After being asked this a few times here is a summary of possible VPN and firewall choices for SoftLayer.
Generally speaking - this is the question I get:
How do we connect VPN using site to site VPN - we need to match up the parameters and need step by step instructions as to how to do this. The SSL VPN does not meet our requirements
where you access it in the portal:
Where are the current PoPs:
The choice of a VPN option can also be combined with the choice for a firewall:
An overview of the possible firewall choices is here:
Here is some more detail on some of the choices in the article:
Choices for IPSEC/Firewall:
Order a standalone IPSEC tunnel for $99/mo, setup and configure through the customer portal. The instructions above are for this option.
Order a Gateway Appliance ( based on Vyatta)- The customer will have an Appliance that they can use to create virtual routers, virtual firewalls, and virtual VPN devices and manage them through user-defined parameters. https://www.softlayer.com/services/network/gateway-appliance (prices here include the software and the bare metal server it goes on - currently at $449/month)
Order a Fortigate Security Appliance- this will allow you admin access and the ability to setup IPSEC VPN. This option can be viewed under the Dedicated Hardware Firewall section of our website (http://www.softlayer.com/services/security/). Here is a link with additional information as well http://www.fortinet.com/products/fortigate/310B.html (priced at $999/firewall, 2X that for an HA configuration)
All of these demos - and an overview - are here:
All of these demos - and an overview - are here:
Yes I like Harry Potter. Yes, this is a fan fiction. Still - all in all - really excellent.
Warning - it may not ever end.
The latest version of SCE - V 2.3 - manuals can be found here:
very interesting point of view.
More on Smart Cloud Provisioning V1.2
There are two types of servers in a typical SmartCloud Provisioning environment:
Compute Nodes and Storage Nodes. The Storage Nodes are optimized for
disk and network I/O, while the Compute Nodes are optimized for CPU
and RAM, although I/O is also critical. The Storage Nodes host all
images and persistent user volumes, while the Compute Nodes are used
to host the virtual machines.
The SmartCloud Provisioning environment
requires two or more Storage Nodes and two or more Compute Nodes,
and it also requires a machine as a PXE Server if you are going to
use the automation installer. There are approximately 6:1 (average
ratio) Compute Nodes to Storage Nodes. This is a recommended ratio
from practice, and you can adjust it according to your system workload.
SmartCloud Provisioning requires
an isolated network because it has an internal DHCP server. You must
configure your network to guarantee that the DHCP service is not affected
and does not affect your existing network.SCP physical architecture
"Spinoza was the first to argue that the Bible is not literally
the word of God but rather a work of human literature; that “true
religion” has nothing to do with theology, liturgical ceremonies, or
sectarian dogma but consists only in a simple moral rule: love your
neighbor; and that ecclesiastic authorities should have no role
whatsoever in the governance of a modern state."
--Steven Nadler, A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise
A review of SCE vs Azure
average Facebook woman updates her relationship status to “Engaged”
within two hours of the guy actually proposing…so Facebook sells that
relationship status information to retailers who have bridal registries.
Above all else, the mentat must be a generalist, not a
specialist. It is wise to have decisions of great moment monitored by
generalists. Experts and specialists lead you quickly into chaos. They
are a source of useless nit-picking, the ferocious quibble over a
comma. The mentat-generalist, on the other hand, should bring to
decision-making a healthy common sense. He must not cut himself off
from the broad sweep of what is happening in his universe. He must
remain capable of saying: “There’s no real mystery about this at the
moment. This is what we want now. It may prove wrong later, but we’ll
correct that when we come to it.” The mentat-generalist must understand
that anything which we can identify as our universe is merely a part of
larger phenomena. But the expert looks backward; he looks into the
narrow standards of his own specialty. The generalist looks outward; he
looks for living principles, knowing full well that such principles
change, that they develop. It is to the characteristics of change
itself that the mentat-generalist must look. There can be no permanent
catalogue of such change, no handbook or manual. You must look at it
with as few preconceptions as possible, asking yourself: “Now what is
this thing doing?”
Making Apple pie:
If you want my wife's apple pie cooking tips - let me know.
Quite kind words about IBM BigInsights here.
The site where you can find BigInsights is here:
This is the Smart Cloud enterprise site (Canadian version). Once you have signed up you can add an instance of BigInsights.
Let me know how it works out. (I need at least one comment...)
Nouriel Roubini predicts the path Italy will take as part of the Euro.... 6 years ago:
(I guess he gets to add one more item to his "famous for.." list).
