The cloud is transforming the way companies operate and manage their IT infrastructures. Many organizations are offloading parts of their IT infrastructure to the cloud, as technology architectures have expanded far beyond traditional data center walls to embrace the power of cloud computing.
Private and Public Clouds
In fact, there are now many private and public clouds available, such as Amazon EC2, Azure, and Google App Engine, where companies can efficiently and economically host various components of their environments. Companies these days find themselves managing an IT infrastructure that starts with their on-premise data centers, and extends to the public and private clouds that are emerging. At the same time, this infrastructure still needs to be managed from an asset and service standpoint.
IT Asset Management and the Cloud
This new paradigm has created a fundamental shift in IT management methodologies. For example, from an IT asset management (ITAM) perspective, these public and private clouds run some of a company’s servers. And, these servers – as well as their hardware and software configurations – must be audited, logged, and tracked in the same way that any on-premise devices are, regardless of their virtual being in the cloud.
If these cloud-based systems are managed separately (or more likely, not managed at all), then enterprise-wide ITAM activities will be incomplete and ineffective. At the end of the day, the same needs and drivers for using an enterprise ITAM system applies when parts of your infrastructure are running in the cloud. Software license compliance, IT audit and meeting regulatory requirements are important issues that can not be ignored in the cloud era.
IT Service Management and the Cloud
IT service management (ITSM) strategies, specifically incident management, problem management, and change management, are all impacted by the shift to cloud computing models as well. Similar principles and policies will need to be applied to these cloud-based servers, like they are adhered to with internal infrastructure. For example, when incidents or problems with cloud-based servers occur, organizations must address and resolve them via the same procedures and workflows put in place to support on-premise systems. IT still has to meet SLA’s when parts of his infrastructure has moved to the cloud.
Change management is another aspect to consider. When ongoing problems call for changes to a cloud-based server, the same exact procedures must be followed and documented accordingly. If cloud-based infrastructure is not managed using the same standards as on-site ones, their performance and reliability – and ultimately their value – can be seriously hindered, resulting in increased management and service costs.
Unified ITAM and ITSM with SAManage
SAManage SaaS-based IT Asset and Service management solutions are designed to provide a single, integrated platform that enables companies to productively and economically manage their on-premise infrastructure, as well as any cloud-based solutions. As a result, customers can monitor, assess, and support all their assets – via a single solution – regardless of their deployment model or location. And, because it’s a SaaS-based system, our service is tightly aligned with new clouds, right from the start.
Our IT asset management capabilities facilitate the end-to-end management of on-site and cloud-based virtual servers, from the time they are acquired and installed, until they are replaced. Users can track each asset’s hardware or software configuration, determine its virtual location (i.e. what cloud it runs in), and plan and monitor any changes in real-time.
And with our IT service management capabilities, support teams can receive, track, and resolve incidents and service requests related to both on-premise and cloud-based systems, and view and analyze the support histories of both types of assets, from a single intuitive portal. Problems related to cloud infrastructure can also be efficiently handled, grouped logically and linked to requests for change (RFCs), and modified to best meet the needs of end users.