Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Serafima Al, Janakiram MSV, John Katrick

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Reining in Enterprise IT Management Costs

Reducing support costs is a key goal of CIOs

Simplifying IT administration is a goal for CIOs to reduce manual intervention while running day-to-day operations with the primary goal of reducing the percentage of their IT budgets spent on maintenance. The IT management costs of web companies like Google and Facebook (which cater to tens of millions of users) are extremely low when compared to the size of their infrastructures. A huge advantage they and other super-efficient companies share is gained by 1) a mostly virtualized compute workloads 2) very little legacy infrastructure and 3) most applications written to follow common patterns optimized to take full advantage of virtualized resources. Having learned from managing compute infrastructures, these companies have extended this best practice to managing storage and network resources, too.

A number of enterprises are adopting cloud infrastructures with the aim of replicating similar efficiencies in their own IT departments. The challenge these organizations face is that they are hobbled by supporting legacy systems that must co-exist with new cloud architectures. Traditional approaches to IT management require IT operators and administrators to navigate among multiple systems and agents to collect and analyze information necessary to maintain high availability and performance. Most of the IT management products enterprises use do not offer integrated capabilities to manage these new environments.

Consider as an example the enterprise challenge that has arisen from recent major changes to retail businesses. Using a multi-channel approach by combining online properties, stores and mobile devices is crucial to improving customer experience while also increasing revenues. This approach requires use of composite applications combining various components of an IT environment, including supply chain, web-to-store integration and order management. Managing this environment that combines traditional IT with virtualized and cloud infrastructure brings up new challenges to IT operations.

For an integrated enterprise IT environment, IT management tools should provide optimal detection, management and fix of problems as follows:

  1. Detection: Before end-users even observe problems, IT management tools should generate alerts. These alerts could include applications that cross a warning threshold for response times or transactions speeds that drop below a limit. Notified of anomalies, IT operations personnel can take steps to manage the process of fixing the components causing these problems.
  1. Management: After getting alerts, IT Operations have enough information to review traditional IT, virtualized and cloud resources together. They can leverage a consolidated IT Management tool to view the entire infrastructure through a "single pane of glass." Operational analysts are able to drill down into various components of the entire IT infrastructure, including tracking transactions, application servers, ERP applications and end-user experiences. This allows them to look into the health of traditional IT and cloud applications to identify components that need to be fixed.
  1. Fix: Once the components causing the problem are identified, the revised parameters should be recorded on the Change and Configuration Management Database (CCMDB) through the same interface. A provisioning tool should be leveraged to create patterns of composite applications targeted to be deployed to virtualized hardware and supported hypervisors. The updated parameters are then recorded and stored in CCMDB, forming the basis of future deployments.

Similar detect/manage/fix activities could be followed for network and storage resources. Particularly critical to the success of these strategies are the insight into end user experience and the capability to automatically respond with capacity, availability and performance management.

As businesses change to adopt cloud computing solutions, enterprise IT support operations are increasingly challenged to handle more complex environments. Managing an integrated IT environment requires a single solution with visibility into application performance. The combination of technologies demands that solutions work across multiple environments to pull together diverse applications and data. This kind of insight enables management of cloud, virtualized and hybrid environments that run side by side with traditional IT environments. It is important to take the right approach so that business change is not hobbled by an inflexible IT infrastructure. Matching appropriate technology solutions to increasingly complex business challenges allows an optimum business outcome.

Several products exist in this space to assist enterprise customers including: CA, Compuware, HP and IBM. I have reviewed several from IBM including SmartCloud Application Performance Management, SmartCloud Monitoring, SmartCloud Control Desk, SmartCloud Provisioning, IBM Netcool Network Management and SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center. While each has unique strengths, the integration of these products is what really allows IBM to offer customers highly differentiated solutions for effectively managing new IT environments.

While enterprise customers have several goals for 2013, managing integrated environments should be high on the priority list. Choosing the appropriate vendor with an appropriate integrated portfolio is important to meet enterprise goals of managing infrastructures with the efficiencies of Google or Facebook. One vendor whose solutions are well worth considering in this regard is IBM.

Disclaimer:  IBM is one of my customers.

This post was first published on Robustcloud.com. Republished with permission.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...