Cloud and IT Optimization is in the Spotlight at Pulse 2013

Cloud and IT Optimization is in the Spotlight at Pulse 2013

Service Management in Action

The promise of cloud computing is very compelling indeed: superior service delivery at lower costs requiring less manual attention, all of which translates into improved agility and a better business outcome.

But cloud is also a rapidly evolving subject, and certainly not a case of one-size-fits all. Cloud architectures involve many complexities, support different models of implementation and management, and require considerable thought if best results are to be achieved. Where can you go to get the latest information—ideally, in the shortest amount of time?

Answer: Pulse 2013, to be held in Las Vegas from March 3-6 at the MGM Grand Hotel. Cloud and IT Optimization will not only be one of the streams at the event, but will be a particularly information-rich stream—featuring a remarkable 228 sessions on relevant topics of all kinds.

This diversity of information means that attendees can dial in an educational experience that closely meets their needs—returning to their organizations not just better informed about cloud and IT optimization in general, but the specific aspects required to drive positive transformation in their own cases.

And at the Pulse Open Cloud Summit, offered at no charge on Sunday, they'll also get a chance to interact with cloud specialists and industry leaders—asking direct questions about interoperability and open standards, while getting helpful answers.

IT Service Management

"No single asset is as important to any organization as its data—and the question of how best that data should be protected, given increasingly complex and diverse IT infrastructures, is increasingly difficult to answer."

ITIL best practices suggest that for best results, the focus should remain on services—not technical domains—and how well those services are meeting user and customer needs. But what's the best way to move from that abstract idea to an up-and-running, optimized infrastructure?

Answers can be found in this track, which discusses the subject in the context of how services are delivered, and how the assets involved in delivering them are continually monitored, maintained, and managed over their full lifecycles. It's no coincidence the IBM Tivoli suite of solutions is called a "service management portfolio"—IBM Tivoli solutions provide the full visibility, control, and automation needed to understand how business and IT conditions are changing and what steps need to be taken in response, and they do so quickly and consistently.

Furthermore, IBM Tivoli solutions can be deployed and integrated in virtually any infrastructure—whether simple distributed, mainframe, virtualized, and of course clouds—to address tasks like service requests, change and configuration, asset management, and service provisioning. By working cooperatively, Tivoli solutions can help organizations keep their eyes on the big picture—the quality of service being rendered, and the business outcome being generated—and spend less time worrying about the specific technical details involved.

Operations, Network, and Application Performance Management

Business workloads change dynamically and often quite unpredictably. How well does your IT infrastructure keep pace and respond?

That's a difficult question for many organizations to answer, and in cases where the answers aren't particularly favorable, neither is the business bottom line.

Fortunately, IBM Tivoli solutions can help. This track explores how they do so in areas like application performance management, in which it's important to ensure that some services don't consume too many resources (such as computing power), and instead to prioritize resource allocation, so that services with the highest business priority can also perform at the highest levels.

Similarly, applications play a key role in delivering services to end users or external customers and clients—yet because they're often implemented in a complex way, spanning multiple systems and involving multiple data repositories, it can be hard to trace bottlenecks to root causes. Tivoli solutions such as IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Management are directly on point not just in performing such analyses, but doing so with remarkable speed and accuracy—helping organizations keep the business impact of an underperforming application to a minimum.

Big Data and Analytics

Data volumes are increasingly seen as a problem that IT must cope with—but what if, instead, they're a hidden source of business intelligence?

That's the premise of this track, which begins with the idea that mass quantities of data (such as, for instance, social media data, or IT performance data, or business sales data) can be aggregated and analyzed to discover hidden patterns or trends.

Then, once the trends are discovered, new strategies can be created to take advantage of the discoveries—by aligning services more closely with actual customer interests, for instance, or by anticipating and solving an IT problem that hasn't yet occurred, or by preparing for a change in seasons or demand levels (such as weather-related power expenses or holiday-related sales spikes of a particular product).

IBM's leadership in this field is clear and getting clearer every year—consider, for instance, the success of the Watson project, which defeated multiple Jeopardy! champions in a real-time competition. Algorithms originally developed for Watson are now being applied in new and exciting ways; by attending sessions in this track, you can find out more.

