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Tag Archives: IT transformation

Building a Holistic IT Strategy Using a Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Middle-Out Approach

Part 2 of the “Cloud Capable – Now What?” Series

Dion ShingBy Dion Shing

The modern business environment is fast, fluid, complex and ambiguous. Businesses in all markets are embattled and face challenges and threats both internally and externally.

In order to adapt, survive and thrive, business strategies should be fluid, adaptable and innovative. From an implementation perspective, strategy should be well communicated to all levels of the organization.

Challenges in IT Strategy Definition

IT StrategyFor many organizations, IT strategy definition occurs infrequently and is based on protecting current position and revenue streams, not taking into account feedback from middle and front line tiers of the business.  Furthermore that strategy is not clearly communicated to the business, or even within the IT organization.

This broken process for strategy definition results in tactics and plans that are often watered down, inadequate and not geared towards leveraging the unique strengths of the company.  For example, a company may say that their strategy is to “improve operating efficiency and provide excellent customer service.”  This strategy only brings their IT department up to par with everyone else, it does not provide any competitive advantage.

To find unique and creative competitive advantages many enterprises adapt an inclusive approach to strategy and develop frameworks such as Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Middle-Out.  This approach recognizes that IT is not only a support function that underpins business processes, but a source of competitive advantage that can provide innovative services that will help drive the strategy and success of the company as a whole.

Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Middle-Out

On their own Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Middle-Out strategies are only partially effective. What is required for effective strategy selection and for the development of rationalized strategies is coordination between all three approaches.

Top-Down

The strategy is established by senior management, and filters down the ranks. Often implementation is not well supported and results are lacking.

Bottom-Up

Strategies developed here focused on specific improvement initiatives and address specific needs, they are typically managed by a single group and manager and are effective.

The downside is that the improvement may occur only in a single area, may not be institutionalized and can lead to complexity and inconsistency. Shadow IT and unsanctioned IT Services can occur.

Middle-Out

Middle management is where the strategies that enable competitive advantages can be championed and communicated.  The effective Bottom-Up strategies developed at the frontline can be supported, nurtured, advocated for and developed by finding sponsors at the executive level, elevating bottom-up strategies to top-down strategies.  Middle management is also effective at translating Top-Down strategies from High-level language into Operational activities to be executed at the frontline

Combined, these represent a force for developing action out of strategy that ultimately drives innovation and finding the illusive competitive advantages.

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Dion Shing is an Operations Architect based in Dubai.

DevOps: The Operations Side

Ahmed_croppedBy Ahmed Al-Buheissi

DevOps is about getting Development and Operations to work together and avoid conflicts in how they operate is to achieve their goals. The most commonly noted objective is shifting to Agile processes where applications are released more often and with better quality. While development and operations are of equal importance to a DevOps methodology, this article focuses on the role of Operations in facilitating an efficient and successful DevOps implementation.

In a DevOps environment, the operations team participates in the following activities:

Automation Tools

DevOps AutomationAutomation is a cornerstone to DevOps, as it facilitates continuous integration and delivery of applications into various environments (dev, test, prod, etc.). An example of such automation tools is VMware’s vRealize CodeStream, which allows the creation of release pipelines (e.g., from dev, to test, to production), with various tasks to retrieve application builds, deploy environments, automation testing, and etc. These tools are typically implemented and maintained by the operations teams.

Blueprints

Infrastructure and application blueprints may consist of a number items, such as VM templates, configuration management code, or workflows. Configuration code, e.g., Puppet manifest or Chef cookbooks, are used to configure deployed VM’s and the applications running thereon. Configuration Workflows may also be developed using tools such as vRealize Orchestrator. Dev and operations teams share responsibility for developing the blueprints to ensure deployed environments are correct and ready for use in the various release stages.

Patching and Upgrading

Historically, operations teams held responsibility for maintaining the various tools used by the development and release teams, such as build tools, source-code management tools, automated testing systems, and etc. However, the lines are blurring here as developers take on more coding responsibility for such management. This means Operations teams are housing development teams capable of developing the management automation.

