How are you managing your new virtualized IT infrastructure?
If you are a data center manager or administrator, the chances are pretty good that your IT organization is running a Network Operations Center (NOC) with a firm hand on the pulse of the networking elements that comprise the lifeline of any computing environment. Or, possibly your organization has moved to a more geographically distributed approach with a Global Operations Center (GOC). While effective to varying degrees, these operations approaches have their limitations when applied to transformative technologies such as virtualization and cloud computing.
Enterprises, service providers, and other organizations are all moving to virtual data centers, or cloud architectures, including the new software-defined data center, to obtain the well-documented benefits of agility, efficiency, and cost control. But the move to these new architectures also challenges conventional management tools and processes for assuring the effective operations of the data center. The need to improve data center operations is leading to the new concept of the cloud operations center (CLOC). Continue reading →
What is storage-industry leader EMC doing to simplify and automate management in its data center?
EMC IT is deploying EMC, VMware, and partner management automation technologies to simplify operations in its data centers. This effort includes installing new products, adopting new processes, and changing roles to further evolve a private cloud model.
EMC practices what it preaches—and uses what it creates. EMC IT is leveraging EMC as well as third-party enterprise management, automation, and orchestration technologies to discover and manage performance across complex virtual server, network, and storage in a private cloud environment.
These infrastructure management technologies and the changes they bring to the global EMC IT structure would be unwieldy if not directed by sound principles. An internal-customer orientation with better services as a goal guides the EMC IT changes to the many areas that comprise its infrastructure management environment. An internal governance team makes technology decisions with the entire IT organization in mind. This approach sets a good foundation for the present and for adopting new technologies in the future. Continue reading →
How does converged infrastructure get you to a cloud environment?
The IT industry is constantly evolving with visionaries leading the way for technology vendors to follow. Some innovations like storage tiering (e.g. EMC FAST) improve basic functions, making storage administrators more productive. Other innovations, like unifying management of converged infrastructure that combines compute, networking, and storage into a single, optimized computing solution, disrupt normal IT processes and administrators’ roles.
The data center is on the road from virtualization to cloud and beyond (e.g. the software-defined data center). Adopting new approaches like converged infrastructure with unified management can bring cloud services within reach. Unified management moves IT away from the time-consuming, repetitive manual provisioning processes used to provide infrastructure needed by new applications. Furthermore, data centers with converged infrastructure that replaces remedial actions with automation are better positioned to implement cloud models. Continue reading →
How do you provide service assurance in your virtualized data center or cloud?
Read any blog, online article, or hard copy publication about the IT industry and you will likely see much about the future of IT. But, it is the every-day challenges and victories that often determine success in the long run.
While the industry considers more logical abstractions to further loosen the ties between business processes and physical infrastructure, IT management needs to assure ongoing application availability and performance in virtual and cloud deployments with a high rate of data growth. IT needs solutions that provide a complete picture of data center health across compute, network, and storage.
Data protection has long been thought of as somewhat of a necessary evil like life insurance. Throw money at the possibility that something will go wrong and pray that it never does. However, with cloud computing models and the concept of IT-as-a-service, data protection can now contribute directly to the value of the data center as well as to the bottom line.
Most organizations use numerous technologies to protect application data across primary, replica, and backup storage, as well as archive systems. Trying to manage a mixed data storage environment without an effective data protection management strategy makes applying a uniform chargeback to these systems almost impossible.
As IT transitions to a fully operational private cloud, effective ways to measure and meter data protection services across the environment need to be put into place. Data center managers need mechanisms to differentiate between service levels offered to the organization, and to justify and apply chargeback to business units.