Roundtable Discussion: Revlon, SAP and VMware See huge Benefits from Aggressive Adoption of Cloud Computing and Virtualization
Roundtable Discussion: Revlon, SAP and VMware See hugeBenefits from Aggressive Adoption of Cloud Computing andVirtualizationTranscript of a sponsored podcast on how cloud and virtualization deliver beneﬁts in cost,efﬁciency, and agility.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: VMwareDana Gardner: Hi. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and youre listening to BrieﬁngsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion focused on two prime examples of organizations that have gleaned huge beneﬁts from high degrees of virtualization and aggressive cloud computing adoption. Were joined by executives from Revlon and SAP, who recently participated in a VMware-organized media roundtable event in San Francisco. The eventattended by industry analysts and journalists demonstrated how mission-critical applications,supported by advanced virtualization strategies, are transforming businesses. [Disclosure:VMware is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]Were going to hear now more about the full implications of IT virtualization and how theyrebeing realized from bringing speed to business requests, to enhancing security, to strategicdisaster recovery (DR), and to unprecedented agility in creating and exploiting applications anddata delivery value.With that, please join me now in welcoming our guests. Were here with David Giambruno,Senior Vice President and CIO of Revlon. Welcome back, David.David Giambruno: Thanks a lot, Dana.Gardner: Were also here with Heinz Roggenkemper. He is the Executive Vice President ofDevelopment at SAP Labs. Welcome Heinz.Heinz Roggenkemper: Welcome, Dana.Gardner: Heinz, let me begin with you, if you don’t mind. Describe for our listeners yourinternal cloud approach that youve been using to make training and development applicationsreadily available. Whats going on with that internal cloud, and why is the speed and agility soimportant for you?
Roggenkemper: If you look at SAP, you ﬁnd literally thousands of development systems. You ﬁnd a lot of training systems. You ﬁnd systems that support sales activities for pre-sales. You ﬁnd systems that support our consulting organization in developing customer solutions. From a developers perspective, the ﬁrst order of business is to getaccess to a system fast. Developers, by themselves, don’t care that much about cost. They wantthe system and they want it now. For development managers and management in general, it’s adifferent story.For training, its important that the systems are reliable and available. Of course again formanagement, its the cost perspective. For people in custom development, they need the rightsystem quickly to build up the correct environment for the particular project that theyre workingon.Better supportedAlso these requirements are much better supported in the virtualized environment than theywere before. We can give them the system quickly. We can give them the systems reliably. Wecan give them the systems with good performance, and from a corporate perspective, do it at amuch better cost than we did before.Our business agility and ability to respond to market drivers is greatly improved by this.Gardner: One of the things that was intriguing to me was the training instance, where peoplewere coming in and needed a full stack of SAP applications, perhaps third-party applications thatwere mission critical. Tell me how the training application in particular, or the use ofvirtualization in that instance, demonstrates some of the more productive aspects of cloud?Roggenkemper: The most interesting part about that is that you don’t need a vanilla system, buta system that is prepared for a particular class, which has the correct set of data. You need asystem that can be reset to a controlled stage very quickly after the end of a training class, so thatit’s ready for the next training class.So there are two aspects to it. One is the reliable infrastructure on which the systems run, andsecond part is to get the correct system for that particular class ready in a short period of time.Gardner: On the issues of control of the data, security, and even licensing, are there unintendedconsequences or unintended beneﬁts that come when you approach the delivery of theseapplications through the full virtualization and this cloud model?Roggenkemper: For unintended beneﬁts, the thing that comes to my mind is that it allows us totake advantage of new computing infrastructure more quickly. We reduce the use of power,which is always a good thing.
