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Informed cio-private-cloud-automation 2566633-1

  1. 1. Next reports Rep or ts.InformationWeek .com June 2012 $99Private CloudAutomationNext up for private cloud initiatives: automation. Is your organizationready to take that plunge? We’ll explore the fundamentals of preparing,deploying, testing—and eventually letting automation systems runwithout human intervention in production environments. We’ll alsoexamine integration and performance-optimization issues involvedwith promising new automation technologies.By Jake McTigueReport ID: S5170612
  2. 2. Previous Next reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation CONTENTS 3 Author’s Bio ABOUT US 4 Executive Summary 5 The Big Guys Do It. You Should Too. InformationWeek Reports’ analysts arm 5 Figure 1: Steps Taken to Build a Private business technology decision-makers Cloud with real-world perspective based on 6 Figure 2: Vendor Snapshot qualitative and quantitative research, 7 Figure 3: Success in Meeting IT Goals business and technology assessment 8 Build on Your Accomplishments and planning tools, and adoption best 8 Figure 4: Success in Meeting Business and practices gleaned from experience. To Process Goals contact us, write to managing director 9 Set Goals Art Wittmann at, 10 Figure 5: Challenges Encountered When content director Lorna Garey at Launching a Private Cloud, editor-at-large 11 Figure 6: Importance of Features When Andrew Conry-Murray at Selecting Private Cloud Technology, and research 14 Related Reports managing editor Heather Vallis at Find all of our TABLE OF reports at June 2012 2
  3. 3. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation Jake McTigue is the IT manager for Carwild Corp. and a senior consulting network engineer for NSI. He is responsible for IT infrastructure and has worked on numerous customer projects as well as ongoing network management and Jake McTigue support throughout his 10-year consulting career. InformationWeek Reports Jake has been involved in server virtualization since 2002 and has been a project lead on consolidation and virtualization projects for public safety, education and private-sector applications. He has been a guest speaker for a major virtualization vendor and has been instrumental in articulating the benefits of virtualization for organizations all over the Northeast.Want More?Never Missa Report! Follow Follow © 2012 InformationWeek, Reproduction Prohibited June 2012 3
  4. 4. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation SUMMARY Our InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud Survey shows that the technology has reached a tipping point: 51% of 414 respondents, all of them involved with managing, purchasing, advising on or implementing data center technologies, are either starting a project (30%) or have a private cloud today. Unfortunately, when we asked those building private clouds about nine critical steps, orchestrating automation across multiple subsystems came in dead last (see Figure 1, p. 5). Let’s be clear: no automation, no cloud. How do we figure that? NIST defines cloud as having five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity or expansion, and measured service. While virtualization and proper WAN engineering will provide resource pooling, elasticity and broad network access, measured service and—most importantly—on-demand self-service are not part of standard virtualization management suites. No, for self-service, automation is required to drive the infrastructure in a preprogrammed fashion in accordance with “customer” desire, even if private cloud “customers” are really just internal resources. Here’s how to get there. June 2012 4
  5. 5. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation The Big Guys Do It. You Should Too. Major public cloud service providers like Figure 1 Amazon, Microsoft and Rackspace have been Steps Taken to Build a Private Cloud driving hard toward automation since these What steps has your organization taken to build a private cloud? services hit the market. Their reasoning is Completed In progress Not started simple: Automation improves the bottom line Built the underlying server, storage and networking infrastructure and drives customer satisfaction. Yes, automat- 23% 54% 23% ing a small-scale private or hybrid cloud is an Deployed hypervisors and management framework entirely different affair from Amazon enabling 17% 43% 40% customers to spin up an S3 instance, because Inventoried applications and workflows public cloud providers and very large enter- 11% 52% 37% prises have the in-house technical muscle to Built a self-service portal wrestle with automation on a development 10% 49% 41% basis, rarely the case in midsize companies. Automated subsystems 8% 50% 42% But the need is the same, because without Integrated subsystems automation, you do not have self-service, and 6% 50% 44% self-service is one of the most compelling Created required services like runbooks and CMDBs things about cloud, no matter the size or type 4% 44% 52% of organization. Nearly 60% of respondents to Created application templates our InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud 3% 55% 42% Survey who are in the process of building Orchestrated automation across multiple subsystems private clouds have completed their self- 3% 35% 62% service portals. Among the full base of 414 re- Base: 123 respondents at organizations starting a private cloud project R4840512/31 spondents, all of whom are involved with Data: InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud Survey of 414 business technology professionals, April June 2012 5 R
