|By John Cowan||
|January 8, 2013 09:00 AM EST||
Many organizations are focusing on IT metrics and metering to generate IT cost savings. Here's a quick summary of how one organization is using metering of IT resource consumption to improve IT cost visibility and move from being a cost center to an internal service provider.
Company and IT Overview
The Company operates a 24-hour cable network that reaches about 100 million US homes and a web site that has more than 60 million users per month. The Company is divided into two primary business units, each with their own P&L.
The IT organization is moving toward a centralized internal IT service provider model that supports both lines of business. The IT infrastructure is owned and operated by the Company with approximately 400 physical servers and 700 virtual servers across the business. The majority of the virtual servers are running open source Xen Server, but the Company also uses VMware vSphere for virtualizing Windows workloads.
The Company was challenged with a lack of accurate IT metrics, cost data and visibility into consumption across a highly diverse infrastructure, hypervisor, and application environment.
Because the Company was running a highly virtualized infrastructure with multiple hypervisors, getting accurate and comprehensive data on how the IT resources were being consumed was extremely difficult. The IT group knew they could improve the business value they delivered to the Company through utility metering their infrastructures, but they didn't have a mechanism to get a complete view of how their IT resources were being consumed by virtual machines or even how much a particular department or user was consuming.
- Inefficient project budgeting
As an IT-intensive organization, the Company's business initiatives required a significant amount of IT resources - compute, storage, networking, etc. As projects were requested IT resources were provisioned. When a project was requested for which there wasn't sufficient resources, that project was saddled with the entire cost of the next infrastructure investment.
- Inaccurate cost and profitability data
After numerous iterations of project challenges because of IT cost misallocation, the Company recognized their methodology heavily skewed IT and business initiative costs, making accurate costing and project profitability determinations nearly impossible.
The Company adopted 6fusion's innovative SaaS based UC6 platform and Cloud Resource Meter to meter all machines in the Company's IT environment, both physical and virtual across multiple hypervisors. Their infrastructure now includes Cloud Resource Meter for VMware and Cloud Resource Meter for Xen, and they plan to deploy Cloud Resource Meter for Linux on their physical machine environments to expand visibility across that infrastructure as well.
- Shift to an Internal Service Provider
Cloud Resource Meter has been a key component in the IT group's move from being a cost center to an internal service provider.
- IT Project Budgeting Transformation
Using this technology has enabled the Company to deliver accurate IT metrics, cost and business initiative profitability, transforming their business process and putting IT in a leadership role in the Company.
- Detailed IT metric reporting
The Company now has the ability to provide detailed real time and historical reports on IT resource consumption, from the department level down to the individual VM level.
- Workload orchestration
6fusion's platform gives the Company the ability to provide end-user self-service for deploying and managing workloads across private and public cloud environments.
- Built-In Hybrid Cloud
Because 6fusion provides access to a federated network of public cloud providers using the same technology, the Company now has the ability to leverage a hybrid or public cloud model when the Company is ready.
This month I want to revisit supporting infrastructure and datacenter environments. I have touched (some would say rant) upon this topic since my post in April 2014 called "Take a Holistic View of Support". My thoughts and views on this topic have not changed at all: it's critical for any organization to have a holistic, comprehensive strategy and view of how they support their IT infrastructure and datacenter environments. In fact, I believe it's even more critical today then it was a year ago ...
Mar. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 745
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Mar. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,532
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
Mar. 31, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,364
Cloud computing is changing the way we look at IT costs, according to industry experts on a recent Cloud Luminary Fireside Chat panel discussion. Enterprise IT, traditionally viewed as a cost center, now plays a central role in the delivery of software-driven goods and services. Therefore, companies need to understand their cloud utilization and resulting costs in order to ensure profitability on their business offerings. Led by Bernard Golden, this fireside chat offers valuable insights on ho...
Mar. 31, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 925
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Mar. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,548
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Mar. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,197
It's 2:15pm on a Friday, and I'm sitting in the keynote hall at PyCon 2013 fidgeting through a succession of lightning talks that have very little relevance to my life. Topics like "Python code coverage techniques" (ho-hum) and "Controlling Christmas lights with Python” (yawn - I wonder if there's anything new on Hacker News)...when Solomon Hykes takes the stage, unveils Docker, and the world shifts. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the video of Solomon's Pycon The Future of Linux C...
Mar. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 434
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Mar. 31, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,376
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Mar. 31, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,254
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Mar. 31, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,187
You hear the terms “subscription economy” and “subscription commerce” all the time. And with good reason. Subscription-based monetization is transforming business as we know it. But what about usage? Where’s the “consumption economy”? Turns out, it’s all around us. When most people think of usage-based billing, the example that probably comes to mind first is metered public utilities — water, gas and electric. Phone services, especially mobile, might come next. Then maybe taxis. And that’s ab...
Mar. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 851
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Mar. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,745
As a group of concepts, DevOps has converged on several prominent themes including continuous software delivery, automation, and configuration management (CM). These integral pieces often form the pillars of an organization’s DevOps efforts, even as other bigger pieces like overarching best practices and guidelines are still being tried and tested. Being that DevOps is a relatively new paradigm - movement - methodology - [insert your own label here], standards around it have yet to be codified a...
Mar. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 855
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
Mar. 31, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,961
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
Mar. 31, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,283
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.
Mar. 31, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,230
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microser...
Mar. 31, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,100
The 16th Cloud Expo has added coverage containers and microservices to its program for New York, to be held June 9-11 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Cloud Expo has long been the single, independent show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud. This year will be no different. Containers are an old concept that saw renewed life with the emergence of Docker in 2013. Then late in 2014, CoreOS shook up the cloud-computing w...
Mar. 31, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,266
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today’s cloud world, we’re revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place.microservices Listen in to learn why following “the book” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re solving key business problems.
Mar. 31, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,148
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
Mar. 30, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,155