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Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

IT Metrics Drive Enterprise IT Cost Visibility

The IT organization is moving toward a centralized internal IT service provider model

Many organizations are focusing on IT metrics and metering to generate IT cost savings. Here's a quick summary of how one organization is using metering of IT resource consumption to improve IT cost visibility and move from being a cost center to an internal service provider.

Company and IT Overview
The Company operates a 24-hour cable network that reaches about 100 million US homes and a web site that has more than 60 million users per month. The Company is divided into two primary business units, each with their own P&L.

The IT organization is moving toward a centralized internal IT service provider model that supports both lines of business. The IT infrastructure is owned and operated by the Company with approximately 400 physical servers and 700 virtual servers across the business. The majority of the virtual servers are running open source Xen Server, but the Company also uses VMware vSphere for virtualizing Windows workloads.

Challenges
The Company was challenged with a lack of accurate IT metrics, cost data and visibility into consumption across a highly diverse infrastructure, hypervisor, and application environment.

  • Limited IT resource metrics
  • Because the Company was running a highly virtualized infrastructure with multiple hypervisors, getting accurate and comprehensive data on how the IT resources were being consumed was extremely difficult. The IT group knew they could improve the business value they delivered to the Company through utility metering their infrastructures, but they didn't have a mechanism to get a complete view of how their IT resources were being consumed by virtual machines or even how much a particular department or user was consuming.

    • Inefficient project budgeting

    As an IT-intensive organization, the Company's business initiatives required a significant amount of IT resources - compute, storage, networking, etc. As projects were requested IT resources were provisioned. When a project was requested for which there wasn't sufficient resources, that project was saddled with the entire cost of the next infrastructure investment.

    • Inaccurate cost and profitability data

    After numerous iterations of project challenges because of IT cost misallocation, the Company recognized their methodology heavily skewed IT and business initiative costs, making accurate costing and project profitability determinations nearly impossible.

    Solutions
    The Company adopted 6fusion's innovative SaaS based UC6 platform and Cloud Resource Meter to meter all machines in the Company's IT environment, both physical and virtual across multiple hypervisors. Their infrastructure now includes Cloud Resource Meter for VMware and Cloud Resource Meter for Xen, and they plan to deploy Cloud Resource Meter for Linux on their physical machine environments to expand visibility across that infrastructure as well.

    Results

    • Shift to an Internal Service Provider

    Cloud Resource Meter has been a key component in the IT group's move from being a cost center to an internal service provider.

    • IT Project Budgeting Transformation

    Using this technology has enabled the Company to deliver accurate IT metrics, cost and business initiative profitability, transforming their business process and putting IT in a leadership role in the Company.

    • Detailed IT metric reporting

    The Company now has the ability to provide detailed real time and historical reports on IT resource consumption, from the department level down to the individual VM level.

    • Workload orchestration

    6fusion's platform gives the Company the ability to provide end-user self-service for deploying and managing workloads across private and public cloud environments.

    • Built-In Hybrid Cloud

    Because 6fusion provides access to a federated network of public cloud providers using the same technology, the Company now has the ability to leverage a hybrid or public cloud model when the Company is ready.

     

    The post IT metrics drive enterprise IT cost visibility appeared first on 6fusion.

    Read the original blog entry...

    More Stories By John Cowan

    John Cowan is co-founder and CEO of 6fusion. John is credited as 6fusion's business model visionary, bridging concepts and services behind cloud computing to the IT Service channel. In 2008, he along with his 6fusion collaborators successfully launched the industry's first single unit of meausurement for x86 computing, known as the Workload Allocation Cube (WAC). John is a 12 year veteran of business and product development within the IT and Telecommunications sectors and a graduate of Queen's University at Kingston.

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