BEYOND CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE: DELIVERING A PRODUCTIVE CLOUD EXPERIENCE WITH INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS

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1 BEYOND CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE: DELIVERING A PRODUCTIVE CLOUD EXPERIENCE WITH INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS 1

2 Copyright VCE believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice. THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION IS PROVIDED "AS IS." VCE MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION, AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. 2

3 Contents Popularity of Private Clouds Continues to Rise... 4 Diverse Cloud Management Platforms... 5 Creating a Productive Private Cloud... 6 Gaining Greater Insight into the Journey... 6 The Need for Effective Cloud Management... 7 Building Better Managed Private Clouds... 8 VCE Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management... 9 Designed for How Businesses Deploy Cloud Computing... 9 Going Beyond Out-of-the-Box Automation Conclusion Next Steps

4 Popularity of Private Clouds Continues to Rise Private cloud computing is soaring. The majority of enterprise-class and midmarket organizations in North America already have a private cloud infrastructure in place, or are planning to deploy one in the near future. 1 Similar numbers of enterprises globally have implemented private cloud solutions. Many IT organizations with private clouds have patterned their internal services after the successful public cloud offerings of Amazon Web Services (AWS). IT organizations want to be able to offer the agility, cost savings, and broad application scalability of AWS together with the advantages of increased security and control offered by private clouds. They are designing solutions that can be used to quickly and efficiently deploy and provision servers to address fleeting business opportunities, while containing costs. Organizations are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about which applications will run well in a public, AWS environment and which would be better suited for a private cloud environment in-house. This has not only contributed to the growing number of private clouds, but has also led to more organizations embracing hybrid cloud strategies. Fueling this trend to private or hybrid clouds are today s integrated computing platforms. A recent survey found that one-third of the respondents had already deployed integrated computing platforms, with another 44 percent expressing interest. 2 Worth noting, organizations with a private cloud infrastructure are nearly twice as likely to be using an integrated computing platform as those organizations that have not yet deployed private clouds. Organizations with private cloud infrastructures have identified a wide range of benefits, including Elasticity Can quickly scale the infrastructure up or down based on actual demand for IT resources. Resource pooling Able to pool these IT resources for greater efficiency. Universal network access Can offer business units seamless connectivity to public cloud resources, when needed. On-demand self-service Supports rapid, direct access to new virtual machines (VMs). Measured service Allows IT organization to apply usage-based tracking and billing. 1 Mark Bowker, Bill Lundell, and Jennifer Gahm, Research Report: Trends in Private Cloud Infrastructure, The Enterprise Strategy Group, April Mark Bowker, Bill Lundell, and Jennifer Gahm, Research Report: Trends in Private Cloud Infrastructure, The Enterprise Strategy Group, April

5 Diverse Cloud Management Platforms While the use of private cloud computing is growing rapidly, many organizations are finding it complex to manage their cloud infrastructures. There are a wide variety of what Gartner has labeled cloud management platforms (CMPs) to choose from Cisco, VMware, BMC, CA Technologies, and even IBM and HP offer solutions. The leading platforms are powerful and comprehensive, providing enterprises with a wide range of tools for efficiently provisioning, orchestrating, and supporting private cloud implementations in a way that delivers significant benefits to the business. But for smaller organizations or those with fewer needs, these broad-based toolsets can present challenges and risks in terms of cost, complexity, and deployment delays. In addition, to keep pace with industry requirements, the tools feature sets must be updated regularly, which can result in higher training costs and the very real risk that many of the tools capabilities will go unused or will become out of specification before you re ready to use them. 5

6 Creating a Productive Private Cloud For many organizations, the biggest question about private cloud implementations is what IT architecture they should choose. The reality is that successful enterprises commonly spend as much time thinking about their financial architecture as their technology architecture. How does the organization get work done? How are IT budgets handled in silos, or on an organization-wide basis? Addressing these so-called cloudonomic 3 issues up front will lead to much smoother and shorter cloud implementations. Another misconception is that a private cloud is at its core a way to achieve a software-defined data center. Organizations that buy into this buzzy concept with all of its attractions and ramifications might be tempted to think that everything required for a cloud-computing infrastructure can be done with software. While theoretically this may be true, in most cases, organizations are going to be dealing with a wide array of devices, components, and other resources; cascading firmware and hardware upgrades and software release dates; and other complexities that often lead to a chaotic, tangled mess. Under these circumstances, it s difficult to find any purely software-defined platform that can help IT teams deliver an attractive ROI. That s why so many organizations in recent years have turned to VCE and the advanced converged infrastructure of its pre-engineered, pre-integrated, factory-built Vblock Systems for their private cloud implementations. Gaining Greater Insight into the Journey To better understand the journey organizations make to successful private cloud computing, VCE commissioned the Topline Strategy Group to conduct a survey. VCE wanted greater insight into the scope of the market and the needs of organizations as they sought to develop and deploy private clouds. To gather this information, Topline conducted an online survey of organizations with 1,000 employees or more. The surveys were targeted to CIOs, VPs, directors, and managers with knowledge of their organization s private cloud implementation or plans. From the more than 160 respondents with direct cloud responsibilities, 10 percent were selected for in-depth interviews. Among the industries represented were government, financial services, hospitality, media, logistics, manufacturing, construction, high technology, technology services, and business services. Among the survey s key findings were 3 Joe Weinman, Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing, Wiley, September 4,

