VMworld Barcelona Says Hola To The Future: IT As A Service

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its annual customer/partner get-togethers, the Barcelona edition of  VMworld represents a significant step forward in VMware’s post-virtualize-everything ambitions. Somewhat buried among the various dot releases – VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8, VMware vCenter Log Insight 1.5, and VMware IT Business Management Suite 8.0 Advanced and Enterprise – was a new offering, VMware IT Business Management Suite 1.0 Standard Edition.

“IT as a Service: this is the mission of VMware,” said Mark Leake, Director of Product Marketing, VMware. “Today when you look at management, we’re starting to address all these different personas in IT, and outside… we’re no longer just a platform provider”.

Using IDC numbers, the company said it leads the worldwide cloud systems management software market with 20.5% share. It said it also leads the Big 4 (BMC, CA, HP and IBM) and other “cloud era” management vendors, gaining share in a market that grew 60.5% to $1.2B last year.

ITaaS is leading the move to the cloud, growing at over 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Another report claims it can save health care organizations $11 billion or 9% of their costs, over the next three years, while US government agencies and departments have identified $2.5 billion in IT savings that can be achieved through ITaaS by fiscal 2015.

We’re now at a point where IT can no longer hide behind the complexity of IT environments, and where IT organizations need to deliver on new consumer expectations of service delivery if they are to have the agility and efficiency to deliver at the speed of business, noted Paul Chapman, VMware Vice President Global Infrastructure and Cloud Operations, in the most recent of a series of ITaaS blogs. He used the company’s Applications Operations group as an example of how the transformation by shifting to a focus on agility and automation can deliver game changing results.

By the middle of 2012 the 600-plus developers and quality assurance engineers in AppOps were faced with slow manual provisioning, disruptions, and cascading delays creating risks and potentially costing millions of dollars. They chose to replace and automate the provisioning process, and with the first phase – deploying basic automated provisioning and management capabilities – completed, have achieved the following benefits:

-reduced provisioning time from 4-6 weeks to 36 hours: on track to achieve goal of <24 hours;

-increased productivity of 600 developers by as much as 20%;

-improved service quality so that AppOpps can now consistently say “Yes” to all project requests in the time required;

-saved the business $6 million per year in infrastructure and operating costs; and,

-moved people to higher-order, more meaningful IT roles, e.g. blueprinting and automation design.

VMware’s majority owner, EMC, started its ITaaS journey back in 2011, aided and abetted by its move to virtualization back in 2004. Through 2012, maintenance spending dropped from 80% of total IT outlays to 58%; while “innovation spending” increased from 20% to 42%. The company also logged $157 million in capital expense avoidance, and $66 million in operational expense savings. Furthermore, infrastructure consolidation resulted in a 34% increase in energy efficiency.

According to VMware – and its more than 250,000 customers and 25,000 partners – the journey to the cloud and IT as a Service encompasses three phases: IT Production, an infrastructure focus; Business Production, an application focus; and IT as a Service, a business focus. A recent customer survey found that 74% had surpassed the first phase and those that had moved to the third phase were seeing significant benefits, including:

-26% CapEx savings through consolidation (IT Production);

-74% OpEx savings through automation (Business Production) plus game change through new service models (IT as a Service);

-37% more responsive to IT requests;

-while saving 30% of both operations and development staff time;

-while increasing revenues 26% due to new applications and IT services;

-investing 50% of their budgets in innovation;

-able to secure nearly 66% more budget than their less-mature counterparts; and,

-recognized an average ROI of 229% for their virtualization investments in 2013, compared to 181% of those in initial phase (181% IT product; 192% business production; and 229% ITaaS).

There are a number of reasons why VMware is ideally positioned to take – and maintain – its lead in managing the future of IT, the cloud and ITaaS, said Leake. “We are the leader in the virtualization space.” As the move to virtualization accelerates, the spread of private, public and hybrid cloud will also grow, and organizations will be seeking to leverage that, automate, add agility, but do it all within a framework that ensures compliance.

“Customers look to us… you delivered the platform… so they’re willing to go with us”. Customers are looking for choice and flexibility, and not to be locked in. “We’re very big on choices… we are optimized for vSphere, but we also design for heterogeneity.”

Looking ahead, Leake said there are no shortage of areas to focus on. While security is predominantly the concern of EMC’s RSA subsidiary, it’s a major area of concern for VMware customers, and something the company needs to tie into. Other areas include more management capabilities, a fast and lightweight way to consume services, i.e. SaaS, and integration, pulling it all together.

Under The Hood

vCloud Automation Center 6.0:

-Service catalog provides a centralized approval and entitlement mechanism for infrastructure, application and all other types of IT services

-Visibility into the cost of VMs and the utilization of shared resources across internal infrastructure and public IaaS

-Accelerate application and change deployment by automating the application release process;

-Accelerate workload deployments by support for DevOps automation tools

-Create “any” IT service in minutes (e.g., storage-as-a service or backup-as-a-service) in addition to existing out of-box service capabilities for IaaS, PaaS and DaaS

-Support for vCloud Hybrid Service and RedHat OpenStack

-Integration with vCNS for dynamic networking and services (private, isolated, and routed networks on demand, as well as load balancers)

-vSphere interoperability: Storage DRS, vSAN, SRM

vCenter Operations 5.8 and vCenter Log Insight 1.5:

-Enhanced monitoring of Microsoft applications

-OOTB dashboards for Tier 1 apps (MS SQL, Exchange)

-Support for clusters (MSC)

-New storage analytics capabilities

-OOTB storage dashboards

-Visibility – physical storage infrastructure and data paths (HBA, Fabric, Arrays)

-Hyper-V support

-Leverage existing SCOM implementation or Hyperic

-Amazon AWS Support includes support for EC2, Elastic Block Store, Auto Scaling Group, Elastic Load Balancing and Elastic MapReduce

vCenter Log Insight 1.5:

-Scale up and query optimization

-Integration of Active Directory-based authentication

-Content pack creation and management framework

IT Business Management Suite 1.0 Standard Edition:

-Focused on Head of Infrastructure needs

-Enhances IaaS by automatically building and integrating rate cards into vCloud Automation Center 6.0

-Leverages data from vCenter and combines with VMware Benchmarking

-Meters and computes the cost of a VM and utilization of shared resources in minutes

-Compares Private to Public Cloud options



Author: Steve Wexler

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