Docker Releases Suite Of Orchestration Tools And Expands Partner Ecosystem

On Thursday, Docker announced the release in public beta of a suite of orchestration tools that enhance the ability of developers to manage containers used for the development of distributed applications. Docker Machine, for example, empowers developers to install the Docker engine on a host machine by provisioning the host and then installing the engine within that infrastructure. Docker Machine can provision containers on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Digital Ocean, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Softlayer, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Hyper-V, OpenStack, Rackspace Cloud, VirtualBox, VMware Fusion®, VMware vCloud® Air™, and VMware vSphere. Docker’s deep integrations with the most widely used IaaS platforms and technologies in the industry allows developers to deploy Docker containers using one command that takes responsibility for provisioning the host infrastructure in addition to installing the Docker engine. Meanwhile, Docker Swarm creates clusters of Docker engines and manages relationships between containers as an application scales. In addition, Docker Swarm gives developers a unified developer interface for managing multiple Docker engines and handles the scheduling of application-related jobs and processes as they relate to multiple containers. Finally, Docker Compose enables developers to manage a multi-container application using a YAML file that defines and updates the relationships between the various containers that collectively constitute an application.

Docker’s release of its suite of orchestration tools comes head on the heels of an announcement by Mirantis and Google to integrate Google’s Kubernetes framework for managing containers with the OpenStack platform, thereby enhancing the ability of developers to transport container-based applications from OpenStack-based private clouds to public clouds that support Kubernetes such as the Google Cloud Platform. One advantage of Docker’s orchestration tools in comparison to other container management frameworks is that they deliver a unified end to end experience for deploying and managing Docker containers. Docker Swarm, for example, integrates with the Amazon Web Services Container Service as well as IBM Bluemix Container Service, Joyent Smart Data Center and Microsoft Azure, thereby enhancing the portability of applications and enabling the avoidance of vendor lock-in. Moreover, Swarm works with third party orchestration products in addition to the orchestration services specific to different cloud platforms. In all, Docker’s Beta release of its orchestration tools in conjunction with its expanded roster of partner integrations suggests that Docker and the container management industry at large may well have cracked the nut specific to the transportation of applications from one infrastructure to another and by extension solved part of the cloud computing industry’s problem related to vendor lock-in. Meanwhile, container usage stands to continue skyrocketing as more and more vendors contribute to their ease of deployment, management and migration and collectively create a rich and venerable ecosystem for container use and portability.

Categories: Docker | Tags: , , , , ,

Midokura Releases Enterprise-Grade MidoNet Marked By Support For IaaS Platforms In Addition To OpenStack

On Wednesday, Midokura announced the latest release of its Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM) platform that delivers network virtualization for IaaS clouds. Wednesday’s release constitutes the first major release since Midokura’s decision to open source its network virtualizaton technology in November. MEM supports not only OpenStack but also VMware vSphere and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 as illustrated below:

The innovation of this commercial release consists of the platform’s deep integration with additional IaaS platforms such as VMware vSphere, for example, which subsequently allows enterprises to use MidoNet for both proprietary and OpenStack-based IaaS deployments as evinced in hybrid cloud infrastructures, for example. Co-founder and CEO of Midokura Dan Dumitriu remarked on the significance of MEM’s support for platforms beyond OpenStack as follows:

Our latest Enterprise MidoNet release marks the next step in our product evolution by offering support for platforms that are already proven and well-entrenched in modern enterprise data centers. The result is that businesses can make the most of their technology investments with Midokura’s open, scalable network virtualization for heterogeneous hypervisors and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds.

As Dumitriu notes, the most recent release of MidoNet throws open the door for MidoNet to be used in a variety of datacenters that collectively leverage “heterogeneous hypervisors” for their IaaS platforms. MidoNet’s decision to support a variety of IaaS frameworks means that, while it stands to benefit from its early traction amongst the OpenStack community, it also now positions itself to support a more diverse range of cloud platforms and amalgamations of IaaS infrastructures and subsequently make an even stronger case for its prominence amongst OpenStack deployments by virtue of its extensibility to other environments that may variously complement OpenStack. As of this release, MEM also supports OpenStack Juno and includes enhancements such as Load Balancing as a Service for the OpenStack Neutron project. Available immediately, Midokura is offering a 30 day free trial of MEM including enterprise-grade support and the MidoNet Manager interface.

