This year’s Cisco Live event in Melbourne was every-bit of insightful and impactful. Operating under the theme of “Imagine Intuitive,” there was a real focus on fostering and implementing, as they say, “IT that informs, connects, predicts and enables.”
When you take a step back and look at the direction of our industry, it’s no longer a matter of heading down that path, but rather continuing the journey that has led us to these three key takeaways from the event: multi-cloud/private cloud; software-defined data centers (SDDC); and automation.
Here’s what I mean:
1). Multi-Cloud /Private Cloud:
As we’ve recently discussed in detail, visibility continues to be one – if not THE – most significant issues that organizations have when they’re moving to the cloud. And for good reason, it’s difficult to see and keep track of everything that has been moved over. But the issues don’t necessarily end with visibility: you also have to ensure that you have the right people and process in place to do so seamlessly, and finally prove that you can handle the migration without busting the budget – a reason cited by most for moving to the cloud in the first place.
And since we’re entrenched in a multi-cloud and hybrid cloud atmosphere, the three necessary steps include:
I. Establishing your hybrid cloud presence:
As we look at the virtualized technology that you already have and your legacy infrastructure, you need to be able to move them into public clouds of choice. In APAC, what we’re seeing is people begin with using AWS – the dominant player – but shy away because they’re more expensive in this region than in the U.S.
Then we’re seeing people look at Microsoft Azure because of the fantastic access that Microsoft provides. We’re also seeing a lot of people using Alibaba cloud and utilizing its resources, which could be because they’re housed in-region.
Typically, what’s happening is there’s a question brewing of which cloud to migrate to and as you go through the process of migrating to the cloud, how do you see what’s taking place? Ultimately, the goal is to ensure you’re getting the same application capabilities and visibility that you had in your private cloud atmosphere as you move to the cloud.
When you’re moving across the clouds and spinning workloads up and down, you need to start to look at various means of remediation. When you’re remediating, how do you begin to fix problems and look at where those options are? The only possible answer is automation because manual processes just can’t keep up with the required tasks.
III. Keeping the CMDB Up to Date Despite Ephemeral Technologies
In a Multi-Cloud environment, where it’s increasingly difficult to keep track of all of the dynamic technologies that are entering, exiting, and interconnected, the CMDB takes on additional significance. As we mentioned in another blog where we had similar showroom discussions, “By enriching the CMDB with timely, accurate, contextualized data, IT Ops can use the power of a CMDB as their ‘single source of truth’ and as a basis for effective automation.” The ServiceNow integration and incident management capabilities also become a tremendous value-add.
2) Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)
When you think about the SDDC, you’re thinking about private to public cloud; it’s the multi-cloud environment. So how do you gain the efficiencies of public and cloud within your own environment?
The first step is to start using the SDDC technologies so you can go further and faster. But the challenge with SDDC is that they’re complex – how do you use them? How do you know what’s taking place?
At ScienceLogic, we provide you with visibility by integrating across all of the different technologies so you can find and get to mean time to repair faster. Our contextualization offerings enable you to draw out capabilities going from ACI to your VMWare environment, to your storage environment, and then down to your traditional network.
We can also take in data from AppDynamics, enabling you to get a complete picture of where and when the problems are happening.
The fact that “automation” appears twice on this blog should stress its importance. We briefly discussed automation as it relates to the cloud and it’s just as important in the SDDC environment. Think about it: As technology spins up and down and you’re building out complex service maps, you need to automate new dependencies to ServiceNow to ensure proper incident creation and routing. In other words, you want to take all of this data now that you’ve built a complex service map, tie it back to your CMDB, and you’re able to do real ITIL and follow better ITIL processes.
From a ScienceLogic standpoint, we not only integrate with common IT Service Management tools like ServiceNow and BMC Remedy, but we’re also capable of integrating with APM tools. And when you’re looking at the SDDC and the Cisco technologies (ACI, Hyperflex, UCS, NetApp, Nexus, and AppDynamics), you can use AppDynamics data along with the data that we pull back from all of the various sources within your IT environment to give you one complete service view.
CiscoLive Melbourne was a fantastic event and opportunity to get even closer to the APAC market. As the region continues its path towards digital transformation, I suspect that we’ll see these three themes (and more) continue in their significance. If these issues resonate with you, let’s discuss ways to help you accelerate your transition.