lunes, 18 de abril de 2011

Data Center Specialists Expand IT Automation Possibilities with Portal Solution

WinWorkers helps businesses streamline data centers with automation and virtualization. WinWorkers specializes in the Microsoft System Center family of system management products, and it became an early adopter of the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal V2.0. The company is using the portal to help customers simplify data centers and move toward a service-oriented IT delivery model.
Business NeedsWinWorkers, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is an IT consulting and architecture company that specializes in data center automation and system integration. WinWorkers is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a member of the Microsoft System Center Alliance, and it builds custom–made IT solutions for enterprise businesses with up to 100,000 users. The company has 25 full-time employees and a worldwide team of consultants.
Beginning in 2007, WinWorkers made the decision to focus exclusively on Microsoft products for data center automation and virtualization, including the Microsoft System Center family of system management products and the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system with the Hyper-V virtualization technology. “Microsoft’s long-term strategy for data center management and virtualization is much more forward-thinking than other vendors, from both a financial and a technical perspective,” says Roland Huebinger, Chief Executive Officer at WinWorkers. “So we got rid of other management software, and we made the decision to use Hyper-V instead of VMWare for virtualization.”
Corporate IT groups often face pressure to increase system performance while simultaneously reducing costs. As a result, some IT departments are moving to a cloud computing paradigm, where management automation tools and virtualization solutions are used to efficiently deliver IT resources on demand as services. This could take the form of a public cloud that is externally accessible, or a private cloud serving only internal users.
“Moving to a private cloud architecture or service-oriented IT model can be a great solution for companies that want to manage their IT resources more efficiently,” says Huebinger. “We had one customer with 2,000 servers and 20,000 clients and they are now managing the entire infrastructure with the equivalent of 1.5 full-time employees. We need the latest and best tools to get results like that.”
SolutionTo expand its ability to help customers move to a more dynamic data center architecture, WinWorkers enrolled in the technology adoption program for the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal V2.0. This free* solution from Microsoft includes a set of web portals, a data store, and a lightweight provisioning engine, along with documentation and infrastructure guidance to help IT departments dynamically pool, allocate, and manage virtualized resources.

Although WinWorkers has created its own library of custom scripts for System Center products, engineers welcomed the portal tools. “When we’ve built tools in the past, it was because there was no available tool for a specific need,” says Sebastian Lentz, Head of Communication at WinWorkers. “But supplementing or replacing them with tools from Microsoft just increases the standardization of our customers’ products. And our engineers tell us they really like working with the portal.”
When engineers began using the portal, the user interface capabilities stood out as a key feature. “It provides a standard interface that we can fully automate with Windows PowerShell,” says Huebinger. “So we can give the users a simple dashboard, which makes it easy for administrators to allocate data center resources in response to user demand.”
Virtualization is a key to data center automation, and WinWorkers is using the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal to extend the virtualization management capabilities of Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager. “The portal solution makes it possible to deal with the more complex issues of data center virtualization,” says Huebinger. “We expect that more and more data centers will move from VMWare to Hyper-V to take advantage of a strong virtualization platform, combined with the strengths of the enterprise-proven System Center suite for configuration and operations management.”
BenefitsWinWorkers engineers are experts in modern data center architecture, and with the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal V2.0 they have enhanced that expertise to better help customers reduce management overhead, strengthen product integration, and move toward an efficient, service-oriented IT delivery model.
Streamlined Data Center ManagementBy simplifying virtualization management and resource allocation with the portal, WinWorkers will make it possible for its customers to build data centers that can be run very efficiently. “Cost is always a pressure in IT,” says Lentz. “Now you don’t have to be a high-level engineer to provision a virtual machine. “
WinWorkers will integrate the portal into its next big data center project and expects it to greatly expedite the process. “We showed the customer what we can do with the System Center suite and the portal, and they loved the easy management and fast rollout it provides,” says Huebinger. “We expect to complete the project in three months—before the portal it would have taken eight months.”
Tighter Product IntegrationBecause the portal comes from Microsoft, WinWorkers believes that it will help to improve the reliability of the company’s Microsoft-based data center automation. “I can tell people that with the portal and the System Center suite, they don’t need any third-party solutions,” says Huebinger. “They can replace interim fixes or workarounds with something that works much better. It gives customers more confidence in their products.”
Service-Oriented IT DeliveryAs part of the move toward more automated data centers and cloud architectures, businesses are starting to view IT resources—not just software, but virtual servers and storage as well—as services to be delivered, and WinWorkers sees the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal V2.0 as a catalyst toward that new approach. “IT is becoming more of a commodity business,” says Huebinger. “And data centers are changing to reflect that. The Self-Service Portal will make it much easier for businesses to build a private cloud and start delivering infrastructure as a service.”

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