Cloud-Native Applications at the Speed of Business

EMC World is one of my favorite times of the year – it’s a great opportunity to spend solid time with thousands of customers, partners, and fellow EMCers in one place.

It’s also the time of year in our calendar where we bring a lot of mojo to bear on the industry – all at once.   In fact, there’s often SO much you can lose sight of the big picture.

If you want to see the trees – check out Virtual Geek here, where I’ve posted a set of detailed posts on Unity, on Project Nitro, on the latest on VxRack System 1000, the new EMC Copy Data Management products, and much more.

Any one of the Modern Datacenter Architectural pillars: Flash, Scale-out, Software-Defined, Cloud-Enabled – all wrapped in trust…. Well – they are well represented!

But – here – I want to zoom out and see the forest.


The first “big picture” element that I see every day with every customer is an important recognition that things are changing.   A recognition that they need to focus on where they differentiate and innovate versus their competitors.   That means that while all the cool point innovations EMC launched at EMC World today are powerful – customers increasingly want to consume/buy the necessary outcome. Customers are less and less interested in building it themselves – even if optimizing the ingredients has some marginal benefit.   This is being accelerated by the stark contrast of SaaS and Public Cloud models – which offer NO “best of breed” configurability, but in exchange deliver speed and agility.

The second “big picture” element is the emergence of the “Digital Enterprise” agenda in every customer.   Every customer is realizing they need to digitize their business, build new ways of engaging with their customers with an “any time, any way, any scale” way.   This creates huge pressure for customers to re-learn what it means to be a software company and innovate faster – versus simply using off-the shelf enterprise software.

That’s why I think two of the biggest announcements at EMC World are the new Native Hybrid Cloud platform and VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes.

Both are focused on this new Cloud Native world.   Both are delivered in turnkey form, engineered stacks that are built holistically, supported holistically, and sustained holistically.   They are platforms – not solutions.   You don’t “assemble” them – you consume them.

First – VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes.   For the last 2 years, we’ve been looking at how to make the deployment and all the “day 2” operations for Cloud Stacks completely turnkey.   Why?   Simple – customers really, really, REALLY struggle to get sustained value and leverage out of the open source projects like OpenStack, Apache Hadoop, Photon Platform, Mesos and others.   It’s not that they can’t or they aren’t smart enough.   Rather – it’s that the skill base in the market is very shallow, and the technology stacks are moving REALLY fast. If they successfully build a stack and get it up and running – and then lose the one employee who knows how it all works – POOF – back to square one.   The other driver is that each of those open source ecosystem projects are working to make their products a better fit for the enterprise – but each are building management tools that only impact THEIR stack, and in many cases these management tools cause the community to split (because these are often commercialized differently from one stack to another. Enter Neutrino Nodes.   Neutrino Nodes are a combination of industry standard server hardware coupled with an organic EMC innovation – the Neutrino software stack that is built to enable multiple different cloud native stacks to be deployed, managed, lifecycled – all things one needs to do after deployment. Together they deliver a turnkey Cloud Native IaaS that can be deployed in less than a day out of the gate. The first stack which is fully integrated with Neutrino is OpenStack – specifically the Kilo OpenStack project trunk. It’s the vanilla (but current) OpenStack codebase – delivered in a turnkey way. Simple. This is valuable, but where Neutrino Nodes will start to sing is as they support multiple different Cloud infrastructure stacks – with VMware Photon Platform – a true Cloud Native IaaS optimized for elasticity, APIs, and container abstraction models as the next stack on Neutrino Nodes In addition, our plan is to also make deploying the broad Apache Hadoop ecosystem on Neutrino Nodes simple and easy. Neutrino Nodes are deployed in the VxRack System 1000 – which makes for a turnkey Cloud Native IaaS, making the complex simple and easy.   If you want to read more about Neutrino Nodes – you can see my blog post on them here!

Second – the Native Hybrid Cloud Like VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes – the Native Hybrid Cloud is focused on delivering a turnkey outcome – but for an even higher-order idea.   No one – I repeat – no one, consumes infrastructure for its own sake – even cool turnkey Cloud Native IaaS like VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes J There’s always a higher-order thing – the application, the use case that consumes infrastructure. In the world of the digital enterprise – those would be new Cloud Native Applications – built in new ways, using new tools.   The most popular tool to do that is Cloud Foundry, and the best Cloud Foundry distribution is Pivotal Cloud Foundry. What developers want is to get going faster; to code and innovate faster; to worry about infrastructure less. The Native Hybrid Cloud does that – it’s a turnkey developer’s stack that makes getting going with Pivotal Cloud Foundry faster – 96% faster than building it yourself. It helps developers innovate faster – 3x faster.   It helps the infrastructure become invisible and more efficient – up to 10x more efficient.

