ZeroStack Aims to be a ‘Self Driving Cloud’

ZeroStack is a turnkey solution that provides a private (on premises) cloud or a hybrid solution with AWS integration. I had the opportunity to hear more about this company during Tech Field Day (TFD) 13 earlier this month.

The company’s aim is to be an intelligent “hands off” cloud platform that essentially becomes self driving. According to ZeroStack CEO Ajay Gulati, there are seven layers of a self driving cloud:

  1. Automated cloud deployment & configuration
  2. Integration with other systems: clouds storage, virtualized environments and IT systems
  3. One click, template driven application deployment
  4. Real time alerts, events, and stats
  5. Self monitoring & self healing control plane
  6. Batch analysis for longer term decisions
  7. Automated zero touch upgrades

You can find more information about about what it means to be a ‘self driving cloud’ in the following video.

Currently there are three different ways to acquire ZeroStack:

  • Z-Block Cloud Appliance – this provides a turnkey hyperconverged appliance that deliver a “cloud-in-a-box.”
  • Partner hardware – currently there are validated models of Dell, HPE, SuperMicro, and Cisco UCS hardware that may be acquired.
  • BYOH – bring your own hardware! This allows you to deploy ZeroStack on your choice of supported models of hardware.

To see a demo of a ZeroStack deployment, check out the following video.

I was impressed that ZeroStack already had a partnership with AWS and is able to seamlessly integrate allowing workload deployment both on-premises and in AWS. You can read more about their hybrid cloud offering here (

Another thing that I liked was their clean, easy to read and use interface. You can watch a demo of a Hadoop deployment in the follow video and see the interface for yourself.

A point of concern for me is the lack of prioritization of VMs for high availability (HA). There did not seem to be a way to prioritize which VMs should come up first in the event of failure. Another manageability issue is that is seems HA is configure on a per-VM basis…at least that was the impression that I got from the demos. I could see this as a configuration and management nightmare in an enterprise deployment.

All in all I found ZeroStack to be quite interesting and it is a company that I will keep in eye on in the future.

TFD13 Recap – New Veeam Agents and VeeamON

This is my first of a few posts that will recap Tech Field Day 13. I’ve decided to premiere with Veeam! Let’s jump in.



VeaamON (Veeam’s conference) is returning once again this year…but this time it is being held in New Orleans, Louisiana (aka “Crescent City” or “The Big Easy”). The conference will be hosted at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from 16-18 May 2017.


New Orleans is my hometown, so I’m very much looking forward to returning home and showing my friends from the tech community around the city. Feel free to reach out and ask for any restaurant/bar/etc. recommendations! I strongly suggest checking out the National World War II Museum and it is located within an easy walking distance from the convention center. Look for me at the conference and I will happily give you directions! 🙂

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I am excited because, even though Veeam and its products will be showcased, the central focus is on availability and data protection as whole. The agenda has been published, which you can find here. It appears that there will be over 85 breakout sessions. I submitted three sessions during the CFP period so perhaps one of those will be mine! But the true value of conferences lies with the networking opportunities; you will be able to interact with peers, experts, influencers, etc.

Additionally, there will be VMCE training that will happen from 15-16 May 2017 and it is scheduled brilliantly so course attendees do not miss any of the VeeamON action. You can register here today.

New Veeam Agents

I was lucky to be a delegate last week at Tech Field Day 13 where Veeam presented. I was impressed with their presentation. Veeam has managed to continue innovating in the availability and data protection arenas while balancing that with backfilling gaps in their portfolio. Veeam established their brand as the leader for an agentless backup solution designed with virtualized infrastructures in mind. However, not every company is 100% virtualized, which leads to an issue. Why invest X number of dollars in a backup solution that backs up most but not all of your infrastructure?

Veeam has launched Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Veeam Agent for Linux as an answer. The agents can backup physical workstations and servers.

The Veeam Agent for Linux can protect an entire computer or create volume and file level backups. Built-in snapshot and change block tracking drivers is delivered as a dynamically loadable kernel module so that incremental backups are created without rescanning. The Veeam Agent for Linux is generally available and more information can be found here.

The Veeam Agent for Microsoft includes instant VM recovery to Hyper-V, direct restore to Azure, source side encryption, flexible backup modes, remote configuration, and management APIs. In my opinion, the coolest feature is the advanced backup cache, allowing a scheduled incremental back to complete locally even if disconnected to the network. It will then be uploaded whenever reconnected to network. You can find out more information regarding the Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows here and sign up for the public beta here.