Automate Processes: Get Spectacular Business AgilityAutomation makes a virtualized infrastructure more efficient and cost-...
days to minutes; they do this by pulling a precreated image of a servers software stackfrom a library, then installing it ...
at every point in the image lifecycle.• Automated workload scheduling. The Tivoli Workload Automation suite can fulfilldyn...
Additional Information:TPM:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/prov-mgr/Tivoli Workload Automation:http://www-0...
servicesPull Quote:“Organizations looking to get the best results from a virtualized infrastructure, however,should think ...
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Automate Processes: Get Spectacular Business Agility

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Every CIO's dream infrastructure is, perhaps, not far distant from this concept. Here, too, the essential idea is that the infrastructure should automatically deliver the highest return on investment by creating the most business value using the fewest possible resources.

Of course, standing in the way of that vision is the reality that most IT infrastructures are enormously complex; they require skilled, continuous human attention to ensure that they operate in a governed fashion. That has been true as long as technology has played a key role in business.

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Automate Processes: Get Spectacular Business Agility

  1. 1. Automate Processes: Get Spectacular Business AgilityAutomation makes a virtualized infrastructure more efficient and cost-efficientEvery entrepreneurs dream is the autopilot business: Set it up, let it run and with little tono oversight or hands-on modification, it will continue to generate impressive resultsindefinitely.Every CIOs dream infrastructure is, perhaps, not far distant from this concept. Here, too,the essential idea is that the infrastructure should automatically deliver the highest returnon investment by creating the most business value using the fewest possible resources.Of course, standing in the way of that vision is the reality that most IT infrastructures areenormously complex; they require skilled, continuous human attention to ensure that theyoperate in a governed fashion. That has been true as long as technology has played a keyrole in business.Today, however, it is often possible to refocus human attention away from low-leveltechnical details and toward the fulfillment of business goals. The key enabler?Automation. Automation, when driven by best-in-class tools, can make the infrastructuremore agile, efficient and cost-efficient by attending to basic, everyday tasks and leavinghuman talent free to attend to higher-priority issues.For these reasons, automation is one of the four central priorities in IBMs modular newvirtualization framework. This framework—based on consolidating resources, managingworkloads, automating processes and optimizing service delivery—is intended to helporganizations develop a custom virtualization strategy tailored to their specific needs.Each priority is modular; they can theoretically be pursued in any sequence, and some,depending on circumstances, may not need to be pursued at all.Organizations looking to get the best results from a virtualized infrastructure, however,should think very carefully about this module. Automation is not just a great way toreduce costs, increase consistency and enhance service levels; its also one of the bestways to leverage virtualization, and its well-suited to almost any virtualizedinfrastructure.Automated software provisioning generates many compelling business benefitsOne of the most powerful and widely-utilized examples of virtualized automation issoftware provisioning. Virtual servers, like traditional servers, require a complete stack ofsoftware—an operating system, applications, data and configuration files, drivers,middleware and any other essential elements. The faster and more consistently virtualservers can be provisioned, the faster they can generate business value, and the higher theROI they will yield.Automated tools are unquestionably the best way to handle software provisioning tasks.Modern provisioning solutions can reduce the time needed to set up virtual servers from
  2. 2. days to minutes; they do this by pulling a precreated image of a servers software stackfrom a library, then installing it across the network to any target. Every stage in thisprocess can be automated, typically using scripts or macro functions. Typically, in fact,the only action required by a team member is initiation of the process—and even that canbe driven by automated, event-driven policies.And because both the image and the installation process are completely consistent, virtualservers are not only provisioned far more rapidly, but far more correctly than would bepossible through manual methods. The various configuration errors that a human mightinadvertently commit become a thing of the past—and with them go many unwantedconsequences, ranging from subpar server performance to security breaches tocatastrophic service failure.Automated provisioning is also an exceptionally versatile technique, one that can yieldtremendous benefits in a wide variety of contexts, ranging from the accelerated creationof software development testing environments to on-the-fly service creation within acloud.The more advanced the virtual infrastructure—and the more ways virtual servers areleveraged —the more powerful will automated software provisioning tools become infulfilling business goals.A limitless range of opportunities—and a best-of-breed portfolio to realize themAutomation can deliver comparably impressive enhancements in entirely differentcontexts as well.As workloads change unpredictably, for instance, automated tools can detect and quantifythat change, then take appropriate corrective action to balance the load across platforms,improving availability and performance. The terms of service level