Virtustream Blog / Virtustream Blog en-us Sun, 19 Nov 2017 01:43:33 +0000 Sun, 19 Nov 2017 01:43:33 +0000 Virtustream at VMworld 2017 /blog/virtustream-at-vmworld-2017 VMworld 2017 was one for the books! Our week was filled with speaking sessions, whiteboarding and discussing all things cloud with people from across the globe. We wanted to share a few of our highlights from the show, so take a look for a glimpse at Team Virtustream at VMworld 2017!

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

By Lauren Day, Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition.

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

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

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

Define your culture and get specific

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

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

Lead by example

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

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

Be proactive

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jake Echanove, Director, Systems Engineering - Americas, @JakeEchanove

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

Jake:

In your experience, what are the five most common 'gotchas' that a customer should prepare for when migrating to 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 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 HANA. This isn't a magic bullet and custom code often needs to be reworked to take full advantage of HANA. That's because the processing is pushed from the app server to the DB with 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 HANA. It’s important to do a lift and shift to cloud before the 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 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 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 HANA.
  • Support - Most companies will not have the in-house expertise to troubleshoot and manage HANA. If it is their first experience with HANA then they will rely on their Service Provider's expertise as 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 HANA specific problems, and our customers rely on us to provide expert guidance.
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Thu, 07 Sep 2017 12:57:00 +0000 Jake /blog/five-gotchas-when-migrating-to-hana
How to Write a Winning Resume /blog/how-to-write-a-winning-resume Resume.jpg#asset:3318

By: Lauren Day, Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.  A few other quick fixes you can make: 

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

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

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

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

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

By Lisa Desmond, Senior Vice President, Marketing, @LisaDesmond

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

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

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

Hosted Private Clouds Are Essential for Cloud Migration

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

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

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

Digital Transformation Begins with Integration, Automation and an Ecosystem

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

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

Virtustream Among Vendors That “Lead the Pack”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jake Echanove, Director, Systems Engineering - Americas, @JakeEchanove

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Rob Bissett, Director, Strategic Marketing at Virtustream, @robbissett

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

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

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

Every Mistake is Magnified

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

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

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

No Clear Path Forward

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

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

Hidden Costs Everywhere

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

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

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

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

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

By Dave Henry, Technical Product Marketing, @davemhenry

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

Charitable Efforts

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

The Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded-Warrior.jpg#asset:3278

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

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

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

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles-to-Crayons.jpg#asset:3279

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

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

Solutions Exchange

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

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

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

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

Breakout Session

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

Receptions

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

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

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

Not Enough Virtustream Goodness for You?

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

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

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

See you in Las Vegas!

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Thu, 24 Aug 2017 13:15:00 +0000 Dave /blog/all-things-virtustream-at-vmworld-u-s
VMworld 2017: Virtustream Cheat Sheet /blog/vmworld-2017-virtustream-cheat-sheet

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

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

Schedule a meeting with us

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

Illustrative whiteboarding sessions

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

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

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

Engage with us on social

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

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

Sunday, August 27:

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

Monday, August 28:

Tuesday, August 29:

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

Wednesday, August 30:

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

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

- Team Virtustream

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

By Simon Walsh, COO, Virtustream 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Dave Henry, Technical Product Marketing, Virtustream, @davemhenry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Dave Henry, Technical Product Marketing, Virtustream, @davemhenry

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 medical record (EMR) 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 EMR database itself. All storage within the Virtustream infrastructure runs regular error-correction checks to ensure the integrity of all data.

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

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

Hybrid Service Models for Healthcare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple

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

Enterprise-class

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

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

Read the paper here:

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

Justin Augat
Storage Cloud Marketing

Twitter @JustinAugat

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Wed, 05 Jul 2017 17:16:00 +0000 justin /blog/summer-reading-simplify-cloud-storage-with-virtustream-storage-cloud
Enterprise Moves to the Cloud /blog/enterprise-moves-to-the-cloud Enterprise-ready, data durability

We founded Virtustream in 2009 when we saw an unmet need in the marketplace for a public cloud service capable of handling the mission critical workloads of large enterprises. Traditional enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning or supply chain management require better performance, guaranteed service levels and true consumption economics that are not generally available from public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services. Eight years later, our vision is being rewarded as large enterprises are moving to the cloud in spades.