  6. 6. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation Figure 2 managing, purchasing, advising on or implementing line in terms of automating the private cloud. Better VENDOR SNAPSHOT data center technologies, 51% are either starting a are innovative products, like those we list in Figure 2, Adaptive Software Moab project (30%) or have a private cloud today. that take management to a new level by enabling Cloud Automation Pros: Robust task scheduling engine, Of course, self-service isn’t the only benefit of au- policy-based automation. Essentially, these products highly interoperable, advanced fea- tures out of the box tomation. More efficient use of resources, self-heal- employ multiple management engines to stay in Cons: Can be costly to implement. ing, improved application availability, better power touch with all aspects of the infrastructure and to BMC BladeLogic management and preplanned responses to contin- make policy decisions based on scenarios that may Automation Suite Pros: Market leader, robust engine, gency scenarios are among the potential benefits of arise or self-service requests that occur. integration with other BMC productsFAST FACT Cons: Expensive a solid automation deployment. These products are evolving from the workload Cisco Process Orchestrator51%of the 414 respondents Unfortunately, the problem with cloud automation is that there isn’t a standard way to do it. While virtu- alization vendors have invested a huge amount of ef- management suites used to automate diverse virtu- alization and infrastructure components through a central policy engine. However, because they are Pros: Built for Cisco hardware, robust feature set Cons: Expensive Embotics V-Commanderare either starting a fort in developing APIs that provide virtualized infra- new and these waters are relatively uncharted, there Pros: Good value, features comparable to suites from much larger vendorsproject (30%) or have a structure extensibility and control, automating those is no standard feature set—what you’ll be able to do Cons: Newcomerprivate cloud today. same infrastructures is simply not a part of the core out of the box varies dramatically by product. While IBM Tivoli Service virtualization feature set. And yet, controlling a virtu- most of these suites possess a powerful central exe- Automation Manager Pros: powerful, robust engine, robust alized infrastructure is going to be a key point of any cution engine that can read data and then act on it, feature set Cons: Very complicated, high TCO automation strategy, because virtualization is where some products, like Moab, incorporate enhanced re- Stonebranch Opswise your resource pools and elasticity live. source management for virtual infrastructures or Automation Automation for the private cloud is likewise not yet self-service Web provisioning portals as well. Pros: Extensive Web interoperability, integrates workload management, standards-based, and, in fact, there isn’t even agree- But it’s worth evaluating one of these suites be- innovative, robust feature set Cons: Newcomer ment on what it entails. At the most basic level, cloud cause automating the cloud has huge potential in UC4 One Automation automation packages support runbooks, which take terms of maximizing your investment and reducing Pros: Powerful, lots of functionality, reasonable cost, Web standard interop- preprogrammed actions when a trigger event operational and capital expenses—an important erability, extensible occurs. But preprogrammed events aren’t the finish point, as 61% of our survey respondents cite reduced Cons: Difficult to June 2012 6
  7. 7. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation operational costs as a major cloud deploy- Figure 3 ment driver, with capital expense savings Success in Meeting IT Goals (44%) and technical advantage (45%) as How successful is your private cloud in meeting the following IT goals? Please use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “completely unsuccessful” and 5 is “extremely successful.” strong secondary factors. Respondents also 1 Completely unsuccessful Extremely successful 5 say increased operational complexity is a ma- More efficient use of hardware jor issue in terms of adopting cloud (37%). 4.2 This is important because automation helps Better scalability manage complexity. 4.2 Respondents with private cloud initiatives Better overall reliability do say they’ve seen excellent results in terms 4.0 of reducing operational and capital expenses More efficient use of IT’s time as well as in managing IT teams’ time. And this 4.0 is partly why automation is so exciting: Better Standardized OS builds 3.9 resource usage, life cycle management and automated provisioning have the potential to Shortened time to deliver applications to the business 3.9 heighten these natural cloud competencies. Better disaster recovery It’s also worth noting that satisfaction with 3.9 chargeback mechanisms is the lowest of all Business user self-service portal for select IT services the metrics in Figure 4, even as 41% of respon- 3.7 dents are charging back in some capacity or Better peak application performance another, whether to actually “bill” depart- 3.6 ments internally for resource use or just to Better average application performance keep track of where the IT budget goes. This 3.6 is germaine because almost all the automa- Note: Mean average ratings R4840512/8 Base: 87 respondents at organizations with a private cloud strategy tion vendors we spoke with for this report say Data: InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud Survey of 414 business technology professionals, April June 2012 7 R