Monitoring

This is one of the areas that are frequently overlooked, or at least rarely mentioned, in a DevOps environment. Monitoring applications through the various promotion environments is very important to ensure a fail-fast approach: potential issues are reported and investigated in early stages (dev and test), before they become real problems.

The operation team also builds dashboards for developers and operations so the application and its environment can be monitored throughout the Continuous-Integration/Continuous-Delivery process. This provides developers with feedback on the applications impact on the environment in which it runs, allows operations to become familiar with the same from an environment (VM/vApp) perspective, and provides confidence to the operations team that the Continuous-Integration/Continuous-Delivery process is working and there will be no issues when the application is released into production

It is worth mentioning that collaboration between development and operations should start very early, as developers need to embed operations considerations in their application code (such as adequate logging information), while the operations team need to ensure infrastructure availability for developers to start their work.

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Ahmed Al-Buheissi is an operations technical architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice and is based in Melbourne, Australia.

Cloud Business Strategy

Part Two of the Cloud Business Management Series

Cloud Business Strategy

By Khalid Hakim, Charlie McVeigh and Reg Lo

At VMware we have the good fortune of working with many different customers on driving and implementing a Cloud Business Strategy.  As we have discussed in some of our prior Cloud Business Management blogs, there is a full spectrum of issues to be considered when considering Cloud Business Management.  This spectrum of issues include:

  • Cloud Strategy
  • Cloud Costing
  • Cloud Marketing
  • Service Level Management & Contracts Management
  • Budgeting & Forecasting
  • Services Definition
  • Cloud Pricing
  • Consumption & Charge-back
  • Cost Optimization

Today we are going to look specifically at the role of Cloud Business Strategy and our time tested workshop approach that we use with our customers to derive a road map to success.

CBM_workshop

Our Cloud Business Management (CBM) Workshops always start by asking our customers what their definition of “success” is when looking forward 18-24 months into the future.  While every customer is unique, the common success criteria that we hear from our customers include the following items:

  • Full transparency for IT consumers as to what they consume and what are the costs for what they are consuming, i.e. who consumes what and at what cost
  • Reclamation and recovery of unused or underutilized infrastructure.
  • Establishment of services definitions for “patterns” (repeatable services in the service catalog) and “snowflakes”  (services that are unique and require engineering to stand the service up.)
  • Reduced time of deployment of services especially “patterns”
  • Understanding from an economic and technical perspective of where is the best place to run cloud workloads. Is it private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment? Maybe it is more cost efficient to run temporary workloads in the public cloud than the private one.
  • Incentivizing users to “do the right thing” due to understanding of economics and transparency of costs.
  • Incentivizing users to “do the right thing” due to vastly improved day 0, day 1 and day 2 operations automation.

Once we have an understanding of what “success” will look like in the future, we then drive into a deeper discussion of the following items:

  1. We start by asking for current pain points across the CBM spectrum listed after the first paragraph above. For example: Do you have service definitions? Do you know your costs for services?  Do you engage in pricing strategies?  Are you marketing cloud services to incent user behavior?  Do your users know what they are consuming?  What are you doing for cost optimization?, etc.
  2. We then engage our customers in a discussion of what they would like to see in the future across the CBM spectrum and what tangible improvements that they can anticipate as they mature across each of these disciplines.
  3. Discussions then dive into the current level of maturity across the CBM Spectrum. The key here being that more mature organizations provides higher levels of value to the IT organization and the business consumers of IT resources.
  4. Lastly, a deep dive into data sources that can be used for setting up automated cost modeling are investigated. We are looking to understand what are some of the foundational data sources for Cloud Management (such as vRA, vROPs), Foundation sources for costs (G/L, A/P, Organization, Budgets), Operational Data (Labor rates, Headcount, Compute capacity and metering, Storage capacity and metering, Network capacity and metering, Reporting requirements, Financial practices, etc.)

The workshop and the discussions that occur require a significant discovery effort and detailed listening to our customers.   From this effort we are able to derive a detailed deliverable that results in a tangible Cloud Business Strategy deliverable.   The strategy includes a road map with definitive success points at 6 months, 12 months and 18 – 24 months.

