Tag Archives: Executives

VMworld pushes vSAN HCI to cloud, edge

VMware executives predict the vSAN hyper-converged software platform will grow rapidly into a key building block for the vendor’s strategy to conquer the cloud and other areas outside the data center.

VMware spent a lot of time discussing the roadmap for its vSAN hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software roadmap at VMworld 2018 last month. The vSAN news included short-term specifics with the launch of a private beta program for the next version, along with more general overarching plans for the future.

VMware executives made it clear that vSAN HCI will play a big role in its long-term cloud strategy. They painted HCI as a technology spanning from the data center to the cloud to the edge, as it brings storage, compute and other resources together into a single platform.

The vSAN HCI software is built into VMware’s vSphere hypervisor, and is sold as part of integrated appliances such as Dell EMC VxRail and as Ready Node bundles with servers. VMware claims more than 14,000 vSAN customers, and IDC lists it as the revenue leader among HCI software.

VMware opened its private beta program for vSAN 6.7.1 during VMworld, adding file and native cloud storage and data protection features.

VSAN HCI: From DC to cloud to edge

During his opening day keynote at VMworld, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger called vSAN “the engine that’s just been moving rapidly to take over the entire integration of compute and storage to expand to other areas.”

Where is HCI moving to? Just about everywhere, according to VMware executives. That includes Project Dimension, a planned hardware as a service designed to bring VMware SDDC infrastructure on premises.

“The definition of HCI has been expanding,” said Yanbing Li, VMware senior vice president and general manager of storage and availability. “We started with a simple mission of converging compute and storage by putting both on a software-defined platform running on standard servers. This is where a lot of our customer adoption has happened. But the definition of HCI is expanding up through the stack, across to the cloud and it’s supporting a wide variety of applications.”

VSAN beta: Snapshots, native cloud storage

The vSAN 6.7.1 beta includes policy-based native snapshots for data protection, NFS file services and support for persistent storage for containers. VMware also added the ability for vSAN to manage Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) in AWS, a capacity reclamation feature and a Quickstart guided cluster creation wizard.

If it pans out as we hope, it will be data center as a service.
Chris GreggCIO, Mercy Ships

Lee Caswell, VMware vice president of products for storage and availability, said vSAN can now take point-in-time snapshots across a cluster. The snapshot capability is managed through VMware’s vCenter. There is no native vSAN replication yet, however. Replication still requires vSphere Replication.

Caswell said the file services include a clustered namespace, allowing users to move files to VMware Cloud on AWS and back without requiring separate mount points for each node.

The ability to manage elastic capacity in AWS allows customers to scale storage and compute independently,

“This is our first foray into storage-only scaling,” Caswell said.

The automatic capacity redemption will reclaim unused capacity on expensive solid-state drive storage.

Caswell said there was no timetable for when the features will make it into a general availability version of vSAN.

Mercy Ships was among the customers at VMworld expanding their vSAN HCI adoption. Mercy Ships uses Dell EMC VxRail appliances running vSAN in its Texas data center and is adding VxRail on two hospital ships that bring volunteer medical teams to underdeveloped areas. They include the current Africa Mercy floating hospital and a second ship under construction.

“The data center for us needs to be simple, straightforward, scalable and supportable,” Mercy Ships CIO Chris Gregg said. “That’s the dream we’re seeing through hyper-converged infrastructure. If it pans out as we hope, it will be data center as a service. Then, as an IT department we can focus on things that are really important to the organization. For us, that means serving more patients.”

MIT CIO 2018 videos: Honing a digital leadership strategy

Introduction

The 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium had no shortage of high-level IT executives and CIOs in attendance. SearchCIO had the pleasure of catching up with some of them on site, conducting one-on-one interviews on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass. The goal: To hear directly from practitioners about the challenges, benefits, intricacies and enterprise-wide impacts of implementing a successful digital transformation strategy. Of course, the IT executives we talked to — which included CIOs, CDOs and IT consultants — had plenty of strategic advice for those going through the digital transformation process. Enjoy our video guide on digital leadership.

1Digital transformation journey

The leaders and the laggards

In many organizations, digital transformation has — to a greater or lesser extent — already happened. Most organizations today operate at least partly in the digital domain. But given how recent this transformation is, some parts of the enterprise are bound to be farther along than others. So, in this section, we wanted to know: Based on what IT execs are seeing at their companies and beyond, which parts of the enterprise are leading the digital charge and which are lagging? And how can everyone get on the same page? Not surprisingly, digital leadership figures large.

2Innovation strategy

How transformation happens: Digital leadership at Airtel, Land O’Lakes

Innovation comes in many forms and these IT execs are no stranger to most of them. In this section, IT execs, including the MIT Sloan CIO Leadership award winner Harmeen Mehta, discuss ways in which they — and others — are bringing in new processes, technologies and mindsets to help accelerate organizations’ digital transformation strategy.

3Challenges and guidance

Digital transformation strategy

Taking on a digital leadership role can be tricky, because the rules of digital transformation are still being written. This section delves into the common challenges CIOs face in the digital transformation process, including how the CIO role is being impacted.

Microsoft hires Peggy Johnson to head global business development

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Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced that Margaret L. (Peggy) Johnson has been named executive vice president of Business Development reporting to Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella.

Johnson joins Microsoft from Qualcomm where she most recently served as executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and president of global market development. In that role she was responsible for commercializing new business opportunities and developing strategic relationships.

“Peggy shares our worldview and knows what it takes to drive new growth in mobility and the cloud,” Nadella said. “Her experience uniquely positions her to lead Microsoft’s business development efforts, and she will be a great addition to our senior leadership team.”

Johnson will be responsible for driving strategic business deals and partnerships across various industries with key customers, strategic innovation partners, OEMs, key accounts, third-party publishers and industry influencers.

During her time at Qualcomm, Johnson held various leadership positions across engineering, sales, marketing and business development, and played an instrumental role in launching the world’s first large-scale mobile app store.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Microsoft at such a pivotal time for the company and the industry,” Johnson said. “The opportunity to build new and surprising partnerships to help Microsoft succeed in a mobile-first, cloud-first world is truly exciting, and I look forward to leading these efforts.”

Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from San Diego State University.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.