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Cloud Computing

23 Posts authored by: Jason Garbis
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No, this article isn’t about Dolly the Sheep, it’s about Cloud Computing.  Specifically, about different approaches to virtual server provisioning, and (behind the scenes) the choices and capabilities provided by a provisioning engine (and thus exposed in a service catalog).  Let’s begin.
The market has advanced enough in the past 6-12 months where we can now, sensibly and credibly, talk about a prototypical cloud lifecycle solution, with a wide selection of offerings available from vendors great and small.   Typically, these solutions house a catalog of offerings, presented to a user for selection, and which is subsequently instantiated through a provisioning process.  Many solutions implement this by simply cloning the template, attaching it to the appropriate network, and turning it on. While this sounds straightforward, this immediately should raise a number of questions from those folks in IT responsible for managing and maintaining their organization’s cloud.
First, think about your (internal) customers – typically application developers who build, test, or maintain those applications created to run your business.  How standardized are these developers, in terms of the OS and version and they’re using? What about all the additional software components, such as messaging middleware, app or web servers, or databases, which they require as part of their images ?  If your organization is like most, there is an enormous variety of software components in use – and the natural result of using a purely image-based provisioning system is that you’ll end up with a combinatorical explosion of hundreds and hundreds images.  This isn’t just theoretical -- earlier this year I worked with a system integrator customer, who used our solution to solve exactly this problem at a governmental agency.
So, what’s wrong with having many, many customized images to choose from? Isn’t this exactly the kind of flexibility and responsiveness that cloud computing promised?   Look for a continued discussion in Part 2 of this series.  Until then, please share your opinion and experiences in this area by submitting a comment below.

No, this article isn't about Dolly the Sheep, it’s about Cloud Computing.  Specifically, about different approaches to virtual server provisioning, and (behind the scenes) the choices and capabilities provided by a provisioning engine (and thus exposed in a service catalog).  Let’s get started.

 

The market has advanced enough in the past 6-12 months where we can now, sensibly and credibly, talk about a prototypical cloud lifecycle solution, with a wide selection of offerings available from vendors great and small.   Typically, these solutions house a catalog of offerings, presented to a user for selection, and which is subsequently instantiated through a provisioning process.  Many solutions implement this by simply cloning the template, attaching it to the appropriate network, and turning it on. While this sounds straightforward, this immediately should raise a number of questions from those folks in IT responsible for managing and maintaining their organization’s cloud.

 

First, think about your (internal) customers – typically application developers who build, test, or maintain those applications created to run your business.  How standardized are these developers, in terms of the OS and version and they’re using? What about all the additional software components, such as messaging middleware, app or web servers, or databases, which they require as part of their images ?  If your organization is like most, there is an enormous variety of software components in use – and the natural result of using a purely image-based provisioning system is that you’ll end up with a combinatorial explosion of hundreds and hundreds images.  This isn’t just theoretical -- earlier this year I worked with a system integrator customer, who used our solution to solve exactly this problem at a governmental agency.

 

So, what’s wrong with having many, many customized images to choose from? Isn’t this exactly the kind of flexibility and responsiveness that cloud computing promised?   Look for a continued discussion in Part 2 of this series.  Until then, please share your opinion and experiences in this area by submitting a comment below.


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I’m very pleased to be able to announce the news that BMC has acquired Neptuny Software, a provider of business-aware capacity planning solutions. See today’s press release for the official story.  In this blog entry I will explore this acquisition further, and explain some context and motivation for this.  But first, I’d like to warmly welcome the Neptuny team to BMC – congratulations, and we look forward to working with you.


The decision to strengthen our capacity management offerings through this acquisition was really driven by two key tenets (shown below) – which reflect what we’re hearing from our customers today, and demonstrate the continued execution of our Business Service Management vision:

  • Recognition that capacity management is a core requirement of a modern IT environment, and that it’s doubly important in a virtualized/cloud environment
  • An amplification of BMC’s commitment to providing a business perspective for IT

 

Let’s briefly explore these. Many organizations today do understand the need for capacity management – ensuring that they have the ability to look forward in time, and map out what IT infrastructure changes and investments will be required in their enterprise. As organizations begin to move more and more of their infrastructure into a virtualized, shared services model, two things happen.

