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Cloud Market topic [ARCHIVED]

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Doing Cloud Right

Posted by Dominic Wellington Jul 18, 2014
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One of the difficulties in a relatively young market like cloud computing is defining what the cloud actually is. All too often, I hear from cloud purists that cite some startup that drew up a clean-sheet design, hosted everything on AWS, and had great success. The thing is, there are relatively few startups that go on to operate at significant scale - but there are a lot of existing enterprises that would like to get some of those advantages.

 

Even before we codified our approach as Cloud Lifecycle Management, BMC has always had the goal of enabling existing enterprises to get the best of both worlds: get the best out of their existing IT environment, and also engage with the emerging world of cloud computing.

 

This approach has been validated both by customers and by analysts, with Ronni Colville of Gartner stating "This market emerged in about 2009 and BMC was one of the first to get there, and of all the vendors probably the only one to stay true to the mission". That quote comes from a recent Forbes article, which recounts the success of one particular customer's cloud computing project.

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That customer is Bank of New York Mellon. Dr. Swamy Kocherlakota, managing director and global head of infrastructure architecture and engineering at the bank, is quoted in the Forbes article explaining the three tenets of his approach to cloud - namely, that it should be self-service, elastic and offer pay-by-the drink consumption. He says: "In every decision we made sure those three conditions were met. We set a framework and runtime and tools for developers — all fully standardized — and we built an internal platform as a service a couple of years ago."

 

He went on to add: "Because we can now build infrastructure quickly in minutes, our ability to innovate has increased. The ability to try a new idea and fail fast has increased. If it works, we will proceed; otherwise we will repurpose the infrastructure."

 

This is the key benefit of cloud computing. Over and above cost savings, the real advantage is in increased agility. In the Forbes article, an example is made of a service that only runs between 5pm and 7pm. Can you imagine trying to do that with a traditional approach? What sort of new business opportunity is unlocked by being able to do that - and what are competitors missing out on by not being able to move that fast?

 

The hallmark of success in cloud computing is to treat the cloud project as a business project first and an IT project second. IT is successful exactly to the measure by which it enables the business. To find out more about how BMC can enable your business, please see bmc.com/cloud or contact your local BMC office for a focused consultation.

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The database administrator (DBA) is one of the most critical but often least appreciated roles in today’s enterprise. DBAs operate behind the scenes, managing enterprise databases and the data contained within them. It’s an enormous responsibility considering that the data they manage powers essential business applications and provides most of the raw data for crucial business intelligence.

 

Too often, however, the DBA will spend much of their day on low-value, repetitive, and admittedly boring manual tasks. This limits their ability to perform as a profit center for IT and devalues the skills and experience they can offer the larger business.

 

A recent survey was conducted through TechValidate of BMC customers who have deployed BladeLogic Database Automation (BDA). TechValidate publishes only factual data - statistics, deployment facts, and the unfiltered voice of the customer without any editorial commentary.

 

Survey responses validates that BMC BDA customers are saving 20% or more in IT costs for basic provisioning and configuration and 59% of those surveyed indicate that they are able to maintain policy-driven compliance standards. Time and cost savings enable the DBA to work on more strategic endeavors, and ensuring compliance in the age of cloud computing is no longer a nice to have, but a necessity (c.f., Dominic Wellington's blog on Intelligent Compliance).

 

Installing, configuring, and deploying complex databases and performing mundane, repetitive administrative tasks are all part of a typical day in the life of a DBA. Automation, on the other hand, allows the DBA to focus on strategic initiatives and contribute substantial business value.

 

To learn more about BMC BladeLogic Database Automation, please download a new white paper entitled “Automated Management throughout the Full Database Lifecycle

 

I include a case study of the published TechValidate survey below.  To see the full TechValidate survey results, please visit the BladeLogic Database Automation page here.  And, if you are a BDA customer today and would like to contribute to the survey, please click here.

