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Virtualization Energizes the Data Center Automation Segment

At Taneja Group, we’ve long focused on the impact of virtualization on the application lifecycle, from development through deployment and maintenance. The rise of virtualization has occurred in parallel with a renewed interest in data center automation (DCA), driven in equal parts by the codification of IT processes into the ITIL framework (providing a roadmap to automation), the budgetary and headcount pressures on IT departments, and the challenges of patching and updating virtualized apps and machines that are mobile, transient, and/or built on demand.

Vendor solutions for DCA typically emerge from one of three competencies: server and system management platforms, application development/test/release solutions, and application-specific lifecycle management tools, such as those for collaboration suites or relational databases. When it comes time to automate IT processes, we recommend taking stock of your existing trusted vendor relationships as well as your most glaring pain points: do you struggle to keep operating systems and servers patched to the right levels to meet compliance? Have you already automated the management of business-critical applications, and can the tools you’ve used be easily extended? Or, is a key issue the time it takes to configure and deploy applications developed in house – the apps-to-ops transition?

We’re closely tracking both established players and exciting new entrants in the DCA space. HP continues to enhance the DCA suite it acquired with Opsware (now the HP Business Service Automation suite), and IBM and BMC offer broad automation platforms for business service management as well. Platform Computing is extending its tools for managing resource-intensive, high-performance apps into the virtual server and cloud worlds, and Stratavia is on the same path, building on its strength managing relational databases from Oracle, MS, IBM and others. VMware has made a bold leap into the app lifecycle market by acquiring SpringSource, and rPath also comes to the automation game from the software development and release side, extending its packaging and delivery tools to also support the deployment and maintenance phases of the app lifecycle.

There’s no single best path to automation, but an incremental, iterative approach will typically be the easiest to sell, generate the least resistance among IT ops teams, and provide more immediate ROI data to justify further automation efforts. DCA has always been a market segment rife with bold claims. The general-purpose platforms often do little out of the box and demand heavy configuration and training, while the more focused solutions are generally not as easily extended to other automation challenges as their makers suggest. We’re watching closely to see who can prove out solutions with real-world customer success stories.

  • Premiered: 08/26/09
  • Author: Taneja Group
Topic(s): Automation Bartoletti Datacenter Management Server Virtualization Virtual Infrastructure


Introducing a new segment here in the US - Application Service Automation. Representing an Israeli start-up called Nolio. Would be interested in your thoughts on this segment. IDC has a private company note out and we are already gaining traction at the enterprise account level.


Clint Buytenhuys
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By Clinton on 08/31/09


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