Private Cloud Initiatives are Gaining Strong Momentum, I&O Management Say


Over  60% of a recently surveyed audience of IT professionals responded that their organization has either launched at least one private cloud project (34%) or is planning to launch a private cloud initiative in 2011. 

The global survey carried out by Evolven during a recent event conducted with Forrester Research reflects the enthusiasm by IT Infrastructure and Operations management with the promise of private cloud technology and how it can impact the performance of data center operations. 

The surveyed audience included CIOs, IT Directors, Configuration Managers, Release Managers, System Operations Architects, and Change Managers from many Global 2000 organizations.

Definitive Survey Results

The attendees responded to the question:  Is your company planning to launch a private cloud initiative in 2011?  

The participants could choose from the following response options with the results being:

  • 34% We already have one or more private cloud projects underway 
  • 2% Yes definitely 
  • 13% Under consideration as of now 
  • 13% We may evaluate it in H2/2nd half of this year 
  • 38% No, we have higher priorities 

Managing a  Data Center of Constantly Moving Parts 

Evolven's CEO Sasha Gilenson commented on the results saying, "These reactions reinforce the perception that private cloud is gaining traction as the foundation for the modern data center, yet IT organizations still face major challenges in preparing their infrastructure to meet this need.  The transition to on-premise private cloud-based IT delivery actually represents a dramatic shift for most IT organizations, and this transition is fraught with a number of risks.  The growth of private clouds means more support for dynamically changing environment architectures and configurations, and this will require automated configuration management processes that focus on control components."

Today's Complex and Dynamic Environments

Private clouds need minimal human intervention other than bringing in new computers or storage to keep up with demand. In a private cloud environment, there is usually one console that lets operators set parameters to automate entire processes, rather than requiring IT personnel to log into different consoles for security, networking, server OS functions etc. Cloud infrastructures also rely significantly on virtualization, increasing the demand for supporting dynamically changing environment architectures and configurations. The fully automated virtualized infrastructure driven by dynamic interaction supports the deployment and management of on-premise private clouds, providing both orchestration and automation for private clouds on top of the virtualization layer.

In a virtualized environment, the operators generally don't know exactly where an application is running at any given time, impacting the IT infrastructure from the implementation of the first virtual machine (VM) host. 

The pace with which the private cloud technologies are being adopted by Infrastructure and Operations puts a significant strain on IT resources. This survey reflects the enthusiasm shown by IT professionals for private clouds, underscoring the need to address configuration management processes and technology to maintain stability for private cloud infrastructures..

Need for Rigorous Controls in the Private Cloud Infrastructure 

The The whole point of a private cloud is to allow IT managers to reduce costs and provide agile provisioning rather than just making management of the infrastructure more convenient. A private cloud with virtualization underpinnings turns the technology infrastructure into a pool of resources that can be provisioned on demand with minimal manual intervention.

Yet transitioning from a traditional data center, even one already with some virtualized servers to a private cloud architecture is no easy task, particularly given that the entire data center won't be cloud-enabled, at least not right away.

The success of private cloud-based deployment relies heavily on its ability to provide visibility on performance and service levels.  Without mechanisms for seeing what is happening, IT management can face huge obstacles in meeting service levels, maintaining performance, and achieving compliance. Critical configuration information must be able to be extracted from the private cloud-based environment to ensure the system remains compliant, and is performing at optimum levels.

Redefining  Configuration Management for the Private Cloud: Take on Risk in the Modern Data Center 

As  enterprises expand their use of private cloud, ensuring environment configuration integrity and control becomes an even greater challenge. IT Operations are pressed to validate the integrity of heterogeneous environments, with the limited visibility into image content, environment issues go unnoticed, hindering incident resolution. As cloud infrastructure relies significantly on virtualization, it demands even more support for dynamically changing environment architectures and configurations. 

This situation demands new requirements for change management and configuration management. The private cloud infrastructure requires support for dynamically changing environment architecture and configuration, with the ability to turn sizeable amounts of change and configuration data into actionable information. This demands the automation of configuration management processes and integration with automated deployment tools.

Evolven has redefined configuration management for the modern data center. Evolven's groundbreaking Configuration Analytics solution takes on the dynamics and complexity of the modern data center and cloud, in a way that was never available before. 

IT Operations and Infrastructure teams use Evolven to: 

Our customers, on average, report a 42% reduction in cost of downtime, 50% cut in mean-time-to-resolution, and a 35% drop in the number of incidents.

Learn More

See the full webinar where the survey was conducted. Presented with Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, Jean-Pierre Garbani, the webinar explores  the complexity, dynamics and disruptive technologies that create a grim situation for business services, increasing risk and undermining productivity:  http://www.evolven.com/webinar-change-forrester.html

We've also organized many more articles and insights showing the impact of cloud on IT Operations, see below for more:

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Written by Martin Perlin.

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