Month: February 2021

  • EMC at VMworld 2014

    first_imgPhew – it’s been a crazy week at VMworld!   Like every year, VMworld in San Francisco is a week so densely packed, it makes the surface of a neutron star feel like Fargo, Dakota. Tens of thousands of customers, partners, competitors – and for me, a great opportunity to see and talk to many long-time friends.For the last eight years, I’ve been lucky enough to be near the center of this maelstrom  – and I don’t mean only of VMworld, but of the “VMware revolution” more generally. VMworld is a barometer of what’s going on in the world of IT – because server virtualization (and here I mean “kernel mode virtualization”) has become over those years the de-facto way to deploy enterprise applications that need infrastructure resilience. In fact, it’s moved forward beyond server virtualization into the software-defined data center, including Infrastructure as a Service management and orchestration, software-defined networking, software-defined storage and more.For as long as I’ve been involved, EMC has been a huge partner presence at VMworld, and this year is no different, with an enormous booth filled with thousands of visitors. What IS different is that there are more people than ever thinking about the topic of the EMC Federation and what it means. I want to look at this week through that lens.Some of our customers prize the “freedom to choose” above all else. They tend to mix and match the technologies from the EMC federation set of companies. “Choice” is at the core of EMC, VMware and Pivotal DNA, and always will be.When any technology leader starts to “lock-in” its stack, it’s never good for the customer ultimately. Our model also gives each of the EMC federation companies the ability to move quickly, innovate and avoid the biggest threat to any technology leader: failure to disrupt yourself.At VMworld 2014, there were new announcements that fall into this “open federation coupling” category: First, VMware announces EVO:RAIL, and EMC will have the best hyper-converged appliance built around that technology with additional EMC ingredients. Second, EMC announces Recoverpoint for VMs – a software-defined data availability and protection solution.  This uses open vSphere APIs, but delivers a whole new level of VM-level disaster recovery. And that’s just scratching the surface.However, I’m also seeing a change in posture amongst many customers I talk to. Many are prioritizing “speed” and “accelerate change” over “let me mix and match indefinitely.” After all, when they select public PaaS or IaaS choices (or SaaS offers) for more rapid movement/agility there is NO “choice” in how those are constructed.These customers ask us to partner with them as an integrated entity – and be proscriptive. In other words, they are asking for a defined federation position, a defined federation stack. In these cases the EMC federation model offers industry-leading solutions that span Hybrid Cloud IaaS, PaaS – and Big/Fast Data and Business Analytics.Further, in these cases, the customer partnership model helps them squeeze and reduce their spend on critical legacy infrastructure. Here, EMC and VMware play a big part there by self-disrupting with flash, and SDDC models – while continuing to support the most mission critical workloads. Those customers then pivot that savings to invest in building new “3rd platform” applications that can grow the business. Here, Pivotal plays a leading role, but with critical support from VMware and EMC– after all, PaaS for new 3rd platform applications still runs on infrastructure – but not the same architectural model as before.Historical examples of “tight federation coupling” abound (too many to list here), but at VMworld 2014, there were new announcements that fall into this category:VMware announces a new vCloud Air offer in beta – that delivers Object capabilities that are critical for public cloud offerings. This is done in partnership with the EMC ViPR team.EMC has updated our EMC Hybrid Cloud 2.5 solution. This is done through the EVP solutions team work – which is staffed by EMC, VMware, and Pivotal employees.  This is THE fastest, THE MOST certain way to deploy an SDDC IaaS and PaaS solution that integrates the three federation companies. It isn’t just converged infrastructure (Vblock and VSPEX), but the complete assemblage of the vRealize management suite, fully integrated with the infrastructure, with the data protection that the applications require.   In addition, it integrates Pivotal Cloud Foundry as the PaaS layer, and does it in a way that also integrates on and off-premise options with vCloud Air.It’s been a crazy week, and a great week! You can see that we’re continuing both our open partnership model and tight federation partnership model – because, ultimately, it’s best for the customer.There’s far too much to comment on in one blog post – so if you want more on these topics and others, check out A VMworld 2014 Link Librarylast_img read more

  • Are You Ready to Be a ‘Win-ologist’?

    first_imgWith technology developments happening at the speed of light – everything and everyone connected, anywhere and anytime – CEOs need to be extremely flexible. They need to react immediately to changing market conditions. Putting this into practice is easier said than done, and requires tech-savviness. The true, modern-day CEO needs to be a Connected CEO. In my opinion, Connected CEOs are a new breed of business leaders who leverage agility, talent and the right partners to keep winning and drive digital transformation throughout their company.The Art of ‘Win-ology’We live in a unique time, where the pace of change is accelerating. Evolutions that previously took 50 years, are now happening in five years. What took five years, has been reduced to five months.What has not changed is the fighting spirit and the drive to win that characterize great CEOs. Or, as I would put it, they want to be win-ologists. According to Gartner’s recent CEO Survey, growth and profit are the number-one priorities of business leaders. Those may seem like obvious priorities, but more interesting is that CEOs also indicate that developing near-term and future digital routes to market are the key ways to drive growth and profit. New digital routes to market allow business leaders to sell more to existing customers or sell to new customers while, at the same time, building the business of the near future, addressing cost and increasing customer loyalty. While the idea of shifting towards digital business used to be something looming on the horizon, in 2017, it has become the main destination. CEOs know they have no choice really: they either have to become an Uber in their market, or risk being ‘Ubered’ by someone else.If CEOs want to become and/or remain win-ologists, they will need to connect the dots between the business and IT. Doing that means bringing several elements together, and can be considered an art. After all, great art succeeds in combining elements like vision, technique, emotion and medium. Likewise, the Connected CEO will need the find the right mix between talent, partnerships and business ability to reach his or her goal.TalentThe Gartner CEO survey shows that 58% of CEOs want to improve in-house technology and digital capabilities. This means that CEOs are ever more open to in-house development of strategic capabilities and especially strategic digital capabilities. From my frequent contacts with customers too, I know that the modern CEO understands how important digital processes, technology and systems are to maintaining a competitive advantage. Great CEOs are willing to invest in technological skills and capabilities.To upgrade your IT department, you will need to understand what drives your pool of ‘intellectual capital’, as I like to call it, and give your employees all the necessary tools. In this way, they will have everything at their fingertips to reach their full potential within your company. It also means recruiting the profiles with the right mindset and skills across not only your CIO but your entire executive board and your entire workforce.This evolution is accelerated now that companies start to realize that there are some downsides to moving too many workloads to the public cloud. They opted for public cloud to decrease cost and increase transparency, but the opposite happened: costs are going through the roof as they add more data services and they lose transparency. It is a commonly held view that companies can deliver services less expensively themselves by using cloud-like concepts in their in-house infrastructure. We live in a multi-cloud world.Gartner’s survey also highlights that deep digital transformation can only be driven if you set the right success criteria from the start. It reveals that 47% of CEOs are under pressure from their board of directors to make progress in the digital field. The best person within your management board to turn to for advice on how to do that is… your CIO. They can help you answer questions on how to grow digitally and how to set the best KPIs. They will also be able to clearly explain new frameworks of reference. Still, if you feel that your CIO is unable to fully focus on digital entrepreneurism due to having too much legacy process and technology to maintain, it might be wise to bring in an additional role. The Chief Digital Officer (CDO) can drive digitization forward while business continuity is maintained. A strong and connected CEO/CIO/CDO trio can put your digital house in order! The Right PartnerBuilding your digital-minded resources is a first step in the right direction. It is important to have the right skill set in-house. However, you cannot expect your teams to be experts in everything. And that’s why you will still need to work with external partners to help you on the road to digital transformation.Picking the right partner is not an easy task, and CEOs rightly expect their technology partner to bring a complete solution to the table, not just a brick in the wall, but an entire wall. A good partner will offer breadth of technological expertise, and people expertise. In the complex world that we live in, a partner needs to understand technology, understand the customer’s industry, understand the company itself and how far it has advanced in its digital transformation.Like the best team surrounds the winner, I want Dell EMC to be the right partner for your business too. Our customer relations are built on trust and long-term engagement. Together, we build the roadmap for your transformation journey.The Need for Speed: Agility Is KeyIt is a delicate balancing act to reconcile long-term plans for digital transformation while maintaining your competitive edge in the short run, especially as more and more agile and disruptive players enter the market daily. As I said earlier, changes are happening faster and faster and, to be a winner, you need to move faster than the market. If you’re not ahead, you’re behind. Agile methods have long been used by IT teams, but have recently found more success in different levels of the organization. Startups often utilize the method for their whole business model, combined with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. It allows them to architect for change very rapidly and efficiently, and to adapt to customer expectations more quickly, so it is definitely something that should find a foothold in larger organizations.A recent Forbes article stated that modern businesses need to be a combination of: 1) formal structures, 2) big data know-how and 3) action-oriented behavior. I agree with that. You could liken it to a three-legged stool that needs all three elements to keep it in balance. But stepping out of bureaucracy and moving towards adhocracy will be a challenge for many. The right software and the right tools can help you to keep your competitive advantage and do business much faster. After all, every company has essentially become a software company. The Connected CEOTo be a win-ologist, you first need to become a Connected CEO: someone who has a helicopter view at all times and breaks down silos. It’s a tough balancing act between the long term and short term, between business goals and digital transformation goals, and between connecting the right people and talent with the systems within your organization. To be successful on this exciting journey you will need to get the right profiles and partners on board. If you mix these elements in the right proportions, you will create a true work of art.We live in a complex world. It may seem a paradox but, in a complex environment, simple solutions become all the more powerful. Very much like the simplest of drawings can provoke the deepest of emotions.Let’s develop these simple solutions together! Let’s create a work of art together!last_img read more

