With nearly 1,200 virtual machines in the environment, and approximately 90 new VMs being created each month, the storage and virtualization team within the university act as an internal cloud services provider to the IT Services support staff, who in turn provide services to the other members of the university, both staff and students.
With a team of seven, the process of deploying virtual machines was becoming a time-consuming exercise. A typical application would be made up of three tiers, consisting of a database server, an application server and a web server. When the team recorded the steps involved in deploying a VM, they found it took approximately seven hours from deployment to hand-off. This included such tasks as IPAM registration, adding to Veeam Backup, creating CMDB entries in ServiceNow, and producing a VM configuration report.
Time Saving was the biggest benefit
Prior to implementing vCommander, requests for systems would come in via service tickets, emails or phone calls, and invariably, not all the required information was provided, adding delay in deploying systems. Now, by using a service catalog with system blueprint forms, all the information is gathered upfront. Sandbox systems can be provisioned immediately, and production systems requiring an approval workflow are provisioned within 30 minutes.
A Simple Interface
In addition to the time saved in provisioning virtual machines, time has also been saved by integrating vCommander with ServiceNow, and automatically populating the fields in the ServiceNow CMDB, so that configuration information no longer has to be entered manually.
"Having fewer manual intervention steps to deploy and decommission virtual machines, along with the simplicity of the interface itself, is what makes vCommander stand out from the competition.” said Ian Mcbride, Senior Storage and Virtualization Specialist at the University.
You can read the complete University of Birmingham case study here.