For an unintended downside, the only thing that would come to my mind is that when indevelopment, you are tuning for performance. That is a slightly different thing. In some areas, ifyou do general tuning, where you run a couple of iterations instead of just running to identifywhere your hotspots are, and if it’s a highly critical component, you might have to go todedicated hardware to get to the last few percentages.So in that area, you have to behave differently, but it affects only a small window of your totaldevelopment time. Most of the time, you still take full advantage of a virtualized environment.Once you go into tuning, then you move the system to dedicated hardware and do your job there.If you average it out, you still have a substantial advantage.Gardner: This idea of agility when producing these applications with their full data andproduction ready, even if you are in a training and development environment, where youre notnecessarily facing their customers, proves this concept of IT as a service. Do you see it that way,and if so, is it something that you are going to be bringing to other applications within SAP?Roggenkemper: Absolutely. And obviously, what we use internally beneﬁts our customers aswell. To have these systems available in a much shorter period of time for the customer’sdevelopment environment is as important for them as it is for us.Future plansGardner: And a question about future plans. It sounds as if this works for you. Then the virtualdesktop infrastructure approach of delivering entire client environments with apps, data, and fullconﬁguration would be a natural progression. Is that something that youre looking at or perhapsyoure already doing?Roggenkemper: Some things were already doing, We have a hefty set of terminal servers in ourenvironment, as well, which people, especially if they are on the road or work from home, takefull advantage of.Gardner: David, let’s go to you. I was very interested to hear today your version of IT as aservice, really a vision that you painted. I think essentially youre saying that advances inpervasive virtualization and cloud methods are transforming how IT operates, but it’s giving youthe ability of, as you said, saying yes when your business leaders come calling. What have youhave been able to say yes to that exempliﬁes this shift in IT?Giambruno: I can’t equate that to numbers. Weve increased our project throughput over thepast couple of years by 300. So my job is to say, yes. Im just here to help. Im a service. Servicesare supposed to deliver. What this cloud ecosystem has delivered for us is our ability to say yesand get more done faster, better, cheaper.
The correlating effect of that is we have seen not only this massive increase in our ability to deliver projects for the business, because that’s really what business alignment is. I do what they want and I give them some counsel along the way. The second piece is that weve seen a 70 percent reduction in the time it takes us to deliver applications, because we have all of these applications available to us in the task and development site which is part of our DR. So this ability to move massive amounts of information where everything isjust the ﬁle, bring that up and let our development teams at it, has added this whole speed,accuracy, and ability to deliver back to the business.Gardner: So we understood with SAP that theyre a very big, global delivery of businessapplications for all sorts of companies. They have an internal cloud that theyre using for somespeciﬁc training and some speciﬁc development activities.But Revlon is also a global company. Tell us a little bit about the role that you have for ourlisteners who might not be familiar, the extent to which your applications are being used, and thetype of mission-critical activities that youre involved in?Giambruno: It’s probably easier to quantify it this way. We have 531 applications running onour internal cloud. Our internal cloud makes roughly 15,000 automated application moves amonth. Our transaction rate is roughly 14,000 transactions a second. Our data change rate isbetween 17 and 30 terabytes a week. Over 90 percent of our corporate workload sits on ourinternal cloud, and it runs most of our footprint globally.Gardner: Were talking about mission-critical apps here -- ERP, manufacturing, warehousing,business intelligence. Did you start with mission-critical apps or did you end up there? How didyou progress?Trust, but verifyGiambruno: I have a couple of "isms" that I live by. The ﬁrst one is “Crawl, Walk, Run” andthe second one is “Trust, but Verify.” When we started our journey roughly ﬁve years ago, westarted with "Crawl" -- very much "Crawl" and “Trust – but Verify.” At Revlon, we didn’t spendany more to put this in. We changed how we spent our money.We were going through a server refresh, and instead of buying all the servers, we only boughtroughly 20 percent. With the balance of that money, we bought the VMware licenses. We startedputting in our storage area network (SAN), and although core component pieces, and we tooksome of our low-hanging fruit ﬁle systems and started moving all that.
