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1 WHITE PAPER CA Automation Suite Paves the Way for Cloud Sponsored by: CA Technologies Mary Johnston Turner October 2010 Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F To reduce complexity and hold head count steady, organizations will need to make much more aggressive use of automation and standardization so that they can dramatically increase the number of virtual servers managed by a single administrator and better integrate virtual server operations into broader IT operations and workflows. Survey Says: Virtual Server Management Priorities Focus on Reducing Complexity, IDC #223551, June 2010 IDC OPINION Enterprise data center virtualization and cloud computing strategies are being rapidly implemented across heterogeneous physical and virtual infrastructures. These new computing architectures significantly complicate many application and server provisioning, change management, and performance monitoring activities. Specifically, enterprise IT organizations are struggling to: Speed up physical and virtual server provisioning and application deployment in order to better support business priorities Improve staffing ratios and productivity to accommodate rapid growth in virtual machines at a time when head counts and IT budgets are highly constrained Reduce virtual machine (VM) sprawl and improve physical server utilization by reclaiming and redeploying resources that are no longer being used Automated provisioning solutions are needed to help IT teams address these challenges. The CA Automation Suite targets many of these requirements while providing customers with modular implementation options designed to deliver value quickly and allowing customers to ramp up use of automation at a pace that makes sense for their business. IN THIS WHITE PAPER This white paper describes how virtualization and cloud initiatives are creating new types of management challenges across physical and virtual data center environments. It explains why standardization, automation, and integration of many processes and tools are needed to help IT teams become more productive and agile. It also describes how the CA Automation Suite helps customers address these challenges and includes a case study of one CA Technologies customer that has realized significant productivity improvements using the suite.

2 SITUATION OVERVIEW Data Center Complexity Increases as Virtualization and Private Cloud Initiatives Expand Data center complexity is on the rise. Production workloads, as well as test and development workloads, are being rapidly virtualized. IDC expects that by 2013, 68.6% of data center workloads will be virtualized (see Figure 1). Simultaneously, the increasing diversity of applications and the proliferation of multiple browser environments further complicate day-to-day operations, planning, and troubleshooting. FIGURE 1 Worldwide Installed Workloads Virtualized by Year (%) Source: IDC's Virtualization Multiclient Study, 2009 IT teams are being asked to manage heterogeneous physical and virtual environments and execute complex configuration, provisioning, change, and monitoring activities across network, server, and storage platforms more dynamically than ever before. Business decision makers want speed, agility, and low-cost solutions at a time when IT teams may be struggling to keep up with rapid changes across technologies, processes, and policies. Cloud options are entering the mix, and IT and business decision makers must work together to optimize IT performance, cost, security, and business priorities. 2 # IDC

3 Cloud Builds on Virtualization While virtualization allows IT organizations to improve utilization of server and system resources, private cloud architectures take operational effectiveness a step further. Private clouds use self-service portals and service catalogs, as well as automated policy-driven provisioning and configuration management tools, to enable pooling and dynamic assignment of computing resources as needed in order to optimize business service performance and costs. For most established data center environments, the move to cloud, and the accompanying standardization and automation of management processes and tools, will be an evolutionary effort that takes place over several years. Most organizations begin their private cloud journey by implementing virtualization with the primary goal of consolidating server workloads and reducing hardware and power and cooling costs. These types of environments are often managed as standalone silos using very basic tools and ad hoc processes. As organizations expand use of virtualization to support a wider range of missioncritical applications, they often struggle to track resource assignments, reclaim unused resources, and respond quickly enough to end-user requests. IT teams frequently find that traditional change, configuration, and provisioning processes and tools are too disconnected and inconsistent to support the rapid movement of resources required in virtualized and cloud environments. IDC's research shows that IT teams need to standardize configurations, automate provisioning, and simplify workflows in order to keep up with the complexity and the pace of change found in large-scale virtualized environments. Standardization, automation, and integration not only improve day-to-day server utilization and reduce sprawl but also enable organizations to use dynamic virtual server workload migration techniques to improve overall application performance and improve business continuity. The ultimate vision is for IT organizations to apply cloud computing concepts such as self-service and consumption-based metering to this type of automated, virtualized infrastructure environment in order to better optimize use of physical resources, control costs, and satisfy business needs in real time. To achieve this rather ambitious goal, most organizations will have to standardize, automate, and orchestrate processes; integrate physical and virtual environments; implement service catalogs and self-service portals; and align more tightly with business priorities and policies (see Figure 2) IDC #

