Building a Converged Infrastructure with Self-Service Automation

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1 Building a Converged Infrastructure with Self-Service Automation Private, Community, and Enterprise Cloud Scenarios Prepared for: 2012 Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Case Study Report

2 Introduction: The Need for Self-Service, Shared Infrastructure Today s IT organizations face unprecedented demands and expectations from internal teams as well as external partners and customers. In order to serve all these constituents, IT must support a complex and growing range of environments including development and test (dev/test), staging, production, sales, demo, training and support. However, building, managing and maintaining these heterogeneous environments present real challenges. It can take weeks to manually set up and configure each environment, typically requiring a team of experienced and expensive IT staff members including specialists for servers, networks, storage, and applications. This manual approach also leads to errors and re-work as well as frustration among IT staff and delays for users waiting to use the IT environment. Hence, it is necessary to quickly and repeatedly build converged infrastructure blocks of compute-networkstorage that are served to users to run their workloads. Additionally, since IT infrastructure is capital intensive, it must be shared among individuals and teams to keep costs under control. As cloud computing takes hold, IT environments are no longer confined to on-site locations. While on-premise or private clouds are increasingly important, IT organizations must also support other deployment models such as public, community, or hybrid clouds. Public clouds often make sense for unpredictable workloads or massive scale. Alternatively, hybrid clouds formed by combining multiple clouds can provide the benefits of both private and public clouds. Community clouds represent a useful deployment model for resource sharing between organizations. IT organizations must not only support a variety of shared IT users understand the need IT environments across a range of deployment models, they for resource sharing, but they must also keep up with rising user expectations. IT users don t want it to impact understand the need for resource sharing, but they don t resource availability. want it to impact resource availability. They demand fast, self-service access to IT resources from any place and at any time. It is up to the IT organization to deliver. Automation and Orchestration with GaleForce GaleForce, from Gale Technologies, delivers automated, template-based infrastructure provisioning that lets IT organizations keep up with provisioning and configuration requirements across all environments, including physical, virtual, and cloud. It is an integrated, end-to-end 2012 Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Page 1

3 solution that supports the entire product lifecycle, including dev/test, staging, production, sales, demo, training and support all while enabling convenient infrastructure sharing. Many of the world s most successful businesses use GaleForce to automatically set up, provision, and configure resources in complete end-to-end scenarios, offering infrastructure-as-aservice (IaaS). These organizations rely on GaleForce to: Assemble a converged infrastructure from generic or heterogeneous IT resources, including compute, storage, and networking resources, both physical and virtual. Build an on-premise cloud using this converged infrastructure with GaleForce end-toend provisioning, including application images and virtual machines (VMs). Publish and deliver the on-premise cloud to end users for self-service access, via the customizable GaleForce Web Portal. When required, connect or burst into a public cloud, from the on-premise cloud, to create a seamless hybrid cloud. GaleForce therefore provides capabilities across public, private, and hybrid clouds all from one unified system. Figure 1 below shows the GaleForce self-service web portal. Figure 1 GaleForce Self-Service Web Portal Showing Visual Template for Hybrid Cloud 2012 Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Page 2

4 GaleForce Customer Interviews Neovise spent time with several GaleForce customers to better understand the specific results and benefits they achieved, as well as the various scenarios in which they were using the solution. Some of the recurring benefits we noted include: Speed and Agility: Reduced set-up time from weeks and days, to hours and minutes increasing the efficiency of IT and improving agility for the business Improved Utilization: Dramatically higher levels of resource sharing, both inside and outside the organization, with improved utilization, elasticity, and scalability of resources Cost Savings: Significant reduction in CapEx and notable reduction in OpEx Satisfaction: Increased productivity and job satisfaction of staff members, and improved IT service quality and customer satisfaction While the organizations we interviewed experienced a number of common benefits, they also communicated some unique ones based in part on differences in their particular usage scenarios. The following sections describe the use of GaleForce in three scenarios as described by several GaleForce customers. Case Study: Private Cloud for Development and Testing Agile and iterative development models require development and quality assurance (QA) engineers to proceed through numerous development and test (dev/test) cycles: develop product, update, test, and repeat. In many cases, these efforts proceed in parallel, further increasing the demand for infrastructure resources. However, since infrastructure is so expensive, sharing is required to keep costs under control. At the same time, each dev/test activity whether functional testing by developers, system testing by QA, or others tends to require a unique configuration. Manual configuration is unacceptable since it decreases infrastructure utilization and increases cycle times. The flexibility and agility of a private cloud is often the solution. We spoke with a leading international wireless vendor and service provider with worldwide networks and data centers that was facing all these challenges. When using their dev/test environment for pre-production staging or problem replication, they needed an exact replica of their production network and data center. They also needed the ability to partition and reconfigure it to test and validate individual use cases. The company chose GaleForce to handle all these diverse needs in the same environment from classic dev/test activities such as functional and system testing, to pre- and post-production activities that include staging and problem replication. GaleForce cloud automation technology 2012 Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Page 3

