Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Mark Cravotta, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Virtualization

Cloud Expo: Article

Next Generation Datacenters: From Legacy to the Cloud

Part 2 of 5 – The Strategy – Step 1 Insight

This is part 2 of the continuing article series “From Legacy to the Cloud: Next Generation Datacenters”

Restating the obvious: Business and IT have planned, designed and operated business systems in a silo-oriented manner with disconnected decisions and actions as to how the business needs to executes and systems are created.

In the first article in this series I stated that there is not silver bullet or single strategy that solves all. There is however, proven methods and successful strategies that multiple firms have employed to attack the legacy problems in their existing datacenter infrastructures and iterate their way towards next generation datacenters and IT delivery ala Cloud Computing Models.

There is a four-step strategy for attacking legacy IT will be described. These steps can be summarized as:

  • Insight – ‘day in the life’ understanding of both business and IT in terms of execution, historical decisions and actions and objective understanding of the actual situation as it exists today.
  • Alignment – creating a common language, taxonomy and system creation model to produce repeatable results.
  • Control – specific actions, tooling, process and approach to ensure the appropriate change occurs and re-occurs successfully.
  • Sustainment – mechanisms and processes instituted in a repeatable discipline to ensure consistent results and avoid falling back into the legacy traps.

Step 1 – Insight

The most imposing barrier facing Business and IT organizations today is the lack of comprehensive & holistic insight into how the Business executes across the IT Supply Chain.

An effective strategy to create a common dialogue focus is a system thinking process of “day in a life”. How does the business originate, service and fulfill the generation of revenue and servicing of customers. Dimensions of the dialogue need to incorporate the definition of the value chain of the business (read Michael Porter) and how various business processes transcend across this chain in a typically daily process. Variations such a business calendar events, client behavior demographics, demographic coverage and wall clock changes must be identified and understood. As these points of view and understanding are gathered it is essential to ensure that they are captured along with business driver linkages, key performance indicator identification and any associated perceived deficiencies. Ensure all of this is accurately documented, reviewed and signed-off by the business to help prioritize decision-making and support strategy creation.

Let's call this “Know how you make money”

Now the key is to NOT stop there. The Business and IT need to then understand and correlate the runtime execution of the business processes across the IT Supply Chain. This means how does transactions, service requests, fulfillment requests, marketing actions, content sharing, online collaboration, financial & compliance reporting actually occur across the various components and processes of the IT systems located in their datacenters.

So there is a parallel day in the life execution model of IT that Business and IT must mutually understand.

Let's call this “Know what fulfills your money making process”

Once the day in the life framework is defined and documented it becomes critical that firms start to gather objective data on usage demographics (business and users using systems), performance demographics (how user experience performs across the systems and data centers), economic demographics (which users on what systems consume what supply in what trended manner against what asset allocation/depreciation/acquisition strategy), system demographics (inventory, composition, inter-dependency, fungability) IT Standards demographics (application patterns standards, infrastructure pattern standards, deployment model standards and systems management & monitoring practices. This should be captured in a some kind of portfolio management system linking demand and supply behavioral models that have been captured through the process defined above.

Let's call this “Know your supply chain components & usage”

The next part of the day in the life of the IT side of the house is conducting a capability assessment of the people and associated processes to build the supply chain, run the supply chain and govern the supply chain. Here it is critical to profile, analyze, assess and score on a competency, maturity and alignment basis. Information gathered and scored here should include skills inventory, planning & design processes, build and operate processes, govern and optimize processes. It is critical to get this current state documented and digitized to support critical decision-making & strategy planning.

Let's call this “Know who & how you operate your supply chain”

Summary

To some of the readers, the step above is a no-brainer. Others may believe it is unnecessary or not an effective investment of time. In either case, proven strategies and successful IT organizations have a very strong discipline and understanding of current state. It is the organizations that link business value creation with demand prioritization and profiling tied to IT capabilities that will create, implement and operationalize successful transformation strategies of their business and IT operations.

