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Organizational Change OPT-4743-GD

Craig StanleyBy Craig Stanley

This group discussion session was hosted by Kevin Lees, Principal Architect, VMware, and Alberto Martinez, Consulting Architect, VMware to a full audience. The topic for this session was organizational change and generated some great audience questions that Kevin and Alberto were able to address.

Kevin started out with a framework for organizational change that encompassed three basic areas: people, process and technology application. The first question from the audience was perhaps the issue most central to IT when trying to deliver software-defined data center (SDDC) services: silos of people.

A reality of current software-defined IT is that with today’s advances, technology deployment and management is becoming increasingly easier. But while technology has successfully advanced to bridge its traditional silos (hardware, software and cables), organizational infrastructure and people have not. That was the first challenge posed by the audience; how do we break down the barriers and people silos in IT that severely limit the potential value of SDDC?

Another participant suggested that in their organization, they worked to weaken the barriers and make them more “porous,” rather than try to tear them down. Kevin added that silos are an unfortunate side-effect to the consulting concept of “plan, build, run,” which delivers results, but compartmentalizes staffing, skills and process.

Some of Kevin’s solution suggestions were to:

  1. Start with a greenfield SDDC implementation to avoid legacy organizational impact
  2. Build a cross-functional team consisting of an SDDC architect, engineer, analyst, developer, and administrator
  3. Identify SDDC “champions” from the other core services (like security, storage and networking) and make them part of the SDDC implementation and operations team

He noted that these last three roles are not usually dedicated SDDC resources as there is rarely additional budget available for this specialization. Instead, he recommends these champions not only be fully involved in the project, but have two changes made to their performance objectives:

Have their performance based in part on:

  1. The success of the SDDC infrastructure architecture team
  2. Becoming an evangelist for the SDDC infrastructure operations team within their “silos”

By tying performance and economic benefit to the SDDC project, a powerful incentive is created for participation outside the silo. It also enables the SDDC infrastructure to scale in the future.

A second challenge was offered to the presenters around how to handle the politics of organizational change. Alberto responded that the key is to get executive buy-in and sponsorship and keep them engaged in the process. Kevin added that internal marketing, education and awareness are needed to “sell” the solution and benefits to some parts of the organization.

A follow-on question was asked about middle-management “fiefdoms” that can block silo removal. Again, the general answer is executive sponsorship through convincing or coercion, although the latter is least desirable. In situations where the sponsor is unwilling, unable or constrained by cultural norms to address the fiefdom barriers, the team suggested failure is a likely unavoidable outcome with the best case being a less-than-optimal solution.

The final audience question was about how to handle SDDC initiatives in an outsourced environment. Kevin responded that it usually doesn’t work out. In most outsourcing arrangements, the outsourcer is compensated by the number of heads or activities performed, and are not incented to improve effectiveness. One might argue that the outsourced customer should not care but inefficient services impact the outsourcer’s margin, and that cost is passed along to the customer; furthermore, opportunities for customer agility are lost. A solution would be to ensure the customer’s contracts allow for benchmarking the outsourcer’s processes against industry-standard delivery. Negotiating more rigid service-level agreements would also help, but may trigger higher outsourcer fees. The customer would need to balance efficiencies against the cost of service.

Kevin and Alberto wrapped up with a comment that the greatest benefits of the SDDC-led organizational changes are to reduce Keeping The Lights On (KTLO) and wait-time activities, therefore, freeing up time and resources for more productive activities.

Craig is on the Global Technology & Professional Services team and supports TAM service development. Craig developed the Customer Maturity Assessment, the NSX Readiness Assessment and several other methodologies used by TAMs. Craig has over 30 years of experience in IT, covering Development, Systems Support, Data Center Management, Strategic IT Planning, and Benchmarking. Prior to VMware, Craig was a Research Director and VP with Gartner, Inc. Craig managed and led the evolution of the server models and architected the storage management TCO and ROI models. Craig also authored several research notes on TCO, ROI and Best Practices. Craig holds a bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Management from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.

VMworld Barcelona: Streamlining Data Center Operations (Real World Experiences)

With Colin Fernandes, Cloud Management Solution Evangelist

ae_avatarBy Adam Eckerle

TAM Day was full of great sessions and I was able to attend the second Business Track session presented by Colin Fernandes, Cloud Management Solution Evangelist on Monday afternoon. Colin’s session, “Streamlining Data Center Operations – Real World Experiences,” gave TAM Day attendees an overview of the business challenges for IT operations and showed how several customers overcame those challenges with the VMware family of products.

