Monday, January 2, 2017

Digital Foundation - Reducing the complexity in current infrastructure

When building anything substantial, such as a house or bridge, you start by laying down a solid foundation.

Nothing changes this aspect of building brick by brick when you move from traditional constructions to application development and architectural design of your supporting infrastructure. Throw in Cloud terminology and you might think that the principles of a solid foundation are a bit flighty, but nothing is further from the truth.

In the previous article, I talked about how you can deal with the challenge of a sprawling infrastructure that is reducing your ability to deliver services on time. You are shown how this challenge to digital transformation can be surmounted and how to accelerate your ITs ability to deliver successfully.

Digital foundations

Let's take a look in this article at what you can do with open technologies to reduce the complexity in your current infrastructure to support your digital journey:
To start reducing complexity in a current infrastructure you need to tackle optimization of your current processes and increase efficiency with policy driven automation to continue on the path of building a solid digital foundation for your organization.

Reducing complexity

While speeding up the delivery of services in your environment is one of the steps on the road to building your digital foundations, your operations continues to spend the majority of their time on the day-to-day management of your environments.
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When so much time is lost to management of existing environments, how can you expect them to deliver on the next generation of scalable and programmable infrastructure or find time to engage early with development teams to increase agility in delivering on customer promises?
Let's take a look at what can be done with policy driven automation to help operations optimize their IT management activities.

Optimize IT

Many of the day-to-day tasks of an operations department can be optimized by applying management through automation largely driven by policies. Seems like common sense, but may IT departments continue to struggle with this very topic and fail to make good use of their current environments.

The first set of policies that you can profit from are based on workload placement, such as when one virtual cluster is running hot while another is completely cold. The results are calls or tickets being raised by owners of the applications running on the hot cluster asking why their applications are under performing. By automating the balancing of clusters through proper policies will keep your virtual infrastructure operators free to focus on more important tasks.

Another area where policies can help is with the ability to quickly move workloads between different infrastructure environments. This has become increasingly important as organizations looks to adopt scale-out IaaS clouds. Operations leadership realizes if they can identify workloads that do not need to run on (typically) more expensive virtual infrastructure they could save money by moving those workloads to their IaaS private cloud. This migration is typically a manual process and it’s also difficult to even understand what workloads can be moved. By having a systematic and automated way of identifying and migrating workloads enterprises can save time and move workloads quickly to reduce costs.

These are but two examples of how you can optimize your IT by implementing policy based automation that will deliver on promised improvements to your resource utilization and reductions on expenses per workload managed. The following slides showcase visually what it looks like to reduce the complexity of your infrastructure with Open Source Cloud technologies.

The story continues...  next up on building the foundations of digital transformation, I will be a look at increasing the agility in delivering customer solutions.