Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Virtualization provisioning: 6 minutes to server! 6 hours to service?

(A guest post from Kalyan Ramanathan, virtualization expert from HP’s Business Service Automation group.)

It is one of the key promises of virtualization - it makes IT move very fast. You can scale up and down in minutes - all you do is stand up more virtual infrastructure and you are done.

But, does it really work as advertised? Are you just scaling servers or launching full business services?

It turns out that making this new infrastructure IT service-ready isn’t exactly that simple. While provisioning a virtual server is fairly simple now - all you is clone the server template and start the new virtual server (and many virtualization vendors already provide tools to do so), the virtual server still needs to be provisioned with storage and network resources to make the server usable. And this requires coordination with the storage and network teams - tickets need to be created, server/storage/network details need to be provided and cross-silo tasks need to be orchestrated to make this all work. And this “weakest link” can now eliminate the agility benefits of virtualization.

A virtualization customer recently described the problem as the 6 minute, 6 hour conundrum – it takes 6 minutes to provision the server and then it takes another 6 hours to provision and configure storage and network resources and scale up the service.

The HP Business Service Automation suite focuses on provisioning complete business services, across applications, servers, network and storage. The solution accelerates the time to scale the IT service. It includes the following products.
• HP Operations Orchestration coordinates the end to end process and the various steps in the process
• HP Server Automation provisions the virtual servers and applications
• HP Storage Essentials creates and provisions storage to the virtual server
• HP Network Automation configures network resources and settings
• HP Client Automation can configure thin clients and server images to support the scaled up service.

All these solutions work across physical and virtual infrastructure from HP and other vendors.

Is your IT group bragging about 6 minutes to a new server while the line of business managers are left waiting for their service to go live? How long does it take you to provision a service so it is completely ready to run?

For business service automation, Kalyan Ramanathan.

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