Discover Performance Blog

Welcome to the Discover Performance blog, a resource for enterprise IT leaders who share a passion for performing better. Here you’ll find strategic insights and best practices from your peers as well as from HP’s own practitioners who help others define, measure and achieve better IT performances.

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Overcoming real-world barriers to maximizing the private cloud



By Keith Macbeath


Many IT leaders who have implemented a private cloud aren’t getting the benefits they hoped for. In a report from last June called Q2 2014 Private Cloud Customer Research, Technology Business Research found that out of the 2,200 companies queried, many of them were nowhere near where they expected to be in their cloud adoption journey. As it turns out, if you build it—in this case a private cloud—they (internal app developers) may not come as forecast.


And, in the meantime, if you pushed for a private cloud you probably now face pressure to prove the much-vaunted improvement in cost-effectiveness. Although you promised higher utilization and lower cost per unit, your costs have actually just gone up. You’ve duplicated infrastructure and you have not improved productivity —or so you’re told. What’s going on?

Labels: Cloud

3 key questions to ask if you want an efficient cloud service

Ng.jpgImagine if your city responded to a parking shortage by randomly building parking lots without analyzing where the shortages are or how people in different neighborhoods need to park and when. Most likely it wouldn’t solve the problem. That’s what it’s like when IT stands up cloud infrastructure on demand without any lifecycle management that ensures how, when and how long the business plans to use it.


Before you use the cloud to develop applications, you should first examine your end-to-end processes and draw up a cloud service design, so that people have a way to come and request what they need and how long they need it. If you don’t, you’ll end up with useless virtual parking lots in the form of siloed and orphaned resources. By designing your cloud services, you define for both the user and IT what they can and cannot expect from the service delivery capability.


Here are the three crucial questions you need to ask.


Louise Ng has more than 25 years in multiple IT positions across a variety of industries. Today she is the WW CTO for Cloud & Automation services at HP, and she specializes in leading large-scale projects that deliver quality services through operational optimization.

Labels: Cloud

Step #7 for successful cloud brokering: Avoid vendor lock-in

When transforming your operations for a cloud service broker model, it's critical to avoid vendor lock-in. Avoiding vendor lock-in helps you stay flexible and agile in order to meet changing business needs. This is particularly important considering most businesses have not evolved their strategies for the cloud. Technology decisions made must protect both current and long-term heterogeneity and extensibility of their cloud environments.

Labels: Cloud

Step #6 for successful cloud brokering: Monitor your bottom line

IT projects should help you save money or help you make money. Accepting fiscal responsibility as a cloud service broker requires that you must first understand how much each cloud service costs to operate. You need a complete view into your IT asset utilization, including servers, storage networks and applications. Visibility into software license compliance is important too. Although the asset management cost of a cloud service is technically an operating expenditure, you need to manage the service as if you own the assets. With the meter running any time you turn on a service, examine why monitoring your bottom line is ever more critical today.

Labels: Cloud

Step #5 for successful cloud brokering: Protect service offerings

There are a number of unique security implications to consider when comparing private and public cloud services. If you don't have one already, it's smart to develop a risk-based security strategy. No single technology will sufficiently protect a dynamic cloud environment. And the fact that cloud technologies are often isolated and managed by siloed operations teams only compounds the problem. A risk-based security strategy can secure each layer of your architecture, but you should integrate them as part of a comprehensive cloud-management platform.

Labels: Cloud

Step #4 for successful cloud brokering: Manage service SLAs

When shifting to a cloud-service broker model, make sure that both your traditional and cloud services meet your business requirements, especially standards for performance and availability.  You'll need to assess whether your roster of service providers meet the standards established by the business. However, cloud environments change rapidly, so this is challenging and complex. You need mechanisms in place to manage the many SLAs for all your cloud service providers and portfolio of services. Read on to learn how you can meet SLAs across internally and externally sourced services.

Labels: Cloud

Step #3 for successful cloud brokering: Automate common processes

Standardizing and automating your IT processes is an essential part of being a broker of cloud services. One such process is the business user's ability to order and provision an IT service through a self-service portal.  However, a self-service portal is just an abstraction layer. It's on the back-end where the "magic" actually happens--where services are provisioned, applications set up and changes automatically made. Start by following these steps to fully realize the benefits of cloud services:

Labels: Cloud

Step #2 for successful cloud brokering: Plan for all types of services

Collin Chau is Cloud Evangelist (Cloud Automation and Management) at HP.


Not all of your services will go to the cloud, so you'll need to determine which services to move there and the timeframe for doing so. You may initially rely on just one type of cloud service, such as public or private IaaS, but as your business needs change, you'll likely want to take advantage of others too. Learn how to go about planning for your cloud services, and what to look out for.


Aligning applications

Many companies start with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), typically Virtual Machines used in dev/test environments. But some customers are also thinking beyond IaaS to databases, Disaster Recovery and middleware - all delivered as cloud services.

Labels: Cloud

Step #1 for successful cloud brokering: Start with a strategic plan

Collin Chau is Cloud Evangelist (Cloud Automation and Management) at HP.


