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Monthly Archives: November 2015

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.

vROPS 6.1 and the New End Point Operations Monitoring Feature

Vegard-bw2By Vegard Sagbakken

In the 6.1 release of vRealize Operations, VMware merged the Hyperic Monitoring solutions into vROPS. This makes it a lot easier to get a full holistic view through the vROPS management interface all the way down to services, processes and the application layer.

To use the OS Monitoring feature described here you need vRealize Operations Advanced licensing.

Currently we support the following OSs with this End Point Operations agent:

Operating System

Processor Architecture

JVM

Scaling Considerations

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.x, 6.x, 7.x x86_64, x86_32 Oracle Java SE7
CentOS 5.x, 6.x, 7.x x86_64, x86_32 Oracle Java SE7
SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLES) 11.x, 12.x x86_64 Oracle Java SE7
Windows 2003 Server R2 x86_64, x64_32 Oracle Java SE7
Windows 2008 Server, 2008 Server R2 x86_64, x64_32 Oracle Java SE7
Windows 2012 Server, 2012 Server R2 x86_64, x64_32 Oracle Java SE7
Solaris 10, or higher x86_64, x86_32 Oracle Java SE7
HP-UX 11.11 or higher PA-RISC Oracle Java SE7
AIX 6.1, 7.1 Power PC IBM Java SE7
Ubuntu 10.11 x86_64, x86_32 Oracle Java SE7 For development environments only.

Here is an excellent example of what you can do with this dashboard; it shows the status of a Windows vCenter Server and the status of all services running. This gives your operations team a great way of making sure all vCenter services are up and running so they can take action on any anomalies early before they escalate into bigger issues. This example was created by Peter Tymbel, Sr.Consultant, PSO, VMware.

Some of my colleagues at VMware have already documented the installation and use of this new functionality within vROPS. Please see the following blogs to get started with this new functionality, and don´t forget to use the official documentation as well.

vROPS 6.1 – EPO Agents Installation Guide

http://www.vmignite.com/2015/10/vrops-6-1-epo-agents-installation-guide/

vRealize Operations 6.1 End Point with existing JRE

http://virtual-red-dot.info/vrealize-operations-6-1-end-point-with-existing-jre/

vROPS 6.1 – How to Monitor any Windows Service

http://www.vmignite.com/2015/10/vrops-6-1-how-to-monitor-any-windows-service/

vRealize Operations 6.1 End Point: how to add metrics

http://virtual-red-dot.info/vrealize-operations-6-1-end-point-how-to-add-metrics/

If you would like to dig further into this I suggest you head over to the VMworld Hands-On Labs and launch, “HOL-SDC-1601 Cloud Management with vRealize Operations Insight.” Here you can play around in a pre-installed environment and look at how the End Point Operations agents are working.


Vegard Sagbakken is a Senior Technical Account Manager working out of Oslo, Norway. He currently holds multiple VMware certifications, VCP 2-6 and VCAP-DCD 4-5