Guest blog post by Roberto Mendizabal, EMC Corporation
During the last several years virtualization has taken the center stage and become one of the key enabler technologies for private cloud deployments across many different IT shops. From customers who prefer to deploy their services in-house, as there is still much reluctance to embrace public clouds, primarily due to the short comings in public cloud SLAs, to those customers who need to have full control over their data.
While virtualization does facilitate asset consolidation and provide great hardware ROI, it does bring many new challenges such as management and monitoring. As the consolidation of the hardware and software bring the convergence of heterogeneous technologies together in our data centers, we must now find a way to manage this convergence of elements that were previously managed individually
Until recently, there have been various different management and provisioning offerings that only provide only a partial view into private cloud deployments; but as the heterogeneous technologies come together, it drives the need for better monitoring capabilities and the landscape of tools has changed.
We are going through an awesome change in the industry. We are looking to make decisions on how to take advantage of cloud computing deployments, how to embrace it and the single most important part of this trend is your management strategy.
As the consumerization of IT assets is changing, technology providers need to change their approach and integration of the technologies that enable private clouds and that is what EMC has done.
This blog is going to talk about these management solutions.
I had a chance to participate and represent EMC at this year's Microsoft Management Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. From talking with various attendees, the single largest challenge was the discovery and management of datacenter assets within their own deployments.
Another challenge widely discussed was the automation of provisioning processes, and the efficiency that needs to be adopted as part of this new technology consumption that takes place in private clouds
In my technical lecture I spoke about the key ingredients that must be part of any private cloud deployment which are: Automated Provisioning, Intelligent Monitoring and Efficient Management.
The strategic response EMC has provided to those customers seeking this effectiveness can be found within the technology features now provided by "EMC Storage Integrator" or ESI. It facilitates provisioning integrated with the automation provided by System Center Orchestrator and it's layered by monitoring capabilities found in our System Center Operation Manager management packs.
Taking apart ESI and what it provides customers, we are now able to empower our end users to finally see a view of their assets mapping in a way it can be effectively monitored, viewed and managed. We have been able to take that technology convergence, extend our monitoring layer and extend the necessary management capabilities into these technology assets.
I have repeatedly mentioned the convergence of storage, server & application in your private clouds, but what is more important is the ability our customers have to eliminate the need of requiring multiple resources to manage heterogeneous environments with one single tool.
Server and storage consolidation means you're running multiple workloads on a single shared hardware environment, and this was equated in the past that you're not going to get that same performance as if that workload was being deployed on a physical environment. Hardware has changed and improved so much that we have been able to address these performance issues from a design perspective, but what if performance or provisioning issues were to come from other sources? Wouldn't it be nice to have a proactive mechanism that allows you to have insight into your utilization and be able to give you the necessary alerts as issues are happening? That is exactly what EMC's ESI is doing with its integration with SCOM, and now allows us to depart from being reactive, to getting ahead of the issues.
As we now enter a new chapter of more sophisticated monitoring tools, we are now in the driver's seat and can begin to design data centers in our private clouds that will adapt for faster and more unpredictable changes.While other vendors are focused on storage topologies and connectivity protocols, I view that the key ingredients to a successful private cloud are automated provisioning, intelligent monitoring and efficient management. Combining these elements with technology that drives consolidation and effective utilization of share resources, our customer's will be enabled to deploy their private clouds very efficiently.