Most enterprise IT organizations operate based on a long-term strategy. Just as cloud IT services should not replace traditional IT, your hybrid cloud IT service model should not supplant your existing IT initiatives. The best approach will be to blend your cloud plans with your current IT strategy over a three- to five-year horizon.

Labels: Cloud

Using cloud? You’ve got systemic waste. Here’s how to find it

Ng.jpgLouise Ng has more than 25 years in multiple IT positions across a variety of industries. At HP, she specializes in leading large-scale projects that deliver quality services through process optimization.


In their rush to automation and cloud service delivery, I’ve seen customers take shortcuts that in the long run end up creating systemic waste. I’ve written previously about the need for governance around cloud creation. Unless you impose controls over cloud service delivery, the enterprise ends up spending money on more resources than it needs. So how do you find the waste?


The answer lies in a strategy that enables IT to be more responsive to the line of business, but also helps rein in rogue cloud provisioning to reduce waste.

Labels: Cloud

Announcing HP Propel: Choice without Compromise

HP Propel Portal.pngWhat if you could change business users’ perception of your IT department overnight with a friendly, online consumer-oriented portal that delivers IT services, the way the business users want it? Sounds pretty good, right? Today HP launched a service offering that will help transform IT into a true Services Broker. HP Propel, is a service portal, catalog and exchange that enables IT organizations to deliver self-service capabilities to end users, resulting in services delivered as needed,  quicker time to value and lower administration costs. Reinvention has never been so easy.


 Guest post by June Manley, Product Marketing, Service Portfolio Management, HP Software

3 fast-approaching cloud trends shaping the IT forecast


The October IT ops edition of Discover Performance explores how cloud computing trends that are already in motion will shape the enterprise in the coming years. Delving into three of seven trends detailed in the Cloud 2020 white paper (from the Enterprise 20/20 collaborative ebook project), the article finds that IT leaders should recognize, prepare for and get ahead of:


  • Cognitive systems as human partners
  • Faster, more flexible computation
  • Automated systems that provide insight to help humans
Labels: Cloud

The cloud adoption roadmap: Dead ends, detours and potholes


DD Mishra is a partner at CIO Specialist Advisory LLP and a member of the Discover Performance community's IT Strategy & Performance LinkedIn group.


Not long ago, I was having coffee with a consultant friend of mine. He asked me a seemingly straightforward question: "What are the barriers to cloud adoption?" However, knowing my friend’s extensive experience in the area of cloud computing, I realized his question was a googly (or a curveball, for those unfamiliar with cricket). Indeed, it’s a topic has been volleyed on countless forums, roundtables, events, cocktail parties, and tech media; hence, it was not a new question to have been asked by this gentleman. In response, I posed a counter-question: "What answers do you get from others?" After a considerable silence, he said: "I seldom get the true picture."

Labels: Cloud

The cloud conversation starts when business and IT share a mother tongue


There are two sides (minimum) to every story, but failed cloud initiatives often devolve into ugly “we said/they said” spats between business and IT leaders. A recent Gartner report fingered lack of contractual transparency as a leading cause of dissatisfaction with cloud installations. While that may be so, a couple of articles I’ve read lately lead me to believe trouble starts brewing long before contracts are signed, much less disputed. The simple truth is that business and IT often fail to communicate effectively, and, to cocktail-shake some metaphors, aren’t on the same page from square one.


Getting cloud right begins when business first asks to meet with IT about moving to the cloud; expectations must be managed, so it’s up to IT to lead the conversation. That’s the upshot of the latest Ops article in Discover Performance, What the business is saying when it says ‘cloud’—when LOBs ask for a solution, IT must ask, “What’s the problem?”

Labels: Cloud

To tap the cloud’s full potential, you need a framework


Louise Ng has more than 25 years in multiple IT positions across a variety of industries. As CTO, Cloud & Automation at HP Software Professional Services, she specializes in leading large-scale projects that deliver quality services through process optimization.


Cloud causes an organization to transform the way they it uses IT services via a new operating model. This transformation must be communicated with a top/down and bottom/up strategy. Communication styles vary, but my experience has shown that the more the “branding” and internal marketing of such a change, the more gravity there is in human nature to accept that change is coming and that the impact of the change is clear and can be rationalized—good or bad.

Labels: Cloud

Moving to the cloud? Make sure you have these 3 key roles in your organization


Louise Ng has more than 25 years in multiple IT positions across a variety of industries. As CTO, Cloud & Automation at HP Software Professional Services, she specializes in leading large-scale projects that deliver quality services through process optimization.


You may have picked up in my previous post that I feel very strongly that the lack of governance around the adoption of cloud services could ultimately cost enterprises more money in the name of attaining the short-term goal of faster time to market.


Implementing a successful cloud service delivery capability is as much an educational and management of change (MoC) task as it is a technology task.