7 While public cloud has a precise definition, the term private cloud possesses a much more fluid one that may be used to refer to anything along a continuum of capabilities from systems running highly virtualized, mixed workloads to true, full-featured, in-house cloud implementations. Successful companies typically start with a very basic, yet functional, private cloud and add capabilities as needed over time. This start small approach is underscored by the fact that only 19 percent of private clouds provide the full range of public cloud functionality associated with solutions such as AWS, which many IT managers set out to emulate. Other research, conducted in several Gartner studies, reinforces this. The ideal pilot offering should be almost plug-and-play, self-contained, and modular to support efficient growth while not putting existing production at risk. Most private clouds are being deployed for production or mixed workloads, not primarily for testing and development (test/dev). As noted above, business process and organizational issues not technical issues act as the primary barrier to efficiently rolling out advanced private cloud capabilities. The Need for Effective Cloud Management The right CMP can significantly enhance the effectiveness of private cloud implementations and help meet business needs by providing exceptional agility. According to Gartner, organizations are leveraging the automation capabilities of CMPs to address the demand for greater flexibility in delivering infrastructure and application services rapidly and efficiently while reducing costs. But Gartner warns, For most organizations, going beyond out-of-the-box automation capabilities provided by cloud management platforms is not recommended. 4 What is clearly needed is a simpler, fully integrated cloud management and orchestration solution that enables rapid provisioning of cloud environments, without the level of complexity of most tools today. In addition, these CMPs should be tailored to support test/dev applications right from the start, not just production or mixed workloads. 4 Alessandro Perilli, Climbing the Cloud Orchestration Curve, Gartner Technical Professional Advice, January 13,

8 Building Better Managed Private Clouds Today, there are relatively few large organizations that are looking to build a full-service, private cloud portal where they can provide application development groups or other business units complete selfservice access. Most organizations with private clouds are primarily interested in faster, more efficient VM provisioning, i.e. VM-as-a-service (VMaaS). In these implementations, data center managers may refer to it as cloud computing, but the chief objective is to make their organizations more productive and be able to respond quickly with VMs on demand. These organizations are looking for lower-cost, prepackaged, quick-to-deploy, and easy-to-use CMPs that meet their current requirements while providing a path to add more robust management and orchestration capabilities over time. Further, Gartner recommends, To reduce the need for custom automation and rapidly return on the investment, organizations should first focus their cloud environments on enabling agile development and testing while staying close to commoditized capabilities. 5 5 Alessandro Perilli, Climbing the Cloud Orchestration Curve, Gartner Technical Professional Advice, January 13,

9 VCETM Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management To address these requirements, VCE is introducing VCE Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management, a first-of-its-kind approach to simplified cloud management and orchestration. These integrated solutions extend the core VCE value propositions simplicity, efficiency, agility, faster timeto-value, and lower risk to deliver a cloud management experience that s unavailable elsewhere. The solutions incorporate Totally integrated approach Fully engineering and building Vblock Systems in the factory for virtualized applications and cloud computing, and then adding a cloud management and orchestration layer that has been integrated with and tested on the Vblock Systems platform. Release Validation Ongoing validation and assurance that all components and software will work together, based on Vblock System testing and verification. VCE Vision Intelligent Operations Enabling and simplifying cloud operations by dynamically providing data from system health checks, event monitoring, compliance verification, and more to management toolsets. On-site Deployment Offering on-site deployment and other value-added service options that can be tailored to the organization s IT environment and requirements. Single-call support Delivering VCE Support that helps organizations maximize the value of their investment through a single point of accountability. Designed for How Businesses Deploy Cloud Computing VCE Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management have been designed to address the way organizations are looking to implement cloud services. By offering pre-integrated, pre-tested solutions, organizations can rapidly deploy version 1.0 of their private cloud and enjoy a time-to-value of hours or days rather than weeks or months making these solutions especially well-suited to the needs of smaller to midmarket organizations. In addition, a key strength of Vblock Systems has been their predictability due to the use of standardized components and technologies with element managers and software versions that are fully tested and verified in advance. Including cloud automation tools in this process ensures that the tools will perform as expected and offer value rather than be underutilized due to their complexity or applicability. Among the essential features of the integrated cloud management solutions are Choose today from VMware or Cisco-based software stacks. Support a self-service portal or catalog of cloud services. Streamline infrastructure management, VM provisioning, and associated orchestration, using predefined workflows. Take advantage of full showback capabilities that give IT business units and management a clear analysis of costs and usage, without mandating chargebacks. Ensure that the full VCE experience including VCE Vision software, release validation, and VCE Support is integrated into the cloud management platform, resulting in welcome peace of mind. 9

