CiRBA Advances Partner Program with Addition of Outsourcers and Cloud Service Provider Categories

CiRBA's Partners

CiRBA’s software is regarded as the gold standard for integrators and consulting companies to advise their customers on server and data center transformations and capacity control. Our software has been deployed in hundreds of companies by leading integrators around the world to revolutionize how transformations are executed and infrastructure is managed.

CiRBA’s own Fortune 500 customers are well down the path on huge deployments of Automated Capacity Control because it enables infrastructure owners to better balance workload demand with capacity supply. These capabilities and presence in the market are bringing partnering requests from new kinds of organizations. CiRBA’s ability to significantly improve density of infrastructure, while at the same time improving stability, has caught the attention of companies that manage infrastructure for their large customers.

These companies, Cloud service providers and outsourcers specifically, are operating in an increasingly competitive environment where infrastructure efficiency and greater levels of automation can translate directly to competitive advantage, better pricing and greater customer satisfaction. To meet this demand, we’ve recently added two new categories to our partner program. CiRBA Powered Outsourcers and CiRBA Powered Cloud Providers.

These additions are not just by name, they include delivery, sales and pre-sales training tailored to the types of offerings these companies provide. We have also introduced licensing programs that match the needs of these businesses. For example, a new utility licensing model that allows cloud providers to flex up and down over time and to pay monthly depending on the volume of servers managed.

For a complete list of the CiRBA partner categories, visit www.cirba.com/partnerprogram

Watch a short Video of Chuck Tatham, CiRBA’s SVP of Business Development and Marketing share updates to the partner program.

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Shared compute, storage and network resources wreak havoc in your data center

InfographicSharing resources and constant change are hallmarks of modern virtualized and cloud-based environments. It has become intensely complicated for organizations with large-scale virtual and private cloud infrastructures to try to control operations, risk and efficiency as a result.

Download our new infographic which outlines 5 of the biggest misses IT operations teams are making when managing these new school environments.  (and how balancing capacity supply and demand can help!)

Download the infographic

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Cisco Presenting Joint Quantum Mate and CiRBA Solution at SDN World Congress in Paris

Cisco Demo
Cisco, a great partner and customer of CiRBA’s, is presenting at SDN World Congress this week in Paris. John Evans and Arash Afrakteh will take the stage March 21 to present:

SDN-based Traffic Management for IP/MPLS Networks: Reality, not Snake Oil
Demonstrating how a centralised network- and traffic-aware controller can be used in existing IP / MPLS networks to close the feedback loop between the network and applications and services that use the network, providing both dynamic SLA guarantees through admission control and providing real-time network- and traffic-aware service placement.

Anyone who knows CiRBA, knows we excel at placement decisions and part of this session will reflect how our solution combines with Cisco Quantum to optimize network aware placements.

For more information, visit the site at:  http://bit.ly/1p8xSEE

Cisco Demo
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Cloud Computing Journal: Why Intelligent VM Routing Is Critical to Your Private Cloud’s Success

Any capacity-based business, whether it’s an airline, hotel or manufacturer thrives when they make the most efficient use of their expensive capacity.  Too much capacity and costs are too high. Too little capacity and customer needs aren’t met.

To be successful, these businesses need to be able to accurately quantify and manage demand and then match that to their supply of capacity.  IT is no different. The difference for IT today is that they are falling far behind other organizations in their level sophistication around managing both supply and demand in virtualized and cloud infrastructures.

In a recent article written for Cloud Computing Journal, CiRBA CTO & Co-Founder, Andrew Hillier, outlines some key considerations on managing the demand side of the equation and dives into why the workload routing decision is such an  important one.

Check out the article here. http://bit.ly/1hd4KsR

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Lessons That Managers of Virtual and Cloud Infrastructure Can Learn from the Ritz

A byline by CiRBA CTO & co-founder Andrew Hillier appeared on Wired’s Innovation Insights this week. In it, Andrew outlines what we can learn about managing private cloud and virtualization from hotel operations for optimizing operations, particularly those like the Ritz that pride themselves on efficient operations and their ability to meet the unique individual needs of their customers.

It’s an interesting read that identifies five reasons why the entire process of workload routing and capacity reservations must evolve to become a core, automated component of IT planning and management.