  • Veterans Fit in at Dell

    first_imgDell supports veterans through a number of programs, including Employee Resource Groups at both the national and local levels. Find out more at Matthew Koskinen, associate test engineer at Dell EMC and a Marine Corps Sergeant, is especially thankful for military experiences that taught him the ability to pivot—quickly.“In 2008 when I was activating to deploy, our deployment was having us to go to Afghanistan,” Koskinen said.He and his fellow Marines were preparing for mountains and Afghani culture when they found out about a month before their deployment date they were going to Iraq instead.“I began studying Arabic, but once we got in country, we found out that we were going to southern Kurdistan, an area of Iraq where they didn’t speak Arabic primarily,” he said.The rapid change in deployment schedule was a good illustration of the types of problems Koskinen faced in the military that have translated especially well into the technology sector.“Everything is changing. Today we could be working on one project, the next new technology comes out and we’re going to focus on that. So, the military really helped me prepare for that challenge,” he said.Military to civilian transitionMolly Mae Potter, who was named Ms Veteran America 2016, works as a business operations manager at Dell.“When I left the military in 2013, it wasn’t exactly a celebration. I got injured in Afghanistan in 2010 and I really struggled with a traumatic brain injury and some post-traumatic stress,” Potter said. “I had gone through treatment with the military and had a really hard time trying to figure out what I was going to do post military career.”When she started looking for a job in 2013, the only position she was able to find was working in a running shoe store earning $10 per hour.  Struggling to pay her bills, she resorted to renting her house and relying on friends and family to keep her afloat.“I was essentially living in my car with my dog until I got a call from Dell in April 2014 and I started work here that May,” Potter said. “When I started, it was an immediate fit. I had an amazing advisor who understood that I was going to go through a little bit of a rough patch transitioning from the military into a corporate, civilian environment.”Her boss took his time helping Potter understand expectations for the role and was flexible as she took time to resolve her health issues.“My first year here, I actually had a service dog that came to work with me quite a bit, and Dell just treated it as a norm,” Potter said.The welcoming environment was just the tip of the iceberg for Potter feeling at home. Her military skill set translated beautifully. She’s happily moved into four different positions within her two years.“In the military you are trained and ingrained to figure it out without getting stressed out,” she said. “When I look at the future of my career here at Dell, I see a wide open door,” Potter said.Softening the edgesAlejandro Rivas, an Army Veteran who works in the Global Talent Management Team in HR, agreed the military has played a hand in his successful 19-year career at Dell. He’s thankful for the mentors who helped him transition and soften his approach.“I’ve had a number of amazing leaders who have coached me or given me, as I call it, tough love. And I needed it,” Rivas said.He went on to share how his military style didn’t quite translate to Dell’s culture at first.“I would literally go into a conference room with a bunch of directors and other senior leaders and give them direction like a military person would,” Rivas laughs about it now. “I’d put my hand on my hip and say, ‘I need you to go to this, do you copy? And if we’ve got it, draw fire.’”Recognizing his approach didn’t resonate with a lot of people, a member of his leadership team told him he needed to learn soft skills. Rivas genuinely didn’t know what that meant.“The tip to learn soft skills tapped into who I am as a person,” Rivas said. “It helped me develop networks and relationships with people long term; it helped me transition from ex-military to professional, but without forgetting where I came from, which was a good thing because it is part of my DNA just the same.”Soft skills aside, Rivas feels coming to Dell became a natural next step after his military career. He has enjoyed the fact that Dell has been open and flexible about moving within the company and growing his career.“I love being here. Since the military, this is the next big job that I’ve had. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”last_img read more

