Friday, 26 November 2010

The Ideal IT Team Organisation for Virtualization

This week, John Dix of Network World looked at the reorganisation of IT that is required to enable effective cloud computing.

He explains: "Companies tend to hit a wall when they get 20% to 40% of their environment virtualized because they don't have the management structure and expertise to deal with key questions such as backup/restore and compliance requirements.

"That stuff is hard enough on a good day, but is different altogether when unified compute/storage/network virtual assets move around freely."

The issue is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this. At Cisco, John Manville - Vice President of IT Network and Data Services - initially continued to manage his team of 450 in traditional departments: platform team, storage team, network team etc.

He said this led to "sub-optimal system level designs." Instead, he moved to "an architecture team, a design team, an implementation team and, effectively, an operations team."

To support this, he created a horizontal virtual service teams. He explains that it took a year to get right, and "it wasn't easy because various teams were worried their role was going to get taken over by other people."

Manville concludes that the system now works: "I think most people have realized their role becomes richer and they can have more direct impact on running this organization."