  8. 8. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation their products feature accountability mecha- Figure 4 nisms designed to accommodate chargeback. Success in Meeting Business and Process Goals How successful is your private cloud in meeting the following business and process goals? Please use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “completely unsuccessful” and 5 is “extremely successful.” Build on Your Accomplishments 1 Completely unsuccessful Extremely successful 5 Successful automation deployments sit on Lower capital costs over time top of successful virtualization deployments. 4.0 Modern virtual infrastructures, when config- Lower operational costs over time ured properly, will provide high availability, 3.9FAST FACT scalability and a degree of fault tolerance, or Lower total cost of ownership at least fault recovery. It’s no wonder then that 3.841%of respondents are survey respondents cite investments in virtu- alization technology (43%) as a primary factor in deploying private cloud. Improved quality control Improved alignment between IT costs and business needs 3.7 3.7charging back in some Even with virtualization in place, though, the Ability to meet service-level agreementscapacity or another, first step in preparing to automate is cleaning 3.7whether to actually “bill” house. Automatic actions and self-service pro- Ability to charge back to track expenses to business unitsdepartments internally visioning will only exacerbate poorly config- 3.4for resource use or just to ured virtual infrastructures. Further, the better Note: Mean average ratings R4840512/9 Base: 87 respondents at organizations with a private cloud strategykeep track of where the engines provide the means to improve Data: InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud Survey of 414 business technology professionals, April 2012IT budget goes. resource management, which is difficult to do if the infrastructure is already overloaded. If an infrastructure that isn’t well maintained tive is a thorough virtual infrastructure house- you don’t have the spare capacity to maintain R and properly configured puts core network cleaning. What exactly does this mean? Let’s high availability, self-service provisioning is services at risk. consider resource usage first. In an infrastruc- hardly going to be a benefit. Worse, spinning For all of these reasons, the first step in ture with plenty of spare capacity, managing up new VMs and taking automatic actions on preparing for a successful automation initia- resource use simply isn’t that important. June 2012 8
  9. 9. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation demand spikes occur, the infrastructure has critical servers of resources. formance and spin up additional application room to soak up the excess. > Ensure that you have a method to track servers when demand peaks, the plan is going But as resources become scarcer, manage- when a machine deployment produced by to be different than if self-service provisioning ment takes on an entirely different dimension. automation becomes a mission-critical server. with departmental chargeback is the primary Suddenly, a spike can jeopardize the perform- It’s easy enough to increase its resource pri- goal. For this reason, formulating a concrete ance of mission-critical business applications ority after the fact, or to allocate resource pri- set of objectives is essential to the evaluation by depriving application servers of resources. ority via a user-reported importance factor— phase of your automation project. Then, since Segregating workloads into resource pools though it still ought to be vetted by IT before product capabilities vary so widely, map that and assigning priorities to them becomes being assigned a high priority. But this is one goal list to feature requirements. very important—as the system comes under area where you don’t want to run blind. How easy or difficult it will be to make that load from self-service provisioning requests, > Don’t spend on automation if the overall map depends on the integration difficulties as- critical servers are given priority access to the capacity of the infrastructure is lacking. If you’re sociated with various underlying virtualization underlying physical resources, so perform- barely able to satisfy your current workload, the and management platforms. A full-featured au- ance is not negatively affected. When select- last thing you need is new machines being tomation product is going to need to plug into ing an automation management system, by rolled out without human intervention. First multiple silos to gather the information it all means look for the ability to manage get your capacity in line with business need. needs to make policy-based automation deci-Strategy: Predictive resource load in cloud environments. But be sions. This means integrating server, storageAnalytics for IT aware that throwing resource management Set Goals and network virtualization technologies as wellWhile a technology that warns of at a badly configured infrastructure is likely to Determine what you want to accomplish as maintaining accurate licensing and consis-problems before they arise maysound too good to be true, net you a lot of angry help desk calls. with your automation initiative. Do you want tent configuration information. Depending onpredictive systems have been in The upshot is that preparing for automation self-service machine provisioning? Automated how your network is set up, every single one ofuse for years by financial, retail, requires a few things: responses to changing infrastructure condi- these resources could be a different silo—healthcare and other sectors.Now it’s IT’s turn. > Make sure that resources are allocated to tions? How about policy-based virtual ma- which means integration is a daunting propo- critical servers correctly and that automated chine and application life cycle management? sition. In fact, this is a sore point for survey re- Download machine deployments won’t deprive mission- If the intent is to monitor application per- spondents: 58% say integrating existing June 2012 9