Cloud Business StrategyEmbedded within the Cloud Business Strategy document, is an illustration of what will happen to the organizations maturity across the CBM spectrum if the road map is followed.  Maturity gains will be followed and realized by direct and quantifiable improvements in value provided by the Cloud management team to the business that they are supporting.

For more information and to schedule a Cloud Business Management Workshop for your organization, please contact your local VMware representative.

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Khalid Hakim is an operations architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice. You can follow him on Twitter @KhalidHakim47.

Charlie McVeigh is an IT business management strategic advisor for VMware. You can follow him on Twitter @cbmcveigh.

Reg Lo is the Director of VMware Accelerate Advisory Services and is based in San Diego, CA.  You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

3 Capabilities Needed for DevOps that You Should Already Have in Your Cloud Organization

Pierre Moncassin-cropBy Pierre Moncassin

A number of enterprise customers have established dedicated organizations to leverage VMware’s cloud technology. As these organizations reach increasing levels of cloud maturity, we are more and more often asked by our customers: “how is our organization going to be impacted by DevOps?“

Whilst there are many facets – and interpretations – to DevOps, I will highlight in this blog that many of the skills needed for DevOps are already inherent to a fully- functioning cloud organization. Broadly speaking, my view is that we are looking at evolution, not revolution.

First, let’s outline briefly what we understand by DevOps from a people/process/technology point of view:

  • DevOps EvolutionPeople: DevOps originated as an approach, even a philosophy that aims to break down organization silos, specifically the traditional gap between application developers and operations teams. This is why it is often said that DevOps is first of all, about people and culture. Application Developers are sometimes depicted as “agents of change” whilst the Operations team are seen as “guardians of stability” – teams with opposite objectives that can lead to well-documented inefficiencies.
  • Process: From a methodology point of view, DevOps integrates principles such as “agile development”. Agile this provides the methodological underpinning for Continuous Delivery, an approach that relies on the frequent release of production-ready code. Whilst Agile development was originally about applications, DevOps extends the principle to infrastructure (leading to the idea of “agile infrastructure”).
  • Technology: DevOps processes necessarily incorporate the use of development and automation technologies such as: source code control and management (e.g, Git); code review systems (e.g., Gerrit); configuration management (e.g., Puppet, Chef, Ansible, SaltStack); task execution and management (e.g., Jenkins); artifact and application release tooling (e.g., VMware vRealize Codestream); and others. In order to manage those tools as well as applications generated by them, DevOps also incorporates operations tooling such as provisioning and monitoring of the underlying infrastructure (e.g., vRealize Automation and vRealize Operations).

Features of a cloud organization adapted for VMware’s cloud technology, are described in detail in the white paper “Organizing for the Cloud” (link below):

https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/services/VMware-Organizing-for-the-Cloud-Whitepaper.pdf

DevOps Organizational Model

Here are, in my view, some key capabilities in the cloud organization as recommended by VMware:

1) The rise of developers’ reach.

As development departments mature beyond  writing strictly  application code, their reach spans broader knowledge bases. This includes writing code that performs end-to-end automation of application development, deployment and management: applications and infrastructure as code. Developers utilize the same skills traditionally relied on in application teams and apply them towards  cloud services:

  • Provisioning for example with VMware vRealize Automation.
  • Automating network configuration with VMware NSX
  • Automating monitoring and performance management (VMware vRealize Operations).

This shift in reach from Ops to Dev forms the the basis of ‘infrastructure-as-code’ – a now relatively standard cornerstone of DevOps.

2) Ability to work across silos

One of the defining capabilities of a cloud team  – and a key skill required of all team members, is to be able to break the boundaries between silos:

  • Technical silos: for example the customer-facing team (Tenant Operations, also known as IT Service Center) will define end-to-end cloud services across technical silos such as compute (servers), networks and storage. Service Owners and Service Architects will define the scope and remit of such services; Service Developers will put together the workflows and scripts to allow end users to provision those services automatically.
  • Functional silos – merging “Design” and “Run”. Whilst traditional IT organizations tend to separate teams of architects/designers from operations team, the cloud development teams bring those skills together. Service Developers for example will build workflows that include not only the deployment of infrastructure, but automate its monitoring and configuration management at runtime. Service Owners are involved both in the definition of services but also act as point of contact in resolving incidents impacting those services.  DevOps takes this trend to the next level by merging the “dev” and “ops” teams.

