There are various reasons why shadow IT has grown in many organizations. For instance, lines of businesses (LOBs) have often circumvented corporate IT to adopt applications offered as hosted cloud services. For many organizations, shadow IT has grown out of a need to utilize the latest applications to meet specific LOB challenges at a faster pace than it is perceived corporate IT could evaluate and give the green light to adopt. The result has been LOBs gaining choice, but at the expense of CIOs losing control and visibility into the applications deployed to run the business.
In parallel, the role of the CIO is changing. CIOs need to transition from being experts on various technologies to becoming services experts. This implies a need to develop a strong cloud strategy which provides their LOBs with the choice of applications and services they need, while also maintaining control over these services to ensure governance mandates are met and end users receive optimal experiences in terms of performance, availability and security.
While making this transition, CIOs will have a tremendous ally in the Cisco Intercloud Marketplace, a trusted, global storefront for curated applications, services and solutions that’ll be launched in Fall 2015. For one, CIOs will now be able to go to one secure location to help build their cloud strategies. In addition, purchased applications will be deployable in select, local cloud environments which best meet the business’ data sovereignty requirements, along with improving application performance as workloads can be physically run closer to the actual users.
This capability to purchase globally, but deploy locally, will go a long way to support the hybrid IT model in the enterprise. This means that, when officially launched in Fall 2015, with Cisco Intercloud Marketplace corporate IT will be able to run its tens to thousands of applications in private and public cloud environments in the best locations globally to meet the specific local requirements of the LOBs and the overall organization.
However, with this upcoming new capability to run in a multitude of cloud environments worldwide comes even more challenge for the CIO office to maintain visibility into what’s happening with the organization’s workloads globally.
Taking a step back and looking operationally, CIOs are being driven by four main initiatives that ultimately enable fast IT. One, CIOs need to deploy their businesses’ workloads on scalable, shared infrastructure which can be scaled and reused quickly. Two, CIOs need to make efficient use of this infrastructure, not over provisioning at the expense of paying for idle resources. Three, operational agility needs to be maintained so not only is the proper infrastructure deployed on day one, but applications are operated effectively as changes occur throughout on-going production. Finally, a business focus needs to be overlaid on the cloud strategy, meaning deployed applications need to be profiled and prioritized based on the value they bring back to the organization, so real-time decisions can be made as to how best to manage their workloads.
Today, corporate IT often deploys myriad tools in an attempt to manage the applications running in its own datacenter. For example, a typical enterprise might be running over 2,000 applications and can’t possibly have intimate knowledge of each one. Therefore, when one application does experience issues, the operations staff can be greatly challenged figuring out in real-time how best to proceed. Is the application critical to the business, and, therefore, does it need priority one resolution? What are the potential causes for the application’s problems in the first place? These questions and many more only become even more exasperating when now we’re talking about potentially thousands of workloads spanning potentially dozens of cloud environments globally.
Fortunately, CIOs have another ally as they transition to becoming services experts, and that is the Zenoss Service Assurance application, which will also be available through the Cisco Intercloud Marketplace when it launches in the fall. Zenoss Service Assurance provides a unified user interface and architecture that shows the health of every customer application and the performance of the supporting data center infrastructure, across data centers worldwide.
With a combination of Cisco Intercloud and Zenoss Service Assurance, CIOs can give their LOBs the choice they need in both applications and cloud service providers. This incredible movement will also allow them to maintain visibility into not only the applications in production, but also their health and real-time insights to help operations resolve any issues as they might arise.
This is another game-changer for Cisco and Zenoss and will impact how the world will consume enterprise apps. For more information: [link to press release].
Zenoss has been a strategic Cisco partner since 2010, is a member of the Cisco Developer Network, and works closely with Cisco technology groups to provide service assurance for enterprise customers and service providers.
The Zenoss vision is completely aligned with the Cisco vision that is to deliver more than just infrastructure, but complete solutions for modern data centers. Zenoss Service Assurance (available only from Cisco) is the ‘Day 2’ operations complement to Cisco enterprise datacenter products. Cisco customers have great flexibility through tiered service options, regardless of the Cisco infrastructure they are deploying.
• Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) – For UCS solutions delivered with Cisco ONE software suite, the included performance management software, UCS Performance Manager, is powered by Zenoss technology. Customers can also purchase UCS Performance Manager a la carte. For mission critical resource monitoring, customers can upgrade to Zenoss Service Assurance for advanced relationship modeling, service impact, and root cause analysis.
• Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) – For customers deploying Cisco ACI, Zenoss Service Assurance is delivered by Cisco as the only advanced management solution for the core Nexus 9000 series routers. With Zenoss Service Assurance, customers get unique management capabilities for performance, VXLAN support, port traffic flow, and port service analysis.