“Time is both a companion and a witness to change.”
Every global enterprise thrives through transformation achieved either by digital or technological advancements in the form of innovative services or products. Earlier, services were limited and easy to manage, but with the current dynamic demands enterprises are looking for services that can help them decrease time to market with higher security measures. In one of the reports published by Flexera in 2019, they highlighted that 84% of their enterprise-level respondents have adopted multi-Cloud strategy, out of which 58% have hybrid-Cloud, 17% have multiple public Cloud, and 9% have multiple private Cloud set-ups. The plethora of services that are being provided by vendors in public Cloud space with increased security standards has driven the adoption rate over the years. Such transformation has changed the approach from having more private data centers to public Cloud-based applications; that are easy to migrate and launch with low physical footprint. With time, both Cloud platforms and their offerings have matured and are more complex. Hence enterprises need to rethink their approach to overall management, governance, and visibility on such platforms without compromising business as usual (BAU). This gives rise to the concept of Cloud management platforms (CMP) through which native Cloud platforms can be integrated with high visibility and governance. CMPs are tools that help enterprises with both management and deployment of Cloud resources, cost optimization, security measures to safeguard data, and higher efficiency with zero tolerance to business discontinuity.
Before you have been inundated with CMP’s capabilities and benefits, you should plunge yourself in answering some critical questions that judge your rationale for purchasing such products, lest you end up procuring a redundant software for your IT ecosystem.
Does your enterprise have a Cloud strategy?
It is important for an enterprise to have a short term and long-term strategy for IT as an enabler. If an enterprise doesn’t have any footprint over public Cloud(s) or multi-Cloudstrategy, then it becomes unnecessary to have this tool in their IT ecosystem. But one should always assess whether their IT ecosystem consists of any legacy applications, the scope for migrating physical workloads to Cloud, developing Testing/QA environment on Cloud, and an opportunity to optimize costs associated to it. Whereas, enterprises with defined goals or having a vision for multiple/ hybrid Cloud strategy should have a deeper understanding of CMPs as it may help them in various aspects like governance, automation, cost optimization, and visibility over workload performance.
How mature is your Cloud adoption?
Various enterprises have different maturity rates which depend on technology advancement, degree of automation, and budget for their IT ecosystem. Not every CMP tool is competent to grapple with various adoption rates or enterprise hybrid Cloud strategy. Hence, it becomes very important for an enterprise to choose a correct Cloud management platform tool from the options that are available in the market which would help them to grow their business steadily, in alignment to their hybrid Cloud strategy.
Challenges that we face with maturity
In recent studies, analysts have discovered that challenges vary with enterprise Cloud migration or adoption rates. Some enterprises are early adopters of Cloud, companies which have already adopted Clouds, and lastly the matured ones. The ones who are early adopters, face challenges like Cloud migration, security threats, governance, a dearth of skilled resources, and Cloud management costs. On the other hand, enterprises who have already adopted cloud are dwelling on challenges like governance, compliance, and Cloud management costs. Whereas, the matured ones are emphasizing on ways to deal with issues like governance across multiple Cloud platforms, data or platform security, cost optimization, and compliance. Enterprises should initiate internal exercise or third-party audit for Cloud maturity to understand their state of IT in this age of digital transformation.
What are the key features that help the enterprise?
Just like machines have evolved, tools have also followed a similar path. Alike CMP products have been northbound and can find themselves in much better shape and position than their predecessors. As multiple players have entered this space, the market seems to be saturated and more cluttered, positioning themselves as leaders, influencers, emergent, and niche players. Enterprises shouldn’t get overwhelmed by the offerings and positioning of the products, rather they should focus on the following features:
- Self service catalog: Automated provisioning of IaaS and PaaS services through an intuitive self-service catalog
- Policy-driven orchestration: Ensures that users are allocated with IT resources in line with the organizational policies
- Automated blueprint provisioning: Enable single-click deployment of multi-machine environments as catalog items and later be used as a template to provision workloads
- Metering/ billing and show back: Ability to track utilization of resources across business units enabling transparency and visibility
- Customization of tasks: Customize end-to-end task lifecycle while provisioning infrastructure components through Cloud formation/ ARM templates
- Performance of Cloud resources: To understand whether they are being underutilized or overutilized, or applications are running out of resources
- Instance optimization: It is possible to track how instances are being used and based on that, it can determine if any instances are underutilized which could result in significant savings in costs if they were shut off.
- Rich integration ecosystem: Enables integration with industry-leading third-party tools through REST APIs, web services, and CLI
What Cloud platforms does it support?
Over the time, IT as a function or as an industry has emerged strongly and created its own space by contributing to the global economy. Not only new ideas, software codes or sleek hardware have changed this industry, even support and collaboration has also acted as a key driver to its success. Similarly, the success of CMPs depends on supporting third-party platforms like native Cloud platforms, ITSM, configuration management systems, DevOps tools, monitoring tools, back up tools, and storage tools etc. Managing multiple Cloud platforms plays an important role in the construct of this idea and as per the recent study on Cloud Market, VMware has the largest footprint followed by AWS, Azure, OpenStack, IBM, and Google Cloud. Among these players, Azure has shown a decent increase in its footprint. Therefore, enterprises should seek CMP solution that can support platforms like VMware, AWS, Azure, Hyper V, and Google Cloud and has a vision to integrate more Cloud platforms like IBM, OpenStack etc.
How much time does it take to get deployed?
Looking into options that are available in the market, each tool has its deployment model; on-premise, SaaS- based or virtual appliance. It depends on the capability of the tool and other factors like availability of adapters to integrate with third-party tools like ITSM, configuration management systems, DevOps tools, monitoring tools, back up tools, security compliances to adhere, managing concurrent requests, scaling workloads etc. before getting implemented in the system. As these factors may influence the deployment timeline but tools having such capabilities should be of paramount interest for an enterprise.
We at DRYiCE have developed a state-of-art hybrid Cloud Management Platform that can empower you to manage your multi-Cloud environment and create differentiated value for enterprise – DRYiCE MyCloud.
- RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera