique advantages designed to meet an enterprise’s specific use cases.

The overview from Dell EMC has this to say about both modes: 

  • Memory Mode: Strongly emphasizes building large storage capacity environments around the memory space. Memory Mode’s primary benefit is superior memory capacity, which can be used on memory bus lanes.
  • Application Direct Mode: Highlights the advantage of reduced latency that persistent memory can provide, with bandwidth speeds up to 2.7x faster than non-volatile memory express (NVMe). Using Application Direct Mode, in-memory data survives power cycles, allowing for minimal latency among large memory environments.
Volatile Memory vs. Persistent Memory: The Payoff

Traditionally, SAP HANA uses volatile memory and synchronizes it with the persistence level on disk using mechanisms such as save points. This can present a disadvantage for an enterprise running cloud-based workloads, given that during an SAP HANA restart all data must be reloaded from disk into memory. This process can result in an extended period of time until all data is back in memory.

Persistent memory provides the opportunity to combine fast access (like memory) with durable storage (like disk) that is maintained during restarts or crashes. Importantly for those running on SAP HANA, this can be used as the main storage for column store tables, typically the dominating factor impacting data space consumption in SAP HANA environments.

SAP HANA with Intel Optane

According to a blog earlier this year from SAP, most applications rely solely on the operating system for memory allocation and management, and SAP HANA is no exception. However, when comparing applications strictly from a memory perspective, SAP HANA has an inherently high degree of control over memory management allowing for maximum optimization.

SAP HANA extends seamlessly to persistent memory and can identify which data structures can benefit the most from implementing it. Additionally, SAP HANA automatically detects persistent memory hardware and adjusts itself by placing these data structures in persistent memory, while all others remain in DRAM. These capabilities are only available when running in Application Direct Mode, however, as Memory Mode (which is not used by SAP HANA) doesn’t offer the same level of data persistence, instead focusing on cheaper and/or larger main memory.

Persistent memory has been shown to deliver multiple benefits to end users in comparison to DRAM, such as ensuring business continuity by drastically reducing SAP HANA index server start times.

As shown in this graphic from Intel’s configuration guide (link above), Intel Optane DC persistent memory delivers faster SAP HANA database starts to help ensure business continuity and meet service-level agreements (SLAs).  Overall, persistent memory offers tremendous benefits to enterprises running SAP HANA, and can truly remove the ceiling on your application performance.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Virtustream Enterprise Cloud efficiently manages large SAP migration and implementations, read about our SAP solutions and xStreamCare Services today.

Tue, 28 Jul 2020 04:00:00 +0000 jeff.sterner
SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined – Will Virtustream See You There?

If you are like me and the team at Virtustream, you are optimistically moving your business forward amid the ongoing global economic uncertainty and ever-changing customer expectations. But do you know where to turn or who to trust for advice in reimagining your business IT path forward? 

We know today’s changing business environment is forcing organizations of all sizes to create new ideas and reshape industries. And it is becoming more evident for enterprises of all sizes to remain focused, agile and driven to move forward while reimagining new realities and possibilities for your businesses. 

Virtustream is a long-time partner with SAP, providing mission-critical cloud solutions and services for our joint customers. We’ve migrated thousands of SAP workloads and applications through the years and continue to expand our xStreamCare Services portfolio with add-on services for SAP, like our most recent new offerings.

As you can imagine, given the absence of a live event, we have worked hard to build an incredible online event space for enterprise IT leaders with easy-to-consume and insightful content about how Virtustream’s offerings can support and enhance SAP applications in the cloud. Experience it here:

Join the Digital Experience – Register for Free Today

The team at Virtustream is excited to participate in SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined. The free event is being held virtually on June 15-19, 2020, including 11 different channels that each will focus on different aspects of creating and reshaping your business through speaker keynotes, customer stories, product demos, roundtables, and much more. We are excited to connect, learn and create experiences that lay the groundwork for what’s next for Virtustream and our customers.

We encourage you and your team to discover with us how to keep moving forward today with timely information so all businesses can thrive in the future. Once you register, you can select the specific channels you are interested in attending. We especially hope you can join us for the Partner Innovation track on June 18, which includes thought leaders like Simon Sinek, and customers that will share how they are navigating the current disruptions. 

We hope you join us and the full Virtustream team in participating in this great opportunity with SAP. For more information on our cloud solutions and services for SAP, check-out our digital experience designed for you here today.

Mon, 15 Jun 2020 13:33:00 +0000 sally
How to Improve Return on Investments and Boost SAP Application Up-Time and Performance

Enterprises of all sizes have built their businesses on mission-critical SAP applications, many of which require near-zero downtime. In a variety of industries, such as train and metro systems, air travel, banking, pharmaceutical research and healthcare, being unable to access mission-critical systems for a few hours, or even minutes, can significantly harm both the future of the business and their customers. In fact, more than 86% of the respondents to a recent Statista study say enterprise downtime can cost their businesses anywhere from $300,000 to more than $5,000,000 per hour.

For enterprises modernizing and moving to cloud, they not only need to focus on application up-time, but also on ensuring their IT staff has the right technical skills in place, including those related to SAP applications, cloud and workload migration best practices. To help fill these workforce and knowledge gaps, enterprises often explore supplementary services that leverage their cloud provider’s expertise and experience while enabling their in-house staff to dedicate more time to business priorities and innovation. 

Virtustream’s add-on services for SAP applications accomplish both of these goals for our customers, extending their return on investment and providing complete support for SAP applications running on the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, including migration, management and managed availability services.

Delivering 99.95% Application Up-Time SLAs 

Virtustream recently announced Managed Availability services to extend mission-critical SAP application availability to an industry impressive 99.95%. For an entire year, this equates to just a few hours of total potential downtime, at a maximum. The new services complement Virtustream’s extensive xStreamCare Services portfolio, a comprehensive suite of professional and managed services for customers looking to migrate applications to the cloud.

In addition to Managed Availability Services, Virtustream’s Archiving and Data Management services can help customers right-size ERP applications or databases, thus reclaiming vital system space and infrastructure resources before migrating data to SAP S/4 HANA®. As a result, customers can reduce SAP-related costs, control massive data growth and improve compliance across the business.

The Archiving and Data Management add-on services use Virtustream’s proven, time-tested methodologies for analysis, rightsizing data in preparation for SAP HANA®, archiving data and then decommissioning legacy applications as appropriate.

Knowing How to Right-Size Your Data and Run Strategic What-If Scenarios Can Return Big Dividends to Your Bottomline

With thousands of SAP application migrations in its experience, Virtustream knows one of the first critical steps to take before cloud migration commences is to evaluate SAP data against several “what-if” scenarios. These scenarios consider how much space can be saved, if the data will test the limits of an appliance, and what the best architectural path forward looks like. With the support of Virtustream’s xStreamCare Services consultants, we help customers determine and define their best migration plan forward, including what to migrate, what requires limited access, and what can be removed. By streamlining the data and addressing potential issues in advance, the total cost of SAP HANA migrations can be reduced. With this approach, customers avoid paying to move and maintain access for unnecessary data.

Virtustream consultants can further analyze the data to help customers right-size systems in preparation for a quicker, smoother SAP HANA migration. Additionally, ongoing SAP data management maintains high-performance levels, ensuring mission-critical SAP applications operate efficiently and to their full potential for better business results. 

Data no longer required by the business or for day-to-day operations can be archived in secure, cost-effective storage solutions. Importantly, archived data can be accessed as required for audit or business needs. Virtustream’s archiving methodology includes preparation with thorough user testing for successful project outcomes. Virtustream’s Data Archiving services control data growth while supporting legal compliance requirements with defined data retention periods and enhanced capabilities for safely deleting archived data from main systems.

Finally, decommissioning obsolete systems can contribute to additional significant cost savings – however it can be a complex process. Virtustream delivers a clear, structured approach for decommissioning SAP and non-SAP systems to help customers maximize their return on investment.

In the long-term, Virtustream’s Managed Availability, Archiving and Data Management add-on services can collectively accelerate SAP HANA migrations and reduce costs while maintaining high-performance levels needed for mission-critical SAP applications. Virtustream’s comprehensive approach to delivering end-to-end industrialized cloud services has been helping customers for years to achieve their SAP migration goals.  Learn more about our SAP add-on services here.

Thu, 28 May 2020 01:00:00 +0000 Vijaya.Chintada
Healthcare in Flux: The New Cloud Requirements

Recent world events have highlighted the critical role that hospitals and medical facilities play in our communities, underscoring the resiliency that healthcare providers must expect from their suppliers and partners. This is especially true for the trusted partnerships between healthcare organizations and their technology providers, as IT serves as the backbone for critical patient information and services.

With the industry’s need for IT modernization, the healthcare sector is in a state of daily flux as it grapples with evolving patient demands, expanding compliance requirements and the need for more rapid and agile business innovation.

Benefits of Managed Services

While many industries moved to the cloud years ago to drive IT transformation, the healthcare sector took a more cautious approach for mission-critical applications like Epic for electronic health records (EHR). But in our current era, all industries have now come to realize the benefits of cloud, including hybrid and multicloud environments. Furthermore, leading healthcare organizations are turning to professional and managed services partners to:

  • extend the benefits of cloud to include even faster deployment and migration times;
  • improve IT system performance and management;
  • increase IT flexibility and agility;
  • improve availability for applications and platforms;
  • augment internal capabilities to improve operational efficiencies so internal IT teams can instead focus on higher-priority patient care initiatives and better health and wellness outcomes.
New Cloud Requirements Drawn into Sharper Focus

In this time of global uncertainty, delivering a highly-reliable, highly-secure, enterprise-class cloud platform to serve the needs of healthcare providers and payers is more critical than ever. As Virtustream’s customers like Novant Health and Franciscan Health, and other healthcare providers operate on the front lines of an unprecedented worldwide pandemic these days, their business requirements have been drawn into much sharper focus. They demand:

  • a future-proof cloud IT platform, with the capabilities and agility to stay ahead of a rapidly changing healthcare environment;
  • the highest levels of security and compliance;
  • consistent, simple, always-on access to digital medical records;
  • ability to easily expand telemedicine capabilities;
  • resiliency and flexibility to seamless scale for patient care needs in constant flux;
  • trusted cloud partners with broad, industry-specific expertise to free-up valuable internal IT resources to focus on the delivery of vital patient care initiatives.

In our post-pandemic future, the healthcare market will surely shift yet again. In one emerging area, for example, the line between healthcare providers and payers will continue to blur as insurers aim to invest in clinical integration, healthcare analytics and overall population health. And standalone organizations will look to partner for opportunities to merge complementary capabilities for the common goal of elevating community wellness.

As a result, technology and cloud providers must be able to facilitate and support these market shifts by delivering agile technology solutions and expert services designed to reduce complexity, ensure the availability of mission-critical applications, provide easy and highly secure access to data, and seamlessly support highly integrated environments, including hybrid and multicloud deployments.  

Flux is the one constant in today’s healthcare industry. Our current global crisis has put the IT environments of most healthcare organizations to the ultimate test, shining a bright light on the need for visionary, decisive IT leadership and long-term strategic planning.

And cloud partners who can offer purpose-built, highly-secure platforms with industry-specific expert services will continue to rise to the top as technology partners of choice with whom to forge trusted relationships that can stand the test of time and provide the IT assurances necessary for providing the best possible healthcare – regardless of the crisis du jour. 

Virtustream’s decade-long experience powering the mission-critical applications of some of the world’s biggest brands on our enterprise-class cloud has stood strong through countless crises, including the world’s current unprecedented challenges with COVID-19. Our ability to offer a variety of flexible deployment models allows us to meet our healthcare customers’ most unique business requirements. Learn more about Virtustream’s Healthcare Cloud, xStream cloud management software, and xStreamCare services portfolio today.

And if you had planned to connect with us at HIMSS20 earlier this year, we’d still love to connect with you virtually! Check-out our digital experience online at

Tue, 28 Apr 2020 03:00:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Mind the Gap(s): Three Important Steps to Take on Your Cloud Journey

It’s no surprise that the ability to drive new business value and competitive advantage in the digital era is highly dependent on IT transformation. A recent report from 451 Research shows that forward-looking IT leaders are embracing the challenge by leveraging cloud strategies to most efficiently and effectively transform and modernize their IT.

For many organizations, it’s the last mile of their cloud journey that can be the most difficult as they face the inherently more complex challenges involved with migrating legacy applications and mission-critical workloads to modern cloud environments.  

Most enterprise companies find there can be significant gaps within their organizations – from a shortage of time and resources to a lack of skills and expertise – when it comes to migrating and managing cloud environments. In fact, a majority of organizations today harbor no illusions about the strengths of their own teams’ cloud-related capabilities, with 71% revealing they believe managed cloud services will be a better use of their money in the future, and a strong majority adding that managed services allow their teams to focus on their core competencies and other strategic IT projects. 

The pressures to leverage cloud continue to grow more prevalent each year. As enterprise companies continue to migrate more applications to the cloud – particularly those with mission-critical workloads – here are three steps forward-looking IT leaders are taking to ensure their journeys are smooth and successfully deliver more scale, efficiency, speed and agility to their businesses.

1. Approach hybrid-cloud as the new normal.

In the public cloud space, 451 Research findings show 72% of enterprises say they are already using more than one vendor today, with well more than half noting they are moving toward a hybrid IT environment to leverage both on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources in an integrated fashion. As hybrid and multicloud become the new normal for enterprise IT architectures, achieving optimized workload migration, integration and operations will typically require new skills sets. As such, the research indicates that enterprises of all sizes will look to utilize cloud managed services to fill those gaps.

Enterprises can ensure the best possible outcomes by being clear and upfront about their internal capabilities… or shortcomings. By working with managed cloud services providers to fill gaps in their cloud know-how, organizations can expect to accelerate their journey to a cloud platform that will work best for their specific workloads, and also be capable of powering a more flexible and agile IT environment to keep pace in the future as their business needs grow and evolve. 

2. Seek a trusted cloud partner with proven mission-critical know-how.

Fundamentally, choosing a cloud provider for your mission-critical applications is all about trust. You want to know your applications will be secure, meet regulatory requirements, and deliver high performance for the business. It’s essential to define your mission-critical needs before moving applications to cloud. Typically, these will include applications that store sensitive data, process sales and e-commerce transactions, enhance employee productivity, or deliver customer experience. As the definition of mission-critical can vary from one organization to another, each application or workload must be approached with tested expertise to determine how best to migrate and optimally manage workloads in an enterprise cloud environment. 

By selecting the right, trusted partner with proven mission-critical chops, enterprises can ensure a disruption-free migration and the security of their critical data throughout the process, with as much – or little – support as their business requires. 

3. Leverage expert cloud managed services to mind the gap(s) in the last mile.

With enterprise IT growing increasingly complex, the report from 451 Research highlights key areas of managed cloud services that should expect to see growth in 2020, including managed migration and integration, managed security services, cost and performance optimization, and ongoing monitoring services. 

With expert managed cloud services like Virtustream’s xStreamCare portfolio, there’s no need for a business’ IT staff to go the last mile alone. Organizations with complex, mission-critical applications can confidently move to the cloud with expert managed service providers to help them mitigate their skill gaps. Partnering with a managed services provider with proven methodologies and best practices can ensure a smooth, efficient transformation to a modernized, cloud-based platform, with support for each stage of the journey, from planning to production.

