Ducati Races Ahead with Private Cloud and a Virtualization Rate Approaching 100 Percent
Ducati Races Ahead with Private Cloud and a VirtualizationRate Approaching 100 PercentTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast exploring how high-performance motorcycle makerDucati has harnessed virtualization to aid in design and production.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: VMwareDana Gardner: Hi. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BrieﬁngsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on how high-performance motorcycle designer and manufacturer, Ducati Motor Holding, has greatly expanded its use of virtualization and is speeding towards increased private cloud architectures.With a server virtualization rate approaching 100 percent, Ducati has embraced virtualizationrapidly in just the past few years, with resulting beneﬁts of application ﬂexibility and reducedcapital costs. Ducati has embraced private cloud models now across both its racing and streetbike businesses. [Disclosure: VMware is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]Here to tell us about the technical and productivity beneﬁts of virtualization and private clouds isDaniel Bellini, the CIO at Ducati Motor Holding in Bologna, Italy. Welcome to the show, Daniel.Daniel Bellini: Good morning. Thank you.Gardner: Tell me why virtualization has made sense for Ducati speciﬁcally and why now youremoving more towards a private cloud?Bellini: Probably most people know about Ducati and the fact that Ducati is a global player in sports motorcycles. What some people may not know is that Ducati is not a very big company. Its a relatively small company, selling little more than 40,000 units a year and has around 1,000 employees. At the same time, we have all the complexities of a multinational manufacturing company in terms of product conﬁguration, supply chain, or distribution network articulation. Virtualization makes it possible to match all these businessrequirements with available human and economical resources.
Gardner: Tell me why you had to do this quickly. Some people like to gradually move intovirtualization, but youve moved in very rapidly and are at almost 98 percent. Why so fast?Bellini: Because of the company’s structure. Ducati is a privately owned company. When Ijoined the company in 2007, we had a very aggressive strategic plan that covered business,process, and technology. Given the targets we would face in just three to four years, it wasabsolutely a necessity to move quickly into virtualization to enable all the other products.Gardner: Of course, you have many internal systems. You have design, development,manufacturing, and supply chain, as you mentioned. So, theres great complexity, if not verylarge scale. What sort of applications didn’t make sense for virtualization? Are there some thingsthat you haven’t moved there, and do you plan to go to virtualization for them at some point?Legacy applicationsBellini: The only applications that didnt make sense for virtualization are legacy applications, applications that Im going to dismiss. Looking at the application footprint, I don’t think there is any application that is not going into virtualization.Gardner: So eventually a 100 percent.Bellini: Yes.Gardner: And now to this notion of public cloud versus private cloud. Are you doing both orone versus the other, and why the mix that you’ve chosen?Bellini: Private cloud is already a reality in Ducati. Over our private cloud, we supply services toall our commercial subsidiaries. We supply services to our assembly plant in Thailand or to ourracing team at racing venues. So private cloud is already a reality.In terms of public cloud, honestly, I haven’t any seen any real beneﬁt in the public cloud yet forDucati. My expectation from the public cloud would be to have something that has virtualunlimited scalability, both up and downwards.My idea is something that can provide virtually unlimited power when required and can go downto zero immediately, when not required. This is something that hasnt happened yet. At least it’snot something that Ive received as a proposal from a partner yet.Gardner: How about security? Are there beneﬁts for the security and control of your intellectualproperty in the private cloud that are attractive for you?
Bellini: Security is something that is common to all applications. I wouldn’t say that theres aspeciﬁc link between the private cloud and security, but we take always charge of the security aspart of any design we bring to production, be it in the private cloud or just for internal use.Gardner: And because Ducati is often on the cutting edge of design and technology when itcomes to your high-performance motorcycles, speciﬁcally in the racing domain, you need to beinnovative. So with new applications and new technologies, has virtualization in a private cloudallowed you to move more rapidly to be more agile as a business in the total sense?Bellini: This was beneﬁt number one. Flexibility and agility was beneﬁt number one. Whatweve done in the past years is absolutely incredible as compared to what technology was beforethat. Weve been able to deploy applications, solutions, services, and new architectures in anincredibly short time. The only requirement before that was careful order and infrastructureplanning, but having done that, all the rest has been incredibly quick, compared to that previousperiod.Gardner: It’s also my understanding that you’re producing more than 40,000 motorcycles peryear and that being efﬁcient is important for you. Given the small company, the need forprecision logistics and the supply chain is very high. How has virtualization helped you beconservative when it comes to managing costs?Limited investmentBellini: Virtualization has enabled us to support the business in very complex projects androllouts, in delivering solution infrastructures in a very short time with very limited initialinvestment, which is always one thing that we have to consider when we do something new. In acompany like Ducati, being efﬁcient, being very careful and sensitive about cash ﬂows, is a veryimportant priority.The private cloud and virtualization especially has enabled us to support the business and tosupport the growth of the company.Gardner: Let’s look a little bit to the future, Daniel. How about applying some of these samevalues and beneﬁts to how you deliver applications to the client itself, perhaps desktopvirtualization, perhaps mobile clients in place of PCs or full fat clients. Any thoughts aboutwhere the cloud enables you to be innovative in how you can produce better client environmentsfor your users?Bellini: Client desktop virtualization and the new mobile devices are a few things that are on ouragenda. Actually, we have been already using desktop virtualization for few years, but now we’relooking into providing services to users who are away and high in demand.
The second thing is mobile devices. Were seeing a lot of development and new ideas there. Itssomething that were following carefully and closely, and is something that I expect will turn outinto something real probably in the next 12-18 months in Ducati.Gardner: Any thoughts or words of wisdom for those who are undertaking virtualization now?If you could do this over again, is there anything that you might do differently and that you couldshare for others as they approach this.Bellini: My suggestion would be just embrace it, test it, design it wisely, and believe invirtualization. Looking back, there is nothing that I would change with respect to what wevedone in the last few years. My last advice would be to not be scared by the initial investment,which is something that is going to be repaid in an incredibly short time.Gardner: One last issue. How about the management? Are you using vCloud Director or otherways that you can manage these environments, because one of the things that happens whenthere is a lot of virtualization is that it can be complex when youre dealing with heterogeneity?How about on the management issue? Is there anything that youve done there that you wouldshare back to others?Bellini: Director is probably one of the most exciting things Ive seen in the last few years. I cantdisclose what Im planning to do with Director, but it’s something that is opening very interestingand new scenarios for IT and for a multinational company like Ducati.Gardner: Well, very good. We’ve been talking about how high performance motorcycledesigner and manufacturer, Ducati Motor Holding, has greatly expanded its use of virtualizationand is speeding towards increased use of private cloud models.I’d like to thank our guest. Weve been here with Daniel Bellini, the CIO at Ducati. Thank you somuch, Daniel.Bellini: Thank you.Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks again forlistening and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: VMwareTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast exploring how high-performance motorcycle makerDucati has harnessed virtualization to aid in design and production. Copyright InterarborSolutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • SAP Runs VMware to Provision Virtual Machines to Support Complex Training Courses
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