01 Oct

VMware’s Cloud Management Strategy

VMware has steadily become a major player in the Cloud Management arena, increasing its market share gradually year on year.

VMware has adopted a multi-dimensional approach to the notion of managing the software defined enterprise, focusing on Operations, Automation and IT Business Management. According to IDC, this unified strategy has propelled VMware into a leading position in the Cloud Management space where it has dominated over 20 percent of the market share since 2012.

As part of its strategy to move away from offering point solutions, VMware leads its engagements around suite of capabilities. Specifically around cloud management, the suite on offer is currently branded as the vRealize product family.

VMware Cloud Management Architecture

VMware vRealize Suite Architecture

Operations
One of the core fundamentals of an architecture that is designed from the ground up to embrace change, is that agility is gained without loss of control, safety, security and compliance. VMware’s focus around an analytics driven intelligent operations framework can address this challenge.

As illustrated above, the core properties of intelligent IT operations are around Performance, Capacity, Configuration, Compliance and the ability to leverage unstructured data to gain deeper visibility into the environment.

IT and Business Value Convergence

In the current climate, IT organisations, more than ever, need to clearly demonstrate their impact on revenue; while exposing the true cost of IT. With VMware’s vRealize Business solution, this can be rapidly achieved. Additionally vRealize Business gives IT organisations the financial insight they need to defend decisions around where workloads are placed. vRealize Business, makes it possible to see a cost comparison around private and public cloud deployment models. This enables organisations to make intelligent decisions around where workloads are place.

Automation

While VMware has some work to do around evolving the Automation piece of the puzzle, it is incredibly simple to layer vRealize Automation (vRA) technology on top of vSphere in order to deploy a vSphere based Infrastructure As a Service. For most things outside of vSphere, vRealize Orchestrator acts as a glue to give vRA a significant level of extensibility. However, with additional extensibility comes more complexity and VMware has some work to do in this area. Having said that, compared to some other solutions out there, normally, you shouldn’t need a bus load of consultants to make vRA work for your organisation.

14 Apr

Cloud Automation

As technology has become an integral part of most businesses, increasingly organisations have recognised an agile IT infrastructure is essential to their success going forward. As discussed in previous posts, due to the new normal market conditions IT organisations need to meet business requirements quickly. However, that’s no longer enough. IT organisations also need to develop the capability to anticipate upcoming business trends and adjust their posture accordingly. Organisations that recognise this need, are actively seeking to  reduce the “Human Latency” factor and streamline their processes wherever possible.

I have come across several organisations recently where the need for automation hasn’t been fully recognised resulting in a situation where manual tasks, configurations and other pesky and repetitive non-value adding activities, take time resulting in delays, generating errors and inconsistencies. The following issues feature in such organisations.

  1. The culture of hoarding and general over-provisioning of resources is pervasive leading to lack of efficiency.
  2. Lines of businesses and various departments tend to bypass IT and provision their own infrastructures leading to loss of control.
  3. Unauthorised use of public and private cloud resources is the norm and often unknown to IT, leading to potential loss of valuable intellectual property.
IT Transformation

Image commissioned by EMC Global Services.

In contrast, enterprises that are moving forward with automation investing in technologies such as vRealize Automation from VMware, have moved significantly towards:

  1. Transforming their culture to that of just-in-time and just-right provisioning and consumption model.
  2.  Self-service and on-demand access to resources leading to a better “churn-rate” in resource usage improving asset utilisation.
  3. Getting out of the way of business agility while retaining full control.
  4. Transforming the IT organisation from builders of infrastructure to broker of services and innovation centres of excellence.

In order to successfully move towards a X-as-a-Service delivery model, businesses will need to re-engineer their internal processes and in some case restructure their teams. Without this, automation aspirations can prove extremely costly and potentially not feasible. This is not necessarily a problem technology alone can fix.