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WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION

Infrastructure
Optimization Drives
Efficient Service Delivery
APRIL 2007

Melissa Hamilton Sargeant


CA S O LU T I O N S M A R K E T I N G
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

SECTION 1 2
Doing More — Much More — with Less
Reducing Costs
Improving Service Levels
Creating an Agile Infrastructure
The Infrastructure Optimization Vision

SECTION 2 4
Embracing Agile Service Delivery
A Service-Centric Approach
The Need for Planning
Infrastructure Optimization Solutions

SECTION 3 8
Benefits of an Optimized IT Infrastructure

SECTION 4 9
Conclusions

SECTION 5 9
References

SECTION 6 9
About the Author

ABOUT CA Back Cover

Copyright © 2007 CA. All rights reserved. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies. This document is for your informational purposes only. To the extent permitted
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Executive Summary
Challenge
IT is challenged to continuously improve service levels and meet ever-greater business
demands while holding the line on costs. Yet in many IT environments, key infrastructure
components must be managed manually. This increases IT complexity, negatively
impacts service and makes it difficult to control operating expenses because staff must
focus on performing day-to-day management tasks instead of improving service delivery.

To reduce operating and capital expenses, align with dynamic business needs and improve
service levels, the processes by which you monitor and manage the IT infrastructure
must be fully optimized and automated by policy. A resilient foundation is the essential
first step towards an agile IT infrastructure — one that can respond with speed and
flexibility while maximizing cost-efficiency.

Opportunity
A high degree of automation can reduce the risk of service degradation, minimize both
operating and capital costs and accelerate time-to-value for business-driven initiatives.
Once routine tasks are fully automated, IT is much better able to shift as business
priorities shift — as well as to optimize service to users. As your infrastructure becomes
more robust, agile and fully in alignment with business drivers, IT can become a true
strategic partner in business enablement and value creation.

Infrastructure optimization encompasses the consolidation, centralization, streamlining


and automation by policy of today’s diverse IT environments. Its goal is to enable you to
manage core systems like a service, so you can proactively identify problems, improve
reliability and control costs.

Benefits
When the processes by which you monitor and manage your IT infrastructure are fully
optimized and automated by policy, you can:
• Reduce overall IT costs
• Improve the productivity of IT staff
• Gain insight into how the status of IT assets relate to business services
• Respond with speed and flexibility to changing business needs
• Optimize service quality by addressing concerns quickly and proactively
• Make IT a strategic partner in business operations
• Create a reliable foundation for service delivery

WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION 1


SECTION 1

Doing More — Much More — with Less


IT organizations face relentless pressure to continuously improve service levels and address
ever-changing business priorities, all on a flat or shrinking budget.

To balance these conflicting demands and develop the agility to become a true strategic
partner in the business, the processes by which you monitor and manage the IT infrastructure
must be fully optimized and automated by policy. A resilient foundation — one that runs like a
service — is the essential first step towards an IT infrastructure that responds to business
needs with speed and flexibility while maximizing cost-efficiency.

In many IT shops today, key infrastructure operations like network management, database
management and job scheduling are managed in a highly manual, labor-intensive and error-
prone manner. This inevitably makes it difficult to control operating expenses because staff
must focus on tactical, day-to-day activities versus addressing more strategic concerns. A lack
of automation also adds complexity to IT management processes and increases the risk of
problems that impact service. Figure A illustrates these challenges.

FIGURE A INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION CHALLENGES


A complex infrastructure, limited
resources and reliance on manual CHALLENGE IT IMPACT BUSINESS IMPACT
processes serve to mutually compound
a similar set of problems.
Complex Infrastructure
• Diverse IT environment • Difficult to manage • Increased operating and
• Geographically dispersed • Limited insight capital expenses
• Few standards and processes • Inability to fix problems quickly • Reduced infrastructure
reliability and performance
• Inconsistent service delivery
and quality

Limited Resources
• Small IT staff • Reactive, fire-fighting mode • Increased operating expenses
• Pressured to deliver more • Decreased IT productivity • Reduced infrastructure
with less • Reduced infrastructure agility reliability and performance
• Day-to-day management • Challenged to keep pace with
focus changing business demands

Manual Processes
• Resource intensive • Difficult to manage and resolve • Increased operating expenses
• Prone to error problems quickly • Increased risks
• Require overlapping point • Decreased infrastructure agility • Reduced infrastructure
products to manage • Increased complexity reliability and performance
infrastructure • Challenged to keep pace with
changing business demands
• Inconsistent service delivery
and quality

2 WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION


Reducing Costs
Most enterprises spend upwards of 70% of their total IT budget on infrastructure. These costs
can be difficult to control because, despite ongoing investments in point solutions to monitor
and manage core infrastructure components, the day-to-day management of IT operations is a
manual, resource-intensive and error-prone process. This approach is not only inefficient, but
provides limited insight to support the strategic decisions that keep IT services aligned with
business requirements.

