By Mike Norris — Vice President of Cloud Platforms, EMC IT
EMC IT’s ongoing quest to meet business’ need for speed and on-demand infrastructure has entered a new chapter as our IT organization implements a software defined data center using EMC’s Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology. As we continue to build our infrastructure and services in the cloud, there are several lessons we have learned along the way that will hopefully help your organization on your path to the hybrid cloud.
Like most organizations, EMC IT has virtualized and consolidated our infrastructure, achieved significant cost savings, and continued to drive down provisioning time and increase agility. After this, we used a myriad of tools, software, and scripts to deliver some Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities. The introduction of new EMC Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud technology (FEHC) is accelerating our progress toward a software defined data center by leveraging a fully integrated technology stack with virtual networking, storage and security, in addition to the virtual compute layer we have been – accustomed to for years.
By Paul Divittorio — Director of Cloud Infrastructure, EMC IT
With the demand for IT infrastructure growing at a steady rate in most organizations, embracing converged IT infrastructure allows IT operations to keep pace with demand without ramping up resources and expenses. Converged infrastructure combines compute, storage, and network in a single package, through technology such as VCE’s Vblock. EMC IT was an early adopter of Vblock in 2009/2010—first to enable our virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and then to support the build out of our brand new 100 percent virtualized, cloud data center.
EMC IT found that standing up IT infrastructure in pre-assembled, converged chunks offers several advantages, including a single vendor for support, a single end-of-support date for all technology components, and a single code release/support stack. In addition, due to the reduction in footprint, cabling and errors, we’ve seen faster deployment times.
By Michael Dobbin — Director, IT Partner Management, EMC IT
“That’s not what I wanted”… “You said you were going to seamlessly support my apps”… “I thought you understood what the project was”… PROJECT STATUS: RED
Have you ever heard of the Latin term ‘Caveat Emptor’? It means let the buyer beware. How many times have you heard about someone who purchased a product or service and it is not what they thought they were buying? In countless courtrooms, both large and small, consumers (whether individuals or corporations) are warned about understanding what they are agreeing to, knowing what they are buying and taking responsibility for any agreements they are entering into. In a way – our computer age has made this easier than ever to do. So if this is so easy why are there still many vendor disputes or – worse yet for IT organizations –failed projects?
Contract Execution and Compliance is a key part of EMC IT’s Enterprise Vendor Management approach that can have a huge impact on the ongoing success of the work we produce. It is one of four pillars or focus areas we use to address key components of our IT sourcing. The other three pillars, discussed in other blogs in this series, are Strategic Partnership; Partner Selection and Negotiation; and Analytics, Process and Communication.
By KK Krishnakumar— Vice President and Chief IT Architect
When it comes to running your IT operation like a business to deliver IT as a Service (ITaaS) and competing with outside providers, Service Portfolio Management (SPM) is where the rubber meets the road.
SPM is the process by which your IT organization makes sure your service catalog is providing the right mix of services that will meet customers’ needs and deliver business value while at the same time enabling you to be a financially viable service provider. Or, put in plain business terms, SPM is how you make sure you are selling the right product mix to meet your customers’ demands (and needs) at the right price to keep you in business–to keep IT relevant. It is basic supply and demand.
That said, achieving SPM as you transform your traditional IT operation to ITaaS has its challenges. EMC IT has been in the process of transforming to an ITaaS model for several years now. And just as our transformation journey has been a learning process, so has our journey to effective SPM.
By Dr. Brian P. Roy — Sr. Manager, IT Partner Management, EMC IT
All organizations need to strategically manage their IT sources to fulfill their needs in the most efficient way. Many companies leverage hundreds of vendors to support their IT operations as well as a select core of strategic partners with whom they collaborate for mutual success.
At EMC IT, we are incorporating industry best practices into a newly launched Enterprise Vendor Management Office (EVMO) to bring our IT sourcing strategy to a new level of efficiency.
