Archive for the ‘E-Progress’ Category

Citrix Synergy 2011: Day 2 – Simon Sez!

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello (again) from San Francisco – for the last time this week!  

I’ll be heading back to Austin tomorrow, but it was great being here in California for a few days, and being a part of what was happening at Citrix Synergy 2011.

Day 2 started a bit slow, but Simon Crosby certainly got us back on track. 

Simon Crosby on stage at Citrix Synergy

Simon Crosby on stage at Citrix Synergy

Here are the highlights:

  • DJ Solomon was running music before the session and at the after party – I gotta say I was impressed.  I’m not a big club beat guy, but this was good tunage. 
  • Citrix Partner Awards:  Gluster – Best Partner Solution for Accelerating Cloud and Best in Show!  App-DNA wins best partner solution for desktop transformation, and Abiquo wins best partner solution for virtual datacenters.
  • After the Citrix Partner Solution Awards, Simon Crosby took the stage – I’d been looking forward to this – Simon never fails to provide surprise and insight.
  • It should be obvious, but a lot of people still don’t get this – virtualiztion is not the same thing as cloud.  Does virtualization have a place in cloud?  Yes.  Can you evolve from a highly virtualized environment to a cloud?  Yes.  But there is a purer way taken advantage of all the inherent characteristics of cloud (elasticity, mutli-tenancy, etc) by designing and building cloud from the ground up – something that platforms like OpenStack offers.  (Check out the whitepaper at to learn more about that design methodology.)
  • OpenStack will help drive what we need in the cloud – getting key vendors together to figure out and build the cloud out right. – Simon Crosby
  • To delight (users) and to protect (enterprises) – that is the mission of IT – Simon Crosby
  • Interesting analogy from Simon: private cloud vs private cloud similar to driving your own car vs flying in a commercial plane – we drive our own cars, have control, etc – commercial airlines focus on building in process so that air travel is safe and reliable.  Interesting fact – the FAA was created by the airlines to help ease people’s fear of flying by implementing standards and a governing body.
  • Enterprises are seeking economics, elasticity, and pay-as-you-go from the cloud. – Simon Crosby
  • Our consumer choices are increasingly impacting our workplace – Simon Crosby
  • Roughly 100% of users violate their company’s security policy to get their job done – apps, public cloud access, etc.  It’s important that we as an industry recognize that and leverage it for progress.
  • Tarkan Maner, CEO of Wyse – wow, quite a captivating speaker.  Was quite comfortable making a number of claims about thin clients and the future of computing, a number of  which I’m not in agreement with (there is now no need for thick clients, etc), but overall, I enjoyed his address.  Some key takeaways include cloud recommendations: start working toward hybrid cloud, build based on policies, develop to open standards, ensure the right and evolved IT skills are in place, and put users before infrastructure.
  • Also learned a new phrase – “FInT this.” = Facebook, Linked In, Twitter.  Do any of you actually say this?
  • Train at Citrix Synergy!
    Train at Citrix Synergy!

    Zynga CTO Allan Leinwand also presented today speaking about their zCloud – they went from concept to production in 6 months, and can provision 1000 servers within 24 hours now.  They are all about “scale fast or fail fast.”  Nice to see that we as a group are starting to understand this notion.  Nice quote to the crowd during his discussion: “Some of you might be playing our games right now.”

  • Also got a chance to interact with friends in the press as well as users who wanted to know more about OpenStack and Dell’s role in Project Olympus and its Early Access Program.  You can also drop me an email at if you want to learn more.
  • And to top it all off – Train in concert at the Synergy afterparty!

The twitterati was in full swing as well – check out #CitrixSynergy.

Citrix fans – it’s been fun – see you next year! 

Until next time,


One Giant Leap for Cloud: Citrix, Dell, and Rackspace Step Up with OpenStack

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

OpenStackLast July, when the world learned about OpenStack for the first time, it was clear that it needed a group of partners to share the vision for OpenStack’s potential – open, standards based, and a platform for cloud innovation.