Virtustream is an enterprise-class cloud company trusted by businesses and organizations globally to transform and move their mission-critical applications to the cloud. Virtustream offers the reliability, security, compliance and performance of a dedicated private cloud, combined with the flexibility, scalability and economic benefits of a public cloud. You can learn more about Virtustream’s Enterprise Cloud and xStreamCare portfolio of managed and professional services here.

Wed, 15 Apr 2020 20:57:00 +0000 rob.scott
The Tenets of a Trusted Cloud Partner Should Include Security, Compliance, Privacy and Transparency

Choosing a cloud provider for mission-critical applications and workloads is about finding a trusted partnership as much as it’s about the economics or strategic imperatives of any given cloud solution. Customers want to know their applications and data will be secure, meet regulatory requirements, and deliver high-performance results for the needs of the business.

A rigorous approach to information security management is core to the way we vigilantly manage our facilities and operations at Virtustream. Cloud-delivered systems must be compliant with both obligations that are specified in service agreements as well as regulatory standards, which can encompass global, regional and industry-specific regulations. That’s why Virtustream’s cloud services include the required certifications and attestations necessary for our customers, and our technical datacenter personnel are government-security cleared.

We understand customers’ concerns and offer a single-hand-to-shake approach to security that sets Virtustream apart as a trusted partner. Our cloud operations, migration and management services, security and compliance programs, data privacy practices, and service quality are all designed to sustain the trust we have built with the biggest brands on the planet. 

At Virtustream, our Trust team’s motto is “Security is Everyone’s Job,” but this only works if the entire team internalizes that mantra, takes personal ownership in it, and understands how it helps us and our customers succeed. We believe our relationships with customers and their experiences are the ultimate differentiator and the foundation for our success. Core to our ethos and our approach to each and every relationship is the fact that we’re constantly striving to provide the highest level of trust for our customers, which is not only inclusive of security but also compliance, privacy and transparency.

A new case study transparently illustrates our capabilities that strengthen security postures and overall trust. Read it to learn how we’re partnering with Trend Micro to deliver greater value for our customers and provide the strict security, privacy, compliance and regulatory requirements they need to meet their ever-expanding requirements. To learn more about how we navigate the four tenets of trust – security, compliance, privacy and transparency – visit our Virtustream Trust Center

Wed, 08 Apr 2020 01:00:00 +0000 Editor
Keeping Our Customers’ Mission-Critical Applications Running

As the unprecedented situation of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to unfold, it has now come to touch all of us - our families, our communities and our customers. Today, I want to share how Virtustream is managing the situation and the operational model we have in place to fully support our customers and the running of your mission-critical applications. 

First and foremost, Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business, is monitoring the situation closely and our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners and communities where we operate. We have postponed in-person events and implemented strict travel restrictions and are leveraging our work-from-home model for team members. This is a model that we have already had in place for years for many of our employees and one that can be easily expanded for our broader workforce as necessary. In fact, all our Global Command Centers in the US, Europe and India have already enacted work-from-home contingency plans. We are well prepared to continue business operations remotely. 

We understand this is a very difficult situation for each of our customers. Your business and the smooth operation of your mission-critical workloads is a primary focus for us. We remain fully operational across Virtustream and we’re taking every action necessary, including our work with delivery partners, to continuously manage to our KPIs and to support our customers and partners throughout these uncertain times.

Our Business Continuity Plans Focus on Your Business’ Continuity

I also want to address our business continuity plans across our datacenter operations. Global workforce resilience and mobility is a key factor in our business continuity plans; the policies and plans necessary for protecting Virtustream’s cloud operations and critical business functions have been invoked and are currently in effect.

We have defined staffing plans to maintain the continuity of cloud services in all of our global locations, including staff coverage for security and operations monitoring, infrastructure expansion, routine maintenance, and any necessary customer support projects. Where possible, we’re employing remote engineering services as a precaution to further protect our team members. We have taken precautionary measures to ensure facilities are safe, sanitized and functional during this time. We’re executing against our pre-established business continuity and pandemic plans, and we are confident in our platform’s technical architecture and its ability to handle increased volume and load if necessary. These plans are part of Virtustream’s Business Continuity Management System (BCMS), which is certified to ISO 22301, the international standard for Business Continuity.

Protecting Customers, Partners and Team Members is Job #1 at Virtustream

Lastly, I want to address how Virtustream and Dell Technologies are protecting customers, partners and our own team members from the spread of the virus. First, we comply fully with all requirements of the countries in which we operate. Second, all Virtustream and Dell Technologies products, solutions and services are manufactured, operated and delivered in accordance with the company’s global health and safety policy and undergo rigorous screening prior to delivery, regardless of a facility’s location.

All facilities are prepared to institute quarantine protocols, if necessary, to protect the health and safety of employees, and prevent the spread of the illness. In addition to our employee travel restrictions, we’ve restricted international and domestic travel by customers, partners and suppliers to Virtustream and Dell Technologies facilities, ensuring visitors adhere to the same policies as our team members. If a person is feeling sick or has recently had any symptoms of illness, they cannot enter our facilities. We've advised team members around the world of this restriction, as well as provided medical guidance for remaining healthy and reporting symptoms.

We are here for you – our valued customers – and are committed to serving as your trusted cloud partner as we all navigate these uncharted waters together. We will continue to keep you informed of our business operations and plans as the situation evolves. For more information from Dell Technologies related to this situation, please go here and here.

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 15:49:00 +0000 Drew
Virtustream’s Mission-Critical Healthcare Cloud Expertise on Display

Editor’s Note (3/10/20): With the HIMSS organization’s decision to cancel its conference this year due to an abundance of caution concerning the COVID-19 situation, Virtustream’s plans for the conference changed as well. While this post is no longer relevant for the conference itself, the information about our Healthcare Cloud and related services remains accurate, so we’ve maintained this post for the benefit of our visitors.

We’re looking forward to being back at HIMSS20 this year to share our latest Virtustream news and advancements, and showcase our expertise on the healthcare IT market’s latest trends and business challenges. 

We’ll have our top healthcare IT experts around to lead informative sessions, and discuss how we can help your organization migrate and manage your electronic healthcare records (EHR) workloads in the cloud. And if your organization is on the payer/insurance side of the market, we can also help you plan, migrate, optimize and manage your Epic Payer Platform on Virtustream’s mission-critical cloud. Our experts are also happy to walk through our recent successful migration of Franciscan Health’s Epic application to our cloud platform.

Don’t Miss Our Expert Speaking Sessions

At Virtustream’s booth #7845, we’ll showcase how we’re helping advance patient-centric initiatives with our Virtustream Healthcare Cloud portfolio and enabling customers to manage a variety of ever-growing challenges with our expanding portfolio of xStreamCare managed services.

If you’re looking to learn more, we’re featuring several technology demonstrations and speaking sessions, including (all times are EST):

  • Dr. Tim Calahan, Director of Healthcare Product Strategy & Management, Virtustream, will host a whiteboard session on March 10 at 3:00 p.m., to share how Virtustream is assisting customers  in improving their EHR operating environment by delivering improved application performance while stabilizing IT. Tim is excited to connect with healthcare IT professionals, and he recently published a blog about his thoughts and plans for HIMSS20.
  • James Kluttz, CTO of Novant Health, will host special presentations on his perspectives and experience migrating and running Epic workloads in the cloud: - Tuesday, March 10, 11:15 a.m. - Wednesday, March 11, 3:00 p.m. - Thursday, March 12, 11:15 a.m.
  • Aaron Casano, Senior Healthcare Director Northeast, Virtustream, will host a whiteboard session on March 11 at 11:00 a.m. to explore how to simplify the journey of hosting mission-critical healthcare applications in the cloud.
  • Charles Knight, Customer Success Manager, Virtustream, will host a whiteboard session on March 11 at 4:00 p.m. to explore how Virtustream’s Customer Success Managers deliver on the promise of this unique partnership to ensure our customers’ ultimate success.
  • Scott Yanover, Director of Healthcare, Virtustream, will host a whiteboard session on March 12 at 3:30 p.m. to explore how cloud migration can accelerate innovation in your health system. 
Support a Great Cause

At Virtustream, we value a spirit of compassion and giving, and we actively support numerous organizations around the world who focus on helping those in need. We look for opportunities to expand our efforts and nurture generosity anywhere – even at busy industry events. See our recent blog to understand how our team has been helping others through the years, and how you can easily get involved, too.

And if you’re attending HIMSS20, we’re making it even easier for you to support a worthy cause, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Simply stop by our booth and answer trivia to support this organization’s amazing world-wide mission. And you’ll also be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a Nest Doorbell prize just for stopping by.

Headline News with Franciscan Health

As a mission-critical cloud company and a Dell Technologies business, Virtustream can help healthcare providers of all sizes do more with less. One example is Virtustream’s recent announcement regarding Franciscan Health’s migration of its Epic EHR application to the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud. The successful migration is an integral part of the healthcare organization’s long-term strategy to exit the data center business and expand its cloud strategy to focus more internal staff resources on patient care-focused IT initiatives.

Links to Learn More
  • Learn more about the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud offerings here
  • For more information on Virtustream’s xStreamCare managed services portfolio, go here
  • And if you’re headed to HIMSS20, then schedule a time in advance to easily connect with us at the conference here
Tue, 03 Mar 2020 12:29:00 +0000 frank.smith
Will HIMSS20 Be a Game-Changer for Your Healthcare Organization This Year?

Editor’s Note (3/10/20): With the HIMSS organization’s decision to cancel its conference this year due to an abundance of caution concerning the COVID-19 situation, Virtustream’s plans for the conference changed as well. While this post is no longer relevant for the conference itself, the information about our Healthcare Cloud and related services remains accurate, so we’ve maintained this post for the benefit of our visitors.

Like tens of thousands of people around the world, I’m getting ready to head to HIMSS20 in March to learn about the latest advancements and ground-breaking trends in healthcare IT. As a technology professional focused on the world of healthcare, I look forward to HIMSS to see what’s on the horizon for the industry, ignite fresh ideas, and build new connections with some of the greatest minds in the industry.  

The opportunity to learn and gain critical insights at HIMSS each year can lead to game-changing strategy shifts for healthcare IT organizations, not only for their own staff, but also for the healthcare institutions that they serve.

I recently read an analysis of the industry, The technology imperative for life sciences, that makes the point, “Digital disruption has reached the healthcare sector, and with it comes an imperative for life-science companies to retool core technology to remain competitive.” I found the article’s ten guidelines to provide great perspective on the emerging era ahead of us. And it reminded me that there’s no better place to spend a few days immersed in expert conversations and technology demonstrations than at HIMSS.

HIMSS is ground-zero when it comes to having a pulse on the healthcare IT industry and its latest advancements.

Don’t believe me? Then stop by Virtustream’s booth to inquire about how we’re helping advance patient-centric initiatives with our Virtustream Healthcare Cloud portfolio and helping customers manage a variety of ever-growing challenges with our expanding portfolio of xStreamCare services.

Can Virtustream’s Cloud be Your Game-Changer?

Virtustream can help healthcare providers of all sizes do more with less. For example, we’re helping Novant Health modernize and get the most out of their IT environments and Epic application in a HIPAA/HITECH-compliant cloud that’s purpose-built for mission-critical enterprise applications. This is done through a fundamentally different operating model, supported by expert xStreamCare services, to provide a managed platform that can improve the planning and migration process, help stabilize IT spend, uncover operational efficiencies, and free organizational talent to focus more on innovative patient care initiatives.

If you’re attending HIMSS this year, stop by our booth #7845, or schedule a meeting in advance with us. Be sure to check-out our demos and speaking sessions which include a special presentation on running Epic in the cloud from James Kluttz, CTO of Novant Health.

I’m excited to speak, myself. I’ll host a whiteboard session at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 10, in our Virtustream booth about the benefits of hosting Epic workloads with Virtustream for both healthcare providers and payers. And my colleagues will cover a variety of other hot topics during other whiteboard sessions, from the role a cloud customer success manager can play for you to IT strategies for accelerating innovation within your healthcare organization.    

We hope to see you there, and, in the meantime, you can learn more about the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud offering here.

Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:33:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Our Annual Predictions: What’s in the Clouds for 2020?

It’s that time of year again. As the new year approaches, Virtustream likes to examine the current trends shaping the market today and offer a handful of predictions for what the future may hold for the cloud industry.

In a webinar featuring Forrester guest speaker Lauren Nelson, Vice President and Research Director, we dove deep into emerging cloud trends and predictions for 2020, specifically covering how organizations are turning to the cloud to modernize IT systems, mission-critical applications and core business processes.

A hot discussion point was the growing use of mission-critical cloud managed services. For IT decision makers looking to accelerate their migration to the cloud, expand to a multi-cloud environment, managing training or staffing issues, facing tighter budgets, or approaching major IT modernization initiatives ahead, the webinar covered data-backed perspectives across these areas, including the panelists’ takes on how customers may want to approach cloud managed services, professional services and security for cloud in 2020.

Another area of great interest during the webinar was SAP S/4 HANA adoption and SAP’s pending 2025 deadline for legacy ERP software. As the looming deadline draws closer, 2020 will be the year that many companies begin to comprehensively assess several critical factors, including business operational risks, infrastructure readiness, application modernization needs, and whether they have a trusted cloud partner with the required cloud platform, migration capabilities and deep SAP expertise. 

Dr. Tim Calahan, Virtustream’s Director of Healthcare Product Strategy & Management, also joined the panel to discuss his thoughts on the future for healthcare organizations in the cloud, in particular those running complex EHR systems such as Epic. As the healthcare industry continues to embrace cloud technologies, spurred by ongoing challenges in the industry such as rigorous compliance regulations, constrained budgets and limited IT staff resources, they will be able to realize true cloud benefits – including improved visibility into the quality of patient care and faster delivery of insights from health data. In Dr. Calahan’s opinion, the pace of EHR cloud migrations will only quicken in 2020.    

The webinar’s panelists covered several other burning issues of the day, including the future of cloud hyperscalers, and the potential impact of cloud computing for artificial intelligence and high performance computing in 2020. 

If you’d like to hear more about Virtustream and Forrester’s predictions, check out the webinar replay here. By registering, you’ll also receive a free copy of the "Predictions 2020: Cloud Computing," report by Forrester Research.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:30:00 +0000 frank.smith
Fostering a Spirit of Generosity on Giving Tuesday and Beyond

A few months ago, I had the privilege to participate in a wish-granting event in India where 10 children with life threatening illnesses, and their families, came to the Virtustream offices in Bangalore to have their wishes granted.  Their asks were simple for us to provide – a toy car, clothes, a tablet - but yet entirely meaningful for the children and a powerful reminder of hope and support for the families.  The smiles on the children’s faces and the gratitude from the families was truly unforgettable.

It’s precisely these small moments of compassion that collectively can make a big impact in our own communities – and the world.  Giving Tuesday represents a global generosity movement striving to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities – not only on Dec. 3, but every day. The movement poses a simple question for all of us: We can help others through the gift of time, donations, goods or our voices – which will you give today?

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, the idea has grown into a global movement inspiring hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. In honor of this day, I want to thank the hundreds of Virtustream team members around the world who have made a difference in their communities this year.