In FY18, Virtustream is striving to achieve $1 billion in Committed Contract Value Order Bookings. This significant milestone says as much about the maturity of the enterprise cloud market as it does about the maturity of our business.

Today, the market for enterprise cloud solutions is growing faster than industry analysts predicted even one year ago. According to research firm Forrester, half of enterprises expect to use public cloud platforms by the end of this year. Analysts at Gartner report that half of all applications hosted in public clouds by next year will be considered mission-critical.

Look at the cloud service provider marketplace at large and you’ll see that it is pivoting toward the enterprise. That’s our wheelhouse, where we have a huge head start over general purpose public cloud providers. Five years from now, we believe there is a good chance that our addressable market opportunity will grow to be larger than $25 billion. The amount of market share we can take in a $25 billion infrastructure as a service segment really depends on how well we execute as a team — and within the broader team of Dell Technologies.

When we set out to launch our business back in 2009, we didn’t seek to copy AWS. As entrepreneurs, we didn’t see too many examples of new IT companies that had been successful simply following the tail lights of a frontrunner on the industry’s racetrack. We knew the market needed something more and different than just was another general purpose cloud utility like AWS.

So we did something unique. We took a different track and made it our mission to become the leader in the market for running mission-critical applications in the cloud. While AWS focused on serving scale-out cloud native applications, we architected our cloud platform to solve a different engineering problem: to run scale-up, I/O-centric enterprise applications that require higher availability and security. We created a public cloud service with private cloud attributes and attracted enterprise customers from the likes of Coca-Cola, Cargill, GE, Estee Lauder, Hershey’s, Domino Foods and many more, along with Federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Interior, the USDA, etc.

Our customers value Virtustream’s differentiated technology that competitors do not have. And the rich array of value added services we offer sets us apart from other cloud providers. Large enterprises want experts to help them through a challenging cloud journey. They need knowledgeable partners who can get them to their destination and minimize risk along the way.

Now, as a member of the Dell Technologies family of businesses, our growth strategy relies upon scaling our already successful business and expanding into new territory around the world and into new segments. This month we announced a new cloud solution for the health care market and greater integration between Virtustream and VMware cloud infrastructure to better serve growing demand for hybrid cloud deployments. We are also working on deeper integration between our infrastructure as a service offering and Pivotal Cloud Foundry as well as a Virtustream edition of Enterprise Hybrid Cloud built upon a Dell EMC hyper converged infrastructure appliance that will offer true hybrid cloud, optimized across on-premises enterprise private clouds, Virtustream’s public cloud, and third-party service provider clouds that leverage Virtustream’s cloud management and orchestration software, xStream. Leveraging these Dell Technologies assets will make us an even more formidable player in the marketplace. Our ambition is to be “the” leader in the market for running mission critical applications in the cloud for large enterprises. That is precisely where we see the market headed, and with the support of Dell EMC and Dell Technologies, we are very confident in our ability to get there together.

rodney_rogers_blog.png#asset:2507
- Rodney
Connect with me on Twitter @rjrogers87


1 Source: Forrester, “Benchmark Your Enterprise Cloud Adoption, Benchmarks: The Cloud Computing Playbook” January 3, 2017
2 Source: Gartner, “Planning Guide for Cloud Computing”, Mindy Cancila, Douglas Toombs, Alan D Waite, Elias Khnaser, October 13, 2016

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Thu, 25 May 2017 11:14:00 +0000 Rodney /blog/enterprise-moves-to-the-cloud
Talent & Human Resources Blog /blog/blog-3-human-resources-and-technology Virtustream India COE team

Day-in-the-Life with Chandra Keyser

Chandra Keyser, ITIL Expert in Pennsylvania

Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Chandra

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

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

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

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

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

Mark your calendars! Daily breakdown of Virtustream events:

Monday, May 8:

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

Tuesday, May 9:

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

Wednesday, May 10:

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

Thursday, May 11:

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

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

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

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

Lauren Day, Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition

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

fast traffic ahead

Tech be nimble, tech be quick

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

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

unique

Identify Your Differentiator

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

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

cultural fit

Culture is Key

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

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

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

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

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

Lauren Day, Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition

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

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

fast pace

Tech be nimble, tech be quick

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

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

unique

Identify Your Differentiator

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

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

cultural fit

Culture is Key

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

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

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

-Lauren

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

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

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

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

Better, Faster, Cheaper

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

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

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

But is it really fast and cheap?

