By KK Krishnakumar, Vice President and Chief IT Architect
When it comes to defining how to use Big Data analytics for your business, consider these words of wisdom from baseball great Yogi Berra—“If you don’t know where you’re going, you will wind up somewhere else.”
Knowing where you want to go in analyzing the vast amounts of data you now have available is one of the most important aspects of leveraging that data to gain value for your organization. In other words, if you don’t at least directionally define the question or the business problem you are trying to solve before you begin your data query process, you are unlikely to get the accurate and valuable answers you need. Without proper planning, you can just spin your wheels forever analytics-wise.
By Paulo Prazeres — Senior Director of IT Finance
Forging an effective financial transparency model for an IT-as-a-Service operation is an ongoing process, extending months and even years after sending out those initial chargeback invoices to IT users sharing the cost and the control of the services they consume.
At EMC IT, we have been steadily refining the process since creating cost transparency around our IT services as part of launching an ITaaS model in late 2011. And as the summer of 2013 wears on, we are already in the thick of analyzing and honing projections to make improvements for 2014.
Summer vacation season notwithstanding, cost transparency takes persistence and time, especially when we are adding new IT offerings to users. That means we are dealing with new services in our catalog, and making sure we are costing and pricing them correctly depending upon what future demand looks like.
By Stephen Doherty — Principal IT Project Manager
This is the third part in a series on EMC’s new Durham Cloud Data Center by Stephen. Click here to read part two.
Many organizations these days are facing the substantial task of migrating their traditional data centers to new, cloud-enabled data environments to improve efficiency and provide for growing space needs.
As you strategize to migrate your data center into the cloud, you should be ready to spend as much as 80 percent of your effort sorting out interdependencies between all your applications, databases and servers, which have probably become more and more entangled over time. (Read EMC Durham Cloud Data Center: Migration Planning and Program Management.)
As EMC IT learned in our recent migration of six petabytes of data and hundreds of mission critical applications to our new cloud data center, there is something you should do before you even begin the discovery process—invest in a streamlined configuration management system.
By Chuck Hollis — VP, Global Chief Technology Officer
You might be used to getting storage advice from a storage vendor, but the better source might be to speak to someone in their IT group.
Such is the case with EMC IT – a great team I’ve written about consistently over many years.
It’s an interesting perspective on several levels. EMC is a well-regarded $20B+ global enterprise in a highly competitive industry.
EMC IT also has direct and somewhat privileged access to the engineers who build the stuff, although they still have to pay for their toys just like everyone else.
By Stephen Doherty, Principal IT Project Manager
This is the second installment of a blog series about the EMC Durham Data Center. Click here to read part one.
In my first blog in this data center blog series, I talked about the challenges of architecting this cloud-optimized, 100 percent virtualized, scalable and sustainable data center. In this second blog, I would like to share some insights from the first 90 days of the project.
EMC IT set an aggressive two-year target to migrate and transform our data center into a private cloud. Every day was critical. To preserve as much schedule as possible for migrating applications, we allotted 90 days from when the facility was completed to stand up our infrastructure at our the Cloud Data Center in Durham, NC. We needed to install the network, storage, compute and backup to eventually host more than 350 applications, 2,000 servers and six petabytes of storage. In the old dedicated physical IT world this would have been impossible. In the cloud? We were about to find out.
It was a tall order, but by standardizing on the Vblock architecture and virtualizing applications our dedicated team of engineers and technicians were able to complete the initial Cloud Data Center build on schedule.
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.
By Darryl Smith – Chief Database Architect, EMC IT
By Neil Thibodeau — Senior Director, IT Business Management
**This is the second part of a three-part series about labor sourcing in the ITaaS business model**
As IT operations evolve to become more agile, less siloed and increasingly standardized, it makes sense that the way we source skilled labor to deliver services to IT users in our business units should make a similar transition.
To that end, our Solution Delivery Services (SDS) in EMC’s IT organization has been moving to a new, consumption-based global operating model for some time. This transformation started with building out Technical Competency Centers (TCC) in which we aggregated, or “pooled,” similarly skilled EMC technical professionals.
Rather than the suboptimal approach of having individual professionals assigned to a single business unit, we set up groups of similarly skilled individuals who can be utilized in any project by any business unit as they are needed. The benefits of this competency center model are significant.
By Monisha Shekhar — Director of IT Strategic Programs
If your IT organization, like so many today, is in the midst of making the transition from a traditional IT operation to an IT as a Service model, you are likely wrestling with a fundamental question: when is the best time to actually launch your self-service IT Portal?
As the director of EMC’s ongoing IT as a Service program, which launched its first ever self-service IT portal six months ago, I am here to tell you, the sooner the better.
Don’t get me wrong though. It is definitely not an easy endeavor. It will require trying out processes and designs and making adjustment as you go. But the reality is that if you are waiting for the perfect moment to launch your IT portal, it will never arrive.
You need to get that real-time feedback from users; that real-life, trial-and-error process to determine how to make this on-demand, consumer grade shopping approach to IT services work as it should. That dialogue can’t truly begin until users are actually engaged in consuming the services you are offering them.
We spent many long, laborious months prior to our launch, creating our ITaaS model, defining services, marshalling resources, lining up technology and creating financial transparency around our IT operations to allow us to determine service costs.