IT Services Delivery – "From the Ground to the Cloud" Part 3

Are you ready for the next step? “What next step?” you might ask.  Are you ready to “transition” from the ground to the cloud?  Let’s face it, while a major services transition may seem like a logistical nightmare for you from a technical standpoint, it can really become a nightmare for your customers (end users).  And this is exactly where planning and heavy lifting during the IT “Service Strategy” and “Service Design” will really pay off.  Having insight into what IT service deliverables will be “moved from the ground to the cloud” will make sure the Services Transition takes place with very little (wishful thinking) trouble. As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog – IT Services Delivery - "From the Ground to the Cloud" can appear to be deceptively simple.  While this may appear to be the case for common tasks – provisioning virtual servers, provisioning OS installs, provisioning applications and provisioning storage – the problems can become amplified by these efforts if attention is not paid to some fundamental design elements.  For example, having clustered servers and clustered storage in the virtual world is no big deal; however, with the consolidation efforts brought on by virtualizing these resources one should leverage HA and DR solutions like VMWare’s vMotion or NetApp’s Data Motion.  With these technologies in place, the Service Transition phase can be a lot smoother.  I have often heard individuals talk about “putting all your eggs in one basket” when it comes to virtualization but the technologies mentioned previously address these concerns.  Towards IT Services Operations we may think that we can just sit back and relax.  We may ask, “who is watching the store?”.  It is at this stage that technologies that monitor and report are very critical for your success.  In the purely physical world we had the option (if we had to) where we could literally log on to each physical machine and discover what is going on.  Some of this function is lost when we consolidate with virtualization; however, again here is where Technologies like VMWare’s vMotion can allow us to seamlessly cut over while we trouble shoot the problem. And finally, our job would not truly be complete unless we applied the principle of Continual Service Improvement.  Virtualization itself can bring about a tremendous amount of efficiency.  But there is lots of room for improvements when it comes to areas such as management and backup and recovery.  With Symantec’s NetBackup 7, the need for a VCB (VMware Consolidated Backup) server has been eliminated.  NetApp Data Motion can bring efficiency to migrating data from one storage system to another. As we have seen, taking your IT Services from the “ground” to the “cloud” does not have to be an impossible dream.  Keeping in alignment with the five major pillars of ITIL v3 library: 1) Service Strategy; 2) Service Design; 3) Service Transition; 4) Service Operation; 5) Continual Service Improvement will make the task a “possible dream”.