10 Going Beyond Out-of-the-Box Automation VCE is well aware that VCE Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management will not meet every need for organizations of different sizes and descriptions. These integrated solutions have been created specifically to provide low-risk, low-maintenance, highly reliable cloud computing entry points while offering a clear path to more advanced cloud management features and capabilities. Organizations can easily take the next steps by calling upon VCE or partner-led cloud service teams to build in more advanced cloud features or better align the solution to fit specific business or operational processes. The integrated solutions software components support the implementation of capabilities that can be added whenever an organization s needs or wants dictate, including Policy-driven provisioning, orchestration, and automation to quickly and efficiently address business opportunities and manage in a hybrid cloud environment with applications and resources moving among private and public clouds. A distributed cloud management stack and disaster recovery (DR) solutions to improve availability and recoverability in a cloud environment. The ability to scale up or out of the cloud management stack with the addition of subsequent Vblock Systems. Secure multi-tenancy that offers each user or application its own exclusive and fully safeguarded virtualized computing environment. Chargebacks that allow business units to be accurately billed for the use of IT computing power and resources. Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) that conveniently and accurately store relevant configuration records for IT resources throughout their lifecycle. Advanced security that s required for larger cloud computing environments. Innovative capabilities for public cloud integration required for the growing number of hybrid cloud solutions. Easy integration into workflow or ticketing systems. Effective kickouts to manual provisioning, when desired. Automated de-provisioning as applications and VMs are no longer required. 10

11 Conclusion Driven by the broad acceptance of server virtualization, private cloud infrastructures are rising worldwide. Midmarket to large enterprises and service providers have embraced private and hybrid clouds to efficiently pool technology resources, scale to meet the actual demand for computing services, offer fast and often self-service access to VMs, and set the groundwork for measured service. The result is vastly improved business agility at a lower cost. Accelerating this trend is the surge in the use of integrated platforms of compute, networking, and storage technologies. IDC has projected an annual growth rate in excess of 50 percent in the converged systems market, with converged systems expected to account for more than one-third of enterprise cloud deployments in VCE with its best-of-breed components from Cisco, EMC, and VMware has led in the creation of the industry-best advanced converged infrastructure that is ideal for public, private, and hybrid cloud implementations. VCE Vblock Systems are built on five solid pillars: Engineered Designed with a forward-looking roadmap that enables organizations to integrate new technology as needed over time without disruption or a lengthy learning curve. Manufactured Vblock Systems are pre-integrated and pre-built to customer requirements at the factory before being shipped in a handful of packages to data centers. Managed VCE Vision software enables and simplifies converged operations by dynamically providing a high level of intelligence to any management toolset. Supported Single-call, VCE Support means no finger-pointing and quick resolution should any issues arise. Sustained With the help of the VCE Release Certification Matrices (RCMs), organizations can rely on a healthy, integrated stack of infrastructure that works effectively together going forward. By building more consistency and predictability into cloud environments built on standard technologies, VCE has delivered extraordinary results for organizations. Now, VCE is extending that consistency and predictability into the management and orchestration layer, offering rapid access to the benefits of private cloud computing thanks to VCE Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management. These innovative, fully integrated solutions are prepackaged, deploy quickly and easily, are simple to use, and promise to significantly reduce the costs of deploying and managing efficient, productive cloud infrastructures. 6 Frank Gens, IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, IDC, November

12 Next Steps To learn more about VCE Integrated Solutions for Cloud Management and other solutions, contact a VCE representative or visit 12

13 ABOUT VCE VCE, formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel, accelerates the adoption of converged infrastructure and cloud-based computing models that dramatically reduce the cost of IT while improving time to market for our customers. VCE, through the Vblock Systems, delivers the industry's only fully integrated and fully virtualized cloud infrastructure system. VCE solutions are available through an extensive partner network, and cover horizontal applications, vertical industry offerings, and application development environments, allowing customers to focus on business innovation instead of integrating, validating, and managing IT infrastructure. For more information, go to Copyright Vblock and the VCE logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of VCE Company, LLC and/or its affiliates in the United States or other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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