Cross Over to a Fully Automated Self-Service Environment

You’ve consolidated and virtualized the servers and storage in your IT environment. Now what?

You probably realize that virtualization is simply part of your journey to improving overall IT efficiency. Imagine the possibilities for your organization if you could continue to build your virtualized environment into a fully automated, service-oriented infrastructure of pooled resources (server, storage, and network) that enables you to easily deliver IT services to your internal users.

There are at least three advantages to optimizing the use of a shared IT environment:

  • Tremendous agility
  • Extreme efficiency
  • Maximum utilization

In other words, you can respond quickly to change, you can use your systems and your people more efficiently, and you’re able not only to do what you are doing now more effectively, but you can do new things too, for less money.

“Building our cloud services on the Citrix [and] NetApp infrastructure allows us to deliver performance, availability, and 360° scalability—that is, clients can add or remove CPU, RAM, disk, and bandwidth resources on demand from a control panel and pay daily or monthly for that utilization."
- Andrew Rouchotas,
Chief Executive Officer, Cartika, Inc.

Of course, virtualization – whether basic or using more advanced virtualization capabilities – delivers tremendous value. It consolidates your environment, saving power, cooling, and space, as well as money. With NetApp, you can securely consolidate multiple zones of virtualization into a larger pool of resources that can be flexibly allocated, and you can isolate and guarantee performance for applications running in the shared environment.

So much more is possible with the fully automated, service-oriented environment known as “cloud computing” or delivering IT as a service. Cloud computing basically takes virtualized environments to higher levels of sophistication and enables better business agility through automation. IT as a service is about providing on-demand computing and storage resources to a variety of applications and users from a unified architecture. Applications run in a secure, virtual private resource pool with appropriate quality of service. This automated, self-service environment enables even higher cost and time savings than virtualization alone.

Taking the next step to deliver IT as a service means that you’ve enabled the following things in your IT environment:

  • Automation : Simplified management and operation let you manage more capacity with fewer resources, while also increasing operational efficiency. Policy-based automation maps end-user requirements to specific levels of service. Once policies are established, new storage consumers (a new application, a business unit, and so on) can request and receive storage and automatically get the appropriate level of data protection and other services without manual intervention.
  • Self-service : Self-service operations make it possible for users and consumers of services to perform common operations for themselves without IT assistance. Sophisticated automation enables self-service and then chargeback and cost awareness.
  • Chargeback : Among the ways in which people distinguish between a virtualized environment and a cloud are chargeback and cost awareness. In a shared infrastructure, it is important to understand which type of resources your customer is using, how much, and for how long. As a service provider to either internal or external customers, it is imperative to understand how much of a given service your customers are consuming and how to appropriately charge them for that service. Chargeback and cost awareness require visibility into your environment as well as mapping of physical and logical resources to the services that are actually delivered.

By standardizing your environment and enabling self-service and chargebacks, you gain across-the-board efficiency, including operational efficiency and capex savings.

Avanade knows the advantages of a standardized, virtualized environment. The company supports an intensely demanding dev/test environment that uses NetApp and Microsoft® virtualization solutions. Already, Avanade has simplified centralized management, reduced its server and storage footprints by over 50%, boosted performance by 20%-30%, achieved turnkey provisioning of virtual server environments, and is getting closer to reaching near-zero downtime for its more than 350 virtual machines.

Avanade is looking forward to advancing its virtualization capabilities for even greater savings.
“We are building a self-service portal with NetApp that will speed provisioning in our Dynamic Computing Services environment. Using this portal, someone can request a virtual machine for up to three weeks and begin work right away.”
– Patrick Cimprich, Vice President and Chief Architect,
Global Technologies and Solutions, Avanade

Whatever you call it – cloud, IT as a service, or simply a more agile IT infrastructure – NetApp should be your vendor of choice for modernizing the data center because of our unique future-proof design.

One of our key advantages is the NetApp Unified Storage Architecture: one system, one platform, one set of trainings. A unified architecture enables you to quickly deploy cost-effective services that can be monitored for quality and metered by use (chargeback). You can then deliver a large number and variety of services from a single infrastructure, because the architecture supports the various demands of your customers. Unlike our competition, we offer a future-proof platform that can grow nondisruptively as your business requires. This means that you can roll out new applications faster, be more responsive to customer needs, and reduce IT costs on a large scale by deploying a highly efficient infrastructure.

Once you have a standardized, virtualized environment, you have a more agile IT infrastructure in place that does not require a forklift upgrade or different storage for different needs.

Delivering IT as a service requires that you make a paradigm shift in how you manage and operate IT, but it also puts you in more control of your resources. Rather than allocating the amount of IT resources the business thinks it needs, you distribute the resources based on user need and demand. We can help you define the processes and best practices to efficiently run and manage your shared environment.

If you’re looking to evolve your virtualized environment to deliver cloud-based services, we can help there also. The first step is an objective evaluation of your current infrastructure capabilities. The NetApp Enterprise Transformation Workshop delivers an end-to-end eval¬uation of your data center environment and suggests next steps that you can act on.

For more information, check out our cloud computing solutions and subscribe to our Webcasts.

In 2009, Cartika set out to bring robust but affordable cloud services to companies of all sizes. Cartika wanted to provide its customers access to minute or massive amounts of IT infrastructure on demand and enable them to pay only for what they use. To do that, the company needed a fluid storage architecture that could handle unpredictable loads of on-demand cloud services, without overinvesting in excess capacity. NetApp and our partners provided the company enterprise-grade elasticity, scalability, and high availability.

Now, Cartika enjoys:

  • Faster-than-forecasted growth
  • Around-the-clock availability
  • No-waste scalability
  • 50% less capacity used for virtual machines
  • Automatic processes to manage peak demand
  • 100% better admin efficiency
  • Innovation – delivering more services to more businesses
“NetApp technology, combined with low TCO, helps us offer advantages that our competitors don’t have or can’t deliver as efficiently. NetApp® deduplication, for example, lets us use 50% less capacity for virtual machines, with corresponding savings in real estate, power, and cooling. This lowers our cost of goods sold. Passing our savings along makes CartikaCloud services accessible to more businesses.”
- Andrew Rouchotas,
Chief Executive Officer, Cartika, Inc.