Check out the article at http://wrd.cm/1cabGJR

Also watch this short video of Andrew demonstrating CiRBA’s Reservation Console which automates workload routing and capacity reservations.

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Gerry Smith, CiRBA President & CEO to Discuss Balancing IT Infrastructure Supply and Demand at OASIS: The Montgomery Summit

This week our President and Chief Executive Officer, Gerry Smith, will present CiRBA’s vision for controlling IT supply and demand at OASIS: The Montgomery Summit. This is an invitation-only event featuring top entrepreneurs and investors, senior level technology executives, and leading industry visionaries. Prior Montgomery conferences have provided early looks at Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Splunk, Marketo, Meraki, Exact Target, Rocket Fuel, and other breakout companies and we are proud to be represented there.

In Gerry’s own words, “CiRBA exists to provide an intelligent and automated way of balancing infrastructure supply and demand. Dynamically controlling capacity is the key to establishing and maintaining this balance, and this is especially true in virtualized and cloud environments.”

For a sneak peek at Gerry’s presentation, watch the video below.

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CiRBA’s Reservation Console Ships!

With the release of CiRBA Version 8 this week, customers can now leverage the new Reservation Console to automate the entire process of selecting the optimal hosting environment for new workloads and reserving compute and storage capacity. Not only does the console ensure that the requirements of each new workload are properly matched to the characteristics of the infrastructure, thereby eliminating compliance issues and reducing operational risk, but it also provides the ability to balance demand across all available infrastructure, including cloud environments, midrange systems, and even different physical data centers.

And as its name suggests, the new Reservation Console also provides users with a new avenue to reserve capacity in advance of its actual use, guaranteeing that resources will be available for application deployments and effectively acting as a “hotel reservation system” to application groups and lines of business.

There really is nothing else like this out there.

See it live for yourself! Join CiRBA CTO & co-founder Andrew Hillier for a live demonstration of the Reservation Console and a discussion of how to gain control over capacity supply and demand in private clouds and virtualized infrastructure.

When: Tuesday, January 21 at 12:00pm ET
Register Now

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Is Your Organization Ready to Support a Multi-Hypervisor Strategy?

VMware® may still dominate the hypervisor market, but one thing is certain: IT leaders are getting serious about adopting alternatives. According to research by Torsten Volk of EMA, 82% of organizations plan to adopt more than one hypervisor.

In response to this growing trend, CiRBA has announced support for Microsoft® Hyper-V® in CiRBA Version 8 which shipped today. The support extends through the product from our transformation analytics for planning migrations to the new Reservation Console and our award-winning Control Console, which enables organizations to maximize efficiency and minimize risk in virtual and cloud infrastructure. This new capability is a key addition to CiRBA’s already unmatched platform support, which includes VMware® ESX®, IBM® PowerVM®, and Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization.

Concerns about vendor lock-in and hypervisor costs are driving the multi-hypervisor trend, but are organizations really ready to adopt multiple hypervisors? One critical hurdle in taking advantage of the flexibility and choice is determining which workloads should be hosted on or routed to each platform. Each hypervisor has its own strengths and those attributes determine how organizations want to leverage them. In large environments, the match making can be a huge challenge and necessitates a change in how workload placement decisions are made.

All the organizations we have talked to are relying on spreadsheets to determine which environments and clusters new workloads should be placed in. This is the case even within single hypervisor environments. This not only impedes agility and responsiveness, but most importantly it increases the risk of bad placement decisions – which often leads to compliance issues, performance problems, and inflated hardware and software licensing costs – all ills that virtualization and cloud are supposed to remove.

Our customers were clear when we spoke with them – they needed a way to make smarter placement decisions and automate the process. So we answered the call. Leveraging the same market leading analytics our customers use to transform and control infrastructure, we built a Reservation Console that automates the entire process of selecting the optimal hosting environment for new workloads and reserving compute and storage capacity. The Reservation Console combined with CiRBA’s cross-platform support enables CiRBA customers to automate “fit for purpose” placements for new workloads across multi-hypervisor, multi-SLA, multi-site virtual and cloud environments.