 

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Monica Brink

CLM 4 and Microsoft Azure

Posted by Monica Brink Jun 25, 2014
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Today BMC announced the release of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management 4.0. This latest version of our Cloud Management platform delivers fast time to value and helps customers manage and govern the lifecycle of any cloud service across hybrid cloud environments.


 

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management now has an integration to the Microsoft Azure platform making it easy for BMC customers to automate provisioning of IT workloads to Microsoft Azure and securely manage these workloads across a hybrid environment.

 

 

Microsoft Azure has been recognized as the only public cloud vendor that is a leader for both IaaS and PaaS. With the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management and Microsoft Azure solution, BMC customers have the management capabilities to further leverage Microsoft Azure for production-class workloads. These include capabilities to deliver:

 

  • Broad-Based Automation to support provisioning of simple to complex, multi-tiered service offerings
  • Process Governance providing control of the assets and changes to those assets that make up the application, whether those assets are in the public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud
  • Compliance reporting and remediating to provide assurance that your data and your customers’ data are secured appropriately and you meet standards required by regulations

 

“Microsoft Azure continues to be one of the strongest platforms for enterprise workloads, and we’re excited to support it with our latest release of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management,” said Alan Chhabra, Area Vice President, Worldwide Cloud and Automation Sales at BMC. “We look forward to collaborating with Microsoft to meet our customers’ growing cloud needs.”

 

“As enterprises embrace cloud computing, integration with their management software has become a critical requirement for successfully migrating applications and services to the cloud,” said Mike Schutz, General Manager of Cloud Platforms, Microsoft. “With this integration, BMC customers will be able to take advantage of the broad range of Microsoft Azure services as they accelerate their hybrid cloud strategy.”


The joint BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management and Microsoft Azure solution provides customers with a fast, comprehensive means to leverage the flexibility, speed, and economics of the cloud while making sure that IT workloads are managed to enterprise standards.

 

To learn more about the BMC and Microsoft relationship, visit www.bmc.com/microsoft

 

For more information about the BMC’s Cloud Computing offerings, visit www.bmc.com/clm

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Cloud Lifecycle Management 4 (CLM 4) releases publicly today. Check out the press release  - our customers, partners and analysts all have great things to say about this latest update to our cloud management solution.

 

With expanded hybrid cloud scope across both Microsoft Azure (new!) and Amazon Web Services as well as next generation service design, auto-scaling and DBaaS all wrapped up in a package that delivers fast time to value, CLM 4 helps organizations take their cloud computing use to the next level. BMC is the only company that can ensure a consistent ITSM governance and compliance framework is applied across all IT infrastructure - physical, virtual and private and public clouds.

 

More details on the key benefits and features of the release:

 

  • Fast time to value: the simple architecture of the solution can be deployed on a single VM appliance. With features such as pre-built content and an updated QuickStart wizard, customers have been able to get up and running with a hybrid cloud and deploying services in less than a week.

 

  • Service lifecycle management & governance: this release comes with a new graphical service designer to simplify the design and management of simple to complex, multi-tiered service offerings. New policy-driven automatic scaling of cloud resources drives performance and optimizes resource usage.

 

  • Expanded hybrid scope: CLM solidifies its position as the leader in hybrid cloud management with a new integration with Microsoft Azure and expanded management capabilities for the Amazon Web Services public cloud.

 

Want to know more? Check out these resources:

CLM Web Page

CLM 4 Click-through demo

CLM 4 Data Sheet

Amazon Web Services & CLM Data Sheet

Microsoft Azure & CLM Data Sheet

Monica Brink

CLM 4 Coming June 25th.

Posted by Monica Brink Jun 23, 2014
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CLM_LightBulb-KO.jpgIt's a big week for the cloud management team here at BMC - and it's a big week for our customers as well with the upcoming public launch of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management 4.0 (CLM 4) this Wednesday. This release is a direct response to the needs our customers have to quickly deliver the benefits of cloud computing to their businesses while having the solid foundation needed to scale and grow capabilities as their cloud computing needs change.


