Cloud Computing Demands Total Visibility into Services Management Lifecycle

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Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on overcoming higher levels of complexity while moving outside of enterprise boundaries.


  • 1. Cloud Computing Demands Total Visibility into Services Management Lifecycle Transcript of a BriengsDirect podcast on overcoming higher levels of complexity while moving outside of enterprise boundaries. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard. Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and youre listening to BriengsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on gaining total visibility into the services management lifecycle. As cloud computing in its many forms gains traction, higher levels of management complexity are inevitable for large enterprises, managed service providers, and small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs). Gaining and keeping control becomes even more critical for all these organizations, as applications are virtualized and as services and data sourcing options proliferate, both inside and outside of enterprise boundaries. More than just retaining visibility, however, IT departments and business leaders need the means to ne-tune and govern services use, business processes, and the participants accessing them across the entire services lifecycle. The problem is how to move beyond traditional manual management methods, while being inclusive of legacy systems to automate, standardize, and control the way services are used. We're here with an executive from HP to examine an expanding set of Cloud Service Automation (CSA) products, services, and methods to help enterprises exploit cloud and services values, while reducing risks and working toward total management of all systems and services. Please join me now in welcoming Mark Shoemaker, Executive Program Manager, BTO Software for cloud at HP. Welcome to BriengsDirect, Mark. Mark Shoemaker: Hi Dana. How are you today? I'm really excited about being able to join you and talk about some of the good things we're doing at HP. Gardner: Great. Mark, leading into this, tell me how we got here. How did complexity become something now spanning servers, virtualization, cloud, and sourcing options. It seems like weve been on a long journey and we havent necessarily kept up. Shoemaker: Its simple. Up until a few years ago, everything in the data center and infrastructure had a physical home, for the most part. Then, virtualization came along. While we still have all the physical elements, now we have a virtual and a cloud strata that actually require the same level of diligence in management and monitoring, but it moves around.
  • 2. Where we're used to having things connected to physical switches, servers, and storage, those things are actually virtualized and moved into the cloud or virtualization layer, which makes the services more critical to manage and monitor. Gardner: How are clouds different? Do you need to manage them in entirely different way or is there a way to do both -- manage both the cloud and your legacy system? All the physical things Shoemaker: Enterprises have to do both. Cloud doesnt get rid of all the physical things that still sit in data center and are plugged in and run. It actually runs on top of that. It actually adds a layer and companies want to be able to manage the public and private side of that, as well as the physical and virtual. It just improves productivity and gets better utilization out of the whole infrastructure footprint. Gardner: And what is it about moving toward automation, perhaps using standards increasingly, that becomes more critical than ever? Shoemaker: Well, its funny. A lot of IT people will tell you weve always been talking about standards. Its always been about standards, but they've not always had the choice. A lot of times, the business denition of what it took to be successful and what business applications they needed to run that, dictated a lot of the infrastructure that sits in our data centers today. With cloud computing and the automation and virtualization that goes along with that, standardization is key. You cant automate a repetitive task, if its changing all the time. The good thing about cloud and virtualization is that they're absolutely driving standards, and IT is going to benet from that. The challenge is that now it's more uid and weve got to do a better job than weve ever had to of managing, monitoring, and keeping up. Gardner: What is it about the human management, the sort of manual approach, that I have to imagine doesnt scale in this regard? Shoemaker: You're right. IT has been under the gun for a few years now. I dont know many IT shops that have added people and resources to keep up with the amount of technology they have deployed over the last few years. Now, we're making that more complex. They aren't going to get more heads. There has to be a system to manage it. Plus, even the best people, when its in the middle of the night, you're tired and youve been up a long time trying to get something done, you're always at the risk of making a mistake on a keyboard or downloading the wrong le or somebody missing a message that they need to see.
  • 3. Any time we can take the mundane and the routine up to let our high-value assets really focus on the business critical functions, thats going to be a good thing. The businesses are going to be more productive, the people are going to be happier, and the services are going to run better. Gardner: I suppose too that organizations have had in the past the opportunity to control what goes on in their organization, but as you start acquiring services, you dont really have control as to whats going on behind the support of those services. So, we need to have management that elevates to a higher abstraction. Shoemaker: Thats a great point and thats one of the things weve looked at as well. Certainly, there is no silver bullet for either one of these areas. We're looking at a more holistic and integrated approach in the way we manage. A lot of the things we're bringing to bear -- CSA, for example -- are built on years of expertise around managing infrastructures, because its the same task and functions. Ensuring the service level Then, weve expanded those as well to take into account the public cloud need of being a consumer of the service, but still being concerned with the service level, and been able to point those same tools back into a public cloud to see whats going on and making sure you are getting what you are paying for and what the business expects. Gardner: You have a pretty good understanding of the problem set. What about the solution from a high level? How do you start managing to gain the full visibility and also be able to control to turn those dials and govern throughout this ecosystem? Shoemaker: Youve hit on my two favorite words. When we talk about management, it starts with visibility and control. You have to be able to see everything. Whether its physical or virtual or in a cloud, you have to be able to see it and, at some point, you have to be able to control its behavior to really benet. Once you marry that with standards and automation, you start reaping the benets of what cloud and virtualization promise us. To get to the new levels of management, weve got to do a better job. Gardner: Weve looked at the scale of the problem. Lets look at the scale of the solution. This isnt something that you can buy out of a box. Tell me what HP brings in terms of its breadth and scope that have a direct relationship to the scope and breadth of the solution itself. Shoemaker: Again, there is no silver bullet here. There is no one application. Its going to take you all the way from the planning phase, to development, to testing and load testing, to infrastructure as a service (IaaS). You stand at the hardware and start building the management pieces and the platform that provide the underlying application that you develop on and then run and assure that service for whoever your consumer is.
