Tag Archive | "Cloud"

DR to the cloud

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, DR

I was thinking the about computer system recovery, mostly because I was/am trying to fix a computer at home.   It started me thinking about the companies I have seen over the years with the blank check approach to DR and the ones I have seen with the piggy bank approach.  It’s interesting, I’ve seen the companies that wanted/needed 100% uptime, but they are in denial of the costs associated to that level of uptime.   Anyways, I was wondering how the cloud (a service provider) might be a solution for some types of DR for those companies with little to no budgets for IT.

Let’s use a small company as the example, they don’t have data centers, they have a room with ‘servers’ in it.  A file server, email server, company web server, database server, etc.   They have some spare parts in the closet, but not everything.  The servers are under warranty, so replacements are available but it takes some time to get the parts ordered and shipped.   The company isn’t in a situation that they are ready to deal with the costs associated to seamless DR, but they do want limited downtime.

If you think about it, if you had a server that was the company web server, email server or a database of some sort, and you had some type of hardware failure like the motherboard getting fried (and no spare available).   If you have good documented procedures for restoration of the server, you could hit up a cloud provider to get a OS provisioned and then at least set up a temporary “server” while the other server (or parts) are being ordered/fixed.  If you have some level of virtualization adoption, this type of DR might be even easier.    The point is, if you are on a low budget, you could test out these type of DR scenario’s up front and then not have to have the hardware costs associated to DR.

With the amount of providers out there that are making it easier and easier to click a few times and then have an OS provisioned and available quickly, using the cloud as an alternative DR is becoming more of an option.   There are some providers that are making canned configurations available which will make it even easier.   Anyways, I have to go, I need to get back to fixing my computer problem, the CEO (wife) is complaining about how the IT department (me) is not responsive enough to fixing the outage.   She has important web surfing to do 🙂

Meet the Service-Driven Data Center: 5 Key Traits – PCWorld

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, PCWorld, Service Level

Many organizations are asking whether it makes more sense to move their enterprise to the cloud – or bring cloud computing into their enterprise. And a surprising number are discovering that the best, most practical answer may be “both.”   What does it mean to bring cloud computing into the data center?  (read more…)

Pinning service management hopes on the cloud – NetworkWorld

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, ITSM, NetworkWorld

Some enterprise IT executives struggling with their service management initiatives are finding hope in the cloud.
That’s the upshot of 1,000 senior enterprise IT decision-makers surveyed independently by Vanson Bourne on HP’s behalf. In a survey report issued last week, “IT State of the Nation 2010,” Vanson Bourne notes that 41% of … (read more…)

Business in the Cloud – BSM Brings Value Back into the Data Center

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, Service Level, Service Providers

Business going to the Cloud can be the Catalyst for IT to Measure and Communicate Value!

How many of us have heard what a road block IT is, how costly / what a mystery IT is and IT cannot communicate value to the business leaving frustration in the organization. It’s sort of like the Mars and Venus thing and “if they only understood me better” debate. It’s OK to laugh, we all suffer these discussions, I too am guilt – the makings of a good Dilbert cartoon no doubt ending with Catbert reigning down his wrath of mandates. However, with all sourcing decisions, it is about creating change in an environment where change is difficult and should be embraced. IT has the opportunity to do just that and be the hero in the end. This is a good sourcing option as it creates the change that will drive down costs that are difficult for in-house IT to drive.

Moving from technology silos to managing and communicating in terms of services is easier than one thinks. It does require different management approaches and technology, measuring in terms of service and yes, sometimes the right investment can save money in the end while creating value. A recent NetworkworkWorld Article has a good quote from a good friend of mine and Forrester analyst, Glenn O’Donnell, “invest in analysis, not monitoring”. The monitoring data is required, but means nothing when not related to other bits of techno data and turned into information by which to perform useful analysis about services and the value delivered to the business. This becomes ever more challenging when in a mixed environment, physical, virtual, cloud, and when many management tools exist as well.

CIO also published an article yesterday “Why IT Costs Must Come Out of the Black Box — Now” describing similar requirements for service measuring and service transparency. The lack of transparency drives the business to seek alternatives where they contract for a service and know the cost. What is often left out is the definition of good service levels, which is a topic for a separate blog. The new service appears cheaper and why is that? Economies of scale is one piece, shared service, ……the second piece is they are very standard, non custom, no configuration, minimal choices, if any, services. Standardization that is difficult to impose from in-house without the cost transparency, service measurements and links to business priorities. This is not a fair apples to apples comparison of services, however, a standardization many IT organizations have difficulty implementing as an in-house provider without the measuring of services and transparency, but possible moving forward.

Instead of challenging the business in moving to a cloud provider, I suggest embracing it and offer that history will repeat itself with many of these start up providers bringing the service back in-house and providing the opportunity to be the hero, improve service quality, reduce costs and communicate value. Many will fail due to lack of good service level agreements, lack of the business asking for them and collapse or dissatisfaction of the business with a single costly service impacting event.

Embrace the opportunity to do a few things in the meantime:

1. Standardize, drive down costs for services and technologies that do not require customization
2. Measure the provider, start to deliver service levels and views of transparency of in and outsourced services
3. Develop and Implement the service view and transparency into the “black box” of IT
4. Invest in the analytic measuring and viewing technology, less on the commodity monitoring – explore open source

When Outsourcing Creates Good Change – Embrace the Cloud Providers – Consolidate Tools and Invest in becoming a Service Measuring Organization Communicating Value!

Accidental Cloud Ldr–Stealth Cloud Followers–Which Cloud are you On?

Tags: Availability, Business Service Management, Cloud, Performance, Service Level

Are you leading your organizations cloud roll-out or are you reacting to it? It is happening, better to lead than follow!

