In this final post covering the 10 signs that you need to invest in a cloud management platform, to help combat the challenges caused by non-standard approaches, process inefficiencies, and the creation of a shadow IT organization.
These final four signs cover IT sprawl, Hybrid cloud infrastructure, resiurce consumption forecasting and mandates from above.
Sign #7: Overprovisioned Resources and IT Sprawl
For almost the entire time that Embotics has been in business, we have seen in virtualized environments the indications of sprawl, the growth of sprawl, and the limitations that it can bring to organizations, and of course, that has continued over the years into all forms of cloud deployments as well.
One example of this was an IT manager at a national retailer, and we asked him how many VMware vCenters that they had in their environment, and he was convinced that they had only 2. After installing vCommander and it did an auto-discovery and inventory, and we found that they had 5, along with 500 additional workloads beyond what he thought they were using. So they had 3 additional vCenters, and 500 workloads that were not being tracked and were unknown.
“They uncovered $4.3M in recoverable sprawl resources”
Another customer in the automotive industry knew that they had sprawl in their datacenters, but they didn’t know the magnitude of it. They just knew they were using up storage and other resources and wanted to address the problem. Once vCommander was installed, and again, did its auto-discovery, they uncovered $4.3M in recoverable sprawl resources. This was traced back to over-provisioned storage, over-allocated CPU, and over-allocated memory.
The final customer example is a global technology company who used what they called “the blue screen of death audit” to measure and fix virtual sprawl. This company, who primarily used Windows as their server OS, knew they had sprawl and knew they were really good at creating workloads, especially in their pre-production lab, and they knew they weren’t that good at shutting them down. So they decided to do something about it, as they had thousands of these workloads, and to go at them one at a time would take forever, so they came up with a plan to shut all of the pre-production workloads in the dev lab down over the weekend, and waited for the Monday morning to see who contacted the support desk, and those that did were told that their systems had a “Windows blue screen of death” and IT would help resolve the issue.
Almost 60% of the powered down workloads never caused a complaint, never had a call from the users, and were ultimately reclaimed, and recycled from a resource perspective.
Moving to the rental model, with just-in-time provisioning of standard workloads, will help reduce sprawl. Cost visibility also helps by preventing over-provisioning. Even without chargeback, your end users’ behavior will change when they see that 8 CPUs cost more than 2. A Cloud Management Platform with integrated workload rightsizing recommendations helps even more, providing information to your IT consumers while at the same time letting them make the ultimate resource decisions for their applicable workloads.
Sign #8: Make Way for Hybrid IT
Most people believe that hybrid It is the way forward for most enterprises. Most enterprises today are already experiencing Shadow IT as we discussed back on Sign #5, and most have more than one platform in their environment, whether that’s a mix of hypervisors, or one hypervisor and one cloud, but most have mix and match of platforms. IT organizations require a single pane of glass to manage both on-premise and public clouds, as it’s just not efficient to be switching between different views, and different applications, and treating them as they are stand-alone platforms or infrastructures.
“it’s just not efficient to be switching between different views”
A unified management is one of the core principles across public and private clouds for a Cloud Management Platform, providing not only that single pane of glass, but also enabling automated ITaaS across all of these environments.
Sign #9: Forecasting Resource Consumption is Difficult
Workloads that live forever and resources that are over-provisioned make it extremely difficult to budget and plan purchases. It’s easier for development teams to clamor for more than to optimize what they currently use.
“They were constantly throwing money and terabytes into a black hole”
Another of our retail customers knew that they were going through storage in their virtualized environment, they were constantly throwing money and terabytes into a black hole, and had no visibility into why they were utilizing so much storage in the virtual and cloud datacenters. With vCommander installed, they could see that they were growing at a rate of 4TB per month, and they could for the first time, break that down against storage usage by project and by individuals, so that it started to mean something, and they could start to make decisions around what was good spend, and what wasn’t.
An efficient CMP implementation provides predictability while optimizing the use of all current and future resources. Agreed-upon “virtual data center” resource sandboxes for your dev teams prompt them to police their own consumption, freeing up IT to do more important things and significantly mitigating sprawl.
Sign #10: Your CIO Has Mandated a Move to ITaaS
We often hear that IT organizations have a top-down mandate to move to ITaaS or to move the cloud and deliver self-service portals. And this can be a difficult thing for some companies to go through with all the process transformation that can be involved. Some of the best examples of this being done successfully have come from companies where they do their best to avoid unnecessary technology complexity.
“Avoid unnecessary technology complexity”
A Cloud Management Platform can ease that journey to ITaaS, but we also recommend that you focus on some key criteria, such as ease of use, the ability to replicate systems and processes, and neutrality in the vendors that you work with.
There needs to be a leader who has the vision and sees the inherent business value, and who is willing to push the IT organization to undertake these changes so that IT becomes an enabler to the business.
So there you have it, the top ten signs that show you may need to be investing in a cloud management platform. If youd liek a recap of them all, you can download the Cloud Managers Guide addressing the subject from here:
So is it time YOU invested in a cloud management platform ? Maybe you should start by trying a CMP out in your environment to see how quickly you can start to address some of the issues talked about in this blog series. If so, you can download the full vCommander product here: