Private cloud might be one of the best things to ever happen to Business Service Management. Private cloud inherently requires the company to be more focused on the needs of the business side of the organization, which leads directly to aligning IT performance with the business needs. Because of this, the move to private cloud is driving Business Service Management in many organizations.
Private cloud refers to enterprises turning their own internal IT into a cloud – not just a shared resource provided by virtualization but also metered usage, a standardized service catalog, and a self-service portal. So private cloud is really about defining that interface between IT and the business. With private cloud, the business can interact with IT in a more transparent way.
Business Service Management and private cloud are inextricably linked. In order to offer IT as a service to the business, you cannot simply build the foundation of a private cloud. Defining the service catalog template, exposing those services to business, allowing them to choose appropriate service levels, and monitor and manage them to ensure they are meeting service-level targets – those are all critical functions of a private cloud, and they force you to think in terms of business services.
By requiring the process of developing a service catalog and developing standardized business services, private cloud forces you to justify why you have these components in your service catalog. You need to meter private cloud usage because you need to be able to charge people for what they use. So you need to assign a cost to those business services, and that cost must have a business justification associated with it. Consequently, private cloud helps you justify why you operate certain services in IT, and this helps IT align itself to the business – making sure the services are bringing value to the business, not created just for creations sake.
There has been a hump to get over with virtualization. We have seen companies that have virtualized 20-30% of their workloads and then stopped. It is not because they decided not to go further, it is because they have done the easy 20-30%, the non-mission critical applications. Now they are struggling to virtualize the mission-critical applications that they run their businesses on. And that has been a huge challenge, because virtualization itself doesn’t get the job done. You need end-to-end Business Service Management to monitor, manage and control those applications.
You need strong monitoring in the cloud, strong measurement and strong SLAs, otherwise the business responsible for running that mission-critical application will never allow it to be virtualized. Private cloud is adding all of those extra IT service management capabilities that are necessary to make it viable to put mission-critical applications in the cloud.
About Benjamin Grubin
Benjamin Grubin is the Director of Data Center Management at Novell, responsible for the strategic direction and product portfolio that addresses data center infrastructure, cloud computing, and intelligent workload management worldwide. During the past 15 years he has served in a number of roles including engineering, consulting, and marketing.