  10. 10. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation Figure 5 products with cloud is a major issue. Challenges Encountered When Launching a Private Cloud Because integration can be such a bear, it’s What were the main hurdles you overcame to launch your private cloud? hugely important to delve into the compati- Integrating existing IT products bility matrix of any prospective product before 58% purchasing. If a vendor provides few hooks, it Acquiring employee skill sets 51% may be impossible to integrate policy engines Updating our current infrastructure without an absurd labor investment. Heck, 49% even for products that are compatible, inte- Acquiring cloud software and hardware gration may still be difficult. The Moab cloud 30% suite and BMC’s BladeLogic are strong in this Inventorying existing applications and services area, but integrating the software may require 26% a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 investment in expert partner Making the business case for private cloud 23% consulting services or internal staff commit- Employee resistance ment vs. software costs before the benefits of 21% automation are apparent. Managing automation Why? Again, a lack of standards. 17% Say total infrastructure automation is your Creating runbooks desired endpoint, and a user is able to initiate 6% a self-service provisioning request that requires Other 6% a new virtual network to satisfy. Your network Note: Three responses allowed R4840512/10 virtualization product is going to require a run- Base: 87 respondents at organizations with a private cloud strategy Data: InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud Survey of 414 business technology professionals, April 2012 book or script that’s capable of creating, linking and delivering the new virtual network re- tion that drive it, and the way in which it’s And in environments with more than one hy- source to the machines and services that re- handed to new virtual machines is going to pervisor, this sort of simple action could be- quire it. This process, the scripting and automa- vary widely based on the hypervisor in use. come a real nightmare as configuration June 2012 10
  11. 11. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation requests strike two or more hypervisors and Figure 6 network virtualization management stacks. Importance of Features When Selecting Private Cloud Technology That brings us back to goal setting. When Please rate the importance of the following features when selecting private cloud technology, using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “not important” and 5 is “very important.” you get down into the details, embracing au- Very important 5 tomation requires a very clear idea of what you want to accomplish so that you can cre- ate workflows and processes that are repeat- 3.8 able, consistent and trustworthy. Take incident 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.6 response: An application server has an issue 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.3 Support hybrid mode (public/private cloud) that jeopardizes the availability of a key soft- 3.2 Application performance management 3.0 ware system. If the application is in an app Application deployment templates server farm, other servers may continue to Chargeback billing or tracking Capacity rights management meet client demand, but at a higher load with Demand-based auto-scaling Delegated administration Bare-metal provisioning reduced efficiency. If one goal of your auto- Runbook automation Application mobility mation initiative is a self-healing response to Self-service portalStrategy: Delegation Service catalogDelivers Virtualization the loss or degradation of that application 1 Not important VM mobilitySavings Audit logs server, a great many variables must be consid-IT can’t—and shouldn’t— ered before an automatic action can be taken.maintain absolute control overhighly virtualized infrastructures. First, we have to detect the application Note: Mean average ratings R4840512/38Instituting a smart role-based server’s failure. Suppose the server stops Base: 123 respondents at organizations starting a private cloud projectcontrol strategy to decentralize Data: InformationWeek 2012 Private Cloud Survey of 414 business technology professionals, April 2012management can empower working because of a software or configura-business units to prioritize their tion error, rather than failing outright; virtual- connections is going to take a synthetic ap- utilization could cause a false-positive failureown data assets while freeing ITto focus on the next big project. ization management software is not necessar- R plication monitor that tries to use the server once or twice, so perhaps the application ily aware of the application’s failure. Finding and reports failure. monitor should test the transaction against all Download out that the server is not handling client At the same time, factors like latency and the servers in the pool a few times June 2012 11
  12. 12. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation reporting, say, three consecutive failures on a predefined workflow, which rolls out a new respond in the desired way. Formulating a app server 1 over a 15-minute window. As you application server from a preconfigured tem- process inventory then becomes a critical can see, just getting accurate information to plate, joins it to the Network Load Balancing element of an automation strategy. At a high trigger a workflow can be a challenge. And pool and prepares the application to accept level, automating responses to application this is a major example, because application requests. At the same time, it should notify issues might look something like this for two performance management is cited as being application administrators that an adverse different goals: the single most important private cloud fea- event has occurred, a workflow has been >> Goal: Self-healing application server ture by respondents (see Figure 5). triggered and action has been taken. Finally, farmsLike This Report? Once information has been received, you it ought to test the new app server with an Processes associated: Detect applicationRate It!Something we could do need to ensure that the automation policy engine is capable of either pulling the failure application monitor