5 builds a dynamic, cloud-like, on-premise infrastructure for servers, storage, and network devices as well as more specialized mobile network equipment. GaleForce templates are now used to provision GaleForce templates are now used to and configure as many as 5,000 interdependent provision and configure as many as 5,000 nodes and elements, a much larger scale than interdependent nodes and elements. most enterprises encounter with a single environment. The company has also taken advantage of the open design of GaleForce. For example, they rely on the plug-in architecture to create automation adaptors that leverage existing tools to manage specialized devices. Provisioning and configuration of all devices is still orchestrated by GaleForce. The company also leverages the client-side integration capabilities, allowing new environments to be configured through a Remedy service desk request in this large-scale IaaS environment. Case Study: Community Cloud for Internal and External Users As the name suggests, a community cloud is a useful deployment model for building and strengthening business communities whose members may include development partners, sales teams, channel partners, and customers. A community cloud enables resource sharing among multiple organizations and allows individuals to collaborate and share ideas by working together. One interesting customer that uses GaleForce to manage its community cloud is an industry leading storage technology vendor that sells a variety of hardware and software solutions. Prior to establishing a community cloud, the company was struggling with pre-sales activities including demos, evaluations, and proofs of concept (POC). These activities were typically done at customer sites and depended on expensive hardware and complex configurations. The environments were both inconsistent and unreliable, and channel partners were on their own. The company uses GaleForce to establish a central environment for worldwide sales teams, SEs, architects, and channel partners to schedule remote demos, POCs, training, and other activities on equipment that is dynamically provisioned for both physical and virtual environments. GaleForce establishes roles for system administrators and architects. Then end users and partners are granted user access to the environment to perform self-service provisioning on a 24x7 basis. The company s entire pre-sales ecosystem is now enabled through a self-service model with over 1,000 environments created and destroyed every month, with on-demand software that includes Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP applications provisioned on a shared, converged infrastructure Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Page 4

6 While this rate has nearly doubled in a year, no additional hardware was required due to resource sharing and scheduling efficiency. This saved several hundred thousand dollars in the community cloud environment and millions in the field. It also accelerated sales cycles, enabling configuration of complex environments with just 30 minutes notice. The entire partner ecosystem is far more productive now and delivers a positive experience with consistent messaging on product value. This saved several hundred thousand dollars in the community cloud environment and millions in the field. Case Study: Enterprise Cloud for Broad-Based Usage Enterprise organizations have some of the most diverse infrastructure requirements in the industry, often surpassing what is available from public cloud providers. They often depend on multiple processor architectures (e.g. x86, SPARC, POWER), hypervisors (VMware, Xen, Hyper-V) and operating systems (Windows, Linux, UNIX). They use a mix of physical and virtual infrastructure for storage and networks as well as for servers. They also maintain a broad mix of applications which are supported across the full range of environments including development and test (dev/test), staging, production, sales, demo, training, and support. This was a familiar story for the global software vendor interviewed by Neovise. The company, an industry leader in business intelligence and analytics software, delivers software products on all primary architectures, hypervisors, and operating systems in both virtual and physical infrastructures. To increase efficiency and agility across all departments and throughout the full product lifecycle, the infrastructure team had built its own cloud for extended use across the entire enterprise on top of VMware virtualization environment. Unfortunately, that cloud does not support physical infrastructure or multi-tier applications. While the company clearly has world-class software development skills, it did not want to become an orchestration company. Instead it decided to use GaleForce initially to complement its enterprise cloud and then to replace it over time. A manager from the infrastructure team said, GaleForce is a big hammer and we plan to use it in every way we can. This also includes integration with public clouds in order to take advantage of the benefits of the hybrid cloud architecture that GaleForce supports. GaleForce is a big hammer and we plan to use it in every way we can Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Page 5

7 The company has already made a lot of headway using GaleForce for automation and orchestration throughout the enterprise. Rather than simply handling virtual machine (VM) deployment, the enterprise cloud now provisions virtual and physical servers together, in complex, multi-tier configurations. Network configuration for DMZs and VLANs is also covered by GaleForce. The self-service interface has reduced provisioning and configuration tasks from days and weeks to hours, increasing the velocity of the entire product lifecycle. Conclusions: Self-Service Automation is Key to Building Converged Infrastructure and Real-World Cloud Deployments To keep up with the demands and expectations from internal teams as well as external partners and customers, IT organizations must support a complex and growing range of environments including dev/test, staging, production, sales, demo, training and support. In order to do this quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively and with consistency and quality IT staff members require powerful tools that deliver automation and orchestration across physical, virtual and cloud environments. GaleForce is a comprehensive and extensible platform that enables IT administrators to effortlessly design, locate, schedule, connect, provision, and access all physical, virtual, and cloud resources, including servers, hypervisors, networking, storage, and applications. It spans private or on-premise clouds, public clouds, and a variety of hybrid cloud architectures. It empowers users to set up complex environments through a self-service interface in just minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks. The benefits include higher levels of resource sharing, greater resource utilization, reduced costs, increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, better IT service quality and improved customer satisfaction. As evidenced by the results achieved by actual customers, GaleForce is an outstanding fit for provisioning and configuring private clouds for development and testing, community clouds for enabling partners ecosystems, and enterprise clouds where an even wider variety of use cases are encountered. Neovise recommends that IT organizations seeking the benefits of automation and orchestration from the lab to the cloud take a close look at GaleForce. Neovise recommends that IT organizations seeking the benefits of automation and orchestration from the lab to the cloud take a close look at GaleForce Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Page 6

8 About Neovise Neovise is an IT industry analyst firm focused on cloud computing. Based on independent research and analysis, we deliver essential knowledge and guidance to cloud-related technology vendors, service providers, systems integrators and investors, as well as business organizations seeking to purchase cloud-related services and technology. Our services include research, advisory and collateral development that helps our customers and their customers make optimal decisions and formulate winning strategies. Research. Analyze. Neovise. For more information, please visit Neovise, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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