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Dustin Amrhein

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Top Stories by Dustin Amrhein

I spent last week at the annual IBM IMPACT event, and had a lot of great conversation with enterprise users about some of the transformations taking place in the IT industry. Most of my conversations focused on virtualization and the broader cloud computing architectural shift, and many of these conversations reminded me of how early in this journey we still are. Many enterprise users are still very much in the "toes in the water" phase when it comes to cloud computing. Specifically, that phase is somewhere between assessing the business value and working out a prototype for the organization. While it is clear that cloud computing is still steadily emerging, it is equally clear that enterprises have embraced virtualization whole-heartedly. In this sense, I am not talking about mainframe virtualization that enterprises have relied on for years. I am talking about hi... (more)

Adopting Virtualization is Not Without Friction

This much is clear, advanced virtualization techniques are here. Some time ago, we moved beyond base operating system virtualization, towards virtualization approaches that render more functionally complete systems. From single virtual images that contain entire software stacks (i.e. LAMP, JEE servers, content management systems, etc.), to virtual appliances built to satisfy particular workloads, the functional encapsulation provided by various virtualization techniques continues to expand. On the surface, this is an obvious benefit to end-users, but that does not mean it comes ... (more)

PaaS Deployment Models

Rapid deployment capability is table stakes when we are talking about a PaaS solution. Every vendor touts it, and to be frank, every user simply expects it to be there. While I think it is interesting to talk about rapid deployment and perhaps compare speed of one solution to that of another, I think it is infinitely more interesting to talk about the mechanics of deployment for a particular solution. That is, I think the more interesting and important question is ‘What deployment style does a particular solution take?' At a very high, black and white level, I think two primary ... (more)

IBM & Cloud Computing: Self-Service Clouds with Fine-Grained Control

A common feature of cloud computing solutions is that they enable self-service access to the services they provide. This enables users to directly procure services from the cloud, and it eliminates the need for more time-consuming, labor-intensive, human-driven procurement processes familiar to many in IT.  That's not to say that a cloud computing solution should provide its services in a free-for-all manner, letting any user take any action within the system. There should be strict controls over the services users have access to and the actions they can perform with those servi... (more)

Cloud Computing and Virtual Images

Cloud Expo on Ulitzer A look at several different cloud computing solutions will reveal a technological enabler present in almost each one. The enabler I'm talking about is the use of virtual images. I cannot think of many, if any, cloud computing solutions that provide software elements (i.e. more than just servers, storage, memory, etc.) that do not use virtual images in some form or fashion. Of course, one of the reasons virtual images form the backbone of many cloud solutions is obvious. Virtual images provide the benefits of server virtualization. We can activate many virt... (more)