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Quali performs a Hat-trick – Wins “Best of VMworld” 2018 finalist award, third year in a row!

Posted by Shashi Kiran September 6, 2018
Quali performs a Hat-trick – Wins “Best of VMworld” 2018 finalist award, third year in a row!

Cricket-crazy Indians certainly are very familiar with the word Hat-trick. I was quite surprised early on that it wasn’t a popular terminology in the United States, even though it is equally applicable in any general scenario.

Winning awards is always a feel-good thing. When these come about consistently and in large setting environments, it is even better.

This year, Quali performed a hat-trick, or three-peat as our press release seems to suggest, winning the finalist award for the third year in a row. This award by industry media giant TechTarget has a multiple judging tier and has several categories. This year, we were given this for the category of Cloud Native App Development and DevOps, which is certainly the direction where the industry is going.

 

New Release 9.0 is generally available!

While such awards are welcome, what was even more gratifying was the quality of conversations at VMworld this year. Heading into VMworld, we made a couple of strategic announcements, as the version 9.0 of Quali CloudShell became generally available.

These included the ability to save-and-restore sandbox environments, giving customers the ability to save environments and come back to it at a later stage, giving them the ability to manage resources far more efficiently, thereby saving costs and increasing productivity. The second was around the ability to add flexible cloud provider deployment templates, recognizing that we’re increasingly in a multi-cloud world and there may be several clouds other than just the well-known public and private clouds. These announcements were received quite well and resulted in some interesting conversations.

 

Tech Field Day participation at VMworld Extra

We also got to participate in the Tech Field Day sessions and give analysts a peek into who Quali is and what we do. We went beyond PowerPoint here showing live demos. It was eye-opening for some of the attending analysts and certainly resulted in some interesting discussions towards the end. For those exploring automation and orchestration of their Dev/Test, DevOps, Demo, or Cyber Range environments, I encourage taking a look at the set of these three videos:

An Introduction to Quali by Shashi Kiran

 

 

 

 

CloudShell Deep Dive by Roni Dover

 

 

 

 

CloudShell Demo and Q&A with Roni Dover and Shashi Kiran

 

 

 

 

The aggregated set of these videos and Quali’s participation are also captured on this page by Tech Field Day.

 

Webinar on Cloud Security

We also got to participate in a webinar on Cloud Security with a couple of panelists from SaltStack, HGST, and Trace3. Quali’s Director of Technical Marketing, Dos Dosanjh, did the honors here.

Link to webinar

 

 

 

 

Quali Booth on the Show Floor

VMware as a company is going through a significant transformation as it embraces a world of hybrid and multi-cloud. This is clearly reflected in its products and consequently bringing diverse attendees into the VMWorld event. Traffic to the Quali booth was no different, and there was considerable interest in the wares we were peddling, i.e. how to (in the VMware audience context) set up the fastest, most heterogeneous environments for IT, on demand, and as-a-service. Our theme, not surprisingly, was around environments-as-a-service.

Generally, Quali’s ability to orchestrated physical environments, in addition to virtual ones, was highly differentiated, as were its rich modeling capabilities and its ability to support a variety of private, public and hybrid clouds.

In fact, Quali was being used in a couple of other vendor booths on the show floor as well, included at Tintri, to demo their storage solutions.

Dos Demo video

 

 

 

 

 

Dos Dosanjh gave a brief overview and demo. The traffic in the booth was quite good and the conversations were great. We couldn’t match Team Rubrik’s basketball firepower on the show floor, or Team Cohesity’s Snoop Dogg party off the show floor, but we’d like to think we were a close second, in large part due to conversation-starting Dos’s hat.

Till next time.

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Quali recognizes Automation Champions at Broadcom for Leadership and Innovation

Posted by Pascal Joly June 29, 2018
Quali recognizes Automation Champions at Broadcom for Leadership and Innovation

Earlier this year, Quali launched a new program, "CloudShell Champion", to acknowledge some of our most prominent advocates and contributors who are actively promoting automation within their companies.

