Tag Archives | IT Management

Virtual Desktops Are Coming: Are Your Management Tools Ready?

Virtual desktops are increasingly becoming common in the large enterprise customer environments. The adoption is expected to accelerate as IT departments seek to support remote workers, BYOD and mobility initiatives. Based on several industry estimates the hosted virtual desktop technology market is projected to grow more than 20% (CAGR) for the next 5 years.

The benefits of virtual desktop technology are significant. It simplifies maintenance of user desktops (operating system patches, updates and upgrades of OS versions etc.) that is a major portion of IT Infrastructure management costs. It also improves security of desktops as well as intellectual property since the company data is now stored within secure walls of data-center. Lastly, it improves the user experience and efficiency by providing remote access to the personalized desktops from anywhere and any device.

From the IT Operations perspective, virtual desktop management is expected to follow a similar trajectory as that of server virtualization. In most cases, once the technology has been tested in the lab with test applications and ready for production workloads, the ownership of managing the delivery infrastructure shifts to IT Operations. This ensures proper management and escalations procedures can be established similar to other critical IT infrastructure.

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Chatting About APM, Analytics and End-User Experience

In a perfect world, everyone’s IT infrastructure and the applications it supports would work flawlessly. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and systems are bound to – at a minimum – perform poorly from time to time or even fail.

That’s why we’re hosting a Twitter Chat on application performance management (APM) trends, challenges and best practices on Monday, June 4, 2013 at 10:30a EST using the hashtag #APMchat. During the hour-long discussion, we’ll be asking and discussing these five questions:

  1. What are the biggest application performance challenges organizations face?
  2. Is IT maximizing its investment in APM tools? If not, what’s holding them back?
  3. How do APM analytics provide better quality services and end-user experience?
  4. Are all APM analytics the same? #APMchat
  5. Do multivariate APM analytics mean more work for the IT ops team?
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New CA Technologies eBook challenges conventional IT Ops wisdom

Living in an “always-connected” world is one of the major challenges that confronts us. If you cannot keep up with customers who are reshaping markets at the speed of thought, those customers will take their business elsewhere – and they’ll often use social media to let the world know about it. The revolution of rising expectations is here to stay. Failing to keep pace with these expectations isn’t an option. This eBook from CA Technologies looks at the customer and employee experience - how their demands affect and are affected by the health of applications, networks and enterprise IT operations and offers latest business insights and recommendations for 2013.

Rapid business transformation is currently being fuelled by unprecedented technological hyper-convergence. Consumer technologies, applications and services are sweeping the enterprise, and your customers and employees expect to engage anywhere, anytime, from any device. IT services that first emerged in the consumer market have now spread to businesses and many organizations are broadly adopting public cloud services and social media to leverage new opportunities to engage with these empowered users. As the effects of disruptive influences such as converged IP / IT, mobile-cloud, social, Big Data, and consumerization take root the operating models of entire industries are being profoundly altered. Even today’s most successful organizations will not survive the converged business future merely by doing better at what they have always done in the past. Organizations which truly harness these technological advances to effectively fuel service innovation will gain and sustain a real competitive advantage. Despite that enormous transformative potential the influence of in-house IT leaders appears to be rapidly diminishing. Why is that?

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Ellen Puckett, OppenheimerFunds

At CA World: How OppenheimerFunds’ Good IT Organization Got Even Better

Editor’s note: This is the next post in a continuing series of short Q&As featuring speakers scheduled to talk at the upcoming CA World 2013 conference, April 21 – 24 in Las Vegas.

OppenheimerFunds, Inc., one of the United States’ largest and most respected investment management companies, is on a trajectory from technology-focused monitoring to operational service monitoring through improved infrastructure modeling and service-oriented dashboards. In the “How a Good IT Organization Got Even Better” session, Ellen Puckett, AVP of the Corporate Technology Group at OppenheimerFunds, shares how they made this transition and some of the challenges they faced along the way. As we get ready for CA World, we asked Ellen four questions about her session and goals for the show:

Tell us about your upcoming session at CA World 2013.

OppenheimerFunds will present a case study of our recent project to implement an integrated service monitoring solution using Spectrum, SOI, eHealth, VAIM, dbInsight and xMatters .