Doing Good in Our Global Communities

At Virtustream, we value and nurture a spirit of compassion and giving. Through our Virtustream in Action program, we provide a platform that makes it easy for our team members to make a positive impact in the communities in which they work and live. Our charitable activities can take many forms, but they are all rooted in the belief that each of us can make a true, positive difference in someone’s life. We are proud of our team’s work to help raise nearly $150,000 for multiple causes in the past year alone, and also for the hundreds of hours dedicated to serving our communities.  Here are just a few examples:

  • United Kingdom: Our London-based team recently participated in a 45-mile charity bike ride, with all proceeds benefiting The Prince’s Trust Charity which aids 11- to 30-year-olds who are unemployed or struggling at school. The program is free and provides practical and financial support to help participants through education, skill development and motivation.
  • Ireland: Team members from our offices in Cork put their culinary skills to work to serve the Cork Penny Dinners organization, preparing and serving freshly-made meals to people in need. The team also prepared food packages, which are distributed to people throughout the city.  Cork Penny Dinners is a free service that is open every day of the year. 
  • USA:  A donation drive by our team in McLean, Virginia, benefited Comfort Cases, an organization that provides essential items such as water, toiletries and food for youth entering the foster care system and support them on their journey to find a forever home.  According to Comfort Cases, more than 400,000 youth are in the foster care system in the U.S.  Unfortunately, many of these young people enter the system with little more than the clothes they are wearing, so the need for support is significant.  
  • USA: Virtustream’s team in Atlanta, Georgia, participated in Lauren’s Run, a 5K charity race that benefits CURE Childhood Cancer. Money raised from the run was dedicated to assisting families in their battle with pediatric cancer as well as supporting critical research needed to make life-saving medical advancements. 
  • India: In just a few months, Virtustream’s team members granted wishes for 40 children suffering from critical illnesses, doing their part to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s inspiring goal to grant 75,000 wishes by 2020 in India.

These are just a few of our teams’ many efforts from this past year. There are endless ways to give back, do good and support your community. Giving Tuesday is a great site to find a cause, organization or special event located near you. While this time of year is associated with joy and celebration for many of us, let’s also make it a time of personal reflection, giving and doing good for others.

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 08:00:00 +0000 JoyCorso
The Prognosis is Positive for the Healthcare Industry’s Big Migration to the Cloud in 2020

This blog post was originally published on VMblog.

2019 was an important year in advancing healthcare IT initiatives in the cloud, spurred by healthcare organizations’ growing acceptance of cloud computing benefits – from improved visibility into the quality of patient care to faster insights from health data delivered – with the highest standards in security, compliance and availability. But healthcare providers still face a variety of challenges that could be improved through the increased adoption of digital health initiatives. With that in mind, leaders in the healthcare market are watching these top three predictions for the healthcare cloud computing market in 2020, which is set to surpass $50B by 2025 by one estimate.

A Clear View Drives Better Cost Containment

One of the biggest issues that healthcare organizations face when implementing new IT infrastructure solutions is that they lack the budget to properly integrate them. The annual Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Navigant survey found that 56% of respondents didn’t believe that the challenges of adopting a new EHR system were equal to or outweighed the benefits of integration.

To overcome this hurdle, healthcare organizations should look to partner with a cloud provider who is well-versed in the healthcare industry. Recruiting the aid of an expert cloud service provider will help minimize the time and costs of the transition period, and provide service delivery specifically tailored to the organization’s business requirements. With cloud service providers offering features like cost transparency, which provides customers with cost estimates across their cloud landscape, as well as backup consumption tracking, which allows organizations to see how much backup storage is consumed, the result is a better view of a healthcare organization’s overall costs. These cloud computing benefits are amplified as healthcare organizations move more workloads and data into the cloud and realize the advantages of shifting to a cloud operating model, resulting in a more stable and predictable IT budget.

Staffing Goes to the Cloud

Understaffing has also hampered the adoption of new IT solutions in healthcare. When integrating new IT systems, additional time and resources must be spent during the transition process. Time is lost for workers when trying to understand the new system and more internal resources must be allocated to IT issues, a critical challenge when patient lives are on the line. In 2020, healthcare organizations will embrace managed services to overcome their broader IT staffing challenges.

A new Pathfinder report from 451 Research reveals that nearly two-thirds of organizations that currently use cloud also leverage some level of managed services, with 71% of large enterprise respondents revealing that managed services will be a better use of their money in the future. Furthermore, a strong majority says it allows their teams to focus on more strategic and productive IT projects. No longer will hospitals need to reallocate employees to dedicated IT support roles since a majority of the IT workload can be assigned to the cloud provider. This will allow healthcare organizations to reallocate staff members and resources to prioritize patient care and more strategic business initiatives.

Complexity Remains an IT Hurdle for Most

With increases in digital care and regulatory requirements (e.g. Meaningful Use and the Affordable Care Act) spurring increased adoption of EHR, the advent of artificial intelligence, and an ever-increasing focus on security, privacy and compliance, complexity will continue to increase in the healthcare landscape. To address these issues, healthcare organizations will invest in cloud services that provide a variety of benefits such as a secure infrastructure and data replication. But to fully address these problems, healthcare organizations will need to partner with a cloud provider with industry expertise and tailored services specifically built with healthcare workloads in mind.

Healthcare providers need a platform to provide clinicians and patients a more structured, evidence-based approach to care. Integrating new systems and technology can be difficult, especially for healthcare organizations that manage thousands of patients’ information. However, organizations can fully embrace the future of healthcare with a dedicated cloud service tailored to their business and patient care needs. As a result, both the organization and the patient will have a better experience and outcomes – which is the best prognosis for the healthcare industry overall.

Click here for more information on Virtustream’s cloud solutions for healthcare providers

Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:00:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Flexible, Scalable and Secure: Why Healthcare Organizations Should Embrace Cloud

Healthcare providers face a variety of challenges that could be improved through increased adoption of digital health initiatives. Reimbursements from the US government continue to fall, creating a budget deficit for many US healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are consequently seeking innovative solutions to control, stabilize, or reduce costs. Additionally, healthcare systems are continuously seeking to increase positive outcomes to drive operational efficiencies, financial improvements, improved patient care and enhance safety measures. Embracing IT modernization and digital health initiatives, such as cloud computing and healthcare analytics provide a solid foundation for healthcare providers to focus on these objectives.

Developing a strategy to implement digital health initiatives that leverages the skills, expertise and enhanced tools available in the cloud today can be challenging. While forming this strategy can be difficult for many healthcare organizations – because of recurring IT and financial constraints in evaluating, adopting and integrating digital health initiatives, including cloud – partnering with a trusted provider that has guided other healthcare providers through similar IT transformation efforts can greatly improve the planning process and speed adoption.

It’s all about the money – the issue of cost containment:

One of the biggest issues that healthcare organizations face when implementing new IT infrastructures is that they lack the budget to properly integrate it. Despite IT integrations being able to play such a pivotal role in innovating healthcare, many organizations aren’t making it a priority. In fact, the annual Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Navigant survey found that 56% of respondents didn’t believe that the challenges of adopting a new EHR system were equal to or outweighed the benefits of integration.

People are also crucial – the issue of understaffing:

Understaffing has also played a significant issue when adopting new IT infrastructures in healthcare. When integrating new IT systems, additional time and resources must be spent during the transition process. Time is lost for workers when trying to understand the new system and more internal resources must be allocated to IT issues. Due to the nature of working at hospitals and organizations where people’s lives are on the line, that is an unfavorable outcome. A study by HIMSS found that over half of respondents said they had to scale back or place on hold health IT projects or initiatives in the past year because of staffing/workforce challenges.

Moving to the cloud with the right provider:

To address these issues, healthcare organizations can invest in cloud services that provide a variety of benefits such as a secure infrastructure and data replication. But to fully address these problems, healthcare organizations need a cloud provider with a tailored service specifically built with industry challenges in mind.

Concerns about insufficient funding to implement new IT systems can be overcome by partnering with a cloud provider well-versed in the healthcare industry. This cloud provider should play an active role in smoothing the transition process for the organization, all according to the budget available. Recruiting the aid of a cloud service provider will significantly help reduce the time and costs of the transition period. Virtustream offers support for each stage of a customer’s journey to the cloud, with a wide variety of personalized services. These services cover extensive security and compliance requirements and include highly-tailored service delivery to a customer’s specific business requirements.

For example, Novant Health, a leading regional, not-for-profit, integrated healthcare system, realized that its legacy environment and aging health IT infrastructure could not support its future expansion requirements. As a result, they sought innovative solutions that met their Epic healthcare software application objectives, including a more predictable cost model and improved business speed and agility, while avoiding the need to completely re-architect its system every time new changes were necessary. After working with Virtustream, Novant Health was able to move its mission-critical Epic environment to the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud in only a few hours compared to the usual months or years. This move – a successful migration of one of the industry’s largest Epic deployments to the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud – not only updated Novant Health’s systems but allowed for future enhancements and modernization for years to come. 

Healthcare organizations are also recognizing that the issue of IT staffing can be overcome with managed services. A new Pathfinder report from 451 Research reveals that nearly two-thirds of organizations that currently use cloud also leverage some level of managed services; with 71% of large enterprise respondents revealing that managed services will be a better use of their money in the future, and a strong majority saying it allows their teams to focus on more strategic and productive IT projects. No longer will hospitals need to reallocate employees to dedicated IT support roles since a majority of the IT workload can be assigned to the cloud provider. This will allow hospitals to reallocate staff members and resources to prioritize patient care and more strategic business initiatives.

Healthcare providers need a platform to provide clinicians and patients a more structured, evidence-based approach to care. Integrating new systems and technology can be difficult, especially for healthcare organizations that manage thousands of people’s information. However, Virtustream believes we can drive healthcare industry innovation by being a trusted provider with a dedicated cloud service tailored to each customer’s needs. As a result, both the organization and the patient will have a better experience, and that is really the best outcome.

For more information on Virtustream’s solutions for healthcare providers, go to

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 17:44:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Navigating Common Challenges to Maximize and Modernize SAP Workloads in the Cloud

At this year’s SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, Virtustream shared its deep SAP expertise, learned about new product updates and industry best practices, and connected with customers to discuss the future plans for their business-critical data. It’s a great environment for sharing, learning and networking. 

From all my conversations during the week, one theme continued to be a consistent topic for customers. Migrating workloads to SAP can be a daunting proposition – specifically to SAP S/4 HANA®, due to the looming 2025 legacy SAP ERP deadline.

At Virtustream, we have managed thousands of SAP migrations for customers, and, in our experience, there are six big challenges organizations typically face. I spoke about this topic at the conference to a capacity audience, so I wanted to share them again in this blog post.

Know the Common Challenges
  • Establishing alignment between business and IT stakeholders
  • Handling the growing pains associated with increased complexity
  • Managing multiple applications
  • Avoiding migration issues while in the process of upgrading
  • Understanding the unpredictable costs related to the OpEx model typical of some cloud deployments
  • Lacking the know-how to leverage legacy custom code in a new S/4 HANA initiative

We’ve identified these challenges by helping customers navigate their SAP cloud migrations for more than a decade. For the purposes of this post, I’ve boiled down our broad knowledge into three expert tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Tip #1:  Understand Your What, Where and Why

Enterprise applications are fundamentally different than cloud-native applications, and it’s important to understand the difference. Characteristics of cloud-native applications can include structured automation of components, performance capabilities that include auto-scaling but don’t require sizing for peak usage, and a scale-out versus scale-up architecture.

Enterprise applications, on the other hand, can feature reliability and availability with resiliency built into the infrastructure, I/O-intensive performance that must be sized for peak workloads, security with tight controls and governance, and labor-intensive operational designs that include many manual administrative tasks with broad datacenter coverage expected from IT administrators.

Customers are moving their enterprise, mission-critical applications to the cloud for a number of reasons: complex application environments that are only getting more complex, growing demands on IT teams to deliver projects faster, reduced IT staff and budgets, and the overarching issue that application deployments, management and maintenance are incredibly time-intensive.

When we consider these challenges, we must also consider the elements of our solutions that are necessary to address a myriad of components with dependencies, systems that consist of layers of complex topologies, and the proliferation of components to be managed overall.

Tip #2:  Avoid These Five Industry Gotchas

There are five common industry “gotchas” to keep in mind when planning a migration:

  1. Sizing: Many customers have found it easy to add additional storage for their Oracle, DB2 or MSSQL databases. However, adding disks gets expensive when moving to in-memory because when customers grow the database, they not only have to grow the storage but the CPU and memory as well, all while maintaining SAP certification.  
  2. Maintenance, housekeeping and archiving: It’s important to “clean” Basis tables prior to migration to decrease the memory footprint. Having a data migration strategy on what to archive and what to move to the cloud is key to reducing time and expense of managing the data.
  3. Business Value: It’s crucial to understand the business value of migrating to SAP HANA®. It’s not a magic bullet, and custom code often needs to be re-worked to take full advantage of the technology. Remember to take into account that the processing is pushed from the application server to the database with SAP HANA.
  4. Underlying application problems: It’s important to migrate to a cloud solution before the SAP HANA migration, and to conduct thorough performance testing. With test results in hand, migrate to SAP HANA and perform the same tests. For example, we recently migrated one of our enterprise customer’s DB2 environment and found a 20 percent increase in performance. We then migrated their workload to SAP HANA and documented an additional 10 percent increase in performance from their original on-premises environment. Furthermore, before conducting any migrations, enterprises should outline their specific expectations to test and compare against once the migration is complete.
  5. Cloud Support: A significant question to pose: Does your organization have the in-house expertise needed to troubleshoot and manage SAP HANA in the cloud? First-timers often rely on the expertise of their service provider, as SAP HANA is quite different than traditional databases.
Tip #3:  Find Your One-Hand-to-Shake Cloud Partner

There are a few other things to consider that will help streamline your S/4 HANA journey, and that includes utilizing technologies that help keep the migration and management of applications moving quickly and efficiently. This include security and compliance, which the SAP Fiori® Anti-Virus and Protection product is well-suited for; data management with SAP® Data Hub; data optimization with SAP Data Management & Archiving Services; and for code migration, the Automated S/4HANA Code migration and adaptation services, which can help automate code where possible. These solutions together can help lower total cost of ownership, achieve data compliance, and improve system performance across the board.

Virtustream’s proven processes have been instrumental in helping our customers achieve their SAP migration goals. We take a comprehensive approach to delivering an end-to-end industrialized process to modernize enterprise applications while at the same time delivering highly tailored services across planning, migration, integration and optimization. We give our customers one hand to shake when it comes to delivering our expertise in infrastructure, operating system, database and applications stacks – all from one provider.

To learn more about how Virtustream can help with your migration needs, visit our customer case studies and SAP pages. And for more information about Virtustream’s work with SAP, see another recent blog from us, Make the Trek to S/4 HANA in the Cloud with a Trusted Guide.   

Fri, 04 Oct 2019 17:44:00 +0000 robert.serrata
Heading for Hybrid – the State of Cloud in Healthcare Organizations

A fundamental change is underway in the healthcare industry. Hospitals, walk-in centers and doctor’s offices are undergoing a digital transformation, integrating their electronic health record (EHR) platforms with new patient engagement systems and emerging precision health platforms. They have three primary goals: improve the quality of care, empower patients to take control of their health, and reduce the cost of IT operations.

The increasing complexity of the healthcare IT landscape is driving healthcare organizations to consider new options that can embrace digital strategies and increase agility while reducing costs. Worldwide, security mandates are understandably strict to protect personal health information, with country-level regulations and requirements adding additional layers of complexity. While on-premises solutions may offer perceived advantages, industry leading healthcare providers are closely examining enterprise cloud options for hybrid and off-premises deployment models that meet or exceed high security and compliance requirements, while offering utility-based billing and cloud-based agility and flexibility. For enabling digital healthcare transformation, enterprise cloud services provide a host of avenues to support healthcare providers.