and be capable of integrating the results of that testing into the server failure or degradation, destroy applica- tion server farm member, provision newbetter? Let us know. data or receiving notification thereof to begin report, which goes to application admins. At application server farm member, notify appli- a workflow. Then you need to determine what the end of the process, an administrator cation support team. Rate the workflow that addresses the incident might receive a notification that says, “acct- >> Goal: Reactively sensing degradation of actually does. Perhaps it dynamically tears app1 performance degradation detected application performance and taking action down the malfunctioning application server consistently. A teardown and rebuild of acct- Processes associated: Detect application through calls to the hypervisor. Further, it may app1 has been initiated and completed suc- performance issues, provision new applica- need to use WMI calls to communicate with cessfully. Application monitoring reports that tion server farm member, notify application the other servers in the farm to notify them performance is normal.” support teams, destroy application server that a member has been dropped from the As you can see, even a simple self-healing farm member after the process has put a new Microsoft Network Load Balancing pool, or action is going to take considerable work to one up and checked that it’s working. even proprietary scripting controls if, say, Cit- accomplish. Fortunately, this can be done in As you can see in both examples above, rix XenApp is the farm management applica- bits and pieces. there are individual processes common to tion for this particular app. Once a goal set has been formulated, out- both goals. Both self-healing and reactive Then the automation flow needs to trigger line the processes that must occur in order to application server provisioning require June 2012 12
  13. 13. Previous Next Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation an app server deployment process exists. If we Examples include self-service provisioning can set up a single process-automation script Web portals, a virtual machine optimization that deploys a new application server and scheduler or some basic VM power manage- joins it to the farm, we can use that to satisfy ment policies. that element of both requirements. For this What you don’t get are workflows specific reason, carefully outlining your goals and the to your network, application portfolio and processes associated with each will quickly business processes. No matter how you tackle uncover commonalities and make it readily the issue, those elements are your responsi- apparent which automation objectives are bility to build and integrate, and that is going likely to be costly (for example, containing a to cost money in either capex or opex, great number of unique processes that do not depending on whether you choose to out- serve other objectives) and which are easily source or handle in-house. Add to this com- attainable by creating a set of core automa- plexities created by legacy application sup- tion processes and recycling them. port, and it may be a very significant And since we’re talking about cost, let’s get investment indeed. For this reason, the single a little bit deeper. For large enterprises, the most important step in choosing to automate cost could easily reach six figures and climb your cloud is to carefully scope goals and to $300,000 or more, depending on the level requirements and conduct a thorough cost- of automation required and the size of the benefit analysis before ever purchasing licens- infrastructure. Consider what you’re actually ing. You’ll need your goals well defined before Like This Report? getting for your licensing investment. First, tackling the actual nuts and bolts of your au- you get a task engine that is capable of react- tomation project anyway, and if you can’t Share it! ing to data by triggering workflows. Second, place a dollar value on each goal, it will be im- Like Tweet you get whatever common integrations and possible to gauge the success of your au- Share functionality that exist out of the box. tomation June 2012 13
  14. 14. Previous Table of Contents reports Informed CIO: Private Cloud Automation Want More Like This? MORE InformationWeek creates more than 150 reports like this each year, and they’re all free to registered users. We’ll help you sort through vendor claims, justify IT projects and imple- ment new systems by providing analysis and advice from IT professionals. Right now on our site you’ll find: Research: Virtualization Management: The launch of VMware’s latest flagship hypervisor raised more questions than answers. While VMware continues to redefine the virtualization LIKE THIS game, rivals—mainly Microsoft and Citrix but also Oracle, Red Hat and even Ubuntu—are vy- ing for market share. And enterprise IT is obliging. But will this platform heterogeneity ham- per our quest for pervasive virtualization? Research: IT Automation: IT’s juggling frantically to keep current services running even as business customers pile on new requests. Automation is an important tool in helping us shift focus toward meeting unique business needs, but it should be coupled with judicious use of external services and portfolio management. Research: Application Performance Management: Slow response times cost money andNewsletter burn employee, partner and customer goodwill. Today, we can’t afford not to manageWant to stay current on all new systems proactively. Here’s how to make a case for comprehensive APM and select the rightInformationWeek Reports? architecture for your needs, plus analysis of our latest poll results.Subscribe to our weeklynewsletter and never missa beat. PLUS: Find signature reports, such as the InformationWeek Salary Survey, InformationWeek 500 and the annual State of Security report; full issues; and much more. June 2012 14