After a rigorous selection process, our first cohort of nominees brought us 2 winners in 2 different categories that I will introduce in this article:

cloudshell champion 2018

Transformer category: Someone who has grown the user base for CloudShell within their organization or done an exceptional job of training and onboarding teams.

Q1 winner: Daniel De La Rosa, Broadcom
Daniel is the manager of an infrastructure lab team within the Brocade Storage Network division of Broadcom. The goal of their team is to enable the broader organization to develop, sell and support their fiber channel product line by providing them access to lab resources. To accomplish this goal in the most efficient way the team has adopted CloudShell as part of their automation tool strategy.Daniel has been tirelessly promoting the solution over the last few years to the target end users of the platform (support team, sales team, and engineering team) by setting up various workshops, one on one meetings and documentation  -- he calls it "over-communicating". His mission is to increase the adoption coverage to the engineering team. To show the effectiveness of this strategy, he is using the decrease in cost for new lab equipment ordered as a key metric.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys running, including participating in some of the local bay area many races, Bay to Breakers and Warf to Warf among others.

Rocket Scientist category: Someone who is recognized for their technical wizardry and contributed helpful Shells or Plugins to the Quali repository.

Q1 winner: Matt Branche, Broadcom

Matt is the CloudShell guru and automation engineer in the Brocade Storage Network division of Broadcom. He is the hands-on automation go-to guy in Daniel's team, leading the charge for building automation on top of CloudShell. Matt is really excited about the capabilities of 2nd gen Shells (python is his favorite language)  to build custom integrations with the Brocade OS and extend the capabilities of the platform with integrations like SalesForce and Jira. This will enable his team to significantly improve the user experience of the sales team and the support team and increase adoption of the platform. Matt is also looking forward to more contribution to the Quali Community.

When he's not in the middle of developing new Shells, Matt enjoys tinkering with his home network and riding his motorcycle.

Have a champion in mind? Registrations are still opened for Q2 awards. You can nominate yourself or on behalf of someone else.

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Cisco Live 2018: Report from the Front Line

Posted by Pascal Joly June 27, 2018
Cisco Live 2018: Report from the Front Line

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to many CLUS. It’s anticipation, excitement and dread all balled together the few weeks before while preparing for the show. Remembering last year in Vegas, or the year before that in Las Vegas, or the year before that in San Diego, or the year before that in San Francisco, or the year before that in …you get it. In the weeks up to the event, an excited and reluctant, tugging anticipation.Knowing, on the horizon - too may conversations, too many hours standing, too many drinks, and too much food - the kind of intense week requiring stamina and a weekend afterward for recovery. Lucky, yes! - The topics are good, conversation is easy and it’s always great to have Cisco DevNet to share. What a great program to be a part of. and makes for easy conversation on the exhibitor show floor when describing Quali’s unique Sandboxing technology and how DevNet uses it.

Quali booth at Cisco Live
This year in Orlando was no different, it was a great show and when over, I was ready to be home. Lots of great laughs and fun times with new and old friends, exciting technology, fun parties, and a wee bit of a hangover. As much as it was the same, it was different. After attending for so many years, this time I was a little more reflective, of how much CLUS has grown, changed, evolved, and matured. Which also brought back great memories of all the good years I’ve had as a technologist being associated with Cisco.From being recruited out of college to my first high tech job at Cisco in Menlo Park - 1992, the same year as JC, and through astronomical growth and many technologies and acquisitions - all the way to this past event, #CLUS18. Cisco has lead technology change and innovation at blistering speed, bringing prosperity and growth as well as adopting new technologies for the world to use.Every day giving us, the everyday people, a chance to make a difference.The true magic of CiscoLIVE - the people.Look at the Social Impact initiatives and the Global Problem Solvers initiatives that Cisco promotes.Free access to technology learning and developer experiences through LIVE hands-on Sandboxes through Cisco DevNET’s 500,000 members - all of these are examples of people in action.

