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It is with great pride that I finally get to write about our announcement today of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management 2.0

 

This product represents months of effort on the part of so many people at BMC, but most notable, the development team that committed to building the RIGHT cloud management solution to meet the needs of our customers - and delivered it.

 

There's a lot of cloudwashing out there. We all know it. But at BMC, we've made real investments in developing new technology for cloud management. Rather than asking "What can we string together to smell like cloud?", we started with the question "How should a cloud really be managed?" The resulting product is glorious. Why?

 

CLM starts with the business service. It doesn't start with some infrastructure elements.

CLM understands the need for configurability on the part of the user.

CLM recognizes the need for control, by the administrators.

CLM knows that an enterprise-class cloud wont be manually managed - it needs policies that drive its behavior.

CLM sees the need for ongoing operational management of the cloud - and the cloud services - and helps administrators achieve those service levels

CLM learns from the latest web technologies, delivering not only a user-friendly USER portal, but also a robust and attractive admin portal

CLM doesn't seek to replace the entire infrastructure management in place - but integrates with it to ensure the cloud is not a silo

CLM doesn't discriminate against infrastructure types, whether different hardware or hypervisors - it embraces heterogeneity

 

I've been living and breathing this product for months. I've talked about it with customers, presented it to analysts, and raved about it at cocktail parties until someone calls me out on my ramblings. I've seen it work. I want to share it with you too..

 

So, we built an interactive demo. Not me, since I can't do this magic -but our team. It's the first demo of its kind - and more will come. This one is for the user request process. Test drive it. Check it out. Let me know what you think.

 

Actually - tell me in person. Live. At the Cloud 2011 Virtual Trade Show on Thursday. I'll be around... talking about CLM 2.0. Why? Because my friends wont let me talk about it at cocktail parties anymore.

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See that pretty advert our home page? Isn't it nice? We've been working on this virtual trade show for months... getting ready to deliver a day packed with amazing cloud insight and content - and opportunities to interact with cloud experts from across the industry.

 

Just. For. You.

 

Well, you and a bunch of people just like you. People who are keen on cloud and taking action towards bringing cloud to your organization.

 

So, we thought.. who could help you? Obviously, we think BMC can help you. But, we also brought some friends:

 

  • Donna Scott from Gartner, noted cloud luminary and generally brilliant analyst
  • Accenture - who understand not only how to implement a cloud, but also the organizational change required
  • Citrix - who bring choice to the data center with their XenServer platform
  • Cisco - our long standing partner for infrastructure in cloud environments
  • Dell, NetApp and Red Hat -- because the cloud is about options.
  • And finally... our customers. Because there's no better way to learn than from someone who's been through it.

 

Join us. This day is for YOU. Come say hi in the networking lounge or the Hybrid Cloud Computing booth. I'll be there.. happy to talk cloud, blogs, or bundt pans (my secret hobby).

 

April 28th. In your browser. Register today It's free!

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I live in the Austin TX area, and if you know Austin, you know that ‘The Drag’ is the street that parallels the western boundary of University of Texas. It is a well known crucible of creative destruction. As I walked down The Drag with my 9 year old daughter, I was given a simple lesson that bears directly on the economics of computing, and cloud computing in particular.

 

The episode was brief – as we passed the old record store (which had seen a second coming as a book store, and was in the process of being converted to a Mexican chain restaurant) , I noted this cycle to her, to which she replied, ‘Dad, I understand .... but what’s a record?’ Of course, she did this while looking up her current location and other cool info on her relatively new ipod touch.

 

She did it again the other day – in a similar situation in a different location, I was faced with the question “what’s a PC?” Then with ‘can you type your password so I can by this app, it's only 99 cents?” I am sure this line of questioning will continue.

 

We talk about a generational shift in IT – one that is ready to dispense with traditional platforms and management styles. But, I would argue that there is an even newer generation arising that is driving applications and content types that have no precedence. And, if you believe my daughter is representative of this new wave, they also demand clear, transparent pricing. And, they will drive continual change throughout supply and distribution chains that become increasingly flexible and responsive to the market in real time. 

 

One conclusion that I have drawn:  while transforming the infrastructure (the medium) may be the current rage in IT, do not forget that its payload – new content and new apps - are paying the bills. The new infrastructure must consistently serve them up fast and securely to a global audience of mobile-social customers. If it doesn’t, then your cloud and your strategy are missing the point.

 

And, your customers will receive a clear message from your company. Not the wonderful application experience they were expecting, but instead a memory of the unsatisfactory performance of your infrastructure. And that’s not a good thing in the eyes of the 9, 19 and 29 year olds your apps are trying to reach.

 

Bottom line - If you don’t understand your application and content payload, and are not architecting and managing them from the outset, your new infrastructure will put your business at risk.  If you do, you are well on your way to achieving the key business outcome expected of your production cloud.

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In reading the latest leaked specs on the upcoming release of vSphere, I couldn’t help but notice 2 utterly divergent specifications:

 

  • Support for 32 CPUs per VM
  • Support for 512 VMs

 

So – you can deploy increasingly enormous virtual machines, or many itty bitty ones on the same hypervisor. I’m fascinated by this.

 

My heritage is in grid computing, where the whole point was to hook together as many computers as you could to actually tackle some significantly challenging problems. It took supercomputers from around the globe to solve weather prediction problems or massive simulations. We needed big big resources. But, it never took off. Grid was all the rage in 2003, and then it crashed. Why? Because it turns out that while enterprises need more resources, they don’t actually need big resources.

 

Virtualization kicked in when the hypervisor started splitting a single server into multiple pieces. It started with the opposite premise from grid computing: enterprises need less. Underutilization of servers was rampant, and this solved the problem.

 

But these are sides of the same coin. The truth, as this latest spec reveals, is that organizations typically need MORE workloads, and thus more total computing. And, sometimes those workloads are bigger than a breadbox – and sometimes they are smaller. Once you consider the power of multi-tier applications in this type of environment, it’s clear that the number of VMs is even a poor proxy for the number of workloads, and the capacity each takes.

 

It’s gratifying to see the convergence of grid and virtualization begin to take shape. I predict that as enterprises find they have more flexible numbers and sizes of workloads, both locally and in the public cloud, some very interesting use cases will emerge. And maybe one day, our clouds will hook together giant servers in Sweden and China to solve some business problems.

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