I was asked just the other day by a very large and good VMware customer how other companies are handling their Operational changes with the implementation of vCloud and the internal private clouds. My short answer for better or worse was, they are struggling. The truth of the matter is Virtualization is like having a baby…..it changes EVERYTHING. Many customers that are over 50% virtualized still have not adjusted their internal operations to adjust for the new processes. Simply put the same operational procedures are still in place for their virtualized environment as there was for physical. Truthfully, this means the transition to the cloud will be like having the second baby, everything changes again.
What we need to remember with the private cloud is we are moving the administration out to a select group of users or in the case of the Service Provider all the way to the end user. This means we absolutely have to re-examine our processes for ticketing, service desk, and in my humble opinion most importantly Capacity Management. The worst thing that can happen in a cloud environment is your user hit power on for a VM and vCloud tells them they are out of resources. Personally I think pro-active Capacity Management is an afterthought for a lot of folks, but now it needs to come to the forefront.
So the moral of the short story? If you are going “To the Cloud!”, Microsoft pun fully intended a lot of thought needs to be put into the Operational Procedures you currently have, how generic virtulization changes that, then how Cloud changes them again. I simply submit that as with most things the technology can do a lot, but it is about the people, process, and procedures that we tend to forget. The intent of this short blog post is not to re-define all your operations, but to remind folks that you need to start looking at them sooner rather than later and engage VMware and our partners, we can help identify the gaps, but at the end of the day, your organization has to ACCEPT and IMPLEMENT the changes and in some cases the change may be so dramatic it is more like a paradigm shift.