On a personal note - I have to tell you, the catalyst for all the reflecting started after seeing many friends I’ve known for years at #CLUS18. In particular, 3 friends of whom we all used to work together at Cisco, but hadn’t seen each other in 13+ years. The kids are now grown, the times have changed a lot. But the introductions were as close, warm and familiar as if we had seen each other two weeks before. Talking family, tech, and toasting to the years. Quality experiences and quality friendships fostered at CiscoLIVE live on and on.Martin, Andy, Pablo - great seeing you.

-Sean Stephenson

busy at cisco live: the quali booth

Reflecting back on this event, here's another contribution from Brian Mehlman, Director of Enterprise Business Development at Quali:

It has been many years since I have attended Cisco Live, and after being at the show this year, I am very happy that Quali allowed me to go to this event.  It was one of the best events I have been to in a very long time.  The many vendors that attended had really solid exhibits and engineers doing demo’s/explaining the value of their technology.  Stopping by the Cisco DevNet area was also a highlight.  It was very impressive – tons of developers testing out the easy to use an online portal to spin up specific Development environments in minutes.  I am glad Quali had a booth and represented how we help many of our customers including Cisco Labs and the DevNet Automate the delivery of the environments by allowing them to build sandboxes through our CloudShell Software’s API.  Many people were very excited about our new technology and automation for their companies future needs as they are moving resources to the cloud.

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Solving the NFV/SDN Adoption Puzzle: the Missing Orchestration Piece(s)

Posted by Pascal Joly April 20, 2018
Solving the NFV/SDN Adoption Puzzle: the Missing Orchestration Piece(s)

Quali was sponsoring the MPLS/NFV/SDN congress last week in Paris with its partner Ixia. As I was interacting with the conference attendees, it seems fairly clear that orchestration and automation will be key to enable the wider adoption of NFV and SDN technologies. It was also a great opportunity to remind folks we just won the 2017 Layer 123 NFV Network Transformation award (Best New Orchestration Solution category)

There were two main types of profiles participating in the Congress: the traditional telco service providers, mostly from Nothern Europe, APAC, and the Middle East, and some large companies in the utility and financial sector, big enough to have their own internal network transformation initiatives.

Since I also attended the conference last year, this gave me a chance to compare the types of questions or comments from the attendees stopping by our booth. In particular, I was interested to hear their thoughts about automation and the plans to put in place new network technologies such as NFV and SDN.

The net result: the audience was more educated on the positioning and values of these technologies than in the previous edition, notably the tight linkages between NFV and SDN. While some vendor choices have been made for some, implements and deployment them at scale in production remains in the very early stages.

What's in the way? Legacy infrastructure, manual processes, and a lack of automation culture are all hampering efforts to move the network infrastructure to the next generation.

cloudshell quali nfv sdn

The Missing Orchestration Pieces

NFV Orchestration is a complex topic that tends to confuse people since it operates at multiple levels. One of the reasons behind this confusion: up until recently, most organizations in the service provider industry have had partial exposure to this type of automation (mostly at the OSS/BSS level).

Rather than one piece, NFV orchestration breaks down into several components so it would be fair to talk about "pieces". The ETSI MANO (Open Source NFV Management and Orchestration) framework has made a reasonable attempt to standardize and formalize this architecture in layers, as shown in the diagram below.

OSM Mapping to ETSI NFV MANO (source: https://osm.etsi.org/images/OSM-Whitepaper-TechContent-ReleaseTHREE-FINAL.PDF)

At the top level, NFV orchestrator interacts with service chaining frameworks (OSS/BSS) that provides a workflow that includes procurement and billing. a good example of a leading commercial solution is Amdocs. At the lowest level, the VIM orchestrator provides deployment on the virtual infrastructure of individual NFVs represented as virtual machines, as well as their configuration with SDN controllers. traditional cloud vendors usually play in that space: open source solutions such as Openstack and commercial products like VMware .

In between is where there is an additional layer called VNF Managers necessary to piece together the various NFV functions and deploy them into one coherent end to end architecture. This is true for both production and pre-production. This is where the CloudShell solution fits and provides the means to quickly validate NFV and SDN architectures in pre-production.