As we did that, we started sharing with the business. We showed them what were doing and thatit still worked. Then, we started the walk phase of putting applications on it. We actually rannorth of six nines.System availability went up. Performance went up. And after this "Crawl Walk Run," "Trust andVerify," it became "Just keep Going." We accelerated the whole process and we have these thingsthat we call "fuzzies," things that we can do for the business that they werent expecting. Everycouple of months, we would start delivering new capabilities.One of the big things that we did was that we internalized all our DR. We kept taking externalmoney that we were spending and were able to give it back to the business and essentially investin ourselves, because at Revlon Im not going to be a proﬁt center.For Revlon, the more money R&D has to develop new products to get to our consumers and formarketing to tell that product story and get it out to our channels and use the media to talk aboutour glamorous products, that really drives growth in Revlon.What weve done is focused on those things, taking the complexity out, but delivering capabilityto the business while either avoiding or saving money that that the business can now use to grow.Gardner: So youve been able to say yes when they come and ask you for new services andcapabilities. Youve been able to keep your costs at or below the previous levels. That’s prettyimpressive. Do you credit that to virtualization, to cloud, to the entire modernization? How doyou describe it?Giambruno: To me it’s the interaction of the entire ecosystem. It is a system. Virtualization is ahuge part of that. That’s where all it started. As you look through the transition, its really beeninteresting. Im going to segue back to the saying yes pieces and what it’s allowed us to be.We have this thing called Oneness. I always talk about being the Southwest [Airlines] ofcomputing, and I live inside of very simple triangle. The triangle has three sides, obviously. Oneside is our application inventory, the other side is our infrastructure capabilities, and the otherside is my skill-sets.Saying yesIf youre inside that space I can say yes, very quickly. What’s happened inside that space helpedus contain cost . When we ﬁrst started work, our ratio was one physical to seven virtual. A coupleyears later, were at 1:35. It’s roughly a 500 percent increase in capacity without anycommensurate cost. I give credit to my team for owning the technology and for wielding thetechnology for the beneﬁt of the business and to get the most out of it.
The frame of reference to keep ourselves grounded is that we make lipstick, and it’s really howmuch money we can save and how well we can wield that technology to deliver value and domore with less. That’ll enable our company to grow.We love simplicity and we have this Southwest computing model of taking a very complexecosystem and making it simple to use. To a large degree its kind of like an iPad, where thebusiness wants to touch it, but they don’t care what’s going on underneath.Its our job to deliver that, to deliver that experience and capability back to the business, withoutthem having to think about it. I just want them to ask that we’re here to help and that we canﬁgure a way to deliver it and keep exercising our technical capabilities to wield the technology todo more.Gardner: Im intrigued by this notion of the ecosystem being a whole greater than the sum of theparts. One of the things that youve been able to do, in addition to saying yes and keep your costsin line, is to improve your data and manage your data lifecycle, according to what I heard today.Tell me about this notion you said of all the data becoming structured. What are some of theupsides on the data, when it comes to this ecosystem approach?Giambruno: When you were talking to Heinz, you talked about unintended consequences. Oneof the things that we have is a big gestalt after our cloud was live. We literally had all of our datain one place.One of the big challenges historically was that we had all these applications geographicallydispersed. The ability to touch them, feel them, get access, access controls, all of these thingswere monumentally challenging. In Revlon, as we went to the Southwest or Oneness model, weorganized globally our access controls and those little things.So when we had all this data and all these applications now sitting at one place, with our abilityto look at them and understand them, we started a fairly big effort for our master data model.We’re structuring our data on the way in So when were trying to query the data, we alreadyknow where it is and what it does in its relationships, instead of trying to mine throughunstructured data and make reasoning out of it. It’s been this big data structure.I’d say we "chewed glass." We spent a couple of years chewing glass, structuring all this data,because the change rate is so big, but theres value in information to the business. I joke, if youvemissed at this, we’re in the information age. So how well we can wield our information and giveour leadership team information to act on is a differentiator. The ability to do this big data andthis master data model has been really what we see as the golden egg going forward, the thingthat can really make a difference with the business.Gardner: While we’re on this notion of unintended consequences and unintended beneﬁts, doesanything along the lines of security or licensing also come to mind?
