Enterprise SDN: Harnessing ‘containers as a service’

(c)iStock.com/Sjoerd van der Wal

Hyper-scale SDDC and enterprise SDN use cases

A major market for telcos will be the enterprise adoption of SDN. They will be able to harness the SDN/NFV innovations from the telco industry, and apply the technologies within their data centres, as well as using new telco services that they enable.

As SearchDataCenter describes, NFV offers the potential to unify the data centre, and will be driven under an overall umbrella of SDDC: the software defined data centre.

VMware explains why enterprises are ready for network virtualisation, and positions their NSX technology as a platform for SDDC. Example use case scenarios are being pioneered such as Virtual Customer Edge – the ability to virtualise the customer edge either through creation of a virtualised platform on customer premises.

The trend will see different industry partnership models emerge, exploring ways for industry supply chain combinations to exploit this specific opportunity. For example Telehouse partnered with Aryaka to offer SDN-augmented WAN services.

Also the hardware vendors are marketing specific programs targeting the sweet spot of telcos looking to compete with Amazon et al, via a hyper-scale data centre, announcing an early implementation partner through SKT Telecom. This type of ‘hyper-scale’ data centre technology will be harnessed by the large enterprise market and also as part of adopting SDN.

Containers as a service

The scenario and market opportunity is particularly exciting when you consider the sheer size of this enterprise sector, and also the potential for disruptive innovations to radically transform how some providers achieve competitive advantage through unique product positioning, those that best exploit the Cloud Native platform.

For example in this VentureBeat article Peter Yared, CTO of Sapho, explores a scenario he describes as ‘containers as a service’. In short, a “hybrid SaaS” capability that delivers subscription-based software via a SaaS-like model, but it is deployed on-premise to the client via containers. With containers hosting SDN services as well as these apps, then the network market could be attacked via the same disruptive principle and enabling technical architecture.

Vendors like Nuage offer SDN platform solutions, and in this article discuss the scenario of using containers this way.

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What is Citrix NetScaler?

Today’s organizations face new requirements for their datacenter and application delivery architectures. The rapid adoption of BYOD policies has underscored the importance of the performance of virtual applications accessed from web or mobile devices. CIOs have to cope with the increasing traffic to ensure optimal application performance while respecting rigid budget limits, no matter how […]

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One of the Fastest Growing Groups in Technology: Women

Following technology is somewhat of a national pastime for us these days, and this number might come at a bit of a surprise to some who don’t follow hiring practices too closely—but did you know that women are being hired by the top eight tech firms in the world at a rate 238% faster than […]

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Oracle Expands Cloud Services to Hotel Industry

Oracle has further developed the quality of services offered to hotels and casinos with Oracle Hospitality cloud services. These new services aim to simplify IT infrastructure while simultaneously allowing increased efficiency in operation. Ray Carlin, vice president of product strategy at Oracle Hospitality, commented, “To win in the highly competitive hotel industry, hotels need to deliver personalized guest experiences, increase operational efficiency, and effectively manage distribution. “Oracle’s cloud-based solutions bring significant advantages in all these key areas, while at the same time streamlining on premise IT management and offering enhanced application and data security built in.”

Oracle OPERA cloud services allows for an extensive guest profiling capability, allowing hotels and casinos to personalize a customer’s experience with ease. Positive guest experience increases chance for return in the future. OPERA cloud also runs on MICROS tablets and other smartphones, allowing guest services to be accessed from a multitude of areas in or near the hotel. The service enables hotels to maximize occupancy while effectively managing room rates. OPERA simplifies information technology infrastructure which allows upgrades to be made with ease. With all of these services, Oracle included a high level of cloud security matched with high performance.

Carlin stated, “Mobility has become a key competitive differentiator in the hotel industry. With the ability to access information instantly via mobile devices, guests now expect a very personalized mobile-enabled hospitality experience. Oracle OPERA Cloud enables operators to quickly and cost-effectively make that vision a reality.”

Oracle’s OPERA allows hotels and casinos to enhance a guest’s experience and provide important services.


Oracle continues to display its strength in the public cloud computing industry. Oracle Cloud currently supports 62 million users and upwards of 23 billion transactions per day. With 19 data centers across the globe, Oracle is giving the cloud giants like Microsoft a run for their money.