Policy-based automation improves efficiency, reduces human errors and streamlines


operations, thus enabling IT staff to be more productive. Automation also lets IT focus on
strategic issues rather than daily maintenance.

Improving Service Levels


Consistent service delivery and high service quality are directly related to the reliability and
performance of the IT infrastructure. When the IT infrastructure is diverse, complex and
managed by manual intervention, the root causes of service degradations become difficult to
pinpoint. This puts both Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and business processes at risk.

Comprehensive insight into your infrastructure enables you to make better, more business-
centric decisions so you can correct problems efficiently, improve performance and increase
service quality.

Creating an Agile Infrastructure


IT often is so focused on day-to-day administrative and service-related issues that it can be
difficult to proactively manage, support and adapt to changing business demands. The
complexity of today’s distributed and largely non-standardized environments exacerbate this
problem. Furthermore, cost constraints force IT departments to get more from their existing
infrastructures with fewer staff and resources. As a result, they cannot add staff to address the
need for new services to drive business value and growth.

A high degree of automation combined with the insight to make business-centric decisions
reduces the risk of service degradation, minimizes both operating and capital costs and
accelerates time-to-value for business-driven initiatives. Insight and automation make IT much
better able to shift as business priorities shift — as well as to optimize service to users.

The Infrastructure Optimization Vision


The emerging vision for Infrastructure Optimization encompasses the consolidation,
correlation, automation and streamlining of today’s IT management point solutions across
heterogeneous enterprise IT environments. The goal is to enable you to manage your core
systems in a centralized manner, automate and enforce policy and proactively identify
problems to improve reliability and control costs. When the infrastructure is optimized in this
way it can be monitored and managed end-to-end in an integrated, business-centric fashion,
providing a solid foundation to support the agile delivery of critical business services.

WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION 3


SECTION 2

Embracing Agile Service Delivery


To deliver ever-higher service quality and support business-relevant services while driving
down costs and maintaining staffing levels, enterprise IT organizations must undergo a
paradigm shift. IT is shifting its focus from a traditional orientation on managing technology
silos (platforms, networks, storage, databases) to the delivery of services in alignment with
business needs. Infrastructure Optimization is a key element in this process.

As the transformation progresses, IT has the opportunity to reduce infrastructure complexity;


automate inefficient, resource-intensive management efforts; and mitigate the business risk
associated with service degradation and outages. To capitalize on this opportunity, IT must
extract maximum efficiency and value from current assets and human resources. To build a
solid foundation for agile service delivery, IT must define, refine, standardize and automate its
infrastructure management processes, in alignment with best practices such as the IT
Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) framework.

In this new paradigm it is no longer enough to simply guarantee server availability, for example.
Instead, IT must manage server performance, reduce manual effort and the errors it introduces
and develop the flexibility to reallocate resources to ensure business continuity and meet
dynamic business needs — across the enterprise, not just on one or a few platforms.

A Service-Centric Approach
In an effort to move toward greater business alignment and more agile service, many
organizations have purchased multiple automation products with overlapping capabilities for
everything from service management to database management to provisioning to configuration
management to workload automation to performance management to IT process automation
to lights-out system administration. While these individual products add value, they typically
do not integrate or coexist well with one another, thus requiring IT administrators to manage
them intensively. This strains limited resources, increases operating costs and jeopardizes
compliance with SLAs. Ultimately, costs and management complexity rise — keeping the vision
of a resilient, agile, utility-grade infrastructure out of reach.

INSIGHT IS VITAL First steps toward Infrastructure Optimization focus on enabling you to
consolidate and correlate information, so you can gain a comprehensive view of your
infrastructure, including the full complement of information to enable effective analysis and
business-centric decision-making.

The benefits of insight into IT operations are broad; providing the framework for more robust
IT services on an ongoing basis. Within this complete picture you can identify and prioritize
problems and changes from the standpoint of how they impact the business. Service delivery
becomes much more consistent and service quality improves. IT management activities are
inherently more efficient because they are both well-targeted and more proactive. In short: IT
can become an “always on” service that keeps pace with change.

