Tuesday, June 5, 2012

SC 2012 Licensing, Let’s Complify. Part II: Meet Contoso!

Postings in the same series:
Part   ITeaser
Part III Know What You Have
Part IV – Time To Do Some Math
Part V – Some Q & A  

In the second posting of this series I’ll introduce you all to the example environment Contoso. Based on that example environment I’ll put a SC 2012 licensing scenario and show you some interesting stuff.

Contoso isn’t an enterprise company and yet they are in serious need for some computing power. They run a series of web shops, all aimed at selling all kinds of IT gear for B2B all across Europe. They have a many localized sales teams working all across Europe in order to get the best deals for their customers. Their USPs (Unique Selling Points) are:

  • Nothing on stock;
  • Selling directly from the manufacturers, far below the regular market prices used by their competitors;
  • Ordered, shipped and delivered the next business day;
  • A rock solid after sales care with very high standards;
  • Every European country has it’s own localized sales team in place.

These sales teams are highly mobile. Many times they’re on the road going from customer to customer. Therefore there isn’t need for many offices. Per country they only rent some office space on a lease basis, driving the costs even further down. Only in the Netherlands they have a HQ where besides the Management Team also the developers for the web shops are located.

All this make them the best competitive IT gear web shop in Europe. In order to keep their competitive edge, they invest highly in their own IT. Even though their web shops run in localized versions, these websites are hosted by their own servers, placed in rented suites located in two different datacenters which are mirrored. So when disaster strikes, there is always a working backup. One data center is located in Amsterdam, the other in Hamburg. These data centers are connected with some dedicated high speed WAN connections.

At this moment they have 100 Windows Servers in total, 50 per data center, in total these are the details:

  • 20 physical Windows Servers, with 4 CPUs (the Hyper-V Hosts);
  • 80 VMs running on the Hyper-V hosts;
    • 60 VMs have 2 vCPUs per VM;
    • 20 VMs have 1 vCPU per VM.

All servers are running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and therefore upgrade ready when Windows Server 2012 becomes GA (General Available).

System Center 2012 and Contoso
For a long time they’re using the System Center products and now they want to move to the Private Cloud powered by the latest System Center 2012 technology. They’re convinced of the elasticity offered by it. Webservers can be automatically added when demand requires it, and taken off line when needed.

Also the ease of upgrading their web applications (web shops) through SCVMM 2012, without jeopardizing their running web shops serving hundreds of customers across Europe is a BIG plus. The self servicing capabilities, enabling the localized sales teams to manage their own set of localized websites is also a huge advantage. It gives them more control while everything happens inside the boundaries as defined at HQ.

Their developers are happy as well since the web shops are .NET based and some time ago they asked for the product AVIcode in order to get deep monitoring inside their .NET applications. However, when the Management Team heard the price (thousands and thousands of Euro’s) they pulled the plug. And now with OM12, it’s integrated into it, rebranded Application Performance Monitoring (APM). And free to use!

The system engineers are happy as well since now they can use Orchestrator as well in order to automate many IT processes and IT procedures. When an alert is shown in the OM12 Console and it’s piped into SCSM 2012 through the Alert Connector, Orchestrator is capable of kicking of a whole series of corrective/preventive actions and checking and reporting upon the outcome of those actions. An Alert can be closed or – the corresponding – ticket in SCSM 2012 escalated. All automated! This enables them to focus on other tasks while making the whole IT more agile, manageable and more robust.

On top of it all, all the sales people who are always on the move and using all kinds of mobile devices, laptops, smart phones, tablets and alike, are finally being served properly. Now the system engineers can manage their devices remotely with SCCM 2012 and secure them as well. No matter what type of OS these devices are running. Now when some one loses a mobile device, they can wipe it remotely so there is no loss of sensitive data!

With DPM 2012 they can make even better backups then before and with AppControl they can test drive the public cloud by moving some of their web apps from their Private Cloud to Azure – and when they want to – from Azure back to their Private Cloud.

Of course there are tons of other reasons why Contoso want to run a Private Cloud based on System Center 2012, but these are some of the main reasons.

In the next posting of this series I’ll describe the kind of SC 2012 licenses they need and the things to reckon with. So stay tuned!

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