Posts tagged BMC’s
Has your business already begun its cloud migration… and you were the last to know about it? In a nationwide role-playing event this afternoon, managers from BMC Software paired with independent analysts and members of the media, to recreate the hypothetical situation of a pharmaceutical company that had been planning a cloud migration, only to find its R&D division had already deployed its key application – and the business assets to go with it – to the public cloud.
This is the situation more and more businesses are facing: not moving their assets out of the data center and into a public or hybrid cloud, but rather gathering up those assets that have already been moved, and bringing them back under the firewall and back into compliance.
I am not an actor, though I’ve played one on stage. Today, I portrayed a junior member of the pharmaceutical firm’s R&D team (it’s been a long time since I’ve played a “junior” anything). Taking a page out of a real scenario I encountered, I threw a curve to the other members in the role-playing exercise. I played it out as though I had been the driving force toward the selection of a cloud service provider that would host R&D’s application while the IT department struggles with creating cost estimates and running simulations. In our scenario, IT had dragged its heels for close to a year, while R&D was already well under way.
But by “going rogue,” R&D was in danger of being found non-compliant with federal regulations on drug safety, at the very least, and in violation of several laws at most. I defended my “decision” by saying I had closer contact with this particular cloud company than with anyone at IT, and although they were in a foreign country, I could always wake them up (or their moms) at any hour of the day.
The exercise demonstrated the problems any organization faces where two departments find themselves on opposite sides of the same project, and at loggerheads over who’s in charge. While this could have been the optimum opportunity for BMC to demonstrate its Cloud Lifecycle Manager, instead the crew at BMC concentrated on the business and consulting services it provides to customers, which include real-life workshops (not role-playing exercises, like the one today) that often take the form of Gestalt therapy sessions.
If you’re considering one of these workshops for your own company, you might expect to come away from it having learned the following:
1. Migrate with the right intentions. The reasons companies cite for making their cloud migrations may actually differ from reality. Whereas pollsters have concluded the key reason is cost savings – especially the shift from capital to operating expenditures – in many organizations the factor is time. Many CSPs can provision an entire business department in about two days’ time, which certainly beats several months, especially for departments that have “gone rogue” like the one in our exercise.
But some of those CSPs aren’t exactly as ethical as your average Amazon or GoGrid. The allure of getting a big project in a next-to-now timeframe has driven some departments that would ordinarily rely on IT, to instead circumvent IT. This is dangerous for any number of reasons. Don’t let time compel you to take unnecessary risks.
2. Separate your customer-facing services from your internal ones. At the same time, it should not be the IT department’s sole job to design, implement, and market the business services that your enterprise may be delivering to your customer.
One of BMC’s partners in these workshops, supply chain management service JDA, reorganized itself recently with this clear goal in mind: Have one team face the public. This team, which was formed out of the old Managed Services division, became the Cloud Services division. John Frazier, JDA’s VP of Cloud Services, explained today that a business unit should have one customer. When an IT department is tasked with complete responsibility for cloud services, it ends up with two customers: its own company, and the one with which it does business.
3. Tether your internal and external services to one executive.
The #1 road block preventing businesses from going forward with a manageable cloud migration, BMC’s cloud consulting services director Alan Chhabra told me today, is a reluctance to reorganize. I know what you’re thinking: Insert the usual message about striking down the silos here.
Well, if you read item #2 above, you know that departments are sometimes compartmentalized for good reasons. BMC advocates a business department realignment where customer-facing information services and company-facing ones report to a common executive authority.
“The champion has to be at the highest level,” Chhambra tells me, “an executive who has the vision.” Folks participating in BMC’s workshops often ask Chhambra whom they need to hire, expecting that person to be outside the organization. “Two years ago, we had no answer,” he admitted. “Based on doing this hundreds of times, we now have a good answer. I agree that the optics of showing this to a customer is critical. Many of them don’t like looking at org charts, because it can open some wounds. So we do like to have this discussion at the CxO level, and then the CxO will go down and see if he can execute it amongst his lieutenants.”
4. Start with a shorter timeframe. If you want a migration plan to stretch out over longer than six months for sure, project where you expect your company to be (what BMC calls “future space”) in five years’ time. Contrary to all the logic you may have heard to date, BMC prefers a narrower timeframe – for its own workshops, projecting no longer than 18 months.
Why? There are too many volatile factors in the information market that are still at play. Imagine how data centers conceived the future just 18 months ago. Was Hadoop and big data even part of their outlook? Was the prospect of sharding data over multiple servers even considered feasible? Too much is changing, and it’s reasonable not to expect that the factors governing the current state of affairs will have been completely altered by 2014.
5. Set your consultants free as soon as possible. Many vendors set themselves up as permanent partners in your business endeavors, which seems nice at first until you come to realize you’re done with the handholding. “If we’ve done our job effectively, we can transition the roadmap to stakeholders within the organization,” says BMC’s cloud strategy architect John Hawkins today. “We don’t want to be the agent of change, making all those organizational changes. They’re looking for our feedback on their cloud strategy and operational models, so that they can be self-sufficient in providing cloud within their organization.”
Alan Chhambra adds that BMC builds tools for its clients, which it calls “calculators,” to help them gauge the precise point in time when this transition may be considered done. They’ll see the basic metrics, such as the increase in response time for server provisioning, with the goal of demonstrating savings goals in as soon as 12 months. The keyword here remains “months,” not “years.”
View full post on ReadWriteWeb
You’d think it would be an easy thing to market an all-in-one concept of a “cloud-in-a-box” – a package that gives enterprises everything they need to deploy and manage a private or hybrid cloud. Soon you discover that it’s harder to define the box than to define the cloud, because it’s the box that you’ll inevitably be selling. And if it doesn’t look like a cloud, you might find a competitor charging it with being false and misleading.
