Taking IT Management Services to a Cloud

While IT management services represent a mature subject in the IT business arena, the emerging cloud generation of management services require critical enhancements to the current processes and technologies in order to deliver IT management remotely with rapid on-boarding and minimal labor involvement from experts, to be affordable and scale up to the promise of the cloud. Traditional Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) service providers use their own Network Operations Centers (NOC) to remotely monitor and manage customers’ IT infrastructure. The primary business value for RIM services is that it helps global enterprises to small and medium businesses (SMB) to outsource the burden of managing their IT infrastructure, thus cutting down costs for infrastructure management and gaining access to expert skills. Although the IT management service itself delivered this way is more affordable, the RIM customer on-boarding process particularly is not, taking between one to two months of expensive labor. The multiple face to face or phone interactions with the customer to discover their IT environment, identify the resources to be managed and guide the enablement of the environment for remote management is proving increasingly ineffective and especially unscalable. This paper describes what and how IT management processes, technologies and skills can be improved to provide remote customer on-boarding at an appropriate speed for delivery from the cloud. Our contributions consist of major enhancements in a key on-boarding area, namely IT discovery. Experimental results show that our approach aligns the RIM on-boarding methods to the cloud expectations both from a time as well as quality perspective.

By: Michael R. Head, Anca Sailer; Hidayatullah Shaikh, Mahesh Viswanathan

Published in: 2009 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, 2009 IEEE,, p.175-82 in 2009


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