By Vic Bhagat — EMC Chief Information Officer @VicBhagat
Over the last three decades in this industry, I’ve seen many impressively disruptive waves of technology, but I have never witnessed as many waves hitting simultaneously as we are seeing today.
While we can and will pursue many of these, as CIOs in a hypercompetitive global environment, we have to catch the wave that makes the biggest impact on enabling the business and accelerating our revenue and business growth. In 2015, I predict the highest priority for CIOs is digitization.
As the digital economy pushes enterprises to analyze and solve problems faster, businesses are asking CIOs and IT professionals to help reduce complexities, improve synergies across organizations, and leverage existing information regardless of where it resides. For instance, my team is extending our data lake architecture capabilities to enable multiple organizations to make data-driven decisions and accelerate the value for the business like never before. To do this, CIOs and IT professionals must:
By Debajit Banerjee — Technical Architect SAP, SAP HANA, Big Data Solutions, EMC IT
A few months ago, EMC IT successfully migrated its mission-critical, SAP Business Warehouse (BW) from an Oracle database to SAP HANA, an in-memory, relational database management system that offers several benefits over our existing system.
Not only is SAP HANA providing us with speed and efficiency needed to meet today’s growing demand for real-time business analytics, it is also allowing us to showcase how several EMC technologies can be leveraged in combination with HANA to create a contemporary IT architecture.
EMC implemented an SAP-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in 2012, to replace its decades-old, Oracle-based ERP system. However, since SAP HANA was still very new and developing at that time, we waited more than a year to migrate our Business Warehouse database from Oracle to a now-evolved SAP HANA-based system. In the meantime, our data volume grew and our business reporting process to analyze and report on key data was slow and not so efficient.
Sometimes simple steps can lead to substantial insights in the midst of transition. One such instance proved extremely valuable in our Redefine IT effort.
In my previous Redefine IT blog, I described the structure of our IT transformation program, the workstreams we used to reshape our organization, and our pursuit of a more inclusive process for driving change. In this installment, I want to share an elegantly simple exercise that ended up bringing new focus to our IT Strategy.
As our transition to IT-as-a-Service was taking shape, we decided to actually spell out our IT Strategy and how it connects with what matters most to EMC. We have always had an implied IT Strategy that was tightly aligned to EMC’s corporate strategy; however, we had never written it down, and consequently there was varied understanding of it across our IT organization and across the company. Continue reading →
By Dave Scheffler — EMC Director of Data Center Services
Today, everyone is talking about IT in the cloud, but there still has to be a physical infrastructure on the back end on which to run the cloud. Welcome to EMC’s Durham Data Center.
Our 20,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility illustrates the most efficient way to implement the hardware your organization needs to run the cloud. It features one of the largest Vblock environments in existence. Its leading-edge green features demonstrate the savings that can be gained with a creative approach to environmental technology. And finally, our Data Center serves to showcase the full array of EMC’s products and solutions in the real world as we “drink our own champagne” in virtualizing, automating, and backing up some 12 petabytes of data.
Our virtual tour of the Durham Data Center gives you a high level understanding of how our data center works and a glimpse of EMC Cloud computing using Vblock architecture. It features purpose-built Vblocks which run our SAP-based, enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and Exchange environment, as well as 100 percent tapeless backup environments built on our Data Domain and Avamar technologies. With tens of thousands of VMs in our data center, our sales staff can tap in to Durham to demonstrate products and services in a real-life lab setting.
By Neil Thibodeau — Senior Director, EMC IT Business Management
Becoming financially transparent and allowing IT customers to see and control what they invest in IT services is a critical part of transforming your IT operation into an IT-as-a-Service model. But those financial details are only as good as the data they are drawn from. Data Quality Management is foundational to building an ITaaS model, as well as to maintaining credible financial transparency as your IT operation evolves and matures.
