Datacenter Automation and Operations

    The modern datacenter is changing as Enterprise IT look to be become more and more efficient and agile to help drive business outcomes.  IT systems are becoming critical to businesses as they continue their digital transformation.  What started with virtualisation has now evolved to a Software Defined Everything approach to provide truly scalable and agile datacenter’s and at the heart of that is automation and operations.

    By extracting compute, storage, network and security context into software - infrastructure and processes can be easily automated.  Automating day to day tasks can eliminate potential human errors in the workflows – design once and deploy anywhere.

    The on-premises Software Defined Datacenter can be consumed in the same fashion as a public cloud, providing all of the same benefits such as agility and cost efficiency, as well as creating a self-service portal for parts of the business that require it, creating a private cloud approach.

    Public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have been successful because their resources are easily consumed either from a self-service portal or by automated scripts.  Infrastructure can suddenly be created by easily repeatable, human-error free scripts meaning the resources can be consumed when needed and easily removed when not.  This is achieved by providing easily consumable APIs.

    By using public clouds, businesses can gain competitive advances with agility and speed over competitors whilst operations can gain efficiency by managing uptime and performances across services, whilst being able to manage costs.  Not all is rosy though, not all business can move their operations or application into a public cloud easily for various reasons and what about their on-premises investment?  Which public cloud provider should you choose?  What if you want to consume different public clouds? 

    Hybrid Cloud

    With a hybrid cloud approach the business can choose to mix on-premises, private cloud and public cloud with orchestration between the platforms.  The business may need to host multitenant environments and provide self-service portals for customers or internal developers but at the same time require applications that could burst into public cloud during heavy demand.

    The vRealize suite is VMware’s new enterprise ready Cloud Management Platform providing a complete solution for managing a heterogeneous, hybrid cloud.  vRealize offers automation and lifecycle management of infrastructure and application services whilst also providing intelligent operations by proactively managing performance, health, compliance and capacity.

    VMware vRealize Suite is made up of four products:

    • vRealize Automation – automate the delivery of infrastructure and application services providing business agility and efficient resource management.
    • vRealize Operations – automate operations, performance, configuration and capacity management providing an holistic view of the infrastructure and applications.
    • vRealize Log Insight – Real-time log management across physical, virtual and cloud environments which can proactively identify and resolve problems.
    • vRealize Business – providing transparency and control over the costs of IT services.

    Through automation, infrastructure and applications can be delivered across private and public cloud with both speed and control providing self-service provisioning, design once and deploy in any approved cloud environment, end to end application lifecycle management and intelligent resource management.

    Intelligent operations provided by vRealize Operations provides a scale-out operations platform with visibility across physical, virtual and cloud environments.  vRealize Operations provides predictive analytics and proactive automated remediation.  Furthermore so it provides log management and capacity management for potential future workloads whilst also providing advice on over-sized and under-sized existing workloads.

    Best in Class Private Cloud

    The vRealize suite significantly improves automation and operations of the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) but the components that make the SDDC  – vSphere for compute, vSAN for storage, NSX for network and security are still deployed and maintained mainly through manual work. 

    This can be challenging for businesses, VMware have closed this gap by releasing VMware Cloud Foundation.  VMware Cloud Foundation provides SDDC resources whilst VMware vRealize Suite can then deliver these SDDC resources providing a fully automated private cloud.  VMware Cloud Foundation can complement vRealize suite to provide the best in class private cloud.

    VMware Cloud Foundation provides the SDDC Manager that provides imaging of hardware, installation and configuration of SDDC software components such as vSphere, vSAN and NSX whilst also configuring and maintaining workload domains such as vCenter, ESXi clusters, vSAN and NSX resources.  SDDC Manager automates the usually performed manual steps.

    This frees up resources usually assigned to configuration and keeping the lights on to work on IT service delivery improvements.  By automating it provides lower risk to human error prone manual work and allows for easier maintenance.

    To illustrate, VMware cloud Foundation automated the tasks in blue whilst vRealize suite automated the tasks in green.

    Interested in private, hybrid or public cloud?  Confused about the many different options and approaches?  The industry and technology is moving faster than ever, it’s important to see where this can help the business.  Contact your Insight account manager to see how it can help yours.