4 WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION


INSIGHT SUPPORTS AUTOMATION The comprehensive Infrastructure Optimization approach
leverages insight into IT operations to guide automation by policy and end-to-end streamlining
of your entire environment. Automation eliminates resource-intensive and error-prone
management tasks, enabling you to successfully reduce operating and capital costs, seamlessly
address dynamic business priorities and improve the delivery and performance of critical
business services.

If any area of the infrastructure performs sub-optimally, service delivery — and ultimately
business activities — will suffer. Therefore, in observing the Infrastructure Optimization trend
as it gathers momentum, industry analysts consistently recommend that IT executives evaluate
vendors on the comprehensiveness of their solution portfolio.

A FOUNDATION FOR BUSINESS SERVICE MANAGEMENT As you optimize the backbone of your
IT infrastructure, you create the foundation for optimizing the quality of service you deliver to
the business: Business Service Management. An optimized IT infrastructure is what makes it
possible to synthesize business-centric service metrics; manage incidents, problems and
changes from the standpoint of business users; and match service to demand. The more
mature and optimized your infrastructure, the more effective and strategically beneficial your
Business Service Management efforts will be.

The Need for Planning


Infrastructure Optimization initiatives represent an ongoing journey rather than a destination.
There is no “one size fits all” approach or solution that can meet a company’s broad-based
needs. Most organizations will approach Infrastructure Optimization incrementally, based on a
pragmatic, phased implementation plan that orchestrates the effort across IT.

At each step, the plan should account for issues like addressing key business priorities,
managing costs, mitigating technology and business risks and leveraging current investments
in third-party products. What are the most important things to fix first? What are the security,
regulatory and governance implications? Is our infrastructure sufficiently mature to wring
benefits from this technology at this time?

Every enterprise will weigh different factors in determining its way forward. Likewise, there is
no fixed starting point beyond recognizing the need to evolve towards more efficient operations
that focus on business priorities, including a commitment to a best-practices approach such as
ITIL. Some companies will choose to focus first on optimizing the network, for example, while
for others the first step might be to implement a robust, federated Configuration Management
Database (CMDB).

By working closely with technology vendors and other partners and establishing clear goals,
you can generate insight to guide an implementation plan that will yield continuous service
improvement and measurable return on investment. It is also essential that you frankly assess
your current process maturity level. The Gartner IT Management Process Maturity Model
(Figure B) provides an effective point of reference to gauge both your starting point and your
progress over time.1
1 Source: Gartner, Inc., “Data Center Conference Polling Indicates Improvement in IT Management Process Maturity,” Debra Curtis, February 2007

WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION 5


FIGURE B GARTNER’S IT MANAGEMENT PROCESS MATURITY MODEL
Assessing your maturity level now
and over time supports long-range
planning.

According to Gartner, “Gartner’s IT Management Process Maturity Model shows how IT


organizations evolve toward higher levels of IT management process maturity. Gartner first
presented the model in July 1999 to help IT organizations plot a course toward service
management and value creation. Understanding where your IT organization is positioned in the
model will help you develop a long-term investment plan in people, process development and
technology to improve maturity levels.”

THE ROLE OF ITIL IN INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION INITIATIVES The Infrastructure


Optimization vision is aligned with the ITIL standard. The ITIL framework provides best
practices guidance for implementing Infrastructure Optimization, as well as for organizations
seeking greater efficiency and business alignment in their core IT processes as steps toward
Infrastructure Optimization.

By promoting a shift in focus from the IT systems themselves to the customers of the services
the systems provide, ITIL fosters a culture of continuous improvement in IT service quality. This
viewpoint is central to the maturation of the business/IT relationship. Further, ITIL can help IT
control costs by advocating a top-down, business-centric approach to problem resolution and
by enabling IT to better manage the stress and disruption of change going forward.

6 WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION


Infrastructure Optimization Solutions
Infrastructure Optimization leverages a range of automated capabilities at the infrastructure
level to gain insight into the performance of IT assets in relation to business processes and
user-defined service levels. A range of enabling technologies provides these capabilities (Figure
C). These technologies provide insight into the IT infrastructure, enabling administrators to
take corrective actions, manage assets and improve performance. They also impart automation
capabilities that streamline end-to-end management of the infrastructure while eliminating
human error, reducing costs and improving service delivery.

The enabling technologies most critical to Infrastructure Optimization include:

SERVICE AVAILABILITY MANAGEMENT to optimize business-driven IT operations and ensure


consistently superior IT services by consolidating and correlating user-centric performance and
event information across your IT infrastructure.

