2015, Here We Go!

Well here it is… the first official full week back at work for 2015.  Firstly, Happy New Year to all my readers!  I hope you all had a nice relaxing holiday with family and friends. Now the holiday period is over I’m looking forward to the many inevitable exciting times and challenges this year, in an industry that still continues to move and innovate at a breath-taking pace.  For me, I can’t wait to get my feet back under the table to be part of this ride in the year ahead.

My blog posts have been somewhat, well… sporadic, though this is something I am hoping to change and dedicate more time to this coming year.  Easier said than done with an often busy work schedule and Baby/Toddler TechHead now being 18 months old and full of energy.  Smile  Though, I do treat the blogging somewhat as a hobby and I really enjoy the interaction with others through the blog and the usual social media channels so I will be making time.

“How To” Demos – On The Way

I’m about to start recording the remaining demo videos in my “How To” series on installing, configuring and running the EMC VNX Simulator in your VMware vSphere lab.  This has been long overdue, so apologies to those of you that have been waiting for these.  I hope you find them worth the wait.  If the “how to” video format proves popular I will look at doing more of these throughout the year.

EMC VNX Simulator

Podcasts – Old & New

On the podcast front I have The Data Center Insiders podcast up and running again, and have recently recorded two new episodes (EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud & OpenStack).  For those of you not familiar with this series, it is a podcast that looks at various aspects of enterprise IT and Cloud computing, with an slant towards things VMware and EMC.

The vChat podcast which I co-host with David Davis and Eric Siebert has proven a little harder to co-ordinate over the past year, with only one episode being published. This is something we are hoping to turn around, though the reality is that trying to co-ordinate a time where all three of us are available (work commitments and differences in time zones) unfortunately often imposes scheduling conflicts.  techhead podcastsI am, and have been for some time, kicking around the idea of creating a regular ‘TechHead’ podcast, which will cover tech in general, a little bit of industry trend news/analysis but also include home labs, hardware, etc.  Basically, I want to create a podcast that covers topics that I am interested in and would be of potential interest for my tech friends and peers.  I’m leaning towards it being in an audio format only, though I do like the technical aspect of making it a video based podcast instead, which would allow me to provide diagrams, demos, images, etc.  Admittedly this wouldn’t provide maximum value for those listening to the podcast whilst driving, etc.  I’d value feedback on which format (ie: video versus audio) you currently prefer and find most useful (ie: audio versus video).  Drop me a comment at the bottom of this post.  I’d appreciate your input.

5 Tech Trends of Personal Interest for 2015

There are a number of solutions and technologies that are gaining traction and coming to the forefront in our industry, here is a list of those products/concepts/services that I’m personally interested in and that I’d recommend familiarisng yourself in, assuming you haven’t already, as they will to continue to evolve and significantly impact IT this year.

Converged & Hyper-Converged Infrastructures

With the emergence of software this-that-and-the-other, the reliance on individual component hardware is becoming less.  Although converged and hyper-converged technologies won’t be a best fit for all use cases, it will IMHO start making serious in-roads for use in more mainstream IT infrastructures. This shift will see the rise of the white-box as more and more resilience is built into the software and hypervisor layer (eg: multi-core FT, etc).

Converged Infrastructure


Obtaining high IOPS without requiring large quantities of spinning disk is now much more affordable for businesses of all sizes.  With almost all established storage vendors and start-ups putting much focus in the area of flash based storage, this is a technology that undoubtedly see larger storage capacities and reductions in price, though storage companies will really have to start differentiating themselves over competitors with value-add and innovative functionality (as well as cost of course Smile).  Even with the increasing popularity and emergence of software defined storage (SDS), flash based storage will undoubtedly also play a large part in this trending technology albeit located in a different part of the hardware stack (eg: server versus storage).

Flash Storage


With more and more businesses looking towards OpenStack as a possible alternative, or companion, to products such as VMware vSphere, it will be interesting to see the level of mainstream uptake of OpenStack in the next 12 months.  Will it remain a solution that is predominantly used in the Cloud Service Provider and larger enterprise space, or will we start to see if be trialed and adopted by smaller organizations and businesses?  No doubt there will be the usual debate of OpenStack versus vSphere for example, though once again, IMHO each solution should be considered and implemented on its best fit, rather than taking a narrow view of only using one or the other in an IT infrastructure.



With the increase in popularity of Docker, to what extent will containers make inroads to the Cloud computing space in 2015? No doubt about it, container technology is gaining momentum as many Cloud Service Providers (who have perhaps not already implemented them), and large enterprises start to look towards them as a potential virtual machine (VM) alternative.  That said, I recommend reading this great article about containers versus Virtual Machines by Scott Lowe who, correctly IMHO, suggests that each has its own appropriate use case, rather than it being an “either/or” decision. So many things in our industry cannot be answered with a single definitive answer as more often than not the only valid response is “it depends…”.


Applications Developed for the (Public) Cloud …

… or third platform applications as they are sometimes referred to, will continue the slow shuffle towards wider adoption, especially with many in-house developed applications now coming towards end-of-life after reduced spending during the global recession.  Also, another contributing factor is that confidence, acceptance and understanding of the public Cloud is growing.  Of course, reduced public Cloud pricing amongst the large players such as AWS, RackSpace, Azure, etc. can only help sway application owners to start looking in this direction.  Also, let’s not forget that with each year that passes more and more application developers will be becoming exposed and more proficient with creating code and helping architect (where applicable) public Cloud based application solutions.

Cloud Applications tier 3

Of course, there are many other items that could be included in this list but for me these are the “big ones” that I will be following, and possibly involved with to some greater or lesser extent this year.

What do you see as being any major technology shifts or trends for this coming year?  I’d like to hear from you, why not leave a comment below?

I hope you have a fun, healthy and happy year, and thanks again for reading TechHead!


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