Q&A with Jonathan Crane, Chief Commercial Officer, IPsoft (www.ipsoft.com):

Chris MacKinnon (DCP): What are the biggest challenges for data center and IT managers when it comes to cloud management?

Jonathan Crane: Many managers are struggling as they try to adapt their technology tools to the rapidly shifting demands of dynamic computing. Many enterprises are trying to drive infrastructure costs down using labor arbitrage. But complexity is increasing, and the speed of response to market demand has heightened and the agility required necessitates a very different way of management. How can you really rely on a labor arbitrage system in which outcome remains overly dependent upon human interaction? Do you honestly think that this model is going to support you in this new complex environment? The answer is no. Labor arbitrage doesn’t give you the kind of responsiveness you need. There’s no way you can train people and keep them up to speed with the rapid changes to your environment and maintain a quality of service standard of excellence.

MacKinnon: How can data center and IT managers overcome those challenges?

Crane: It all comes back to expert systems, the virtual engineers. Rather than hiring a large IT staff to deal with the complexity of today’s infrastructure environment, IPcenter allows data center and IT managers to cut costs and focus on innovating IT, rather than simply maintaining it by scripted automation of IT processes. Consequently, performance and reliability rise while costs are reduced.

MacKinnon: Why is IPcenter useful in today’s enterprise data centers? Why should data center and IT managers care about it? How can they benefit from it?

Crane: Cloud computing has taken the world by storm According to Gartner’s 2011 CIO Survey, cloud adoption among CIOs is expected to rise by 40 percent, as compared to last year. CIOs are thinking about private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds.

But they’re missing one important aspect: They don’t have the tools to manage these very complex environments. When new technologies emerge, there are a lot of people who talk about their power and their vision. Yet when it gets down to execution, it’s usually held back by the ability to manage, monitor, report and safely secure data. Everybody says if you’re going to be using the cloud environment, you better make sure you have a protective mechanism, which is really a code word for management – a cloud assurance policy.

IPsoft is uniquely positioned to be the management platform of choice for the cloud environment due to the inherent flexibility and services breadth of our adaptable IPcenter design. IPcenter was designed as Remote Infrastructure Management service and therefore is well-suited to address the challenges of cloud infrastructure. Additionally, IPcenter is well suited because of the discipline of its ITIL v3 service framework and the precision of its Six Sigma approach to architecture design and performance.

MacKinnon: Where should IPcenter rank in terms of overall priority in the data center?

Crane: Because IPsoft automates the majority of IT processes without human intervention, it helps manage server, storage, network and application virtualization at reduced costs and with improved, algorithmically enforced performance. IPcenter enables customers to operate their data center resources in an organized, consolidated fashion – saving money by leveraging existing IT equipment and resources. On average, IPcenter reduces IT budgets by about a third, offering IT and data center managers significant savings.

MacKinnon: What advice can you give to IT and data center managers that have a plethora of similar solutions to choose from?

Crane: We have to be agile, flexible and adaptive to new technologies. The complexity of this new, very flexible, very dynamic environment necessitates new tools of monitoring, management and information security. IT, in order to best serve its business units, needs to consider transforming itself to becoming the Resource Manager for all Information services required to meet their operational and marketplace demands. The adaptability of IPcenter is unparalleled, as there is no technology currently available that evolves based upon inference learning and additionally interacts with an extensive library of industry service solutions amassed over the last 13 years. The autonomic solutions provided reflect this ability to learn and resolve rapidly which constantly contributes continual ROI improvement.