Posts Tagged ‘IT Infrastructure’

To DevOps or Not to DevOps? A Question of Survival

Ram Ramani

Ram Ramani

Sr. Director — EMC IT Office of Architecture
Ram Ramani

Latest posts by Ram Ramani (see all)

When it comes to today’s IT, it really isn’t a matter of whether your IT operation should pursue a DevOps strategy and operating model to deliver software in the cloud. The question is how best to transition to this critical new approach. Similar to making the shift to IT as a Service, adopting DevOps is a must do in order for IT to survive and be competitive.

DevOps is a big buzzword right now, and it can mean different things to different people. At the end of the day, however, it is really about improving cooperation between IT teams that are traditionally siloed and delivering business value quicker and cheaper.

Like so many things in high tech, DevOps represents a circular evolution in IT. We spent decades siloing IT functions, focusing on segmented competencies in the name of efficiency, and now, we realize that shedding those siloes and bureaucracy, collaborating across functions, and using automation to enable individuals to more nimbly create software is the best way to deliver capabilities in the cloud.
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Converged vs. Hyper-Converged Infrastructure: Getting the Right Mix

Srini Maguluri

Srini Maguluri

Consultant Architect — Office of Architecture and Innovation

Converged infrastructure (CI)—pre-engineered and deeply integrated blocks of compute, storage and network that deliver mission-critical performance offered as a turnkey solution—has been a game changer in helping IT keep pace with rapidly evolving business demands. And now a more agile technological cousin, called hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), offers similar plug-and-play efficiencies using building blocks in smaller, more flexible chunks.

So when should you use converged infrastructure and when is hyper-converged technology a better option? The answer depends on what IT workloads you are running, how much resiliency is required, and the need for guaranteed performance verses agility and scalability.

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Driving the Next-Generation Sales Solution on SAP HANA

Ryan Arsenault

Ryan Arsenault

Sr. Manager, Technical Consulting, Enterprise Services
Ryan Arsenault

Latest posts by Ryan Arsenault (see all)

As EMC IT remains focused on its IT Transformation journey, we continue to take calculated risks in emerging technologies and adopt bleeding-edge solutions — but not without bumps along the way. However, we have found that leveraging a strong partnership with a trusted supplier is a crucial strategy to help smooth the road ahead.

Recently, EMC IT went live with the third release of its SAP implementation, replacing our direct and channel ‘selling’ tools with a suite of software products predominantly within the SAP landscape. This grouping of products – while not currently sold by SAP as a “solution” – needed strong partnership between EMC leadership and SAP, as we cooperated to string them together.

Back in 2003, EMC’s ‘selling’ tools, Direct and Channel Xpress, went live as two separate applications as a conscious choice in a very different selling model. At the time, EMC’s direct sales force was focused on high-end deals with little to no partner interaction.  But as the channel grew and the go-to-market model adapted it became clear that this (EMC+Channel) partnership needed a more tightly coupled application – one that we just couldn’t deliver with two disparate applications.

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From Monoliths to Microservices: Embrace New Development Agility

Peter Loconto

Peter Loconto

Sr. Director, Service Strategy, EMC IT
Peter Loconto

Latest posts by Peter Loconto (see all)

When introduced, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was revolutionary in that it promised IT data centers a vehicle for virtualization and rapid provisioning of physical platform components (compute, network and storage). Today’s IaaS solutions have grown to fulfill that promise and much more. Now with the fast adoption of Platform as a Service (PaaS), IT data centers have broadened their rapid provisioning offering to include additional layers such as the operating system, middleware, and application runtime components.

PaaS essentially holds the key to a leaner, faster, more flexible approach to next-generation application development. Application developers are now up and running in hours and minutes as opposed to what would have taken days or even weeks in the “pre-PaaS” era.

Not only does PaaS allow your development environments to be enabled quickly, it also provides your programmers with the complete set of integrated services they need to deliver robust applications such as relational databases, message-queuing, caching, etc.
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Enterprise Vendor Management: Checking the Heartbeat of Vendor Relationships

Michael Dobbin

Michael Dobbin

Director, IT Partner Management, EMC IT

In our recent series of blogs about EMC IT’s Enterprise Vendor Management Office (EVMO), we offered insights on how to create an IT strategic sourcing plan, forge the right strategic partnerships, and then execute and ensure compliance for contracts with those suppliers. Now that you are up to speed on those three main pillars of the EVMO, you may wonder how we keep it all operational, effective and continually beneficial to the organization.