EMC IT began focusing on Data Quality Management back in 2011, when we pursued financial transparency as part of our ITaaS transformation. The goal was to transition our IT operation from a traditional centralized, cost-center based IT budget— where users had little or no information on the cost and value of what they consumed—to a financially transparent one providing increased detail on users’ IT spend.
When it comes to transforming your traditional IT operation, convincing business users to embrace your new cloud architecture can be an uphill battle.
As I noted in my last blog, EMC IT initially provided infrastructure to our business users free of charge and stepped up our guaranteed service levels to convince them to adopt our new infrastructure. Virtualization and multi-tenancy were creating tremendous cost and efficiency benefits.
Nonetheless, we faced an interesting phenomenon—even though our infrastructure was free, some business units were still opting to work around us and spend real money on services. It really caused us to pause, and ask, “Why is this happening?” Continue reading →
By Vic Bhagat — EMC Chief Information Officer @VicBhagat
With wheels up and the neon lights of Las Vegas behind me, I reflected on two days spent with nearly 80 global CIOs at EMC’s fourth annual CIO Summit. Whether in our panel discussions, collaborative breakout sessions, or during the networking breaks, we tackled a variety of timely topics for CIOs.
Of course, it would be overly ambitious to say we collectively solved all that ails CIOs because we have just scratched the surface. However, faced with pressure to provide our businesses and users with agile, elastic and contemporary IT services, we only saw an opportunity to unlock more value. Here are some takeaways from the Summit conversation:
The reality is if your IT organization is working to transform into an IT-as-a-Service model to meet changing user demands, you didn’t just wander onto that path. Transformation is typically not something you do when everything is good… it’s a response to disruptive influences that make the status quo increasingly untenable.
To understand what’s driving today’s IT transformation groundswell, you need only look at the escalating pressures facing the CIO in a traditional IT operation. On one side, you have external IT service providers, promoting standardized offerings with friction-free consumption experiences and pay-by-the-drink pricing selling directly to the lines of business in competition with corporate IT. On the other side, many CIOs contend with Corporate Finance models that want to treat corporate IT like a regulated monopoly–rationing the supply of IT in order to keep total IT costs in check.
While corporate IT may have once been somewhat of a monopoly within an enterprise, those days are long gone. Increasingly tech savvy business users, empowered by consumerization trends and an explosion in IT services offered from the public cloud, are finding alternatives to corporate IT. They perceive IT as too slow, too expensive, too restrictive and too rooted in traditional thinking.
By Darryl Smith — Chief Database Architect, EMC IT
First off, my apologies for delaying the last part of this four part blog for so long. I have been building a fully automated application platform as a service product for EMC IT to allow us to deploy entire infrastructure stacks in minutes – all fully wired, protected and monitored, but that topic is for another blog.
In my last post,Best Practices For Virtualizing Your Oracle Database With VMware, the best practices were all about the virtual machine itself. This post will focus on VMware’s virtual storage layer, called a datastore. A datastore is storage mapped to the physical ESX servers that a VM’s luns, or disks, are provisioned onto. This is a critical component of any virtual database deployment as it is where the database files reside. It is also a silent killer of performance because there are no metrics that will tell you that you have a problem, just unexplained high IO latencies.
EMC IT’s new Enterprise-Platform-as-a-Service offering brings automation, agility and efficiency by providing users with an on-demand IT landscape on which to develop their applications. For a closer look at this holistic approach, check out the following videos by members of the IT Platform Strategy and Engineering team
Bill Reid — Senior Director, IT Platform Strategy and Engineering — gives an overview of ePaaS, including why EMC IT developed it and what it will mean for the business.
By Srinivasa Maguluri — Consultant Architect, Cloud Platforms, EMC IT
While today’s business organizations have gained tremendous IT agility and efficiency with technology that automates the management of their computer and network resources, handling growing data storage demands across multiple environments has remained a time-consuming challenge—until now. Software defined storage opens the door for enterprises to achieve automated and on-demand management of their data storage resources to provide the final piece of IT optimization in the cloud.