 

First, the underlying physical hardware (compute, network, and storage) starts being shared across more (and more complex) systems.   This has the result of increasing utilization, which is generally a good thing, up to a point.  But this also increases the complexity and dynamicism of the environment, by introducing more interdependencies and ongoing change among the various components.  As a result, any given component has the potential to impact many others – thus driving the need for active management and modeling of its capacity (as well as governance, although this is a separate topic).  In addition, in a cloud environment, the provisioning placement engine needs accurate and up-to-date visibility into current resource capacity, in order to properly decide where and how to place services.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is the need to provide a way for IT to view its operations from a business perspective.  Most people are likely familiar with the business context provided by a CMDB – allowing IT to distinguish technically identical resources (such as servers), and allocate technical and human resources based on its important to the business.  A classic example of this is a pair of servers – technically identical, but providing wildly different services to the business. One might be hosting the production database for a company’s web commerce application, while the other hosts the customer message board and community site.  Both are important to the business, but the database is mission-critical, and will result in lost revenue to the company if it’s down.  The community site is non-revenue-generating, and an outage won’t materially impact the business.  Thus, these two identical pieces of hardware need to have significantly different configuration policies, change management processes, and levels of service (e.g. response time and effort in the case of an outage).

The Neptuny software provides this same kind of business perspective in the world of capacity management.  It enables organizations to connect business metrics – such as website transactions per hour – to the underlying IT infrastructure.  Thus, the “what-if” scenarios can be based on extrapolating the growth of meaningful business indicators, and makes the projected growth in IT infrastructure an output of the model, rather than a required input. This allows IT to participate in business discussions, using a vocabulary and measurement system consistent with the rest of the business.  This is the larger goal of Business Service Management – to elevate IT, and allow it to align its goals with the business.


To wrap up – we’re thrilled to have been able to bring this technology on board, and look forward to sharing it with our customers.

 


 

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Earlier this week, Novell announced their new Cloud Manager product (link here), which they state “enables customers to create and securely manage a cloud computing environment as a seamless extension of existing data center resources”. As a resource for prospective customers, they provide a comparison chart, showing the Novell solution ranked against selected competitors, which I’ve reproduced below (original is here )

 

novell-comparison.JPG

 

 

I appreciate the competitive reference, and would like to briefly comment on the criteria.

(On a side note, I must say that I was shocked, shocked to see Novell awarding themselves full credit for each listed feature ).

 

Frankly, I’m not interested in writing an “our product is great!” posting (which I don’t think would be particularly enlightening or valuable), nor in criticizing Novell’s product.  What I do think will be interesting will be to talk about the criteria that a prospect should consider when evaluating cloud management solutions.  Novell lists the following features in their chart ; my brief comments follow each.

 

 

  • Role-based self-service workflow
  • Business service template catalog

 

Absolutely! A self-service portal, driven by a service catalog has consistently been a primary requirement from the numerous prospects I’ve met with. To achieve the responsiveness and reliability required in a cloud solution, IT needs to provide this kind of role-based interface to its internal customers – giving them the ability to request and perform ad-hoc actions, yet remaining within constraints dictated by IT.  Also, it’s valuable to be able to expose business services in the catalog, not just technical services. This enables numerous benefits – for example, allowing IT to assign resources or set SLAs based on the business value of a service. This context is key to achieving IT-business alignment.

 

  • Customizable service levels

Yes, these should be customizable both by IT (which defines the service levels, and *how* they get rendered when they’re deployed into a cloud environment), and selectable by the requester from within the self-service portal (to better match up the business value of a service with its required SLA).  This in turn needs to be connected with …

 

  • Flexible costing models

From my perspective, this should be more about service pricing – transparently exposing to the internal customers the different prices for different levels of service, backed up by the ability to provision based on service profiles (more on this momentarily).  Pricing, in turn, should be based on a real service costing analysis – effectively achieving IT cost transparency.  What this means is that IT should be operating from a model of what it costs them to deliver a given level of service, and to price things accordingly.  (Service Costing, Chargeback, and Showback is a rich subject in its own right, which I will discuss in a future posting).

 

  • Heterogeneous virtualization platform support

Certainly – many customers that I’ve spoken with require management of both existing virtualization platforms (such as AIX LPARs), as well newer ones.  Analyst surveys underscore this, indicating that many enterprises anticipate having multiple hypervisors in place – and system management companies need to respond to this customer demand.

 

  • Automated workload provisioning

This is a key aspect of any cloud lifecycle management solution – the ability to actually provision (and later, deprovision) workloads.  However, there are some subtleties around this that are important to understand – specifically the ability to dynamically assemble the desired environment, based on the (potentially custom) requirements from the requester, while still remaining within configuration and compliance constraints defined by IT.  This is really important – even while enabling a dynamic, on-demand Cloud environment, IT must remain in control of the environment.  The requirements for security, operational, and regulatory compliance are even more important in the larger and more complex Cloud world than they were in the purely physical data center.