3) Increased alignment with the business

Whilst all IT organizations aim to align with the business,  A model organization (as described in “Organizing for the Cloud”) aligns business lines with practical structures and roles.  For example this model defines dedicated roles such as:

  • Service Architects who translate business requirements into functional and technical architectures.

DevOps continues this trend towards business alignment: in a context where business is increasingly driven by revenue-generating applications, application development becomes integral to the lines of business.

DevOps Organization

In sum, a well-functioning cloud team will have established many of the positive traits needed for DevOps – a preference for rapid development over fire-fighting, for bridging silos across technologies and processes, and for close cooperation across business lines.

Going one step further DevOps pushes these traits to the extreme – preferring continually improving development and automation of application and infrastructure. For example a Devops team might leverage VMware’s Cloud Native Apps capabilities to build applications optimized to run on cloud from “day one” (for more details see https://www.vmware.com/cloudnative/technologies).

Take-away – practical ways to prepare your cloud team for DevOps;

  • Encourage job rotation of key team members across technical skills and functions.
  • Continuously expand your team’s knowledge and practice of cloud automation tools. This can include advanced training on tool such as vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations; as well as generic skills in analysis and design.
  • Ensure that key tenant operations roles (i.e. customer facing roles) are in place and give them increasing exposure to application development and business lines.
  • Develop an awareness of Agile approach for example by formal training and/or nominating ‘Champions’ in your team.
  • Build up a skill base in Continuous delivery, for example leveraging training or a pilot with vRealize Codestream.

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Pierre Moncassin is an operations architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice and is based in the UK.

VMworld 2015 – Day 4 Recap

Wednesday Sept 2

dc2105-150x150By Andy Troup

Kevin Lees, our principal architect in our Operations Transformation Services practice, spoke today about Best Practice Approaches to Transformation with the Software Defined Data Center. Kevin speaks from experience, spending most of his time with customers on-site with transformation projects. Kevin has seen firsthand what works and what certainly doesn’t. Recommendations he shared this morning included:

  • Start with a formal service definition process—include all stakeholders (LoB, Ops, Infrastructure, Dev, Finance)
  • Include Security and Compliance right off the bat
  • A 360 degree service definition exercise drives technology decisions, not the other way around
  • Look at the new roles that will be needed: e.g. Business Relationship Manager, Service Owner
  • Create a Service Marketing Plan for key stakeholders in the organization
  • Assume change will be constant—adopt an agile planning methods (e.g. 2 week sprints); release features on a regular basis rather than waiting for final project completion
  • Take an iterative approach rather than a sequential approach. Start simple, gradually expand (this applies to the process side as well as the service offering side.)
  • Merge workstreams: technical workstream, operations transformation workstream, cloud service management
  • Break down silo’s (Kevin has some really good advice here arming and rewarding champions or change agents in the functional groups to help this happen. Exec sponsorship is also critical.)

You can find the session recording on the VMworld mobile app or vmworld.com to get the benefit of all of Kevin’s insights.

Last day of the conference is tomorrow! Here’s what to attend:

  • 10:30 AM
    OPT 5029 How to Use Service Definitions to VMware vRealize Business to Build Highly effective, Service-Based Cost Models
  • 10:30 AM
    OPT 4707 Integrating vRealize Automation with ITSM and Service Catalog
  • 12:00 PM
    OPT5709 Building a SDDC with CIT (customer presentation)
  • 1:30 PM
    OPT 5369 Proactive Monitoring of a Service: People, Process and Technology

Don’t forget to use the VMworld mobile app to easily locate these final day sessions.

And, thanks for sharing the week with us! Please do reply to this post with any observations about the subject of transformation of your own, either from your own experiences or as a result of any the Operations Transformation sessions you attended this week. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Andy Troup is a Cloud Operations Architect with over 25 years of IT experience. He specializes in Cloud Operations and Technology Consulting Service Development. Andy is also a vCAP DCA and VCP. Andy possesses a proven background in design, deployment and management of enterprise IT projects. Previously, Andy co-delivered the world’s first and subsequent vCloud Operational Assessments (Colt Telecomm & Norwegian Government Agency) to enable the early adoption of VMware’s vCloud implementation.