Categories: Midokura, OpenStack | Tags: ,

Kubernetes Integrates With OpenStack Through Collaboration Between Google And Mirantis

On Tuesday, Mirantis announced the integration of OpenStack with Kubernetes, the open source framework developed by Google to manage containers. The integration between OpenStack and Kubernetes enhances the portability of applications between the private cloud infrastructures typical of OpenStack and public cloud environments such as the Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure that support Kubernetes. Even though Docker containers are well known for enhancing the portability of applications across infrastructures, transporting applications and workloads from private clouds to public clouds remains challenging. The availability of Kubernetes within (OpenStack) private clouds in addition to public cloud environments now renders it easier to transport containerized applications from private to public clouds and subsequently obtain a greater return on investment from deploying hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Moreover, the integration between Kubernetes and OpenStack facilitates container management on the Mirantis OpenStack platform by automating and orchestrating the management of Docker containers within an OpenStack-based IaaS infrastructure. The integration between Kubernetes and OpenStack depends on the OpenStack Application Catalog Murano, which manages the infrastructure for Kubernetes clusters and deploys the Docker application to the Kubernetes cluster. As the application and Kubernetes cluster scale, Murano manages the interplay between OpenStack compute, storage and networking resources and the application to ensure support for the infrastructure needs of the application and its attendant Kubernetes cluster. Tuesday’s announcement underscores the burgeoning power of containers, container management frameworks such as Google’s Kubernetes, the significance of OpenStack within the private cloud space as well as the increasingly urgent need for technologies that promote communication across cloud infrastructures toward the end of realizing the true potentiality of hybrid cloud environments. The integration of Kubernetes and OpenStack’s Murano will be available for preview on the Mirantis OpenStack Express platform in April 2015.

Categories: Google, OpenStack | Tags: , , ,

HP Reconfigures Responsibilities Of Marten Mickos In Cloud Reorg

Roughly six months after HP acquired Eucalyptus in September 2014 and vaulted Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos to the position of SVP and General Manager of the HP Cloud, Mickos will be assuming a new role. Mickos’s new position will involve “customer engagement” and “the different communities required to accelerate HP’s progress” as reported in The Register. In his new role, Mickos will tap into his deep knowledge of the technology landscape to help identify technology companies that can support HP’s larger cloud aspirations and vision. Meanwhile, Bill Hilf will take responsibility for product strategy and management, Kerry Bailey will lead sales and Mark Interrante will take over Helion cloud engineering. Mickos’s position at HP was always in question given that Eucalyptus provided open source software for private clouds that are interoperable with Amazon Web Services. HP’s Helion, on the other hand, is based on the open source IaaS technology platform OpenStack, which stands in direct confrontation with proprietary IaaS platforms such as Amazon Web Services.

Mickos’s new role at HP represents a mystifying shuffle given that his pedigree for commercializing open source software is virtually unparalleled in the industry as evinced by his success with MySQL and Eucalyptus. Even though HP Helion does not support Amazon Web Services in the way that Eucalyptus did, for example, it leverages open source technology at its core in the form of OpenStack and as such, one could reasonably assume that Mickos would be the personality to lead Helion to IaaS prominence. All this suggests that HP is in dire need of defining its cloud strategy with respect to Helion and how it plans to differentiate itself in the commercial OpenStack space. There is also the question of how HP plans to integrate Eucalyptus into its product portfolio and benefit from the acquisition, particularly given the lesser degree of responsibility now assigned to former Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos.

Categories: Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IaaS | Tags:

Pivotal Open Sources Its Big Data Suite And Announces Partnership With Hortonworks

Pivotal recently announced the open sourcing of key components of its Pivotal Big Data Suite. Parts of the Pivotal Big Data Suite that will be outsourced include the MPP Pivotal Greenplum Database, Pivotal HAWQ and Pivotal GemFire, the NoSQL in-memory database. Pivotal’s decision to open source the core of its Big Data suite builds upon its success monetizing the Cloud Foundry platform and intends to accelerate the development of analytics applications that leverage big data and real-time streaming big data sets. The open sourcing of Greenplum, Pivotal’s SQL on Hadoop platform HAWQ and GemFire renders Pivotal’s principal analytics and database platforms more readily accessible to the developer community and encourages enterprises to experiment with Pivotal’s solutions. Sundeep Madra, VP of the Data Product Group, Pivotal, remarked on Pivotal’s decision to open source its Big Data suite as follows:

Pivotal Big Data Suite is a major milestone in the path to making big data truly accessible to the enterprise. By sharing Pivotal HD, HAWQ, Greenplum Database and GemFire capabilities with the open source community, we are contributing to the market as a whole the necessary components to build solutions that make up a next generation data infrastructure. Releasing these technologies as open source projects will only help accelerate adoption and innovation for our customers.

Pivotal’s announcement of the open sourcing of its Big Data suite comes in tandem with a strategic alliance aimed at synergistically maximizing the competencies of both companies to deliver best-in-class Hadoop capabilities for the enterprise. The partnership with Hortonworks includes product roadmap alignment, integration and the implementation of a unified vision with respect to leveraging the power of Apache Hadoop to facilitate the capability to derive actionable business intelligence on a scale rarely performed within the contemporary enterprise. In conjunction with the collaboration with Hortonworks, Pivotal revealed its participation in the Open Data Platform, an organization dedicated toward promoting the use of Big Data technologies centered around Apache Hadoop whose Platinum members include GE, Hortonworks, IBM, Infosys, Pivotal and SAS. The Open Data Platform intends to ensure components of the Hadoop ecosystem such as Apache Storm, Apache Spark and Hadoop-analytics applications integrate with and optimally support one another.

