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Taking WorkloadIQ into the Future

What Makes a Workload Intelligent?

Written by Todd Swensen

With the launch of its WorkloadIQ strategy early in 2010, the intelligent workload management market quickly emerged as a major area of focus and investment for Novell. Since that initial stake in the ground, Novell has been working to refine its WorkloadIQ strategy and approach—and deliver products and solutions that provide a wide range of different intelligent workload management services and capabilities. So exactly where does WorkloadIQ stand after its first year? And more important, what types of intelligent workload management progress and innovation can Novell customers look forward to in the years to come?

Intelligent workload management enables IT organizations to manage and optimize computing resources in a policy-driven, secure and compliant manner across physical, virtual and cloud environments to deliver business services for end customers.

Before we explore these questions, it's probably useful to quickly review how WorkloadIQ fits into the intelligent workload management (IWM) picture. In a nutshell, IWM is a market category that exists to help IT organizations manage and optimize computing resources across physical, virtual and cloud environments—and do it all in a policy-driven, secure and compliant way. Of course, in a world where workloads need to move freely and securely among physical, virtual and cloud environments, it's no longer practical to develop complex rules engines and workflows that can work across every possible type of environment and infrastructure. Instead, it makes more sense to integrate identity-driven governance and compliance, IT service management, and business management services and controls inside the workloads themselves, which is ultimately what makes them intelligent. And that's exactly what Novell is working to do with WorkloadIQ.

Build, Secure, Manage, Measure—Into the Future

The WorkloadIQ approach divides IWM into four key lifecycle areas: Build, Secure, Manage and Measure. Perhaps the best way to understand exactly what WorkloadIQ can offer your organization today—and where it's headed in the future—is to take a closer look at each of the four areas.

Build: Enabling Intelligent, Portable Workloads

Workloads—and the operating systems that power them—need to possess certain characteristics and capabilities to work well across physical, virtual and cloud environments. The “Build” part of the WorkloadIQ approach focuses on providing those capabilities through SUSE Linux Enterprise and a variety of associated tools and solutions. Today, organizations are using SUSE Linux Enterprise to run production workloads in physical, virtual and cloud environments. Going forward, service packs could enable SUSE Linux Enterprise to reduce friction and add even more flexibility by storing additional intelligence. Enterprises are also using SUSE Studio and the SUSE Appliance Toolkit to simplify image creation, streamline application deployment, and build intelligent workloads for physical, virtual and cloud platforms. Upcoming versions of SUSE Studio could allow organizations to make workloads smarter by integrating additional identity and security services directly into pre-existing workloads, rather than building them from scratch. Together, these additions and enhancements will continue to make SUSE Linux Enterprise the ideal platform for building and running intelligent workloads across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

Secure: Extending Identity and Security Management Across Physical, Virtual, and Cloud Deployments

In a world where applications and services constantly shift between physical data centers, virtual infrastructures, and private or public clouds, you need solutions that can extend identity, access, compliance and security management to all of these different environments. Today, WorkloadIQ includes a range of solutions that allow you to attach identity and security management directly to portable workloads, apply consistent security capabilities within and around managed virtual images and workloads, and provide a wide range of policy-based identity and security solutions that extend to cloud environments. In the future, Novell intends to refine and expand these capabilities with potential new versions of Novell Identity Manager and Novell Sentinel, new versions of the Novell Compliance Management Platform and the Novell Cloud Security Service, and the addition of hosted identity and SaaS inspection services. Together, these Novell products can extend proven identity-driven services into the cloud—and lead the way toward complete SaaS and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) management and security solutions.

Manage: Simplifying and Unifying Data Center and Endpoint Management

WorkloadIQ management solutions fall into two broad categories—data center management and endpoint management. In the data center arena, WorkloadIQ is working to enable IaaS cloud adoption with policy-driven, self-managed private and public business service provisioning. The future of WorkloadIQ management also calls for extending new compliance and security management capabilities to the cloud and developing new tools for integrating Novell solutions with more third-party products. Many of these capabilities are expected to be delivered or enhanced through new versions of Novell Cloud Manager, the introduction of Novell Server Manager, and updates to PlateSpin Recon, PlateSpin Migrate, PlateSpin Protect and PlateSpin Forge.

On the endpoint management side, Novell is working to create a completely unified endpoint management experience across physical, virtual and cloud environments, and bring security and lifecycle management together into a single infrastructure. Additionally, alternative delivery models such as soft appliances and enabling new “endpoint management as a service” solutions have the potential to eliminate a great deal of operational complexity. In the future, these capabilities may be extended primarily through the new ZENworks platform and the addition of Novell Service Desk for IT Service Management.

Measure: Complete Business Service Management for Intelligent Workloads

In a diverse intelligent workload environment, the ability to measure workload performance and monitor security events in real time across the entire physical, virtual and cloud infrastructure becomes critically important—and the future of WorkloadIQ is focused on delivering those capabilities. This starts with expanded logging, auditing and reporting capabilities that provide detailed information about the productivity and usage of all your IT resources. It also includes building more real-time insight into your IT operations with the ability to monitor, measure and map established IT policies and processes across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Finally, Novell is constantly working to improve the tools that help you identify and understand all of the security and business risks hiding inside your IT organization—and provide real-time information about impending security risks. Novell is working to expand all of these capabilities—and continue to extend them to the cloud—through a new release of Novell Sentinel and Novell Operations Center.

Explore the Present and Future of WorkloadIQ

Novell obviously has a very full plate of new WorkloadIQ products and solutions, and it's virtually impossible to cover them all in a short article. But the important thing to remember is this: After one year, Novell is more committed than ever to its WorkloadIQ approach. That commitment is accelerating the progress and momentum of a long list of WorkloadIQ solutions that will continue to make your workloads more intelligent and break down the barriers between physical, virtual and cloud environments. Many of those solutions are slated to be available to you in the near future. So visit today. And start making WorkloadIQ a reality for your business.

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