  • On Being Centered and Creating a Global Women’s Network for our Partners

    first_imgThe mission of the Dell EMC Network of Extraordinary Women is to support and empower women of the channel through networking, tools, resources and community. This initiative works in collaboration with Dell EMC employee resource groups to develop enrichment programs that bring awareness and inclusion to our Women of the channel—both within Dell EMC and among our partner community. And, at the heart of it all, we strive to have fun and celebrate each other.Deanna Thomson on Being CenteredIn October, I had the honor of attending the Dell EMC Partners “Extraordinary Women Welcome Luncheon” during The Canadian Partner Summit 2017.  Hosted by Deanna Thomson, National Director Channel Sales, Dell EMC Canada, this event brought together a group of more than 50 extraordinary attendees— including Partners, Dell EMC executives and employees.Deanna Thomson delivered a compelling keynote around the topic of Being Centered. Deanna defined being centered as, “… A place within you, where it’s calm and you know exactly who you are. It’s where all the worries and doubts that we have, fade away. It’s where we are truly honest with ourselves and its where our ability to create, accomplish, and even endure comes from.”Deanna then challenged the attendees to find their center and to be the best possible version of themselves.  This message resonated deeply with them, evident in the wonderful discussions that followed her speech.Together we shared stories, laughed and applauded one another’s experiences. The feeling in the room was that of a strong community and connection.  This event was a true embodiment of the Dell EMC Partners Network of Extraordinary Women mission.Creating a Global Community TogetherWe first introduced Dell EMC Partners Network of Extraordinary Women during Global Partner Summit at Dell EMC World 2017.Through this program, Dell EMC seeks to help enable the women of our channel by creating a community where women can network with industry peers and like-minded women, share best practice and access tools and resources to help grow their business and thrive with Dell EMC.And that’s not just talk … Like all of our channel women executives, it is my personal mission to connect with as many women in technology as possible, have an open conversations and find ways to support them.I am passionate about being part of a community of women in technology and recognize the diversity and change that women leaders can contribute to all areas of the channel and to the industry and I am so very proud to see this initiative come to life.Get Involved with Dell EMC Partners Women NetworkDid you attend the Dell EMC Partners Network of Extraordinary Women Luncheon? We’d love for you to be a program ambassador when it formally launches. If you forgot to leave your business card with us during the luncheon, please reach out to Holly Delgado for more information.We look forward to seeing you at the official program launch which will take place during Global Partner Summit at Dell EMC World 2018! Register now Dell EMC World 2018—you won’t want to miss it!last_img read more

  • CSI Updates and Call to Action (for You!)

