The talk of cloud is continuous. What first began as a private cloud discussion has morphed into a focus on public clouds and most recently on the hybrid cloud model. As clouds continue to evolve, IT must pay close attention to how end-users are using these platforms through effective and cost efficient management solutions.
But regardless of the type of cloud found in your company today or in the future, one of the consistent concerns for IT is cost. We all know that IT budgets are constrained and staff sizes are shrinking, but the amount of data and dependence on IT services is growing. Automation is one way by which IT is addressing the growing demand for services, but there still remains a strong management and financial analysis component that IT must oversee. In order to efficiently deliver cloud services, IT must have integrated cost models and financial analysis. IT must know how to monitor resources and chargeback virtual machine (VM) costs to various business units. These figures will assist in tracking increased demand and capacity of the virtual environment and building out cost models. In other words, you need economic visibility.
Economic visibility is becoming increasingly important with the introduction of heterogeneous, multi-hypervisor environments. As we predicted earlier this year, companies are adopting multi-hypervisor environments for financial reasons, and there are now viable, cost-effective alternatives to VMware. We are seeing companies turn to Microsoft Hyper-V and other solutions for testing and development within the data center, which will lead to the introduction of Hyper-V in production environments later this year. The importance of managing these multiple hypervisors and tracking costs increases as environments become more complex. By tracking the cost of VMs and overall virtual environments, IT gains insight into the actual funds required to run the business. And with this insight comes the necessary knowledge to select the most cost-efficient hypervisor to use within each area of the business.
Although cloud automation and management remain key concerns for IT, gaining economic visibility into the environment is now equally important.