All told, Pivotal’s decision to open source its Big Data suite represents a huge coup for the Big Data analytics community at large insofar as organizations now have access to some of the most sophisticated Hadoop-analytics tools in the industry at no charge. More striking, however, is the significance of Pivotal’s alignment with Hortonworks, which stands to tilt the balance of the struggle for Hadoop market share toward Hortonworks and away from competitors Cloudera and MapR, at least for the time being. Thus far, Cloudera has enjoyed notable traction in the financial services sector and within the enterprise more generally, but the enriched analytics available to the Hortonworks Data Platform by means of the partnership with Pivotal promise to render Hortonworks a more attractive solution, particularly for analytics-intensive use cases and scenarios. Regardless, Pivotal’s strategic evolution as represented by its open source move, its collaboration with Hortonworks and leadership position in the Open Data Platform constitute a seismic moment in Big Data history wherein the big data world shakes as the world’s most sophisticated big data analytics firm qua Pivotal unites with Hortonworks, the company responsible for the first publicly traded Hadoop distribution. The obvious question now is how Cloudera and MapR will respond to the Open Data Platform and the extent to which Pivotal’s partnership with Hadoop distributions remains exclusive to, or focused around Hortonworks in the near future.

Categories: Big Data, Hadoop, Hortonworks, Pivotal

Axcient Raises $25M In Series E Funding And Reveals VAR Program With Innovative Compensation Model

On February 18, Recovery as a Service leader Axcient announced the finalization of $25M in Series E funding in a round led by Industry Ventures with additional participation from existing investors Allegis Capital, Peninsula Ventures, Scale Venture Partners and Thomvest Ventures. The round validates the business model of Axcient’s cloud-based recovery as a service platform as exemplified by 50% year over year growth in customers signed in 2014, Axcient’s acquisition of DirectRestore, more than 30 releases and enhancements to the Axcient business recovery cloud and the release of the second generation of Axcient’s virtual appliance. The $25M in funding will also be used to fund a novel method of compensating channel partners that Axcient will use to enhance distribution of its product. Whereas SaaS solutions have typically struggled to achieve traction in a VAR sales partner model because of low monthly margins for sales professionals, Axcient proposes to offer channel partners up front compensation for the sale of its business recovery cloud solution. Axcient brands the up front compensation model under the acronym SaaS: FLO that stands for SaaS Fully Loaded Option. Axcient’s strategy of expanding its sales pipeline by means of partnerships with VARs under the terms of an innovative compensation model promises to increase its market traction in a landscape that includes the likes of more established cloud-based business continuity brands such as Symantec and EMC. In a phone interview with Cloud Computing Today, Axcient’s Director of Product Marketing Daniel Kuperman noted that although Axcient faces the challenge of educating its VARs about the business and technological benefits of its cloud-based recovery as a service platform, it stands to benefit immensely from the potentialities implicit in introducing the agility and operational simplicity of its platform to a wider range of customers. Assuming Axcient can succeed at training its VAR ecosystem, it stands poised to consolidate on its successes in 2014 and continue to stake out a leadership position in the rapidly growing cloud-based recovery as a service space, particularly because of the richness of its technology for empowering customers to perform granular recoveries of specific files and folders in addition to larger swaths of infrastructure. Wednesday Series E round brings the total capital raised by Axcient to roughly $85M.

Categories: Axcient, Venture Capital | Tags: , , ,

HP Releases Predictive Big Data Analytics Platform Featuring Distributed R

On Tuesday, HP announced details of HP Haven Predictive Analytics, a platform that delivers machine learning and statistical analysis for large-scale datasets. HP Haven Predictive Analytics features distributed R, an analytics platform based on the R programming language designed to tackle the most complex Big Data predictive analytics tasks in the industry. Moreover, the HP Haven Predictive Analytics platform boasts support for SQL and HP Vertica in addition to preconfigured algorithms that allow developers to leverage out of the box, R-based analytics. The hallmark of the offering, however, consists of the distributed R analytical engine that leverages parallel R processing to allow the power of R’s predictive analytics to tackle big data sets. The conjunction of the platform’s data acceleration functionality with its distributed use of the open source R programming language stands to improve analytic performance on large datasets and enable statisticians to derive actionable business intelligence from petabytes of data with speed and analytic sophistication. As such, HP Haven Predictive Analytics augments the analytic power of the SQL on Hadoop Vertica platform by delivering a Big Data predictive analytics platform capable of analyzing structured and unstructured data via the cloud or an on premise deployment.

Categories: Big Data, HP | Tags: , ,

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