I really enjoyed the way Colin engaged with the audience straight away by walking amongst us instead of sticking to the stage. His thoughts were insightful and his use of real customer use cases did a wonderful job illustrating the messages he set out to deliver. The session was business-focused but Colin was able to weave in some technical bits that I believe catered to some of the architects in the room. But, more to the point, we not only heard Colin speak of today’s operational challenges, but also why those challenges exist in the first place.

Colin sprinkled in some great terms such as “Digital Darwinism” and “Technical Debt” that he used to describe some of his four key points:

  • Digital transformation
  • Operational challenges
  • Here & now – customer use cases
  • Roadmap

With each point came more context of the challenges our customers face along with the value of our solutions in real world settings. Colin spoke about Cost and Agility where he made a great point that Cost is much more complex than just the price tag. And in an unexpected turn, we were even discussing Big Data and how the amount of data that exists is overwhelming – yet our understanding of data can cause false assumptions and conclusions which can negatively impact our customers and their businesses.

The customer use cases and stories were definitely the highlight of the session for me, and I think most of our TAM customers would agree! The customers varied in size and stature from a medium-sized Hospital to a large Global Enterprise. While the challenges of these disparate customers had quite a few common threads, the ways in which each of them attacked and ultimately overcame them were quite different. We heard how Log Insight and vRealize Operations really worked to enable correlation and context for the enormous amount of data being collected from our customers’ infrastructures. This, in turn, enabled infrastructure decisions to be made quicker and with less risk while leading to more efficient operations.

Colin was also able to succinctly provide guidance on when it makes sense to go all-in with orchestration using tools such as vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation – which I feel was spot on.

After reflecting on the session and my notes, one of the big takeaways from Colin is that there are many common infrastructure challenges, and just having the monitoring data alone doesn’t enable our customers to properly act on that data. Customers need context, or said in another way, they need intelligence to go along with that data. And finally, the parameters of our customers’ businesses – such as size, industry, and priorities – will dictate how to best act on that intelligence. This was definitely a great session and Colin did an amazing job keeping the audience engaged and making the session extremely informative.


Adam is currently a TAM for VMware who works with a small number of large Enterprise & Government customers as a consultant within the VMware Professional Services Organization (PSO). Adam provides technical guidance and advocacy to his customers and provides customers access to exclusive content, access to road maps & product managers, as well as being the single point of contact for everything VMware-related. He currently holds VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DTD, EMCISA, and several Cisco Data Center Specialist certifications. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.

VMworld Barcelona: TAM Day Welcome and Executive Keynote

Craig StanleyBy Craig Stanley

The 10th annual EMEA TAM Day kicked off to a large and engaged audience of over 400 TAM customers. Toby Luscher, TAM Practice Manager, got the day started with an interesting analogy about how Generation Z views technology differently from the older generations. He commented on how the younger generations have an expectation, not of technology, but of apps. He gave an example of how his daughter changed banks three times – not because of service issues or incentives, as would have previous generations, but rather because of the bank’s apps. The world is increasingly moving toward a commoditized environment where true innovation is rooted in the customer or user experience.


Joe Baguley, Vice President & CTO EMEA, then took the stage with a topic called “A Cloud For All Seasons.” His presentation highlighted the current IT challenges of bridging between our rigid infrastructure and a more dynamic, digital one. He reiterated the increasing reality of “app-consumerism” and described the obstacles that hinder IT from being application-agile. Every IT project follows a cycle of implementing an application, collecting data from it, analyzing it, then evolving into the next generation of the application. He stated this cycle typically takes about 18 months – far too slow for app-hungry consumers. Where technology innovation of the 1970’s through the 2000’s was focused on building better infrastructure, today’s leading innovators focus on building better and faster processes.


The message for today’s IT leaders is to figure out how to move through the application development cycle faster and getting infrastructure out of the way. VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center leadership provides the foundation for any application to be delivered on any server, on any storage and on any network, thus helping IT respond to customer application demand.


Evolve Your Cloud With IT Business Management

Sajai Krishnan, VP, Product Marketing, presented an overview of IT Business Management (ITBM) highlighting the solutions of vRealize Business to a group of about 100 TAM customers. Sajai described the problems facing many IT organization in having the right information at the right time to be able to make the most effective decisions in IT business management.