Self selectionGiambruno: From a licensing perspective, along the journey we called it self-selection.Licensing is important. Everybody has to make money. We live in capitalism. So from aprocurement perspective, we always want to make sure we’re legal, but at the same time,vendors will self-select, depending on their licensing model in the virtualization world. Thatsour triangle. Thats our infrastructure. Through that, we’ve had to manage relationships andwe’ve done that.From a security model, the structuring of all of our infrastructure, putting the in the Southwestmodel of computing, this Oneness, getting our data, our access controls, all of that plus withgreatly simpliﬁed security, all of that is completely ubiquitous. There were even some of thecrazy things that we did --we restructured the IP-ing of everything in Revlon to make all of ourIP blocks contiguous. So when we move things around the world inside our cloud, we moveentire blocks of IP addresses.As you look forward, one of the interesting things that I ﬁnd is that, as you look at streaming ourapplications, there is a huge security paradigm shift. Essentially no data will ever leave my datacenter and sit on a device.In ﬁve years, that would be my goal. I think I can do it in 24 months, but really from a horizon,it’s like ﬁve years. At that point, I can literally encrypt my data center. Think about PCI andHIPAA and all the controls around that. Encryption is one of those big ﬁrst checkmarks. If youcan do that, you solve a lot of your compliance challenges.Second, you have this trusted computing model, where I know the person from an access control.I know the device. I know what that person is supposed to have access to. Ive encrypted myentire data center, so when that person comes in, I can let them have access only to what they’resupposed to have in the context that theyre supposed to have, and decrypt it on the way out.They’re only viewing a device, and no data ever lives on a device.So bring your own device. I wouldn’t care, because theres almost no security concerns at thatpoint. Ive encrypted. I know the user. Going one step further, as companies progress, you’regoing to look at these internal marketplaces that everyone is going to build.What the iPad has done is make it so I want to turn it on. I want to click on the app that gives methe information to do my job. I want my workﬂow, my exception management, the information Ineed to do for the day or do my planning, whatever I need to do. But they want that informationin context.Roll the tape forward a couple of years, and the capabilities that’s coming out on VMware, wefully expect to take care of that, to adopt that model, and that’s what we’re pushing for.
Gardner: It’s fascinating hearing you talking about large-scale virtualization and internal cloud.This has allowed you to have a much better grasp over your costs and deliver your apps andservices readily, so that you can say yes to your business users.In addition, youre getting master data management (MDM) beneﬁts. You’re getting a betterhandle on licensing. You’re seeing great improvements in security now, and perhaps more tocome, as you stream apps to a more virtualized client model.Symbiotic relationshipYou also mentioned something when it came to DR that piqued my interest. It sounds almost asif there is a symbiotic positive relationship between high levels of virtualization and DR. Italmost sounds like DR has become the ability to move entire data centers as assets that arefungible, and that that gives you a lot more capability, in addition to being able to recover.Is that true? Tell me how this DR plays into this larger set of values.Giambruno: We’ve actually done this. No one was hurt, but last year, our factory in Venezuelaburned. It was on a Sunday afternoon and they had what we call a drib. If you look at VMwarearchitecture, they have data center in a box. I always joke that we’re years ahead of them in that.We use dribs, strategically placed throughout the world where we push capacity to for our cloud.They largely run dark.So our drib "phoned home" that it was getting hot. We were notiﬁed that the building was on ﬁre.It took us an hour and 45 minutes, and most of that time was ﬁnding one of my global storageguys who was at the beach. We found Ben, and got him to do his part, which was to tell the cloudto move from Venezuela to our disaster site in New Jersey.So we joke that our model in DR is that we just copy everything. We don’t even think abouttiering or anything. It’s this model, sometimes a Casio is just better than a Rolex. Simplicityrules, and not thinking about it ensures that we have all the data available. Again, it goes back toour cloud and virtualization. Everything is just a ﬁle. We just copy the deltas all the time. Wenever stop.For us it was available in less than 15 minutes. We went in, we broke the synchronization, wemade sure everything was up-to-date, and we told our F5s and our info blocks that Venezuela isnow New Jersey. Everything swung, we got everything in, we contacted the business units to testeverything and verify everything.Then we brought up all the virtual desktops and we used Riverbed mobile devices. We e-mailedtheir client to everyone. So people either worked from home or we had some very good partnersthat gave us some ofﬁce space where people could use the computers. They loaded the Riverbedmobile devices on those computers. They brought the virtual desktops, people went to work, andthe business didn’t go away.