Cloud Enables Healthcare Transformation

While there are plenty of drivers for healthcare providers to adopt a cloud solution, there are also several factors inherent to a cloud offering that make this model attractive for more widespread adoption. A cloud solution can enable the transformation of hospitals, walk-in centers and doctor’s facilities by providing benefits that cannot be delivered through an on-premises deployment. Cloud deployments can address the changing budgetary needs of healthcare providers by shifting budgets to an operating model, thereby stabilizing IT spend. Not only can a cloud platform cost less than an on-premises option, but it can also provide a greater time-to-value for the investment. This value is seen through lower startup costs, non-disruptive upgrades, increased agility to easily redeploy infrastructure resources, pay-for-use models, and the flexibility to scale-up resources during intensive development and usage, and, in turn, scale-down resources based on an organization’s needs.

Enterprise cloud services can also provide the highest service levels for availability. Built with redundancy and business continuity by design, a managed EHR platform, when overseen by an enterprise-class cloud provider, can deliver up to 99.999% service level agreements (SLAs) for infrastructure availability, which is less than 6 minutes of unplanned downtime per year. Conversely, an on-premises solution can face limitations in the speed of deployment and scalability and it could be costly to meet comparable business continuity guarantees.

Hybrid is the Way for Healthcare IT

Hybrid architectures for mission-critical, highly connected environments are not new. In fact, it is the most common deployment model today. Enterprises regularly leverage and combine legacy on-premises environments with off-premises cloud services. The cloud environment must be thoroughly controlled, blending the best practices, procedures and security standards of both the healthcare provider and the partnering cloud company. It’s important to partner with an enterprise cloud service provider with deep experience working with healthcare organizations, and with experts on staff for planning, ongoing support and consultation.

Also, the application interdependencies need to be well understood. For example, it’s advised to have applications with high data interchange rates or with very low latency requirements to reside in the same location. This means that during the planning and assessment phase of any potential migration it’s critical to keenly understand the application landscape and varying performance requirements.

When moving any part of the healthcare IT landscape, including the EHR systems, to a cloud solution, it’s imperative to know who manages the applications and the interfaces that keep data moving smoothly between the separate systems. It’s also important to distinguish between the infrastructure operations in addition to the technical and the functional management of the applications. It must be well scoped, correctly implemented and comprehensively managed. When done correctly, the management of the entire healthcare IT landscape can provide the same or better service than an on-premises model, with potentially much lower delivery costs.

What to Look for in a Cloud Provider

Healthcare organisations should partner with a cloud service provider that offers a full suite of security and compliance capabilities, guarantees the safety and security of patients’ health data, and delivers true “cloud” benefits such as pay-as-you-go, scale-up, scale-down and rapid deployment. Also, make sure there is always someone to call: a 24/7 white-glove service is critical to keeping healthcare IT systems, including EHRs, running around the clock while compressing costs. A 24/7 service will provide for rapid incident resolution, effectively dealing with problems as incidents become apparent. Lastly, healthcare organisations should search for a cloud provider who can monitor and manage the cloud environment to deliver proactive governance and preventative measures to determine potential issues and deal with them before they become a threat.

By choosing a cloud provider who can provide this level of performance, governance and security along with the utility cost benefits and flexibility of a cloud environment, a healthcare provider can make a positive impact on its current IT infrastructure.  Additionally, the healthcare provider can efficiently and effectively modernize its systems and applications and transform IT to be future-ready, freeing the provider to put its attention on what matters most – the health and wellness of its patients.

For more information on Virtustream’s solutions for healthcare providers, go to

Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Demystifying Cloud Transformation with Managed Services

Everyone loves a good mystery. But, in the work place, nobody likes to be mystified. Thankfully, in the world of IT, deep expertise can solve even the most complex challenges. Industry analyst firm 451 Research recently completed a Pathfinder paper, Demystifying Cloud Transformation: Where Enterprises Should Start,  offering deep insights regarding how hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud IT environments are quickly becoming the new normal for enterprise organizations. 

The paper, commissioned by Virtustream, takes an in-depth look at how organizations can demystify cloud transformation and plan a well-orchestrated migration for their mission-critical applications. The study also examines the significant benefits to using expert managed services for cloud migrations and management, driven, in part, by the increasing complexity of enterprise IT environments. So, what else does the study reveal?

Hybrid and Multi-cloud: the New Normal

According to the study, 57% of those surveyed are moving toward a hybrid IT environment that leverages both on-premises and off-premises cloud resources. 72% indicated that they’re using more than one public cloud vendor – in fact, 8% are using more than three today.

But as this hybrid/multi-cloud approach becomes the default enterprise IT architecture, a new set of skills is required for organizations to optimize workload migration, integration and operations. Enterprise organizations of all sizes are clear about their internal cloud-related capabilities and are looking to managed and professional services providers to fill gaps in their cloud expertise and deliver faster, better results.

Overcoming IT and Operational Challenges on the Path to Cloud

The study finds that many of the current roadblocks to a multi-cloud environment aren’t technical, but operational – such as meeting regulatory and security requirements and their corresponding processes and paperwork. In fact, 58% cite governance and compliance as their top operational roadblock. And on the technical side, moving to the cloud introduces new complexities such as migration, changes in capacity planning, and new and more diverse cost/consumption scenarios.

IT challenges are focused on data protection and security, governance, compliance, and migrating workloads to new IT environments. A majority of enterprise respondents cited security as the primary challenge to cloud adoption, with 60% of respondents saying that data protection and security were at the top of their list of concerns.

Compatibility and cost management are also key hurdles for 47% of respondents, due to a lack of skills in-house, a critical requirement in transforming business processes along with IT operations.

Managed Services Can Clear the Journey to the Cloud

Organizations can confidently approach moving to the cloud because managed services providers can help them meet their technical and skills gaps. Managed infrastructure providers step in for the most pressing enterprise needs today, with a range of service offerings that span hosted private cloud, public cloud, and professional services, effectively reducing the need for internal resources to drive the cloud transformation, reducing operating and support costs, and improving service levels, all while efficiently maintaining application portfolios. This can be achieved by blending access to public clouds and hosted private cloud platforms with existing IT operations, in a way that is compatible with the entire migration lifecycle. The journey allows for a smoother transformation to modern IT practices and service delivery.

To learn more about how Virtustream xStreamCare services can help your organization accelerate its cloud migration journey and achieve your IT and business objectives, you can contact us here.

Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:06:00 +0000 rob.scott
Come See Us at VMworld 2019!

Virtustream will be at VMworld 2019 in San Francisco from Aug. 25-29 in booth #1827 sharing our expertise on all things cloud, from mission-critical migrations to multi-cloud strategies. Are you heading to the big event as well? Keep this post bookmarked to make sure you can find us throughout the week.

Our team of cloud experts will be on the expo floor talking shop and leading breakout sessions on the latest cloud developments. Attend our in-depth breakout session, “Architecting Enterprise-class IaaS to Secure Mission-Critical Workloads” by Bob Schaar, a director and solutions architect at Virtustream, on Monday, Aug. 26, from 11:20 – 11:40 a.m. PT. We can’t wait to see you there!

In-booth Whiteboard Sessions:
  • Exploring the Evolving Needs of IT Decision-Makers for Multi-use Architectures
  • Solving Complex Mission Critical Enterprise Application Challenges While Maximizing Performance
  • Architecting Enterprise-class Infrastructure for Mission-Critical Workloads
  • A “Single Hand to Shake” for your Enterprise Mission-Critical Applications
  • Onboarding and Migrating Mission-Critical Workloads to the Cloud
  • Leveraging Cloud-based EHR to Improve Patient Care

Visit our booth at VMworld for a chat, or schedule a conversation with us here.

Virtustream will also be supporting the charity Cradles to Crayons this year, so every attendee who stops by the booth to hear one of our popular whiteboard sessions will play a part in our donation. 

To keep up with Virtustream while we’re at VMworld, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

And check out our other Virtustream materials for additional information:

Virtustream Press Newsroom

Virtustream at VMworld

Mon, 26 Aug 2019 01:24:00 +0000 Editor
Is Your Cloud Platform Compliant AND Secure? Improve Your Cloud Compliance Strategy with a Comprehensive Security Approach.

Achieving compliance is vital to any business in a field that requires certifications to operate. Leading companies often work hard to maintain and achieve new compliance standards, which can bring huge benefits to their businesses and, equally, to their customers. While a compliance-focused approach can be advantageous from a business perspective, these efforts can also be detrimental to your overall security posture if extra care is not taken to understand your potential vulnerabilities.

Understanding a Compliance-Oriented Approach

Let’s consider what an organization does when remediating vulnerabilities using a compliance-oriented approach. For example, if a company is PCI DSS compliant, requirement 11 does not require authenticated scanning to be compliant. This allows the organization to patch the few vulnerabilities discovered from outside the system while ignoring all the internal ones. If an organization was only focused on compliance rather than security, this could be a great shortcut to take for certification, albeit one with very negative security implications.

To put this in perspective, let’s use the analogy of a house. If we study a house from the outside only, we may note that a piece of siding should be fixed, a window should be upgraded, or shingles should be replaced on the roof. However, missed in our observations will be the mold, warped floors, and unsafe electrical wires inside of the home. If we fixed the exterior, the house would look presentable, yet examining the inside would tell a very different story.

Record Future publishes a list every year of the top vulnerabilities they have observed attackers using to exploit systems. The 2018 list contained vulnerabilities mainly found in Microsoft and Adobe products. This reflects a calculated strategy by the attackers, since most businesses and organizations use products from both companies. If a company only reviews and remediates scans from a compliance-oriented perspective, they can miss the potential vulnerabilities in their systems that are most frequently exploited globally. Simply put, a company can be fully compliant, yet still find itself vulnerable to attacks.

Approaching Both Compliance and Security

Now that we understand the problem with a compliance-only approach, it’s clear that a smarter strategy would be to approach both compliance and security comprehensively. If there are lingering questions around which vulnerabilities to patch, my recommendation could not be more straight-forward: Patch all vulnerabilities that matter, period. There are vulnerability management companies, as well as others in the industry, that have done tremendous work to help prioritize patching from a risk perspective. One example of this is Predictive Prioritization from Tenable. This approach allows organizations to effectively prioritize patching to reduce risk based on the constantly evolving landscape. With an average of about 43 new vulnerabilities published daily in 2018, this approach to address true critical vulnerabilities can help organizations meet compliance requirements while at the same time securing their environments most effectively.

Virtustream is dedicated to combining our security and compliance best practices to ensure that your business operates successfully and safely. Our goal is to establish and build trust with each of our customers, no matter the size, by protecting their sensitive, mission-critical data while keeping our cloud compliant and secure.

Thu, 22 Aug 2019 20:28:00 +0000
Fostering a Culture of Security and Transparency

Culture is one of those omnipresent concepts that is both totally obvious and yet often tough to define. You hear about it all the time, and feel like you know it, but trying to pin it down and explain it in words is a Sisyphean task. As a trained anthropologist, I have been trying to define the concept and its different iterations for over 10 years in many different geographical, digital, and organizational settings. While I still haven’t settled upon a final all-encompassing definition, I have noticed the recurrence of four underlying foundations that many of the most productive and inspiring organizational cultures have in common. 

The foundations of a strong culture include: 

  • Shared experiences 
  • Shared knowledge
  • Shared goals
  • Shared norms
Building a Culture of Trust Around Cloud Security 

Given the four foundations above, it stands to reason that if you want to foster a specific culture, for example around cloud security, you should provide experiences, knowledge, goals, and norms designed to enhance what you are trying to build. Here at Virtustream, our Trust team’s motto is “Security is Everyone’s Job,” but this only works if our entire team internalizes that information, experiences it, and understands how it can help us and our customers succeed. We believe that the vehicle of culture is the ideal way to accomplish this.

The Building Blocks

As a company predominately consisting of a remote workforce that is distributed around the world, reaching everyone is not easy, but we make it work. We provide shared experiences with competitions that promote security awareness or by sharing interesting case studies. We consistently share knowledge in our internal newsletters, during lunch & learn calls, by organizing eLearning classes, and through robust documentation. When a team member is not following a security best practice, we take the time to explain why this behavior goes against our shared norms and provide more direction. Finally, any time we communicate with other teams we reiterate our motto to establish a shared goal. After all, if we want to continue as an industry leading, mission-critical cloud service provider, then we need everyone to believe that “security is everyone’s job.” 

A Strong Culture Benefits Your Company’s Customers 

At Virtustream, we believe our relationships with customers and their experiences are the ultimate differentiator and the foundation for our success. Core to our relationships, we are constantly striving to provide the highest level of trust for our customers, which is not only inclusive of security, but also compliance, privacy, and transparency. There are no shortcuts when it comes to building an organizational culture of security and the cultural cultivation architects must adopt a measured and deliberate approach to ensure successful implementation. This process takes time, honesty, effort, and patience. 

There will certainly be challenges along the way, but instead of being daunted by the scope and complexity of the work at hand, Virtustream team members lean in and embrace the inherent challenges that can arise in fostering a security-centric culture that helps protect our customers valuable data with the confidentiality, integrity, and availability it requires. As we look to the future and continue to grow, we never lose sight of the fact that a culture of security and transparency will remain a critical component of our company’s and our customers continued well-being and success.

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 22:23:00 +0000 alon.diamantcohen
Make the Trek to S/4 HANA in the Cloud with a Trusted Guide The impending deadline by SAP to discontinue support for SAP Business Suite products in 2025 is pushing organizations, including those running SAP applications as well as those running other mission-critical applications, to consider the benefits of undertaking the journey to adopt S/4 HANA.

While the looming deadline is more than five years away, decisions need to be made much sooner as the roadmap to S/4 HANA can span several years depending on the scope and size of the migration. Like any attempt at a difficult trek, having a trusted, expert guide leading the way can make the difference between a smooth and safe journey or one with pitfalls at every turn.

Organizations looking to pursue S/4 HANA in the cloud may also find themselves on a path filled with more potential stumbling blocks than anticipated. This includes organizations running some or all workloads in the cloud today, or those looking to move new workloads to the cloud to modernize their digital footprint. Whichever the case may be for you, there are a series of initial assessments you can make along the way to help drive a successful migration roadmap and properly planned decision-making.

10 Steps to Cloud Migration Success

  1. Assess any potential business risks that come with adopting S/4 HANA. Your goal should be to have a clear understanding of how any changes will affect your business processes, and whether your roadmap should focus on adopting S/4 HANA in the next year versus a few years out.
  2. Ensure your infrastructure is up-to-date and compatible for move to S/4. This should include confirming that your application extensions are compatible and that your hardware meets the necessary configuration and sizing requirements. For example, SAP’s Business Suite products run on top of most databases, whereas S/4 must run on HANA, which comes with large performance requirements. Is your current infrastructure ready? Have you also you fully validated that the cloud infrastructure you are moving to can support your availability and performance requirements?
  3. Assess the level of customization within your current SAP environment. Large amounts of customization will ultimately lead to a more complex transition to S/4. What will happen to your customization through the transition process?
  4. How is your organization going to tackle data management and change management to preserve data integrity?
  5. When is the latest possible date for your organization to successfully begin moving to S/4? Determining key milestones like this in your cloud migration roadmap will enable your company to see how long the overall journey may take.
  6. Find a guide who you can trust for your cloud journey and provide dedicated support. You’ll want to consider a cloud partner with years of expertise and know-how when it comes to moving business-critical workloads. The potential for pitfalls and complexities that can hinder a smooth S/4 HANA adoption journey are numerous, and you want to make sure you are working with a cloud service provider (CSP) you can trust with your critical business data. Ensure they have the securities, compliances, and best practices in place that coincide with your organization’s specific needs.
  7. They should also provide a fully dedicated team of SAP experts who can complete your S/4 adoption successfully with minimal downtime. With more than 2,500 SAP application migrations under our collective belt and countless prior cases available to reference, this is where a CSP like Virtustream can provide value to your business. 
  8. Choose the right migration strategy for your business needs. Outsourcing the infrastructure and application management to a CSP like Virtustream removes a large burden from your organization and internal IT team. Work with your CSP to choose the right migration strategy – Greenfield, Brownfield or landscape transformation – to ensure that the migration to S/4 causes as little business disruption as possible.
  9. Check the SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Ensure your CSP offers contractually-enforced SLAs to guarantee that your applications experience as little downtime as possible.
  10. Prepare for worst-case scenarios. What happens in the event of a disaster? Choose a CSP with a disaster recovery strategy that meets your required RPO and RTO times. Virtustream’s SLAs, RTO, and RPO are among the best in the industry along with our wide array of xStreamCare professional and managed services.