      Fast. Built to Last.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management is the only cloud management solution that combines rapid deployment of simple use cases with production-grade support for complex workloads across hybrid clouds.


CLM has always been a market leader in helping customers integrate cloud management to essential IT processes including ITSM governance and configuration compliance for both operational and industry regulations.  CLM 4 provides even more functionality to help customers deliver a trusted cloud to their business while also ensuring fast time to value, expanded public cloud management and next generation service design.


Importantly, CLM 4 is the only cloud management platform that can offer end-to-end compliance and ITSM governance across physical and virtual infrastructures and private and public clouds - to deliver a single pane of glass approach to cloud management.

 

This release builds on the strengths of the solution across 4 key areas:

  • Fast time to value - not only fast deployment of a hybrid cloud but ongoing agility and ease of use for cloud service design and management.
  • Compliance and governance - helping customers across many industries - from Federal to Healthcare to Financial Services -  manage their cloud infrastructure with the same processes that ensure security and compliance in traditional IT environments.
  • Platform Neutrality - ensuring platform choice and flexibility for customers by supporting a broad range of underlying infrastructures as well as private and public cloud platforms.
  • Full-stack service provisioning - enterprise users don't just want to source disconnected infrastructure components from the cloud - they want full business services. CLM 4 automates & simplifies the design and management of simple to complex, multi-tiered cloud service offerings.

 

I don't want to give the full game away now so stay tuned for launch day this Wednesday to hear more detail on the new features of CLM 4. There’s a lot of value in this release for customers as BMC continues to be a solid partner on the enterprise cloud computing journey.

 

Visit the web page: www.bmc.com/clm

Read the data sheet: http://documents.bmc.com/products/documents/39/81/453981/453981.pdf

 

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An interesting report from ChangeWave hit my inbox yesterday. Here's the full report, but I wanted to focus on a couple of points that seem particularly important to me.

 

First off, the wave of public cloud adoption has reached 41% of respondents, although it is unchanged since the previous iteration of the survey in January. Nearly the same proportion of respondents (37%) is planning to increase spending on public cloud services in the next six months. Finally, only 8% of respondents (and falling) say they have no plans to use public cloud services or plan to reduce spending in that area.

 

Why are companies reluctant to adopt the public cloud model? 57% of large companies not using public cloud services reported security concerns as being the primary blocking factor, followed by the difficulty of integration with existing systems. That last point about integration is backed up by the fact that only 10% of companies are currently using a hybrid cloud model - although that is set to rise to 14% over the next six months.

 

I don't have my own statistics to quote, but those numbers chime with the conversations I have been having lately with current and prospective customers. Corporate IT departments are beginning to embrace activity that was already happening, but hidden from view as a part of shadow IT. In fact many companies have public cloud as a separate budget item (29% as a line-item within the IT budget, and 9% as a separate item entirely distinct from the IT budget).

 

Technology can not be considered in isolation; we as IT practitioners need to place technology in the correct context, together with people and process. A change in any one of these aspects will be reflected in the other two - or the imbalance will cause the project to fail.

 

Shadow IT was a response by people to process shortcomings. Virtualisation and the wide availability of web applications had vastly improved technology, but process had not moved on and often prevented people from taking advantage of those improvements. The time to obtain a service from IT has not changed in more than a decade. The response from people was to bypass the process and access technology directly, satisfying the immediate requirement. As much as a third of IT spending may already be outside of IT's control and visibility.

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The problem is that shadow IT led to imbalance. The lack of process leaves IT environments suddenly vulnerable to new threats that previous defences are no longer adequate against. If you have spent many years building walls to keep archers and foot-soldiers out, figuring out patrols and rotas to man those walls, it's hard to adapt to the sudden arrival of paratroopers in the heart of the city.