And there were partners those who stepped up.

Dell (my employer), Citrix, and others joined Rackspace and NASA, and committed to what they foresaw as a force in cloud.  This was a critical juncture in OpenStack’s evolution – industry heavyweights had to be visionary at this stage, while OpenStack was still developing as a technology and as an initiative.

(I’m proud to say that Dell was the only hardware solutions vendor who committed to the OpenStack initiative right from the beginning.)

Fast forward to almost a year later, and OpenStack’s pioneer partners are once again stepping up to help drive OpenStack as a technology platform and further the OpenStack community.

CitrixToday, Citrix is announcing Project Olympus, a new cloud infrastructure product based on OpenStack, which will include a certified version of OpenStack as well as a cloud optimized version of XenServer.

And to help drive this, Citrix is announcing the launch of an Early Access Program, with support from Dell and Rackspace and a host of other partners in the OpenStack community, allowing customers to get – you guessed it – early access to Olympus.

(Read the entire announcement here –

At Dell, “Open, Capable, Affordable” is our mantra, and we view certified distributions of open source code as an important part of adoption. It provides customers with peace of mind knowing that a company like Citrix is behind them as they themselves step up to OpenStack. And Citrix is a company we all know and respect, and one that many of us regularly depend on as a software provider – Xen, XenServer, XenDesktop, NetScaler, and on and on.

With this announcement, it’s important that we not gloss over what we’re seeing happening here in the OpenStack community.

It’s not that these key vendors are just supporting the OpenStack movement…

RackspaceThey’re participating in it.

And, yes – it’s a big deal.

This isn’t an announcement of some new consortium based on OpenStack – this is an announcement about key technology leaders doing what they do best to advance an initiative we believe in.  All of the companies mentioned have teams dedicated to developing OpenStack, contributing in technical conversations, learning about how customers can benefit from it, and driving the business of the open source cloud platform.

  • Citrix is focusing its strengths and core competencies to help enable customers in the software stack via this new distribution and cloud optimized XenServer.
  • Rackspace has launched an entire business unit to OpenStack installation, training, and support by way of Rackspace Cloud Builders.
  • Dell’s OpenStack team (of which I’m a part) has been leading the way in bare metal deployment of multi-node OpenStack clouds with Crowbar, and an operational model to base full OpenStack solutions on. (You may have seen our live demos at Cloud Connect, SXSW, and the OpenStack Design Summit.)

And that’s the difference. No one is watching from the bench – these guys have been in since the beginning and are living it daily. 

DellWe, as the Openstack community, believe we need an open alternative, believe in OpenStack, and believe it is going to change how we develop, build, and run the cloud. And each of us brings our core competencies to the table to help mature the technology, enabling this community to grow and thrive.

And this is a great time for YOU to get involved in OpenStack as well.  Check it out at and get involved.

If you’re learning more about Project Olympus, check out the Olympus webpage at

If you’re interested in learning more about Dell and OpenStack visit or email us at

Kudos to Citrix on Project Olympus, as well as to all of us in the OpenStack community, as we continue to drive this initiative forward.

I’m actually here in San Francisco at the Citrix Synergy conference this week, and I hope to be blogging on the happenings going on. If you’re here as well, I’d be interesting in hearing your thoughts on OpenStack, the announcement, and how you can participate as well.  Contact me via Twitter and let’s chat.  I’m @jbgeorge – try not to be distracted by the incredibly handsome profile picture.   🙂

Until next time,


Learn more:

The “Open” Trend in Cloud…

"Yes We're Open!"

C’mon – all the cool kids are doing it…

Going “open” that is.

How many announcements have we seen in the last few months having something to do with open technology when it comes to the cloud space?  With a great mix of business benefits AND customer / end user benefits, going open is certainly the latest trend.

I think this is a great and overdue market direction – standards are needed in this space, and I’m hopeful that this level of vendor response will help get us there.  Additionally, its important that we understand that open technology, while enabling users, should also benefit vendors, so that they can continue to invest in and support open products. 

Here’s a sampling of all the fantastic-ness.




This one is near and dear to my heart since I’m the OpenStack business lead at Dell.  But my view is that OpenStack really kicked off this season’s “open” trend.  Announced last July, it’s an open source cloud platform that has gained serious momentum with over 60 vendors in the community and quite a few developers world wide.  With the latest release of their code base (codenamed Cactus), and their recent Design Summit (at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara – where else?), service providers and large enterprises are taking a serious look at OpenStack as a viable cloud solution.  (Learn more at  Also shameless plug for



Facebook helped launch this initiative as they strove to build a low cost, yet highly efficient computing infrastructure.  Partnering with other industry stalwarts like Dell and Rackspace, Facebook opened up the specs on the efficient servers that make up their environment, in an effort to encourage other companies to build energy efficient infrastructures.  (Learn more at

VMware Cloud Foundry (Open PaaS)

With its aquisition of the SpringSource Java development framework, and of RabbitMQ, the cloud messaging technology, VMware makes a bold move into the cloud space by unveling Cloud Foundry as an open source “Platform as a Service”.   Focused on Java application developers , Cloud Foundry supports Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, and Rails, and allows developers a quick and easy way to get development platforms up and available. 

 Another plus – my good buddy Dave McCrory (@mccrory) is helping drive this initiative at VMware.  🙂  

(Learn more at


Speaking of open PaaS, Red Hat announced its OpenShift Platform as a Service today.  Their focus is to produce exportable workloads that can be used via private cloud or public cloud, such as Amazon.  OpenShift will support Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby.  Ironically, the open source is not yet open source, but will be shortly.

(Learn more at


How can I continue without mentioning OpenFlow?  As many experts agree, the network will be one of the most critical components to cloud success.   Created to help drive innovation in networking, a number of vendors are investigating ways to add OpenFlow as a feature to their networking portfolio.   Dell, Nicira, and others are some interesting names in this space.  I’m hopeful we’ll hear some interesting news about commercial networking providers and OpenFlow as Interop kicks off next week.

(Learn more at


So what do you think should be next here?  Do you feel open sourcing cloud technologies advance us as an industry? 

Drop me a line or leave a comment – would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time.


Dell + Equinix + Rackspace = OpenStack Demo Environment

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Good day, cloud fans!

A big day for open source cloud technology – Dell, Equinix and Rackspace have announced OpenStack demo environments being stood up at Equinix colo facilities, allowing interested users to check out what’s so great about OpenStack. 

Essentially, it can be a great first step to investigating OpenStack cloud technologies, which can lead to a follow on proof of concept for user specific workloads and apps, whether on customer premises or at an Equinix or Rackspace data center.

Cool, right?

Inquiring minds can read the press release in it’s entirety at

Or if you’re like me, you can just watch this video:



And what’s this about a Dell developed OpenStack installer that can enable bare metal provisioning of OpenStack clouds? 

That’s right.  Now we’re talking.

At the Cloud Connect event a few weeks ago, Dell, along with OpsCode, were able to demonstrate LIVE deployements of multi-node OpenStack clouds onto bare metal Dell PowerEdge C servers in less than 30 minutes

Check out one of Dell’s architects, Greg Althaus (who happens to be a co-author of the Dell OpenStack whitepaper), talk about this tool at Austin’s SXSW recently:



Yes, yes – I’m the marketing guy he’s talking about… 

It’s a really exciting time in the cloud space!  Our community is really starting to see ways that the cloud can drive smarter, more effiicent practices. 

If you’re interested in learning more, reach out. 

Here’s how you can get started:

  • Download the Dell OpenStack technical whitepaper from  It details hyperscale design of OpenStack on Dell PowerEdge C server technology. 
  • Drop us a line at to learn more about how Dell can get you started on OpenStack asap.

What are your thoughts on the OpenStack news?  Feel free to share a comment below.

Are we having fun yet?  

