The mainframe is very much alive with MIPS growing, as is virtualized mainframe environments. In some cases, enterprise customers are looking to integrate virtualized mainframe application processes with other types of physical architectures. As many applications traverse both mainframe and physical architectures, IT organizations are considering the impact on costs by looking at root cause analytics for application performance management. The ability to see a transaction as it crosses various pieces of the architecture, both physical and virtual, mainframe and distributed, is going to a key requirement for private cloud deployments.
7. Increased Automation
Automation is a key enabling technology of private clouds because it helps reduce and contain costs. Key standardized processes, such as change and configuration; application release management; financial management, with a migration towards service transparency; service operations; and related ITIL definitions offer tremendous automation opportunities. Physical and virtual processes must be integrated, but this is not enough. Automatic problem identification, thresholding, and problem remediation are key capabilities that enable private cloud deployments.
The idea of "self-service" is exploding with customers as they consider what it means to them. The notion is simple, to empower employees to request compute resources on demand and deliver those resources automatically. Private cloud deployments increase the value of self-service as customer demands will require a linkage to chargeback models, resource availability, network, storage, and server knowledge, and an easy to use portal that casual IT and business workers can use.
Recent conversations with customers show just how far we have come, and provide a glimpse into where we are going. One financial service firm wants to have a "branch in a box" with all the key applications and infrastructure virtualized, and a layer of management to provide control and visibility. Another customer is interested in having a dynamic fabric and automated assembly line for business applications. Yet another wants an automated, self-service cloud for their development teams. IT organizations are adapting to the speed and pressure to deliver private cloud services across their infrastructure fabrics. The net benefits of these capabilities are clear: reduce costs, contain costs, drive tighter business impact, and get more out of people, process, and technologies.