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IT Operations – Are You Ready for Intelligent Workload Management?



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July 8, 2010 12:15 pm

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IT Operations often Maliced as a “Roadblock” – Time for Datacenter Redemption!

BSM is more of a “market” than a tool as is IWM, both with areas of focus that deliver the goal in the end. Both require the marrying of many IT metrics turning them into actionable information as well business aligning IT technology silo’s as services. Infrastructures supporting the market of IWM bring in the added complexity of portability, dynamic configurations, policy driven, identity aware, mixed environments (many outsourced to Cloud service providers), the likes IT operations and datacenters have yet to experience. Daunting no doubt.

The question becomes, will your Operations Center be the “roadblock” or the “catalyst” for agility with control, business alignment and responsiveness to take action in real-time?

Read on….first of several blogs to address the IT operational topics of Operate, Control and Deliver services in the new paradigm of Intelligent Workload Management…………….

Business Service Management addresses the 3 core focus areas of IT Operations:

  • Operate – Availability, Performance, Quality of Service – Customer Experience, Impact Aversion
  • Control – Compliance, Standards, Config Mgmt – Change & Standard Compliance, Impact Assessment
  • Deliver – Service Performance, Service Alignment – Business and Technology Performance Aligned

Fundamentally these are pillars to IT operations in meeting the demands of a policy driven, secure, mixed and dynamic infrastructure. IDC cites the high rate of change and complexity being brought to bear on IT operations as daunting to embrace with control with old management practices without losing the flexibility and benefits of the next generation infrastructure (research paper http://bit.ly/9cgtHD).

Business seeks outside providers when seeking “change” and when they view IT operations as the “obstacle” and the challenge with this short sided view is service levels are often overlooked putting the business in a high risk situation (covered in several of my previous blogs http://bit.ly/aUL1dx – Risky Business in the Clouds, SLAs Part 1 and 2). Outsourcing is never done for cost, always done for “change”. As a 25+ year veteran in this space, it’s time for management to go from a laggard and perceived obstacle to cutting edge “Value Add”. Yes, it is possible!

The complexity that a dynamic environment brings to business alignment with control requires IT Operations to leverage automation in managing the availability and configurations (to be covered individually in separate future blogs). What is required is real-time insight to take action and avert business impacting events, change control and compliance and service delivery driving innovation versus after the fact baseball stats or “IT Hero Metrics”. It takes a different approach to the same challenge in managing technology silo’s to business services.

As noted in the IDC Research Paper , “The Perfect Storm” is brewing for IT Operations. EMA just published a Service Impact Radar and did a good job of segmenting the various vendors based upon 3 criteria ( http://bit.ly/aHQ3Yf ):

  • Platforms – multi product solution, some build your own integration to the solution
  • Monitoring – niche performance & monitoring vendors for small to mid-market and those without monitoring
  • Overlay – those who bring the mixed environment together and offer good enough CMS, monitoring, etc.

So the choice in meeting today’s requirements becomes:

  • Are you invested in a single platform from a single vendor and do you wait for them to build the solution, fully integrated solution and vendor lock-in that gets you to IWM? or
  • Do you leverage current investments and just enough gap filling capabilities from the overlays to bring you to the holistic service view in mixed, dynamic environments today leveraging current investments? or
  • Do you just require some basic monitoring?

At the speed of change and the requirements to align services in complex, dynamic infrastructures and provide real-time responses can your IT Operations afford to wait for the platform vendors or do you seek the “glue” that can enable you today? Configurable, real-time and infrastructure agnostic solutions can enable your IT Operations to get there today and leap frog the competition, driving top line revenue and leveraging technology versus after the fact “scores”.

EMA noted 3 overlay management technologies that can take your IT Operations from “obstacle” to “enabler”. One that is a small, UK, privately funded organization, one that is deeply rooted in performance and predictive analytics and one with Novell that was cited as the pioneer in this market with CMS, automation, federation of metrics and real-time capabilities with the best integration (at the source federation, not data duplication).

Intelligent Workload Management and new infrastructures can be daunting to manage, but they do not have to be. I will expand upon each of the the above 3 operational pillars in separate blogs, however, configurable, real-time technology control and business alignment is available today! Stay Tuned…..more to come…..

Operations “Heros” in the Perfect Storm of Intelligent Workload Management!

Novell BSM http://bit.ly/drHFHH

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