 

 

 

 

VMworld US – Day 3 Recap

Tuesday Sept 1

dc2105-150x150

By Andy Troup

It was another highly rewarding day in the Operations Transformation track at VMworld today. If you missed Ed Hoppitt speaking about DevOps Transformation, be sure to find the recording (With your conference pass you have access to recordings to any sessions you might have missed within 24 hours—find them on the VMworld mobile app or vmworld.com). Another highlight of the day was a customer group discussion on the subject of Organizational Change. Customers shared their challenges with siloed organizations, internal resistance to role changes, and more. Discussion points also included the need to find change agents or champions within IT to lead the charge to a service model, the need for executive sponsorship, and the importance of formally updating performance requirements or MBO’s.

“Can’t miss” real-world insights coming out tomorrow:

ITaaS at the Boeing Co., a Federal agency hybrid cloud case study, VMware IT on their internal cloud journey, and SDDC best practices from our operations transformation principal architect Kevin Lees, who spends a majority of his time on-site with customers helping shape their transformation journeys.

  • 8:00 AM
    OPT 5232 Cloud Native Apps, MicroServices and Twelve-Factor Apps: What Do They Mean for your SDDC/Cloud Ops?
  • 9:00 AM
    OPT 5069 Enterprise Hybrid Cloud—a Federal Case Study (DoE customer presentation)
  • 11:00 AM
    OPT 5361 Best Practice Approaches to Transformation with the SDDC
  • 12:30 PM
    OPT5509 Building an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Strategy and Operating Model
  • 2:00 PM
    OPT5793 Organizational Change Management and SDDC: Why Getting Your People and Processes Aligned are the Key Ingredient in Ensuring Maximum Value to You
  • 2:30 PM
    OPT 5972 80k VM’s and Growing: VMware’s Internal Cloud Journey Told by the People on the Frontlines
  • 3:30 PM
    OPT 4684 Engineers in the Cloud: the New Model of Data Center Operations (customer presentation)
  • 4:00 PM
    OPT 6227 Developing a new IT: How the Boeing Company IT Dept. is Empowering its Customers through Internal Cloud and Services (customer presentation)

See the VMworld mobile app to easily locate these sessions, and be sure to follow us on Twitter @VMwareCloudOps for all of the latest information coming out of VMworld!


 

Andy Troup is a Cloud Operations Architect with over 25 years of IT experience. He specializes in Cloud Operations and Technology Consulting Service Development. Andy is also a vCAP DCA and VCP. Andy possesses a proven background in design, deployment and management of enterprise IT projects. Previously, Andy co-delivered the world’s first and subsequent vCloud Operational Assessments (Colt Telecomm & Norwegian Government Agency) to enable the early adoption of VMware’s vCloud implementation.

 

VMworld US – Day 2

Monday, August 31

From an Operations Transformation Services perspective, the first full day of VMworld was a cracker! (I’m British – that means very good!)


dc2105-150x150By Andy Troup

Our presenters had a number of insights to share (remember, with your VMworld conference pass you have access to recordings of any sessions you might have missed within 24 hours, found either on the VMworld mobile app or on vmworld.com). Dave Crane, one of our Operations Transformation Services solution architects, offered this advice in the Advanced Automation Use session this morning:

If you only take away one key point from this session, it should be about the importance of a reference framework“.

The reference framework is oriented around a specific capability (in the example presented in this session, the automated provisioning process). The reference framework document describes all of the steps in the capability, ensures business and IT alignment, and provides the baseline for your governance activities (leave a comment on this post if you have a specific question for Dave regarding this topic).

One of our customer presenters took us through their multi-year transformation journey story (people and process alignment featuring prominently, again!), and the critical role that the vRealize Operations tool plays in terms of visibility and management along that journey.

Tomorrow will be another really interesting day, with a variety of transformation topics. Of particular note, I’d like to call attention to the Organizational Change Group Discussion at 12:30 PM (OPT 4743) where a number of our solution architects with extensive on-site customer experience will share real-world organizational change insights, best practices and pitfalls in an interactive format.