In part 3, we will explore how to apply the insight captured by following part 2 of this blog. Here decision-making and execution actions are dependent on the quality and accuracy of the input information gathered in the Insight described above.

More Stories By Tony Bishop

Blueprint4IT is authored by a longtime IT and Datacenter Technologist. Author of Next Generation Datacenters in Financial Services – Driving Extreme Efficiency and Effective Cost Savings. A former technology executive for both Morgan Stanley and Wachovia Securities.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
After a couple of false starts, cloud-based desktop solutions are picking up steam, driven by trends such as BYOD and pervasive high-speed connectivity. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, cuts through the hype and the acronyms, and discusses the emergence of full-featured cloud workspaces that do for the desktop what cloud infrastructure did for the server. He’ll discuss VDI vs DaaS, implementation strategies and evaluation criteria.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Esri has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Esri inspires and enables people to positively impact the future through a deeper, geographic understanding of the changing world around them. For more information, visit http://www.esri.com.
Cloud Computing is evolving into a Big Three of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Cloud 360: Multi-Cloud Bootcamp, being held Nov 4–5, 2014, in conjunction with 15th Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA, delivers a real-world demonstration of how to deploy and configure a scalable and available web application on all three platforms. The Cloud 360 Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, an analyst with Gigaom Research, is the first bootcamp that introduces the core concepts of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) based on the workings of the Big Three platforms – Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, and Azure VMs. Bootcamp attendees will get to see the big picture and also receive the knowledge needed to make the best cloud decisions for their business applications and entire enterprise IT organization.
“Distrix fits into the overall cloud and IoT model around software-defined networking. There’s a broad category around software-defined networking that’s focused on data center, and we focus on the WAN,” explained Jay Friedman, President of Distrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at 15th Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, Vice President, Product Strategy of LogMeIn's Xively IoT Platform, will show you how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
“The Internet of Things is a wave that has arrived and it’s growing really fast. The concern at Aria Systems is making sure that people understand the ramifications of their attempts to monetize whatever it is they build on the Internet of Things," explained C Brendan O’Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect at Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the Internet of @ThingsExpo, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world.
The Internet of Things is a natural complement to the cloud and related technologies such as Big Data, analytics, and mobility. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Joe Weinman will lay out four generic strategies – digital disciplines – to exploit emerging digital technologies for strategic advantage. Joe Weinman has held executive leadership positions at Bell Labs, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, and Telx, in areas such as corporate strategy, business development, product management, operations, and R&D.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DevOps.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's “DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo,” which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. DevOps.com is where the world meets DevOps. It is the largest collection of original content relating to DevOps on the web today Featuring up-to-the-minute news, feature stories, blogs, bylined articles and more, DevOps.com is where the thought leaders of the DevOps movement make their ideas known.
There are 182 billion emails sent every day, generating a lot of data about how recipients and ISPs respond. Many marketers take a more-is-better approach to stats, preferring to have the ability to slice and dice their email lists based numerous arbitrary stats. However, fundamentally what really matters is whether or not sending an email to a particular recipient will generate value. Data Scientists can design high-level insights such as engagement prediction models and content clusters that allow marketers to cut through the noise and design their campaigns around strong, predictive signals, rather than arbitrary statistics. SendGrid sends up to half a billion emails a day for customers such as Pinterest and GitHub. All this email adds up to more text than produced in the entire twitterverse. We track events like clicks, opens and deliveries to help improve deliverability for our customers – adding up to over 50 billion useful events every month. While SendGrid data covers only abo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the Web Host Industry Review has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 2000, The Web Host Industry Review has made a name for itself as the foremost authority of the Web hosting industry providing reliable, insightful and comprehensive news, reviews and resources to the hosting community. TheWHIR Blogs provides a community of expert industry perspectives. The Web Host Industry Review Magazine also offers a business-minded, issue-driven perspective of interest to executives and decision-makers. WHIR TV offers on demand web hosting video interviews and web hosting video features of the key persons and events of the web hosting industry. WHIR Events brings together like-minded hosting industry professionals and decision-makers in local communities. TheWHIR is an iNET Interactive property.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.