IT Operations and the Challenge of Delivering IT-as-a-Service

As organizations look to the cloud, IT operations must adapt to managing services in a dynamic environment.

In the article, “Gartner: IT should be planning, moving to private clouds,” Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman explains that the role of IT has evolved from simply adding more virtual machines to physical infrastructures and managing them to creating an IT-as-a-service model that can deliver quality services on-demand reliably and more cost-efficiently.

IT is not just the hoster of equipment and managing it. Your job is delivery of service levels at cost and with agility.

With 45% of x86-based servers carrying virtual-machine-based workloads today, Gartner expects that number to climb to 58% next year, eventually reaching 77% by 2015.

During the transition of moving from a physical server network to complex, virtualized and cloud-based infrastructures, one of the biggest challenges IT will face is guaranteeing service delivery. Once business services become dependent on virtual infrastructure, just being aware of physical device availability will not provide insight into overall performance.

Writing for Computing.co.uk, Andrew Buss highlights some of the challenges that must be addressed inside a dynamic infrastructure when it comes to service delivery. Andrew explains,

With consolidation ratios of 10:1 being common, and ratios of 20:1 and higher not unheard of, individual servers have the tendency to work the network hard in terms of traffic. With so many services running simultaneously, network failures have a widespread and noticeable impact.

Whether the cloud is internal or external, IT operations will be held responsible when services don’t meet the performance and availability demands of the business. For IT to maintain control, they must be able to track the dynamic relationships between all IT resources and services, physical and virtual, and be able to resolve infrastructure problems before widespread outages occur.

Guaranteeing service delivery has and will be the mandate of IT, cloud or no cloud.

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