Here’s the schedule for Tuesday, September 1:

  • 11:30 AM – OPT 4953:
    Operationalizing VMware NSX: Practical Strategies and Lessons from Real-World Implementations
  • 12:30 PM – OPT 4743:
    Organizational Change Group Discussion
  • 1:00 PM – OPT 4868:
    DevOps Transformation: Culture, Technology or Both?
  • 2:30 PM – OPT 4992:
    vRealize CodeStream: Is DevOps about Tools or Transformation?
  • 4:00 PM – OPT 5222:
    Keys to Successfully Marketing and Managing your vRealize Automation Service Catalog
  • 5:30 PM – OPT 5075:
    Six Steps to Establish Your IT Business Management Office (ITBMO) with vRealize Business

Visit the VMworld mobile app to locate these sessions, and be sure to follow us on Twitter to find more information and resources: @VMwareCloudOps.

See you at Moscone.


Andy Troup is a Cloud Operations Architect with over 25 years of IT experience. He specializes in Cloud Operations and Technology Consulting Service Development. Andy is also a vCAP DCA and VCP. Andy possesses a proven background in design, deployment and management of enterprise IT projects. Previously, Andy co-delivered the world’s first and subsequent vCloud Operational Assessments (Colt Telecomm & Norwegian Government Agency) to enable the early adoption of VMware’s vCloud implementation.


 

Welcome to VMworld 2015!

VMworld2015-banner

Sunday, August 30th

By Andy Troup

dc2105As one of the solution architects on the Operations Transformation Services team, it is my pleasure to share our breakout session schedule with you and make sure you can easily find transformation sessions of relevance and interest.

Why Operations Transformation, anyway? Our customers know that in order to optimize the business outcomes of VMware technologies, you will need to modernize your IT infrastructure, evolving from a traditional siloed IT model to one of a service-driven organization. And to do this, you must also align the people and processes that support the new IT model. With the help of VMware Operations Transformation Services, you can effectively adapt your organization, and automate and orchestrate processes to maximize the business agility and operational efficiency these technologies offer.

This week in San Francisco, we have 23 breakout sessions in our schedule, covering multiple dimensions of the operational transformation journey.

But let’s focus on Day One.

We have six sessions tomorrow, Monday, August 31, covering a great mix of topics, including several customer presenters and VMware IT sharing real-world transformation experiences.

  • 8:30 AM – OPT 4680:

    Advanced Automated Use Case: Using vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation to Seize Back the Approval Charter

  • 12:00 PM – OPT 6226:

    Kaiser Permanente: Metrics-driven Transformation – Using vRealize Operations as the Foundation for Operations Transformation (customer presentation)

  • 1:30 PM – OPT 5238:

    VMware IT DevOps Transformation: A VMware-On-VMware Showcase

  • 1:30 PM – OPT 5519:

    Nimble Automation in a Regulated Environment: Good, Fast and Cheap. Pick Two. (Healthcare customer panel with Blue Shield, Delta Dental and Vision Care Plan)

  • 3:00 PM – OPT 5960:

    VMware NSX with a DevOps Mentality: Streamline Your Operations for Zero Downtime Networking

  • 3:30 PM – OPT 5279:

    Chargeback in the Dept of Defense (customer session)

Visit the VMworld mobile app to easily locate these sessions. And follow us on Twitter: @VMwareCloudOps.


Andy Troup is a Cloud Operations Architect with over 25 years of IT experience. He specializes in Cloud Operations and Technology Consulting Service Development. Andy is also a vCAP DCA and VCP. Andy possesses a proven background in design, deployment and management of enterprise IT projects. Previously, Andy co-delivered the world’s first and subsequent vCloud Operational Assessments (Colt Telecomm & Norwegian Government Agency) to enable the early adoption of VMware’s vCloud implementation.

Build Your Operations Transformation Agenda for VMworld 2015

By: Andy Troup

VMworld 2015

VMworld 2015 is nearly upon us and I’d like to give you an overview of the Operations Transformation (OPT) Track that will be running again this year to help you get the most out of what’s on offer.

