Millennia wins Cloud Hosting Awards 2016

Millennia wins Cloud Hosting Awards 2016

Pictured: Neil Ryan from Nutanix and John Thorpe from Millennia Computer Services Ltd 2016 Cloud Hosting Magazine Awards were held at a gala event at The Cumberland Hotel in London on 20th October 2016. The awards are presented to the winners of each category based on the readers’ online voting and/or the judging panel’s decision. Millennia is proud to announce that it won the category of Cloud Project 2016 for less than 100 employees for the implementation of it’s disaster recovery platform utilising Nutanix. The partnership with Nutanix has ensured that Millennia’s customers have enjoyed 100% availability from the Nutanix platform since its inception in January 2014. The recognition of the new disaster recovery platform installed this summer by the Cloud Hosting Magazine only cements our commitment to Nutanix going forward and provides additional assurance to customers. For more details of the project that led to this win, please download the case paper produced by Nutanix. Give us a call on 0333 335 6780 if you want to know more about the cloud project, our experience with Nutanix or our services.  ...
Millennia’s Up for a Gong!

Millennia’s Up for a Gong!

We are excited to have been notified that were are a finalist in the Cloud Hosting Awards 2016, being held in London on October 20th 2016. Our nomination is for the implementation of our disaster recovery platform utilising Nutanix, and the article summarising our entry is reproduced below. Wish us luck on the night – hopefully we’ll come back winners! Give us a call on 0333 335 6780 if you want to know more about the project, our experience with Nutanix or our services.   Just the ticket     Millennia is a Cloud-enabled managed hosting provider that has simplified and transformed the data centre by building on software-defined technologies. Turning to Nutanix’ Enterprise Cloud solution, Millennia has been able to harness a platform which leverages web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge compute, virtualisation and storage into a resilient, software-defined solution – with the result being an 83% RAM overhead saving across its disaster recovery capabilities. Millennia was one of the first MSPs to adopt Nutanix in the UK. Yorkshire-based hosting company Millennia Computer Services has overhauled the disaster recovery capabilities of its data centre to support the mission critical systems of its leisure and theatre ticketing customers. With many of Millennia’s customers handling terabytes of data and millions of transactions, the company sought a robust DR solution to replace the existing server and storage area network infrastructure in which disparate systems had led to frequent incompatibility and reliability issues which had proven to be time consuming to address. On a tight budget, Millennia originally turned to a low cost Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) vendor, but the...
What is a Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC)?

What is a Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC)?

  If “Cloud” is internet based computing, in which large groups of remote servers are networked to allow the centralisation of data storage and online access to computer services or resources, then “SDDC” is the method through which cloud services get delivered most efficiently. The foundation of the cloud is based on the concept of converged infrastructure and shared services.  Cloud resources are dynamically reallocated per demand. Cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance. “Moving to the cloud” refers to moving from the traditional CAPEX (capital expenditure) model where dedicated hardware is procured and depreciated over a period of time to the OPEX (operating expenditure) model where cloud infrastructure is used and paid for as it is consumed. Availability of high capacity networks, low cost computers and storage devices and the widespread adoption of hardware virtualisation, service-orientated architecture, automatic and utility computing has led to a growth in cloud computing. Physical servers were under-utilised and often undertook one task.  Virtualisation has allowed numerous virtual machines to be hosted on one physical server with the consequent reduction of costs.  Virtualisation is basically the masking of server resources, including the number and identity of individual physical servers, processors and operating systems from the server users.  Software allows one physical server to be divided into multiple isolated virtual environments. SDDC extends virtualisation concepts to all the data centre’s resources through process automation and the pooling of resources on-demand as-a-service.  Infrastructure is virtualised as a service ensuring that applications and services meet capacity, availability and response time. Operator facing APIs (application interfaces)...

To Appliance or not to Appliance? Confusion reigns in the software defined datacentre

Everybody seems to think they know the answer, but sometimes I wonder if they even understand the question. Hot on the heels of the launch of VMware’s EVO:RAIL, and somewhat more under the radar, Maxta has announced Maxdeploy, in which they seek hardware partners for their software only hyperconvergence solution. Maxta CEO Yoram Novick has been quoted as saying “It’s very clear that customers don’t want to buy storage software and be their own integrators”. Well, yes, the ones you talked to maybe, but there is no one size fits all solution in this space, and so the answer ain’t as easy as cosying up to SuperMicro and thinking all is well. From my experience an appliance pre-configured and loaded with hyper-convergence goodness is a really quick way to get up and running – principally because I just don’t have the time to play system integrator and work out all the permutations of chassis, motherboard, CPU, RAM, storage, NICs, BIOS, firmware, etc., etc. that I need to develop a stable system. In this way I can see Maxta’s point, and perhaps for their target market this works out, but there are organisations out there that think very differently. They are the large organisations that carry such deep discounts on commodity hardware that they laugh in the face of the prices put forward when these commodity bits and pieces are converted into appliances. For them it is all about the software, how it works, how it performs, how it’s supported, how it gives them ROI. They can pull in an order for any configuration of commodity server to run it on...
Nutanix – the Energizer Bunny of IT Infrastructure

Nutanix – the Energizer Bunny of IT Infrastructure

  “Software Defined” has become the epithet of the Nutanix solution, but you will always need hardware and hardware will always fail. Recently we installed a relatively new NX-3460 for a Proof of Concept (POC) with all four nodes showing as up and running in the Prism management with no alerts. However, the storage total looked a little light, so on investigating the hardware section of the management interface we noticed 3 HDDs were missing from node A of the appliance. Not failed, just not there! Reseating made no difference and there were no failed lights on the disks. Swapping disks into other bays showed that the disks themselves were not at fault. It’s important to note that this wasn’t a case of an in use storage system losing disks, which would have thrown errors, but as no storage pool was defined initially these just didn’t come online at all on setup and so didn’t show in the resultant storage pool when created – hence the low total readings that alerted us to this issue. The SATA connecter was assumed to be the problem so a swap out node was arranged. When the replacement node arrived, the SATA DOM from which the node boots was moved to the replacement and the node replaced and booted. During this time the cluster on the other 3 nodes continued in ignorance with just a few alerts complaining of the node A’s disappearance. This did not solve the problem – the three disks stubbornly refused to be seen. It was decided, therefore, that a total chassis replacement (as this carried the passive mid-plane...

Nutanix, Dell, VMware – it’s all go in a converged world

First of all an update to my blog from yesterday: I am very grateful for an almost immediate reach out from Dheeraj Pandey, CEO at Nutanix, and a subsequent 20 minute phone call to discuss the concerns I had raised. This only goes to show what a different breed Nutanix is as an organisation from anything I have come across before in that this kind of engagement is even possible, let alone natural; although I can’t help thinking that my ability to get this kind of visibility with a nine figure run rate company only has a limited life time – at least until I’ve developed my own million dollar run rate with Nutanix solutions. Think I just heard an Amen from their SVP of Sales there 😉 In the interest of balance I’d like to direct readers to two pertinent blog entries, one from Dheeraj, and the other from Steve Kaplan, their head of channel. There are strong points in there based on experience, and while I’ll still be cautious until I see what develops it is time to move on and concentrate on the good as there is much work to do. One of the points Dheeraj made, both to me and in the blog, was basically a refutation of my assumption they were moving to a software plus hardware HCL type model, which is interesting. All the more so because of this announcement the same day from VMware, in which the HCL model is obviously pushed forward very strongly. I have made a strong presentation in the past about the pain points I have suffered building...