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Monthly Archives: October 2011

It’s Time to Rethink IT Management

Posted by Steve Herrod
Chief Technology Officer

The past few months have been very exciting at VMware. In July, we launched vSphere 5 and the industry's first cloud infrastructure suite. At VMworld in August, we unveiled our vision and products to liberate and support end-users in the Post-PC era. And today during the opening keynote of VMworld Europe (where we have more than 7000 registered attendees!) we are adding to the fun. We are announcing three new product suites that deliver a new approach to IT management – an approach that is specifically targeted at the “cloud era.”

As Paul Maritz pointed out in his August VMworld keynote, we’re now in a world where more than 50% of the total server workloads worldwide are virtualized. Amazing! Virtualization is really an on-ramp to cloud computing, enabling more and more enterprises to enter the cloud era. This has profound implications, impacting every facet of the IT landscape. For example, by separating applications from the hardware they run on, virtualization enables consolidation and mobility. However, many existing management tools and processes weren’t designed with this in mind. The cloud also requires changes to how IT is delivered, evolving to a model of instant, self-service access to elastic capacity. And finally, the cloud introduces a new dimension of choice (the enterprise datacenter is no longer the single source) that is changing the role of the CIO from IT provider to service broker.  I like to call this the “builder to broker” transition.

All of these changes are very powerful, and they have profound impact in terms of what it means to manage IT.  It’s time for an IT management rethink, and we believe that a new approach represents the next important step in the journey to the cloud. Done properly, this new approach should help enterprises move even more of their applications into the cloud and amplify the value they get from them being there. We feel this is so critical that we now have the majority of our engineers focused on developing management-related innovations across all of our product lines.

So, what is unique about VMware’s approach to management?  First, we believe the platform needs to shoulder much more of the management burden, embedding and automating as many capabilities as it can. This has been a guiding principle for many of the innovations in VMware vSphere – vMotion, DRS, HA and FT – and we will continue our quest to move this forward. We’re also constantly looking at manual interactions with vSphere and trying to get rid of as many as possible. We want to automate everything in sight as this is the only way customers will be able to achieve the efficiency and economics of cloud computing. 

Next, we believe the days of managing silos – of machines, of application stacks and of discrete disciplines – are over.  It is time to converge these disciplines, streamline and remove steps to create more agile, shared processes. This phenomenon is well recognized in the application delivery space as “DevOps”. We think there’s also key convergence in a new discipline of “CloudOps”.

Finally, cloud management must support high-velocity, dynamic environments.  The pace and scale of today’s IT demands require teams have visibility and control, but more importantly, they need the ability to focus on what really matters.  There’s simply too much data out there. We are focused on how to best filter this information, bringing the key facts to the appropriate team’s attention. This applies at all levels, from the server and storage administrators to the CIO and CFO.

The new product suites we are introducing today apply these foundational principles to simplify how customers manage infrastructure, applications and the business of IT in the cloud world:

  • We first introduced the vCenter Operations Management Suite in March 2011, and we have had overwhelmingly positive response from our customers. Paul often talks about how VMware is out to “make infrastructure disappear,” and vCenter Operations helps deliver this. Its advanced analytics “learn” normal behavior in order to drive high levels of automation. The enhancements we are announcing today continue to converge performance, capacity and configuration management, and will support cloud-scale operations, or “CloudOps”.   

  • The next area undergoing change in the cloud world is application management.  The changes to infrastructure brought about by virtualization about are forcing fundamental changes in how enterprises build, deploy and manage the next generation of applications.  These previously siloed functions are increasingly converging, and new processes like “DevOps” are emerging.   The new vFabric Application Management Suite will help unite development and operations, simplifying and automating the way customers deploy, monitor and optimize their applications across clouds.  

  • As I mentioned earlier, cloud is causing the role of the CIO to evolve from builder to broker. The third suite of products we’re announcing today is aimed at supporting this evolution.  With so many choices – public clouds, private clouds, SaaS, traditional datacenters – now, more than ever, CIOs need the right information to make informed decisions about how to deliver services to the business.  The VMware IT Business Management Suite will converge the disciplines of IT finance management, service level management and vendor governance to give the CIO comprehensive visibility over cost and risk.  

These new management suites have been under development for multiple years now, and our entire company is thrilled to launch them today. If we can crack the code on how to operate and manage IT in the cloud era, we will open the door to a new world of amazing achievements. And while it’s not quite the “World Peace” I alluded to in the keynote, IT as a Service will be pretty good, too. :-)


If you want to learn more about the suites we are introducing today, you can dive deeper at: http://www.vmware.com/go/management-experience