Managing Challenging Applications by Automating Infrastructure Deployment

By: Bill Kleyman| - Leave a comment

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It’s pretty clear that organizations rely on their applications to function and conduct business. In fact, growth around virtualization, cloud, and digitization has placed even more reliance on applications. But what happens when these apps are legacy and pose a migration challenge?

Today, organizations are looking for better ways to tie in infrastructure deployment with good application management. In working with almost every vertical and industry in today’s market – data and, most of all, applications continue to be very serious stopping points. With ever-increasing spend for virtualization and cloud technologies – more organizations are running into application challenges. And, these are serious challenges as well. For example, some applications:

  • Pose challenges around complexity and management.
  • Force administrators to create manual management processes.
  • Are in silos and can’t be properly optimized.
  • Force legacy infrastructure to continue to operate; thereby increasing complexity.

So now what? You have several hundred applications (and maybe even some that you don’t know about) all sitting in your environment. Do you have a good single management console to work with? Are you introducing orchestration and automated tasks to better manage the application?

Automation Enables Digital Transformations – Fast

In today’s market, there are some very powerful automation, virtualization, and delivery technologies which are allowing for the very granular control of applications. Furthermore, these platforms allow administrators to carefully manage their unique requirements, and how to incorporate them into infrastructure deployment. So, if you’re facing a serious application challenge, remember that there are some great ways to overcome legacy challenges with new digital solutions.

Before we move on – there’s one very important point to make: If you’re hoping for one last chance to hang on to that legacy app and let it keep running as is – stop, and think about the cost to the business and your IT environment.

To manage legacy applications, data points, and workloads – there are number of things you have to consider:

  • You will potentially have to hold on to legacy infrastructure.
  • You’ll have to find people to spend time to support the append oftentimes manual processes of management.
  • You’ll need to potentially deprecate new, more optimal, systems to support this app.
  • Even if an application “still works” – you’re still potentially introducing poor cost economics and even potentially security risks.

To get beyond the legacy challenge, organizations will need to look at greater levels of automated processes to manage their applications and help with infrastructure control and deployment. Consider this, a recent Gartner report indicated that by 2020, autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in five percent of all economic transactions. Furthermore, technologies with the ability to proactively assemble and deliver information through automated engines are fostering a movement from human – to machine-generated business processes.

So, if you’re an admin reading this, and you know you have a legacy app in your environment – I’m sure you’re asking, “why should organizations adopt a more automated way to deliver applications? I can pretty much control the app today…”

Here’s the reality, when crafting an application strategy – know that automation and orchestration can alleviate many daunting management tasks. Furthermore, these technologies can create a much more agile and responsive business. This helps not only with IT tasks, but entire go-to-market strategies.

  • Automation directly simplifies resource provisioning and application deployment. The ever-increasing number of applications and data points absolutely have impacts on self-service provisioning and automation requirements. For example, DevOps teams rely heavily on automation and orchestration solutions to support continuous delivery and updates of modern applications. Furthermore, automated resource provisioning allows you to control valuable infrastructure resources and how they’re being distributed. To help entire DevOps teams better support the full life cycle of their requirements from a common platform and workflow model, orchestration and provisioning tools are converging to impact the way we control and deliver applications.
  • Infrastructure automation integrates with overall management. Managing growing environments can quickly become a complex and fragmented process. With complexity and fragmentation, you could seriously impact the way a business competes in the market. This is why we’re seeing continued growth in demand for robust hybrid cloud and automation solutions that allow for consistent provisioning, migration, and support for advanced cloud services. Furthermore, these requirements span across on premise and hosted private clouds as well as public cloud resources.
  • New digital tools integrate with data center, cloud, and virtualization technologies. Even if you’re a small organization, I have no doubt that you’re already working with a dozen or two applications; maybe even more. If you’re in the mid-market or enterprise space; your apps could number in the hundreds, if not even in the thousands. This is why it’s so critical to look at new tools around automation and orchestration which help wrap powerful controls around application environments. Furthermore, these systems help you with the deployment and delivery of these critical apps. For example, you can create work templates to ensure that your infrastructure is keeping pace with application requirements. Or, you can orchestrate specific application tasks to remove time-consuming manual tasks. Then you can integrate your entire environment with various cloud services to truly enable business and data center agility. Remember, automation tools are also bridges into a variety of cloud services.

If you’re working with legacy applications, it’s time to take a step back and understand where these new types of tools can really make an impact for your infrastructure. By getting rid of manual processes, you help enable operational efficiencies. Virtualization and cloud tools directly integrate with automation systems to help manage everything from apps to users and their data. This level of management allows managers and administrators to take a much more proactive approach to control their environments.

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About The Author

Bill Kleyman

Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies

Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in datacenter design, management, and deployment. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, where he interacts with enterprise organizations and helps align IT strategies with direct business goals. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Data Center Knowledge, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. Most recently, Bill was ranked #16 in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape, globally.

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