Labels: Cloud

How enterprise grade cloud changes everything? One organization’s cloud journey

IMG_1614-Edit_SML.jpgRecently, I have been writing about where IT is going as a business function. I got a lot of responses to my last post on the topic, “Announcing the death of traditional ERP, shared services, and the owned datacenter,” and I have continued to keep my eye on the market and current trends.


Last week, I met with an architect at a major financial organization. He said that his company is going through major changes as its business and IT strategies have converged.

Labels: Cloud

3 challenges that can keep you from maximising cloud benefits

michael-garrett2.jpgNearly a year ago HP introduced its Converged Cloud strategy at Discover in Las Vegas, and since then we’ve watched adoption of cloud services grow significantly. I want to share some of what we’ve learned from customers and from our Professional Services experts about how to avoid common pitfalls.


What I’ve seen recently suggests that customers do not find it that difficult to move to private cloud environments. (And HP has a number of services such as Cloud Maps, which can accelerate the transition and time to ROI.) But as I talk to customers I do see them facing three main challenges.

Labels: Cloud

How vendor management can bring cloud success

michael-garrett2.jpgThere are few who seriously doubt the future of information services is ‘cloudy’. This move to cloud computing often presents some serious challenges for IT professionals, who may previously have controlled every element of the IT services they delivered. Now they face unprecedented user demand for specialized IT cloud applications from many suppliers, other than themselves and from pressurised colleagues who are less interested than ever in how IT services are delivered.


Not being responsible for creating an IT service though is no excuse for not managing its success.

Labels: Cloud

A step-by-step approach to the cloud

headshot2.jpgIs there a trick to moving to the full, hybrid cloud? Find out. 

Labels: Cloud| hybrid cloud

Cloud and sourcing: Understand the shifts in risk and value

charlesbetz.jpgBy Charlie Betz


When you adopt external cloud services, do you understand what are you actually sourcing differently? This question has been on my mind as I’ve been writing my last few posts about the commoditization of IT and the CIO’s evolution into a supply chain manager. There’s a tendency to look to the outsourced cloud and think that by adopting it you’ve dealt with the commoditization of IT and are getting more efficiencies, end of story. But there are some things – I’ll call them IT thought processes – that only get more important as you move up the cloud ladder. Value and risk considerations shift, and it’s important to understand how this plays out.

Labels: Cloud

IT leaders, the choice is yours: Be master of your destiny … or victim

tony price.JPGBy Tony Price, World Wide Lead for Strategy and Transformation Consulting, HP Software Professional Services


I recently met with the CIO of a large Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, and the conversation turned to cloud. The CIO remarked, “I’ve never sat in front of a consultant who hasn’t said the word cloud.” “Fair enough,” I said. “Cloud is trendy, it’s a buzzword. But the way I see it, what this is really about is, do you want to be a victim, or do you want to be the master of your own destiny?” Suddenly I had the CIO’s attention. “And how does that relate to cloud?” the CIO asked.


Simple. In today’s environment, cloud service providers are going to your business and saying “We can run your business process more effectively, more efficiently, we can provide it on mobile devices, using cloud, et cetera.”


In this scenario IT can either become a victim or it can drive its own destiny.


Labels: Cloud

Competition or “coopetition” in the cloud – 2 steps for success

miron_mizrahi.jpgBy Miron Mizrahi


Recent analyst research has found that lines-of-business (LOBs) are adopting cloud services 2.5 times faster than IT is. What is enabling this higher rate of adoption? The answer should, by now, be clear to anyone who has been watching this space – LOBs now have options. They can get e-mail services from Google, infrastructure from and a slew of SaaS solutions from a selection of vendors.


IT is now beginning to face competition from previously unimagined directions and from more efficient competitors, but it can turn this into an advantage. By partnering with these providers, IT can leverage their efficiencies while retaining control over service delivery. Here is how.


Labels: Cloud

If you’re searching for agility in the cloud, ask your vendor for a map

miron_mizrahi.jpgBy Miron Mizrahi


Miron Mizrahi has had a career spanning more than 20 years in the software industry. In recent years he served as the WW Solution Lead for Business Service Management (BSM) as well as Converged Infrastructure for HP Software Professional Services, where he is now a Portfolio Strategy Lead.


Many of the customers I talk to say agility and faster time to value are some of the primary business drivers for considering cloud-based services. But when you actually look at how good the various cloud computing solutions are at delivering agility you notice something interesting. While it may take only minutes to provision a service, it usually takes weeks to design one. Where the current generation of cloud solutions falls short is they provide little to no help in designing and building cloud services – which should be a key part of your cloud strategy.


Most cloud deployments today focus on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – basically the ability to provision on-demand computing, network and storage resources, all offered via a self-service catalogue. We can pick how many machines we need, how many CPUs we want, the amount of memory and storage and even the OS. All the user has to do is choose and go. But the real question is, what does one do with a bare metal server or even with one running Windows 2008 or Linux? It’s nice that I can have it up and running in 12 minutes, but is that enough? Or rather, is it going to solve the business problem I have? Is this all the bang I can buy for my buck in the cloud?

Labels: Cloud
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