Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Internal vs External Compute Costs

In my previous post The Cost of Business; I went through the elements I used for creating a pricing structure for show-back or charge-back. 

It is important to understand the underlying costs for technology investments. Stephanie Overby at CIO magazine states, "Business outcomes from technology investments are all that really matter." IT spend should provide the ability for an organization to achieve or exceed its business objectives.

So what is a business outcome? Typical business outcomes include capital hardware and software avoidance, factory or application uptime, time to market, opening new market segments, optimizing existing markets, ect...

With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at the internal cost structure we created for our bronze SLA tier and compare that to a resource we can purchase from Amazon's EC2. Understanding our underlying costs will help us in our decision making process for deciding which infrastructure components we may want to move to the public cloud.

From Amazon EC2, I decided to go with a small windows virtual machine. I selected an On-Demand instance with (no Contract), which is 0.036 an hour. The 1-year cost for the compute resource is $316.32.

I also included 25 GB of magnetic storage, which comes to $1.25 a month. My total Amazon EC2 Service bill for the (US-East) is $27.61 a month.

Friday, July 18, 2014

TAM - VMworld 2014 Session Recommendations

In my role as a VMware Technical Account Manager, I like to provide my recommendations for the upcoming VMworld 2014 sessions. Here is a list of 41 sessions that I think are worth checking out! 

TAM - VMworld 2014 Session Recommendations

1.    HBC2708 - Customer Case Study & Demo on Application Mobility: How to seamlessly move applications and stretch networks to vCloud Hybrid Service

Hear firsthand from customers on how they have seamlessly extended their Data Center to vCloud Hybrid Service.See a live demo that showcases the experience of application migration to vCloud Hybrid Service. In the session we will demonstrate how to move VM templates, applications, networks and policies from your data center to vCloud Hybrid Service. The session will include customers talking about their experience with moving applications and stretching their Layer 2 networks on to vCloud Hybrid Service. We will show their use cases and how they truly extended their data center to vCloud Hybrid Service. The live demo will include - Connecting a vSphere environment to vCloud Hybrid Service - Selecting and moving applications to vCloud Hybrid Service - Selecting and stretching L2 networks from your data center to vCloud Hybrid Service.

Allwyn Sequeira, VMware
Serge Maskalik - Sr. Director of Engineering, VMware

2.    HBC1533 - How to Build a Hybrid Cloud - Steps to Extend Your Datacenter

This session will help attendees understand the various steps to build and extended datacenter to vCloud Hybrid Service. Generally, speaking customers find it easier to view the vCloud Hybrid Service cloud as just another datacenter. However instead of being physical it is all software defined and available on demand. We will leverage examples and use cases from current customers, as well as, review a specific setup the vCloud Hybrid Service Technical Marketing team has built in a “Customer” Lab. We will also explore the networking specifics, considerations, and other options to truly build a hybrid cloud.

David Hill - Senior Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Chris Colotti - Principal Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Cost of Business

In my mind, understanding the cost of running infrastructure operations and cost transparency is one of the most critical aspect of transforming IT operations into a service provider. If you can't provide the underlying value of the technology units being consumed by the business and the overall business value associated with the services provided, than the line of business is going to view you as overhead.

IT cost transparency is a key factor in being able to communicate the value of IT.  When there is no overall cost of IT services being provided by the operations organization; it is impossible for IT decision makers and organizational leaders to measure the value of striking a balance between price and performance to run current applications, grow the business, and transform product lines to serve new customer segments with new products and services.

While my approach may not work for everyone, in my previous role in IT leadership, I worked on a method for providing cost transparency of the services my team was looking to provide. I wanted to share this with you!

I used server density ratios based on virtual machine vCPU ratio to physical cores. In my scenario, I am going to use a conservative 3:1 production virtual machine workload ratio for my silver level virtual machines, which have a 4 year lifecycle.

Here are the components I am going to include in my cost analysis:
  1. Physical Server Cost
  2. Sales Tax
  3. Server Power
  4. VMware vCloud Suite Standard License
  5. Windows Data Center License
  6. vC Ops License
  7. Norton Anti-Virus License for all VMs
  8. VMware TAM Support
  9. Microsoft TAM Support
In addition, I include a Cluster HA Charge for maintenance and a level of risk avoidance.

Friday, July 4, 2014

vCenter Operations Manager Groups

An aspect of vCenter Operations Manager that provides measurable benefits is Groups, which allows you to build an application group to make it easier for IT professionals to determine how applications are affected when change occurs. An application is a logical grouping of resources that represents a critical business application or business service. In software engineering, the standard multi-tier architecture includes web servers (presentation), application servers (application processing), and database servers (data management).

After you have specified an application group, you can view the real-time analysis across all tiers and resources that are contained within the application. This gives you the ability to get an early understanding of a major change that is occurring across an application, which might be an indication of a cascading performance problem.

In general, when you are going to create an application group there are a couple of approaches to consider for the design.

The first is a business reason, this usually encompasses all the components that make up a business application as it is seen by the application owner. Like mentioned earlier, this is the typical client-server model with the presentation, application, and data management functions. For example, this may include the application resources that make up the healthcare system Epic; or the systems that support an internally written enrollment application for benefits.

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