Last week, BMC Software brought forth the second generation of its Business Service Management (BSM) delivery model. Think of this as BMC’s cloud box – the way it orchestrates a cloud deployment for a data center. What changes with this version of the box versus the previous one is that the planning and deployment phases are presented to customers as workflows, rather than do-it-yourself kits.
“We’re not into element plays, where we’re just trying to figure out a single piece of infrastructure. We are one level higher,” says Alan Chhabra, BMC Software’s director of cloud consulting services, in an interview with ReadWriteWeb. Two years ago, Chhabra tells us, BMC began delivering Cloud Lifecycle Management (CLM), with the intention of bridging several classes of resource management into a single tool called the Resource Governor.
“Where it’s different from the competitors is, it’s targeted to be a full-stack cloud engine. It’s not just about provisioning virtual machines,” Chhabra tells us. “It’s not just about provisioning server infrastructure, or managing a single network. From a single pane of glass, you can do a full-service private cloud or public cloud for managing applications, databases, storage, networks, and servers (both physical and virtual). And not just Intel, so you can do AIX and Solaris, for example; and you can burst from your private cloud to the public cloud.”
Earlier this year, another competitor to market leader VMware – CA Technologies – pointed out that deployments of VMware management tools and services in data centers tend to stall, for reasons CA often attributes to the software. BMC’s theory is that rollouts stall not really because of the toolset, but moreover due to the way enterprises are organized, with some even predisposed to delegating administrative authority to subdepartments and sub-subdepartments. And that’s the problem: When software is developed for the existing management structure, the division of labor creates opportunities for bottlenecks.
Thus the new BSM Delivery Model, which comes pre-equipped with people. Their job is to help businesses reconsider their predispositions, develop new and more efficient distributions of labor and new policies for administering resources, and effectively to help businesses get up on the bike, as it were, and start riding. Once the businesses themselves evolve, BMC believes, the “element plays” that its competitors make will appear geared for an older world.
Each of BMC’s competitors, from its vantage point, delivers what it calls an “element manager.” VMware’s is vCloud Director; the element manager for VCE (the joint EMC / Cisco venture) is Unified Infrastructure Manager; EMC has CLARiiON and VNX Unified Storage; Cisco’s is actually called Element Manager. “There’s too many managers,” states Chhabra. “If I’m the CTO, I don’t want to buy hundreds of products. I want to buy a couple of products to manage all my infrastructure, if I’m going to do cloud.
BMC categorizes its typical customer for CLM using three classes:
- An enterprise that has gone about as far as it can with virtualization and data center automation, which isn’t getting the ROI it needs, and is looking to deploy a private cloud that utilizes more self-service features and that is more compliant with new government and private standards for security;
- A service provider or telco competing in Amazon’s space for cloud services, wishing to build a public cloud for resale, but prefers an off-the-shelf product rather than investing at a Rackspace-like level in developing a homegrown cloud manager; and
- An enterprise customer that needs to build cloud infrastructure to some extent, but that’s a little frightened to move all its private data to Amazon or Rackspace. For its own piece of mind, it needs to keep some measure of its business data private.
With those three tiers in mind, the BSM delivery model now brings in the Remedy Change Management suite that the company acquired back in 2002 from the old Peregrine Systems.
“You don’t want to set up a cloud where you’re provisioning thousands of VMs without anyone having any change management,” remarks BMC’s Chhabra. You get sprawl. So we have built-in workflow managers as well so you can do approvals before someone actually gets their SOI (Server Operating Instance).”
Changing the way enterprises recognize roles and responsibilities has the challenge (some would say a danger) of compelling those businesses to reduce their workforces. “It’s a challenge: How do you deploy a cloud when you have various stakeholders controlling the different assets that will be under this self-service umbrella?” asks Chhabra rhetorically. “Networking has been outsourced, you’re doing development out of India, your storage is potentially already in the cloud, your people are segmented all over the world. You have ten data centers!”
And it’s in the midst of this challenge that the CIO or CTO picks up a copy of Fortune and decides the enterprise must formulate a cloud strategy to regain competitiveness. Sometimes in haste, Chhabra says, CTOs will set up a completely new cloud-based data center, putting off the topic of transition until it’s fully up and running. Alternately, businesses may adopt a hybrid approach where they get parts of a cloud infrastructure up and running to some arbitrary threshold, but without the proper tools and metrics to determine whether that threshold has been met.
“So we have something called a CLM-to-CLM architecture,” he continues. When a customer has data residing in one data center, and networking managed by a completely different team, “we have the ability to create a federated model where you have a local BMC CLM private cloud, and the ability to burst to another CLM architecture somewhere else, and CLM will broker the integration and workflow communications between the two points. Think of CLM as being a broker, as the Switzerland of the data center. It’s bringing the different aspects together, so that while [your data centers] are separate, you have a broker solution… to combine those siloed element manager solutions, sometimes managed by different people in different organizations.
The CLM architecture features a Service Governor, shown in the diagram above, which literally makes decisions about where best to place a requested cloud service given the parameters involved, such as the user’s location, quality of service necessary, and specified compliance levels.
From here, states BMC’s Chhambra, businesses can learn to build new services and let the Service Governor do the necessary reorganization, without having to re-invent the wheel each time. “They are going to add new service offerings constantly. They could be something simple, like virtual machines today and physical machines tomorrow, and then in a month offer… a PaaS architecture to end customers. They’re going to need to be able to broker and talk to more and different things over time. They may need to burst to Amazon today and Rackspace tomorrow… When people stand up a cloud, private or public, it’s just the beginning.”
DISCLOSURE: One of the principal executives behind BMC’s cloud strategy just happens to be named Scott Fulton. He is actually unrelated to the reporter for this article.
View full post on ReadWriteWeb