What are the top 3 things you want attendees to learn from your session?

  1. Integration is the key to automation and reducing mean time to respond
  2. Be Flexible  – deliver customer requirements in small doses and be adaptable to change
  3. Hire good people and let them do their job
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CA World 2013

At CA World: Driving Customer Satisfaction with CA APM

Editor’s note: This is the next post in a continuing series of short Q&As featuring speakers scheduled to talk at the upcoming CA World 2013 conference, April 21 – 24 in Las Vegas.

TIVIT provides development, implementation, management and operation of IT systems and data processing for 300 of the top 500 Brazilian companies. During the “Ensuring Flawless Service Delivers Business Results” session, Leonardo Gibrail, a senior IT executive at TIVIT, will show how the company’s use of CA Application Performance Management is helping it meet lofty customer expectations.  To prepare for CA World, we ask Leonardo four questions about his session and goals for the show:

Tell us about your upcoming session at CA World 2013.

In this session, learn how CA APM ensures that critical business services are delivered flawlessly, aligned to our customers’ expectations. This is a story of how CA APM’s technical capabilities drive business results.

What are the top 3 things you want attendees to learn from your session?

  1. How CA APM could implement business transaction performance management, not “just” application performance management.
  2. How CA APM could be the bridge between IT Infrastructure, Application and the Business.
  3. How to use CA APM more efficiently and some important implementation tips based on our experience.
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CA World 2013

At CA World 2013: The Benefits of Automating Energy Management in the Data Center

Editor’s note: This is the next post in a continuing series of short Q&As featuring speakers scheduled to talk at the upcoming CA World 2013 conference, April 21 – 24 in Las Vegas.

Sicredi, one of the largest credit union cooperative systems in Latin America, need to move from a manual process to an IT-based solution for automating data collection, analysis, monitoring, and reporting.  In the “Sicredi – Deploying CA DCIM to Automate Energy Management in the Data Center” session, Fausto Vanin, service analyst at Sicredi, will share how the company is using CA Data Center Infrastructure Management (CA DCIM) to improve the automation of managing energy in their data centers, while lowering operating risk, and improving their agility to make informed decisions. Sicredi now manages their data centers with real vision sharing infrastructure data with facilities, according to each one’s needs. To get ready for the show, we asked Fausto four questions about his session and what he hopes to get out of the show:

Tell us about your upcoming session at CA World 2013.

We will talk about our case of DCIM implantation at Sicredi in 2012.  DCIM gathers data from chillers, fan coils, UPS and generates a real time overview of useful information, like Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and assets workload.

What are the top 3 things you want attendees to learn from your session?

  1. Challenges to be faced during DCIM implantation
  2. Benefits you could get from the tool
  3. The new Data Center Management landscape after these changes
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IM Heat Chart

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

The September 2012 launch of CA Infrastructure Management (CA IM) was just the first step towards the future of our converged infrastructure management strategy. What have we been up to lately and how are we keeping the momentum going?

We are using what I like to call a “tripod of innovation.” First, we adopted new processes to accelerate innovation. We’re taking Agile software development best practices to new heights at CA Technologies, leading to rigorous and responsive release planning that allows for course adjustments to be made when warranted. This focus on Agile has enabled us to rapidly deliver two new significant releases to the CA IM solution in just over 6 months that added such capabilities as self-certification tools, browser and dynamic trend chart views, context pages administration, technology certification portal and much more that reduces the time,  effort and cost required to manage complex infrastructures.

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Transforming IT Means Revisiting the Basics

This post originally appeared on the Cloud Capacity blog.

Big Data and the world of business analytics has much in common with Capacity and Demand Management as we know it.  Pertaining to derive competitive advantage by acting on timely business intelligence, business operations analytics requires number crunching on a huge scale.  In the highly competitive world of e-business, the imperative for business agility reaches its peak.  Where aligning appropriate investment with prevailing demand becomes a critical business decision, no less is the importance of that decision to the world of capacity management.  Meaning – business agility depends on Big Data to make sure there are enough sales reps selling hot products, to make sure there are enough of the right sort of product on the shelves, and to commit the right amount of marketing to the products or services delivering the highest profit. The connection with the IT cloud here is clear – aligning IT resources to demand is equally critical to the agile business.  Indeed, such agility is one of the main drivers behind cloud computing.  By transforming IT delivery into a service model, one has the ability to quickly and easily ramp up investment when warranted by demand – or to ramp down.