4 FIGURE 2 Data Center Virtualization and Private Cloud Management Maturity Stages Pilot Virtualization Static VM deployment manual resource reclamation Separate virtual and physical mgt tools Ad hoc, manual silo centric processes Limited business policy input Consolidated Virtualization VM deployments automated with gold standards VM mgt process standardization Physical and virtual system management coordination Active business/it planning Assured Computing Automated full stack physical and virtual provisioning Effective VM sprawl management Selective integrated cross silo workflow automation Policy based service catalogs Private Cloud Automated, dynamic resource pooling and application portability Standardized, automated process orchestration Well defined standard service catalogs & selfservice portals Strong IT/business governance Source: IDC, 2010 For many organizations, today's immediate operational priority is to improve management of complex and rapidly growing virtualized environments. This involves defining standard gold templates; use and reuse policies; and automated standardized, integrated processes to ensure consistent service availability and performance, rapid deployment, and effective sprawl management. Implementing private cloud is often part of a longer-term strategy that involves IT organizations partnering more closely with business decision makers to define services and servicelevel agreements (SLAs) in terms of business objectives and to use those policies to drive complex, real-time resource allocation and provisioning automation. IT Operations and Business Challenges Emerge Often, IT organizations introduce virtualization management responsibilities into environments that already support a wide range of heterogeneous physical resources and a range of application architectures. System administrators are asked to learn new skills and tools while continuing to support existing resources. With the introduction of virtualization, new challenges arise in terms of integrating processes and workflow for activities such as physical and virtual system provisioning, software patching, storage and network integration, change management, information protection, and regulatory compliance. The more an organization tries to improve 4 # IDC

5 physical system utilization by increasing virtual machine densities, migrating workloads, or decommissioning active virtual workloads, the more frequently change requests, capacity decisions, integration tests, and performance analysis must be conducted. As a result, regardless of where an organization is on the spectrum from initial virtualization efforts to full-blown cloud architectures, IT operations need to become more dynamic, standardized, integrated, and automated. Unfortunately, IDC's research indicates that management processes and tools are not always keeping up with these new demands. This is often due to the fact that virtual server deployments started in self-supported application development environments and are still transitioning into full production strength, proactively managed data center environments. In addition, the growth of virtual machine densities and the need to frequently provision and deprovision resources have exceeded many organizations' early expectations. Today, IDC's research indicates that the average number of virtual machines on a physical server is about 6. IDC expects that by 2012, the average virtualized physical server will support 8 virtual servers. However, it is increasingly common to see environments where dozens of virtual machines exist on the same physical server. Ongoing improvements in virtual machine memory consumption and physical machine processing capacities will enable even more aggressive VM densities over time. These major improvements in server utilization are clearly benefiting enterprise customers by helping to reduce hardware spending as well as power and cooling costs. By comparison, IDC's research indicates that many organizations are not seeing the same type of productivity improvements on the staffing and operations side of the data center. Rather, on average, organizations report needing one administrator for 29 physical servers compared with one administrator for 33 virtual servers (see Figure 3). FIGURE 3 Mean Number of Physical and Virtual Servers Supported by an Individual System Administrator Physical Virtual (Mean number) n = 405 Source: IDC's Virtualization Multiclient Study, IDC #