 

Whether you are already using cloud or just considering it... Actually, let me rephrase that. Whether you are already using cloud officially or just letting your users do their own thing, you need to consider all three aspects: people, process and technology. The right technology, supported with the correct processes, will make the people successful. Ignoring the demands of people or focusing only on delivering a technological fix will fail, no matter how good the tech is.

 

At BMC we can help you with all three aspects, identifying people's goals and helping you put the correct process and technology in place to reach those goals. To find out more, see bmc.com/cloud.

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At this point in the evolving cloud market, organizations are at different maturity levels of cloud computing use. What is common to all, though, is the increasing complexity of managing cloud computing successfully. From hybrid clouds to compliance and multi-tier provisioning, the management issues around cloud management are many and are essential to get right.

 

We thought we'd tackle this topic in an upcoming webinar on May 22nd: Master the Complexity of Hybrid Cloud Computing.

 

Two BMC cloud experts will talk about the challenges of hybrid cloud computing and drill into issues such as:

 

  • How to transition a starter cloud into a production-grade hybrid cloud
  • Aligning cloud management with existing IT processes
  • Managing the ongoing operations and compliance of your cloud

 

Plus, since this webinar is part of the BrightTALK Cloud Management Summit, you will also receive access to other valuable Summit resources on Cloud management.

 

Please join us! Go here to register: Master the Complexity of Hybrid Cloud Computing

 

www.bmc.com/cloud

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We were thrilled to be asked by our customer, JDA Software, to be involved in their JDA Focus event which takes place April 27 - 30 in Las Vegas. JDA Software delivers on-demand solutions in a SaaS model to their customers covering supply chain, retail merchandising, store operations and other commerce solutions. This event is a great opportunity for supply chain professionals to network, share industry best practices and discover the latest innovations in commerce solutions.

 

JDA Software was one of the early adopters of BMC's cloud management platform - Cloud Lifecycle Management (CLM) - adopting version 1.0 of the solution back in 2011. Since then, JDA and CLM have evolved and grown together to respond to the increasingly important role of cloud computing in the industry. JDA uses BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management to support rapid deployment of entire application environments for their customers. Where it used to take weeks or months to provision and enable the software for customers, it now takes hours. As a result, JDA is able to speed up time to value for their customers - a key competitive differentiator for them. JDA Software is at the forefront of innovation in supply chain and commerce solutions and part of the reason for that is the rapid on-boarding of new customers and applications that CLM enables.

 

JDA has a great line-up of presenters and sessions at their event including Captain Phillips as guest speaker (no, not Tom Hanks - the real-life Captain Phillips!). Our BMC booth will be staffed by software consultants ready to talk and deliver demos to retail and supply chain companies. Additionally, Alan Chhabra, VP of cloud and Data Center Automation at BMC will be one of the participants in a cloud computing panel hosted by JDA with other cloud industry figures.

 

If you're in Vegas, get on down to JDA Focus at the MGM Grand and make sure you drop by the BMC booth while you're there.

 

Click here to find out more about how JDA is growing their business with BMC Cloud Management: JDA Case Study

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Last Friday I had the chance to join our very own a Alf Abuhajleh on his Alf's Zoo show. We talked about cloud computing, data center automation,  and... cheese?

 

You'll just have to watch the show to find out!

 

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One of the most frequently recurring conversations around cloud computing is about trying to define what cloud actually is. Some will say that cloud is just virtualisation with a few bells and whistles, while others will claim it’s just basic automated infrastructure.

 

Both of those positions are actually correct, except for the crucial word “just”. Both virtualisation and automation are necessary, but not sufficient, to build a cloud.

 

The difference between virtualisation and cloud has been explored here before, so I won’t repeat my colleagues’ points. Instead, I wanted to focus on automation, and how putting an intelligent automation strategy is an important step on the path to the cloud.

