What is CloudForms?

by Vinny Valdez (Red Hat)

The following is an excerpt of a post originally published on June 29, 2012, on Vinny’s Tech Garage.

I’m really excited about CloudForms. In my recorded demo at Summit, I showed a RHEL 2-node active/passive cluster with GFS off an iSCSI target. Then I moved all the underlying CloudForms Cloud Engine components to shared storage. I was able to launch instances, fail over Cloud Engine, and see the correct status. After managing the instances, fail back, and all was good. All of this works because the RHEL HA cluster stops the databases and other services first, moves the floating ip over, then starts the services on the active node. This was a very basic deployment, much more could be explored with clustered PostgreSQL and sharded Mongo.

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Reducing friction in agile development using cloud

by Zach Rhoads (Red Hat)

One of the core tenants of agile development is to focus on the tasks that are the highest priority and immediate need. This is sometimes referred to as “Just-in-Time” development. The idea is to focus on the tasks needed to ship the feature now and worry about everything else when it is actually needed. Another tenant that goes hand-in-hand with “Just-in-Time” is the idea of failing early. Basically, a team should know as early as possible if something is going to fail, that way the team does not waste time going down the wrong path. This means the team should develop a feature and solicit feedback in short cycles, allowing the team to quickly understand what works and what does not.

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Transforming Organizational DNA

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Transforming Organizational DNA – sounds like a lofty goal brought down from the ivory towers of an MBA or marketing program, doesn’t it?

While it is a lofty goal, the way companies utilize technology is fundamentally shifting, and savvy organizations realize this transformation is now well under way.  In a recent keynote at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a talk that highlights this trend. He touched on the explosion of computing power, plummeting costs, and the near ubiquity of technology that was simply not available even a few years ago.

In 2012, most IT executives have already seen aspects of what Jim was talking about. There’s no longer any question that Linux and open source provide real enterprise options — these are not only robust and secure, but are viable alternatives to proprietary solutions. Despite this recognition, a recent Sonatype survey found that over half the respondents didn’t have a corporate open source strategy/policy.  Even this far into the ‘Age of Open Source,’ policies to help corporations effectively and strategically consume open source are not the norm.

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Prepare the ground for the cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

This post originally appeared here on May 30, 2012, in the Guardian.

To make sure your organisation benefits from cloud computing, lay a solid foundation before making grand plans

Cloud computing is ubiquitous in technology conversations. It’s not just a buzzword, but a catalyst to a new wave of thinking. Cloud is still yet to show its full capabilities as the demands on the world’s datacentres continue to rise – open source and virtualisation are spear-heading this movement.

There are many opportunities for organisations to benefit from cloud computing and slot it into their overall IT strategy. However, instead of getting overwhelmed and “eating too many elephants” it’s important to prepare the groundwork for cloud and pace the business by laying a solid foundation.

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Big Data. Big Noise.

by Justin Hayes (Red Hat)

There is a lot of buzz these days around Big Data, and rightfully so. The volume of data produced and the number of sources producing it are growing faster and faster. Similarly, the potential for organizations large and small to harness these data cannot be understated, and should not be overlooked.

There is also a lot of noise when you look closer at the Big Data question, or to get right to the point, when you decide what your organization’s Big Data strategy should be. Here are some things to think about as you navigate the Big Data waters.

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Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source

by Guy Martin (Red Hat)

Open Source is not only a business model for Red Hat; it’s ingrained into the DNA of the company. Because of this, Red Hatters can generally count on their co-workers understanding both the fundamentals of open source, as well as the ethos and methodologies that go with it. However, within Red Hat Services, the consulting teams often get customer questions around these topics, or hear from employees of our customers who relay things they’ve heard regarding adoption of open source within their enterprise.

So, with apologies to David Letterman, I’d like to share the Top 10 Signs Your Enterprise Doesn’t ‘Get’ Open Source. While this is meant to be a somewhat humorous look at the topic, I also think it’s an informative way to talk about improving an enterprise’s effective use of open source technologies and methodologies. I’ll break down the list not by rank order, but by three areas that customers typically encounter when dealing with open source: Consumption, Collaboration, and Creation. I’ll also put in a few thoughts about how to address each of these from an improvement perspective.

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Understanding where you are today: Assessing the current state of your datacenter

by Sean Thompson (Red Hat)

As technology consultants, we’re typically brought in by a customer to help them get somewhere specific they can’t reach on their own because of resources, skills, time or a host of other reasons. One of the things I’m most surprised by during these engagements, however, is how many IT organizations know where they want to go, but they don’t necessarily know where they are, or swear they are somewhere else. The knowledge they have about their infrastructure and what’s going on in their datacenter right now is extremely limited, or at best stale due to a lack of realtime data.

The value of understanding where you are today is immense, and is an important first step in realizing your IT goals and to help you move towards your ideal datacenter. Knowing where you stand and having a clear map of your current environment shines a light on opportunities to become leaner, to improve performance and automation, and to drive efficiency. The benchmarks you’ll create will help you conduct TCO/ROI calculations that actually mean something, so it will be clear how to become more agile, and become more responsive to the business.

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Welcome to Services Speak

by Mike Randall (Red Hat)

When you start a blog there are some questions that must be answered: Who is the blog for? What are we going to write about? Will they care about what we have to say? Does this content exist elsewhere?

Before we share those answers, let’s provide a little context.

Services Speak is a blog on behalf of Red Hat Services, an organization dedicated to developing and implementing Red Hat’s consulting and training initiatives. Combining these two subjects makes it inclusive of quite a few audiences and encompassing countless topics, but in the world of IT, these two groups are tied together by one thing: a common desire for improvement. Just think about it for a second. A professional takes a course or works toward a certification because they want to build their skills and advance their career, or they bring in consultants to optimize the technologies and processes they use.

Improvement increases the chances of success.

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