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IBM Mainframes

Big Data: The Year of Living Dangerously

As we start 2013, there is a sense excitement as to what the year holds for Big Data as organizations look to scale out their pilot of Big Data technologies like Hadoop™. Is 2013 the year of the Big Data coup? While I don’t have a definitive answer, I am confident this is the year we discover the challenges around managing Big Data at scale within the enterprise.

What do I mean by scale? According to Ventana Research, Hadoop Clusters in 2012 were largely pilot clusters that ranged from 2 to 10 servers or roughly the equivalent of a single rack in the data center. Hadoop and other Big Data technologies store the data in a distributed fashion, with the nodes that host the data also perform the processing on the data to avoid the impact and cost of processing across the network. They found that the number of customers with 100-plus nodes in a cluster was set to triple in 2013. More broadly, 2010 was the year we crossed the Zeta byte (Zb) boundary and that 2012 was the year organizations crossed the Exabyte of internal data, according to IDC. (See CSC’s Infographic for a great breakdown). So where once the data traffic was largely contained to a single rack, it now crosses the network and potentially multiple data centers across continents if self-replicating technologies like Cassandra™ are used.

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Shadow IT

Getting Around IT Is Getting Easier, Even Accepted

A number of years ago, I remember a colleague getting scolded for setting up a wireless router in the office and another for setting up Napster on his computer. When I began my career, the chances of getting around IT to get what you needed was slim to none. You just hoped the IT guys liked you and would work with you.

Today? It’s almost common practice to get what you need, either by buying it with your own dollars (the BYOD trend) or buying it with your departmental dollars (SaaS-based CRM anyone?)  In the “old” days of the Web, if my then-editorial team needed a new blogging platform, we went to IT to get them to install it one of our servers. Now, my marketing team can just contract with a WordPress hosting service using a corporate card and have a new blog up and running in a matter of hours.

New survey data culled from 500 U.S. companies with revenue over $500 million by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that between 15% and 30% of IT spending happens outside the IT budget. PwC tells Network World that many business units make an end-around because they consider IT either too slow or that the official applications and services offered are no longer optimum.

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iPad in use

Like It or Not, BYOD Is Here

Whether you think the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) craze is real or not, there’s now data showing the trend is indeed happening and there’s not a lot IT can do about it. A new report from Forrester Research shows that 53% of employees are now bring their own device to the office, up five percent from the year before.

Forrester says the tooth paste is pretty much out of the tube (horse out of the barn, insert your own saying here) when it comes to BYOD, so much so that within the next three years IT will pretty much throw up its hands and just about make it standard policy for new hires. That must be a nightmare scenario for IT people thinking about having to deal with so many different devices connecting to the corporate network, but it seems like that’s the reality or will be soon.

Ironically, the Forrester study points out that it’s senior executives that are driving the trend by buying their own hardware and expecting to be able to use it at the office. It’s hard to say, “We don’t support the iPhone!” when the CEO brings in an iPhone and wants to get their email. That just opens the door for the rest of the rank and file that suffer from the Sunday-night/Monday-morning syndrome.

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CA booth at Cisco Live 2012

Who Owns the Cisco UCS?

That’s a common question that attendees at Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego are asking this week.  They are referring to the generation of unified network, server, and storage solutions:  Cisco UCS.  The answer is:  it depends on the state of the UCS.

Quite naturally, the question comes from network engineers – the vast majority of Cisco Live attendees. But system and database professionals – a growing minority at Cisco Live – have the same question on their minds. If Level 1 Operations Center staff were here – the folks who escalate issues they can’t solve to engineers – they’d no doubt ask the same question.

Every innovation in IT infrastructure, like Cisco UCS, requires related innovations in software tools to manage it. Otherwise, the business benefits of the infrastructure innovation would be diminished by the increased complexity, time and cost of managing it.

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