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

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

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

 Finding the better.

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

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

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

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

What can you afford?

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

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

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

Gabriel
Twitter: @glopezIMS

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


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

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

The tyranny of choice?

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

Look to your on-premises IT for guidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justin Augat
Storage Cloud Marketing

Twitter @JustinAugat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Gaudlip
CTO

Twitter @chrisgaudlip

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

It’s hard to imagine a world without cloud.

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

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

A look back at marketing hype: Cloud “everything”

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

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

No longer just for “non-critical” data

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

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

Remembering the past and planning for the future

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

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

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

Justin Augat
Storage Cloud Marketing

Twitter @JustinAugat

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

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

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


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

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

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

Three Steps:

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

Opposing THUMBs to follow:

T=Talk Track that is

H=Humble, with an

U=Understanding of the

M=Message, without the

B=Blah, Blah, Blah

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

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

Chris

Twitter: @chrisgaudlip

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

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

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

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

Develop a strategic plan

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

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

Be self aware

“Know thyself.” – Sun Tzu

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

Be aware of your environment

“Know thy enemy.” – Sun Tzu

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

Choose a compliant hybrid cloud

“Invincibility lies in the defence” – Sun Tzu

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

But don’t rely on standards alone

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

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

Embrace transparency

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

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

Use all of your resources

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

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

Stay one step ahead

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

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

No two clouds are alike

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

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

Prioritize risk management

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

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

Sean 

Twitter: @VCDX17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reduce energy costs

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

Manage and optimize power capacity

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

Spot and prevent potential problems to ensure uptime

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

Efficiently control power functions and resolve problems quickly

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

Chris

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Fri, 18 Mar 2016 12:20:00 +0000 ChrisG /blog/ac-dc-is-not-only-an-australian-rock-band-from-the-1970s
The Stage is Set /blog/the-stage-is-set These are exciting times for Virtustream. We’ve hit the ground running, and I’m thrilled about the new year and what’s in store.

First, it’s an honor to be leading an EMC Federation company alongside some of the most talented professionals in the industry. Our new structure gives us the scalability and reach to extend our global footprint in the complex, mission-critical cloud applications market. This is no small feat, and when you add that we’re just getting started, the future is looking brighter than ever. We aspire to record growth in 2016 in a number of our business segments and have assembled a portfolio of software and services that will allow us to partner even more deeply with our enterprise, service provider and public sector customers.

On January 27th, EMC held its Q4 earnings call, and Virtustream was featured as a significant part of the Federation’s growth strategy. Joe Tucci, EMC chairman and CEO, shared his thoughts on our ability to drive even higher growth rates in 2016 and beyond. The stage is set for us to aggressively pursue our growth agenda in 2016, and with our great team, Federation partners, and most importantly our customers, that’s just what we intend to do. Here’s a brief excerpt from Wednesday’s call.

“Virtustream, our newest Federation company, has fortified the EMC hybrid cloud portfolio. It ended Q4 with the strongest bookings quarter in its history. Since our last earnings call, we've evolved our approach relative to the integration of Virtustream. Importantly, we wanted to better leverage VMware's enhanced multi-cloud, multi-device strategy and ensure that Virtustream continues to be a premier vCAN partner, embracing VMware's technology suite.

We have decided to focus Virtustream on two key high-growth cloud opportunities. The first area is Virtustream's heritage, namely to run complex mission-critical business applications on its modern cloud architecture, which features Virtustream's internally developed xStream software technology, a true differentiator.

EMC's strength is highly complementary here as its infrastructure principally supports mission-critical applications across its vast global customer base.

The second cloud area in which Virtustream will focus leverages EMC's most trusted position: the enterprise storage arena, by offering a portfolio of cloud-based solutions for tiered data storage, archiving, backup and disaster recovery.

To help accelerate this second cloud storage thrust, we moved EMC II's cloud-based commercial object storage service and its managed services business into Virtustream earlier this month.

Collectively, the new Virtustream will start out life with nearly $100 million in quarterly revenue. As I've said before, we are expecting very high growth in this area. Both Michael Dell and I are very excited about the prospects of our Virtustream business and feel that our combined synergies will drive even higher growth rates for this business in 2016 and beyond.”

