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5 Ways IT Benefits From The New Cloud Operating Model

It’s official. IT’s investment in the cloud is accelerating. Gartner recently reported that spending on public cloud services will reach $109 billion this year, up from $91 billion from last year’s spend. That’s an increase of over 20% in one year, and the fastest growing area of spend according to their predictions.

How is IT coping with such a dramatic shift in resources? At VMware, we are seeing an organizational shift that we are calling the Cloud Operating Model that is capitalizing on this effort. The Cloud Operating Model is both an organizational change and a technology evolution. On the organizational side, IT retrenches and focuses on building out a private cloud that is cost competitive to public clouds, provides end user services that attract apps to stay in-house, and can support a larger server-to-admin ratio. Application and business teams, presented with readily available infrastructure and armed with sophisticated app management and provisioning tools, transform themselves into DevOps—literally Development-Operations—that now have full control of application lifecycles including developing, running and managing their apps. While IT still provides services to DevOps, they actually become untangled from each other’s day-to-day operations.

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Think your app teams and dev teams aren’t ready to be self-sufficient? That $109 Billion spend in public cloud spend this year should be a wake up call: They are doing it already. Public cloud services are generally not built to include IT support to trouble-shoot app problems. Users expect to build, run and manage apps completely on their own, and they are flocking to this model because of the easy access, low barrier of entry to start projects, and the sheer agility it offers to respond to demand.

So why bring it in-house? Here are some of the top benefits we are seeing from customers embracing this new paradigm on private and hybrid-cloud enabled infrastructures:

1. User services attract apps and stop “Shadow IT”. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has data that shows large enterprises (averaging $500MM in revenue a year) “leak” as much as 30% of their IT budget to the cloud, without IT’s knowledge or involvement. These can be big surprises to the CIO, as well as pose corporate risks for security and compliance if done incorrectly. By transforming your virtual infrastructure to be offered as a self-service portal, allowing business units to start and stop virtual infrastructure just as easily as they could externally, more users gravitate toward using the internal resources. By layering in attractive end user services such as application performance monitoring and provisioning, they’re even more likely to run everything through your cloud. For a more compelling picture of how this looks, put on your DevOps hat and check out our 7 minute video that shows how this self-service provisioning and management process looks to them.

2. App uptime and services improve. By putting the app teams completely in the driver seat, they are able to develop, deploy and support their applications completely. They have full visibility to how apps are performing, potentially have early warnings for when app performance starts to degrade (depending on how quickly it degrades, of course), and they have open capabilities to troubleshoot and take corrective action themselves. The result is true ownership of their application lifecycle, and streamlined development and troubleshooting by people that fully know the application and all its moving parts.

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3. IT will be able to support more servers per admin. Imagine a world where IT did not have to mess with application outages and troubleshooting applications they had little to do with developing. Focused on their strengths of networking, security, hardware and virtualization infrastructure, they are able to divorce themselves from worrying about the day to day operations and firedrills of the applications that run on them. Daily tasks transform themselves from being ruled by reactive tasks such as troubleshooting apps to proactive tasks that improve the variety and volume of services. More servers are supported because there is more time as a virtue of less involvement in the operations of the apps that run on them. This won’t get IT out of any troubleshooting of course, but the troubleshooting they do will be squarely in their wheelhouse.

4. Standardization increases productivity. Imagine being able to create a single CentOS VM, and having your app teams be able to layer Apache Tomcat or RabbitMQ on it as they please. Right now, without true standardization, you have N number of “standardized” machine images based on CentOS running each component. Or worse for app teams, you just have the CentOS image and they have to manually install software on it every time. It’s a giant time suck either way. By standardizing application components and machine images, IT saves time by managing a much smaller service catalog, especially when it comes time to patch the OS or middleware. DevOps is able to assemble application infrastructure much more quickly, and is assured that if fits IT’s standards for security and compliance.

5. Its cheaper. The Aberdeen Group spelled it out for CIO’s last year, stating that the private cloud saves a total of 12% combined annual cost savings over public clouds on a per-application basis. Of course, this applies to organizations running apps at scale. Early phase startups still have a tremendous incentive to run purely in public clouds. However, after partnering with thousands of customers on making their transition to virtualization, VMware recommends that any organization with over 50 virtual machines in public clouds will find they have the financial justification to be hosting those virtual machines internally.

Want to know more about best practices for the Cloud Operating Model? Check out these sessions at VMworld August 26-30 in San Francisco.

[APP-CAP2757] Accelerate Adoption by Leveraging IaaS for a Complete Deployment and Monitoring Lifecycle
Learn how to build out the app management and provisioning services that will provide an internal competitive edge over public clouds and land more apps on your internally controlled cloud service.

[APP-CAP2770] Application Management in the ‘Cloud’ and Application Modernization Paradigm
For those deploying apps on vSphere, come learn important tricks–from topology to capacity to management—that will help you to get the most bang for your buck on our infrastructure.

[APP-CAP2881] Building Cloud Ready Applications in Application Director Leveraging Puppet
Learn how to standardize application building blocks to increase productivity and empower DevOps to architect apps faster, and that are portable across clouds using Application Director and Puppet.

[OPS-CIM2852] VMware’s Application Management Platform – Enable Any App Any Where… Collaboratively!
Find out how VMware products are enabling IaaS and PaaS environments.

[OPS-CIM2646] How IT (VMware) Builds Cloud Application Platform Leveraging Application Director
Talk to the people that built the story of how VMware IT reduced provisioning time by 90% and cut costs by 30% (updated numbers from the previous post).

[OPS-CIM2752] From Infrastructure to Applications – the Next Step in Your Cloud Journey
Infrastructure and Applications teams alike will learn about the transformation that technology and organizations will go through to maximize the benefits of putting your apps in the cloud.

[OPS-CIM2768] Application Management in the Real World
Still have questions? Join in this panel session and ask two of VMware’s thought leaders that are shaping how we approach app management in today’s new cloudy market landscape.

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About the Author: Stacey Schneider is focused on helping evangelize how cloud technologies are transforming application development and delivery for VMware. Prior to its acquisition, Stacey led marketing and community management for application management software provider Hyperic, now a part of VMware’s management portfolio. Before her work in the cloud, she also held various technical leadership positions at CRM software pioneer Siebel Systems, including Director of Technology Product Marketing, managing the Technology Competency in Europe, and the Globalization professional services practice. She was also a part of Siebel’s Nexus project, which focused on building portable web applications that could be deployed across java application servers as well as .NET. Stacey is also the managing principal of SiliconSpark, a consulting agency that has helped over 12 software companies go to market on the web and across the cloud over the past 4 years.

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