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WebSocket Technology | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #APM #Microservices

Providing a full-duplex communication channel over a single TCP connection, WebSocket is the most efficient protocol for real-time responses over the web. If you’re utilizing WebSocket technology, performance testing will boil down to simulating the bi-directional nature of your application.
Introduced with HTML5, the WebSocket protocol allows for more interaction between a browser and website, facilitating real-time applications and live content. WebSocket technology creates a persistent connection between the client and server, circumventing the requirement for a client-initiated HTTP request to trigger a server response. Providing a full-duplex communication channel over a single TCP connection, WebSocket is the most efficient protocol for real-time responses over the web.

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Safe Harbour Ruling: What Does It Mean for Your Business? | @CloudExpo #Cloud

The start of a new year is always a good time for many businesses to get their IT strategies in place. However, there has been one issue in the past couple of months that may potentially cause a lot of complications in IT departments across the US and EU; the implications for cloud compliance of the recent nullification of the EU Safe Harbour Ruling. Safe Harbour, used by over 4,000 firms to move EU data to the US for the past 15 years, was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) back in October 2015.

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Wind River and IBM to integrate their IoT clouds

IoT cloud iconIntel’s IoT software subsidiary Wind River is to work with IBM to make Industrial IoT projects run smoother and more efficiently. The two companies will work together on a series of initiatives aimed at clarifying their processes for each other, offering guidance to third parties and simplifying the task of integrating their respective systems with each other.

A published series of instructions, which IBM describes as ‘edge to cloud recipes’ aims to guide customers on how to integrate services from the IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform with products from the Wind River Helix portfolio.

Any customers who use the recipes could, in theory, connect industrial devices running Wind River software to the IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform and get access to IBM Bluemix cloud services and analytics. This, says Wind River, will help IoT developers develop smart connected devices more easily by cutting the time they’ll spend searching for relevant information and variables.

The IBM and Wind River ‘recipes’ and reference material will also help users with tasks such as device management and help users to apply IBM’s machine learning to the IoT. Other guidance that Wind River intends to offer clients and partners includes help on managing devices and systems in different vertical markets. Among the specialities on which guidance is available are smart buildings, transport, factory automation and the health sector.

Under the arrangement Wind River and IBM will provide elements that can be combined for a complete ‘edge-to-cloud’ IoT solution (a system connecting remote peripherals to the cloud). Detail is available on a range of Wind River operating systems, including VxWorks, Rocket and Pulsar Linux and Helix Cloud (Wind River’s family of software as a service offerings). Instructions are available on how to integrate each of these, in turn, with a range of IBM systems including IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform, IBM Bluemix, and IBM IoT Real-Time Insights for processing device data.

Walmart open-sources its OneOps cloud platform on Github

Walmart OneOpsRetail giant Walmart has released it OneOps cloud management and application life cycle software on GitHub in a bid to invite improvements from the developer community.

“Walmart is a cloud user, not a cloud provider. It makes sense to release OneOps as an open source project so that the community can improve or build ways for it to adapt to existing technology,” said Jeremy King, CTO of Walmart Global eCommerce in the company’s IT division Walmart Labs.

OneOps can be used to run application on public cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and CenturyLink or to tailor private or hybrid environments using OpenStack. By allowing companies to port their software onto different service providers it gives the buyers of services more bargaining power, since they can change suppliers and enjoy greater flexibility over scale and features. It also frees developers from vendor lock in, as they are not trapped into creating a proprietary system that only works with a particular vendor.

The main benefits of OneOps are described as continuous lifecycle management, cloud portability and greater control of cloud environments. Users of the system said it encourages rapid innovation with safe guards. Software engineers can spin up virtual machines in minutes and start coding without having to spend hours specifying the intricacies of a specific cloud environment.

Walmart has previously released open source software such as Mupd8, which implements the MapUpdate framework, a MapReduce-style framework for processing fast/streaming data. It also released Hapi, a framework for building applications and services, to the open source community. It has also used and contributed to other popular open source projects such as React, Node.js and Openstack.

“After more than two years of development and testing OneOps is available to the open source community,” said King, “We hear from companies of all sizes that they want to spend less time and money on IT, and more time on delivering experiences to customers, faster. Today, that undertaking gets easier.”