The guy who yelled at him (Giulio Tremonti)?
Still Finance Minister. Maybe not on Monday.
Why would someone choose to look at a cloud solution?
How is it different than typical outsourcing arrangements?
What would stop someone from using a cloud solution?
I have been reading some of the work Oliver Williamson has done on contracts and while I am in no way an economist and much of it is only fuzzily understandable (to me) there are some really interesting points he makes that help me understand what cloud might bring to the table. I thought I would mention a few of them in this post and see if anyone has any thoughts.
The first item I came across was his comment that "all complex contracts are unavoidably incomplete", and by extension, as outsourcing is complex, the contractual arrangements are also complex and also incomplete. As a related point, although a contract dispute might eventually end up in court, the aim of the contract is more to act as a guide to how to resolve disputes and to set up the terms of the engagement than to ever actually use the costly (and unreliable) dispute resolution offered by the courts. That is, the contract is a framework, not an accurate indication of real working relations.
The second was his discussion on how and why companies might make the decision to vertically integrate (do everything in house) vs. the choice to use outside agencies. The lower the transaction cost, the more likely the firm will buy, as opposed to build the solution. And what determines the transaction cost?
Asset specificity - the more unique a solution, the more sense it makes to do it in house (I am rephrasing based on my understanding to make this more relevant to cloud computing). So, general purpose technologies will make more sense to have as a cloud computing resource ( and when you look at where cloud computing started you can see this quite clearly). Unique solutions (Asset specificity) would include more contract complexity and the problem in identifying a market price. You might argue that test and development is much more similar across companies than production environments, which would have wider variations in service level agreements. If the risks and safeguards add too much cost then companies will tend to bring this in-house. (that was a condensation of multiple pages of text, so it might be confusing - or just plain wrong. You can read the article referenced below).
This leads to the following guideline - try cloud, then try a hybrid solution, and have recourse to internal resources as a last resort. You might specify this a bit further by expanding the cloud to try SaaS, then try PaaS , then try IaaS.
What does this all mean? Well, I think it means that as contract complexity for cloud offerings goes up as asset specificity goes up, so the more commodity like components of a company are more obvious cloud candidates (e-mail, servers, payroll - you can think up your own list) and the next step might be to take apart complex components into separate pieces so the more standard parts can be commoditized and able to use the cloud more easily. This starts to sound like service oriented architecture (SOA) - the buzz word from LAST decade.
Here is the article I was reading:
|Williamson, Oliver E. 2002. "The Theory of the Firm as Governance Structure: From Choice to Contract." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(3): 171–195.|
IBM InfoSphere BigInsights on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise makes big
data analytics accessible for any user inside an organization. Like the
on-premise version, BigInsights on the cloud analyzes traditional
structured data found in databases along with unstructured data -- such
as text, video, audio, images, social media, click streams, log files,
weather data. Bringing
big data analytics to the cloud means clients can capture and analyze
any data without the need for Hadoop skills, or having to install, run,
or maintain hardware and software.
BigInsights on the cloud is available in both basic and enterprise
editions with the options of public, private and hybrid cloud
deployments. The basic edition is an entry-level offering available at
no-charge that helps organizations learn how to do big data analytics
including "what-if" scenarios with its BigSheets component. Clients can move to the enterprise edition when ready and set up Hadoop
clusters in under 30 minutes to start analyzing data with low usage
rates starting at $0.60 (US) per cluster, per hour. Both versions
include a developer sandbox where clients can develop business analytics applications complete with tools and a test and
IBM recently acquired Hadoop specialists Platform Computing.
Get the free software download for the iPad at Apple's iTunes Store: http://bit.ly/r68A04 (This is a download of Cognos Mobile)
Follow IBM and Analytics on twitter #baforum
You can also get the free Hadoop download to install on your own system here:
HOW to do Hadoop is here:
(you will see a free course on Hadoop mentioned which is not bad - but then I've only just started it)
I am not sure about how IBM names things sometimes - we can be too literal. Does the word "Digital" really add more information to this suite of products?
The customer profile part (LIVEProfile) captures all of the interactions of customers and prospects as they interact with a business online, across multiple ad networks or via email, video, affiliate sites and social media. It then integrates this data with offline information, providing a view of each visitor’s behavior over time and across channels. This historical data is available across the entire suite of products. As the profile of each visitor grows, the insights become stronger, enabling you to continually optimize your marketing efforts.
