Joe Onisick

Profile of Joe Onisick

Principal Engineer, Marketing, Cisco INSBU
Blog Posts: 45

Joe Onisick is the founder of Define the Cloud and a principal engineer for Cisco's INSBU. Onisick has 17 years of IT experience spanning a broad range of disciplines, starting with server and network administration. From 2000-2005, Onisick was a US Marine, where he served in a number of roles focused on repairing electronics and managing electro-optical repair facilities. Today, Onisick's expertise focuses on designing next generation data center architectures that include cross platform solutions and emerging technologies for large federal organizations, service providers and commercial enterprises. His specialty is in understanding client business requirements, and designing an appropriate comprehensive solution that includes the end-to-end convergence of server virtualization, storage and networking, in order to build a foundation for highly efficient data centers and private cloud architectures. These architectures also include automation, monitoring, provisioning and chargeback capabilities in order to complete a private cloud model.

Onisick regularly leads workshops, panels and sessions on how to best deploy next generation infrastructure platforms and is highly regarded in his industry in the areas of data center infrastructure and private cloud architectures. He received the PosDev award from Wikibon for content on Define the Cloud and contribution to the IT community and occasionally guest hosts on The CloudCast.

Articles by Joe Onisick

Network Overlays: An Introduction

Network overlays dramatically increase the number of virtual subnets that can be created on a physical network, which in turn supports multitenancy and virtualization features such as VM mobility, and can speed configuration of new or existing services. We’ll look at how network overlays work and examine pros and cons.

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Why We Need Network Abstraction

Highly virtualized data centers are exposing cracks in traditional network constructs such as VLANs. New approaches that abstract the physical network, including network overlays, are key to providing flexibility and scale.

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Forget Multiple Hypervisors

Multiple hypervisors in the data center may seem like a good idea: You get leverage during negotiations, and potentially avoid vendor lock-in. But dig deeper and the arguments begin to fall apart.

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The Ugly Break Up: Time for Your Apps to Part

The marketing is there, and has been for some time. Buzzwords have been coined and your interest is piqued. You sat back long enough to see if this was just vaporware or real, while gaseous. Cloud turns out to be more solid than its nomenclature. You’re ready, in fact you’re all in. Now the bad news: If you want to succeed in the cloud, the long-term relationship you've had with your apps must be broken up.

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Zero to Private Cloud in 8 Steps

Here are eight steps for going from zero to private cloud. Note that I didn’t say eight "easy" steps. But don’t let that bother you--nothing that’s easy is ever worth doing anyway.

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Your IT Is Broken

Right this minute your data center(s) are broken. You, monitoring systems or NOC may or may not know it. All of the blinky lights may be green, all systems reporting normal, but the data center is broken, and it’s costing you money and business agility.

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Thought Experiment--Forget ROI

Boys and girls, today's homework assignment is a thought experiment. I want you all to put yourselves in the shoes of the CXO team making a decision to move to private cloud. There is, of course, one catch: You may not factor in ROI. We're dropping ROI because it clouds the subject (bad pun intended.) Let's skip the why-should-I-do-this-experiment; I'd of course default to,"Because I told you so."

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Private Cloud Success Factors Include Service Catalog

A commonly overlooked component of a private cloud deployment is the service catalog. In many cases, a great deal of time is spent architecting and discussing infrastructure, virtualization and automation processes with little thought of the actual service delivery. Service catalogs are key to successful private cloud deployment and the overall usability of the services your cloud delivers.

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Ignoring BYOD Spells Disaster!

Last week in a blog titled "BYOD--Bring Your Own Disaster," I urged caution and scope for BYOD projects. This week I'm playing devil's advocate with myself. A conversation with Greg Knieriemen got me thinking of the consequences of ignoring BYOD. Let's dive into the risk of burying your head in the sand and ignoring the BYOD push.

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BYOD: Bring Your Own Disaster

In keeping with the tradition of the last three to five years, 2012 is being touted by analysts and vendors alike as "the year for VDI." This year there is a slightly new twist to the hype and marketing, and that's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It's a simple concept: Employees own devices that they like to use and are most productive on; IT should support the apps and services used to run the business on the employees' devices.

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Hybrid Cloud's Burst Bubble

One of the more hyped use-case examples for hybrid cloud is cloud bursting. And why not? It's truly the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too scenario. During normal business operations, your systems run in-house on private cloud infrastructure, and during unforeseen or unpredictable peaks, your services burst to excess capacity at your public cloud provider(s) of choice. It's IT utopia, right? It’s the comfort of maintaining your own systems with the insurance of endless available capacity for th

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The Idle Cycle Conundrum

One of the advantages of a private cloud architecture is the flexible pooling of resources that allows rapid change to match business demands. These resource pools adapt to the changing demands of existing services and allow for new services to be deployed rapidly. For these pools to maintain adequate performance, they must be designed to handle peak periods, and this will also result in periods with idle cycles.

