3. Process Maturity for vCloud Operations : 3.3 Evolution of vCloud Operations : 3.3.2 Process
3.3.2 Process
As the IT organization continues to evolve, the maturity of vCloud management tools and automation drives vCloud process governance and implementation.
Initially, vCloud computing uses the same operational process approach as virtualization. This approach is effective while pilot studies are conducted and the vCloud is used for development and testing. At this stage, results depend on the maturity of the operational processes themselves, their integration with broader enterprise operational processes, and how successfully the combination has been adapted for virtualization. Maturity levels of the operational processes range from those characterized as reactive and immature—those still based on operating a physical infrastructure—to more mature processes adapted for the unique capabilities of virtualization.
As the IT organization evolves and becomes more service-driven, operational processes must become more proactive and service-focused. This requires the implementation of management tools that are purpose-built for vCloud and process automation. Traditional, discrete operational process and functional areas continue to exist, but management tools and automation begin to support some process consolidation and efficiency gains.
At this stage, the vCloud operational model cannot be CMDB-driven. Instead, multiple federated configuration management systems need to manage and interact with each other to support the dynamic nature of a vCloud. vCloud operational processes focus on delivering consumer-facing or infrastructure-related services, which are both subject to the same service governance and lifecycle management, while their design development is driven by blueprint and policy.
The nature of vCloud computing forces proactive operations and management:
*Optimal performance and reliability of the vCloud requires enhanced performance management.
*Capacity management relies increasingly on forward-looking demand projections so resources can be in place before users need them.
*IT Financial Management can no longer be project-driven—it must become resource investment-driven.
These factors position IT vCloud operations for the next phase, in which the company expands the vCloud environment and migrates business-critical services to it.
As vCloud management tools and underlying automation mature, the IT organization evolves from proactive to predictive operations and management. Operational process and functional areas are consolidated as management tools provide more intelligent, end-to-end operational capabilities. Configuration and compliance management become policy-driven, with automated drift remediation and built-in auditability. Operations management can now be based on predictive analytics, with automated remediation reducing the number of incidents and/or systemic problems. Consumer-facing services that are deployed for subsequent on-demand self-service provisioning, automatically deployed infrastructure, and resource access supplemented by transparent bursting to an external vCloud provider can all use fully automated provisioning. The ultimate goal of zero-touch operations is now within reach.