As a reminder, the track is focused on helping you understand how the VMware Software-Defined Data Center is redefining IT infrastructure, and how it enables IT organizations to combine technology and a new way of operating to become more service-oriented and focused on business value. This track offers unique opportunities to learn the latest best practices and key considerations from experienced VMware experts, practitioners, and the real-world experiences of customers transforming their IT infrastructures and operational processes.

This year in San Francisco, the OPT track is offering 3 different types of sessions. There are 23 breakout sessions and one Group Discussion session all of which last for an hour. In addition to these, and new for this year, there are also 4 Quick Talk sessions which last for 30 minutes and are available on Sunday 30th August.

The focus for this years OPT track is around a number of different areas which I’ll give you a quick insight into.

Operations Transformation

The track as a whole is all about how to transform the way that you operate so that you can really start to get the benefits of your technology investment and become a service provider to your customers. There are a number of session that cover how transformation is achieved. There will be customers who will give you a view of the transformation they have undertaken and how they approached it, including a session covering VMware’s own transformation and the “OneCloud” implementation. Some of VMware’s transformation specialists who have helped many customers undertake a transformation will also be providing you with details of best practices and pitfalls to watch out for. Check out the following sessions:

  • OPT4682-QT – A Roadmap for Transformation – Planning Your Future State and Ensuring Governance
  • OPT4684 – Engineers in The Cloud – The New Model of Datacenter Operation
  • OPT5010-QT – The Lifecycle of Cloud Services
  • OPT5069 – Enterprise Hybrid Cloud—Federal Case Study
  • OPT5238 – VMWare IT DevOps Transformation: A VMware on VMware Showcase
  • OPT5361 – Best Practice Approaches to Transformation with the Software-Defined Data Center
  • OPT5509 – Building an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Strategy and Operating Mode
  • OPT5709 – Customer Experience—Building a Software Defined Data Center with CIT
  • OPT5814-QT – AGILE for Infrastructure: Utilizing Agile Methods to Drive Iterative Infrastructure Development and IT Service Delivery
  • OPT5972 – 80,000 VM’s and Growing! VMware’s Internal Cloud Journey Told by the People on the Frontline

DevOps

DevOps is a big theme this year, and the OPT track will cover how the technology is enabling operational change to make DevOps become a reality. If you’re new to DevOps, then one of our specialists has a session covering the DevOps concept. There are some customers as well as VMware IT talking about how they were able to embrace DevOps. Also, how VMware’s technology is helping DevOps transformations will be covered in a number of sessions by some of our specialists. Check out the following sessions:

  • OPT4868 – Your DevOps Transformation:  Culture, Technology or Both?
  • OPT4992 – VMware vRealize Code Stream:  Is DevOps about Tools or Transformation?
  • OPT5235 – Cloud-Native Apps, Microservices and Twelve-Factor Apps: What Do They Mean for Your SDDC/Cloud Operations?
  • OPT5238 – VMWare IT DevOps Transformation: A VMware on VMware Showcase
  • OPT5960 – VMware NSX with a DevOps Mentality:  Streamline Your Operations for Zero Downtime Networking
  • OPT6227 – Developing a new IT:  How the Boeing Company IT Department is empowering its Customers through internal cloud and services

vRealize Suite

The vRealize suite of products features in the OPT track this year, covering vRealize Automation, vRealize Buisness, vRealize Operations and vRealize CodeStream and how they have been instrumental in enabling operational transformation. How vRealize Business can be used to help you become service focused and really manage IT as a business will be covered as well as how to build effective cost models.

Other sessions will show how the implementation of vRealize Operations has enabled customers to undertake their transformation and manage the services that they are offering. How close integration between vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation has meant a clearer understanding of the service provision process and the operational benefits will be covered in another session.