Big time.  🙂

Until next time,

JBGeorge / @jbgeorge

OpenStack’s Bexar Release!

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

On Thursday, OpenStack announced the second drop in the OpenStack code – the Bexar release! 

(And it’s pronounced “bear”.)

(The other acceptable pronunciation is “bare.”)

For those of you keeping track, the first release was Austin, the second release was Bexar, and the next release is codenamed Cactus.

(Can you see the pattern?)

(That’s right, every code name has an “a” in it.)

Dell's Rob Hirschfeld discussing cloud bootstrapping to packed house...

Dell's Rob Hirschfeld discussing cloud bootstrapping to packed house...

 To celebrate this release, OpenStack sponsored an event in Santa Clara that I was able to attend. Great lightning talks (5 min max) by a number of individuals in the community, including my pal Rob Hirschfeld, who spoke about bootstrapping the OpenStack cloud in a hyperscale environment.  (Check out his blog at, and follow @zehicle on Twitter.)

So let’s get back to the release here – it includes things like

  • IPv6 support (which is just in time, since we’ve now RUN OUT of IPv4 addresses!)
  • Support for the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor (already supported KVM and XenServer)
  • A new image discovery service called Glance
  • much more documentation

Check out this eWeek article where Barton George and I gave our thoughts on this release:

Here’s a quote from yours truly:

It’s time to take the “learning to the next level” by putting Dell servers with OpenStack in customer environments to “see real-life use cases,” Joseph George, senior cloud-solutions strategist at Dell Data Center Solutions, told eWEEK.

And I mean it – let’s start piloting this stuff!

Who’s with me? 

I’ll put my Dell hat on and say that Dell is actively seeking customers interested in doing a proof of concept of OpenStack (aka POC) – we’ve been testing it, and understand how to get you going quick so you can prove it out. 

Am I proud to be working for the only systems solution vendor that has been publicly participating in the OpenStack initiative since the beginning of OpenStack?

Heck yeah. 

In fact, Dell DCS has a great cloud solutions portfolio – drop me a line / comment if you’re ready to get a POC going – we’ll get it rolling. 

OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Oh, wait.  I guess I’m done. 

Don’t forget Sunday is Superbowl Sunday – between the commercials, and the actual game, there’s something for everyone.  Here’s to a high scoring, low injury game!

And thus begins the season of prayer in hopes the NFL and the Players Association work out a collective bargaining agreement, so we can have a 2011 season.


Until next time,


Cloud Driving Change

January 11, 2011 1 comment

Those of you that follow me here at the JBGeorge Tech blog or on Twitter or in other ways (stop stalking me!) know that one of my passions is how technology can make a difference in the world. It can be through technology leaders advocating philanthropy, tech innovation leading to medical advances, or a local IT person donating their tech talent to improve school safety.

To that end, I was thrilled to be invited to a meeting that took place in San Francisco yesterday.

On Monday, I, along with a few other select individuals involved in the OpenStack open source cloud initiative, had the distinct privelege of meeting with Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the White House, to discuss cloud computing, open source, and how open source cloud (specifically OpenStack) can help America grow and thrive.

A number of key representatives from various OpenStack participants were present from Dell, Rackspace NASA, Citrix, AMD, and others to contribute to the discussion. There was a lot of great conversation, which included an overview by the OpenStack team from Rackspace, and a myriad of perspectives from the various attendees. Specific problems were discussed such as security, standards, and impact on other areas like healthcare. Much was discussed about OpenStack in particular, and how its evolution can help spur on the American economy.

What are your thoughts on how cloud can better society? How does it impact education, healthcare, or small business? How can it make us healthier, economically more stable, and overall better citizens? Let’s think beyond operating systems and PaaS / SaaS – what can cloud do to help drive positive change?

Regardless of where you fall politcally, it’s a great time to be in technology. The current administration views tech and cloud computing as a key driver to advancing America and rightly so.

And they’re looking to us to help figure out ways to do that.

That’s a real cool thing. Let’s pitch in.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. Feel free to drop me a comment or reply on Twitter @jbgeorge.