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Many enterprises are debating their move to the cloud. It’s no longer a matter of if, but of how and when. Is it better to try for a big bang approach - “Great news, everybody! From Monday, everything is in the cloud!”? Or is it better to go with a phased approach, trying to get each step right?

 

One good way to get to cloud is try to get a good level of standardisation and automation in place first, before opening the doors to end users. Intelligent data center automation solutions such as BMC’s BladeLogic suite will help users smooth the path to cloud. The first step is to get a handle on what is going on in the data center today. With that information, it becomes possible to define what the desired state is, understand the difference between the actual state and the goal state, and address that discrepancy. This will make everyone’s life much easier when the time comes to move to a true cloud computing model.

 

For more on this topic, read the free whitepaper: Automation—Your Path to the Cloud. Please share any feedback in the comments below.

Cloud and security

Posted by Dominic Wellington Mar 11, 2014
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I have said already that this year, the question is no longer whether to go to cloud, but when and how.

 

However, there are still people hesitating before making that leap. Security is the main reason cited for this reluctance. The surveys are all in broad agreement; see for instance this one from 451 Research, or this one from InformationWeek.

 

That second survey says: "Of the 26% with no plans to use public cloud services, 58% cite security as the reason. Even among those using or considering the cloud, it’s a worry: 52% name security defects as the No. 1 concern.

 

The reasons for this caution are clear enough. Even in the mainstream press there is a constant drumbeat of stories about security; if it’s not the Patriot Act, it’s what Wikileaks has to say about the NSA, and in between those it’s Stuxnet or the latest credit-card data theft. Against that background, what responsible CIO would not be concerned?

 

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On the other hand, cloud computing has all sorts of unique advantages. It takes a (very) long time to procure a new server in an existing data center, and then it can take even longer before it is actually available and delivering value to users. By then, the original requirement may have changed or evolved. The equipment that was procured is now under- or over-sized - but there is no way to resize physical infrastructure, and most vendors won’t allow customers to return purchased kit.

 

Private cloud approaches begin to address this problem by making it easier to share resources and achieve higher levels of utilisation on existing hardware. Public cloud models take this approach a step further by allowing users to request capacity on-demand and resize or return it at any time.

 

This new flexibility is very attractive - but not if it comes at the cost of security breaches or compliance violations, with the attendant financial penalties and bad press. How, then, to take advantage of the promise of cloud computing, especially public cloud, without getting bitten?

 

Nowadays, security is no longer all or nothing. To take an analogy I have used before: IT used to build a wall, and everything that was inside the wall was “safe”, while everything outside was untrusted and considered dangerous. The points of contact between inside and outside - what would have been the gates in actual walls, but which were known as DMZs - were carefully monitored.

 

The old binary model no longer applies. In today’s model, instead of the simple choice of secure or insecure, we have more of a gradient. Systems and data which require high levels of security can be placed on infrastructure which satisfies their requirements, while progressively less sensitive workloads can take advantage of infrastructure types which have placed their emphasis on cost, speed of delivery, or geographical availability.

 

Trying to do this by hand in real-time is impossible, which means that the process of routing requests to the correct infrastructure options must be automated. In general, automation is the key to unlocking the value of cloud computing, but in particular it can help answer the difficult questions that security requirements can bring. To find out more about how BMC can help your organisation take advantage of cloud computing without compromising on security, please visit www.bmc.com/cloud.

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Has your first attempt at building a private, public, or hybrid cloud left you disappointed and disillusioned with the promise of cloud computing?

 

Or, are you worried that cloud computing will not live up to the desired outcomes for your organization and those promised cloud benefits will remain out of reach?

 

If so, check out this short whiteboard animation on how BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management avoids the industry’s most common pitfalls: vendor lock-in, complex scripting, limited customization, and VM sprawl.

 

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My First Cloud - YouTube

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If there has been one overarching theme of the last few years in IT, it has been the changing relationship between enterprise IT departments and the users that they support.