    first_imgWe have certainly come a long way since the 12-Factors declared that backing services should be attachable or connectable and make no distinction between local and remote resources. Famously a great meme sprung up sometime later declaring that stateless apps were a hoax. Stateful apps are of course the most popular, and arguably the most valuable to one’s business, so I always find it odd when people talk about the power of containers without mentioning the footnote that stateful apps are difficult to operationalize. After all, the eco-system supporting these apps is currently splintered between Docker, Mesos and Kubernetes. Now, with the advent of the Container Storage Interface (CSI), we as a community are on the verge of solving this discrepancy.The Container Storage Interface (CSI) – a PrimerThe Container Storage Interface (CSI) is a universal storage interface (effectively an API) between container orchestrators and storage providers that will allow consistent interoperability between the two to help drive container adoption. Container orchestrators who adopt CSI can basically leverage any storage provider, cloud or otherwise. CSI enables the storage providers to provide storage services to any container orchestrator that implements the specification as well as a diverse range of storage services for any container orchestrator. The current fragmentation introduced by different interfaces maintained by different platforms is then eliminated. For the user, this means that one can count on a consistent and reliable user experience regardless of which storage provider is leveraged.CSI – What’s NewTwo new CSI drivers have been released for Dell EMC ScaleIO (csi-scaleio) and vSphere (csi-vsphere) bringing early support to a couple of key on-premise platforms. The ScaleIO driver facilitates container environments to leverage ScaleIO high performance software-defined storage services for bare metal environments, thus enabling container adoption and easing the path to leveraging containers for persistent applications. The vSphere driver implementation enables stateful cloud native applications on all vSphere supported storage vendor ecosystem including VMware vSAN – VMware’s HCI offering. In the near future, VMware’s Project Hatchway plans support for all leading Container Orchestrators by leveraging this CSI driver.This is on top of the integration into the container platforms as CSI has already garnered support from two of the four major containerized platforms (Kubernetes and Mesosphere DC/OS) and work is also underway for the third (Cloud Foundry). Kubernetes, with contributions from {code} and others, has support for CSI in their 1.9 release. Mesosphere’s DC/OS is developing support for CSI with a planned early release at the end of 2017.But, an end-to-end solution won’t be complete without storage platform drivers. Three more general CSI storage plugins (csi-nfs, csi-blockdevices, csi-vfs) were released in the DockerCon EU timeframe. This represented the first three native CSI storage drivers and opened the market for more storage platform support, while also functioning as a blueprint for contributors looking to create CSI drivers. With the newest CSI plugins, there are now 5 CSI plugins plus 12 supported storage plugins from REX-Ray.There is still plenty more work to be done. For example, support for CSI in Go, called GoCSI, has provided the basis for development for some of the first native CSI drivers. These kinds of tools and frameworks make implementations much simpler and tend to help with adoption. Similar support for other languages like Python and even Java would further its adoption.With supporting implementations on both the storage and container orchestrator side, the CSI specification is pre-1.0 and still a work in progress thus feedback from others implementing it on both sides is required if CSI is going to be a sustainable solution moving forward.CSI Needs YouThe easy part has been getting the COs on board since there are relatively few COs compared to the large number of various storage services. That being said, it is important that storage vendors take note of these developments and have a plan to build CSI drivers and support CSI with their storage products if they wish to be relevant to the cloud-native user of the future.Where You Come In As an individual your awareness and support of this project is important to its success. CSI is on the right track, but it needs everyone in the community and industry to dispel the myth that stateful applications in containers isn’t a valid architecture.The community also needs people to deploy and test the CSI architecture in real environments to ensure it supports popular use cases. After all, if it doesn’t meet the needs of end users what’s the point?What storage drivers will be important to you? What are you using in your environment? CSI activities are documented in a Google group, there are Community Sync calls, and information from the calls is published in the group for anyone to read. Join in these activities, this is your opportunity to make your voice heard.CSI – In SummaryWith shifts towards microservices and cloud native architectures, I do believe adopting and operating these new architectures being defined in CSI will be part of your strategy. This is something that is materially different, something that is truly an improvement over the past, and solves the stateful storage problem in an elegant way. This is not only an important step forward, but required as you rely on access to data while working in your container environment.Reading ResourcesThe Container Storage Interface – according to Josh by Josh Bernstein the Container Storage Interface Project by Josh Bernstein of the CSI Spec by Kendrick Coleman Compatibility to Container Storage Interface (CSI) Plugins – New Features in REX-Ray 0.11.0 by Kendrick Coleman v0.10 Delivers CSI Validation, 3 Additional Drivers, and More Enhancements by Kendrick Coleman A Framework for Efficient Service Architectures by Vladimir Vivien opinions of Dell and Dell authors are those of Dell only. Our linking to third-party content does not imply our endorsement or sponsorship of this content nor does it imply endorsement of sponsorship of Dell by the authors or hosts of this content. Dell’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice can be found at DMCA.last_img read more