A closing thought to keep in mind as you set-out on your trek to S/4 HANA in the cloud: experiencing just a few hours of unplanned downtime for mission-critical systems can translate into huge hits to your company’s market reputation and trust, as well as the potential for significant financial losses. Is it really a journey you want to take on your own? Click here to learn more about how Virtustream can help you run SAP applications in the cloud more efficiently, more economically, and more resiliently than ever before.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 15:02:00 +0000 LukeYerkovich
Can You Trust Your Mission-Critical Applications in the Cloud?

Choosing a cloud provider for your mission-critical applications is all about trust. It’s a hot topic at technology conferences, among industry analysts, and especially for enterprise-class customers. You want to know your applications will be secure, meet regulatory requirements, and deliver high performance for the business.

Rory Read,  President and CEO of Virtustream, understands customers’ concerns all too well.  In the video below he walks through the reasons so many customers trust Virtustream with their most valuable data.

And Deepak Patil, Senior Vice President of Cloud Platform & Services, explains how Virtustream’s single-hand-to-shake approach is a powerful model that sets the company apart as a trusted partner for customers. To learn more about Virtustream’s customer-first philosophy, built on trust as the foundation, visit our Trust Center. Our cloud operations, migration and management services, security and compliance programs, data privacy practices, and service quality are all designed to sustain the trust we have built with the biggest brands on the planet.

Interestingly, new research from Forrester Consulting shows that the market is overwhelmingly interested in moving mission-critical applications to the cloud, with 97 percent of enterprise-class companies saying they’re including mission-critical applications in their multi-cloud strategies going forward.  Customer attitudes are definitely changing and Virtustream offers the experience and deep expertise that you can trust with your mission-critical workloads. To learn more about the findings and recommendations of the new study, download it today or check-out the related webinar.  

Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:12:00 +0000 Editor
Is there a future for mission-critical workloads in a multicloud world? (Hint: It’s already here)

We’re in the midst of the year’s busiest time for tech tradeshows, and one topic seems to be hotter than the rest – multicloud. In an ever-evolving cloud world, one thing is clear: Multicloud strategies are no longer far-flung IT projects. Multicloud strategies are here today and sit at the heart of most enterprise organizations looking to modernize, optimize and derive dramatically more value from their data as a business imperative. In fact, according to new research, 97 percent of enterprise-class companies include mission-critical applications in their multicloud strategies.

A Closer Look at the Numbers

The new research comes from Forrester Consulting who recently took a deep look at the multicloud trend, and its findings are fascinating. The Virtustream-commissioned study, “Multicloud Strategies Drive Mission-Critical Benefits,” examines the current state of IT strategies for cloud-based workloads and specifically looks at the growing interest in multicloud architectures for mission-critical applications – the holy grail for any enterprise-class business or organization.

The global survey was just concluded in April 2019 and includes input from more than 700 cloud technology decision makers at businesses with more than 500 employees. The survey results show how the market has moved beyond the discussion and prediction phase of multicloud adoption, as we’ve now moved firmly into a true multicloud era. In fact, most organizations are on board with this approach and are already migrating their mission-critical apps.

So, what do the survey findings show us?

Mission-Critical Workloads are Deployed on Multicloud Today. Spanning North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region, 97 percent of the respondents say their mission-critical applications are a fundamental part of their multicloud strategies. Interestingly, 93 percent say they are already using two to five cloud providers for their business applications, demonstrating the necessity for hybrid-cloud solutions in many cases to meet the complex and unique needs of those mission-critical workloads.

Defining Your Mission-Critical Needs is Important. Globally, 63 percent of the respondents define mission-critical applications as those that store customer and financial data (ERP); 60 percent define it as applications that are core to completing sales and e-commerce transitions; 58 percent define it as applications that are core to employee productivity; and 55 percent define mission-critical as applications that are core to delivering customer experience. Which one is correct? All of them. Every organization is unique, and mission-critical means different things to different businesses. That means that each should be treated with great care and expert guidance to determine how best to migrate and optimally manage workloads in a multicloud approach.

Managing Security and Risk is Top of Mind. Organizations are facing a variety of multicloud challenges, including security, compliance, monitoring and inconsistent service levels across cloud environments. Examining risk in the cloud space is a key step for implementing a multicloud strategy, and it’s true that multicloud deployments can be complex. Nearly all respondents experienced issues with deploying and using multiple cloud environments, and although 61 percent feel their multicloud strategy is well aligned to their business objectives, security and management challenges are still reflected as the top issues along with migration and deployment.

Finding the Right Expertise is Critical. Of those surveyed, nearly nine of ten report that they will increase or maintain their spending on services and people. This has led organizations to add staff with specific multicloud experience and to work with cloud vendors who have deep multicloud expertise and managed service offerings, like Virtustream can offer.

The Future is Bright for Multicloud. Having the right partner in place while developing a multicloud strategy can help organizations smoothly handle even the most complicated migrations, and the benefits of multicloud far outweigh the challenges. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe that their multicloud strategy is well or very well aligned to business objectives – which illustrates the big opportunity for improvement by partnering with an expert, trusted vendor to maximize the benefits of multicloud.

It’s clear from the survey results that there is steady maturation in the market, and this continued momentum is vital for the future of the cloud. Download the study to learn more about its findings and recommendations for tackling a multicloud deployment, including planning, migration, managing and accessing the expertise and skills required in this new era.

If you’re interested to learn more, check-out our webinar on the study, featuring Mike Harding, Virtustream SAP Practice CTO, and guest speaker, Lauren Nelson, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, at:

Thu, 30 May 2019 16:52:00 +0000 JoyCorso
Enhancing Security through Automation

Information security and automation are two of the hottest topics in the evolving IT industry. While automation is driven by the potential for increased efficiency and decreased resource utilization, many businesses experience a beneficial side effect upon implementation. Enhancement of their security posture. Several of the common security challenges businesses face can be addressed through automation, and being knowledgeable about how this strengthens the security of your data when working in a cloud environment is critical.

Automation - The Effects on Security

Virtustream is focused on automation – and this permeates throughout our architecture from hardware provisioning to application management. By streamlining formerly manual processes, our customers are easily able to achieve efficiencies previously unrealized.

At the core of Virtustream’s automation is software. Under the hood of our platform we use many software defined technologies (Software Defined Networking, Software Defined Storage, etc.) that work together to create a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). When you consider an SDDC environment, Software Defining Security naturally comes to mind. The repeated, automated, and consistent deployment of virtualized systems (servers, network gear, storage, etc.) via automation engines not only reduces manual efforts, but also ensures that all systems are built to compliant standards. 

When addressing these compliance standards, automation can also help alleviate the security concerns associated with legacy infrastructure. For example, it can be used to fix legacy security holes in traditional infrastructures that resulted from the inconsistent systems configurations of days’ past. Additionally, if a risky configuration is found, possibly through an audit, Virtustream’s automation engine can be leveraged to change and remedy the configuration quickly on all affected systems. This philosophy is at the core of Virtustream’s security programs.


Automated Deployment & Configuration Management tools (I.E. SALT, Puppet/Chef, Ansible) have become pervasive in deploying modern infrastructure, and Virtustream uses similar tools to securely provide services on our cloud. It’s no secret that security services are exponentially more valuable when the lag time and back and forth between order and deployment is minimized. That is why Virtustream is steadily advancing towards a “push button -> deploy service” model that will enable our customers to deploy specific managed services for enterprise mission-critical applications on-demand.

Another advantage for Automated Deployment & Configuration Management is the immediate feedback customers receive to confirm and validate that a deployment has occurred that is in line with their expectations and needs.

Central Management and Reporting

Central management and automation tools enable a DevOps environment to thrive in our cloud, enabling the Virtustream team to make our reporting faster and more robust. By implementing version control and a development pipeline, Virtustream is able to drastically decrease downtime and the impact from break/fix issues with roll back and automated restore capabilities. This development pipeline not only can prevent break/fix issues, but can also inhibit insecure configuration changes with security testing. The reporting of this security testing is also leveraged by our compliance team in their response to audits.

Aside from security testing and development pipeline enhancements, Virtustream’s Security Intelligence Operations Center (SIOC) has also leveraged automation in various aspects of their services, not only internally, but for customers as well. One key area of automation efforts is in incident handling (I.E. a Ransomware outbreak). Automating the initial triage when dealing with a massive flood of alerts has enabled timely and effective responses to verified events. By enhancing the automation capabilities of our threat intelligence gathering, Virtustream has increased the effectiveness of our security tooling and the richness of the contextual data we can rapidly provide about an incident.

Perhaps the most visible security automation currently available is the array of reports and dashboards security operations personnel can access. These reports and dashboards can cover a variety of use cases for your employees, such as:

  • An engineer getting an instant and accurate picture of the health and status of various deployed appliances
  • A managed services team member gathering statistics and spotting a potential issue before it grows to a larger issue with heavy impact
  • A SIOC team member spotting anomalies during Threat Hunting exercises, which leads to critical item of interest
Focusing on the Future

The push to automate IT infrastructure and services will continue to grow in the coming years, and enterprises exploring this trend should be considerate of the accompanying growth automation provides their security posture. Traditional security issues, such as systems patching, will be greatly reduced due to standard compliant implementations and central management, and Virtustream and our customers will be able to realize not only security, but also financial and efficiency benefits.

Tue, 28 May 2019 16:38:00 +0000 jeff.tehovnik
The GDPR Spirit - One Year Later

The General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as the GDPR, has been the buzz lately in data privacy, and we all know why…. the PENALTIES! For the most part, the obligations are not revolutionary, but the penalties have upped the ante for any company that was superficially complying with European data privacy laws. Privacy Regulators can issue, depending upon the GDPR provision violated, a maximum monetary fine of either (i) 10 million euros or 2% of global annual revenue or (ii) 20 million euros or 4% of global annual revenue; severe penalties for a company of any size. I won’t belabor you with a blog on what GDPR is, as Virtustream has published a white paper on the GDPR. Instead let's dive deeper into the GDPR spirit, the enforcement climate, and the basic (not all) GDPR obligations with which your Infrastructure as a Service (“IaaS”) provider should be complying.

Real World Impact

The GDPR is being enforced in a highly politicized environment, with privacy activists fighting from the perspective that data privacy is a human rights issue; and, with core principles like fairness, transparency, integrity, and accountability, the GDPR seems to have been written from this perspective. Privacy regulators are showing a data breach is not prerequisite for a penalty. Any company simply violating the core principles can be sanctioned. In January, Google was hit with a whopping 50 million euro fine (which it is appealing) by the French Data Protection Authority for violating some of the GDPR core principles. The good news is that the Google sanction appears to be an outlier as a majority of the monetary penalties issued to date do not resemble the high maximums permitted under the GDPR. However, I suspect that the politics of the time will start to dictate the type of penalties we will see.

For example, Max Schrems, one of the most well-known privacy activists in Europe, started a non-governmental organization called None of Your Business (“noyb”), focused on fundraising for strategic litigation against companies which it feels have dishonest privacy practices and nonchalant attitudes toward privacy rights. Noyb considers itself to be a watchdog for human rights. It notes on its website that Article 80 of the GDPR provides non-profit organizations with the right to bring class action lawsuits against companies for data privacy violations. With the right funding, such an organization can be a lethal force in the European privacy sphere. As privacy activism heats up, we may be seeing more watchdogs on the lookout.

The GDPR Spirit in the Cloud

Unfortunately, as with most data privacy legislation, the GDPR is not necessarily tailored to cloud services. Some IaaS providers claim that their cloud can make a customer compliant with the GDPR, but given the many different responsibilities of data controllers (you) and data processors (your provider) under the GDPR, this could not be further from the truth. The GDPR is not a compliance mechanism like ISO or PCI. As of now, there is no software or auditing company that can certify you as “compliant” with the GDPR on behalf of the EU Commission. There are some obligations in which the customer/data controller must take the lead, e.g., obtaining consent from data subjects, when required by GDPR, to use personal data for marketing or other purposes. I encourage you to consult with your privacy team to determine your obligations as a data controller under the GDPR.

While your IaaS provider cannot make you compliant, as your data processor, your provider is still an important aspect of your GDPR compliance. The following are basic GDPR obligations with which any provider should be assisting you in complying.

Article 28 Contractual Provisions: Article 28 of the GDPR sets forth required contractual clauses for any contract subject to the GDPR, however, no specific format is specified. As such, it is important to ensure that these clauses are included in your contract in some way, considering the nature and purpose of the data processing. Virtustream’s standard master services agreement includes a data protection schedule that meets the requirements of Article 28.

Articles 44-49 International Transfers: European data privacy legislation has always regulated the transfer of data originating in the European Union to non-European Union countries. With respect to the United States, the Safe Harbor method provided a fairly simple means of transferring data between the United States and the European Union. US entities could publicly attest to Safe Harbor privacy principles, and then data could be transferred from the European Union to the United States without the need for additional contractual assurance. However, in 2015, this agreement was invalidated by the European Court of Justice in a lawsuit that Max Schrems brought against Facebook Ireland. As such, you now need to know where your provider is storing your data. If your data will be hosted in a non-European Union data center, Article 46 lists the permitted methods through which you can transfer data to that data center location. To assist our customers in compliance with this Article, Virtustream offers its customers a choice of data center locations, which include locations in the European Union.

Article 32 Security Measures: The GDPR does not mandate specific security measures; rather, it requires implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures, considering the nature and purpose of the data processing. Your provider should be transparent with you regarding the security measures, including the quality thereof, which it deploys in your cloud environment. You need to particularly understand whether your provider has (i) an information security policy that includes a governance process to create workforce accountability, (ii) a policy for breach notification, response, and remediation, and (iii) relevant auditing certifications (e.g. SSAE18, SOC2, etc.). Virtustream provides this information in our standard data protection schedule, including an annex describing the security measures that we deploy. 

Virtustream Cloud Security

While the GDPR does not require encryption, I would highly recommend purchasing encryption as part of your IaaS offering. By rendering your data unreadable to potential hackers through encryption, your company could save itself from massive fines and damages, in addition to further protecting your customers’ data. While the GDPR harmonizes data privacy legislation in the European Union, it also provides room for further national data privacy legislation. Thus, data encryption can be useful as an additional step in ensuring compliance with more restrictive national regulations. Further information on Virtustream’s security, such as encryption, can be found here.