And in the words of our CTO and co-founder, Andrew Hillier: “The shift toward cloud is placing less emphasis on the specific hypervisor technology, and more on the capabilities it provides. Having a scientific way to make hosting decisions across all hypervisors and hosting platforms really opens up the playing field, and allows organizations to focus on the bigger picture of enterprise-level supply and demand.”

So we throw the question back to you. What is your company’s hyper-visor strategy? And how are you planning to leverage those technologies?

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CiRBA’s Product Advisory Conference: Highlights of CiRBA’s New Reservation Console

Last week some of CiRBA’s largest customers, including Cisco, FedEx, Lowes, McKesson, AIG, TD Bank Group, and others joined CiRBA executives and product managers in Boston for a focused Product Advisory Conference. We were thrilled to have seventeen attendees from some of the world’s largest organizations join us for two days of spirited discussion on how to address the challenge of balancing workload demand with infrastructure supply in today’s data center.

Today’s methods for determining which environment to route new workloads are largely manual, patchwork processes. Surveying our customers involved in this conference reveals that the vast majority need a better way to do this for three reasons:

  1. To increase responsiveness to workload placement requests
  2. To increase the accuracy of forecasting coming demand and capacity requirements
  3. To put an end to over-estimating future hardware requirements due to lack of connection to the demand pipeline.

We listened carefully to our customers and the highlight for us during the conference was seeing and hearing their reactions to a detailed review of the new Reservation Console, which is scheduled for release in January 2014. Customers surveyed indicated they will be able to leverage the new console to:

  • Make faster, better decisions on where to place new workloads increasing responsiveness and agility
  • Make those routing decisions based on highly extensible and organization specific details that ensure the right choices are made
  • Reduce performance risk with better workload placements
  • Increase the accuracy of demand forecasting to end over-provisioning hardware for future requirements
  • Finally have an auditable process of provisioning requests

Further, ninety-four percent had plans to automate more of these critical processes with seventy-five percent indicating the intent to automate the end to end process of workload request through environment selection to provisioning, which is something CiRBA uniquely enables them to do.

We thought we’d share a few photos from the event and provide a sneak peek at what they saw that got them so excited!

The Reservation Console provides a “Hotels.com” like capability for evaluating a workload’s requirements against the characteristics of available infrastructure. Organizations can strike the right balance between cost vs. fit for purpose criteria such as software requirements, security, storage, operational and business policies and provides a rating of fit called the Hosting Score. Users can manually choose a target environment based on the analysis or automate workload routing and associated capacity reservations.

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The Reservation Console will route workloads to the optimal hosting environment according to key criteria such as:

  • Cost
  • Occupancy levels
  • Technical and business considerations
  • Software licensing
  • Operational policies

The suitability of an environment is summarized using a Hosting Score (shown here) for environments that match the fit for purpose criteria and have available room. Some environments like the one at the bottom of this screenshot are eliminated from consideration because a lack of fit. In this case, the environment does not satisfy the workloads technical and resource requirements.

The Reservation Console
As the name suggests, The Reservation Console doesn’t just determine the optimal host environment for a workload, but it also reserves capacity for workloads in advance of its actual use, guaranteeing that resources will be available for application deployments. This view of the console shows a log of all the workloads that are scheduled to go into the selected environments, providing a complete picture of reservations made and inbound workloads.

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The Capacity Reservations made through the Reservation Console are reflected in the Control Console view for an environment so operations teams and capacity management alike get an accurate picture of upcoming demand and infrastructure requirements.

We would like to send a sincere thank you to everyone who attended the conference and made the success it was!

CiRBA CEO Gerry Smith kicking off the conference
CiRBA CEO Gerry Smith kicking off the conference.

CiRBA CEO Gerry Smith leading the discussion
CiRBA CEO Gerry Smith leading the discussion.

CiRBA SVP Product Strategy & c-Founder Riyaz Somani
CiRBA SVP Product Strategy & co-Founder Riyaz Somani.

Enjoying the discussion
Enjoying the discussion.

CiRBA CTO & co-Founder Andrew Hillier demonstrating.
CiRBA CTO & co-Founder Andrew Hillier demonstrating.

Customers in CiRBA gear!
Customers in CiRBA gear!

