Posts Tagged ‘IT infrastructure’

The Gift Of Simplicity! IT Managers in the Digital Era

IT Managers in the Digital Era

Berna Devrim

Senior Director, Global Solutions Marketing at EMC at EMC
With more than 20 years of marketing, research and development, market entry, routes to market and technology experience, Berna Devrim currently leads EMC Global Solutions marketing.

 

 

How is being an IT manager like being the head of a household during the holiday season? First of all, there’s a lot to get done in a very short amount of time. If you can relate, these questions might sound familiar to you:

 

What’s on everyone’s wish list?

How can I get all these things checked off and stay within my budget?

How many places do I need to go to get everything I need?

Is everyone happy with what they got or do we need to make some exchanges after the fact?

 

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Prior to entering the digital era we’re living in today, these tasks were much harder to accomplish. People found themselves running from store to store with scattered lists of items to grab, waiting in long lines and losing track of how much money has been spent. Today, online shopping and price comparison web apps have brought simplicity to the holiday insanity we all love so much (thank goodness).

 

Nowadays, people are checking off wish lists with a few clicks of a button. Just log online, sort through some catalogs and toss desired items into a shopping cart with a full price breakdown. You can even use apps and barcode scanners to find out the cheapest place to buy an item. Goodbye mayhem! You just freed up hours of time to focus on the rest of your holiday planning.

 

Now, let’s take that same concept and apply it to the IT manager’s role. IT requests are coming in left and right from business units and departments. New apps and services need to be deployed to satisfy everyone but there is limited time and resources. To meet demanding deadlines the IT team needs to achieve new efficiencies when it comes to delivering applications and IT services. Business as usual just isn’t an option anymore.

 

If IT teams want to drive more business value and build enhanced customer experiences in today’s digital world, they need to redefine their business models. Organizations must adopt new processes for delivering IT services with greater speed and agility while simultaneously driving down costs. Traditional IT methods just won’t keep up, period. Organizations have struggled to bring together the security, compliance and reliability of private cloud with the simplicity, flexibility and easy access public clouds offer, while maintaining control and visibility. But once again, new technology saves the day- this time in the form of the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.

The fully engineered solution provides IT admins, developers and business analysts alike access to a self-service catalog for automating enterprise applications and IT resource deployments on-demand. Add new applications and services in a few clicks with full transparency into the environment’s health as well as full cost breakdowns.

EMC’s Federation has brought together best-of-breed technology to simplify and drastically accelerate IT requests and tasks through automation and a self-service catalog. Processes that previously took weeks or months to complete are being deployed in a matter of minutes allowing IT staff to invest more time into innovation and driving the business forward.

 

Bottom line…

 

In today’s digital world, a unified, seamless approach to IT service delivery is a fundamental aspect of an organizations ongoing operational success. With new levels of automation, self-service and visibility into every aspect of the infrastructure, IT managers can proceed into the future with confidence. Now, if only EMC could provide the same gift of simplicity to the rest of the holiday planning this year!

 

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To see our solution in action, visit our demo site here. Or, learn more on our webpage and follow @emccloud on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

A Solutions approach to enabling OpenStack Cloud EMC Reference Architecture Program

EMC Reference Architecture Program

Mo Khalid

Technical Marketing Manager at EMC

EMC and OpenStackEMC and the Federation have been actively contributing to the OpenStack community for quite some time through product integration into OpenStack  but also community participation on various other projects.

 

As OpenStack has continued to gain momentum in the market, we at EMC have increased our investment in OpenStack. Our focus has been to provide customer solutions that enable easier deployment and operation of an OpenStack Cloud. One of our investments is the Reference Architecture Program.

 

As part of the Reference Architecture Program EMC has been partnering with key OpenStack distribution partners (Canonical, Mirantis and Red Hat) to develop Reference Architectures that include their respective OpenStack distributions with EMC arrays.   The program enables customers who need help in deploying and integrating across the cloud supply chain to operate and manage an OpenStack cloud with EMC storage.

 

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The three key OpenStack distribution vendors Canonical, Mirantis and RedHat bring a lot of value to customers through their tools and experience in OpenStack deployments. They have experience in guiding customer through the process of building an end to end value chain based on OpenStack. As part of the partner engagement our key focus is to provide the customer with a solution encompassing:

  • A reference architecture design guide to deploy Partners distribution of OpenStack with Certified EMC storage drivers.
  • Integration with partner tools which eases deployment and management of infrastructure services.
  • Joint support and services

 

The certified reference architecture for Mirantis  is available here:

https://www.emc.com/collateral/technical-documentation/h13933-emc-mirantis-openstack-ra.pdf.