 

  • LDAP & ActiveDirectory Integration
  • Support for multiple virtual datacenters

No arguments here!

 

These are all good, relevant, and sound requirements for a cloud management solution….they’re just incomplete. I submit that, in addition to those listed above, that prospects (both on the Enterprise and Service Provider side) should also consider the following:
•     Full-stack provisioning
Provisioning needs to be much more than just cloning a VM image –in order to keep the service catalog down to a manageable size, while still enabling the flexibility that line-of-business customers demand from IT, any cloud solution must be able to layer additional elements on top of (and outside of ) a base OS during the automated provisioning process.  That is, the solution must be able to place middleware, security, backup, and monitoring components into a service, as it is being provisioned. It must be able to deploy application software as well.  And, it must have the ability to correctly place this service into the right network container, to ensure that this service can only see (and be seen) by its related business services. This is exceptionally important in any multi-tenant environment.
•     Integration with IT change management
•     Integration with CMDB
•     Integration with IT governance & compliance
Any Cloud management solution must be part of an enterprise’s overall IT management solution – and it must be able to be incrementally introduced.  The organizations I’ve spoken with have made tremendous investments in their people, processes, tools, and policies – and are unwilling to introduce new silos into their organizations.  They find Cloud very appealing, but only when it’s executed in the right way.
In conclusion, I recommend that any prospects interested in a cloud management solution use the list of criteria above as a starting point – but to carefully and thoughtfully plan use your cloud roadmap to adjust and weight your decision factors to best match your specific needs.

These are all good, relevant, and sound requirements for a cloud management solution….they’re just incomplete. I submit that, in addition to those listed above, that prospects (both on the Enterprise and Service Provider side) should also consider the following:

 

  • Full-stack provisioning

Provisioning needs to be much more than just cloning a VM image –in order to keep the service catalog down to a manageable size, while still enabling the flexibility that line-of-business customers demand from IT, any cloud solution must be able to layer additional elements on top of (and outside of ) a base OS during the automated provisioning process.  That is, the solution must be able to place middleware, security, backup, and monitoring components into a service, as it is being provisioned. It must be able to deploy application software as well.  And, it must have the ability to correctly place this service into the right network container, to ensure that this service can only see (and be seen) by its related business services. This is exceptionally important in any multi-tenant environment.

 

  • Integration with IT change management
  • Integration with CMDB
  • Integration with IT governance & compliance

Any Cloud management solution must be part of an enterprise’s overall IT management solution – and it must be able to be incrementally introduced.  The organizations I’ve spoken with have made tremendous investments in their people, processes, tools, and policies – and are unwilling to introduce new silos into their organizations.  They find Cloud very appealing, but only when it’s executed in the right way.

 

In conclusion, I recommend that any prospects interested in a cloud management solution use the list of criteria above as a starting point – but to carefully and thoughtfully plan use your cloud roadmap to adjust and weight your decision factors to best match your specific needs.

 

One final comment…I must say that I was puzzled to see VMware’s Lifecycle Manager product listed in the comparison chart, since it’s no longer available as of Sept 1 (see here ), and has been supplanted by the (new) VMware vCloud Director product.

 

To wrap up, I do wish to acknowledge that I have several friends and former colleagues at Novell, and wish them the best of success in their endeavors. I’m in no way disparaging Novell or their solution; I’m just using their comparison chart as a catalyst for this conversation about decision criteria.

 

 

What do you think?

Jason Garbis

Cloud Brokering

Posted by Jason Garbis Aug 10, 2010
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I received an interesting email from one of our sales reps recently, reflecting a conversation he had with one of BMC’s customers – a regional (UK) service provider.  This service provider was developing their strategy for cloud offerings, and weighing whether and how much to invest in directly providing cloud services (e.g. IaaS) versus acting as a cloud broker.

This is a timely question for many of the Service Providers that BMC is working with – and it’s especially relevant as “plain vanilla” IaaS continues its march toward undifferentiated, cheap/free commodity status. It’s clear that Service Providers are going to need to add value on top of IaaS, and that there are many different ways for them to do so.