Bridging the gap between legacy networks and NFV/SDN adoption

 

vcpe cloudshell blueprint

One of the fundamental obstacles that I heard over and over during the conference was the inability to move away from legacy networks. An orchestration platform like CloudShell offers the means to do so by providing a unified view of both legacy and NFV architecture and validate the performance and security prior to production using a self-service approach.

Using a simple visual drag and drop interface, an architect can quickly model complex infrastructure environment and even include test tools such as Ixia IxLoad or BreakingPoint. These blueprint models are then published to a self-service catalog that the tester can select and deploy with a single click. Built in out of the box orchestration deploys and configures the components, including NFVs and others on the target virtual or physical infrastructure.

If for some reason you were not able to attend the conference (yes the local railways and airlines were both on strike that week), make sure you check our short video on the topic and schedule a quick technical demo to learn more.

 

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Israel in Jeans!

Posted by Pascal Joly February 16, 2018
Israel in Jeans!

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: “Israel”?

This is a question I’ve been asking people I meet when I visit places outside of Israel and although the answers are varied, in a way they all come from the same connotation: The Middle East, desert, camels, and war.

Hello, my name is Revital. I’m an Israeli living and working in Silicon Valley. Even here in the Valley: Heterogeneous, multicultural, highly educated population, the responses are similar.

Soooo, I invite you to come visit the Start-Up Nation Fair, on Feb 20th at Stanford University to meet the real Israel, the part that doesn't show up in the news: Israel in Jeans!

In this fair, numerous Israeli Start-up companies will present their products and ideas on the Expo floor and there will be a panel of innovators discussing their experiences and answering questions from the audience. These companies also have some open positions for interns. The entrance is free and open to the public.

In the meantime, I have gathered for you some fun facts about Israel and Israelis:

  1. We value education and innovation:
  • Israeli universities publish more scientific papers per capita than any other country in the world
  • Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world.

Israel Museum, Jerusalem

  1. We care about the environment
  • 9 out of 10 homes in Israel use solar power in some way.

Solar water heaters on rooftops

  1. We stand up for the weak
  • Israel was the first country to sign up to the Kimberly process, the international standard that certifies diamonds as being “conflict free”.
  • Israel was the first country to place a ban on the use of underweight models on catwalks.
  • Israeli bank notes are marked in Braille.

It is the second year for Quali to participate in the Start-up nation fair. I’ll be at the booth, come say hello and hear all about CloudShell: A sandbox automation platform that provides self-service access to on-demand application and IT infrastructure environments across private, public, and hybrid-cloud.

So, Are You Ready to Know the Start-Up Nation Up-Close and Personal?

Get a glance on the event and what you can expect to see:

Igniting Young Minds @ Start-up Nation Tech Fair!

Looking forward to seeing you!

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Deep Dive with Quali at the DevOps Enterprise Summit!

Posted by Pascal Joly November 8, 2017
Deep Dive with Quali at the DevOps Enterprise Summit!

Ready to "Dive into DevOps"? Quali will be in San Francisco next week November 13-15 at the DevOps Enterprise Summit . We will showcase our latest DevOps integrations with Atlassian's Jira, Jenkins, CA Blazemeter, Microsoft VSTS, AWS codepipeline and many others.

Since I've covered details on our Jira, Jenkins and Blazemeter integrations in previous blogs, I wanted to introduce the two new kids on the block:

  • Microsoft VSTS and Visual Studio plugin: Microsoft VSTS is the hosted version of Visual Studio, and offers a way for developers using this popular IDE to create and terminate CloudShell Sandboxes from a Continuous Integration workflow, as well as trigger a test suite tied to dynamic environments.
  • AWS codepipeline plugin: the AWS codepipeline service is available to any AWS users and provides a simple way to create DevOps pipeline and integrate as part of the workflow actions to create CloudShell Sandboxes, run CloudShell Commands, and terminate the Sandboxes.

If you're going to be around, make sure you visit us at booth #15, to learn how you can accelerate your application release and scale your DevOps automation with CloudShell Dynamic Environments. You'll also have a chance to win one of these handy $100 Amazon gift cards (right before Christmas as it turns out) and bring home tons of colorful giveaways.