The WorkloadIQ post and the article Richard references on the Stealth Cloud from a CIO article reminds me of a previous artilce about the Accidental Cloud Leader from a Networkworld article. Both of these articles point to the cloud is coming, the choice facing IT organizations is whether to lead, control costs, mitigate risk, deliver quality service and manage costs or to follow with rising costs, reactive IT, high risk and poor service quality. Richard hits the nail on the head, IT is traditionally change averse and insecure with the concept of outsourcing services. Technology is evolving faster and faster and the very organization that should adopt, deploy and lead with technology continues to lag.

In almost all cases when it comes to sourcing decisions they are done to create change that an organization has difficulty bringing to the organization, not for cost reasons. Commodity functions are best suited for outsourcing, driving standards and managing costs. However, outsourcing the service does not remove accountability for managing service delivery.

Cloud providers are popping up faster than service providers duiring the dotcom boom days of web hosting, application hosting, etc. There are several key factors to consider as pointed out in these articles and blog posts:

* Availability of service
* Risk of a secure service
* Reliability of the service provider
* Cost of support

Availability of Service and Reliability of the service provider

The dotcom bust of service providers in the early 2000 era came down to lack of mature management processes. Many providers today are one significant outage away from being out of business. Is this who you trust your services to? Who’s managing and leading this due diligence in contracting for the services in the leader / follower scenario?

When seeking service providers, it is important to understand their management processes and capabilities. You do not want to define them, but the lack of management transparency and process indicates maturity of the service provider and their ability to delivery availbility of services. One thing to note here is not to ask for inappropriate service levels and/or penalties. Investigate their typical services, leverage the cloud and service providers for the commodity and take advantage of the economies of scale they offer.

Risk of a secure service

Security as an obstacle in going to the cloud or leveraging an as-a-service provider is, quite frankly, IT noise. As described in these articles and blogs, this is the service providers business and they know it is their number one objection. In many cases, they may offer a far more secure environment than most IT organizations and thus the rise of IT insecurity and noise. However, again, it is an area that must be investigated as it relates to the mature management practices of a service provider.

Cost of support

Organizations are expressing frustration with their IT organizations as a perceived obstacle to agility and innovation when they go to the cloud directly. As Richard’s blog points out, this costs your IT organization more in the long run to support, the service will go down, the business will call support for help, the provider most likely may not be reliable and in the worst case, data and security can be breached.

Management generally lags new technology and this cycle to go to the service providers directly for a defined service and defined cost is more appealing to the business. Management lags both with IT internally and with the service providers compounding the risk of an outage or security breach.

Novell Operations Center (a WorkloadIQ solution) provides the ability to monitor, manage and measure technology services both internally as well as the performance and availability of the service provider insuring quality service delivery. Service enabling your infrastructure could not be easier today and would provide the control with agility your organization is screaming for from your IT organization. Management does not have to be an afterthought and the right platform can future-proof your services with technology adoption agility!

Check out these articles and then answer: Are you following or leading your organizations cloud rollout because it is happening and coming . . . Are you Stealth or Leading? What are your challenges and concerns?

I See Your 10 and Raise You 4 . . . . .

Tags: Business Service Management, Cloud, ITIL, Service Providers, Trends

Tis the season for Vegas, gambling and the Gartner Data Center Conference and thus many top 10 Predictions for the coming year. I’m not a gambler, take these as you may, but for those who know me might say she might just have a bit of challenge the status quo in her and a knack for blowing things up from time to time. As a bit of a researcher of the IT management industry, these are just my musings to add to recent flurry of top 10 lists from my friends on WorkloadIQ and Baseline that sparked my imagination of further possibilities. Here goes, a tad controversial, I welcome the discussion!

  • ITIL has reached its height in the America’s and ITIL will begin to wane in conversation. Data center efficiency is an expected given to the busines and are tiring of investing in inward focused programs and are demanding a focus on the top line versus the bottom line and deployment of agile technology for growth.
  • ITIL will begin its next revision to release late to the wave in late 2012 in reaction to waning interest. Second rev took 20 years, 3rd rev took 6 years and the 4th rev is late. Service Value will take ITIL center stage in the 4th revision in advancing ITIL up the maturity curve from silos of processes, integrated processes, a service life cyle to finally focusing on the Service Value contribution.
  • Service Providers will experience double digit growth driving the growth in IT Management Technology spend leading to new licensing models with lower up front costs and longer term revenue sharing with the vendors. The tide begins to turn with the customer to the vendors shifting toward the Service Providers. Growth in the Management market and the Service Provider market is driven by virtualization, private cloud and public cloud deployment.
  • Management of the private/public cloud and virtualization is the make or break key to value and success, whether internal or external. Service Providers that ignore management are one outage away from being out of business and data centers that ignore management are in the process of being outsourced.

I’m not a gambler, won’t bet my house on these, but having been witness to the same new technology, IT Management and Sourcing cycles for >25 years (I started working IT when I was twelve I agree with Richard’s blog that we are at a tipping point. Sourcing options become appealing when the level of frustration for change is high and we are in a perfect storm of agile technology, sourcing options and an increasing focus on growth and innovation.

Those who embrace new technology and sourcing options and harness the power with agility for driving value with speed are those that will drive their industry. All you have to do is look at the annual F500 list and see who leads your industry and leads it by magnitudes greater than #4, 5, 6, etc. and you see those that lead with technology.

Which cloud does your data center choose to be on, the Cloud Leader or a Stealth Cloud Follower?

Driving Business Service Management with Private Cloud – BSMDigest

Tags: BSMDigest, Business Service Management, Cloud

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. (Read Full Article ….)