As the GDPR spirit continues to spread across Europe and even the world, pay close attention to your data privacy compliance. Given the climate in which the GDPR is being enforced, we can expect to see many more enforcement decisions in 2019. Experts state that authorities in the European Union already have a backlog. If you have any questions on how Virtustream can assist you in complying with the GDPR as your IaaS provider, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Fri, 10 May 2019 19:43:00 +0000 costell.walton
Keep Current on Virtustream at Dell Technologies World 2019! The doors of Dell Technologies World have swung open for this year’s annual gathering and the place is packed. It’s great to be here, and if you’re here as well, come see us in booth #1213.

You may have seen news from Microsoft today announcing its new Azure VMware Solutions. Here is what the press release had to say about Virtustream, “Azure VMware Solutions are first-party services from Microsoft developed in collaboration with VMware Cloud Verified partners CloudSimple and Virtustream (a Dell Technologies company).” We’re excited about the new Azure VMware Solutions and you’ll see more from us about this in the future. For now, you can see their press release here, and if you’re at Dell Technologies World, swing by our booth to learn more.

We’ve also announced new research from Forrester Research. You can see our press release on the study here. The findings of the new 2019 study reveal that 97 percent of respondents are employing multicloud strategies for mission-critical applications and nearly two-thirds are using multiple vendors for mission-critical workloads. Based on a global survey of more than 700 cloud technology decision makers at businesses with 500 or more employees, the study examines the current state of enterprise IT strategies for cloud-based workloads and details the increasing interest and needs of IT decision makers for multi-use cloud architecture.

The study found that multicloud investments are on the rise, with almost 90 percent of organizations predicting they’ll maintain or increase their investment and staffing for multicloud deployments over the next two years. Also, multicloud adoption is on the rise, as nearly 75 percent of organizations say they are using two to three cloud providers today for mission-critical applications, with the top-ranked use cases centering on customer and financial data, in addition to sales applications.

Virtustream had more to share on the first day of Dell Technologies World. It announced a major expansion of its partnership with Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX), and new platform updates to increase functionality, automation, speed-to-deployment and customer choice. These enhancements cover all workloads, including mission-critical applications typically used for managing sensitive data like customer and financial details or patient information in the healthcare industry.

To learn more about Virtustream’s offerings, the study and how Virtustream addresses top concerns, click here.

All of this follows on some recent customer news, including Virtustream’s partnership with Dell Digital to migrate and manage Dell’s SAP-based ERP System on Virtustream Enterprise Cloud and its work with FMC Corporation to migrate and manage its mission critical, global suite of SAP applications to set the stage for acquisitions and growth. In addition, Virtustream is working with Nibco to help it modernize its infrastructure and transform IT into a strategic business contributor.

To keep up with Virtustream’s news and regular daily posts, follow us at

If you are at Dell Technologies World this year, join Virtustream’s executive sessions or visit our booth (#1213) to learn more. And check out our other Dell Technologies World blogs and links for additional information:

Virtustream Blog
New Forrester Study
Virtustream Dell Boomi Blog
Virtustream at Dell Technologies World page

Mon, 29 Apr 2019 20:17:00 +0000 Editor
Key Analyst Influencers Heading to Dell Technologies World 2019 With Dell Technologies World 2019 kicking off in a few days, we’re eager to hear from several of the industry’s leading analysts on which cloud and digital transformation trends are making the biggest waves. We’ve seen several important adoption trends guiding the trajectory of cloud over the last year, including the rise of multicloud and the open source phenomenon. The team at Virtustream is tracking these trends closely, and remains committed to partnering with organizations to deliver scalable solutions to meet their mission-critical application needs.

This year’s Dell Technologies World attendees will include key industry analysts at the forefront of these digital and application transformation conversations. Below is an overview of analysts attending this year’s conference to follow on social media for insights on how the industry is evolving and how forward-looking enterprises are adapting for the future.

  • Craig Lowery, Gartner: Craig is a vice president at Gartner where he covers cloud computing from both the vendor and end user perspectives, plus managed services for public cloud and related topics. He’s also a published author, a Dell alumnus and a top analyst to follow if you’re interested in the cloud professional and managed services providers. You can follow him @DrJCL.
  • Rhett Dillingham, Moor Insights & Strategy: Rhett is a senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, and is an industry expert on cloud infrastructure and platform services across public, private and hybrid cloud on all leading infrastructures. Prior to becoming an analyst, he held product and engineering leadership roles at Rackspace, AWS and Microsoft. You can check out his recent blog coverage and follow him @rhettdi.
  • Matt Eastwood, IDC: Matt is senior vice president of IDC’s enterprise, datacenter, cloud infrastructure and developer research groups. He leads a team of analysts responsible for identifying and analyzing process and technology trends affecting edge infrastructure, enterprise datacenters and clouds worldwide. You can follow him @matteastwood.
  • Rob Enderle, Enderle Group: Rob is the president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, and is one of the most quoted pundits in the industry. He brings extensive expertise and IT industry analysis skills from his time at Forrester Research, Giga Information Group and IBM. Check out his posts on Enderle Group and follow him at @Enderle.
  • Roy Illsley, Ovum: Roy brings more than 38 years of IT experience to his role as a distinguished analyst at Ovum, where he is the lead analyst for virtualization and cloud computing. Roy’s research focuses on cloud computing, software defined technologies, IT strategy and service management. View his latest research at Ovum and follow him @royillsley.
  • Charles King, Pund-IT: Charles is the president and principal analyst of Pund-IT with expertise ranging from emerging consumer devices to enterprise datacenter technologies. You can subscribe to his weekly newsletter, check out his blog and follow him @PundITInc.
  • Bob Laliberte, ESG: Bob is a practice director and senior analyst interested in the software-defined and virtual architectures driving the next wave of network investment. He covers the network, cloud and service offerings that telcos, cable operators and MSPs are delivering to enterprise customers. Check out his recent blog posts and find him on Twitter @BobLaliberte.
  • Pam Miller, IDC: Pam is director of infrastructure channels research in the channels and alliances research group at IDC. She offers guidance on vendors’ indirect go-to-market strategies, partnering practices and trends impacting relationships between software vendors and their channel partners. Follow her on Twitter @pamelamil.
  • Deepak Mohan, IDC: Deepak is a research director within IDC's enterprise infrastructure practice. With more than a decade of engineering and business experience in the tech industry, his research focuses on cloud infrastructure, including insights on public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). You can follow him @dpk_mohan.
  • Bob O’Donnell, TECHnalysis Research: Bob is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research where he covers a broad range of technology topics, from cloud computing to devices and IoT to AR/VR. He hosts a weekly podcast and publishes commentary on tech industry trends at, and is a frequent guest on broadcast outlets. Follow him @bobodtech.
  • Melanie Posey, 451 Research: Melanie is the research vice president and general manager for 451 Research’s Voice of the Enterprise cloud transformation offering. Melanie offers counsel on automating enterprise workloads in multi-cloud environments and has won numerous awards during her 20+ year career in the tech research and consulting space. You can find her on Twitter @MelanieAPosey.
  • Rick Villars, IDC: Rick is a research vice president of datacenter and cloud and a senior member of IDC's IT infrastructure research team. Rick is a go-to source to learn about workloads driving adoption of converged- and software-defined IT solutions, as well as private and public cloud solutions. Follow him on Twitter @rvillars.

Ready to join the conversation? Follow us and tweet @Virtustream and @DellTechWorld for live updates, track #DellTechWorld, or come chat with our team at the Virtustream booth 1213 if you’re heading to Las Vegas.

Fri, 26 Apr 2019 20:54:00 +0000 rolynparker
Mitigating Migration Complexities with Mission-critical Experience

Migrating your mission-critical SAP applications to the cloud is a complex challenge. Security, performance, scalability, and stability are just a few of the top concerns, and deficits in any of these areas can cause major issues. Moving to the cloud requires meticulous planning and near-perfect execution to eliminate major hurdles and minimize downtime. A few hours of downtime could cost your company millions of dollars; substandard performance on the cloud could cause major inefficiencies; delays in reporting delivery could mean not having the timely data required for critical business decisions.

So how do you relieve this pressure? One of the best ways to minimize these hurdles and challenges is properly defining and building your project’s technical team. The best-suited hands on your project will be incredibly effective at meeting timelines, mitigating risk, and escalating and alleviating issues. Making sure that you have the right people for your project can have a significant impact on project costs and timelines.

A Closer Look at SAP Project Experience

SAP projects have various types, with cloud migration being just one of many defined focus areas. Accordingly, it’s key to find a technical team with the specific skills you need.

Throughout the lifecycle of any SAP project, the Basis Administrator may or may not have gained experience with other SAP projects. Longevity doesn’t necessarily mean having the right qualifications or requisite experience for the project. For instance, someone with 10 years of experience supporting an existing environment may not have any migration experience at all. It cannot be stressed enough how much that matters. The pace is different, the team dynamic is different, and the required skills are – you guessed it – different.

In my career, I worked with an SAP BusinessObjects (BOBJ) technical expert whom had an impressive resume. Years of experience installing, implementing, and managing SAP BOBJ environments. However, the one thing that he hadn’t yet accomplished? Migrating a BOBJ system to the cloud. We were able to efficiently migrate more than 20 other SAP systems, but the delay in this project was getting the BOBJ migration completed successfully. The project missed deadlines and experienced cost overruns because we did not have the right skillset on board.

All of which is to say, if costs and timelines matter to you, then it’s incredibly important to find the right experience for your project.

Finding the Right SAP Product Experience

In addition to considering the type of your SAP projects, it’s also important to consider your SAP products. Most Basis Administrators I have come across are broadly proficient in ABAP-based systems. However, you may require additional skills depending on the SAP solutions you use. ABAP systems, Java systems, and BOBJ systems each have traits that require specialized proficiency. Even though these types of systems may make up only a small portion of your overall SAP solution, finding the skills needed for implementation or migration can prevent future issues and should factor into the way you build your team.

Rounding out the Skill Sets

Great technical project team members will have learned to collaborate deeply with network, data center, and storage teams. Technical SAP expertise doesn’t guarantee knowledge of infrastructure components, so consider a team member who can determine when different skill sets are required; someone who understands all the technical components well enough to know who is needed and when they are needed is vital to long-term success.

Another consideration is where your potential team members were previously employed. Larger companies tend to have resources dedicated to narrower sets of tasks; smaller companies tend to allow for a broader scope of technical responsibilities. Consider this when building out your team, that both types of resources – those with breadth and those with depth – will be of immense value to your project.

Overall, technical expertise, experience, and longevity in the industry may not necessarily point to someone who has the experience you need or is capable of effectively participating in a cloud migration.

Define Expectations and Responsibilities Early

Talk to 10 different SAP leads and you’ll find 10 different lists of tasks that qualify as “SAP Basis.” Be clear during the interview and negotiation processes about your expectations. Develop a RACI type chart (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) for specific tasks to review during negotiations.

Future task assignment conflicts can be easily avoided with a detailed RACI chart, though the level of detail may depend on your tolerance for risk. For example, including “basic Windows management” is probably too vague, but including “extend disk” may be too detailed, given the total possible number of OS tasks.

Attending Dell Technologies World? Us too.

There are many factors that contribute to the success or failure of an SAP project: strategy, approach, planning, resources, scope, stakeholder support, business support, skillset, and team dynamics. Having suitable team members on board increases your chance of success. It’s critical to think through how each team member will contribute to the project. Prioritize your requirements – you may have to give up some of the key attributes to fit your budget, for example. Or you may have to adjust your timelines, which will, in turn, affect the cost and ultimately the success of your project. Consider learning from the missteps of others, or from experts who manage migrations on a daily basis.

If you are going to be at Dell Technologies World this year, plan to attend Virtustream’s expert session on this topic or visit our booth to learn more. The session takes place at the following times:

  • Monday, Apr 29, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM in Toscana 3702
  • Wednesday, May 1, 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM in Galileo 901

We’ll dig further into the tips, tricks, and technical strategies that can help simplify your enterprise cloud journey, decrease time to implementation, and maximize your innovation opportunity going forward across both the private and public cloud landscapes.

Tue, 23 Apr 2019 13:49:00 +0000 jackie.avery
Migrating Dell Digital’s ERP System to Virtustream Enterprise Cloud

When a world-class technology company like Dell Technologies looks for a strategic business partner, it goes to the best. That’s why the tech giant recently chose from its own family of businesses to leverage Virtustream’s mission critical SAP cloud expertise to migrate its SAP-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, to the cloud.

 Announced today, the partnership is a major endorsement for Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. It’s a clear signal of Dell Technologies’ confidence in Virtustream’s enterprise-class cloud software and services, and a prime example of why the world’s leading companies are partnering with Virtustream for cloud migration.

Dell Technologies operates one of the largest businesses on the planet. Dell Digital’s SAP-based ERP system helps make it all possible by supporting more than 60,000 users on numerous core applications and 13 business tools, including SAP Business Warehouse – the data warehouse that hosts Dell EMC’s mission-critical data on customer orders, shipments, invoices and other critical data. Needless to say, it’s a highly complex IT environment with a long list of unique requirements and certifications to manage. 

While the cloud can help enterprise companies transform their business with newfound speed, agility and operational excellence, every migration involves unique obstacles and challenges. From the start of each migration project, enterprises need to focus not just on their workloads, but what business results they can drive in support of productivity and efficiency. Customers need to ask their potential cloud service providers a few basic questions before they move to the cloud, including:

  1. How do you assure performance?
  2. What is the cost model?
  3. When and how quickly can you start a migration?
  4. Who are your reference customers?
  5. How are you different than others in the space?

It’s important to choose a long-term cloud provider that can partner with an enterprise and grow with its changing IT needs as well as emerging technologies and industry trends.

Here at Virtustream, we’ve solved our fair share of difficult engineering problems. We approach extreme workloads like Dell Technologies’ using purpose-built systems to support mission-critical workloads; and connected Infrastructure-as-a-Service, which is a dedicated solution that can support the most resource-intensive workloads and helps meet the most stringent compliance and security requirements. We also offer the xStream Management Platform, which provides a unified, cloud-agnostic control pane that brings together infrastructure orchestration, enterprise application automation, business intelligence and service delivery into a single tool and view. Additionally, Virtustream’s MicroVM (μVM) Technology ensures cost efficiencies and dynamically tailors resource allocation to meet exact workload demands and, in turn, much like a utility provider, only bills for the resources that customers use. All of these components allow our customers to run mission-critical enterprise applications in the cloud, with the performance, agility and scalability they need to be competitive.

So, how did this migration project come together? It all started earlier this year when CIOs from across the Dell Technologies family met to discuss ideas and strategies for working “better together” – a key theme at these now-regular meetings. What began as a broad discussion about cloud migration quickly turned into a planning session. Developing multi-cloud strategies were top-of-mind for the IT leadership team at Dell Technologies. They wanted to explore the possibility of Virtustream partnering with Dell Technologies to provide the same sophisticated suite of enterprise-level cloud services and solutions it does for its customers around the world.

According to Scott Pittman, senior vice president, Dell Digital’s Office of the CIO, “Like our customers, we are driving a transformative and modern multi-cloud strategy to support our dynamic business needs. This transformation began when we were tasked with delivering the largest tech merger in history, which required integrating and enhancing the performance of all systems and applications.”

“Virtustream provides the flexibility and scalability needed to quickly extend our cloud, as well as the deep SAP experience and knowledge we need to make timely decisions with our critical ERP systems,” Pittman added. “This is another great example of a project that will not only enhance our own business operations, but also creates a set of best practices that we can share with our customers.”