Until next time,


Thoughts from 2010 Gartner Data Center Conference (Part 2)

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Hello all – hope you’re having a good Saturday / Sunday wherever you might be.

Wanted to finish putting down thoughts, insights, etc from my time at the Gartner Data Center conference this past week.  (You can read Part 1 here –

  • We need to understand the success / real world utilization of ITIL and other benchmark frameworks – are they working?
  • More and more, in the era of cloud, we are finding it is no longer necessary to keep an individual system up at all costs, as long as overall compute and storage integrity are maintained
  • Traditional management models assume that systems should be managed so that failure should rarely happen. Newer models assume that failure WILL happen, and focus on shortest MTTR (mean time to recovery / repair).
  • Traditional models try to implement pervasive automation, whereas newer models focus on selective automation.  Why must we automate / virtualize / etc everything?  Choose wisely based on criticality and true need.
  • We’ve heard of JEOS – the “just enough” operating system.  Gartner spoke of “just enough” practice vs “best” practice.   Are we at the era of “just enough?”
  • Again, reiteration of the need of DevOps skillset.
  • Organizational alignment is still a key facet of moving the IT organization.
  • “We are only at the end of the beginning” of the cloud era.  Watch for Cloud 2.0 in the years ahead (market based computing, hybrid clouds the norm, etc)
  • Still a lot of talk about the Big Four (HP, CA, IBM, BMC) – they were slow to jump on w virtualization, but more aggressive with cloud.
  • Definite focus on the network being a key management focal point.  Similar to the theory that your band’s ripping concert is only as good as the quality of your sound man.
  • The recession will be viewed in hindsight as a pivot event for the server market – paradigm shifts, vendor repositioning, etc.
  • Some important trends to watch going forward: big data, unified communication, client virtualization, compute density / scaling vertically, converged fabrics

Another great event – look forward to next year. 

Until next time,


Thoughts from 2010 Gartner Data Center Conference (Part 1)

December 11, 2010 1 comment

This week, I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Gartner Data Center conference – got to see a lot of old friends, meet new friends, and learn a lot about what Gartner sees coming down the road. 

This year's Gartner Data Center Conference was held at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV

It was also a chance to talk to a number of folks about what’s happening at their own data centers, what they’re looking to solve, and what they’d like to see start happening in the industry.

Here are some key nuggets I walked away with – I’ll post again tomorrow with the rest:

  • When it comes to implementing cloud, we cannot allow “20th century industrial models to sap 21st century innovation.” 
  • There’s still not a good answer for failure remediation in the cloud – credit due to downtime is just not good enough.
  • Expect the community cloud concept to continue to draw interest.  (Community clouds are clouds that service specific areas like banking or healthcare, where compliance, etc would be a requirement for its customers.)
  • The next big business opportunity could be cloud brokers as the new systems integrators
  • Great quote from Phil Dawson regarding due diligence before virtualizating anything – “Don’t virtualize rubbish – otherwise you have virtual rubbish.”
  • We often forget that virtualization is more than just servers and storage – there are apps, desktops, etc
  • Client virtualization / VDI is still top of a number of minds, though many are still at the investigative stage.  There are still lingering questions about user adoption, bandwidth / network constraints, and ROI.  (Though I am a big believer.)
  • When we build staffs, we should strive for them to be “T-shaped” – technically deep in few areas, but linkages to the broader business.
  • It’s important to run IT as a business – remember that it is providing something of value that its customer is willing to pay for
  • Some good discussion on IT chargeback and allocation, which many are not doing today, but forsee implementing in the future.  Four required characteristics of IT chargeback: simplicity, fairness, predictability, and control.

Also got a walkthrough of the IBM containerized data center, as well as SGI’s container – both very cool.  (No pun intended.)  I’ve now had the pleasure to see the modular / container data centers from  HP, Dell, IBM, and SGI first hand.

