Step No. 3: Price After you've packaged up your IT processes into work loads and services, it's important to assign a valuation to each IT unit. How much does it cost to run the service? How much will it cost if the service goes offline? These cost assessments are driven by the business need, therefore the analysis should be presented around how these costs will impact the business owner.More importantly, in the middle there are mobile work loads that ensure the business service meets SLAs. In other words, the business service can be managed independent of the hardware. Business services can be managed to SLAs because they are not tied to the business server and can be moved around as needed. Price depends on the criticality of the service, what resources it will consume or whether it's worthy of backup and/or disaster recovery support. This represents a new approach not typically disclosed by IT. Transparency in a cloud migration plan is critical to demonstrate the value the cloud provides in a cost-effective manner. This pricing style is then ready for presentation. Step No. 4: Present Once you have an IT service package, the next step is to present a unified catalog to the consumers of those services, available to all relevant stakeholders within the organization to see. Consider the catalog as an IT showcase or storefront, complete with various options and directions for your private cloud to demonstrate value to the company. This allows your organization the flexibility to balance both IT and business needs for a private cloud architecture that works for all parties. In addition, the transparency gives customers a way to interact with IT directly-not just to see, but to choose and investigate. Conclusion Cloud computing is still abstract and intimidating to many enterprises-and probably will be for some time. But companies can begin taking steps toward extending their enterprise to the cloud by adopting private clouds. With the service-driven data center, an organization can achieve a private cloud-one that is virtualized, work load-based and managed in terms of business services. Work loads are managed in a dynamic manner to meet business SLAs. There is a clear, logical progression from physical server to virtualization to the work load to business service to business service management. Evaluating and presenting your cloud migration plan in this fashion will insure that your private cloud is managed effectively, providing optimum visibility to the cloud's business value. Viewing this method as a continuous process makes a cloud investment less daunting to a business. Your IT infrastructure does not need to be an "all in" decision. You can make the transition with smaller pieces first, allowing for all stakeholders to recognize the value a private cloud can provide to their business. Richard Whitehead is Director of Data Center solutions at Novell. With over 15 years of experience in the software industry, Richard has worked for Novell in a variety of roles, including engineering, product management and product marketing. Richard has also held senior positions in product management and marketing for Citrix, Franklin Covey and WordPerfect. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The biggest advantage of a service-driven data center is that business services can be dynamically managed to SLAs and moved around as appropriate. This gives companies the ability to attach processes to services by connecting work loads to virtual services. Now, for the first time, a business process is logically connected to the hardware implementing that business process.