WHD.global 2014 Round Up [Video]

Flexiant recently attended WHD.global where we met with hundreds of service providers and heard first hand about the challenges they are experiencing.

At the event we did some filming and got some different perspectives of what service providers are looking for and the changes in the market place.

Sergey Skurykhin from vps.eu talked to us from the service provider’s perspective, whilst our own Marco Meinardi shares his view on the hot topics from service providers at the show. Finally, Tony Lucas compares the difference from 2013 to 2014 and how service providers mindsets have evolved.

Watch now to find out more. 


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To Bundle or Not to Bundle Cloud Services?

I recently had a conversation with a Flexiant customer looking at various solutions around bundling groups of services together for its target market. I can’t discuss the specific questions, but it did get me thinking about the overall model of delivering services in a bundled vs. unbundled manner. So what do I mean by unbundled vs. bundled?

Cloud bundlingBy way of an analogy it’s the same concept as picking the food you want a la carte from a menu or choosing a set meal. Most telcos have been using this model for the last few years – bundle your phone, TV and Internet services and save X amount of money. Buy separately and it will cost more.

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Who Needs to Make their Own Recipes when you have a Chef?

In November, we launched Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator V4 which introduced a major new feature, plugins, which fundamentally changes both how our software can be used and the ease with which third party solutions can be integrated with Flexiant. To showcase how plugins can be used by service providers, I’ve started a blog series to demonstrate just how easy it is to use our plugin feature to offer new services and functionality for your cloud services business.

I previously blogged about replicating a new AWS feature in 100 lines of Lua. Today I’m continuing our series by discussing Chef and how we used plugins to support the platform.

Chef and Flexiant

What is Chef?

Chef is a platform for automating the management of infrastructure by turning it into code (using Recipes and Cookbooks no less!).  It enables complete automation of the configuration of infrastructure, operating systems and the applications running on them to reduce time to delivery, complexity and enable management at scale.

Why did we pick Chef?

We are big fans of the concept behind configuration tools like Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt and others and over time want to support as many of these as we can within Flexiant’s software.  We chose Chef first because its methodology and capabilities were ideally suited as our ‘guinea pig’ for testing the integration concept. In addition, Chef has a wide ecosystem of existing contributed recipes and cookbooks that are available for configuring large amounts of different services (hence the title of the blog post!).

We do intend to deliver support for the others listed above over time as well though.

How does it work with Flexiant?

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Apple vs. Nokia: What Principles Can Be Applied to the Cloud Service Market

The competitive cloud marketplace is only becoming fiercer as the adoption of public cloud increases. Hosters, service providers and telcos are all battling against each other for cloud business creating a thunderstorm of services and solutions, but are they all different? There are differences regarding the scope of the provider, e.g. a hoster vs. a telco. However, across an industry where there is a significant risk of commoditization and, potentially, poor delivery against customer requirements, rolling out a generic cloud is no longer an option.

Apple-vs-Nokia (Image credit - http://www.nokiapoweruser.com)

Differentiation is at the core of the service provider market as each organization competes against industry giants. To illustrate how important it is to differentiate based on customization, extensibility and an ecosystem, you needn’t look further than Apple vs. Nokia.

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Word on the Street at OpenStack Conference Hong Kong

This is my first year attending the OpenStack Summit, the largest gathering of the global OpenStack community for developers, administrators and businesses to hear directly from enterprise users and CTOs about the future of cloud computing and to determine the OpenStack roadmap. Here are some of my thoughts from the inside the summit:

openstack summit Flexiant

Symantec presented a session ‘An Evaluation of OpenStack Deployment Frameworks’ where Brian Chong, Global Technology Strategist discussed how the company embarked on a proof-of-concept pilot to test various solution options for its cloud. Brian discussed the vendor solutions tested including:

• Mirantis Fuel
• Canonical JuJu/MaaS
• Dell Crowbar
• Triple-O
• Foreman
• RackSpace

Symantec decided that Crowbar was best for them, but it depended on the use case. While an interesting discussion, my controversial view on the subject is that the tool isn’t massively relevant as it only solves the problem of getting the OpenStack platform up and running. What about the business problems with running a cloud?

Service providers need to get their cloud up and running, but then meter and bill for usage, enable customer self-servicing, allow resellers to customize for their business, deliver value added services on top. But if all service providers can do is get the platform running, they are unable to deliver a cloud service end users will want to buy. My thoughts on this are aimed at the service provider, but the business problems are consistent across all OpenStack deployments.

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