In this particular case, the customer was considering two approaches
Value-add on top of IaaS – holistically through complete service management, or tactically via differentiated offerings (such as security or performance SLAs)
Cloud Brokering – adding value by being able to broker a customer’s needs across external cloud providers

For brokering, this provider was considering scenarios where it made economic and technical sense to act as a consumer of another cloud provider – taking into considerations the implications for profit margins.  Given that this Service Provider was local to the UK, brokering would allow them to offering (for example), cloud services based in continental Europe where geographical proximity was important, or services running on a cheaper infrastructure where cost was a primary concern.

In many ways, internal Enterprise IT should also consider itself as a service provider – aiming to offer differentiated and economically competitive services for its internal customers.   The role of cloud broker is something that IT must consider, in order to offer the Lines of Business a full set of choices while still meeting its responsibility
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As organizations begin incorporating aspects of cloud computing into their infrastructure, they often run into significant challenges, driven by the increased scale and dynamicism of the cloud environment.  What they typically find is that their current IT processes, tools, and policies are simply unsuited to the new environment, and that scaling linearly (for example, by hiring additional staff) is both economically infeasible and insufficient – since a cloud environment typically scales exponentially.


The conclusion that most organizations reach is that their cloud computing initiative has a side effect of forcing the organization to improve its IT maturity – to develop automated, integrated, and well-structured processes, policies, and workflows.  It’s often this change that proves to be most challenging to organizations – more so than the technical challenges around deploying new tools.  But the payoff is doubly beneficial – not only does the organization achieve a Cloud environment, but they also improve the efficiency and reliability of their existing IT environment. 

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I’ve recently come across several articles and blog entries, where writers talk about “running applications in the cloud”, and then somehow conflate this with other aspects of Cloud computing. Given all the uncertainty and hype around Cloud, this isn’t surprising…I was recently in a meeting where a product manager and an architect got into a shouting match about whether or not SaaS was Cloud!  As is typical, each had a different definition of “Cloud” in mind, which precipitated the heated discussion.


Along these lines, I’d argue that deploying and running an enterprise application in the cloud does not necessarily mean it’s a Cloud Service.  Taking an existing, on-premise enterprise IT service (such as email), and re-hosting it off-premise does allow you to legitimately state that this application “runs in the cloud”, and can potentially provide a number of financial and business advantages.  But, this does not make it a cloud service, in the sense that (for example) it shows up in a service catalog, for rapid provisioning.


Now, of course, if you’re a Managed Service Provider, and you offer hosted email as a service, you would likely have email show up in your service catalog, and be able to be automatically and rapidly provisioned on demand….in which case it could legitimately be termed a cloud service.  It all depends on your perspective!

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Take a look at yesterday's press release, demonstrating BMC’s increasing momentum with its SaaS offerings.

 

The operator of Alltel wireless communications, after acquiring wireless customers from Verizon, needed a service desk to be quickly and easily set up, without compromising on functionality or quality.   After evaluating their options, they chose BMC ServiceDesk on Force.com.
Thanks, Allied Wireless Communications, for your business!

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Let’s begin to explore the service catalog aspect of Cloud lifecycle management, and see why it’s so important to a scalable and manageable solution.  Most analysts and Cloud definitions require that a self-service portal be present before a project can be considered to be a “cloud”, and many vendor solutions promote this portal as the central component of their solution.  The portal itself, like the icing on a cake, is the most visible element of the cloud solution.   But, like icing, there needs to be something of substance underneath this portal.  In our Cloud world, this chocolatey goodness is provided by the service catalog.  Without a robust and well-structured catalog underlying the portal, a cloud solution runs the risk of being, as they say in Texas,  “all hat and no cattle” (not that we'd want any cattle in our cake). Let’s explore what this means.

 

At its most basic, a service catalog is a listing of services that a customer can choose from, to initiate the service provisioning process. The challenge around this is that there is a natural tension between the customer, who wants the ability to completely customize their offering, and the infrastructure operation (typically IT, within the enterprise, or the Service Provider for an externally hosted environment).

 

Let’s identify the key attributes of a service catalog, which we’ll explore individually in the next few blog postings.  We’ve consistently seen the following attributes, from both Enterprise and Service Provider customers building their cloud offerings:

  • Service offerings driven by user role
  • Requestor ability to customize service by
    • Service Scale
    • Service Level
    • Software Components
    • Operational Policies
  • Efficient definition and management of service catalog offerings
  • Integration with service lifecycle management tools
  • Consistent management across heterogeneous environments
  • Multi-tenant portal & security model

In our next few postings, we’ll explore these catalog requirements in some depth.What have you seen? What are your requirements around a service catalog? What are other vendors claiming?

