Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail – Quick Wins for your Business

2017-planning-01By: Kent Erickson >>
Every year at this time hundreds of people make predictions about the coming year. It’s fun to guess at a few things, but when it comes to your own business it might be better to look back over last year’s trends and make a plan for next year accordingly. Here are four trends I’ve noticed – maybe you’ll find a quick win for next year’s bonus.

You’re likely spending more with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure than you are with HP, IBM and Dell.

• AWS revenues for this quarter, or next, are going to be bigger than any server vendor’s revenues. Compare Amazon AWS revenues to IDC server market share reports for details.
• Embrace the cloud. There are great solutions, like Cisco’s Cliqr acquisition, that make it really easy to develop and deploy applications to your datacenter or your cloud of choice. Don’t worry about “shadow IT,” instead support and love it.
• But recognize that you’re not going to move everything to the cloud. Virtualization has been around for fifteen years, and I bet a quarter of your operating systems are still running on bare metal. V2C and P2C will take years to execute.

“Bimodal” has evolved to “hybrid”.

• You know what’s tough? Splitting your IT team in half and running independent sets of processes for the cloud and data center and expecting that to lead to improvements.
• Instead, identify key processes that should support cloud and physical environments and connect specialist tools to those processes. For example, nearly all Zenoss customers are managing applications that run in the cloud and in their datacenters from one system, and automatically feeding issues (with root cause identified, naturally) to ServiceNow. We’ve got data center customers using Cisco UCS Director for provisioning side by side with Puppet and Chef for AWS workload setup, with monitoring provisioned automatically as part of the workflow.

There are great reasons to dramatically simplify branch office networking.

• Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solutions are stable and ready to deploy. You can speed remote employee access to cloud applications, reduce expensive MPLS bandwidth, easily improve availability, and simplify your administrative life. And implementing a new solution for 1,000 branches can be done by a couple people in less than six months. Check out our case study.
• In addition to the just-a-few-months payback from the SD-WAN itself, you’ll be able to quickly add the entire WAN to your data center application model, greatly reducing the time it takes to locate customer issues. Operations with the win!

Mature software-defined networking (SDN) solutions in the data center exist, and you can increase security and reduce configuration time by 10x with the same staff.

• Chief security officers are terrified about the potential effects of network breaches, and are demanding micro-segmentation, white-list networking, application firewalls and more.
• While we see organizations generally running at 1,000+ servers per administrator, most still run at 40 switches/routers per administrator. You’ll need a different approach to handle the “right now” security demands.
Cisco ACI broadly, and the more virtualization focused VMware NSX give you the efficiency you need to automatically configure networks for applications, with full security and rapid provisioning.
• But data center SDN crosses team boundaries, just as VMware virtualization and Cisco UCS made server admins responsible for LAN and SAN settings. With the Zenoss model extending visibility and impact analysis for applications from network to operating system to hypervisor, compute, and storage, Zenoss customers are able to get immediate buy-in from everyone for data center SDN.

Talk to a Zenoss representative today, and let us help you win in 2017. I predict promotions and bonuses will follow success!