I am also looking forward to meet many of our technology partners who will also be attending the event such as JFrog, CA, and Atlassian.

Can't make it? We'll certainly miss you but you can still sign up for our free trial or schedule a demo.

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JenkinsWorld 2017: It’s all about the Community

Posted by Pascal Joly September 8, 2017
JenkinsWorld 2017: It’s all about the Community

Who said trade shows have to be boring? That was certainly not the case at the 2017 Jenkins World conference held in San Francisco last week and organized by CloudBees. Quali's booth was in a groovy mood and so was the crowd around us (not mentioning the excellent wine served for happy hours and the 70's band playing on the stage right next to us).

The colorful layout of the booth certainly didn't deter from very interesting conversations with show attendees around how to make DevOps real and solving real business challenges their companies are facing.

This was the third Jenkins conference we were sponsoring this summer (after Paris and Tel Aviv) and we could see many familiar faces from other DevOps leaders such as Atlassian, Jfrog and CA Blazemeter that have partnered with us to build end to end integrations to provide comprehensive CI/CD solutions for application release automation.

This really felt like a true community that collaborate together effectively to benefit a wide range of software developers, release manager and devOps engineers and empower them with choices to meet their business needs.

To illustrate these integrations, we showed a number of short demos around some the main use cases that we support (Feel free to browse these videos at your own pace):

  • CI/CD with Jenkins, JFrog, Ansible: Significantly increase speed and quality by allowing a developer and tester to automatically check the status of an application build, retrieve it from a repository, and install it on the target host.
  • Performance automation with CA Blazemeter: Provide a single control pane of glass to the application tester by dynamically configuring and automatically running performance load tests against the load balanced web application defined in the sandbox.
  • Cloud Sandbox troubleshooting with Atlassian Jira: Remove friction points between end user and support engineer by automatically creates a JIRA trouble ticket when faulty or failing components are detected in a sandbox.

As you would expect at a tech conference, there was the typical schwag, such as our popular TShirts (although we can't just claim the fame of the legendary Splunk outfit). In case you did not get your preferred size at the show, we apologize for that and invite you to sign up for a 14 day free trial of newly released CloudShell VE.

Couldn't make it at Jenkins World? No worries: Quali will be at Delivery of Things in San Diego in October, and DevOps Enterprise Summit in San Francisco in November. Hope to see you there!

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Check out Quali’s latest DevOps integrations at JenkinsWorld 2017

Posted by Pascal Joly August 28, 2017
Check out Quali’s latest DevOps integrations at JenkinsWorld 2017

Wrapping up the "Summer of Love" 50th anniversary, Quali will be at the 3 day JenkinsWorld conference this week from 8/29-8/31 in San Francisco. If you are planning to be in the area, make sure to stop by and visit us at booth #606!

We'll have live demos of our latest integrations with other popular DevOps tools such as Jenkins Pipeline, Jfrog Artifactory, CA Blazemeter and Atlassian Jira.

We will also have lots of giveaways (cool Tshirts and schwag) as well as a drawing for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Can't make it but still want to give it a try? Sign up for CloudShell VE Trial.

 

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The environment complexity challenge resonates at DevOpsCon Berlin

Posted by Ariel Benary June 27, 2017
The environment complexity challenge resonates at DevOpsCon Berlin

I wanted to share my insights from DevOpsCon 2017, which took place in mid-June in Berlin. It was an excellent conference, with a lot of energy in the air. There were many people attending this year - the place was packed. I understood from one of the organizers that attendance doubled compared to last year, and the trend seems set to continue.

Most attendees came from German companies, but there was a fair participation from Nordic countries and eastern Europe. From the interactions I had with people, I noticed that while some were members of dedicated DevOps teams in their organization, the majority of participants still handle DevOps tasks as part of their other Development content.

We had several enterprises come up to share their DevOps journeys. What struck out strongly was the fact that almost all of them were expressing the complexity of setting up environments for DevOps, causing them delays. This was particularly acute in Enterprises with on-premise deployments and where they owned their data centers and had built up application stacks over the years. The dependency between infrastructure automation and application agility was on display there. Quali’s ability to quickly standardize environments via blueprints, model and deploy was fully resonating with this audience.