He identified three common problems ITBM helps with:

  1. Decisions are made by “gut feel” – Without internal information systems and data, infrastructure and architecture decisions are made without any metrics or data.
  2. Problems with cost allocation models – Cost-only allocation methods create conflict since all systems consume varying levels of resources. By forcing lower-cost applications to subsidize more expensive environments, opportunities are created for disgruntled LOBs to seek a more equitable solution outside IT.
  3. Difficulty in explaining IT costs – Without metrics and data, the cost to support an application cannot be made transparent or clear enough to communicate the value being delivered.

Sajai illustrated how the ITBM processes can help customers who may be at a:

  1. Crawl stage – Just getting started with costs and metrics around vSphere
  2. Walk stage – Implementing cloud business management around hybrid clouds
  3. Run stage – Implementing IT Business Management, providing full financial management for the entire IT services stack (one cloud, any app, anywhere)

Private Cloud Costing is the ITBM solution that helps the customer at the “walk stage” by automating vSphere costs and utilization. The Cloud Business Management solution targets the “walk stage” by giving customers the ability to compare and contrast the operational costs of servers and application groups across private and common public cloud providers. It provides the customer with a dashboard illustrating where the greatest cost efficiencies may be located. Lastly, Enterprise IT Business Management closes the loop on the “run stage” by supporting data integration with corporate information systems (HR, payroll, GL, etc.) to better illustrate the value IT brings to the entire business.

The session closed with a couple of questions regarding scale, such as the ability to handle as many as 20 vCenters. Sajai commented that ITBM solutions could fully scale to larger environments such as these.

Empower the Mobile Ecosystem Through Strategy and Secure Enterprise Integration

This session was presented by Dor Zakai, EMEA Sales Engineering Manager to an audience of 60. The main focus of the session was around Air Watch, and this solution enhanced the mobility demands of customers, while maintaining the prime directives of IT are around security, management and enablement. Dor noted that the current mobile environment is complex and becoming more complex rapidly. To make matters worse, oftentimes multiple mobile initiatives are going on at the same time, many of which may not be heading toward the same outcomes.

Dor illustrated the new integration developments in iOS, Windows 10 and Android that allow Air Watch to effectively enable user device sourcing while maintaining security, control and governance. Some of the key services Air Watch delivers are:

  1. Mobile Device Management – The ability to support multiple devices, OS’s, etc.
  2. Mobile Applications Management – Providing one catalog for corporate apps and providing adaptive access with SSO (Single Sign On)
  3. Mobile Content Management – Provides enterprise-grade security, forces content expiration and controls downloads, sharing, etc.
  4. Mobile Email Management – Provides email integration with most existing mail systems or via an Air Watch inbox
  5. Mobile Browsing Management – Provides a secure browsing environment with or without VPN
  6. Unified Laptop Management – Air Watch handles more than just mobile devices

In closing, Dor explained how Air Watch can empower IT to respond to and deliver information ubiquity without sacrificing a secure environment, control over data leaving the firewall, and enabling users to be more productive.


Craig is on the Global Technology & Professional Services team and supports TAM service development. Craig developed the Customer Maturity Assessment, the NSX Readiness Assessment and several other methodologies used by TAMs. Craig has over 30 years of experience in IT, covering Development, Systems Support, Data Center Management, Strategic IT Planning, and Benchmarking. Prior to VMware, Craig was a Research Director and VP with Gartner, Inc. Craig managed and led the evolution of the server models and architected the storage management TCO and ROI models. Craig also authored several research notes on TCO, ROI and Best Practices. Craig holds a bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Management from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.

VMworld US 2015 Wrap-Up


By Adam Eckerle

What an amazing week! VMworld is now officially behind us, and we wish everyone safe travels back to wherever you call home. As the dust is settling, let’s reflect on some of the key takeaways from this year’s event.

First, we should all have a clear understanding of the VMware vision – One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device. With VMware’s Unified Hybrid Cloud strategy the focus is clearly on bringing private and public clouds together in a single, seamless entity that is the future of how applications are delivered. This vision is extended by the Cloud-Native Apps toolset including VMware vSphere Integrated Containers and VMware Photon Platform. We also saw the official release of EVO SDDC (formerly EVO:RACK), which will accelerate our customers’ ability to deliver a true hybrid cloud based on the VMware Software Defined Data Center model.

The other narrative being established is that VMware is not just about virtual machines. VMware is providing thought leadership and innovation to the industry as these next-generation technologies mature and go to market. Customers want options and VMware is keen to provide those options while also using its lineage and support to create palatable products for enterprise-class customers. But VMware has not forgotten about the other end of the spectrum as it introduced the Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6.1 release. Among the many new features comes support for two-node clusters for SMB and ROBO applications.