 

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CiRBA Product Advisory Conference to Address Capacity Supply and Demand Issues in the Modern Data Center

Recently, we announced our new Reservation Console, which will be available in January 2014.  This new console adds state of the art “Hotels.com” like capabilities for capacity reservations and automated workload routing to our automated capacity control software. We believe the Reservation Console will revolutionize the way organizations manage the relationship between workload demand and infrastructure supply in virtual and cloud environments.

Interest in this groundbreaking capability has led us to host a special product advisory conference later this week in Boston.  On December 12th and 13th, some of our largest customers, including Cisco, FedEx, Citibank, Cigna, Lowes, McKesson, AIG, TD Bank Group, and others, will participate in a deep dive review of  the new console, as well as participate in discussion regarding the new supply and demand issues in today’s modern data centers.  Collectively, this group controls the capacity of more than 335,000 servers using CiRBA, so we’re anticipating a lively discussion.

The Reservation Console was designed to provide control over and automation of VM routing and capacity reservations, which become increasingly important as companies strive to manage efficiency and risk in their private clouds.  While most organizations rely on spreadsheets to try to capture demand from different sources and figure out where workloads should go, using the console will route workloads to the optimal hosting environment according to key criteria such as:

  • Cost
  • Occupancy levels
  • Technical and business considerations
  • Software licensing
  • Operational policies.

And as its name suggests, the Reservation Console will also then automatically reserve capacity for those workloads in advance of its actual use, guaranteeing that resources will be available for application deployments. Our customers told us they needed ITs equivalent of a hotel reservation system to get control over their private clouds, and we’ve delivered.

We are very excited to bring together this group comprised of some of the most innovative minds in IT management.  Stay tuned for additional posts about our event.  We’re looking forward to a great conference!

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Bringing Order from Chaos in Your Internal Cloud

We are excited to host our first Webcast with GigaOM Research on October 24 at 1 p.m. ET. Analyst Barb Goldworm (@barbgoldworm) will moderate the event entitled: “Internal Cloud Management: Bringing Order from Chaos.” And analyst Jo Maitland will serve on the panel alongside our CTO and co-founder Andrew Hillier (@adhillier).

To register for the event, click here.

The timing of this event couldn’t be better. As more organizations build internal clouds, there is a growing need to address the operational complexities that arise from making the move. The drive to increase agility and truly adopt a cloud operating model requires careful planning of the systems, processes and roles of staff in managing infrastructure. Key challenges lie within some of the most fundamental aspects of cloud operations such as self-service models, automation of provisioning processes and the broader sharing of infrastructure.
Join us for a lively panel discussion, in which our experts will share insights gained from working with enterprise cloud deployments in the field. The team will be answering key questions you need to ask yourself as you plan a deployment, such as:

  • What considerations should I be mindful of as I build my internal cloud?
  • Do the capabilities of my cloud meet all of my business requirements?
  • Does my self-service model match the way my internal customers plan and deploy applications?
  • What real life stories illustrate the challenges and pain points of managing internal clouds?
  • What tools are available to help me better manage and optimize my cloud operations?
  • How should I think about managing my cloud resources over the long term?

We hope you can join us for this important discussion!
For more information, click here.

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CiRBA’s New Reservation Console Automates VM Routing and Capacity Bookings

Every industry that relies on the sharing of resources, such as hotels, airlines, and rental companies leverages a reservation system to make sure they optimize the use of their assets. Or, in other words, “match supply and demand”. Our customers building internal virtual and cloud infrastructure face the same challenge as those organizations. They too have a variety of users vying for compute resources, and need to determine the best way to have enough supply on hand, without having too much, all while responding quickly and appropriately to user requests.

