10 Things You Should Know Before VMs Take Over Your Data Center

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10 Things You Should Know Before VMs Take Over Your Data Center

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Dont Let the Cloud Become a Gathering Storm

The cloud business model creates the potential for delivering lower-cost services, greater IT agility, more flexibility and better user experiences. But an uncontrolled approach to cloud could cause some IT headaches. In fact, many organizations are unaware they face issues because their staffs have started to use the cloud approach for IT provisioning.

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Proliferation of Renegade Clouds

It is simple to create and provision cloud services. But here's the issue: Cloud environments start springing up where they shouldn't, violating departmental borders, duplicating services, and operating outside the auspices of the IT shop. By allowing an unmanaged, unstructured approach to cloud computing usage, a new phenomenon emerges—cloud sprawl.

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Encouraging Sprawl

The simplicity of cloud computing can encourage sprawl and the inherent risks that come with an unmanaged IT environment. Securing and enabling infrastructure inside enterprises is often a drawn-out process. What's more, traditional IT is up and running around the clock. Cloud services can be turned on and off on demand. So it's not surprising that users are choosing the cloud in response to the fact that internal IT can be too slow, too expensive, and inefficient.

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Data Everywhere

With cloud sprawl, there is the potential for enterprise data to end up all over the place, without the strong control or even knowledge of the IT department. Unless IT shops can get a step ahead of this by providing ways for people to utilize cloud computing inside the constructs of their domain, they will end up with unmanaged environments.

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Cloudy with a Chance of a Logistical Nightmare

Sprawl negates the efficiency gains cloud generates. Worse, it can change how and where its data is stored. This ad-hoc approach to usage could cause a logistical nightmare for CIOs, especially as they seek to move to new cloud providers themselves.

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What to Do?

The worst-case response would be for IT shops to set up special management silos for cloud services. You need and ought to be able to manage external and internal resources seamlessly as if they were inside your own four walls, applying the same rigor that is seen in other areas of IT provision.

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Dont Beat em, Join em

From a business perspective, however, it is very difficult to prevent people from taking advantage of something that's cheaper, faster, and more efficient. The right approach is to try and co-opt services from the cloud providers, to use them as the basis of IT services, to make the internal IT shop just as fast, just as nimble, and just as elastic as any of the cloud providers.

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Onus on the CIO

While being rigid and inflexible is a mistake, so is doing things willy nilly without some sort of management control. There needs to be a meeting somewhere in the middle. The onus is on the CIO, who can begin by offering these services right away. CIOs have to provide an ease of consumption that rivals or exceeds that of the cloud providers. Right now, they are not in a position to do this.

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Cloud-Like Approach

The end goal is to adopt a more cloud-like approach inside the data center. CIOs shouldn't resist, as there are valuable lessons to be learned from what the cloud providers are doing. They may not have all enterprise capability, but they are doing things that are very interesting and certainly demonstrate the art of the possible.

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Increase the Value of IT

It's all about being flexible and nimble and responsive to your customers, characteristics that, in the long run, increase the value of IT. This is all part of the next-generation data center, where the challenge is to monitor and manage the technology infrastructure to enable business productivity improvements and business growth, while simultaneously focusing on reducing costs, improving operational efficiencies, ensuring security and enabling new capabilities.