As VMworld has entered into its 12th year, one might say that some of its luster is gone. But if you look at the anticipation, attendance and continually vibrant ecosystem of partners, competitors and customers, it is clear that VMworld remains one of the marquee events in our industry. Next year the event will be held in Las Vegas to the delight of many attendees who have enjoyed San Francisco the past few years but are looking for a change of scenery for 2016.

Also, we can take a look at TAM-specific events that took place throughout the week to see excitement levels and engagements were at an all-time high. TAM Day was the largest yet, and customers continually tell us that TAM Day is the single most valuable day of the VMworld event. But TAM Customer Central was not to be dismissed; product managers and engineers were trying to get added to the agenda even after the event had started. This illustrates the incredible importance of TAM customer interactions, not only to customers, but also to VMware. Customer feedback is invaluable and TAM customers really are partners who shape the products!

Our first NSX TAM booth at TAM Customer Central was well received despite the fact that it was not directly or heavily promoted. Nevertheless, we did conduct in-depth NSX discussions with six customers who were quite valuable. We had planned for 30-minute discussions; however, most went on for at least an hour due to customer interest and engagement. The process enabled us to collect NSX Readiness Assessment input and then have an immediate discussion with the customer about the findings. The team was able to have very focused conversations around NSX and network virtualization challenges, and highlight the expertise the NSX TAM service can deliver. The customer was also provided a copy of the analysis delivered to their email while the analysis was underway.

Finally, there were quite a few TAMs who presented sessions and also provided blogs, analysis, and plain old great customer service during the event. Many TAMs stayed right with their customers – abusing their pedometers while still maintaining a high level of energy! It’s easy to see that TAMs love their job and customers, and are outstanding thought leaders and strategic resources.

In summary, VMworld was a stage where the traditional vSphere announcements were overshadowed by Cloud-Native Apps and the One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device mantra. The market has been changing, and VMware is showing that it is working hard to adapt itself while staying true to its core and customers. We’ll see some additional announcements in about a month’s time as VMworld heads to Barcelona in October. But for now we all get to take a breath and reflect on the value that these recent announcements can add to our own organization.


Adam is currently a TAM for VMware who works with a small number of large Enterprise & Government customers as a consultant within the VMware Professional Services Organization (PSO). Adam provides technical guidance and advocacy to his customers and provides customers access to exclusive content, access to road maps & product managers, as well as being the single point of contact for everything VMware-related. He currently holds VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DTD, EMCISA, and several Cisco Data Center Specialist certifications. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.

VMworld 2015: Day 2 –TAM Customer Central Sessions

Everything You Wanted to Know About VMware + Openstack

A TAM Deep Dive session titled “Everything You Wanted to Know About VMware + Openstack” was delivered today to a TAM audience of about 30 attendees. Arvind Soni, VMware Product Line Manager, presented this session to show how aligning the desire for an open vendor-neutral ecosystem combined with VMware’s leading datacenter technology can help IT differentiate and enable deployment. The key message was that VMware is delivering Openstack awareness to its datacenter products to support Openstack innovation while providing a foundation of tools that build on existing operational skills, knowledge and experience.

Arvind posed this common question to the attendees: “What is the best technology to pair with Openstack?” His answer was simply, whatever technology you know best and know how to operate. The biggest benefit of the VMware Integrated Openstack (VIO) is that it provides that Openstack experience on the VMware systems management tools.

Arvind noted that VIO is VMware’s implementation of Openstack which includes the VMware drivers, optimized reference architecture and integrated tools, to drive responsive support for customers using Openstack. By providing a VMware implementation, we can make support issues impacting our customers a priority – something that may not be the priority from the Openstack community. In his response to a question regarding the lag-time between Openstack updates and VIO implementation, Arvind suggested a goal of 5-6 months, depending on the size and scope of changes.

Additionally, Arvind outlined some of the key benefits of VIO 2.0, which simplifies Openstack deployment, integrates SDDC differentiation and features, as well as provides a production-ready, secure and supportable environment.

Finally, Arvind showed a few demos to illustrate the VIO implementation process and the upgrade enhancements being delivered in VIO 2.0.   VIO 2.0 is expected to be generally available by the end of Q3.

HTML5-based ESXi Host Client (TAM6762)

Today, Will Pien, VMware Sr. Product Manager for ESXi, provided our audience an overview of why the HTML5-based ESXi Host Client was being developed. The audience immediately became engaged, and we discussed some of the missing features in the existing fling along with the roadmap into 2016. We also discussed the priorities and development strategies the team is working with in order to better understand some of the tradeoffs that are being dealt with.

