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Make your elephant cloud ready.

A datacenter is a bit like an elephant. And organizations have become a bit like the fabled six blind men dispatched to observe one and determine what it is like. Application planners see the datacenter as a set of services implementing an IT service model. Infrastructure specialists see the datacenter as a collection of IT assets—servers, storage and network devices. And facilities sees the datacenter as a building providing space, power and cooling. To quote John Godfrey Saxe’s poem ("The Blind Men and the Elephant") “each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!” This siloed approach to IT grew out of technology specialization. It’s easy to see how we got here. But to move forward, we need a new approach that connects those things together.


It’s becoming increasingly clear that IT departments that survive will do so because they transform themselves and their datacenters. CIOs will become brokers of services provided by the IT organization, through outsourcing, through private clouds, and via managed and public cloud services. And datacenters must transform to enable and promote this hybrid approach. As we move some services to external cloud providers, datacenters can become smaller and less costly. It’s a good thing for everyone, but it will require that everyone start to see the whole elephant.


My HP Discover 2012 session in Frankfurt will show how to connect these disparate views to make your datacenter ready for the cloud. The common thread across the IT service model, IT assets and facilities is the workloads. A workload approach uses the IT service model to determine the source of each service: in-sourced, outsourced, private cloud, or public or managed cloud. I’ll show you how to decide what goes where—which services are suited to the cloud and which are not.

Once you know where you will source each service, you can deploy IT assets to support the services, and you can plan datacenter facilities to support the assets. Designing assets and facilities around workloads—rather than the other way around—lets you optimize assets and facilities while delivering the services the business needs. I’ll highlight recent developments in IT and facilities that may bear on your decisions, and I’ll show you some of the things you need to think about in each area.


Hybrid service delivery approach can help businesses achieve the agility they need while controlling IT spending. But trying to move your datacenter to the cloud as a collection of parts may just expose the chinks in the foundation. You’ve got to see the whole elephant before you can move it into the future.


Get the whole story at my session, “Launching the datacenter into the cloud,” at Discover 2012.  Session # BB1695 @ 1:45pm on Wednesday, December 5th.


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Chris Coggrave is worldwide director of the Data Center IT Infrastructure Service business within HP Technology Service Consulting. He is responsible for vision, strategy, and solutions and services offerings in what represents the largest area of business within the consulting organisation. Chris was formerly responsible for the Data Center Infrastructure and Cloud Services Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at HP. Prior to this, he ran a number of consulting practices that included infrastructure optimization, security, and mobility and wireless. Chris holds a degree in physics and is a graduate of the Warwick Business School where he was awarded an MBA with distinction.



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