 

Users have always wanted more IT faster, and this has always driven advances in the field. Minicomputers were the shadow IT of their day, democratising access to computing that had previously been locked up in mainframes. (By the way, did you know that the mainframe is fifty years young, and still going strong?)

 

Departments would purchase their own minicomputers to avoid having to share time on the big corporate machines with others. This new breed of machine introduced application compatibility for the first time. In other words, it was no longer necessary to program for a specific machine. Higher-level languages also made that task of programming much easier.

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Microcomputers and personal desktop computers were the next step in that evolution. At this stage it became feasible for people to have their own personal machine and run their own tasks in their own time, and for a while IT departments lost much of their control. The arrival of computer networks swung the balance the other way, until the widespread adoption of mobile devices started the swing back again.

 

Seen in this way, cloud computing is just the latest move in a long dance. The tempo is increasing, however, and it becomes more critical to make the right moves.

 

One make-or-break move is the very first public one, when a company decides to shift at least some of its workloads to the public cloud. It’s important to remember that Amazon was not designed to be traditional IT and trying to treat it that way is a route to failure. 

 

To get an idea of the sort of problems we want to avoid, here’s an example from a completely different domain. If you have ever furnished a house or a flat, the odds are good that you have wandered around IKEA, feeling lost and disoriented, and possibly having a furious argument with your significant other as well. 

 

Assuming the shopping trip didn’t end in mayhem and disaster - and personally I always count it as a success when I get out of IKEA without either of those - you may well have bought an Expedit shelving unit. The things are ubiquitous, together with their cousins, the Billy shelving units. I should know, I own both.

 

The bad news is, IKEA is discontinuing the Expedit and replacing it with a slightly different unit, the Kallax. This has infuriated customers who liked being able to replace or extend their existing furniture with additional bits.

 

What has this got to do with IT? What IKEA has done is break backwards compatibility in their products: you can no longer just get “more of the same”, and unless you are furnishing an entire new home, you will probably have to deal with both the old and the new model at the same time.

 

Enterprise IT departments are facing the same problem with cloud computing. They want to take advantage of the fantastic capabilities of this new model, but they need to do it without breaking the things that are working for their users today. They don’t have the luxury that startups do of engineering their entire operation from the ground up for cloud. They have a history, and all sorts of things that are built on top of that history. 

 

On the other hand, they can’t just treat a virtual server in the public cloud as being the same as the physical blade server humming away in their datacenter. For a start, much of the advantage of the public cloud is based around a fundamentally different operating model. It has been said that servers used to be pets, given individual names, pampered and hand-reared, while in the cloud we treat them like cattle, giving them numbers and putting them down as soon as it’s convenient.

 

The public cloud is great, but it works best for certain workloads. On the other hand, there are plenty of workloads that are still better off running on-premises, or even (gasp!) directly on physical hardware. The trick is knowing the difference, and managing your entire IT estate that way.

 

This is part and parcel of BMC’s New IT: make it easy for users to get what they need, when they need it. To find out more about what BMC can do to make your cloud initiative successful, please visit www.bmc.com/cloud.

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Now that cloud has proved itself in the market and is a key strategic imperative for IT, the focus for savvy cloud architects is increasingly how to optimize private and public cloud use within their organization. A key part of that is taking a strategic & planned approach to migration of applications, both existing and new, to a cloud environment.

 

Often customers have a pool of applications running in their environment and they want to move some of them to a private or public cloud offering leading to important questions:

 

  • How can I determine which applications are good candidates for cloud?
  • How do I prioritize which applications to move to cloud first?

 

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Alan Chhabra, AVP of Cloud and Automation Sales Specialists at BMC, talks to customers about these issues a lot and has seen firsthand what works, what doesn’t and what to watch out for when migrating applications to the cloud. In a previous life as head of Cloud Global Services at BMC, Alan helped enterprises plan, build and run hybrid cloud management platforms.