Virtustream’s enterprise-class cloud solutions have a long and well-established track record of supporting mission-critical ERP solutions. Naturally, this made Virtustream a perfect fit for this project. In less than three months, the team managed to create a functioning proof-of-concept demonstrating some of the key ways Virtustream Enterprise Cloud would offer flexibility and scalability to support Dell’s dynamic business needs. Shortly thereafter, Dell Technologies and Virtustream forged a partnership to migrate hundreds of servers to support its mission-critical SAP Business Warehouse across multiple on-premise, cloud, public and private environments to Virtustream Enterprise Cloud.

Once the migration is complete, Dell Technologies will have the ability to easily scale IT resources and storage, support mission-critical data sets in real-time, and consistently match fluctuating business demands throughout the year.  By relying on Virtustream’s specialized technology and deep bench of experts in cloud infrastructure and security, Dell IT will also free up internal teams to focus on more strategic aspects of their business.  Additionally, moving to Virtustream Enterprise Cloud has already facilitated greater productivity for Dell. Tasks take less time, which improves Dell’s customer experience, decreases latency and increases overall productivity.

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 13:03:00 +0000 MikeReardon
Accelerating Business Outcomes Through Automation

Digital disruption is permeating every industry and is requiring organizations to proactively modernize and strategically invest in technology. Simple, self-service and automated IT experiences are key to safeguarding companies’ mission-critical applications, freeing internal resources to focus on innovation.

To deliver this, enterprises need proven and secure technologies to streamline operations and become more agile. Our customers know this and tell us they want more automated controls to provision and manage their workloads—independently and on-demand.

Backed by their validation, we continue to extend automation even deeper into our product and service offerings to ensure repeatable and reliable outcomes are today’s organizational standards. Here’s a look into our recent engineering innovations that accelerate time-to-value for our customers and augment their business outcomes.

Enabling Automation at the Foundation

Supported by UI and API functionality, our cloud management and application automation frameworks equip customers to deliver faster with greater control of their IT landscapes. We enable this at the foundation of the Virtustream cloud platform by continually enhancing our self-service and managed services offerings.

Our Virtustream Enterprise Cloud constitutes a fully integrated solution for enterprises, starting with our Virtustream IaaS services, which are powered by leading enterprise infrastructure from Dell Technologies. On top of this, we’ve established industry-specific security, controls, certifications and cloud platform services to deliver highly optimized solutions for our customers.

The result is a highly available, highly performant and secure stack, powered by our cloud management and orchestration platform, xStream

Cloud Management Automation Places Customers in Control

xStream delivers a comprehensive self-service API, workload automation, reporting and management tools, all designed to support enterprise integration and workflows while reducing the complexity of operating applications at scale. The xStream Cloud Management Platform is designed to provide customers with complete oversight of their environment, along with robust management tools and full visibility into their cost drivers.

Recently, we’ve introduced new policy-based provisioning functionalities and extensive graphing and analysis capabilities across any VM, system, application or landscape. Organizations leveraging the xStream self-service portal and automation frameworks also benefit from point-and-click functionalities to easily perform operations. Among others, these include the ability to:

  • Create Virtual Machines (VMs) via pre-configured ‘gold image’ templates, which optionally allow the inclusion of policy-based provisioning for repeatable and reliable self-service deployment
  • Deploy host-based security services (e.g., anti-malware, intrusion detection, firewall and file integrity monitoring) from within the xStream portal, during and after the VM creation process
  • Deploy and configure 15 or 30-day data retention-based services directly through xStream
  • Request the OS-based monitoring service through xStream
Application Automation Fuels Flexibility

With the ability to deploy and configure these services on-demand, customers gain the flexibility needed to keep up with the pace of innovation, as well as influence over costs and capacity. Virtustream’s MicroVM (µVM) technology has been a game changer for organizations striving to maximize the value of our cloud, as well as manage their workloads and cloud costs.

Automation at the application level allows users to holistically manage, schedule or group application operations together. We previously announced new technologies that interconnect all underlying systems and services within an application landscape and then facilitate the real-time exchange of information between them. For customers, these translate into unmatched capabilities to speed their application deployment and ensure consistent and auditable business processes across their organization.

Among others, exciting new functionalities enable customers to:

  • Automate the starting and stopping of their applications, instances, landscapes and more in a specified order, while our integrated automation framework maintains dependencies between application instances and ensures data consistency
  • Flexibly pause and resume scheduled operations as needed
  • “Force-stop” systems based on user selection, accelerating the system shutdown process when the graceful closing of user sessions is not required
  • Group multiple application or database instances into a single landscape, as well as employ policies and schedules to govern their starting and stopping (this is particularly beneficial for non-production landscapes with planned schedules of daily downtime)

While this is only a subset of the innovations shaping our offerings, these enable customers to recoup significant time and cost savings. System procedures can be proactively performed with a single operation, as well as taken offline when they’re not required to run, saving resources.

Delivering On Our Automation Commitments—More to Come!

Everything in Virtustream is centered around equipping enterprises to digitally transform through self-service automation and simplified user experiences. We’re proudly partnering with the best companies on the planet to digitally transform their enterprises and solve their most complex business challenges. We understand that simple, repeatable and reliable experiences are vital to protecting customers’ mission-critical workloads and positioning them for future success. Drawing on the strengths of the Virtustream cloud platform, we continue to enhance our automation framework and technologies to carve competitive advantages for our customers and will continue to keep you apprised of what’s to come!

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.

Thu, 07 Mar 2019 14:12:00 +0000 peter.cutts
Virtustream at HIMSS

Electronic Health Records: Essential to Digital Healthcare Delivery

With ever smarter and more personalized healthcare technology entering the market, customers’ expectations of their healthcare providers are rapidly changing.  IT is no longer hiding in the back office. Instead, the pressure on health IT professionals to step to the forefront and address these changes is mounting rapidly.  At the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference this week, you will see many healthcare CIOs talking about Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in the cloud as a vehicle to provide clinicians and patients with tools to improve patient outcomes. In fact, the global EHR market is expected to rise to $36.6B by 2021 (Kalorama Information, April 2017), reflecting a market that continues to grow and expand.

EHR systems have become an essential clinical platform and today’s leading healthcare organizations are increasingly looking to the cloud to drive efficiency, scalability and better patient experiences.

Addressing Healthcare Pain Points with Mission-Critical Care from the Cloud

As we have seen first-hand in working with our healthcare customers, a secure, reliable, standards-compliant cloud can solve numerous headaches. For one, the cloud provides increased flexibility, with automated self-service and standardized, service-level agreement (SLA)-driven managed services, including pre-configured templates, rapid provisioning, and faster response to changing business needs. Rather than spending resources on just running your EHR, customers can focus on using the EHR solution to improve the quality of care and the patient experience. New features and functions of EHR solutions are adopted quickly without spending unplanned dollars for hardware or staffing.

Secondly, customers are also looking for better peace of mind, which is what they get with cloud vendors that have a deep knowledge of the healthcare industry, and who deliver the availability and performance required to support their most demanding application profiles.

Lastly, healthcare customers aim for decreased risk when moving to the cloud. They are looking for industry-leading infrastructure availability with SLAs up to 99.999%, and a partner that adheres to HIPAA, HITRUST and international regulations, with expertise that guarantees a healthcare provider's protected health information remains secure.

For many healthcare providers, the full value of existing investments such as EHR and other foundational technologies has yet to be realized. Fully capable EHR solutions can be complex to manage, with IT often needing to accommodate frequent software upgrades, which can then trigger unplanned hardware upgrades.

Redesigned Virtustream Healthcare Cloud and Virtustream Managed EHR Platform Service

Virtustream Healthcare Cloud and Virtustream Managed EHR Platform Service offer managed and professional services as part of a single, healthcare-focused cloud offering.  This offering enables providers to run their EHR environment and ancillary, supporting workloads in a HIPAA/HITECH-compliant cloud purpose-built for mission critical healthcare applications allowing rapid response to changing system needs. By engaging Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, healthcare providers have the option to implement an around-the-clock, white-gloved managed service, enabling them to focus on their core business while also providing innovative healthcare services and optimizing the value delivered from existing systems. Additionally, Virtustream Healthcare Cloud removes the burden of operating difficult to maintain applications, all while reducing application TCO.

The newly redesigned Virtustream Healthcare Cloud provides healthcare customers with a stronger platform for digital transformation. This redesigned cloud hosts EHR application platforms and supporting workloads economically and at scale, and where customers can optionally layer in the Virtustream Managed EHR Platform Service.  This includes Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, management of VMware Horizon View for application delivery, and managed services for the EHR platform environment, which includes the customer’s EHR system database plus the EHR supporting ecosystem. It also includes extensive levels of hardware and software orchestration that may serve as the foundation for future healthcare-related capabilities and services.

If you would like to learn more and are at HIMSS this week, please stop by and visit our booth for whiteboard presentations and other materials (#7845).

Links to additional resources:

Data Sheet Healthcare Cloud
Whitepaper: Digital Solutions for Healthcare
Healthcare EHR eBook
News Release: Virtustream Launches Healthcare Cloud (2017)

Tue, 12 Feb 2019 20:59:00 +0000 TimCalahan
Simplifying Compliance Reporting with Self-Service Document Delivery

Going through an audit is an arduous process for large organizations, mainly due to the manual efforts that are involved with having multiple service providers who all need to provide documentation verifying the compliance of their platforms and services. As a result, enterprises are engaging their providers to explore new ways in which they can securely receive the reports and certifications they need in an on-demand fashion.

Having documents readily available not only simplifies your audit process, but also guarantees that your provider is being fully transparent in their operations by making their proof available 24/7. Because of this growing need, Virtustream is changing the way our customers access audit reports, attestation reports, and certifications by providing self-service documentation delivery through our xStream portal.

Self-Service Delivery

With our core focus on operating mission critical applications, most of our customers have specific and significant compliance requirements. When running these complex applications in a cloud environment, not only do you (the enterprise) have to be compliant, but you also have to ensure your cloud provider is compliant as well. We make this easy for you.

By providing on-demand access to our audit reports, attestation reports, and certifications through the xStream portal, we make simple, self-service access to these reports possible. All Virtustream Enterprise Cloud customers who have previously requested reports will, as of today, see those requested reports populated into their xStream portal. For customers who have provisioned specific audit reports with an associated SKU, these will also be available for download.

Being transparent about our certifications, compliances, and attestations is important to us, and we strive to give you a clear understanding about how we process, store, and secure your data. This new process will not only reduce the amount of time needed for audit report acquisition for current customers, but will reduce manual efforts for new customers by enabling them to securely download their requested documentation in real-time once populated into the xStream portal by our Security and Compliance team.

Document Storage

Along with self-service delivery, Virtustream has enabled our customers to leverage their own document storage capabilities in the xStream portal. You can now securely host your own compliance and invoice documents via the user interface (UI) and application programming interface (API) and extend them to your Virtustream representative to review or fill out.

Once a document has been populated into the xStream portal, your Virtustream representative will be able to easily and securely access the document, fill out any needed areas, and send it back to you through the same portal. These document storage capabilities eliminate the need to extend sensitive files and information through a separate channel, enabling our customers to trust that their files and data are secure at all times while hastening the process.

Alerting Capability

Users with permissions to view invoice and compliance documents within the xStream portal will also be able to leverage our new email alerting system. When a Virtustream representative publishes a document in a customer tenant, an email will be sent to account owners with permissions to download that document, alerting them of its availability.

This alerting capability enables ease of access for customers during the time of year in which Virtustream renews our audit reports, attestation reports, and certifications. Because of this capability, customers will no longer need to manually request the latest and greatest version of necessary documents, as the portal will alert them when a newer version of the report goes live.

Compliance Commitment throughout the Portfolio

Achieving and maintaining regulatory and industry compliance is complex and time-consuming, and enhancing the way we deliver compliance documents is just one step towards our greater goal of extending compliance commitment throughout our entire portfolio. In addition to self-service compliance document downloads, our customers can also leverage Virtustream Viewtrust to deliver automated, continuous risk and compliance management across their entire IT landscape. This provides you with a valuable near real-time view of your entire compliance posture, giving you increased protection while reducing the cost and complexity of meeting and demonstrating intricate compliance requirements.

Virtustream Viewtrust gives your compliance teams a way to manage the compliance process through its data collection and reporting processes. By comparing collected information to your compliance requirements, Viewtrust can alert your compliance team when the organization’s environment falls out of compliance. Additionally, Viewtrust’s reporting functions help streamline the process of preparing for an audit because the information from the IT assets has already been collected.

Organizing this standardized process to document, demonstrate, and manage compliance is key, which is why Virtustream Viewtrust implements an NIST Risk Management Framework (RMF). By leveraging this, customers are able to take advantage of SaaS-based risk management and continuous compliance monitoring, with the capability to deliver continuous and proactive monitoring of IT risk across cloud and non-cloud environments. This addresses risk concerns such as cyber, non-compliance, IT operations, audit readiness, and IT asset management. Viewtrust also can be used to provide compliance managers and managed services analysts the capability to review issues found by Rapid7.

The compliances associated with Virtustream’s cloud offerings are assessed and performed by either a certified public accounting (CPA) firm or an independent third party assessor (3PAO). For more information regarding the compliances of Virtustream’s cloud services, please visit the Trust Center or contact us for more information.

Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:27:00 +0000 KrystalPedersen
Demystifying Cloud Economics

One of the biggest technology shifts over the last decade has been the emergence of, and shift to, the cloud. But what’s driving this shift? There are many factors involved, but the main driver is the ability to free organizations from owning and operating their own expensive data centers. IT budgets are tightening, and cloud enables your business to realize the accounting benefits of using compute capacity as an expense rather than a capital expenditure. 

Along with cost flexibility, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) reduces the need to focus expensive and critical IT talent on non-business differentiating tasks, such as managing network, storage, and computing hardware, in addition to software and support. By allowing your staff to focus on innovation rather than maintenance, your enterprise is able to digitally transform at a faster pace than would be possible with expensive, on-premises data centers.

Clouds Obscure Your Vision

The flexibility cloud provides, however, does come with some complexity. Most cloud providers today bill based on the size of your virtual machine (VM), regardless of the amount of compute it’s actually using. This means that cloud customers don’t always have a clear view of the true cost of their VMs, reducing their ability to manage overall capacity and application costs. When working within a strict IT budget, this can be a huge challenge, which is why Virtustream has worked relentlessly to provide a differentiated consumption-based billing model that addresses these concerns.

Providing Cost Visibility with MicroVM Technology

Virtustream’s MicroVM (µVM) technology and xStream Cloud Management Platform (CMP) are designed in a way that enable you to manage and comprehend the exact amount of capacity you’re leveraging with your applications. By using MicroVM and xStream, our customers gain direct access to precise capacity SLAs and can develop a complete understanding regarding the costs of their VMs, applications, and landscapes.

With our MicroVM technology, Virtustream meters compute consumption based upon four metrics related to overall VM performance (CPU, Memory, Network, and IOP performance). Through this metering, we are able to calculate the ACTUAL amount of infrastructure consumed by a VM, regardless of the configured size, and bill you appropriately for only the compute you are using.

