Old is not bad as you think…

I had a train ticket booked from Bangalore to Chennai after a training. I planned and started from office on time (3pm) to catch the Shatabdi train (4.25pm) and reached Cantonment by Uber taxi in 50 minutes ahead of the train time. I got a call from my wife by 3.58 pm and said that Shatabti won’t stop at Cantonment, Bang !!!.  Just over 25 minutes left, and I need to reach Bangalore City Railway station from Cantonment in the hectic Bangalore traffic, I literally gave up and told her to look for bus ticket.

Old vs New

However, I decided to give it a try, otherwise I wasn’t sure whether I would end up going back to the hotel and may have to delay my travel further, during the festival season.  My natural choice would have been booking Uber or Ola cab, but I decided to hire an auto which was right in front of me, that saved me minimum of 5 minutes of waiting time for OLA/Uber and also auto guys could beat the traffic better than taxi. I checked my google map and it showed me 4.30 pm as ETA but I wasn’t sure with the number of signal the auto should cross. However, auto guy managed to get me closer but nearly 1 KM away from the station. And then we were stuck at the signal with more than 300 meters long traffic. I got down and walked around 400 meter and got in another auto just for another 400 meters and reached railway station. Then I took the help of carriers(porter) to run with me with my travel bag and also to locate the train as I was not familiar with that station, finally I got in the train by 4.35 pm and the train started by 4.36pm. Thanks to Railways (train was late) and my luck J. I would have missed the train if I had opted for App taxi or stayed in the first auto or had not used those carrier guys for sure. Continue reading “Old is not bad as you think…”

Don’t hurry up. Wait. Prepare first then make slow cloud move.

Most of the organizations are keen on moving their workload to cloud today for several reasons like their IT vision, reduce the spend on hardware refreshes, data center consolidations etc.

Are they ready move into the Cloud? It is an important question that every organization should ask again and again before taking the decision to move in with big bang. We see a trend with many customers to move their existing legacy applications ‘as is’ to the cloud.  Shouldn’t we move into the cloud and utilize those benefits, or we just move in and I don’t care about those cloud features?

Let me start with an example here. Let’s take a case of four webservers and two database servers clustered available 24/7 with environments like Dev, Test and Prod. And you wanted to move this workload to cloud ‘as is’.  My question is, what is the objectives are you trying to achieve? If the answer is, our organization wanted to move all the workload to cloud for cost saving, changing from Capex to Opex model etc.  Guys, hold on… Let’s calm down, think, look around and plan again.

Lift and shift should not be our strategy for cloud migration. We should make our application to live smartly in the cloud to utilize the cloud benefits and reduce the cost. Let’s use the above example to explore this further.

  • Can we make this application horizontally scalable?Cloudthink
  • Can we make this application to use cloud native authentication?
  • Can we make this application to work stateless?
  • Can we make the applications to use distributed data storage?

Continue reading “Don’t hurry up. Wait. Prepare first then make slow cloud move.”

ExploreExplore the technology to Upskill, Reskill and CrossSkill the resources.

Yes, most of us work in Technology companies those advise many organizations globally for taking technological decision and encourage them to use the latest and advanced technologies to automate their operations. However, how many of those companies are using technology within their organizations and drive innovations for their internal requirements. Both the employees and employers are suffering because a proper system is not in place for solving the problems like Lack of effective appraisal system, identifying the right resources for the projects, unable to stop the talent leaving the organization etc. Let’s look at those and how we can try to solve using the technologies like Machine Learning(ML) and Artificial Intelligence(AI). Yes, we are in the world of Machine Learning(ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and we must now start thinking about using them effectively.

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Continue reading “ExploreExplore the technology to Upskill, Reskill and CrossSkill the resources.”

Machine Learning: I do it, you do it everyday without a computer

Machine learning is ‘predictive analysis’ in very simple terms, agree? Arrive into a conclusion by analyzing the data. Can this possible only with computers?  We, human beings do it on a daily to basis, to catch a bus, to drive a car, to shop and what not.

Machine learning Fig1

Don’t be confused. Let me try to explain and don’t blame me at the end if that doesn’t work, a pre-bail has been taken :-).

Let me take the example of how we learn driving. Excuse me for those who never tried it 🙂.

The driving instructor gives you first set of data like usage of steering wheel, gear shifting, clutch, brake, accelerator etc. Initially, with those basic data you mess with clutch, gear, accelerator and brake often. Then you slowly correct the mistakes by practicing which means you are learning by feeding your brain with additional data on how to use it effectively.  Eventually you get it correct when you have more and more data; and create your own algorithm to drive your car.  Result of this you start applying the break softer, start shifting the gear smoothly.  That is exactly the machine learning does with the help of your intelligence (it is currently being replaced with Artificial Intelligence –AI 🙂).  Continue reading “Machine Learning: I do it, you do it everyday without a computer”

Availability Zones for Azure, like in AWS.

