IT Operations Management (ITOM)

Step #7 towards an orchestrated datacenter: maximize use of the cloud

Step #7 towards an orchestrated datacenter: maximize use of the cloud


By Muneer Mubashir, Senior Marketing Manager, Cloud and Automation


Note: This is the last of a seven-part blog series exploring what steps you can take toward an orchestrated datacenter. Catch up on the other posts:


In an industry that is certainly open to criticism for its excessive use of hyperbolic statements to describe new trends (see: “paradigm shifts”), I think the cloud is one technology that deserves the attention. At every level, its ongoing impact on IT is truly profound.


20130918_HpLondon_Courtroom_088.jpgThe cloud has changed how business users, and therefore the business, think about information technology and what they expect of it. And although the cloud provides opportunities for IT organizations to adapt and meet those demands for greater availability, agility, scale — not to overlook security and compliance — it does require a different approach. The cloud forces IT to rethink how it operates. The datacenter must evolve. And this is really at the heart of HP’s orchestrated datacenter.


As I’ve described the six important components of a coordinated approach to automating tools and processes across IT environments, I have purposely left the cloud in the background. That’s because tying together systems into a more productive and efficient machine to power your modern organization clearly has tremendous value regardless of your IT organization’s particular cloud strategy. But if you are planning for the cloud, the orchestrated datacenter will put you on the right path.


In other words, you don’t need a cloud platform to benefit from an orchestrated datacenter. But orchestrating your datacenter will maximize the value that you derive from the cloud.


Redesigning processes for the cloud

Cloud platforms deliver benefits, but it’s common to hear of IT organizations encountering challenges with implementation, operations and governance. The problems arise when IT is only focused on cloud as just another technology solution in its toolkit.


But clearly it’s much more than that. To get the most of the cloud and ensure it lives up to its potential, IT organizations must redesign their business processes — which they need to anyway, just to live up to the high expectations of the business.


Let’s look at how HP’s orchestrated datacenter helps to set IT organizations up for cloud success:           


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1. Comprehensive automation

Non-standard and manual processes are in no way complementary to the agility, scale and flexibility of the cloud, and rapidly provisioning servers, databases and applications in the cloud can also introduce a regulatory and operational compliance risk. So the orchestrated datacenter address this by automating tasks and IT processes in a disciplined way across the entire operations lifecycle. Specifically, HP Operations Orchestration enables full stack automation and processes for monitoring, help desk and change management systems.


2. Analyze application and IT service architecture 

Most enterprise applications are rigid and too monolithic to adapt to the agility of the cloud and mobile. For example, the data layer might be tightly coupled with the presentation layer requiring a rewrite to support mobile devices.


Organizations should analyze and identify modules that need to be deconstructed or reconstructed and services that need to be re-architected or migrated to cloud environments. HP Enterprise Maps helps enterprise architects create this actionable cloud transformation roadmap, allowing to plan, translate and map the business requirements to existing and new services, ensuring that business needs are met by end-to-end services.


3. Accelerate application updates 

Applications delivered as cloud-based services can be a boon for ensuring they are up-to-date for security and the best features to meet the business needs. But for this to become reality, IT must embrace DevOps approaches to improve deployment.


As I noted previously, HP Continuous Delivery Automation provides Flexible Application Modeling so creating an application is a matter of connecting the appropriate building blocks, including application components such as databases and middleware, and infrastructure components like servers and storage.


But app-dev teams are also using more open source technologies, and IT Ops needs to keep pace in how it moves releases to production. IT ought to employ the same tools to manage the existing multivendor components as it does newer open source technologies and resources in the cloud. HP Server Automation uses open source standards Chef and OpenStack so IT can easily manage virtual machine and public cloud environments — including OS provisioning, patching, software deployment and compliance management — but also ensures application test-dev teams transition Chef Recipes quickly and consistently to production.


4. Manage services not servers 

IT needs a different set of tools and processes to completely embrace the idea of delivering services in a way that is agnostic to how each component is provisioned. A good example: the building block approach of Topology-based Flexible Modeling in HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA), which lets you design services once and then deploy them across traditional, private or public cloud environments.


CSA also provides an online IT shopping cart, allowing end users to select and order multiple services at one time from a web-based catalog, with aggregated pricing and individual subscription service management. This front-end user experience is integrated into more complex automated IT processes, so service provisioning, change requests and decommissioning require much less manual intervention or oversight.


5. Use data for actionable insight

Finally, you need to be able to measure the many facets of value delivered to an organization by the cloud. HP Server Automation provides Automation Insight, which is built on the HP HAVEn big data platform and unifies reporting across products and data sources, including cloud environments. Among many metrics, it measures the status of automation and frequency of updates across the datacenter to help you understand and communicate the value of cloud and automation to the business. 


Pulling it all together

It’s no secret that IT organizations have many varieties of cloud platforms that they can evaluate. But succeeding with cloud is about much more than the technical requirements. To maximize what you can achieve with the cloud, IT must reinvent how it operates in almost every way. HP provides a complete set of solutions that make that possible. To learn more, simply visit these product pages:

Experience the Orchestrated Datacenter

Try out the Orchestrated Datacenter with these downloads and see how it can enable your organization to consistently manage its applications and embed configuration, operational and regulatory compliance policies:  

Next, stop by to interact and share your experiences with HP experts and trusted advisors. Lend your voice to the Automation and Cloud Management community. This is the place to be, when you want to be heard as a practitioner, and collaborate with other practitioners. Easily navigate to the different product communities, practitioner forums and online support teams. Find blogs and articles under the Solutions section to help you build solutions. Under the Products section, find technical communities that serve as your one-stop shop for all the technical information you need. Let your voice be heard in HP's Orchestrated Datacenter.


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