We use supplier analytics, ongoing process improvement and constant communication—the fourth and final pillar of our overall approach.

Supplier Analytics

Using dashboards and reporting tools, analytics lets us measure our vendor interactions and evaluate them to maximize performance. Think of this approach as tracking the heartbeat of EMC IT’s vendor relationships—a kind of ongoing checkup to make sure this important system is working as it should.  This includes tracking deals to ensure all the right terms and conditions are in place, confirming that what IT spends on them is what was expected, and making sure that each vendor is doing what they are expected to do.
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The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud: Hitting New Heights

Mike Norris

Mike Norris

Vice President, 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.

Our Journey              

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.

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10 Lessons Learned from the EMC IT Transformation

Jon Peirce

Jon Peirce

Senior Vice President, EMC IT at EMC Corporation
As SVP of IT, Jon Peirce is responsible for driving EMC IT’s transformation into an IT-as-a-Service provider/ broker and strategic business partner through technology, operating model, process and organizational innovation and evolution. Additionally, he oversees operations for several of EMC’s revenue generating cloud services and leads EMC’s Centers of Excellence in the Americas. In his prior role in IT from 2006-2013, Jon was responsible for Global IT Infrastructure and Support Services and led an aggressive standardization, consolidation, virtualization, tiering and optimization program across EMC’s IT infrastructure that delivered in excess of $220M in cost savings along with improved agility, resiliency, scalability, sustainability and security.

We have shared many insights on EMC IT’s multi-year journey to transform from a traditional IT operation to an IT-as-a-Service model—from steps which determine a new organization structure to strategies on changing the mindset of employees to focus on serving our clients. With some significant transformation successes under our belt and many more in the works, it seems like an opportune time to look back a bit on how far we’ve come and reflect on what we’ve learned in the process.

What follow are the Top 10 Lessons EMC IT learned in its IT transformation process. Regardless of whether your IT organization is just beginning this crucial transformation or is in the throes of the climb, we hope these lessons will help you move forward.

#1:  IT Transformation is not a project. It’s a journey.
IT transformation is a complex challenge, for which a prescriptive approach to change management is inappropriate.   A more iterative and agile approach is necessary.

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Service Portfolio Management: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

KK Krishnakumar

KK Krishnakumar

Senior Vice President & 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.

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EMC Leaps To IT-as-a-Service: Redefining the Organizational Model

Jon Peirce

Jon Peirce

Senior Vice President, EMC IT at EMC Corporation
As SVP of IT, Jon Peirce is responsible for driving EMC IT’s transformation into an IT-as-a-Service provider/ broker and strategic business partner through technology, operating model, process and organizational innovation and evolution. Additionally, he oversees operations for several of EMC’s revenue generating cloud services and leads EMC’s Centers of Excellence in the Americas. In his prior role in IT from 2006-2013, Jon was responsible for Global IT Infrastructure and Support Services and led an aggressive standardization, consolidation, virtualization, tiering and optimization program across EMC’s IT infrastructure that delivered in excess of $220M in cost savings along with improved agility, resiliency, scalability, sustainability and security.

In describing our journey to Redefine our IT organization at EMC, I told you how we brought in consultants to help us bridge the old IT world with the new, devised a fresh strategy and workstreams to execute on our roadmap and used added insights about our customers to define wins for IT.  What we still needed to do beyond those milestones was to determine what our new organization would look like; we were struggling with several organizational components.

While we had broken down some technology silos in the past, we still had not taken the leap fully into a services-based organizational structure.  We still had “sand in the gears” with respect to how teams worked together.  Each group had its own goals and objectives, and what was important to our end customer was too often getting lost in the “interlock.”
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An IT Epiphany: Getting Back to Basics and Defining Our “Wins”

Jon Peirce

Jon Peirce

Senior Vice President, EMC IT at EMC Corporation
As SVP of IT, Jon Peirce is responsible for driving EMC IT’s transformation into an IT-as-a-Service provider/ broker and strategic business partner through technology, operating model, process and organizational innovation and evolution. Additionally, he oversees operations for several of EMC’s revenue generating cloud services and leads EMC’s Centers of Excellence in the Americas. In his prior role in IT from 2006-2013, Jon was responsible for Global IT Infrastructure and Support Services and led an aggressive standardization, consolidation, virtualization, tiering and optimization program across EMC’s IT infrastructure that delivered in excess of $220M in cost savings along with improved agility, resiliency, scalability, sustainability and security.

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.  (more…)

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