Microsoft has now announced its long pending Availability Zones in each region. It is currently on preview and recommended only for non-critical workload as Micorsoft does not provide any SLA now. With this, you can now provision your workload from different data centers in the same regions for resilience as you will have options to select between minimum of 3 AZs in each region with GA. However, it is now available only on East US2 and West Europe for Preview.

AZ Fig01.png

AWS currently operate 44 AZs across 16 Regions and 14 more AZs are already planned (44+14 =58). Microsoft currently operate in 36 regions and 6 more to come. If you assume that Microsoft will bring 3 AZs minimums at each of these regions, Microsoft would have (36+6) *3= 126 which itself is more than double the size of AZs across the globe. I agree, it does not make much sense to just play with the numbers so Microsoft need to bring the services that would help customers to make use availability zones and add value to their workloads hosted in Azure services. AWS currently offers multiple PaaS services for their Multi-AZ deployment model so Microsoft still need do good job on making sure that more services are available for Multiple AZ deployments.

Continue reading “Availability Zones for Azure, like in AWS.”

Bring Home Azure with Azure Stack

It is not just the public cloud today, but it is Hybrid Cloud.

Microsoft is working on making our hybrid life less difficult by introducing Azure stack. We all know the pain of getting Microsoft System Center integrated and working on-premises to enable private cloud. Yes, I agree with you SC is not a candidate for comparing it with Azure Stack. However, I believe Azure Stack will be solving these issues and bringing cloud to your data center with ‘Pay as You Use’ Pricing model.

What is Azure stack as per Microsoft?

Microsoft Azure Stack is a hybrid cloud platform that lets you deliver Azure services from your organization’s datacenter. Bring the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to your on-premises environment with Azure Stack. This extension of Azure allows you to modernize your applications across hybrid cloud environments, balancing flexibility and control. Plus, developers can build applications using a consistent set of Azure services and DevOps processes and tools, then collaborate with operations to deploy to the location that best meets your business, technical and regulatory requirements.

Azure Stack

Continue reading “Bring Home Azure with Azure Stack”

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager – Key Points We need to know

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager is a flexible and easy to use management service that enables enterprises to securely manage and administer their workloads, running on-premises or in AWS, using a single unified AWS experience. EC2 Systems Manager is designed to be highly automation focused to enable configuration and management of instances at a large scale, while making it really simple to write and maintain automation artifacts.

It is another service which going to kill slowly others by extending support to on-premises servers. The beauty of this service is, it is absolutely free as long as you meet the pre-requisites.  It covers all we need like patching, compliance management, automation, inventory etc. Interesting one is Parameter Store using which you can store your password encrypted reducing the manual overhead of storing and managing it in configuration files. It can be easily integrated with IAM and KMS.
Even though it is supported on-premises servers, it is going to be challenging as AWS needs to push all updates directly and also collect the inventory from each endpoint in corporate data centers. We end up with making many holes on the firewalls and also lot of traffic between AWS and our data centers. This will not only overload your network but also increases your AWS bill.  It was good to have something site agents which can coordinate with agents in the sites and report back to the SSM services in the AWS cloud. This would avoid too much of client connecting directly to the AWS cloud over the link and will be easy to maintain the firewall rules as well. AWS does not recommend keeping many workloads on our premise as they want everything to be moved to the cloud so we may have to rule out anything like that in the future. Below diagram show how the service manager connects to the endpoints.

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Continue reading “Amazon EC2 Systems Manager – Key Points We need to know”

AWS December Announcement: An infrastructure guy should be memorized

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We have watched many big announcements from AWS this year November and December. It was all part of the AWS Las Vegas Re-invent. You can watch many of the key notes and session from the Youtube easily. You can watch the keynotes from AWS as well.  

I have listed below some of the announcement that AWS made which I think we, infrastructure architects should be noted. It is not the complete list however; it covers only December month announcement as of 10th Dec 2016. Continue reading “AWS December Announcement: An infrastructure guy should be memorized”

What does the AWS | VMware Partnership mean ?

When I heard this for the very first time, I got confused ‘Ehhh What is it? I am sure a few of you had the same puzzle.

At a higher level the largest public cloud company joining hands with largest private cloud offering company.  Alright!!! But what is it in technical terms. This is what I want to know because ….

compoents-of-vmware-cloud-on-aws

As per AWS, it is a native, fully managed VMware environment on the AWS Cloud that can be accessed on an hourly, on-demand basis or in subscription form. It includes the same core VMware technologies that customer runs in their data centers today including vSphere, Virtual SAN and NSX network virtualization platform and is designed to provide a clean, seamless experience.

Continue reading “What does the AWS | VMware Partnership mean ?”