As Chris Murphy explained in his video blog post, EMC IT began last year to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure based on VMware View. The VDI concept is pretty straightforward, and sounds compelling: reduce desktop management complexity, more cost-effectively update aging desktops (and their operating systems), and give users greater platform choice—and “anywhere, anytime” universal access.
Can VDI really deliver its user experience promise? How much it would really benefit our company in cost savings and in increased flexibility? EMC IT came up with answers to those questions—and got a “green light” for deploying a production VDI environment during the second half of this year. Continue reading
I recently had a conversation with Paul Divittorio, EMC IT’s Director of Enterprise Systems and Application Hosting Architecture. He’s the guy responsible for designing the next generation hosting platforms being installed in our production data centers here at EMC. When Paul is talking with EMC customers about our IT organization’s journey to Private Cloud, he’s often asked about Vblock. Where does EMC IT think it makes sense to use it? Where is EMC IT using it now? Continue reading
Lately I’ve been in an increasing number of conversations about “multi-tenancy,” and its viability/fitness for use in business IT. Most start out framed as technology discussions. One recent exchange reminded me of a blog post and comment thread back in January on “secure multi-tenancy.” The comments, predictably, devolved into heated debate over who claimed which technologies could do what, who disputed whose claims, and so on.
For my own part, I don’t see technology alone as adequate. What intrigues me, though, is how many IT people that believe technology can—indeed, must—somehow address all this. Continue reading
In a previous post, I described why EMC IT is migrating applications from one of our main Massachusetts data centers to a new facility in North Carolina as part of our company’s journey to building our own Private Cloud. Simply put, we need more distance to protect critical business systems from really big, region-wide disasters. But doing so also adds complexity and cost. More important, it forces us at EMC to sort out which of the applications we run are truly mission-critical. In other words, which must survive a disaster with every last transaction intact? Which can afford to lose a few minutes, hours, or even a day’s worth of data? Continue reading
Running IT for an IT company has some benefits, but it also comes with unique challenges. At EMC, one challenge our IT people at EMC like to joke about is the criticism they regularly get from 40,000 “armchair CIOs.”
But here’s the thing. Some of those critics have really good ideas, such as tools and practices learned from working closely with our customers and partners. Unfortunately, IT has had no systematic way to gather and use that find of information. It’s especially hard when different groups within the company offer conflicting advice. Continue reading
A recent comment in our EMC IT Journey blog reminded me of a really good diagram I’d seen our CIO, Sanjay Mirchandani, use in a presentation to describe EMC IT’s view of cloud computing. As I’m sure you’re painfully aware, there are hundreds of definitions for “cloud” being used in our industry. They do, however, share a common theme: new ways of building, operating and consuming IT that’s more flexible, dynamic, efficient, and available on demand. And their common attraction is converting fixed-cost IT infrastructure into variable-cost services. Continue reading
My EMC colleagues and I often advise IT leaders to begin their own Private Cloud journey by virtualizing everything. That includes “Tier One” applications. When IT people hear “Tier One,” a few brands immediately pop into our heads. When I describe how EMC’s internal IT organization is aggressively building a Private Cloud, I’m not surprised when asked, “What about Oracle?” Continue reading
This is the final part of a series of posts outlining how our IT organization started its aggressive journey to private clouds. Previously, I described IT’s strategy shift, the trigger for its urgency, navigating through “cloud fog,” and the unusual path IT decided upon.
In this post, we’ll take a look at EMC IT’s overall strategy for actually making this journey. Continue reading
This is the fourth of a multi-part series exploring why our IT organization is aggressively transforming EMC’s corporate datacenters into Private Clouds. Previously, I described IT’s strategy shift, its newfound sense of urgency, and navigation through some “cloud fog.”
In this post we look at the unusual course EMC IT charted for its Private Cloud journey, and how the team approached selling its plan to our top execs. Continue reading
A lot of ink has been spilled recently in the press about cloud security, and even virtualized-server security. Many lead off with alarming headlines like this recent example that declares, “60% of virtual servers less secure than physical machines, Gartner says.”