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VMware #CloudOps Friday Reading Topic – Workload Migration

What existing enterprise applications should be moved to the public cloud?

Your enterprise cloud strategy should be based on a clear understanding of what is realistic. Verify your assumptions about what can be and what shouldn’t be moved into a public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud environment as you build a business case and a plan.

 Q: Which Apps Should I Move to the Cloud? A: Wrong Question (James Staten, Forrester)
Asking “which apps to move to the cloud” shows we still have much to learn about public cloud environments.

Which Apps to Move to the Cloud? (Ben Kepes, Diversity Limited)
Think in terms of “peeling of an onion” and “baby steps.”

Checklist: Is my app ready for the cloud? (Marco Meinardi, Joyent)
Three point checklist.  Number 1, is the application written for the cloud?

How To Pick a Project for Your First Public Cloud Migration (David Linthicum, Blue Mountain Labs)
Start with low visibility, low risk, low complexity.

With all the hype about the cloud, the dirty little secret is that most enterprise applications won’t be forklifted into a public cloud environment.

From an IT operations perspective – that means as your company pursues a cloud strategy, or increases the use of automation and standardization to gain agility, you will still need to manage a mix of physical, virtual and cloud environments. You’ll support a broad mix of existing enterprise applications and new killer apps designed for the cloud. And regardless of where the workload physically lives, you will be responsible for making sure it all works and works together.

It is an exciting time to be an IT Ops professional. Use of technology grows unabated. Complexity seems to grow without limits. That sounds like job security to me.

Follow us on Twitter at @VMwareCloudOps for future updates, and join the conversation using the #CloudOps and #SDDC hashtags.

The Shape Shifting Killer App

In a classic August 20, 2011 Wall Street Journal editorial, Marc Andreessen pointed out that software is eating the world. He is right.  It is an exciting time to be a software developer.

What that means to you, is that somewhere out there right now, someone is furiously coding the next killer app with the intent to turn your industry on its ear.

The key question: how can you and your company make software that eats the world, faster, better and cheaper?

One way is to write a different kind of app. Not the legacy application that fills your datacenter with code written in the developer’s favorite language, that uses middleware or web server of choice, and a database that is optimized for use. Both the code and the infrastructure is tailored IT and custom fit for purpose.

The traditional enterprise application typically ends up as a monolithic blob that is:

  • Brittle – any change to application, middleware or infrastructure has a very real probability of causing service failure.
  • Hard to support – extensive documentation and training required for new developer to make changes, or for ops support team to maintain over time and then recover from outage.
  • Hard to scale – does not sense and respond as business needs and usage levels ebb and flow. Even with virtual servers, adding or removing resources, and moving work from one cluster to another is based largely on manual processes.

Your datacenter is full of them.

By contrast, the killer app that will disrupt your industry is likely to be:

  • A mashup of a loosely coupled set of components that each perform a simple task very well.
  • That call on-premise, or hosted, or public services (e.g. hybrid service oriented architecture)
  • That are designed for highly variable load conditions (e.g. rapid prototype, then fail or scale)
  • That leverage virtualized resources (compute, storage, network, security) that can be added, configured, and removed via API call.

Net result, is that your killer app will be different.  It will be architected to leverage services that rely on virtual resources (on premise or somewhere out there in the cloud) that join and leave the application as conditions change, and that cause the application topology to constantly shift.

Ponder that for a moment. The app that is going to delight your customers, and make IT a strategic contributor to your business, and drive your stock PE multiple far above your competitors — is going to be a shape shifter.

For an IT operations professional, the shape shifting killer app requires profound changes that needs to be addressed head on.  Right now.

As a result, VMware is investing in CloudOps based on four key premises:

  • Process and procedure is more important than ever before. How we do things matters. Ad hoc operations won’t cut it when managing a shape shifting killer app.
  • Many of the best practices that implement a “change control” based resiliency strategy, won’t carry forward to shape shifting apps. It may be time to let go of some things near and dear that have worked well for us in the past, but that may be holding us back.
  • We need a new IT operating model. This may be a controversial statement. But a service lifecycle perspective becomes an important part of a revised model that recognizes and optimizes a fundamentally new set of practices at the apps management layer, the service management layer, and the infrastructure management layer. Something like this may be a good starting point for a conceptual framework.
  • And we need a set of management principles and working assumptions that optimize the separation of concerns and white space between those who are focused on apps, services and infrastructure. Not focused on white space between dev and test, or between functional silos.

How do we operate in this new world? Lets work together and figure it out!

Follow us on Twitter at @VMwareCloudOps for future updates, and join the discussion by using the #cloudops and #SDDC hashtags.

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