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For a real-world perspective on Cloud computing, check out this short video of BMC’s CIO, Mark Settle.

 

His key points? No new silos – unified management is a must.

This is well-considered advice...remember, in addition to being a software vendor, BMC is also an IT-centric, $2B enterprise, with 6,000+ employees.

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Before we dive into the details of BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management product (which will be the topic of a future blog posting), I’d like to first explore the concept of Cloud Lifecycle Management, independent of any vendor’s specific products.  Thinking of these as a set of capabilities allows us to more easily explore how we might integrate them into our environment, as we plan out our Cloud strategy.

 

So, let’s explore these capabilities.  First, though, we need to be clear about what we mean by a service.   A full exploration of this demands its own blog entry, but for now we’ll define a service as a specific set of IT functionality, with cost and performance attributes, delivered by one or more technical resources (e.g. virtual machines, application components, network, storage).  You can see why subject this demands its own blog entry (if not its own book!).


Now, in order to bring these services into existence, we need a mechanism for actually instantiating them based on some sort of template or instruction set. This is what we call service provisioning.  Given that this is a Cloud environment, and that these services are intended to be provisioned on demand, this provisioning clearly needs to happen without human intervention.  And, the provisioning, by necessity, needs to be more  involved than simply copying a virtual machine template and starting it up.  The reason for this is that, even for the most basic, private cloud environment, there are still context-dependent configuration changes that need to be applied to each new service and its environment, based on who is requesting the provisioning, and how they request it.  This is really important to understand, and really important to include as a requirement for your cloud initiative.  Let’s explore a very simple example that illustrates why this is true.

 

Envision a prototypical private cloud environment – for an internal software development team, at a financial services company.   They’ve created a private cloud, in order to be able to more quickly create development sandboxes, and to better utilize their virtualized hardware.  They’ve been successful with this, and now have over 75 virtual machines running on their hypervisors.  One of the developers, Amy, is provisioning a new virtual machine, and wants to assign it a friendly hostname, such as Amy-MySQL-May28-schematest3.  This name makes it clear to everyone on the team who owns this machine, and is a reminder to Amy as to its intended purpose at the time of creation. It also provides information that helps Amy determine when this machine can be decommissioned.  The alternative is a machine-allocated name, such as guest110, which provides no additional information, and drives Amy to rely on error-prone sticky notes or a spreadsheet, which in turn leads to virtual machine sprawl.  Multiply this by the ten developers on Amy’s team, each of whom has dozens of virtual machines, and it’s clear that even something as basic as machine name adds significant value when captured and applied at provisioning time.  Now, think about other configuration aspects, such as network segment, memory size, or desired application components. Provisioning gets real complicated real fast, and therefore requires a structured and policy-based way of exposing and automating structured offerings. In short, a service catalog.


In my next blog post, I’ll introduce the service catalog, then return to provisioning to explore in more detail the rationale for and requirements around provisioning.

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I’m thrilled to announce that BMC has released our new Cloud Lifecycle Management product, a big step forward in our overall Cloud Service Management strategy.  (See the press release here).  I’ll be spending the next several blog entries describing and explaining our new product, the business and technical drivers behind it, and how this helps both Enterprise IT and Service Providers to quickly, reliably, and efficiently build and operate Cloud environments.

 

So, what exactly are we announcing? This release marks the General Availability(GA) of a new BMC product, Cloud Lifecycle Management, providing

  • A Service Catalog, purpose-built for cloud offerings
  • A Self-Service Portal, allowing service owners to perform basic administrative activities on their own services (and only on their own services), and to request new services with ….
  • A Service Request Wizard, permitting customized, on-demand provisioning of services, within constraints defined and controlled by the catalog designer
  • Pre-built workflows that integrate with existing IT management systems, allowing organizations to introduce Cloud while continuing to leverage existing policies, processes, people, and tools

 

Most importantly, this new product was created in conjunction with several strategic design partners – both Enterprises and Service Providers, in the US, EMEA, and APAC – and further validated by an additional 25 customers.  By working closely with such a broad set of customers during the design and implementation of our product, we’ve ensured that BMC products meet clear and compelling customer needs, and deliver real-world value on day 1. (And, day 1 is today, not  6 months from now…)

 

Delivering such immediate value is, in fact, one of the key tenets of our cloud philosophy – to build pragmatic products that meet customers’ needs, and can quickly and easily integrate and extend existing environments without introducing new silos.


OK, I admit that this was rather breathless, but I’m excited by this announcement, and wanted to share this with the community. Look for more postings here on an ongoing basis, where we'll discuss the elements of our new offerings, customer scenarios, and the evolving Cloud market.