Continuing the automation theme, there is a panel session with a number of customers from healthcare who will discuss automation in what is a very regulated environment. Check out the following sessions:

  • OPT4680 – Advanced  Automated  Approvals Use Case—Using vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation to Seize Back the Approval Charter
  • OPT4707 – Integrating vRealize Automation with Service Catalogs:  Does Your Implementation Strategy Align with Your Integration Needs?
  • OPT4992 – VMware vRealize Code Stream:  Is DevOps about Tools or Transformation?
  • OPT5029 – How to Use Service Definitions in VMware vRealize Business to Build Highly Effective, Service-Based Cost Models
  • OPT5075 – 6 Steps to Establish Your IT Business Management Office (ITBMO) with VMware vRealize Business
  • OPT5222 – Keys to Successfully Marketing and Managing Your vRealize Automation Service Catalog
  • OPT5369 – Pro-Active Monitoring of a Service: People, Process and Technology
  • OPT5279 – Chargeback in the Department of Defense
  • OPT5387-QT – Talking Security’s Language Using NSX, LogInsight and vRealize Tools
  • OPT5519 – Nimble Automation in a Regulated Environment:  Good, Fast and Cheap.  Pick Any Two.
  • OPT6226 – Kaiser:  Metrics-driven Transformation: Using vROps as the Foundation for Operations Transformation

NSX

NSX is become front of mind for many people, and there is realization that this technology product is having a big impact on the way that IT groups operate. The OPT track is offering some sessions that will provide real world experiences of how this takes shape.

  • OPT4953 – Operationalizing VMware NSX:  Practical Strategies and Lessons from Real-World Implementations
  • OPT5387-QT – Talking Security’s Language Using NSX, LogInsight and vRealize Tools
  • OPT5960 – VMware NSX with a DevOps Mentality:  Streamline Your Operations for Zero Downtime Networking

SDDC

The impact that the implementation of the Software Defined Datacenter has on organizational structure is a common discussion point, and this year the OPT track offers both a session covering organizational change management and a group discussion with leading organizational change specialists who have a vast amount of experience with many customers.

  • OPT4743-GD – Organizational Change Group Discussion
  • OPT5793 – Organizational Change Management and SDDC:  Why Getting Your Organization and People Aligned Are the Key Ingredient in Ensuring Maximum Value

As you can see there’s a large selection of sessions covering a number of different topics. If you’re lucky enough to be attending in San Francisco and you’d like to build your event around the operations transformation track, download this handy PDF.

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Andy Troup is a senior solution architect with the Operations Transformation Services practice based in the UK.

VMworld 2015: 3 Operations Transformation Sessions You Shouldn’t Miss

dcrane-cropBy David Crane

As many of you are aware the time for VMworld 2015 in San Francisco is fast approaching.  It will be great to see past acquaintances again, I look forward to making new ones and having some great discussions with you all.

It’s an old cliché but time really does fly.  It doesn’t seem like 12 months since the last VMworld. During this time, while helping customers embark on some significant transformation projects, I have seen some consistent transition challenges beyond the typical technology issues that are essential considerations to ensure project success and I will be covering some of these in breakout and Quick Talk sessions this year.

OPT4680 – Advanced Automated Approvals Use Case – Using vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation to Seize Back the Approval Charter

On Monday 31st August at 08:30 my colleague Nick Moore and I will be discussing the people challenges to implementing automated provisioning, specifically automating approvals and introducing approval policies.

We’ll be examining a particular customer use case and how an integrated technology and people solution helped automate service and process approvals.  We’ll explain why its critical to understand the people relationships with technology and the dependency we have on their buy-in to ensure that ROI promises are realized.

OPT4682 – A Roadmap for Transformation – Planning Your Future State and Ensuring Governance

On Sunday 30th August in my 13:00 Quick Talk I will be discussing the steps required to ensure transformation governance.  I’ll be introducing concepts such as IT outcomes and operational capabilities and explaining how to translate these into people, organization, and technical roadmaps aligned to a governance framework to ensure success.

OPT4743 – Organizational Change with Kevin Lees

Organization transformation is also important, and on Tuesday 1st September at 12:30, along with VMware Principal Architect, Kevin Lees, we will chair a group discussion on the organization challenges presented by the introduction of new agile technology architectures.

VMworld 2015

VMworld 2015

If you wish to have a chat about the above in more detail I’ll also be around at the VMware booth, where you can book a meeting if you’d like to discuss things more specifically to your own organization.

For a full list of all of the Operations Transformation sessions, download this handy PDF.

As always, it’s going to be a really exciting week and hope to see you all there!

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David Crane is an operations architect with the VMware Operations Transformation global practice and is based in the U.K.