Waiting for that budget approval so you can get the latest and greatest server, storage or networking gear? Or maybe you’re already gearing up for a well-deserved infrastructure refresh?
This could be a good time to get to work on a data center facility upgrade, or that virtualization management project you’ve been postponing for a while. Oh, and shouldn’t you be thinking about the impact of cloud computing, too?
IT infrastructure is converging, bringing previously siloed server, storage, networking, management, and facilities technologies and teams together to provide simplified, more efficient resource management. It’s all part of the drive to enable the speedy response to business needs that’s the hallmark of the Instant-On Enterprise.
(Read more about Converged Infrastructure here. For a great intro to the topic, read Duncan Campbell’s blog: Can I rapidly and safely turn my IT into a business growth engine through convergence? Short answer: yes.)
Taking advantage of this architecture and approach requires a shared understanding of the goals, solid business-technology alignment, and a clear road map that encompasses your people and processes in addition to the technology.
At first glance, it can look daunting. You probably have previous commitments and ongoing projects, and there is just so little time to coordinate end-to-end planning with different IT teams.
Here’s a suggestion: Stop and step back, just for one day. Ongoing operations, projects in the pipeline and business-as-usual can wait. Take one day to spend some quality time with your key business, operations, and IT colleagues and HP experts who can help you to build your vision of convergence with facilitated discussions and in-depth sharing of best practices.
We’ve named this offering the HP Converged Infrastructure Transformation Experience Workshop. BUT it’s not your typical workshop. Certainly you won’t be staring at the wall watching PowerPoint slides! We’ve designed it as an opportunity to stand up, walk around, get some fresh air and look at some great visuals while asking the big questions and getting answers from our data-center and converged-infrastructure experts.
Most importantly, you’ll hear why converged infrastructure is not just about the newest technologies. Here are a few other things that matter, in a big way:
- The service portfolio. Designing for convergence means understanding what services you intend to offer, how you’re going to source them, and what capacity and availability you need for them.
- Service level management for the portfolio. On top of infrastructure management, this is what makes the difference in providing high-quality services that deliver real business value (as opposed to just operational value).
- Governance. You need to ensure that your business and technology policies and strategy are actually implemented, and that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Important questions include: How will new service development decisions be made? Who will prioritize business needs? How will conflicts be resolved?
- Metering and reporting. This provides the capability to measure service usage, as well as tracking and business oversight through reporting. In an internal cloud model, most companies don't build an expensive billing system; however, the ability to price services without actual chargeback increases the visibility of IT and helps align business demand with supply.
- A support strategy for smooth service operations. This becomes important in the highly centralized, consolidated, mission-critical converged infrastructure environment.
- Change management and training processes. These are crucial for a fast response to change and for building organizational readiness.
Here’s what attendees say about these workshops:
“The format of the life-size panels and the highly interactive workshop are very interesting, and never seen before. Helps enhance understanding.”
“All the topics were relevant to us and were very well addressed.”
“We were initially not convinced about the workshop, but it has been a really useful exercise.”
“I had planned to get away from the workshop after the initial session but ended up attending the full program due to the compelling content.”
We’ll be talking about the HP Converged Infrastructure Transformation Experience Workshop this week at VMWorld 2011.
Learn more about HP Converged Infrastructure Services here.