6 As the number of virtual servers increases, most IT organizations will not be able to afford this type of ratio. Rather, they will need to aggressively invest in automated tools and integrated processes with the goal of dramatically improving operator efficiency and achieving staff ratios on the order of dozens or even hundreds of virtual servers per administrator. Effective Data Center Management Requires Standardization, Integration, and Automation In order to achieve these types of staff productivity improvements, IT organizations need to undertake a number of strategic shifts in the way they architect, operate, and govern their data centers. As Figure 4 shows, in order to effectively operate today's heterogeneous physical, virtual, and cloud data center environments, IT organizations need to: Shift away from static, dedicated resource allocation, provisioning, and life-cycle operation strategies and embrace dynamic data center management approaches that promote resource pooling and real-time workload provisioning, migration, and decommissioning based on business, cost, and performance priorities. Implement more business-centric decision-making processes that map service definitions and SLAs onto detailed system configuration, security, and performance policies that can be used as standard gold templates to drive automated server provisioning and workflow automation activities. Today, many IT organizations continue to rely on ad hoc, manual procedures; inconsistent service definitions; and fragmented operational workflows. In highly dynamic environments, these approaches are highly inefficient. This inefficiency can delay system delivery by weeks and frustrate end users. It can also create unplanned downtime due to human errors and make it difficult for IT teams to satisfy business requirements for performance and availability. Embrace integrated, automated, policy-driven workflows and tools in order to streamline IT operations, improve service levels, and reduce staffing costs. Automation will increasingly need to extend beyond task-level scripts to encompass integrated, end-to-end patching, provisioning, and performance assurance activities based on well-defined SLAs and service definitions. As environments become more dynamic, automation will be critical to ensuring that IT staff can keep up with the ever-escalating levels of change and complexity seen in today's virtualized environments. 6 # IDC

7 FIGURE 4 Critical IT Operations Transformations Required to Support Virtualized, Cloud Environments Static & dedicated Architectures Dynamic & pooled Component health Policies & Governance Standardized SLAs and service definitions Ad hoc Processes Automated Source: IDC, 2010 Different organizations will make different choices about how quickly to tackle each of these transformations. For many, the challenges are related more to culture and governance than to the capabilities of management software and infrastructure platforms. In pooled, dynamic environments, IT must focus on delivery of consistent standardized services and service levels to the business. Efforts to automate provisioning, change control, and virtual server life-cycle management need to be driven by standard policies and workflows. To the extent that IT organizations cling to fragmented processes and ad hoc service definitions and SLAs, it becomes very difficult to make effective use of automated management tools because automation is cost-effective only when standardized activities can be repeated over and over. FUTURE OUTLOOK Evaluating Automated Virtualization and Cloud Management Solutions Efforts to dramatically improve data center operations productivity will need to be implemented modularly, over time, in order to allow organizations to fully absorb process and technology changes without disrupting day-to-day business and IT activities. As new processes, policies, and tools are introduced, it will be important that they integrate well with existing resources. They will need to scale up from perhaps just a few physical and virtual servers or a narrow set of workloads initially to eventually encompass thousands of managed physical and logical systems and services IDC #

8 To achieve the greatest levels of operational efficiency, data center operators will need to: Automate and integrate physical and virtual server configuration provisioning, quality assurance, and testing using standardized templates to ensure consistent configurations and patch levels Develop and enforce standardized gold standards that can be reused on a consistent basis to accelerate provisioning and workload migration (These images need to include the network and storage configurations associated with the requirements of the virtualized application in order to reduce end-to-end system provisioning cycle times from weeks to days and eventually to hours. Many organizations find they can spin up VMs quickly but then waste days or weeks coordinating storage and network integrations using processes and tools designed for static rather than dynamic virtualized environments.) Actively manage virtual server and workload life cycles and minimize virtual server sprawl by enforcing policies regarding use of resources and by actively monitoring workload usage and performance to identify inactive workloads and resources than can be reclaimed and reassigned Deploy self-service resource request and provisioning systems to the greatest extent possible to speed up service activation and minimize the time that data center operators need to spend on these types of tasks When evaluating automated management tools for virtualized data centers and emerging private cloud environments, IT decision makers should evaluate the following solution attributes: Range of modular implementation choices that allow organizations to start small and ramp up as needed Ability to use the same set of tools, interfaces, policy engines, and workflows across heterogeneous physical and virtual resources Role-based interfaces for a range of users, including power IT administrators as well as end users Ability to dynamically pool and assign resources on the fly based on predefined business and IT policies and priorities Service catalogs and self-service portals to facilitate consistent deployments and service levels across the environment Automated discovery and dependency mapping including integrations with configuration management databases (CMDBs) and audit systems Links to help desk and troubleshooting systems to enable rapid problem identification and remediation Out-of-the-box templates, workflows, status, and performance assurance reports to ensure rapid time to value (The ability to fine-tune and customize reports is also important.) 8 # IDC