Canonical reference architecture guide is available here:

https://www.emc.com/collateral/technical-documentation/h14174-emc-canonical-openstack-ra.pdf

and RedHat reference architecture guide is available here:

http://www.emc.com/collateral/technicaldocument/h14282-emc-red-hat-openstack-ra.pdf

The reference architecture guides describes the solution for managing storage life cycle (Cinder) using EMC storage technologies and our Partners OpenStack distribution based on Juno release. The document goes through the main features and functionality of the solution, the solution architecture and components including systems from other eco-system partners like Brocade, and the validated hardware and software environments.

 

Overall, we at EMC have invested in OpenStack and will continue our strong commitment to the OpenStack community by  contributing to a variety of OpenStack projects, integrating our best-in-class storage products with OpenStack and designing customer-centric solutions with the right eco-system partners to deploy and operate an OpenStack based Cloud in an efficient way.

 

IT a Service Broker: Driving Efficiencies across the Cloud Supply Chain

Mo Khalid

Technical Marketing Manager at EMC

     IT is under pressure from the business to provide  capability and capacity they need on demand. With Cloud Providers providing the capabilities and capacity faster without an initial large expenditure is appealing to the business units compared to traditional IT which has led to Business units purchasing IT as service – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS  from external providers and bypassing IT , leaving IT  to react after the fact.

 

IT organization have realized that to stay relevant with the demands of the business they must serve as the Service servicebrokerbroker between their internal customers (lines of business) and all IT services whether consumed by Private  or Public Clouds. By being the broker for IT services, IT organizations can offer the lines of business the capability and capacity they need on demand, along with metered price, while managing sla’s, governance, risk, and compliance the company requires and in the process drive efficiencies across the supply chain.

 

In the blog we will look at various factors from an efficiency perspective as to how IT as a broker can help the Enterprise drive efficiencies across the cloud supply chain.

 

  • Optimization of Cost vs. Utilization: The first factor has been explained pretty well in Daanish’s blog on  cost optimization vs. utilization.  He showed that in a role of a broker by understanding the patterns and utilization of the workloads, IT can guide the business on turning off unused re-sources they could easily save money.  He uses an example of an Enterprise who has 10K separate AWS accounts and what the cost would be from a developer on the LOB consuming AWS and never turning of the resource even if it is not utilized compared to  turning off underutilized resources roughly came up with a saving of   $4,567,320 per year.

 

  • Vendor Management: Lets say if each Line of business (LOB) is negotiating with the external Cloud Service Provider (CSP)  independently they are not going to get the right value both from pricing and SLA. To illustrate lets say  each Line of Business are consuming 100k  worth of service per year say and if they are 15 Line of Business (LOBs) that is 1.5 Million dollars so question is would a CSP provide better pricing and SLA for 100K or 1.5 Million. With IT being the intermediary broker,  IT’s vendor management team can negotiate better pricing and procure better SLAs with the Cloud Providers for 1.5 million collectively rather than each LOB doing it individually for 100K.  The additional key element is that IT can monitor the SLAs and can also negotiate better pricing the year after , if  some SLAs  are not met.

 

  • Operational Cost: Taking the Line of business (LOB) example again, lets say the LOB starts with a few servers on CSP (ex:AWS ) and over time it grows to 100s  of server,  so now from managing a few server the LOBs have to manages 100s and they start looking for a dedicated operational person to manage the servers and that is now an Opex Cost increment as that expertise does not come cheap. Let’s say the LOBs hire an Operator for 100K  and Enterprise have 15 LOBs each having their own operators that is 1.5 million dollars. IT was built to manage and operate the applications which run the business and so as a Service Broker they can build a better opex model where they will be able to manage the entire system with 2 dedicated operators specializing in AWS  (2*100K =200K) which in turn saves the Enterprise roughly a saving of 1.2 million dollars per year.

 

  • Utilization Patterns : IT with good monitoring and metering tools will be able to understand the capabilities and utilization patterns from all the LOBs can provide better guidance for example lets take  AWS and capabilities they provide:
    • Based in utilization patterns , they they can look at further savings by looking atreserved instances rather than just on demand instances and negotiate better pricing.Reserved Instances provide you with a significant discount (up to 75%) compared to On-Demand Instance pricing
    • IT can guide the business that utilization does not justify the cost from a scale up perspective but rather build for base utilization and use principles of elasticity using AWS services like LB + AutoScale Policies which provides the capability. This drives a lot of efficiency over time and helps change the mindset.
    • Over time by understanding the patterns of consumption and operating an external cloud IT can build a Private Cloud and start making placement decisions based on performance vs. cost vs. risk and drive overall efficiencies.