But – the Native Hybrid Cloud does more than help the developer – it helps the other half of the DevOps cultural and operational model – the IT Operations team. Normally IT operations can be in conflict with the goals of the Developers – but the Native Hybrid Cloud makes them a hero again with control, reporting, chargeback and programmatic API-driven elastic infrastructure that the Developers building new Cloud Native apps need.

The Native Hybrid Cloud joins the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud as EMC’s two highest order platforms – things for customers to consume versus build.   They both are designed to be hybrids – deploying on-premises, and leveraging off-premises clouds like Virtustream, AWS, Azure, and the vCloud Air Network.

  • Enterprise Hybrid Cloud optimizes for traditional IT-as-a-Service, and is commonly deployed on Vblocks – and it optimizes around traditional IT needs: deep resilience, infrastructure availability, backup, DR and more.   You can absolutely deploy Pivotal Cloud Foundry on top of the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (many do!) for “one stack for traditional and cloud native”, but it is optimized to service traditional enterprise application workloads.
  • Native Hybrid Cloud optimizes for Cloud Native PaaS and new applications, and is deployed on VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes (leveraging OpenStack and soon the VMware Photon Platform).   Native Hybrid Cloud can also deploy VxRack System 1000 using Flex Nodes for customers who want to leverage vSphere).

You can read more about the Native Hybrid Cloud at my post on Virtual Geek here!

The march towards the IT endgame continues – consume vs. build, and get smart about where and how you as a customer innovate faster.   The Native Hybrid Cloud and VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes both represent powerful new turnkey capabilities at the Cloud Native IaaS and PaaS layers for customers to go further, faster.

This release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined under the Federal Securities Laws. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) risks associated with the proposed acquisition of EMC by Denali Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Dell, Inc., including, among others, assumptions related to the ability to close the acquisition, the expected closing date and its anticipated costs and benefits; (ii) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (iii) delays or reductions in information technology spending; (iv) the relative and varying rates of product price and component cost declines and the volume and mixture of product and services revenues; (v) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures and new product introductions; (vi) component and product quality and availability; (vii) fluctuations in VMware, Inc.’s operating results and risks associated with trading of VMware stock; (viii) the transition to new products, the uncertainty of customer acceptance of new product offerings and rapid technological and market change; (ix) risks associated with managing the growth of our business, including risks associated with acquisitions and investments and the challenges and costs of integration, restructuring and achieving anticipated synergies; (x) the ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; (xi) insufficient, excess or obsolete inventory; (xii) fluctuating currency exchange rates; (xiii) threats and other disruptions to our secure data centers or networks; (xiv) our ability to protect our proprietary technology; (xv) war or acts of terrorism; and (xvi) other one-time events and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in EMC’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. EMC disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.

About the Author: Chad Sakac

Chad Sakac leads the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) efforts at Pivotal where he brings together the Engineering, Marketing and GTM aspects of the business – with the goal of building the best Enterprise Container Platform together with VMware – part of how Pivotal is transforming the way how software and the future is built. PKS is a joint effort with VMware – and the effort involves bringing the immense resources of two great companies together. This alliance part of Chad’s role extends to all of the elements of how Pivotal works with Dell Technologies (Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, RSA, Secureworks, Virtustream, Boomi) - across the transformational methodologies (Pivotal Labs, Platform Acceleration Labs, Application Transformation and more) and technologies (all of Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Pivotal Data) of Pivotal as a whole. Prior to this role, Chad spent 14 years at Dell EMC where he was responsible for several technical customer focusing on customer and partner innovation – most recently as the President and GM of the Converged Platform and Solutions Division (CPSD), and prior to that leading all global Systems Engineering team. Before joining EMC, Chad led the Systems Engineering team at Allocity, Inc. Chad authors one of the top 20 cloud, virtualization and infrastructure blogs, “Virtual Geek” He holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.