9 CA Automation Suite Aims to Tame Data Center Complexity The CA Automation Suite is a modular automation solution that spans a wide range of heterogeneous physical and virtual environments. As Figure 5 shows, the suite includes six major modules with the following capabilities: Server Automation dynamically provisions, patches, and deploys applications and services across physical and virtual systems based on standard templates and key performance metrics. Virtual Automation provides self-service and automated virtual server provisioning using reservations; integrated chargeback/showback; and public, private, and hybrid cloud support, including the ability to directly provision applications onto Amazon EC2. Workload Automation provides cross-platform workload scheduling, monitoring, and dynamic balancing. Client Automation integrates and automates a wide range of client device management tasks such as bare metal buildups and rebuilds, patch management, and remote desktop support. Process Automation documents, automates, and orchestrates a range of processes across platforms, applications, and IT groups using a graphical interface, closed-loop automation, and a range of CA and third-party prebuilt data connectors. Configuration Automation identifies and standardizes device configurations and tracks cross-device dependencies. Granular configuration tracking/auditing enables comparison to best practice standards, regulatory requirements, and security policies. Many of the CA Automation Suite's capabilities were previously sold as part of a highly integrated bundle, branded as the CA Spectrum Automation Manager. The fully integrated solution, now known as CA Automation Suite for Data Centers, is still available, but customers now have the option of purchasing one module at a time, depending on their operational requirements IDC #

10 FIGURE 5 CA Automation Suite Source: CA Technologies, 2010 The CA Automation Suite enables IT management teams to automate, integrate, and standardize many critical data center operations activities, including: Application and system discovery and dependency mapping across a range of applications and distributed physical and virtual servers, including VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and open source hypervisors Creation of dynamic physical and virtual server resource pools using policies and automation targeted at the pool level and the individual machine level Configuration change management and audits to detect changes by comparing active configurations with a gold standard and notifying IT staff when actions are required to bring configurations back into compliance Physical and virtual performance and utilization monitoring across the entire data center down to the individual server Physical, virtual, and public cloud server (including Amazon EC2) and application provisioning and deprovisioning via a range of integrated manual, alert-driven, scheduled, or dynamic approaches that allow IT organizations to automate activities at a rate and a pace that make sense for their business Self-service server provisioning via a Web-based self-service reservation system that allows users to quickly and securely reserve resources for application testing, development, training, production, and cloud environments Chargeback/showback analysis to provide users with an understanding of component costs via self-service provisioning activities IT process/run-book automation across a range of technologies as well as physical, virtual, and cloud environments Role-based interfaces allow IT administrators, self-service end users, and line-ofbusiness decision makers to each view the information that is most relevant to them using customize dashboards. Power users can access very sophisticated functionality while self-service or line-of-business users need to see only fields and workflows that 10 # IDC

11 relate to their specific requirements. Out-of-the-box templates and workflow wizards simplify initial deployments and allow IT teams to quickly get value from the tools. Together, these capabilities allow CA Technologies customers to reduce the time and staffing requirements for many routine physical and virtual server provisioning activities while reducing human error and being able to more rapidly detect and proactively correct configuration errors that might lead to performance problems. Organizations are also able to significantly improve server utilization by using automation to reclaim and reassign virtual machines that are no longer being actively used. CASE STUDY MGM Resorts International Relies on CA Automation Suite With 62,000 employees and revenue of more than $7.6 billion, MGM Resorts International is a major force in the gaming and hospitality industry. It owns 15 properties and hosts millions of visitors each year. MGM Resorts operates more than 1,800 physical servers and began its virtualization journey in early 2008 in order to reduce hardware spending, address data center space limitations, and support the company's green initiatives to reduce power and cooling consumption and the data center's CO2 footprint. By the end of 2010, MGM Resorts plans to have virtualized 100% of its tier 2 and tier 3 production applications and essentially all development, test, and QA functions, encompassing roughly 80% of the firm's active physical servers. Core tier 1 customer service, point-of-sale, and reservations systems will remain on physical servers. MGM Resorts Executive Director of Enterprise Management Chris Gebelin notes the operation of a virtualized data center is much more complicated than that of a traditional environment. He explains, "It was taking us weeks to fully provision and certify new servers and days to provision new VMs. Three staff people representing server, storage, and networking would have to be involved with each project." This was unacceptable given the pace of business demands. The challenges related to managing this complexity, and reducing deployment timelines, drove MGM Resorts to deploy CA Automation Suite for Data Centers (formerly CA Spectrum Automation Manager) in early 2010 in order to standardize and streamline physical and virtual server provisioning and life-cycle management activities. In the first six months of implementing the CA Automation Suite self-service portal and automated template-driven provisioning capabilities, MGM Resorts has been able to cut physical server provisioning cycle times from 6 weeks to 4 days and is now able to deploy a new VM in 20 minutes using predefined gold standard templates and operational policies. Gebelin reports that he has been able to reduce the number of staff members managing physical servers from 10 to 5, while just 2 staff members are able to handle the virtualized environment even as it has grown to over 500 virtual machines. The organization is now able to be much more responsive to business needs, and the 2010 IDC #