Gardner: So you were able to say yes, even when a factory burned to the ground. Thats prettyimpressive.Giambruno: This is a real-world example of how you can do it, and it wasnt a lot of effort. Itsthis whole idea of simplicity, where youre just not putting the complexity into the system. Ialways go back to this iPad view of the world, where the business just wants to know whatsavailable and we will do the rest underneath.This high degree of virtualization lets us move all of this data around the world, and its for DR,development, and a myriad of capabilities that we keep ﬁnding new ways to use this capability.Gardner: I suppose it elevates the concept of ﬁt for purpose to that data-center level?Redundancy and expenseGiambruno: Correct. And some of the other unintended consequences are interesting. You talkabout redundancy and expense. Two is one and one is none in a data center. Do you really needto be fully redundant, because if something happens well just switch to the other data center?I only need one core switch or whatever. You start to challenge all these old precepts of up-time,because its almost cheaper for me or less-expensive. I can just roll the computer over here for alittle while. I get that ﬁxed, if I have a four-hour service-level agreement (SLA) with my vendorsfor repairs.You can start to question a lot of the “old ways of doing things” or what was the standard inﬁguring out new ways to operate. One of the interesting things I love about my job is you canquestion yourself and ﬁgure out what you can do next.Gardner: One last item that I suppose also ﬁts into this unintended positive consequences issue.Youve mentioned something about supply-chain value and getting to the point where you cantake your external cloud, push it out to your suppliers and contractors, and begin sharing withpermissions and control. This is a much better approach than the old way of virtual privatenetworks (VPNs) and the headaches around access and so forth. So tell me about this extendedbusiness-process value that youre starting to explore?Giambruno: One of the things we realized is that we could start extending our cloud. We spenda lot of time managing security and VPNs, and the audits that have to go around that.If I could just push out a piece of my application or make that available to them, they couldupdate their data, reduce the number of APIs, the number of connections, all of that complexitythat goes out there, and extend our MDM.
Then we can interface our MDM through our cloud to do some of this translation for us that theycan enter data, or we can take it from their systems, from our cloud edge securely and in contextand bring that back into our systems.We think there are huge possibilities around automating and simplifying. But at the end of theday, its about collaboration with our community of vendors and suppliers, and enabling them tointeract with us easily.So youre always trying to foster those relationships and get whatever synergies you can. If wemake it easier on them to interact with us from a system’s perspective, it just makes everybodyhappier. Weve got some projects slated for deployment this year. Maybe in a year, if you comeback, I can tell you how well we’ve done or what we’ve done. But one of the things that we arelooking is we can think really change how we operate as a company.Gardner: Thats fascinating. You talked about a lot of efﬁciency, reducing your footprint on thephysical plant, on energy, keeping your cost in line, spinning up more applications and data. Butnow we are talking about not just efﬁciencies, but actually doing things entirely differently,things that could not have been done before because of cloud. That to me is really the essence ofwhere we are going to be talking in the next few years.So, David, thanks so much for your time. We have to leave it there. Youve been listening to asponsored podcast discussion in conjunction with a VMware-organized media roundtable eventin San Francisco.Weve been exploring two prime examples of organizations that have gained huge beneﬁts fromhigh degrees of virtualization and aggressive cloud computing adoption with mission-criticalapplications. The two organizations of course have been Revlon and SAP.I’d like to thank our guests David Giambruno. He is the Senior Vice President and CIO ofRevlon. Thanks so much, David.Giambruno: My pleasure.Gardner: We have also been here with Heinz Roggenkemper He is the Executive Vice Presidentof Development at SAP Labs.This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks to our audience forjoining, and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: VMwareTranscript of a sponsored podcast on how cloud and virtualization deliver beneﬁts in cost,efﬁciency, and agility. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2012. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in:
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