agreements, asdefined by rigorous performance metrics, become easier to fulfill when they areautomatically monitored. Compliance initiatives can be more simply, quickly andcomprehensively achieved through automated discovery and analysis.Even more impressively, these and other automated functions can be combined to renderbetter service management in a holistic sense. This is because together, they help create alayer of abstraction away from technical details and toward what matters: ensuring theinfrastructure optimally fulfills service management goals.Naturally, IBM offers an outstanding portfolio of solutions and services organizations canleverage to automate a wide variety of critical functions within a virtualizedinfrastructure. Consider:• Automated software provisioning. The IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager family ofsolutions provisions virtual servers with incredible speed and accuracy, thanks to script-driven automation and simplified management. Different elements of the family targetdifferent provisioning tasks such as operating system deployment and image management
  3. 3. at every point in the image lifecycle.• Automated workload scheduling. The Tivoli Workload Automation suite can fulfilldynamically-changing workloads in an exceptionally cost-efficient, consistent manner.Based on business policies, these tools can automatically orchestrate complex sequencesof events—spanning many classes of assets from mainframes to enterprise resourceplanning applications to databases—to minimize workload costs without falling belowperformance thresholds.• Automated software licensing compliance. IBM Tivoli License Compliance Managerautomatically determines whether organizations have deployed the appropriate number ofsoftware products based on the number of licenses they actually own—a task well-suitedto rapidly-changing virtual infrastructures, in which servers are frequently created fromscratch.• Automated cost-tracking. Establishing exactly how a virtual infrastructure generatescosts can be enormously difficult given the way such infrastructures fluidly and rapidlyevolve. IBM Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager solves this problem, deliveringgranular tracking of costs at any abstract level from applications to systems to services tobusiness projects to specific team members or logical groups.• Automated business service management. How well is the virtual infrastructure hittingbusiness targets? IBM Tivoli Business Service Manager answers that question bycollecting asset status level information, analyzing performance against predefined goals,and illustrating the results using key performance indicators—intuitive business serviceintelligence that can be absorbed at a glance.• Automated application environments. Organizations that utilize Java applications mustensure they perform up to requirement—no matter how their workloads change. IBMTivoli WebSphere Virtual Enterprise can automatically detect workload spikes in realtime, and then rapidly balance workloads across different hosts, transparently maintainingJava application performance in real time for a minimal or unnoticeable business impact.As an industry thought leader and major contributor to best practices frameworks such asITIL and COBIT, IBM is exceptionally well positioned to consult with clients on howthey can best leverage automation within their specific contexts.Finally, IBM offers many specific services organizations can use to help them automate avirtualized infrastructure. Among others: planning automation projects of any type orcomplexity; leveraging existing assets in new ways; deploying new assets to support newgoals; creating customized, cross-domain tool integration and information sharing; andoptimizing performance.
  4. 4. Additional Information:TPM:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/prov-mgr/Tivoli Workload Automation:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/scheduler/Tivoli License Compliance Manager:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/license-mgr/TUAM:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/usage-accounting/TBSM:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/bus-srv-mgr/WebSphere Virtual Enterprise:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/webservers/appserv/extend/virtualenterprise/GTS IT strategy and architecture services:http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/index.wss/itservice/igs/a1025997Bullets:• One of the leading priorities for virtualization: Automating processes in the data center• Through automation, organizations can dramatically reduce costs, increase agility, andshift the focus to business goals—not technical details• Software provisioning is a great example of how automation can drive a virtualizedinfrastructure• Automation can also enhance workload scheduling, regulation compliance, and otherareas• IBM offers a complete portfolio of solutions and services to help organizations get thebest results from automationTalking points: see aboveTweet tagline: Automate processes to spur agility and reduce costs! Automation andvirtualization are ham and eggs; IBM has the recipes and ingredients.Abstract: One of the major priorities in IBMs new virtualization framework isautomating processes. When best-in-class tools automatically perform key everydayfunctions—alone or in concert—a virtualized infrastructure becomes more efficient andcost-efficient, and a business becomes more agile.Tags/keywords: virtualization, automation, provisioning, agility, agile, data center, IBM,
  5. 5. servicesPull Quote:“Organizations looking to get the best results from a virtualized infrastructure, however,should think very carefully about this module. Automation is not just a great way toreduce costs, increase consistency and enhance service levels; its also one of the bestways to leverage virtualization, and its well-suited to almost any virtualizedinfrastructure.”

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