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Last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a fewhours with a mid-size service provider, who was interested in speaking with usabout their Cloud strategy. This company, based in EMEA, has been a managedservices provider for over 20 years, and has a large and reliable set ofenterprise customers for whom they host and operate a wide variety of servers(Windows and Linux on x86, Solaris, AIX, and IBM Mainframes).

 

This particular customer was quite forthcoming about their business, expected customer needs, and how they anticipate moving toward a Cloud model. They recognize that their Enterprise customers will continue to look to them to provide a high level of managed services, which dovetails quite nicely with their desire to avoid competing in the commodity-priced IaaS space, at pennies per hour.

 

The way they viewed this was that in the managed hosting business, customers willingly pay for a Service Provider’s inefficiencies  -- as long as the Service Provider is at least slightly more efficient than the enterprise was. The enterprise relieves itself of the complexity and cost of directly managing its computer systems, by handing this off to the Service Provider, so it can focus on its core business tasks. Put another way, in this scenario, service providers are rewarded for any efficiency improvements with increased margins.  And, the combination of multi-year agreements and complex technical and business relationships makes it difficult for enterprises to even compare providers, let alone switch among them.

 

Compare this to the other end of the spectrum, where aprovider offers unmanaged IaaS servers.  Here, customers are unwilling to pay for any inefficiencies by the service provider, due to both pricing transparency and the lack of any true relationship between the companies.  With only technical integration, it’s straightforward to move to another provider that offers a better price. Clearly, this would be a risky approach for many service providers – an undifferentiated offering with low switching costs.

 

This particular provider has intelligently chosen its strategy for Cloud computing – by offering differentiated and value-added services on top of a highly efficient cloud infrastructure, they will be able to both strengthen their relationships with their customers, and improve their margins.  Interestingly, they also anticipate beingable to act as a service broker, consuming commodity IaaS services fromexternal providers, in those cases where it makes economic sense to do so. Thisis a testament to the enduring importance of understanding and meeting customers’complex needs, regardless of technology platforms.

Jason Garbis

BMC at CloudSlam 10

Posted by Jason Garbis Mar 20, 2010
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Join BMC this week, for the upcoming CloudSlam event -- an online conference occurring March 23-25


Featured BMC speakers include Kia Behnia, BMC CTO presenting Cloud Computing : The Catalyst for Business Service Management, on Tuesday March 23 at 12pm ET.

 

Other BMC sessions include

 

 

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

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I frequently talk about BMC’s Cloud Computing strategy and solutions with prospects and customers, and I’ve found that, naturally, explaining these

concepts with real-world examples is a very effective way to capture people’s attention.


When discussing private cloud services, most often our conversation revolves around the classic Infrastructure-as-a-Service, aimed at providing internal technical users, such as Application Development or QA, with standard OS images, perhaps pre-populated with some middleware.  However, there is another category of business service that might be requested by a business user,  which can also be valuable if provided in a cloud environment.


In this entry, I’d like to share one real-world example of such a service.  One of BMC’s customers, a large US-based company, operates an internally hosted system for management of its employee health insurance benefits.  Most of the year, there is slow and steady traffic to this site, for claims inquiries, and employee on-boarding and off-boarding.  However, at the end of every calendar year, there is a 4-week period where all US-based employees must visit this portal to select their insurance coverage for the following year.  This represents a huge, predictable, and temporary spike in traffic, for which additional compute capacity needs to be allocated.  In short, this situation is tailor-made for use of a cloud infrastructure.  So, this is exactly what this customer did – setting up  health insurance capacity in their services portal, so that it may be requested by the benefits team, provisioned in advance of the enrollment period, and de-provisioned upon completion.

 

What business services are your responsible for, which would make sense to expose in a similar fashion? We’d like to see your examples…

Jason Garbis

Upcoming BMC Cloud Events

Posted by Jason Garbis Jan 29, 2010
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If you're interested in learning more about BMC's Cloud Computing vision, offerings, partnerships, and customers, I'd encourage you to attend one of these two upcoming events.

  • If you're in the Boston area, please join us for a free half-day Cloud Computing seminar, on Feb 3. For details and registration, click here

 

 

  • For those of you in the Public Sector, BMC is hosting a forum specificially for you, with a heavy emphasis on Cloud Computing. This free event is Feb 4 in Washington DC -- for details and registration, click here

 

We hope to see you there, and look forward to speaking with you about Cloud!

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