  • 4. Nobody does that. Theres not one product and theres not going to be one product for any period of time. We'd love to get there and certainly we're going to do everything we can to make it easier. The great thing about what HP brings to the table is that in every one of those areas I mentioned, there is an industry-leading solution that we're integrating to give you that control across your entire breadth of management that you need to be successful in todays new infrastructure, which is cloud and virtualization on top of physical. Gardner: Back on May 11, HP had a fairly large set of news releases, the delivery of some new products, as well as some vision, and CSA. The CSA products and services are parts of that. Perhaps you could give us a little bit of an idea of the philosophy behind CSA and how that ts into this larger set of announcements. Listened to customers Shoemaker: CSA is the product of several years of actually delivering cloud. Some of the largest cloud installations out there run on HP software right now. We listened to what our customers would tell us and took a hard look at the reference architecture that we created over those years that encompassed all these different elements that you could bring to bear in a cloud and started looking, how to bring that to market and bring it to a point where the customer can gain benet from it quicker. We want to be able to come in, understand the need, plug in the solution, and get the customer up and running and managing the cloud or virtualization inside that cloud as quickly as possible, so they can focus on the business value of the application. The great thing is that weve got the experience. Weve got the expertise. Weve got the portfolio. And, weve got the ability to manage all kinds of clouds, whether, as I said, its IaaS or platform as a service (PaaS), that your software's developed on, or even a hybrid solution, where you are using a private cloud along with a public cloud that actually bursts up, if you dont want to outlay capital to buy new hardware. We have the ability, at this point, to tap into Amazons cloud and actually let you extend your data center to provide additional capacity and then pull it back in on a per-use basis, connected with the rest of your infrastructure that we manage today. The other cloud that we are talking about is a combination of physical and virtual. Think about a solution that maybe didnt t well in a virtual or a cloud environment -- databases, for example, high IO databases. We would be able to bridge the physical and the virtual, because we manage, maintain, and build with the same toolsets on the physical and virtual side. Gardner: I mentioned earlier that these are the same problems that large enterprises, managed service providers, even SMBs that are looking towards outsourcing services are all facing. Is
  • 5. there like a low-lying fruit here, a place to start across these different types of organizations or maybe specic to them? Where do you start applying the management in this sort of total sense? Shoemaker: Again, it goes back to visibility and control. A lot of customers that we talk to today are already engaged in a virtualization play and in bringing virtualization into their data centers and putting on top of the physical. They have a very large physical presence as well. Most of them are using a disparate set of tools to try to manage all those different silos of data. The rst thing is to gain that visibility and control by bringing in one solution that can help you manage all of your servers, network, and storage as one unit, whether physical or virtual. Then, move all of your day-to-day task via automation into that system to take the burden off of your IT up schemes. Gardner: If we make this approach either through standards or standard methodologies and implementations or references as both the service provider and the enterprise, does that give us some sort of a whole greater than the sum of the parts when it comes to management? Shoemaker: Yeah, I think so. Certainly, from a scale and utilization perspective, we denitely have more synergies, if we are acting as one. So the ability to move things around, the ability to make sure all of the standards are being upheld, things that are being built or being built in the standards, and having that assurance of being able to see all of these different compliance issues for them become problems. Gardner: Okay, so should enterprises be asking their managed service providers (MSPs) about the management they are using? Shoemaker: Absolutely. If you are looking at an MSP, that MSP should be able to give you the same visibility and control that you have internally. Gardner: From the May 11 news, give us a little recap about what you came to the market with in CSA. Is this product and services or just products? How does the mix t? Best in class Shoemaker: We announced CSA on May 11, and we're really excited about what it brings to our customers. What we are able to do is bring our best-in-class, industry-leading products together and build a solution that allows you to control, build, and manage a cloud. Weve taken the core elements. If you think about a cloud and all the different pieces, there is that engine in the middle, resource management, system management, and provisioning. All those things that make up the central pieces are what we're starting with in CSA. Then, depending on what the customer needs, we bolt on everything around that. We can even use the customers investments in their own third-party applications, if necessary and if desired.
  • 6. Gardner: Lets look at some examples. I'm interested in understanding this concept of total management, the visibility to control across physical, virtual, and various cloud permutations. Give me an idea of how this physical to virtual scenario works and how different types of applications, maybe transactional and web services based ones, can benet. Shoemaker: As I mentioned before, one of the examples we use is a database, a high IO database with lot of reads...