Service Management In Acronym Land

I had a very informal chat with a buddy of mine about service management. And virtualization. Of course. Many TLAs were used.

Joe Hernick

February 23, 2008

2 Min Read
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I had a very informal chat with a buddy of mine about service management. And virtualization. Many TLAs were used. For the uninitiated, TLA = Three Letter Acronym.

Like any politically correct Fortune 500 systems division, her organization is customer-focused, positioning all IT services in light of contribution to the business. They???ve got master black belts, PMPs, BPM experts, managers that use ROI and TQM in the same sentence ... you name the trend, their CIO has been on board.

To keep things simple (and protect the innocent), we???ll call my friend "Jane." Jane's shop has service management guidelines for Wintel platforms, big iron, multiple flavors of midrange, and all the sundry chunks involved with infrastructure and/or application delivery. Clearly defined SLAs, well-positioned employees, reasonable expectations, and mostly satisfied business partners abound. Everyone is happy at JaneCo. They have the metrics to prove it.

I waited 'til Jane had finished her third, er, beverage, and hit her up on service management guidelines for virtualized environments. What was shaking? Any concerns? Was the black belt dojo at JaneCo measuring metrics for the total quality of customers' experiences with VMs?

Jane looked puzzled, thought about it for a few moments, and said No. After three beverages she sounded a bit French, actually, with a hint of Non.I was incredulous; I knew she had been instrumental in bringing VMware into the production side of the house.

"You have no service management metrics for VMs?"


"I thought one of JaneCo's mantras was if you don't measure it, it doesn't exist."

She attempted to deflect with an existential Does any VM really exist?, but I couldn't let her off the hook that easily.She thought about it, looked me in the eye and said, "We use virtualization to pad our stats. We crank out test VMs when business-side developers need platfroms. We can turn around a test VM request in less than a day. Production VMs can make it through approval in under a week. Since we don't parse out physical versus virtual servers, our delivery stats look great.

Then she smiled and asked for another beverage.

"Any plans to clearly define or break out your ESX numbers?"


She reached for the opener and stopped smiling.I sure hope not.

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