One of the best performing posts we’ve had this year was titled “How VMware IT Reduced Provisioning Time by 80% Using vFabric Application Director and More.” The article below is more detailed information on the project in a Q&A session format with VMware’s Director of Technology Labs and Architecture, Thirumalesh Reddy.
1. So in your previous post, you covered the business case, before and after process, project functionality and scope as well as the results. You had said provisioning time was reduced by 80% and now it’s 90%. How do things keep getting better?
As we evolve and mature, we are able to automate more manual steps like load balancing VIP pool creations and post installation tasks. So, we’ve reduced provisioning time further because of this. If you think about it, most good infrastructure people already look for ways to automate redundant, manual tasks and prefer to run scripts where possible. Our technology let’s people do this on a massive scale, and we just keep finding more places to automate.
2. Besides the fact that you work for VMware and use your own products, why did the CIO or CTO really get behind this project?
Multiple times per year, we were manually provisioning or refreshing about 25 environments across our technology portfolio. We all know manual steps cause problems and are less efficient and effective. In our case, each environment provisioning or refresh cycle could take 3-8 weeks where 15-20 people touched it. Besides the extra operating expense of people’s time, a manual process with lots of hand-offs and touch points is ripe for errors and re-work. I don’t think anyone would disagree that this type of manual process is more prone to errors, incurs more delays, and includes less predictability. For our internal customers in the business and functional areas, the manual process also impacts SLAs. If you factor in compliance, risk management, and security, it’s an area ripe for improvement. Every IT shop faces these issues. Continue reading