Particularly as organizations build out their internal Clouds, new challenges arise associated with managing the pipeline of requests for new workload placements. There is a critical gap in enterprise cloud operations when it comes to automating VM routing and capacity bookings. Most organizations still do this manually using spreadsheets – making it a time-consuming process with a high risk for errors. CiRBA’s new Reservation Console automates the process of selecting the optimal hosting environment for new workloads, reserving compute and storage capacity in advance of use, and ultimately providing the detailed host level placement recommendations for the workload.
How does this all happen? The Reservation Console features a new, tunable scoring system that scientifically identifies the optimal destination environment for new workloads. The system provides a new Hosting Score, which is based on a range of criteria including occupancy levels, technical considerations, software licensing constraints, operational policies, and regulatory compliance. Organizations can modify the attributes considered and also tune their weighting so that recommendations are aligned with organizational goals and application owner preferences. Not only does this ensure that the requirements of each workload are properly matched to the characteristics of the infrastructure, eliminating compliance issues and reducing operational risk, but it also enables the Reservation Console to balance demand across all available infrastructure, including cloud environments, midrange systems, and even different physical data centers.

The new Reservation Console works alongside our award winning Capacity Control Console which provides daily optimization of workload placements and sizing through rebalancing and VM right-sizing instructions that are fed into hypervisor management solutions.

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The Reservation Console will be available in November 2013.
For more information, Contact us or

Read the full press release.
See a sneak peek demo of the Reservation Console.

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Saving Big on Software Licensing in Virtual & Cloud Infrastructure

Managing software licensing has always been a burden for the IT department and most organizations don’t do a great job at it. Compliance is often the focus of management processes and tools, with little emphasis on cost control. But software license costs are a huge burden on IT budgets, and virtualization has not done much to help with this. Even newer licensing models such as per processor licensing, where VM density should translate into more licensing bang for the buck, organizations are spending far more than is required. The reason why is conceptually simple – they aren’t managing infrastructure and in this case, placing VMs to contain licenses AND increase VM density with a view to minimizing licensing requirements.
This is what makes CiRBA’s latest release so exciting. Organizations can save millions on processor-based licensing costs. CiRBA’s new Software License Control module is an add-on to our award-winning Control Console. This new module enables you to optimize VM placements considering licensing, utilization, business and technical policies on software that is licensed on a per processor or per host basis, such as Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database, and Oracle Weblogic. From our initial implementations, organizations are achieving an average reduction of 55% on license requirements!

Watch the 2 minute explainer video below to learn more about our new offering and how your organization can start saving today.

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CiRBA Provides Drag and Drop Cloud Migration Planning via the Control Console

Many of you are familiar with CiRBA’s Control Console that enables organizations to safely maximize density and control risk in virtual and cloud environments.  Today we announced the ability to “drag and drop” existing VMs and hosts onto new target platforms or environments to analyze the suitability of a change and plan out the requirements.

The new feature, called Dynamic Transformation Planning, adds another dimension to the Control Console by enabling users to rapidly assess alternative capacity supply options, such as hardware changes and upgrades, and demand changes, such as the migration of workloads to other internal or external environments such as clouds.

Also announced was a new Storage Sensor that provides visibility into used and provisioned datastore capacity status for VMware environments through the Control Console. Users can see which VMs and hosts rely on a particular datastore, see current and future predict shortfalls, and reserve capacity within the datastores for new VMs coming online through its Bookings capability.   To read the full release, click here.

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CiRBA and Dell Partner to Give Customers Greater Control over Virtual and Cloud Infrastructure

CiRBA is thrilled to announce its partnership with Dell’s global services organization. Our organizations have joined together to give customers control over efficiency and risk in their virtual and cloud environments – whether they are transforming infrastructure or managing existing virtualized environments.

Dell’s Global Consulting organization has standardized on CiRBA to deliver services that address the complete lifecycle of infrastructure in the move from physical to virtual to cloud. The new offerings include:

  • Virtualization Readiness Assessment – to help clients determine what to virtualize, how to increase virtualization adoption while meeting cost efficiency and performance goals
  • Virtualization Performance Health Check – analysis of existing virtual environments to recommend how to reduce performance risk and issues while optimizing efficiency.
  • Cloud Readiness Assessment – analysis of an IT environment and goals to determine the best possible cloud options and strategies

Check out the Dell TechCenter Blog by Stephen Spector below to see a short video of Dell’s Server Infrastructure Consulting Portfolio Leader, Stephane Tanguy, speaking with CiRBA President & CEO, Gerry Smith:

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2012/09/13/cirba-predictive-analytics-software-for-capacity-control-in-the-cloud.aspx

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