Welcome!

Log Management Authors: Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

You Can't Have IT as a Service Until IT Has Infrastructure as a Service

The underlying premise of delivering IT “as a service” is that the services exist to be delivered in the first place

The underlying premise of delivering information technology “as a service” is that the services exist to be delivered in the first place.

Oh, it’s on now. IT has been served with a declaration of intent and that is to eliminate IT and its associated bottlenecks that are apparently at the heart of a long application deployment lifecycle. Ignoring reality, the concept of IT as a Service in many ways is well-suited to solving both issues (real and perceived) on the business and the IT sides of the house. By making the acquisition and deployment of server infrastructure a self-service process, IT abrogates responsibility for deploying applications. It means if a project is late, business stakeholders can no longer point to the easy scapegoat of IT and must accept accountability.

Or does it?

WHAT does “IT as a SERVICE” MEAN ANYWAY?

We can’t really answer that question until we understand what all this “IT as a Service” hype is about, can we?

The way tech journalists report on “IT as a Service” and its underlying business drivers you’d think the concept is essentially centered on the elimination of IT in general. That’s not the case, not really. On the surface it appears to be, but appearances are only skin deep. What businesses want is a faster provisioning cycle across IT: access, server infrastructure, applications, data. They want “push-button IT”, they want IT as a vending machine with a cornucopia of services available for their use with as little human interaction as possible.

What that all boils down is this: the business stakeholders want efficiency of process.

Eric Knorr of InfoWorld summed it well when he recently wrote in “What the ‘private cloud’ really means”:

blockquote Nonetheless, the model of providing commodity services on top of pooled, well-managed virtual resources has legs, because it has the potential to take a big chunk of cost and menial labor out of the IT equation. The lights in the data center will never go out. The drive for greater efficiency, though, has had a dozen names in the history of IT, and the private cloud just happens to be the latest one.

In reality all we’re talking about with “IT as a Service” really is private cloud, but it appears that “IT as a Service” has a strong(er) set of legs upon which to stand primarily because purists and pundits prefer to distinguish between the two. So be it, what you call it is not nearly as important as what it does – or is intended to do.

Interestingly enough, VMware made a huge push for “IT as a Service” at VMworld last month and, in conjunction with that, released a number of product offerings to support the vision of “IT as a Service.” But while there was much brouhaha regarding the flexibility of a virtualized infrastructure there was very little to support the longer vision of “IT as a Service.” It was more “IT as a Bunch of Virtual Machines and Provisioning Services” than anything else. Now, that’s not to say that virtualization of infrastructure doesn’t enable “IT as a Service”; it does in the sense that it makes one piece of the overall concept possible: self-service provisioning. But it imagedoes not in any way, shape or form assist in the much larger and complex task of actually enabling the services that need to be provisioned. Even the integration across the application delivery network with the core server infrastructure provisioning services – so necessary to accomplish something like live cloudbursting on-demand – relies upon virtualization only for the server/application resources. The integration to instruct and integrate the application delivery network is accomplished via services, via an API, and whether the underlying form-factor is virtual or iron is completely irrelevant.

IT as a SERVICE REALLY MEANS a SERVICE-ORIENTED OPERATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that what we’re really doing here is applying the principles of SOA to IT and departmental function. Yeah, I said that. Again.

Take a close look at this diagram and tell me what you see. No, never mind, I’ll tell you what I see: a set of service across the entire IT infrastructure landscape that, when integrated together, form a holistic application deployment and delivery architecture. A service-oriented architecture. And what this whole “IT as a Service” thing is about is really offering up operational processes as a service to business folks. Just as SOA was meant to encapsulate business functions as services when it’s IT being pushed into the service-oriented mold you get operational functions as services: provisioning, metering, migration, scalability.

It’s Infrastructure as a Service, when you get down to it.

In order for IT to be a push-button, self-service, never-talk-to-the-geeks-in-the-basement again organization (which admittedly looks just as good from the other side as a never-talk-to-the-overly-demanding-business-folks again organization) IT not only has to enable provisioning of compute resources suitable for automated billing and management, but it also has to make available the rest of the infrastructure as services that can be (1) provisioned just as easily, (2) managed uniformly, and (3) integrated with some sort of human-readable/configurable policy creation tool that can translate business language, a la “make it faster”, into something that can actually be implemented in the infrastructure, a la “apply an application acceleration policy”. I’m simplifying, of course, but ultimately we really do want it imagethat simply, don’t we? We’ll never get there if we don’t have the services available in the first place.

Sound familiar, SOA architects? Business analysts? It should. A complete application deployment consists of a set of dynamic services that can be provisioned in conjunction with application resources that provide for a unified “application” that is fast, reliable, and secure. A composite “application” that is essentially a mash-up comprised of infrastructure services that enforce application specific policies to meet the requirements of the business stakeholder.

It’s SOA. Pure and simple. And while rapid provisioning is made easier by virtualization of those components, it’s not a necessity. What’s necessary is that the components provide for and are managed through services. Remember, there’s no magical fairy dust that goes along with the hardware/software –> virtual network appliance transformation that suddenly springs forth a set of services like a freaking giant beanstalk out of a magic bean. The components must be enabled to both be and provide services and from those the components can be deployed, configured, integrated, and managed as a service.

WITHOUT the SERVICES IT IS IT as USUAL

If the only services available in this new “IT as a Service” paradigm are provisioning and metering and possibly migration, then IT as a Service does not actually exist. What happens then is the angst of the business regarding the lengthy acquisition cycles for compute resources simply becomes focused on the next phase of the deployment – the network, or the security, or the application delivery components. And as each set of components is servified and made available in the Burger King IT Infrastructure menu, the business will turn its baleful eye on the next set of components..and the next…and the next.

Until there exists an end-to-end set of services for deploying, managing, and migrating applications, “IT as a Service” will not truly exist and the role of IT will remain largely the same – manual configuration, integration, and management of a large and varied set of infrastructure components.


Related blogs & articles:

Follow me on Twitter View Lori's profile on SlideShare friendfeed icon_facebook

AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.