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Taneja Blog

Taneja Blog / Cloud

Talking Cloud with BMC - Continued

[Here's part 1 of our conversation]

Dave: Lilac, we spoke about the differentiators of the 2nd generation BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management solution.  What are the use cases where you feel these really make a difference to your customers?

Lilac:Well, Dave – I’m in the field a lot. Multiple times a week, actually, talking to customers about the clouds they are both building and evolving. And, I find there are a couple consistent quiet areas of concern where the BMC solution has a key role:

  • It isn’t all OS’s.  Most of the time, the team starting the cloud deployment is an infrastructure group. And, while they prefer to keep their heads in the datacenter, it is clear from even early conversations that the purview of the cloud is bigger than just the infrastructure. I was with a customer last week who reluctantly noted that they “really need to consider the middleware.. and actually, some applications too.”  Cloud services are not just operating systems delivered at lightning speed – they are full business services.
  • The cloud is no silo.  As often as I talk with infrastructure folks, I’m also out there talking to folks in the operations teams who will ultimately support these cloud services. They are concerned with change management integration. With CMDB. With compliance and audits and integration with approval workflows. They see the cloud in the context of the rest of IT – and they have questions and requirements that rightly should be included in initial cloud efforts.

Dave: True – I see those requirements increasingly myself.  I opened a few questions in the blog last week – care to shed some light?

Lilac:  Sure.. I’ll take a crack.

Dave: How detailed should initial resource cost models be?

Lilac:  Costing models are an interesting area – and a personal hobby of mine. There is at least one costing model per organization in the world – often more than one. The truth is, your costing model need only be as complicated as the organization consuming it. If you’re doing showback, but not really transfer pricing – keep it high level. If you are genuinely managing the over-consumption of a single division relative to its peers, consider usage-based metrics. If this is feeding your individual lines of business, and you need a specific number to calculate profitability, I’ve seen spreadsheets that fill a room.

How have you seen organizations push their model from showback to chargeback, in your experience, Dave? 

Dave:Are there template blueprint designs (for common resources) and template operational policies (for ongoing governance) to help cloud tire-kickers to get started quickly?

Lilac: As to blueprint establishment, there are some basic Service Blueprints in our initial implementations, upon which our customers can build. We find that BladeLogic customers often make use of the packages they’ve created to build Service Blueprints, as well. Over time, additional common Service Blueprint content will be available, both from BMC as well as from our partners. 

What do you think of as the early universal workloads, Dave?

Dave: I hear from many customers that writing service governance policies in general can be daunting – how does BMC help?

Lilac: Governance policies split into multiple types – some are embedded in the operational policies governing the behavior of the cloud – and others are regulatory or compliance oriented. BMC leverages BladeLogic Server Automation to accomplish the latter, which has the advantage of applying the same compliance policies across all workloads, whether virtual, physical, or in the cloud – yours or public.  For the governance policies that drive the behavior of the cloud – say, where a workload is provisioned – BMC has a built-in Service Governor that drives the behavior of the cloud.  By aggregating key decision criteria  like the user, the cloud service request, and resource information, we make it easy to build policies within the administrative portal of Cloud Lifecycle Management.

The big innovation in our solution is actually tagging of resources. This tagging can drive placement based on different characteristics – simply by matching tags. So, you can tag a cluster as “finance” to ensure no one else has access. Or Gold or silver. And using Boolean combinations of those tags, the Service Governor is able to make automated decisions about placement of the cloud service.

Dave: Also, I would think auto-discovery of available workloads and dependencies would be high on the list of must-haves for cloud newbies as well – is integration with Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping on the horizon?

Lilac: Ah, a softball. ADDM is actually already working well alongside the BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management solution!  

Now, my turn for a question: can you speak to the cloud use cases – and cloud users – you’re seeing in the market today? Are clouds simply by-IT for-IT?

Stay tuned for my answers to Lilac's questions.

  • Premiered: 07/14/11
  • Author: Taneja Group
Topic(s): Cloud BMC Cloud Management Cloud Service Governance Cloud Lifecycle Manager Blogalog

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