Best Practices in Cloud Computing and Virtualization

If you're interested in cloud, and already quite familiar with the potential benefits, the next question is likely to be: "Which cloud model is best suited for my needs, and how best should I implement that model?"

The earliest model, for instance—public cloud computing—involves migrating workloads to a third-party cloud service provider, and certainly that model is attractive for reasons such as reduced costs and management complexities. It may not be as well suited for workloads that involve particularly sensitive user data, though, or that require completely predictable performance; for those, a private cloud, owned and controlled exclusively by your organization, may be a better fit. And, of course, the hybrid cloud model involves multiple clouds, between which information flows so that part of the workload is handled in one cloud and part in another.

In this track, best practices pertaining to all three of these models will be discussed, exploring specifics that apply in some detail and discussing how real-world organizations developed such best practices in the first place.

For instance, if you're interested in developing a private cloud, you'll certainly want to know how to integrate it with the existing infrastructure, how to ensure that security and government regulation complexities can be addressed, and how to get it up and running in the least amount of time—and at the lowest costs. By attending the appropriate sessions, you can find out.

Unified Recovery and Storage

No single asset is as important to any organization as its data—and the question of how best that data should be protected, given increasingly complex and diverse IT infrastructures, is increasingly difficult to answer.

One excellent approach to getting the best protection for, and business value from, data is to optimize the way storage is implemented and managed over time. And that means taking into account everything related to storage, from the specifics of the hardware (should you use solid-state drives for highest performance in some cases?) to backup and recovery (are backup times exceeding target windows of operation, and are you really backing up all data as frequently as its business priority demands?) as well as related best practices and business processes.

Fortunately, IBM offers a complete range of storage solutions—not just hardware and software, but also the insights needed to get the highest utilization and value from them, as demonstrated by successful customer engagements and the case studies they've generated. This track will discuss all of these subjects in complete detail.

Collaborative Development and Operations

The old paradigm of development and operations—namely, that they are separated by a wall and work in isolation from each other—is increasingly seen as a problem to be solved. Today, it's understood that each of these two groups is likely to benefit from better understanding the other—how it works, what kinds of problems it's facing, and how those problems might be easier to solve if relevant information were available from the other team.

For instance, if development knew exactly what kinds of technical issues users are reporting about in-production applications to operations, it would be easier and faster to ensure those issues are resolved in the next release. And if operations could share exact information about its systems with development early in the development lifecycle, the odds would be higher that applications would perform as expected, once rolled into production.

This track will illustrate how issues like this can be resolved via IBM's standardized platform and open interfaces, which are specifically designed to empower both operations and development teams with a window into the other side. By linking key solutions and key information across domains, applications can be developed faster, with fewer bugs, and lower maintenance costs—ultimately generating more business value as a result.

Automated Operations Technical Council: Auto Ops on System z and Distributed

System automation is the subject of this track—and a critical subject it is, too, if workloads are going to continue to execute properly and services are going to continue to be available.

Part of the challenge is that workloads are implemented in different ways; for instance, some organizations use a mainframe such as an IBM System z, some use distributed systems instead, and some use both. The goal should be to maximize service uptime and optimize workload execution regardless of the infrastructure, supporting management tasks via a unified platform that can address both mainframe and distributed environments. The IBM Tivoli System Automation family is exactly that—and in this track, you can learn everything you need to know to realize its benefits in your own context.

Pulse Open Cloud Summit

Finally, a cloud summit will be offered to attendees on Sunday afternoon from 2-6 p.m. on the subject of open standards, and the important part they can play in ensuring that clouds are a truly unified and interoperable platform of IT service delivery that can integrate as needed to accomplish business tasks—no matter whether clouds are private, public, or hybrid. Attendance is free, so mark your calendars. Register today!

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Pulse 2013 (March 3-6 in Las Vegas) is the industry’s premier event for optimizing the value of your business infrastructures – and all the services and products that they deliver. Scott Hebner, IBM Tivoli VP of Marketing, wants to see you there.
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