Rod

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Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11:08:00 +0000 Rodney /blog/the-stage-is-set
The Future Looks Very Bright /blog/the-future-looks-very-bright One of the areas I am excited about in 2016 is Virtustream’s extended partnership with SAP – which offers a secure, flexible cloud infrastructure service for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC).

http://www.virtustream.com/com...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:15:00 +0000 Henrik /blog/the-future-looks-very-bright
Venture Born. Enterprise Proven. [and now] EMC Strong /blog/emcnews So I’m going to try to sum up the past 6 years in about 1,000 words. This may be a bigger challenge for me than this deal we just signed.

Before getting into it, I want to thank Joe Tucci, Pat Gelsinger, Howard Elias and everyone else that made this bet on us. We could not be more excited to embrace the awesome responsibility of Virtustream becoming the newest company in the EMC Federation.

We will not let you down.

 A Bit of Background:

When my co-founder Kevin Reid and I started Virtustream in January of 2009, we were the antithesis of Silicon Valley hipsters. We were a couple of 40-something East coast guys whose technical experience came largely from the application services space (our Bios). We were, quite possibly, the least cool guys in the cloud. Further, we were intent on building a start-from-scratch cloud software and services business that would ultimately compete with the industry’s titans. Thankfully, we were foolish.

At that time we admired the core cloud architecture that AWS had built which ultimately ‘made’ the public cloud market that they continue to dominate today. We felt attempting to build a sub-scale AWS model, however, would be venture capital suicide and instead focused on incorporating many of the principles they pioneered in the way of multi-tenancy, elasticity, orchestration, and automation toward solving the engineering problem associated specifically with running I/O-intensive, mission critical enterprise applications (such as SAP and others) in the cloud. Further, we focused on automating many of the system functions required to manage these particular types of enterprise application environments so as to be able to offer a uniquely efficient managed service for the technology landscapes that ran on our cloud. Virtustream was born.

So in the midst of the 2009/2010 U.S. credit crisis we raised venture capital, built a team, and started to design and write xStream, our cloud management platform software. If you are not familiar with our technology you can find short high-level overview here.

We use xStream today to run our own cloud IaaS in North America and Western Europe, make it available as a commercial software product to Service Providers around the world to power their own cloud IaaS offerings, and also make it directly available as a commercial software product to enterprises and government agencies for private cloud builds.

Our Commercials

While there has been some promising IP developed in the venture capital backed cloud software and services space over the past 5 -10 years, it is more rare to find viable/sustainable commercial results. This is what we are most proud of. We were able to separate ourselves from the pack in this regard and as a young company achieve viable commercial results in a relatively short time in a space that is furiously IP-intensive and competitive.

Our business today is on an approximately $100 million annualized revenue run-rate of which approximately 60% is cloud IaaS and 40% is cloud software – the latter of which we primarily license to other Service Providers around the world. I believe we now have just achieved the first inflection point towards scaling this business. Not so much yet in our current revenue run-rate, but rather in the profile of that revenue now being very conducive to high forward recurring revenue growth rates based on major wins within Fortune 500 customers on both the IaaS and software fronts. We have proven to-date that we can win against anyone in our areas of focus without much geographical reach, or much of a balance sheet relative to our competitors. Virtustream did not exist just over 6 years ago, and I believe strongly we are well-positioned to grow within a reasonable timeframe  to a billion dollar revenue business by way of our own growth trajectory and by fully leveraging the Federation’s assets and reach. Yes, you can all now judge me accordingly on that.

This Deal

We had been preparing to take Virtustream public for about a year now. Earlier this year we had evaluated bankers and had received numerous data points on how we may price a public offering. We started down the path of a standard 3-Quarter process of selecting a banker, writing an S-1, and then ultimately filing it with the SEC. Our target IPO date range was Q4-15 to Q1-16.

As is often the case when you take yourself through a process like this, acquisition suitors emerge. We had dialogue with parties we knew well and knew had an interest in us. We received Term Sheets from a number of parties and evaluated our choices. The ultimate valuation ranges of these Term Sheets and the present value of the public offering pricing estimates were all in the same range of in/around $1.2 billion USD. We were in the wonderful position of having options, but also had a great burden of responsibility in making the right choice for our customers, employees and shareholders.

