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Bank Of America's 'Why Stop There?' Cloud Strategy
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Ron..
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Ron..,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/3/2014 | 6:14:44 PM
Virtualization without the headache of S/W overhead managing virtualized machines
Chris.. A good idea to commoditize and virtualize. Biggest hurdle is to standardize. Second hurdle build coherent fabric memory channel(s) which will allow stringing one server system to system, cabinet to cabinet.

The greatest failing of all x86 contenders was to copy the DEC Alpha and its highspeed crossbar architecture. Quickpath and Hypertransport have failed to connect server by server due to signal integrity issues. This copied failure to provide a coherent memory architecture has harmed the progress of clustering and virtualization. Looking at the crystal ball DEC probably did not see people clustering 1,000's of CPU nodes. Well neither did Intel and AMD. Instead of lowering the speed of the fabric by 8 times and increasing the copper serial lines by a factor of 8 they completely missed the possibility to commoditize white boxes through TRILL / fabric.. Having dedicated Systems IO, Memory IO, Analysis IO, and Management IO all address in TRILL / fabric. 

The electrical lenght of the fabric between x86 processors will not allow for a connection to the next server. The SGI UV system address this issue through it's unique memory architecture. It's TPC-C and TPC-H are untouchable by other virtual systems. In my humble opinion it is time for a change that allow memory and other systems resource aggregation. 

I believe If one actually does the research one can find that in many cases coping other work also means copying others mistakes. Dirk Meyer brought the DEC Crossbar to AMD. Intel copied AMD.. 
Kasho
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Kasho,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2014 | 12:14:43 PM
Old ways vs New
As consumers,most of us easily moved away from our Blackberrys to iPhones, from our PCs to tablets, from keyboards to touch and the list goes on. The point is that embracing new ways seems to be intutive as consumers. In the enterprise world however, be it companies or individuals, the transition is so much harder because it is a matter of one's relevance and livelihood. Couched under part valid issues of privacy, security, compliance and performance, the whole ecosystem pushes back to protect incumbency. As we can all see, it has taken almost 8-10 years for 'Cloud' to reach a tipping point in the enterprise (AWS and Salesforce have been around for that duration). The BOA scenario is probably just 1 example of what is playing out in many enterprises and there is still some ways to go. Although technically and economically, the benefits of a 'Cloud' strategy are obvious, the 'people' situation, where one group will win big and the other will lose big is not a sustainable state. In addition to 'Technology and business experts', time also for 'HR leaders and career mentors' to weigh in.        
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/6/2014 | 3:05:58 PM
Re: Standardization: Love it or hate it, it makes sense
You make a great point -- the skills might be a bigger obstacle than the organizational challenge. Reilly talks about training and hiring to get these software-oriented infrastructure pros. 
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
2/6/2014 | 2:59:13 PM
Re: Microsoft has designed the forerunner
Bank of America found these traditional roles and silos to be an obstacle, that people think of themselves as networking, storage, compute experts. Reilly says this wasn't a known obstacle going into this, it has found that along the way. It's one reason it created a separate team. So is creating a standalone team the only realistic way to make this move to software-defined data center, or can companies knock down the silos sufficiently within existing organizations?  
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
2/5/2014 | 1:12:23 PM
Standardization: Love it or hate it, it makes sense
The first thing that comes to my mind is what happens when the first wave of BoA employees modernize all legacy applications into either environment (OpenStack and/or what I am guessing starts with VM), and move on to bigger, more lofty positions in other firms.  Who can possibly manage and keep afloat all these new applications?  Skillsets to do this type of thing are thin enough, imagine in a few years?

That being said, I think the idea of standardization makes perfect sense.  It's like having a giant box of lego and re-purposing blocks as needed.  Move loads internally or externally, it's beautiful, especially if you can set up auto provisioning to spin off new VMs as existing loads get a little heavy.

I'm curious to see if this model takes off in other firms.  It's a little like when we see all the creative uses for Raspberry Pi, hardware is irrelevant, it's all about how its used.
mschorer
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mschorer,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/5/2014 | 8:44:34 AM
Re: Microsoft has designed the forerunner
I beg to differ. A modern data center architecture should not focus only compute, in whatver size and shape. It is about virtualizing everything from compute, over network to storage. And even more important to change operations from a classical siloed model to a center of excellence / cloud operations approach with high levels of automation. These organizational changes make it hard and not so much the technology, thats why many organizations still shy away from doing the right thing. But with business building more and more pressure on IT we will see many more such Software Defined Data Center projects - by the way a term VMware has coined in 2012.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/4/2014 | 5:00:33 PM
Re: IT roles
It's called DevOps, or "revenge of the code jockeys" -- who for many years took grief from data center admins.  
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/4/2014 | 2:07:33 PM
IT roles
This view of infrstructure pros becoming software pros echoes a sentiment I heard while visiting EMC yesterday: The roles of system admins, storage admins and networking admins are merging into one role. We're not there yet, but what happens at your company by the time of the next round of applications?
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
2/4/2014 | 12:44:58 PM
Microsoft has designed the forerunner
Bank of America's David Reilly is right. The computing device of the future will be configurable. And software that recognizes the device will fit it into the overall data center operation. Microsoft's cloud servers take a giant step in this direction. They're 12u rack mount units that can be configured as compute intensive or storage intensive at the last minute of production, before test and shipment. that leaves lots of capacity near the end of the production line, available to be shipped at a moment's notice. Intel is encouraging the same sort of thinking in switches and will do everything it can to enable it. Better watch the Open Compute Project for future developments. 


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