What I've Been Reading 2017-10-06 (Cloud, Virtualization, Servers, Storage, Collaboration, Automation, Security, Microsoft)

Lots to catch up with since my last post. In fact, I have about 10 additional topics that I am going to save until my last post.  Enjoy and feel to provide feedback or questions.

  • Connecting vRealize Automation to AWS & Azure How To
    • Why this is interesting: The subject of IT automation is seldom _only_ internal IT _or_ public cloud.  Here is a nice walk-through, using the WWT ATC Labs, of connecting vRA to public cloud.
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      • A Tale of Two Hybrid Clouds
  • Azure Networking announcements for Ignite 2017
    • Why this is interesting: The race to multi-site, seamless, secure, automated networking is on.  VMware NSX and Cisco ACI are there and now Microsoft has laid out their Azure SDN solutions.  This is a great read if you care about security, SDN or cloud.
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  • vSphere HTML5 Web Client
    • Why this is interesting: No more Adobe Flash.  Full HTML5 should mean easy compatibility with any client device.  Officially released with vSphere 6.5.
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  • Cisco Intersight Cloud Management for UCS and HyperFlex
    • Why this is interesting: We are seeing a trend toward management suites moving to SaaS.  SaaS is easier to implement and has access to large amounts of compute for analytics and machine learning. Meraki is an early example of this. Cisco has taken a page out of the Meraki book and created Intersight to manage and automate UCS and HyperFlex.
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  • Storage Compression More Efficient and Cost-Effective than Oracle Advanced Compression
    • Why this is interesting: Oracle's list price for Advanced Compression is $11,500 per CPU.  For a typical four-socket, 12-core, x86 DB server, that would be $276,000 (x86 cores have a 0.5 Oracle CPU factor). Compression is built-in to many modern arrays and can outperform Oracle Advanced Compression.  Testing arrays against arrays and databases on arrays is one of the most popular requests in the WWT ATC Labs.
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  • NVMe versus PCIe Flash
    • Why this is interesting: A year ago, at HPE Discover, I was able to get my hands on an NVMe database performance lab.  I was amazed.  Using NVMe in a small 2U server provided the database performance that used to require a multi-million dollar UNIX server to achieve. SanDisk recently compare the random read IOPS performance of their various NVMe products and the PCIe x8 is rated at 1.2M IOPS per device.
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  • Workplace by Facebook Lands at Walmart
    • Why this is interesting: Excellent collaboration tools can really make a difference in the workplace.  I WFH and the tools I have access to keep me in audio and video contact with my co-workers and customers.  Excellent tools from Cisco and Microsoft are in use at most businesses, but Slack is everywhere at the grass roots level. Workplace by Facebook is year old, but has not made significant traction. Landing a big name like Walmart may provide some competition, and innovation, from the existing players.  Successful business collaboration makes an impact on the performance of teams.  We are fortunate at WWT to have a “Collab Lab” for customer use as well as excellent collaboration tools deployed internally.
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      • Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise edition, snaps up Walmart as a customer
  • Kubernetes 101
    • Why this is interesting: Well, first, William Caban, WWT, is a genius . Secondly, container and container management technologies are in rapid flux and development.  Keeping up with container technology can be difficult. Deploying containers at scale where each container needs to have unique firewall ports can be a real headache.  William discusses how all this works and how Kubernetes is trying to help.
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      • Kubernetes 101
  • Pivotal Container Service (PKS) Across vSphere & Google Cloud Platform
    • Why this is interesting: Even though containers are the best thing since VMware GSX, containers are not necessarily portable from a private cloud environment to a public cloud environment.  Pivotal and Google have worked together to allow containers to move back and forth – even Google services such as BigQuery, Cloud Spanner, Translate, etc.
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  • 3 Rules to Follow When Developing Ansible Modules
    • Why this is interesting: Ansible is a very popular automation tool and the WWT automation team has been developing some great Ansible integrations in the ATC Labs as well as for customers.  If you are new to Ansible, or would like to see how someone else develops Ansible modules, you may find this article helpful.
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  • CCleaner Malware Outbreak
    • Why this is interesting: Two points of interest to me: 1) Attackers gained control of the digital signing certificate and infrastructure used to distribute the software 2) The malware targeted certain high profile tech companies.  This attack is very advanced and, most likely, well-funded
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      • Overview of attack
      • Cisco Talos deep dive of the attack including an in-memory third stage
  • Google Santa – White Listed Apps for macOS
    • Why this is interesting: I’m a big fan of whitelists – even if they do get in the way of improper planning.  For instance, I am a big fan of Cisco Tetration for automating whitelists in the network.  Google just gifted to world with a whitelist binary for macOS apps. Not on the whitelist? You are not going to run.  Not a bad idea. I’m going to compile this on my Mac tonight.  I may not be able to run anything tomorrow, but that’s half the fun.
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  • Ignite/Envision Keynotes
    • Why this is interesting: Satya Nadella really has “Hit Refresh” at Microsoft and Microsoft is the new cool kid on the block. A few interesting announcements were deeper LinkedIN integration, Azure Stack, SQL Server 2017 on Linux on containers.
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  • SQL Server on Linux on Docker on Mac??
    • Why this is interesting: I don’t think I even need to explain this one.  If you have been in IT for more than, say, one year, you will realize the significance of this.  I remember when SQL Server was released on Linux.  That blew my mind.  Now one can run SQL Server on an Ubuntu container on any platform.  Wow.  Good news for SQL Server fans looking to containers.  I deployed this on my Mac and had a running SQL Server instance in about 15 minutes.
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