Addressing the challenges of cloud and infrastructure management

Allen Mitchell, senior technical account manager, MENA from Commvault, discusses the push for virtualisation

Tags: Cloud computingCommVault Systems Incorporated
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Addressing the challenges of cloud and infrastructure management Allen Mitchell: "Virtualisation was born out of CIOs frustration with this state of affairs, yet while it greatly increased efficiency and reduced costs it also gave rise to, yes you guessed it, virtual server sprawl."
By  Allen Mitchell Published  August 3, 2016

In the increasingly distant past, managing physical servers and ever expanding hardware stacks were the primary issue faced by those working in the IT environment.

Today, IT specialists find themselves tackling a range of new cloud and infrastructure challenges that have risen from the complex, multi-vendor, and highly virtualised IT systems that form the backbone of our modern connected lifestyle.

The push for virtualisation was a response to the physical server sprawl that had run unchecked as IT constantly deployed new servers to accommodate an ever growing range of applications and services.

Virtualisation was born out of CIOs frustration with this state of affairs, yet while it greatly increased efficiency and reduced costs it also gave rise to, yes you guessed it, virtual server sprawl.

Virtual server sprawl is the result of a bunch of smaller, perfectly appropriate actions that create an aggregated result that is negative to the organisation. The negative impacts include, IT staff spending time managing or supporting serves that no longer have value to the business, wasted tier 1 storage space, unnecessary resource consumption, and longer backup and recovery operations.

Addressing the impacts of virtual server sprawl comes down to, in short, better cloud and infrastructure management. Tools that allow IT specialists to optimise and automate VM lifecycles, enhance integration between cloud platforms, and manage multi-vendor hardware snapshots all serve to limit and mitigate the negative impacts of virtual server sprawl.

Being able to optimise and automate the entire VM lifecycle increases efficiency and lessons the impacts of virtual server sprawl. Software that automatically attaches backup, recovery, and archiving capabilities to your VMs as they are created ensures that your data and apps are always recoverable. Similarly, taking advantage of software that integrates with all major virtualisation platforms allows you to extend controlled provisioning privileges to users across your organisation, eliminating wasted resources that would have otherwise been archiving data and recycling old VMs that are no longer needed.

Virtual server sprawl can also be addressed through the use of cloud management software that is deeply integrated across multiple cloud providers, removing silos between your private and public cloud environments and allowing data and workloads to be moved between different cloud providers. This type of software combines all the control, security, encryption, and access management you expect from an on-premises solution with the speed, agility, and cost savings of the cloud.  

Finally, by integrating and simplifying hardware snapshot management, your IT team is freed to focus on service-level agreements and other high-value activities instead of grinding away at time-consuming manual tasks. Unlike vendor specific snapshot solutions, integrated snapshot software allows you to track the status and condition of all your hardware through a single view and enables better storage capacity mapping and planning. This type of snapshot management tackles the negative aspects of virtual server sprawl by allowing you to keep the big picture in mind.

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