Our CMO Shashi Kiran also delivered a session on the top barriers Enterprises face on their path to deploying DevOps and he set the tone for best practices within the organization as well as a prescriptive approach to smoothening out those barriers. A houseful audience appreciated these tips based on a global survey conducted by Quali

After two days, I left the conference highly energized and with a big smile. I had a lot of fun, I learned a lot,  and can’t wait to be here next year again.

This week our team is having a vibrant presence at Cisco Live in Las Vegas. Do visit them in booth #416 – they have some cool demos around cloud sandboxes and its applicability to deliver on-demand, self-service environments for a variety of different use-cases. Don’t miss out some of the cool swags that are only available at the Quali booth as well as our 2017 Cloud and DevOps survey.

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Wine, Cheese and Label Switching

Posted by Pascal Joly April 20, 2017
Wine, Cheese and Label Switching

Latest Buzz in Paris

I just happened to be in Paris last month at the creatively named MPLS+SDN+NFV world congress, where Quali shared a booth space with our partner Ixia. There was good energy on the show floor, may be accentuated by the display of "opinionated" cheese plates during snack time, and some decent red wine during happy hours.  A telco technology savvy crowd was attending, coming from over 65 countries and eager to get acquainted with the cutting edge of the industry.

Among the many buzzwords you could hear in the main lobby of the conference, SD-WAN, NFV, VNF, Fog Computing, IoT seemed to raise to the top. Even though the official trade show is named the MPLS-SDN-NFV summit, we are really seeing SD-WAN as the unofficial challenger overtaking MPLS technology, and one of the main use case gaining traction for SDN. May be a new trade show label for next year? Also worth mentioning the introduction of production NFV services for several operators, mostly as vCPE (more on that later) and mobility. Overall, the Software Defined wave continues to roll forward as seemingly most network services may now be virtualized and deployed as light weight containers on low cost white box hardware. This trend has translated into a pace of innovation for the networking industry as a whole that was until recently confined to a few web scale cloud enterprises like Google and Facebook who designed their whole network from the ground up.

Technology is evolving fast but adoption is still slow

One notable challenge remains for most operators: technology is evolving fast but adoption still slow. Why?

Several reasons:

  • Scalability concerns: performance is getting better and the elasticity of the cloud allows new workloads to be spinned up on demand but reproducing actual true production conditions in pre-production remains elusive.Flipping the switch can be scary, considering the migration from old well established technologies that have been in place for decades to new "unproven" solutions.
  • SLA: meeting the strict telco SLAs sets the bar on the architecture very high, although with software distributed workload and orchestration this should become easier than in the past .
  • Security : making sure the security requirements to address DDOS and other threats are met requires expert knowledge and crossing a lot of red tape.
  • Vendor solutions are siloed. This puts the burden on the Telco DevOps team to stitch the dots (or the service integrator)
  • Certification and validation of these new technologies is time consuming: on the bright side, standards brought up by the ETSI forum are maturing, including the MANO orchestration piece, covering Management and Orchestration. On the other hand, telco operators are still faced with a fragmented landscape of standard, as highlighted in a recent SDxcentral article .

Meeting expectations of Software Defined Services

Cloud Sandboxes can help organization address many of these challenges by adding the ability to rapidly design these complex environments,  and dynamically set up and teardown these blueprints for each stage aligned to a specific test (scalability, performance, security, staging). This effectively results in accelerated time to release these new solutions to the market and brings back control  and efficient use of valuable cloud capacity to the IT operator.

Voila! I'm sure you'd like to learn more. Turns out we have a webinar on April 26th 12pm PST (yes that's just around the corner) to cover in details how to accelerate the adoption of these new techs. Joining me will be a couple of marquee guest speakers: Jim Pfleger from Verizon will give his insider prospective on NFV trends and challenges, and Aaron Edwards from Cloudgenix will provide us an overview of SD-WAN. Come and join us.

NFV Cloud Sandbox Webinar

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