 

In terms of prioritizing which applications to move first, Alan advises the following:


I would not start with a very static and unique / custom environment that has less than 5 servers deployed as there is no immediate gain here. Brownfield (existing) and greenfield (new) applications should be approached differently in the way that you prioritize migrating them to a cloud environment.


Brownfield Applications:

For brownfield applications already running, I would focus on 2 key areas to determine priority for migration:


1.       Standardization

Prioritize moving the most common applications that can be grouped into pools to drive standardization and reduce VM sprawl.  For example, if 500 slightly variant weblogic servers can be migrated under the BMC cloud management platform, it forces standardization of that environment and drives more efficient devops. If those 500 servers were the same post standardization, it would be easier to patch, keep compliant, manage change, and deploy configuration changes at once. Subsequently, the ongoing administration task is easier and this drives significant increases in devops efficiencies and agility.


2.       Capacity Management and Dynamic Agility

With the intelligent capacity management functionality in BMC Cloud Management, the cloud becomes your best means of optimizing capacity utilization. Therefore, you should prioritize moving application pools that are having either over or under capacity issues. For example:

 

    • Dynamic Applications like a retail website that need more horsepower towards the Holiday season but have idle capacity during the summer would be good candidates to move over.
    • Static applications that never change and have servers that are well utilized would take a lower priority.

 

3.      Greenfield Applications

 

New applications that are popular, requested daily and lend themselves well to self-service should be prioritized for the move to cloud. This will drive the best ROI for the business through decreases in time to deployment ,higher service levels, and willingness for developers to decommission after usage. 

 

For BMC Cloud customers, we’ve introduced pre-packaged content for cloud and automation use cases –BMC ZipKits – to help drive your decisions around app cloud migration. These ZipKits, provided free on our cloud communities’ site and released on an ongoing basis, are out-of-the-box service blueprints for common services which drive faster time to value for cloud and automation solutions.

 

In an upcoming blog, we’ll explore the private vs public cloud question and how to determine where to place what apps so stay tuned!

 

For more information on BMC Cloud Management, go to www.bmc.com/cloud

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The news that Microsoft had appointed a CEO from its cloud division has brought a lot of interest. For a start, Satya Nadella is only the third CEO in the company’s 39-year history, after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. For another, the selection process has been surprisingly drawn-out, with a good five months passing between Ballmer's resignation and Nadella’s appointment.

 

Many observers were surprised that Stephen Elop did not make the cut. There had been assumptions that his tour at Nokia was the preliminary to a triumphant return to Microsoft, but in the end things did not work out that way.

 

nadella.jpgThe choice of Nadella over Elop is a very strong indication of the importance of cloud computing to Microsoft and by extension to the whole enterprise IT market. Choosing Elop would have been an indication that Microsoft saw the future as being about Windows Phone, Surface and Xbox. Quite aside from the fact that only the Xbox is a market success, and even that may not be profitable, this would have been a consumer focus that ceded the back-end, including the cloud, to somebody else.

 

Nadella on the other hand was there for the creation of Microsoft’s cloud services, building Office365 (SaaS) and Azure (IaaS or PaaS depending on whom you ask). He also embraced the heterogeneous or polyglot world that we live in today, so that today Microsoft uses open-source products and frameworks such as node.js. This would have been unthinkable to the Microsoft of the Nineties.

 

What Nadella’s appointment signals about Microsoft’s strategy is the coming of age of cloud computing. Of course execution is key, and we look forward to finding out what Microsoft will do next, but it can only be a good thing for the cloud computing market if Azure continues to develop and keep the other big players (Amazon and Google) honest. 

 

Each of those Big Three public cloud platforms has its own strengths and its specific focus. There is no “one size fits all” solution in this market, so it’s good news for users of cloud computing that as big a player as Microsoft reinforces its commitment to cloud in such a public way.

 

The trick then is to manage all of these different options. That’s where BMC comes in. To find out more, check out BMC’s cloud management offerings on the web or follow us on Twitter.

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