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Cloud Success Factor: Rethink Application Development

In terms of performance and business agility, private cloud is the foreign import compared to your family sedan data center of today. And when you migrate to that cloud, if you bring along your old ways of thinking and siloed application development mindset, you’ll miss out on the benefits the platform provides. You need to ensure your services and applications are developed in a way that harnesses the full potential of the architecture.

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Hypervisors Are Not the Droids You Seek

Long ago, in a data center far, far away, we as an industry moved away from big iron and onto commodity hardware. That move brought with it many advantages, but it also brought higher hardware and operating system software failure rates. This change in application stability forced us to change our deployment model and build the siloed application environment: one application, one operating system, one server.

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Choosing The Right Private Cloud Storage

One of the key decisions in architecting an infrastructure for private cloud is selecting a storage platform for the deployment. Storage is a key component of the infrastructure and will play a major role in the overall performance of the private cloud. The storage decision carries additional weight due to its larger investment and typically longer refresh cycle.

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Build for IT Nirvana

In many data centers large and small there is a history of making short-term decisions that affect long-term design. These may be based on putting out immediate fires, such as rolling out a new application, expanding an old one or replacing failed hardware. They may also be made by short-sighted or near-sighted policies, or, more commonly, old policies that aren't questioned in light of new technology. These types of decisions can range from costly to crippling for data center operations.

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Private Cloud: It's Not About ROI

Most private cloud discussions revolve around the ROI of the architecture. Many discussions begin and quickly end with ROI. The reason is that ROI is very difficult to show in real numbers for any IT investment, but more so when the majority of the costs are soft costs.

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Private Cloud Success Factor: Standardization

Private cloud architectures involve a tight coupling of software and hardware, layered with automation and orchestration. These environments can be prone to complexity, which leads to additional deployment time, administrative costs and risks. Removing as much complexity as possible will help ensure a smoother deployment and ongoing environment.

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Private Cloud In A Box

With Microsoft and Google both heavily utilizing containerized data centers for compute capacity, it’s hard not to think about the applicability for enterprise and government private clouds. While containers vary widely, the general concept is that they are a self-contained data center environment complete with network, compute and storage, as well as necessary cooling.

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Building A Private PaaS

A great end goal for the cloud model is PaaS. PaaS breaks the 1-to-1 relationship between OS and application/service, and provides for more fluid scalability. Additionally, PaaS platforms can remove the requirement for custom OS and server builds on a per-service basis, further reducing administrative overhead.

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Building The Case For Private Clouds

When assessing an IT road map for the next three to five years, you’d be remiss to leave cloud options out of the process. The business agility and potential cost savings of an IT-as-a-service-focused cloud architecture can catapult a business ahead of its competition.

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Hybrid: It's Not Just About Cars

Making the decision to move forward with a private cloud doesn't mean you should rule out public cloud services--you can have your cake and eat it, too. The technical and business drivers that were used to decide on private cloud may not be applicable to every service and deployment model. In most cases, the greatest benefits will be found in a mixture of private and public cloud services.

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VDI: An Example Of Service Delivery

Any migration to the cloud should have a focus on the services required and the best way to deliver those services. Business enablement should hold as much, or more, weight than ROI. The same holds true when discussing virtual desktops.

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Determining a Private Cloud Delivery Model

When designing a private cloud infrastructure as part of a next generation data center strategy, there are several options to choose from for a delivery model. In some cases, the IT service delivery will be some subset of true private cloud. In other cases, a full cloud model will be more appropriate, and delivery will typically be in an IaaS or PaaS model, with the possibility of a mixed model.

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Private Vs. Public - It’s About The Services

So you’ve chosen to implement a private cloud, and you based that decision on sound rationalizations backed by thorough research--reasons like cost, service portability, legacy infrastructure investment, security and compliance. Heck, maybe you just made the decision based on an overreaction to recent cloud outage news from major providers. Either way, private cloud it is, and your decision on cloud type is done, right? Wrong. There’s a lot more to think about, and if you choose priv

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Delivering Private Cloud Services

When a company begins architecting a private cloud, there are many decisions that need to be made about architecture, hardware and delivery model. One key decision that often gets overlooked is how to deliver the services and applications that run the business. There are two general options: continue to deliver services in the same model we’ve always done but now on a more optimized platform, or reassess service delivery and use the private cloud migration to optimize the process as a whol

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Private Cloud Stacks

Interest in private clouds and converged infrastructure continues to grow because organizations can rapidly deploy applications in a scalable fashion. Whether the goal be IT cost reduction, business agility, or any number of other benefits of smarter IT service delivery application delivery. That being said applications don't run on their own and infrastructure is a major consideration for how those applications will run.

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