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6/6/2012
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Cloud Management Through a Single Pane of Glass, Not a Kaleidoscope

Achieving a single pane view across applications and environments requires consistent metrics measuring and capturing across varied resources.

"Users keep signing up for the app of the week. My CEO wonders why our CRM vendor went dark for 60+ minutes. And IT's 'private cloud' VM farm periodically slows to a crawl. How can I manage all these environments and still do my real job - keeping users productive and implementing technology for my company's greatest benefit?!"

Instead of a single pane of glass for viewing a portfolio of IT operations, sometimes it feels more like a kaleidoscope!

Sound like something you've recently experienced? As we all proceed - cautiously or aggressively - toward the proliferation of new applications and cloud platforms that promise infinite scalability, elasticity, employee productivity gains, and business changing benefits...it's getting messy.

During the ODCA Cloud Management "Rapid Fire Panel," leading industry innovators and practical IT operations executives will share how to tackle these challenges while pursuing the Cloud's enormous productivity and revenue enhancing benefits.

Achieving a single pane view across applications and environments requires consistent metrics measuring and capturing across varied resources. It's easier to accommodate environments you "own." But, applications provided by other vendors should also be held accountable for performance - require vendor transparency and publishing of metrics. Some application providers have APIs for access to key metrics that provide insights regarding the end user experience. For others, there is nothing.

Through its Usage Models framework, the ODCA recommends and supports Standard Units of Measurement (SUoM) for Infrastructure as a Service, a resource you should consider. The Model's Executive Summary states, "Organizations need a way to compare services from competing providers of cloud services, as well as with their own internal capabilities. Such comparisons need to be 'quantitative' on a like-for-like or 'apples-to-apples' basis (e.g., quantity of consumption, period of usage, etc.) and 'qualitative' on a set of service assurance attributes (e.g., degree of elasticity, degree of service level, etc.)."

On another front, end user monitoring for real users has gained enormously in ease of deployment and means of capturing data - such as Javascript injection - that can be enabled by you and your application providers. These metrics can be presented in one view via APIs or extensions from various vendors.

Whatever your path, confirm your vendors' and partners' sensitivity and focus on accommodating hybrid environments. Even if all of your assets now reside in the cloud, it is not a simple, consistent platform - it has enormous heterogeneity of platforms, languages, APIs, and more. Be prepared for challenges along the way, but there is help.

Kaleidoscopes are colorful and entertaining, but you can't use one to see clearly through a window. Take your time; move step by step to roll visibility from multiple services and applications toward one view that can be used to manage and hold vendors accountable. ODCA and ODCA partners are working hard to drive consistent standards to help along the way. You might even consider engaging in the ODCA cause, as well. See you in New York!

To engage more in this dialog, join Ray and other industry experts at the ODCA Forecast 2012, Rapid Fire Panel on Cloud Management at 1:50 pm on Tuesday, June 12th at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City.

Ray Solnik, president of Appnomic Systems, and Board Member for the United Way of Silicon Valley. Ray's past experience ranges from midsize to enterprise leadership roles as President and COO. Ray holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a BA of Economics from the University of Michigan.

The above insights were provided to InformationWeek by Intel Corporation as part of a sponsored content program. The information and opinions expressed in this content are those of Intel Corporation and its partners and not InformationWeek or its parent, UBM Techweb.

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