We chose EMC. It was, quite honestly, an easy decision. In addition to the terms EMC proposed, the enterprise-focused technology and service assets within the EMC Federation are, in our opinion, unparalleled. We believe that we help fulfill the EMC vision of being able to run any type of enterprise application in the cloud, anywhere in the world, through ultimately whatever method of consumption makes sense for the customer. EMC’s reach, sales force, commercial model and asset base will literally give us the opportunity to take this precious kernel of IP that we have developed and reach the world with it. Being structured as a new Federation Company affords us the opportunity to fulfill our own dream of changing the world of enterprise IT computing. We’re very excited about what this means in terms of expanding our technology offerings and reach for our customers and partners around the world – who play such an important role not just in shaping our journey, but also in shaping our very products and services.

In closing I will also say that we found every single person we dealt with at EMC to not only be outstanding in their area of professional discipline, but also just great people. That was also of ultimate importance to us.

We are humbled, energized and thrilled to now be EMC strong.

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Tue, 26 May 2015 08:04:00 +0000 Rodney /blog/emcnews
A Quick Overview of Virtustream’s Technology. Go! /blog/virtustream-technology-overview I was recently at a Fortune 500 cloud IaaS prospect and a senior technology executive there gave me “one opportunity” to describe what Virtustream did technologically and why she should care. Her two stipulations were that I had to make my case in 5 minutes or less, and without the use of any visual aids. She then just simply said, “Go:”

So I took a breath and went:

xStream, the cloud management software that powers Virtustream’s cloud IaaS, resides as an abstraction-based control plane above the virtual machine management layer in the cloud IaaS Stack. Our software diffuses the definitional bounds of virtual machines so we can size and service technology landscapes to the individual application requirements for compute, RAM, storage IOPs and network bandwidth. We then pool these resources in aggregate and optimally use them individually across our entire estate of hardware to service our entire estate of customers, sizing customer resource pools to specific QoS requirements. This allows us to always ensure that we have the required IOPs to guarantee the latency of the applications that run on our cloud, without over-provisioning hardware to do so.

This is particularly helpful for running heavyweight enterprise apps in the cloud (SAP systems and their residual interface apps, as an example), commercially guaranteeing application response times in production environments, eliminating unnecessary virtual machine "headroom" and ultimately billing customers on the individual resources they consume as opposed to allocation-based instance sizes. This allows us to offer a highly efficient service from both a unit price and volume of purchase perspective, while also being able to commercially assure the performance of mission critical apps running on our cloud.

We have also focused intensely on automating the functions required to maintain enterprise application landscapes. To accomplish this we have written a macro-orchestrator that sits atop an open platform which automates, through a library of digitized blueprints, the inter-dependent and sequenced actions (start, stop, clone, refresh, etc.) and the various system components (app servers, data base servers, web servers, etc.) of that landscape to perform a particular type of action (patching, application maintenance, upgrades, etc.) on the environment. This area is another huge differentiator for us particularly for SAP environments today, with Oracle on our near-term roadmap. We do not just address the automation of these management functions for the SAP or Oracle enterprise apps, but for the full ecosystem of web apps that interface with these core enterprise apps as well. This fundamentally allows us to manage more application landscapes with less system/application admin labor.

Finally, we add to this a rigorous set of security and automated compliance features that have largely been recognized by Gartner as best in class. From the table-stakes stuff of role-based access, the segregation of logical and physical assets, authentication, etc., through to the more complex features of encrypting data without damaging IO performance, through to performing silicon-level system integrity attestation (thru Intel TXT) and providing for the automated ingestion of massive amounts of sensor-generated technology asset data to perform continuous monitoring of assets for vulnerability and compliance-adherence. This area has also been a huge differentiator for us. We run the most secure cloud IaaS in the world.

Summary

We got that deal. Not because of my 5-minute pitch, but because of the real technology described in that 5 minutes.

The above is simply intended as a short introductory overview to Virtustream’s technology. There is a tremendous degree of further detail in the product sections, white papers, case studies, and other areas of our web site. Additional technical content for specific use-case requirements are also available by way of contacting us.

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Sun, 24 May 2015 23:53:00 +0000 Rodney /blog/virtustream-technology-overview