 

  • Risk Management: This is something, which is not quantifiable, but as we have seen with critical data leak there can be major consequences.  With IT as a Service Broker they can Manage Risk better as they have better visibility tools, and can audit periodically and provide better  guidance to the internal business customers from security, risk and governance compared to Line of Business doing it themselves.

 

These are a few of the factors that lends itself to IT being in the Service Broker role to drive efficiencies across the cloud supply chain and in time be in front of the business units aligning and enabling strategic decisions to be executed .  They key element being that IT should not start with “no cannot do”, but more of “lets work together and bring you the capability faster” in a true Service Provider model.

We at EMC have been helping enterprise IT organizations transition to a broker of services as part of the transformation journey to  IT as a Service provider. EMC provides advisory services, engineered solutions and consulting across the cloud supply chain.

 

Cloud Helps Reduce Labor Costs While Increasing Staff Cloud Computing Can Actually Cut Costs While Growing Staff Count

Cloud Computing Can Actually Cut Costs While Growing Staff Count

Michael Greene

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cloud Solutions at EMC

The cloud can be a difficult concept for many people to understand both inside and outside the tech industry. There are some who know the cloud simply as their Apple iCloud or Dropbox account, or maybe they don’t even realize it’s actually the mysterious cloud that’s storing all their baby photos.

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While the technology of the cloud is difficult for the average consumer to understand, it is similarly challenging for businesses to establish cloud operating environments. Establishing a cloud environment means shifting from manual to automated, from reactionary to as-a-Service, and that strategy shift is reliant on the people and processes behind the technology.

New skills are required and employees must adopt these new skills that align more to an IT-as-a-Service model. Overall, employees roles are evolving, but do all the new skills and increased IT automation mean less IT staff?

On the surface, the answer is ‘Yes,’ but that is not necessarily true. Let’s consider the following scenario: I’m the CTO of a company who employs contractors and consultants along with my internal IT staff in order to manage my data centers. This includes many traditional IT functions such as a significant amount of manual updating, configuring, and troubleshooting. If you look at my total labor costs in year 1, they look like this: a total of about 200 full-time employees, but 85% of my total labor costs are spent on outsourcing and consulting services. Not a good mix.

My end goal is to transform the IT organization to an IT-as-a-Service model, rapidly delivering services to the business, so we can become an enabler of new revenue. So what is my plan? I know the business needed to invest in my vision in order for me to be successful, so I had to build my case. I start by showing my cost savings in the data center like software license cost reduction and hardware maintenance cost reduction. Additionally, I know with an as-a-Service approach I no longer need to spend a large portion of my budget on outsourcing and consulting services. I can then use those savings to hire more internal staff to provide services to the business and play a more strategic, hands-on role. This labor shift and strategy helps me and IT develop more services that the business actually demands and needs.

cloud_graphs.jpgEvery year, I take this strategy to the books and show my progress. I started with 200 full time employees running a standard IT shop. After one year, I have automated my data center, thereby reducing the total labor I need to operate. However, to make this new automated data center possible I need to bring in new skills, so I increase my full-time head count to 280 employees, an increase of 40%, and reduce my contractor and consultant head count by 25%. After two years, I have 342 employees on my internal IT staff and reduced my outsourced resources by another 15%. Come year 3, our evolution continues, with the similar staff increases, but labor costs continuing to drop as we only need a few contractors and consultants for legacy apps that simply can’t operate in a cloud model. Overall, I reduced total labor costs by 25% because the expensive outside labor I was contracting is simply no longer needed – but I simultaneously increased internal employee headcount by over 60%. By decreasing my reliance on outsourced labor, I was able to build out my new IT organization with better employees who deliver better services at a lower cost. All enabled by the IT-as-a-Service model.

So, due to some careful planning and strategic thinking, the shift to delivering IT-as-a-Service did not result hybridcloud.jpgin pink slips and low morale. It resulted in a new strategic, business-enabling IT organization that was poised to help make my company compete in the next-generation of their industry.

I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences about the transformation to IT-as-a-Service. Post your comment below and start a conversation.

Twitter: @EMCCloud

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