I am part of a team at EMC IT that is currently incorporating a groundbreaking software defined storage platform into our IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) model.
Amid the ongoing explosion of data creation and the demand to access and analyze such information quickly, enterprises have been struggling to manage their multi-vendor storage environments. Software defined storage turns physical storage arrays into pools of virtual shared storage resources so that users don’t have to care which platform their data is on. After all, business organizations are interested in data modeling and getting the data storage services they need, and not whether that information is in box A, box B or box C.
If you are struggling to sort out decades of intertwined databases and mission critical applications to move them to a brand new data center, take heart, you’re not alone. In this blog I’ll discuss our struggles to come up with a migration plan.
As soon as EMC’s Durham Data Center Migration Program to move six petabytes of data and hundreds of applications to our new cloud data center was underway, we initiated the discovery and planning efforts. These work streams ran in parallel to our Architecture Design (Part 1) and our First 90 Days (Part 2) work streams.
I had never migrated a data center before and I had no idea how complex the effort would be. Discovery? Why would we need to do that? We know what’s running where….right?
By Neil Thibodeau — Senior Director, IT Management
Third blog in a three-part series on labor sourcing
In my previous two blogs about labor allocation, I talked about how EMC IT’s move to an IT as a Service business model required us to redefine our sourcing strategy. I described our transition to a variable consumption model, how we are gaining efficiencies from labor pooling and continuous improvement activities. In my final labor sourcing blog, I will explore how we applied this strategy to Production Support Services.
As noted in my second blog, using EMC IT’s new variable consumption-based labor model for Production Support Services (PS) is a bit trickier than for other types of service delivery in that it’s a non-discretionary spend and is usually a reaction to when something is broken. It does, however, still offer plenty of potential for increased efficiencies.
Production Support Services are measured by the number of “tickets” IT issues. Tickets are the means by which we track business unit requests to resolve issues with IT assets. Because they are logged with each problem that customers report and seek help on, tickets are completely variable. Since most tickets involve issues that need to be resolved in a specific amount of time (SLA), you could get into trouble in a pay-per-unit-of-work contract model. In other words, you will pay for all tickets generated for an application since it’s non-discretionary. Since the demand is not typically within the control of the customer, it puts a lot of pressure on IT to understand the drivers behind the ticket volumes.
By Norm Simmonds – Consulting System Administrator, EMC IT and James Nuzzo – Senior IT Applications Development Manager
Allowing business users to create their own application landscapes with a few clicks of a button is no longer a futuristic vision. At EMC, we are developing 100 percent automated delivery of Enterprise Platform as a Service (ePaaS) using high-level cloud architecture and a self-service IT as a Service catalog.
This breakthrough in automated IT service delivery is part of EMC’s ongoing journey to the Cloud. Over the past several years, we have realized significant cost savings in transforming our IT operation into a fully automated service delivery organization.
ePaaS is the on-demand delivery of automated IT platform operations as a service, including compute, network, storage, data protection, monitoring, and application development. It allows development and IT administrators to create, modify or decommission application environments, as well as monitoring those applications via a single access point, much more rapidly than a traditional IT model.
By Norm Simmonds – Consulting System Administrator, EMC IT
From determining business needs to defining and pricing a service portfolio to meet them, transitioning your organization’s IT operation to an IT as a Service (ITaaS) model is a complex and challenging process. A crucial aspect of that transformation that you may not immediately focus on is the need to automate the delivery of those services.
The fact is, ITaaS is an empty promise without process automation. It is the only way IT can meet users’ demands for consistent services in an agile, on-demand timeframe not typical of the traditional IT model of the past.
After establishing a service portfolio and launching our ITaaS catalog at EMC, we are in the process of developing an end-to-end global orchestration process to automate our service delivery. While we are still evolving our system, what follows are some of the insights we have gained over the past year.