My recent sojourn to VMworld in San Francisco proved once again the vibrancy of the cloud support ecosystem. The number of attendees and vendors alike showed how strong affinity for the cloud has grown, and it is clear that even more innovation is coming down the pike.
For me, one of the highlights of attending a show like VMworld is to learn about new products and solutions, as well as to check in on companies I've worked with and watched grow over the years, including Kemp Technologies for load balancing, NaviSite's desktop as a service, AppSense for user environment management, Asigra's enterprise backup, and PluralSight and New Horizons for training.
Many of the services on display at this year's conference focused on similar themes: cloud backup solutions, hybrid management solutions, hyperconvergence drive appliances, and so forth. The following 10 services stood out for me, catching my eye as contenders to watch.
(Please note that I have yet to work with or review these services, so I can't endorse them, per se. But the manner and methodology of their solutions is intriguing enough for me to spread the word and to consider them further for future projects.)
Duo Security offers two-factor authentication for a variety of platforms, including Office 365, Google Apps, and Box. The ease of integration and user interaction together make Duo Security an intriguing option. Many solutions offer their own built-in two-factor authentication, but with Duo Security, you can establish a consistent authentication solution that works with your mobile OS as the second factor. You can also use text messages and landline as the secondary factor.
Pagerduty is a well-named incident management system that filters events from your network monitoring solutions, routing the critical actionable alerts to the person responsible for rectifying them. If that person doesn’t respond, Pagerduty can be configured to alert the next person in the chain until a positive response indicates someone is accepting responsibility for the task.
Armor's slogan initially drew me in: “Your data doesn’t belong to them. We won't let them take it.” Initially I thought it was a reference to government agencies looking to access or obtain your data, but as it turns out, Armor is focused on cyber security, protecting from hackers and malicious data access, purportedly significantly reducing threat dwell time -- how long a malicious hacker remains on your network undetected.
SoftNAS offers a software-based NAS solution for on-premises, private clouds, and hybrid clouds. What I liked most is that its cloud NAS offering works with AWS, vCloud, Azure, and CenturyLink; it offers file as a service for object storage as well.
Spanning, acquired last year by EMC, is a cloud-based backup solution for three popular cloud-based solutions: Google Apps, Salesforce, and Office 365. Data protection for SaaS applications was a popular offering on the expo floor this year, and it’s obvious why. The types of solutions for cloud-to-cloud backup vary, but Spanning has a unique focus on the three major players in cloud SaaS that organizations are the most likely to tap.
Cloud Cruiser assists with analytics for public/private clouds by collecting and reporting on usage and costs. It uses this data to provide forecasting as well. Cloud Cruiser's CloudSmart-Now solution works with the “Big 5” (Amazon Web Services, VMware, Azure, Windows Azure Pack, and OpenStack).
LogicMonitor is a SaaS-based monitoring solution for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid data centers. I like that it's an all-in-one monitoring solution that collects, analyzes, and helps with the visualization of data. It’s agentless and easy to setup, providing support for prominent server technologies most likely to be part of your on-premises infrastructure (Citrix, Cisco, EMC, Dell, and so on) and all the major cloud vendors (AWS, VMware, Microsoft Azure, and more). LogicMonitor integrates with tools many IT teams are already using like Twilio, Pagerduty (see above), Puppet, and more.
Axcient is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) that offers a unique one-two punch, with a fully deduplicated mirror of your servers (physical or virtual), data, and applications on a local physical or virtual Axcient device and in the Axcient cloud.
IGEL Technology is a provider of zero/thin clients, with both hardware clients (of varying strengths and features) and software clients available. With a show centered around virtualization (especially VDI), I would have expected to see more companies advertising products of this sort, but as it is, IGEL's solutions look intriguing.
Qstack is a cloud management solution that claims to ease deployments of public, private, and hybrid clouds. What I like about Qstack is its UI, which is very easy to use, with everything an admin would need clearly laid out. Qstack provides a self-service portal for users so that they can provision their own servers, storage, and other IT resources.