Some interesting stats and statistical predictions from Gartner:

  • 2/3 of the live audience was polled said they will be pursuing a private cloud strategy by 2014
  • What’s the top concern regarding cloud computing?  Security and privacy are still at the top.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world.  Twitter – the 7th. (Wow.)
  • There has been more video uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC, and CBS had been airing content 24/7/365 continuously since 1948.  (WOW.)
  • Data centers can consume 40x – 100x  more energy than the offices they support.
  • An 8,000 square foot datacenter could cost $1.6M per year for just power.
  • Data centers will be significantly smaller in the next 5 – 10 years
  • Data expected to grow 800% over the next 5 years, and 80% of it will likely be unstructured.
  • Today’s labor force will have 10 – 14 jobs by age 38

As you can tell, just a lot of good discussion on cloud, data centers, power, and overall IT.

OK, don’t want to overload more than I have – will back tomorrow night.

(UPDATE: Click here for Part 2.)

Until next time.


OpenStack Design Summit – Day 1 Review

November 10, 2010 2 comments

Wanted to provide some visibility to the great stuff happening at the OpenStack Design Summit at the Weston Center in San Antonio.

  • Intention is to draft requirements and specs for the January release of OpenStack
  • ~300 attendees total – 90 companies and 12 countries represented
  • Companies in attenance include Dell, Citrix, RightScale, Cloudkick, Canonical, NASA, and many others
  • Technical and business tracks running touching on topics like evolution of the datacenter, Bexar release plans, and many others
  • Lots of Twitter action via #openstack
  • Discussion of cloud deployments from the hardware perspective, the software perspective, the services perspective
  • Lots of hallway conversations between companies – networking-a-rama!
  • Great party at Rackspace HQ last night
  • Pictures Day 1 at from the event at and

Will try to provide an update tonight after today’s festivities as well.

Some personal thoughts that have been ruminating lately, and are becoming confirmed in my mind this week.

  • No matter what side of the fence you’re on, cloud will need to eventually settle at a model that allows users to evaluate needs, business strategy, etc, then decide HOW MUCH to put in the hosted / public cloud, HOW MUCH to put in the private cloud (whether on premise or of premise), and then implement a BURSTING capability.
  • Services are going to be a key part of broader migration to the cloud, especially at the enterprise level
  • We, as a group, are doing better on this, but we’re not spending enough time understanding and designing the networks that will drive our clouds.  More thought, discussion, and debate need to be done on this topic asap.

For the latest happenings at the Design Summit, search Twitter for #openstack (direct link =  You can also learn more about OpenStack at

Also, if you’re at the event, and interested in seeing the Dell PowerEdge C servers that are running at the event, and will power the InstallFest later this week, find me, tweet me, etc, and I’ll get you into the server room.

Until next time,

JBGeorge / @jbgeorge

Tech Giving Back

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been great to recently see a number of stories regarding highly visible individuals in technology giving back of their success. It’s always uplifting to see people helping people, regardless of scale, and especially exciting to see the technology field make news about philanthropy.

Here are a few that caught my eye:

  • Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been traveling through China, meeting with the wealthy and affluent of the country, to inspire them to give back to the community more than they have.  Reports indicate that the participants are very receptive to the message, and the charitable donations in China from this group are expected to grow as a result.  Gates and Buffett are looking ahead to India next year.
  • Facebook’s Mark ZuckerBerg will be donating $100M to New Jersey public schools.  Newark in particular barely graduates 1 out of 2 students, and the college enrollment rate is smaller than that.  A donation of this magnitude, and the programs it will yield, will surely have an impact on these kids.
  • A number of companies, including Dell, ExxonMobil, and UPS International, joined numerous governments in pledging millions as a part of UN Summit on Millenium Development Goals, to help end extreme poverty and hunger, drive education, and promote equality.

Big names, big dollars, big impact. 

Rather than sit back in awe, I hope this inspires all of us to give something back – donate to a charity, make time to volunteer, do a good deed.  Even a seemingly small gesture could make a big difference with rippling effects.

Here’s to Tech making a difference!

Until next time,