While most of the audience hadn’t yet used the ESXi Host Client Fling, Will went into a live demo to show a few of the functionality features such as licensing, host services, and VM functions. The general audience feedback was that the UI was familiar to those who had been using the vSphere Web Client and also intuitive. One of the “crowd favorite” features that is already available, is that any object within the Host Client such as VMs, Datastores, or Performance Charts are able to be bookmarked in the browser. This feature enables a user to go directly to that object without having to navigate through the rest of the Host Client that enhances the operations efficiency of an admin. Customers in attendance were looking forward to the additional functionality that would be forthcoming in updates to the fling.

Will also discussed when the fling would graduate to be a part of the product and everyone was happy on that timeline including the pace of development.

You can find more information on the HTML5-based ESXi Host Client here.

vSphere 6 Web Client and the Future

Dennis Lu, VMware Sr. Product Manager, and Yavor Boychev, VMware Manager R&D joined a packed room in TAM Customer Central this morning to talk about the current state of the vSphere Web Client and some things we will likely see in the future.

With the release of vSphere 6 and the vSphere 6 Web Client, customer feedback has been very favorable.  Of the improvements made in vSphere 6, a few get mentioned more than others.  First, the new Web Client significantly reduced the complexity of the action menus.  We have flattened the menus and grouped similar actions together. This makes the action menus more intuitive and more what customers are used to seeing in the legacy vCenter Client.

Also popular, the UI was tweaked to allow customer to change the layout of the Web Client.  Now, users are able to click on a widget or on a pane and drag it around, allowing you to customize the UI to your preference.  These UI customizations are persistent for the specific client where you make the changes, across sessions.  These are unique for each system, so you can set up your desktop UI differently from your laptop UI for example.

Lastly, in addition to the UI improvements – performance and responsiveness of the vSphere 6 Web Client has greatly improved over past iterations.  In the examples shown on-screen during the session, summary view and action menu response times have improved many times over.

Looking to the future of the vSphere Web Client, there was some really exciting news.  As mentioned earlier, the HTML5 vSphere Host Client for ESXi has been totally rewritten in HTML and JavaScript (no Flash!), and is served directly from the ESXi host.  The look and feel of the future vSphere Web Client will appear very similar to what you are used to seeing today in the current web client but the performance will be greatly improved.  If you are interested in seeing more about the development of the vSphere Web Client, we invite you to visit Dennis Lu‘s unofficial wiki where you can learn more and help shape the future direction of the client.

If you missed this TAM Customer Central session and you’d like to hear more, please attend the following session, presented by Dennis Lu and Yavor Boychev.

vSphere Web Client – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (ID INF5093)

Wednesday September 2nd at 11am, Moscone West Level 2, Rm 2020


Documenting Your IT Security Posture

Jason GaudreauBy Jason Gaudreau

The VMware Security Hardening Guides contain recommended processes for deploying and operating VMware products in a secure manner given a specified risk profile. You may not need, or may not be able, to follow each step in the security Hardening Guides because of the balance of operational efficiency, cost, risk tolerance and security requirements. The security hardening practices are recommended by VMware, but equally important is having a security controls document that incorporates VMware best practice recommendations combined with your specific security policies. It can be an invaluable tool during an audit.

Security has a wide scope that touches every aspect of the datacenter; an important part of security is recognizing the tolerance of risk. To do that, you need to understand the value of the assets you are trying to protect and the cost of protecting that asset. What is the likelihood of the asset being damaged or compromised? And what does it cost the company if that asset is compromised? A risk analysis provides a cost/benefit understanding of the cost to safeguard an item compared with the expected cost of loss. The security policy should be proportionate to the value of the asset, which may range from innocuous data processing up through mission-critical business process dealing with highly sensitive information. Each of these examples represents a different risk profile, which translates to different security requirements and thus different recommendations in the Hardening Guides.

Security Controls Image

Securing systems are not a low-cost endeavor. Even in terms of operations expenses, locking down systems can make internal operations teams less efficient when updating systems because of strict security controls. In many cases, a security policy will not be implemented unless the cost of the loss exceeds the security policy itself. In the end, you are the one who is best suited to make the decisions on the security posture of your IT assets.

You can learn all the details and begin planning your security controls document by reading the Security Controls Guide



Jason Gaudreau is a Senior Technical Account Manager, VMware Professional Services. To read more from Jason, be sure to visit his blog here.