Betting on the cloud

Dan-Scholnick_v2A long-time expert on enterprise IT and cloud platforms, Dan Scholnick (General Partner, Trinity Ventures) has the distinction of having been Docker’s first venture investor. BCN spoke to him to find out the secrets to being a top level IT investor.

Know your stuff. Scholnick has a technical background, with a computer science degree from Dartmouth College. After this he worked at Wily Technology with the legendary Lew Cirne, who went on to be the founder and CEO of New Relic. At Wily, Scholnick built the first version of the company’s application performance management product.

All this gave Scholnick a natural appreciation for products and technologies that get used in the data centre as core infrastructure. It partly was this understanding that alerted him to the potential significance of Docker’s processor, dotCloud.

Know how to spot talent: The other factor was that he could recognise dotCloud founder Solomon Hykes as a technology visionary. “He had a better understanding and view of how infrastructure technology was changing than almost anyone we had met,” says Scholnick.

Of course, dotCloud didn’t turn out as expected. “It turns out we were wrong about PaaS, but we were right about the containers. Fortunately for all of us involved in the company, that container bet ended up working out.”

Know when the future is staring you in the face: When Scholnick invested in dotCloud, containers had been around for quite a long time. But they were very difficult to use. “What we learned through the dotCloud experience was how to make containers consumable. To make them easier to consume, easier to use, easier to manage, easier to operate. That’s really what Docker is all about, taking this technology that has actually been around, is great technology conceptually but has historically been very hard to use, and make it usable.”

The rest is IT history. Arguably no infrastructure technology in history has ever taken off and gained mass adoption as quickly as Docker.

“To me, the thing that’s really stunning is to see the breadth and depth of Docker usage throughout the ecosystem,” says Scholnick. “It’s truly remarkable.”

Know what’s next: When BCN asked Scholnick what he thought the next big thing would be in the cloud native movement, he points to an offshoot of Docker and Containers: microservices. “I think we’re going to see massive adoption of microservices in the next 3-5 years and we’re likely going to see some big companies built around the microservices ecosystem,” he says.” Docker certainly has a role to play in this new market: Docker is really what’s enabling it.” and

Keeping in touch with real world uses of Containers is one the reasons Scholnick will be attending and speaking at Container World (February 16 – 18, 2016 Santa Clara Convention Center).

“As a board member at Docker and as an investor in the ecosystem, it’s always good to hear the anecdotal information about how are people using Docker – as well as what pieces do they feel are missing that would help them use containers more effectively. That’s interesting to me because it point to problems that are opportunities for Docker to solve, or opportunities for new start-ups that we can fund.”

Click here to download the Container World programme

Box, Dropbox and Egnyte offer cloud storage options for Office

Microsoft Office cloud storageMicrosoft has announced new co-authoring features for users of Office Mobile and Office Online who store their files with cloud services such as Box, Dropbox and Egnyte. Tighter integration with these services means that files can be worked on ‘natively’ as they reside in the cloud service, without users having to come out of their office application.

The new options come nearly a year after the Cloud Storage Partner Program (CSPP) was launched in February 2015, when Microsoft invited cloud storage providers to connect their services to Office Online and Office for iOS. “Today, we’re adding real-time co-authoring with Office Online for documents stored in partner cloud services, extending our Office for iOS integration to all partners in the CSPP and enabling integration between Outlook.com and cloud storage providers Dropbox and Box,” wrote Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft’s corporate VP for the Office team.

Instant co-authoring with Office Online is now available for users with documents stored in Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox and Egnyte. Koenigsbauer also invited all Microsoft’s CSPP partners to integrate their storage services with Office for iOS so that users can designate these partner cloud services as ‘places’ in Office, as is possible now with Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox. The new changes mean that users can browse for PowerPoint, Word and Excel files on their preferred cloud service from within an Office app without having to interrupt their train of thought by coming out of the application.

Box is now used by 41 million consumers and 54,000 paying businesses, including 55% of the Fortune 500. Among the new features offered are real time co-authoring between Box and Office Online and the integration of Box with Office for iOS and Outlook.com. Users can make concurrent, real time edits to content secured in Box including Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Box, an early member in the Cloud Storage Partner Program, has introduced a new application for Windows 10 and integrations with both Office for iPad and iPhone. DropBox and Egnyte both also announced real time co-authoring the ability to collaborate across Powerpoint, word and Excel using documents stored in the cloud.