NETWORK & VOICE MANAGEMENT to simplify management, reduce costs and improve
performance and availability across integrated, multi-vendor, multi-technology networks,
including both legacy voice and Voice over IP (VoIP).

DATABASE MANAGEMENT to help reduce the cost of database ownership across both
mainframe and distributed platforms by supporting improved availability and more efficient
administration.

APPLICATION PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT to ensure compliance with user-defined service


levels for all business-critical processes by enabling IT to proactively prioritize and address
infrastructure problems from the viewpoint of the business — before users “feel the pain.”

WORKLOAD AUTOMATION to reduce costs and improve the delivery of business-critical


services by dynamically automating workloads and schedules in real time across multiplatform
environments based on events, policies and schedules.

DYNAMIC & VIRTUAL SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT to reduce IT cost and complexity by centralizing
and automating the monitoring and management of diverse, distributed system environments.

RECOVERY MANAGEMENT to reduce cost and business risk while meeting business continuity
requirements through a common, automated foundation for data protection and recovery,
enterprise-wide.

WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION 7


FIGURE C ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION
A range of enabling technologies
provide the capabilities that drive
Infrastructure Optimization.

SECTION 3

Benefits of an Optimized IT Infrastructure


Realizing the Infrastructure Optimization vision empowers IT organizations to run the
infrastructure like a service — delivering utility-grade reliability and availability that seamlessly
supports dynamic business operations. This kind of solid foundation:
• Reduces both capital and operating costs through improved efficiency and automation
across the entire infrastructure. Some of the ways you can accomplish this include:
– Gaining insight into the infrastructure to manage assets proactively and identify problems
before they impact your business and bottom line
– Automating IT processes to reduce the risk of human error and reduce overall tactical
effort on the part of IT staff
– Reducing infrastructure complexity to improve service delivery
– Rationalizing multiple, overlapping point solutions
• Ensures the delivery and quality of critical business services
• Improves responsiveness to the ever-changing needs of the business
• Reduces infrastructure downtime
• Improves your ability to identify problems anywhere in the infrastructure before they impact
business users and compromise SLAs
• Improves infrastructure performance, reliability and productivity
• Enables you to focus on strategic projects that drive competitive advantage and help grow
the business
• Optimizes the value of current infrastructure investments (servers, networks, etc.)
• Compresses time-to-market for new services without the need to add IT staff
• Moves beyond just managing the IT infrastructure to becoming a strategic partner in
business enablement — leveraging your company’s IT investments in new ways that define
new markets and offerings and drive long-term competitive advantage

8 WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION


SECTION 4

Conclusions
To create a resilient, agile IT infrastructure that is straightforward and cost-effective to manage,
delivers seamless service to the business and can even drive competitive advantage, you need
a comprehensive solution that streamlines infrastructure management end-to-end while
optimizing performance, reliability and long-term, strategic value.

Many organizations have already tried initiatives like data center consolidation, applying IT
operational best practices and so on. These initiatives alone are not broad-based enough to
deliver the long-term benefits of a utility-grade service and the ability to respond seamlessly to
dynamic business requirements.

What IT requires is a comprehensive approach that incorporates end-to-end, policy-based


automation and provides consolidated, up-to-date performance information to proactively
identify problems, increase administrative efficiency and drive down costs.

When you have a robust, automated and integrated environment that is centrally managed to
deliver the right information about how the infrastructure is serving the business, you can make
faster, better-informed decisions, allocate resources most efficiently and respond proactively to
incidents, problems and changes.

At this level of process maturity IT can deliver high-quality, business-oriented services cost-
effectively while maintaining the agility to meet changing business demands. That is the vision
of Infrastructure Optimization.

SECTION 5

References
Gartner, Inc., “Data Center Conference Polling Indicates Improvement in IT Management
Process Maturity,” Debra Curtis, February 2007

SECTION 6

About the Author


Melissa Hamilton Sargeant has been developing and marketing software products for more
than 16 years. Currently, she serves as Director of Solutions Marketing at CA. Prior to CA, she
was Vice President of Marketing for wireless security innovator Bluefire Security Technologies.
Mrs. Sargeant also has held senior marketing positions at Mercator Software, Guardent,
BioNetrix Systems Corporation, Digex, Landmark Systems Corporation and COMSAT.

WHITE PAPER: INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION 9


CA, one of the world’s largest information technology (IT)
management software companies, unifies and simplifies
complex IT management across the enterprise for greater
business results. With our Enterprise IT Management vision,
solutions and expertise, we help customers effectively
govern, manage and secure IT.

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