12 staff members are highly energized about having the opportunity to work with these types of leading-edge tools. Gebelin's longer-term goal is to reduce the total number of physical servers by roughly one-third while continuing to ramp up use of virtualized resources and increasing the density of VMs on the remaining physical servers. MGM Resorts is relying on CA Automation Suite to track the assignment of virtualized workloads and to enforce policies for life-cycle management, reclamation, and reassignment of resources on a largely automated basis. CA Automation Suite is also used to support business continuity objectives in that gold standards of standardized images can be quickly spun up at any one of the firm's three major data centers in the event of a hardware failure or if peak seasonal demand requires extra resources. Currently, these types of on demand provisioning and resource allocation activities need to be approved and activated by staff, based on service assurance reports and analytics that are generated by CA Automation Suite. MGM Resorts states that in just 6 months its investment in CA Automation Suite has already paid for itself thanks to improved staff productivity and IT resource utilization. CHALLENGES/OPPORTUNITIES Although many of the capabilities provided by the CA Automation Suite have been available for close to two years under the CA Spectrum Automation Manager brand, these automation products have in some ways been CA's best-kept secrets. The original design of the products required customers to implement a great deal of functionality simultaneously, and it was not well integrated with many other CA performance and service management tools. Product upgrades released in mid-2010 allow customers to activate functionality on a modular basis and have strengthened integrations with a range of existing CA data center management products as well as the newly introduced CA Virtual family. Simultaneously, CA has also launched a major new initiative to promote the "Cloud-Connected Enterprise." CA Automation Suite will be an important part of the toolkit CA offers to customers that want to create private cloud data center environments. Over the next two years, IDC expects that the CA Automation Suite will be enhanced and more tightly integrated with technologies acquired from 3Tera and Cassatt as well as Oblicore and Nimsoft, as part of the recently announced CA Cloud- Connected Management Suite. For CA, it is important to recognize that a large number of system management software and virtualization vendors are also targeting the automation arena. To increase customer awareness and adoption of the CA Automation Suite in the face of aggressive competition, CA will need to educate customers and partners about the capabilities and benefits of the product today and clearly communicate how it fits into the firm's broader cloud strategy. 12 # IDC

13 ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE Automated server and workload provisioning capabilities are critical to reliable and cost-effective operation of virtualized data centers and emerging private/hybrid cloud architectures. Successful use of these technologies requires IT and business stakeholders to agree on standard configurations and clearly defined service definitions, SLAs, and security policies that can be used to populate templates and drive policy-based workflows, provisioning, and migration activities. IT decision makers need to proactively define automation strategies in the context of virtualization and cloud initiatives and then implement appropriate tools, standards, and processes to ensure cost-effective operations. Organizations that are experiencing VM sprawl or feel it is taking too long to deliver fully configured virtualized workloads to end users should make it a priority to evaluate automated server provisioning tools in order to improve staff productivity, improve physical server resource utilization, and respond more effectively to business priorities. Over the longer term, any organization that plans to implement private cloud architectures will need to make automation, standardization, and integration top priorities. Copyright Notice External Publication of IDC Information and Data Any IDC information that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from the appropriate IDC Vice President or Country Manager. A draft of the proposed document should accompany any such request. IDC reserves the right to deny approval of external usage for any reason. Copyright 2010 IDC. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden IDC #

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