In addition to our advanced MicroVM technology, Virtustream recently announced several billing and reporting enhancements to our xStream CMP which will differentiate the way you can track and report on consumption usage. These include:

  • The ability to categorize VMs based upon any delimiting factor you may desire. This categorization can then be used in conjunction with the billing and analysis capabilities to allow you to understand the true costs of your workloads at any VM, system, application, or landscape level you desire.
  • Enhanced analysis capabilities, allowing you to graphically view MicroVM and storage consumption for any VM, or group of VMs, for any time period up to one year. This allows complete visibility into the costs of VMs, the trends of those costs, and the underlying drivers.
  • Using actual historical data to give cost projections on new VMs, enabling you to have an estimated cost before actually incurring it
  • Providing comprehensive reports which show all consumption and category details in a single setting, thus allowing you to perform custom data analytics on the raw data
Remedying Cloud Economics Confusion

The flexibility that cloud provides can make it extremely difficult to gain true insight when determining the exact costs of operating your applications. Even more difficult than this is attempting to predict future costs. Virtustream understands these challenges, and is dedicated to providing you easier methods to track and improve your consumption usage. We understand that enterprises looking to leverage our expertise want easy-to-use tools and technology, giving them complete visibility into their workloads, costs, and cost drivers. By continuing to enhance our offerings, we aim to provide differentiated cost planning and control which will enable you to further benefit from the existing strengths of the Virtustream cloud.

Fri, 25 Jan 2019 15:17:00 +0000 mitry.deeb
An Integrated Experience Connecting Application Automation Services to Platform Capabilities

Managing mission-critical applications is a daunting task, and using manual methods to do so often proves to be inefficient and error prone, as Peter Cutts, our SVP of Product Management, recently illustrated. That is why Virtustream recently announced a major update to our cloud management platform, featuring new automation capabilities that can help your organization better manage your mission-critical applications in the cloud. To help you better understand what these automation capabilities mean for your enterprise, let’s look at just one of the many ways in which Virtustream’s automation differentiates itself, start/stop operations. Specifically, how we use this automation to connect application services with platform services and provide an integrated experience for managing your application landscape.

Consumption Flexibility through Automation

One of the primary cloud advantages is the flexibility to consume services when you need them and switch them off when you don’t. This feature can often be taken for granted, but the benefit provided is one every enterprise desires. Huge cost savings.

Large organizations run a multitude of different projects, many of which are dev/test/validation cycles or sandboxes that may not need to run full time. This includes projects that may need to be turned off or power cycled on a regular basis. Being able to automate start/stop operations for these projects not only reduces cost, but eases the amount of manual effort needed from your team. In addition to running a variety of projects with different up-time needs, down-time is also required periodically for maintenance and life cycle management tasks like patching, recovery, remediation, demand scaling and other tasks on production systems.

The truth of the matter is these enterprise applications can’t simply be turned off like a light switch. These are complex ecosystems that require many independent steps, executed in a defined sequence. One way to remediate these intricacies is by providing stopping or terminating knobs at every resource level, letting you weave your own scripts to capture every system and dependency of your application landscape. This is common with traditional cloud platforms, but the main issue this solution faces is the amount of time it takes for enterprises to truly achieve automation, as each application is slightly different in composition and sequence.

Virtustream’s approach to addressing this automation challenge differentiates itself due to our heavy focus on delivering end-to-end solutions for enterprise applications. We’ve leveraged our deep application knowledge to build an end-to-end solution that enables “on-demand” automation as a single step, addressing the dependencies and operational challenges, improving your ability to be agile in managing your systems, reducing operational overhead, and enabling you to take full advantage of the on-demand economics of cloud.

Starting and Stopping at the Application Landscape Level

Our in-depth application expertise has allowed us to build a differentiated service that automatically starts and stops the entire application. That is, all application instances, database instances and dependent services. By starting and stopping these in a specified sequence, we can help maintain the dependencies between them while ensuring data consistency. Some of the salient features and benefits of this service are:

  • Users can group multiple application and DB instances into one landscape and govern the starting and stopping of the landscape through policies and schedules. For example: the dev/test landscape may require weekly downtimes, but a production landscape on the other hand may be subjected to ad-hoc user driven downtimes. This service allows shutdown or startup tasks to be scheduled based on user preferences or activated on an on-demand basis.
  • For non-production workloads, a force shutdown option can be selected to speed up the shutdown process
  • Once tasks are queued, they can be paused or resumed, allowing additional flexibility in changing schedules on the fly without the manual lift of creating new schedules
  • A detailed breakdown for each step during a startup or shutdown sequence. Having such details helps in optimizing the process for admins, as they can see how much time is taken in each step.
  • User can add notes when they schedule a task for auditing and communication

Integrated Experience

Fig 1: Integrated automation experience

Our unique approach to managing both the application and platform services allows the start/stop process to be integrated across both the application and platform services that support these virtual machines (VMs). This means that while these application environments are being started or stopped, the platform services like backup, monitoring and alerting, and security scanning/compliance services running on them would be enabled or disabled automatically, reducing the operational burden.

This integrated architecture provides the following benefits:

  • Backup schedules are aligned with start/stop of VMs, such that any file system backup scheduled to run when the VM is down would be scheduled after the VM comes back online
  • When VMs are brought back online, any scheduled security scans while the VMs were down are scheduled to run right away to ensure vulnerability compliance
  • The monitoring alerts are suppressed at the application, DB and VM levels automatically when the systems are stopped, and restarted when they are started back up again. This eliminates any unintended incident tickets, thus increasing operational efficiency.
API Access

A power-on/power-off capability is available through API and enables you to integrate this service within your own processes in combination with an appropriate startup/shutdown script executed by the VM. For example, some of our customers may start a downtime operation that involves a set of systems that are on-premises before starting to shut down the related systems in the cloud. APIs help trigger these operations programmatically. This can dramatically simplify operations, reduce errors and eliminate overhead. 

Something like application start/stop may feel like a very simple use case. However, due to the complexity of today’s enterprise application landscape, and the number of dependent operational support services, building it all yourself can be complex and time consuming. Virtustream understands the enterprise, and aspires to design our automation in a way that is not only different from other cloud providers, but is built to address enterprise-specific use cases. We strive to make our customers more agile, while simplifying operations and enabling them to realize the full benefits of cloud, even with traditionally architected enterprise applications.

Contact us today for a demo of this service or if you are interested to learn more about our automated services.

Fri, 11 Jan 2019 19:10:00 +0000 anant.baderdinni
Virtustream Cloud Predictions – What’s in Store for 2019?

In 2018, we saw the emergence of several important pivot points that changed the trajectory of cloud in a big way, making it an even more important part of enterprises’ core IT strategies for 2019. Last week, I had the pleasure of sharing these predictions during a webinar that I co-hosted with special guest Lauren Nelson, principal analyst at Forrester regarding the official Forrester 2019 Cloud Predictions paper. I encourage you to learn more about their predictions here, and see what’s in store from Virtustream’s perspective below.

Prediction #1: The Rise of Multi-Cloud

As cloud has become a default paradigm, the reality of making bets on multiple providers and then figuring out how those clouds work together seamlessly is a key question CIOs and CTOs have been asking themselves. Next year, we expect our customers to make bets on multiple cloud platforms, and cloud providers need to work together to deliver a seamless experience. We expect Virtustream to take a leading role in how this ecosystem evolves. We are looking at a variety of considerations, from performance consistency, network connectivity, abstraction, management and API consistency – to make sure the migration journey doesn’t become more complicated just because customers want to make a bet on multiple cloud platforms.

A few years from now, the majority of CIOs will have to manage multiple clouds, service level agreements (SLAs), touch points and data flows across different platforms. Any cloud provider that does a good job of alleviating these pain points by playing well with other cloud providers and eliminating roadblocks to creating a consistent experience across clouds, will be successful.

Prediction #2: Migration Considerations

As more legacy applications, complex workloads, and mission critical workloads start to move to the cloud, enterprises will need to think more about application and workload migration both in terms of timeline and choice. Over the last decade, we’ve seen that items moved to the cloud were either experimental or cloud native – legacy migration has not been a big challenge or concern for CIOs. But as more mainstream and legacy apps move to the cloud, migration and onboarding will become a much larger consideration. We believe this to be one of the key priorities for our customers, and are making significant investment to ensure that they are able to seamlessly move all of their applications to the cloud over the next couple of years. It will be important to be a true partner to customers and provide guidance on the transition.

Prediction #3: The Open Source Phenomenon

We will continue to see massive democratization of technology as a whole – from hypervisors and virtualization to cloud management tools and technology. The democratization of the cloud will be led by open source technology, and will happen across the board from operating systems to the application stack. The developer sphere will continue to drive this, and will become an even more important audience in 2019 and beyond.

Overall, in 2019, customers will be worrying less about where workloads reside, and will be more focused on what business results they can drive around productivity and efficiency. As the cloud landscape changes to accommodate these and other emerging trends and technologies, it’s important to choose a cloud provider that can change and grow with you, developing a deep partnership that lasts for many years.

Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:12:00 +0000 Deepak
The Multi-Cloud Era Has Arrived

For years, cloud industry insiders have heralded the rise of “multi-cloud” as the de facto cloud strategy for companies of every kind, especially large enterprises. In other words, taking a best-of-breed approach and leveraging multiple cloud platforms rather than placing all workloads into a single cloud environment.

There is no question 2018 was the year that the multi-cloud era arrived.  But what is really happening in the cloud space, and what are the implications for anyone who is looking to take advantage of multi-cloud?  A recently produced report by Forrester entitled, Multi-Cloud Arises From Changing Cloud Priorities, captures the cloud landscape in 2018 from the lens of cloud leaders across industries. 

The report was commissioned by Virtustream to help business and IT leaders in the enterprise make sense of the rapidly-evolving cloud landscape. The Forrester report brings together insights from 725+ cloud strategists and decision makers at large enterprises across the US, EMEA and APAC. Forrester researchers also conducted in-depth interviews with six respondents as part of the study.

Here are my top takeaways from the research – and their implications for enterprise cloud strategies at large:

Most enterprises (86 percent) now describe their cloud strategy as multi-cloud

With the overwhelming majority of respondents reporting a focus on multi-cloud strategies, the single-vendor vs. best-of-breed debate has been put to rest. It’s clear that enterprises want to leverage multiple public and private clouds, matching the right workloads with the best possible cloud environments to optimize performance.

It’s not surprising that multi-cloud has emerged as the go-to strategy for enterprises migrating to cloud – but what is surprising is how fast it has taken root. Looking ahead, all signs point to this trend continuing for the foreseeable future.

A majority (60 percent) are moving mission-critical to public cloud

In recent years, enterprises have started warming up to cloud in a big way. After seeing how cloud-native businesses like Amazon, Google, Uber and countless others are transforming entire industries, the shift was inevitable. The only way to keep tech titans from disrupting your industry is to beat them to it – and that starts with moving IT infrastructure off-premises and into the cloud.

The report finds that enterprise cloud efforts have largely matured beyond the initial experimentation phase. Today, more than half of enterprises are now migrating their mission-critical applications as well. It’s a testament to their commitment to going cloud-first for the long haul.

Nearly half spend $50M+ annually on cloud

The report also found that cloud spending is on the rise, with many enterprises spending at least $50 million annually on cloud technology, talent, and other resources. That’s a remarkable figure – and it aligns perfectly with our own observations on cloud spending. In recent years, relationships with existing clients have expanded dramatically, clearly signaling that enterprises have started doubling down on cloud.

Roughly three quarters (75 percent) plan to create a new cloud strategy in the next two years

As cloud investment increases, so too does the imperative for results. With many enterprises advancing from the experimentation phase into the hunt for real business innovation and impact, three in four respondents plan to refresh their cloud strategy in the next two years, or create a new one altogether.

It’s clear, the multi-cloud era is here.  As 2019 approaches, multi-cloud strategies and running mission-critical applications as part of that strategy are fundamental for IT leaders   Leveraging the right cloud for the right workload is also a critical part of that structure, in particular when it comes to migrating mission critical applications, like SAP.  Virtustream is unparalleled in running SAP in the cloud with over 1,000 migrations and deep expertise in seamlessly managing the complexities of these workloads.

Tue, 18 Dec 2018 13:12:00 +0000 JoyCorso
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.

Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:15:00 +0000 sam.schoelen
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.

Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:16:00 +0000 adam.lyons
Cloud Files Episode 4: 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

Thu, 01 Nov 2018 17:15:00 +0000 Rob
Advancing State-of-the-Art Architecture with SAP HANA on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

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.

Thu, 25 Oct 2018 13:00:00 +0000 ChrisBennett
When Failure is Not an Option, 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.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:19:00 +0000 peter.cutts
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.

Mon, 08 Oct 2018 19:29:00 +0000 Rob
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.

Wed, 03 Oct 2018 22:16:00 +0000 Editor
Introducing the 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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

Mon, 01 Oct 2018 17:51:00 +0000 Rob
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%.

Mon, 01 Oct 2018 13:44:00 +0000 ahsan
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. 

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:17:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:13:00 +0000 DavidAyers
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. 

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:08:00 +0000 Editor
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

Wed, 22 Aug 2018 16:23:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Sat, 23 Jun 2018 12:17:00 +0000 Editor
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. 

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 16:11:00 +0000 Editor
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. 

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 12:46:00 +0000 cherie.whitney
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

Wed, 30 May 2018 11:56:00 +0000 Editor
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!

Thu, 24 May 2018 14:13:00 +0000 Editor
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. 

Wed, 23 May 2018 18:53:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Wed, 23 May 2018 15:36:00 +0000 Drew
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.

Tue, 22 May 2018 11:37:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Mon, 21 May 2018 12:58:00 +0000 DavidAyers
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.

Fri, 04 May 2018 15:46:00 +0000 DavidAyers
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

Fri, 27 Apr 2018 17:34:00 +0000 Editor
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

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Editor
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

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 12:27:00 +0000 Jake
Virtustream Deep Dives: EMA’s 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.

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 17:01:00 +0000 Rob
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

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:49:00 +0000 Editor
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:


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."


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. 


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.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:19:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:32:00 +0000 Editor
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

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

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

Product Security Incident Response contacts:

Virtustream Security Incident Response Center:
Dell client products: Mohit Arora

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 21:32:00 +0000 Editor
What is a MicroVM (µVM)?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 200MHz
  • Memory usage in increments of 768MB
  • 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.

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 15:41:00 +0000 Editorµvm
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. 

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 17:10:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 12:24:00 +0000 Editor
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!

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:14:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:40:00 +0000 Editor
Five “Gotchas” When Migrating to SAP HANA Mouse-Trap.jpg#asset:3321

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


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.

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 12:57:00 +0000 Jake
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.

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:58:00 +0000 Jake
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. 

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:28:00 +0000 Rob
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


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 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


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.


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!

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:15:00 +0000 Editor
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

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor
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!

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor
Healthcare’s 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 choice 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 Healthcare Cloud infrastructure plus management of the computing platform that serves VMware Horizon View for their published applications. 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 can also choose Virtustream Managed EHR Platform Service, which includes managed services for the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, management of VMware Horizon View for application delivery, and managed services for the EHR platform environment which includes the customer’s EHR system database plus the supporting ecosystem.

As you can see, the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud, built upon the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud, is an ideal platform for healthcare organizations 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.

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Editor
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.

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:36:00 +0000 ChrisG
Talent & Human Resources Blog Virtustream India COE team

Day-in-the-Life with Chandra Keyser

Chandra Keyser, ITIL Expert in Pennsylvania


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

Wed, 24 May 2017 10:15:00 +0000 Editor
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

Fri, 05 May 2017 20:33:00 +0000 Editor
Talent & Human Resources Blog 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!


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!
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What’s it like to intern at Virtustream? Hear from our team of talented interns for the inside scoop.

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:55:00 +0000 Editor
Talent & Human Resources Blog 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.


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.

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 21:45:00 +0000 Editor
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.

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.

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:56:00 +0000 gabriel.lopez
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

Twitter @chrisgaudlip

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 00:51:00 +0000 ChrisG
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.

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 22:38:00 +0000 Editor
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.
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 01:10:00 +0000 Jake