I have worked in a variety of disciplines throughout my career and I’ve really enjoyed being able to contribute to different aspects of software infrastructure technology. I find that diversity brings me a more balanced and innovative perspective to system design. Over the last month, I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to join the advisory boards of two exciting and innovative companies that I believe strongly in and I thought I’d tell you a bit about each of them and why I joined their boards.
I was initially introduced to opvizor by a board member and investor, my long time respected colleague and occasional competitor Moshe Bar. As I delved more into their technology with founder, CEO and fellow vExpert Dennis Zimmer, I found them well positioned and ideally suited to address a critical piece of the software-defined infrastructure puzzle. Software-defined infrastructure is really the successor to virtualization and the critical enabling technology for all forms of cloud computing. It involves abstracting and virtualizing all resources in the data center so that the resources can be applied dynamically to specific workloads on an as needed basis. Minimally, such provisioning must be entirely under software control. Even better is the emergence of automated provisioning and management of the applications at vast scale.
VMware with its vSphere platform began this trend and has dominant market share in the enterprise. Public cloud is currently dominated by Amazon, Microsoft and Google using Xen, Azure and KVM virtualization platforms underneath their offerings. Cloud native apps carved up into micro-services and running in containers is the latest flavor of modern infrastructure and application architecture and gaining serious traction as well. All of these methods of software defined infrastructure bring dynamic flexibility and allow for rapid adjustments to the resources applied to specific workloads, however they can also add to complexity as there are more moving parts. The greater the scale, the more the complexity. However, the software control also opens the door to automation, which is the key to taming the complexity and delivering on the desired business agility of all these platforms.
As virtualization, containers and cloud platforms continue the march towards comprehensive software-defined infrastructure, flexible automated monitoring, tuning and remediation technologies are vital to achieving the desired business agility outcomes. Opvizor is delivering such a solution, currently on VMware vSphere and broadening to other platforms such as containers and the cloud. It’s a SaaS service, so it can be quickly and easily applied to different platforms. And unlike most monitoring and reporting tools, it isn’t retroactive; meaning it doesn’t just look for and report on problems after they’ve occurred. It looks at your infrastructure from various perspectives and evaluates it with a custom rules engine relative to well-known best practices spanning many successful customer deployments. Opvizor refers to this knowledge base and their growing rules engine as “collective intelligence”. As you’d expect, it will make proactive recommendations based on this monitoring and evaluation, but it is also capable of automatically making changes to your infrastructure to avoid future problems you may be at risk for. This collective intelligence is growing all the time.
I’m quite pleased to be joining opvizor’s advisory board as I believe they are well positioned as an up and coming innovator providing intelligent, pro-active automation to your software defined infrastructure management; an increasingly important and strategic market segment.
Calgary Scientific is another company I’ve recently started working with on their PureWeb software platform. PureWeb is a natural extension of my EUC experience at VMware and provides advanced web, mobility, and cloud enablement solutions for industries looking for secure access to their data or graphics-intensive applications. The PureWeb framework seamlessly works with public, private and hybrid clouds making investments in it forward looking. As opposed to traditional VDI, PureWeb does not force the user to access a legacy mouse-oriented Windows desktop on their mobile device and instead moves your applications close to a modern, rich native mobile/cloud user experience with minimal investment.
The PureWeb SDK was originally inspired by the launches of both AWS and the Apple iPhone as a mobile/cloud framework with a focus on adapting existing 2D and 3D applications to run on the cloud and then access them on any web browser or mobile device, connecting these two worlds.
PureWeb had its initial commercial success in the medical realm with its ResolutionMD product delivering on the rigorous market demands for access, visually rich data, privacy, security, and scalability to provide clinical grade medical imaging to the mobile world. Clinicians use it on web and mobile devices to access the same quality medical imaging that historically was only available on expensive equipment in hospital and laboratory settings. The PureWeb software platform has recently been expanding into new industries such as design, manufacturing and energy. What these diverse industries have in common is that they all have dependencies on business critical, graphic intensive applications operating on large datasets that would benefit significantly from cost effective, flexible mobile access provided from cloud platforms in a shared, collaborative way.
We are well into the mobile/cloud era, where businesses need and expect their software to be accessible any time, anywhere on their mobile devices with natural, intuitive user interfaces and rich fidelity. But many of the business apps we need were built for the prior generation of desktop PC-oriented access and user interfaces, as well as client/server backend computing across a corporate LAN environment. Modern mobile processors are great at delivering rich fidelity and intuitive UI with minimal power consumption, but truly graphics-intensive and big data applications require server-grade hardware (CPU/GPU) and power. The PureWeb SDK bridges these gaps, allowing server-grade hardware in the public, private or hybrid cloud to render on your mobile device over the Internet.
Big data is another aspect of the mobile cloud world and if your application relies on real-time processing and interaction with large data sets, it’s impractical, insecure and inefficient to transfer that data to an end user device. Better to rely on the server side resources to crunch the data in the cloud and with the PureWeb SDK, only images of the rendered final product are streamed to your client device, keeping data transfer to a minimum.
The client applications are lightweight presentation interfaces that you build with building blocks that you’re already familiar with. This gives you full control over the client’s look, feel and feature set and offers a superior more native user experience when compared to VDI solutions. And PureWeb SDK is forward looking, leveraging modern web standards such as HTML5 and WebRTC to move your business applications into the mobile/cloud era with minimal rework. I’m really excited to be working with Calgary Scientific and furthering my personal mission of transforming business critical applications to the mobile/cloud world with rich native user experiences.