‘Cloud is chang­ing in­fra man­age­ment land­scape’

The ad­vent of cloud is mak­ing fun­da­men­tal changes in three key com­po­nents of in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment: peo­ple, pro­cesses and tech­nol­ogy

InformationWeek - - Contents -

The ad­vent of cloud is mak­ing fun­da­men­tal changes in three key com­po­nents of in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment: peo­ple, pro­cesses and tech­nol­ogy

T he big­gest change cloud is mak­ing on in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment (IM) is re-defin­ing it from be­ing tech­nol­ogy driven to run­ning an IM busi­ness for the end users — evolv­ing the con­cept of IT as a ser­vice. This is mak­ing a change at that philo­soph­i­cal level as ev­ery ex­ist­ing re­source, com­po­nent and ele­ment needs to be re-looked in the light of be­ing a busi­ness. Let’s see how cloud is af­fect­ing key com­po­nents of in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment:

PEO­PLE

Tra­di­tion­ally, in­fra­struc­ture has been silo-based and the same has been the case with team-man­aged net­works, data cen­ter or end users. With cloud in the play, manag­ing IT as a ser­vice is equiv­a­lent to manag­ing a busi­ness in a dis­trib­uted en­vi­ron­ment — com­pelling em­ploy­ees to re-skill in short- to mid-term. The IM teams will have to be trained in the ar­eas of ser­vice man­age­ment, ven­dor/sup­plier man­age­ment, end-user ex­pe­ri­ence man­age­ment, etc.

PRO­CESSES

From process per­spec­tive, ITIL has been the back­bone of tra­di­tional IT in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment, which was de­vel­oped to man­age pri­mar­ily in-house in­fra­struc­ture. The ITIL ser­vice man­age­ment frame­work es­tab­lishes pro­cesses for en­sur­ing avail­abil­ity, con­ti­nu­ity, se­cu­rity and all other as­pects of ser­vice level man­age­ment.

In the cloud world, IT de­part­ments will of­fer IT as a ser­vice with a hy­brid ecosys­tem. So, avail­abil­ity, con­ti­nu­ity, se­cu­rity, etc., will de­pend on mul­ti­ple providers with their own level of so­phis­ti­ca­tion — mak­ing it much more com­plex to stitch it to­gether and drive ef­fi­cien­cies, along with de­liv­er­ing busi­ness value. Cloud also de­mands change in the level of gran­u­lar­ity re­quired to be man­aged — the fo­cus must be more on pro­cesses that are crit­i­cal for busi­ness users. The man­age­ment of ser­vice met­rics and per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters that are of­fered by the out­sourcer also be­comes very crit­i­cal. SLAs (which tra­di­tion­ally have been more tech­ni­cal in na­ture) will change to busi­ness SLAs as you are of­fer­ing IT as a ser­vice. Ser­vice up­time will be most im­por­tant and SLAs will have to be man­aged ac­cord­ingly.

TECH­NOL­OGY

In the cloud era, we are look­ing at a sin­gle pane of glass for all IM — be it phys­i­cal, vir­tual or cloud (pri­vate or pub­lic). Man­age­ment plat­forms will have self-ser­vice com­bined with process au­toma­tion to ac­cel­er­ate com­pute re­source de­liv­ery times and im­prove the IT ser­vice de­liv­ery ex­pe­ri­ence. Au­toma­tion plat­form should al­low com­pa­nies to se­lect from sev­eral pre-de­fined au­toma­tion work­flows, set up dif­fer­ent pro­cesses for dif­fer­ent groups and should be able to cus­tom­ize the ser­vice de­liv­ery. Charge­back will be an­other crit­i­cal com­po­nent of tech­nol­ogy in the cloud world. From mon­i­tor­ing per­spec­tive, ded­i­cated con­verged in­fra­struc­ture cov­er­age will be im­por­tant — auto mon­i­tor­ing of VMs, de­tect­ing new VM guests, auto ap­ply­ing mon­i­tor­ing and put­ting pol­icy control alerts for fail­ure ver­sus re­movals will be some of the crit­i­cal fea­tures to look out for.

While the un­der­ly­ing pieces of in­fra­struc­ture will re­main same with the ad­vent of cloud, the in­creased busi­ness fo­cus in the new en­vi­ron­ment will make sig­nif­i­cant changes in the way we ap­proach IM across all the com­po­nents. IT as a ser­vice is the new de­liv­ery paradigm and IM will con­tinue to evolve to han­dle this new paradigm ef­fec­tively.

Vaib­hav Te­wari

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