The web analytic capabilities of the provide marketers with insights for increasing ROI. Analytics provides insight into how individuals are interacting with a brand’s digital presence.
The latest Forrester report has IBM rated as the best Analytics product out there:
The marketing execution component integrates the data and insights garnered from customer profiles and web analytics into applications designed to easily execute display advertising, search campaigns, email and personalized recommendations through online, social and mobile channels.
This is the third in a series on IBM SaaS offerings.
A Cloud-based Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) offering that simplifies the "quote-to-cash" process.
Price, Quote automates one of the most challenging selling processes—the configuration of complex products,
services, and bundles.
CPQ manages service configuration and pricing rules, and guides your
prospects, customers, partners, sales, and call center representatives
in selecting and validating products and services based on specific
- Maintain product catalog information
- Manage product and service pricing
- Provide a product configuration Web self-service tool
- Create, deliver, and manage customer and prospect quotes
- Enable partners to add their own products and services to the quote
- Manage and automate quote approval workflows
Here is more on CPQ and why it is important:
and the CLOUD part of this is here:
You can buy CPQ in the following ways:
1.On Premise (this is the "traditional" model)
- support is based on standard software maintenance model
2. Perpetual license and host in IBM
- support is based on standard software maintenance model
3.Single Tenant - CPQ service - term license which includes license + hosting (includes all costs except implementation costs) at a yearly cost (minimum 3 years)
- support from IBM services as a bundled subscription along with extra options.
- customer generally has L1 help desk
Here is the SaaS part!
4. Multi tenant solution - This is less customizable, with a finite set of configurations, a subset of APIs, and is also a term license (includes all costs except implementation costs) like option 3 above. - support from IBM services as a bundled subscription along with extra options. Less flexibility than option 3 above as it is a much more uniform model than (3).
- anyone can call for support (this is a big change, IMO, and it should be interesting to see how it works out).
Multi tenant (MT) US Pricing:
Based on number of users. 100 users is the minimum.
Based on quote lines (minimum 1M quote lines) roughly equivalent to above 100 users cost.
- there is a (lower) access fee for configuration users before they go live into production at which point quote line costs are added.
Sterling Managed File Transfer
Overview: IBM Sterling Managed
File Transfer is the leading solution for secure data movement to gain control and oversight of the movement of corporate data. Sterling File Transfer Service is a cloud service for file based B2B interactions. This
alternative to on-premise software allows you to manage a single,
secure, reliable connection to reach your partners without the capital
expense of on premise software or operational impact on your IT staff.
Web Site: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/commerce/managed-file-transfer/products/file-transfer-service/
Pricing Model: The customer selects the number of partners and files and GB's of data movement they want and can add zip, PGP and extended storage. There are some one time startup costs. The smallest configurable deal is a 25 partner 2,000 files per month 2GB data transfer deal with no options.
Important comments: This was first available in June, 2011 and will be in Passport Advantage in October, 2011 (est.). The minimum term of a contract is 3 years.
I know that FTP does not sound so exciting, but just ask yourself how much uncontrolled or unmanaged FTP is happening in your organization. How do you answer the questions about whether a file arrived or not? How often are files resent or restarted? Who manages that overnight file transfer from multiple locations?
I am working on trying to get a list of all these offerings, a brief overview of what they do, and some idea on how they are priced.
Offering Name: LotusLive
Overview: LotusLive is a series of online office tools from IBM in a security rich environment. Tools include e-mail, networking and collaboration tools and online meetings.
Web Site: https://www.lotuslive.com/en/about
Pricing Model: Sign up for all or parts of the suite. Per user per month.
Important comments: LotusLive is not available in all geographies. For us in Canada it is available but the data center (sorry - "centre") where it is located is in the US, which for some organizations (organisations?) is a big issue. However, even in this situation, there are parts of LotusLive where I think the location of the data centre is just not that much of an issue for any organization. Web Conferencing is one example.
I'll add some more in the next little while. Let me know if this is useful.
I get asked this all the time:
Here is the site that contains information about Smart Cloud Enterprise contracts:
Here is a helpful document that answers the question around the PVUs for Bring your own licences software (BYOL)
Within it you will find a table that shows the PVU ratio against the images which can be selected.
Table of PVUs required per Instance
SCE instance size (a) PVUs per Instance (b)
32 bit - Copper 50
32 bit - Bronze 50
32 bit - Silver 100
32 bit - Gold 200
64 bit - Copper 100
64 bit - Bronze 100
64 bit - Silver 200
64 bit - Gold 400
64 bit - Platinum 800