All posts by Steve Beaver

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

Bringing About Change

BusinessAgilityBringing about change. One of the hardest things to bring about is change, and there is no place where that is truer than in the world of IT. When anything happens in the environment, the most common response from IT professionals is, “What changed?” That almost sounds like a Family Feud question, but I digress. The irony of that response is that most of the work that happens in the data center is driven by changes, change tasks, or incidents. Resistance to change has to do with the method and procedure involved with completing the changes or closing the incidents. Continue reading Bringing About Change

Philosophies of Automation

BusinessAgilityIn my opinion, three main areas, or segments, are established for automation in the modern-day data center. The first segment is provisioning, the next is second-day operations, and the last, to complete lifecycle management, is the decommissioning process. Every data center is similar to others, but what makes each different is the choice of technologies used in its environment. In this article, I focus on philosophies of automation used in data centers.

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Tools of the 21st Century Data Centers

BusinessAgilityWhat helps make up 21st century data centers? In my last article, I focused on the automation aspect of the modern-day data center. My main point was that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing which automation engine to use in your environment. There are plenty of options available, and you should make your decision based on which solution makes the most sense for your environment and the systems that are running on it. You should also take advantage of other automation tools or engines that may be provided as part of another solution. Native functionality that is vendor-provided is a gift that should be opened and taken advantage of. Continue reading Tools of the 21st Century Data Centers

Orchestration in the 21st Century Data Centers

BusinessAgilityAutomation has evolved from its humble beginnings as a local basic scheduler kicking off scripts and tasks into an enterprise-level tool used in most, if not all, of the unique silos that encompass corporate IT. In this article, I focus on some of the different kinds of automation engines that are in use. This post will not even begin to touch on all of the different products and solutions that are out there, and I certainly won’t claim that there is any one right way or tool. However, I would like to go on record to say that, in my humble opinion, there is one primary wrong answer with automation, and that wrong answer is to be completely dependent on any one solution or product itself.

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Support in the 21st Century: Bringing About Change

BusinessAgilityIn my first article of this series on Support in the 21st Century, I laid out my thoughts about the baseline expectations for the corporate support model and structure established at most companies. This is where I first brought up technology silos and presented the correlation between the number of technology silos and the size of the infrastructure.

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Support in the 21st Century. What Works? What Doesn’t?

BusinessAgilityIn my last article, I laid out the baseline expectations for the support model and structure at most companies. In the past twenty years or so, these have been my observations and expectations any time I have started any new assignment in a new company. When starting a new position in a new company, there is a certain level of comfort, which comes from experience, in having at least a basic understanding of what to expect. There is always a technical learning curve that comes with anything new, but it makes the transition easier having a basic understanding of how things will be supported. That concept has served me well over the years. However, just as virtualization and cloud computing have changed the data center landscape, I think change in the support structure is well on its way. Now would be a good time to have a look at what works and what doesn’t.

Continue reading Support in the 21st Century. What Works? What Doesn’t?