The Business Case for IT Automation and the Practical Path to Success

In business today, it’s no longer the big beating the small—it’s the fast beating the slow. So, how do you succeed? One of the key success factors is automation. Automation brings value back to the business quickly, securely, and efficiently. IT automation solution offers a practical path to the future of business networking and, ultimately, continuing business success.

Three Clear Paths for the Customer Journey

According to Milin Desai, VMware’s vice president and general manager of cloud solutions, there are three clear paths that customers take to use solutions like VMware NSX for IT automation:

  1. IT Automating IT. As Desai explains it, this path is one that customers take when they add automation to NSX to deliver an application faster, so that the business can derive value faster from that application. This could be to help onboard an acquisition faster; deliver a new application for a line of business; or deploy an enterprise application consistently through development, staging, and production. With NSX, IT can now deliver business value in minutes for the key projects and initiatives. VMware has seen this work for a number of customers (Rent-A-Center is one example).
  2. Developer Cloud. This path is all about the application, and increasingly it is about serving the developer community to enable them to deliver value. Through integration with frameworks like OpenStack and VMware vRealize, developers can get network and security on demand, allowing them to test or build a new application, or deploy a hadoop service for analytics. Customers like eBay leverage NSX for this type of use case.
  3. Multi-tenant Infrastructure. This is the case of a service provider delivering services to customers, a large enterprise serving line of business on a shared infrastructure, or an organization building a community cloud to serve a specific vertical or region of the world. By delivering secure networks in software, this path allows multiple tenants to reside on a shared infrastructure delivered on demand while allowing the provider to get the benefits of asset utilization, automation, and lowered overall costs of infrastructure. Customers such as University of Laval and Armor are examples of customers that leverage NSX for this scenario.

Integrating Two Technologies

According to Desai, “What makes all this possible is the integration of NSX into cloud management systems. One such system integration is with vRealize Automation.” The two technologies uniquely complement each other. When brought together, they are greater than the sum of their already considerable parts.

“NSX provides a faithful reproduction of network and security services in software,” says Desai. “It allows creation on demand, connectivity, and security that allows companies to set boundaries around applications.” This connectivity model, also known as overlay networks, can be placed over any previously existing network infrastructure, virtual or physical. What makes this solution even more unique is the delivery of a security model aligned to the application boundary, also known as micro-segmentation. This capability allows customers to deliver automation on demand. “vRealize Automation,” Desai explains, “completes the solution by providing a framework to deliver an application—compute, network, and storage.”

Once brought together, NSX with vRealize Automation allows you to create a blueprint app that can be replicated and copied to any number of additional sites with just the push of a button. “Prior to NSX,” Desai says, “delivering automation for networking and security required a lot of scripts, manual error–prone steps, long wait times, and massive inefficiencies. It was very painful.”

A Host of Business Benefits: Built in, Not Bolted On

NSX with vRealize Automation provides organizations with a host of benefits. “This solution,” Desai says, “allows you to deliver your products and services at the speed of business.” And because NSX is decoupled from the physical infrastructure, organizations can now take that policy and move it across data centers, simply by copying and pasting the policy. By providing what Desai calls, “an inherently secure infrastructure,” NSX provides an enhanced, even unprecedented level of security. Security that, Desai says, “is built in, not bolted on.”

NSX with vRealize Automation also provides greater efficiency. It empowers organizations to improve asset utilization by pooling compute across one or many data centers, without giving up the control and visibility organizations have into their own data center. The combined effect of agility, capacity pooling, and security lowers costs and results in significant CapEx and OpEx savings.  

Freedom of Choice: Now and in the Future

A final, but by no means insignificant, benefit of NSX is that it offers organizations “a software solution,” says Desai, “that allows them freedom of choice in their data center.” Customers are now free to choose their vendor when it comes to their physical infrastructure. “This same freedom,” Desai concludes, “also means that as new technologies come into play—containers, cloud-native apps—NSX will help organizations make these transitions, safely and securely.” Simply put, VMware’s solution to IT automation offers companies the practical path to a successful future.