Over the past few years, we have seen the cloud and the virtualization radically changing the IT world. It has driven significant changes in the way we store data, handle it, harness it, and leverage it.
In fact, if I would say that virtualization has changed the entire datacenter game play, it won’t be wrong at all! IT administrators have become more comfortable with modern computing techniques, to the extent that they even do not realize how much they have invested into it. With millions and trillions on the table for projects in this field.
A recent Gartner article suggests that spending on public cloud services will reach $109 billion this year, up from $91 billion from last year’s spending. And it’s going to double to $207 billion by 2016. Calling it a “shadow IT”, end users are implementing their own CRM solution with a simple credit card swipe, while enterprises build and test an app on Amazon instead of internally on their infrastructure. Where is this leading to? Data leak. PwC data suggests that giant-size enterprises leak as much as 30% of their IT budget to the cloud. This leads to less control in CIO’s kitty and reduced IT ability to govern, secure, and maintain compliance. So, what can be done to handle this data leakage and control loss? Well, companies like VMware are working on developing some viable cloud operating models that not only help keeping IT projects in-house, but also reduce the corporate risk for security and compliance.
The VMWare’s New Cloud Operating Model helps build a private cloud that is cost competitive, attract apps to stay in-house, and support a larger server-to-admin ratio. It helps developers and operations (DevOps) remain untangled from each other’s day-to-day operations, which is significant for any IT enterprise. Not only this, VMware also suggests that any enterprise with more than 50 virtual machines in the cloud should host those virtual machines internally. But how to do this? What role IT has to play here? Well, it is quite understood that building a private cloud is not an overnight task. And for this, IT needs to transform itself both organizationally and technically. You would rather follow a pre-defined approach for this. Let’s discuss how.
Three main aspects here are Infrastructure, Application, and Governance; you have to focus on all of them in a phased manner. Starting with infrastructure focus, you have to build the foundation of your virtualization infrastructure. A sophisticated management tool like vCenter Operation may help you to set up, automate, and control the infrastructure operations. You may also want to use provisioning and orchestration tool like vCloud Director.
After having infrastructure set up, you’ll need to build services that attract your business units to load their apps on your infrastructure instead of public cloud services. Using a self-service portal, create designs for the applications with options to save, update and redeploy over and over again—across development, test and production systems. Remember, this is the most important phase to land apps on your infrastructure, and remain in control. Make sure that you create compelling end user services will attract users and apps to your infrastructure.
Finally comes the governance focus, where the CIOs have the most important role to play. They have to track costs, service performance, labor costs, infrastructure costs, and almost everything that helps entire organization to better rationalize what services to keep in-house vs. outsourcing. While it is tedious to track and manage everything, once you get it going, it will reward you by keeping the business moving forward as fast as you wanted to.