Cloud Management: What’s the Big Deal?

by  \  9 Feb, 2011 \  9:33pm EDT

Isn’t buying and using cloud supposed to make our lives easier? The simple answer is yes, just like a car makes it easier to get to and from the grocery store quickly and with enough room for groceries for a week.  However, that doesn’t mean that owning and taking care of your car is always easy. What about DMV registration, maintenance, repairs, insurance, license renewals, speeding tickets (or is that just me), an occasional flat tire, and just filling up the tank?

Comparing cloud computing to a car may seem counter intuitive, but there are more parallels than you might think. I’ll explain why cloud can be easy, but only if married to a well established management and orchestration solution.

Let’s start by reviewing what’s going on in business today. Cloud is being reviewed for its fit, benefit and performance. Business and IT leaders are starting to understand the inherit value proposition of cloud and its ability to enable business agility, drive up innovation and drive down the cost of doing business in IT.  This is all true, but it’s not a one car fits all needs type of solution. If you had four kids and they were all involved in sports and after school activities, what car would you buy? Certainly not a two seat or even a four seat? However, you wouldn’t buy a full-size school bus either.  The variety of models and job fit for vehicles is astounding, and cloud and SaaS are no different.

So there are different cloud and SaaS solutions available for different jobs. How does that affect the average enterprise?

The average enterprise will end up with multiple cloud usage models, each aligned to a different cloud solution or provider.  You’re also likely to see SaaS-based solutions proliferate across the organization to the point where you’ll have trouble keeping track of what’s actually being used and by whom. What about moving from one cloud to another in near real time? What about vendor independence? How are you keeping everyone on point with security, policy, and governance between the different cloud and SaaS solutions?

The Right Car for the Mission, when you need it!

Now back to the car connection. What if you had a ‘magic’ garage that had any type of car you wanted for the ‘mission’ you needed to drive that day, and you got to rent them by the hour? What if you had a management layer that provided the registration, insurance policy, GPS maps, preloaded into the car when you drove it? What if it was preconfigured with power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, heated seats, and A/C? A unified management, and governance layer over a federation of clouds is similar. With unified management, you’re in the driver’s seat with the flexibility to decide where your’e going today and which cloud resource is the best one to get you there.

Doesn’t it make sense to get a single toolset that works on all models?

I might be a little biased, but I suggest taking a look at the Agility Platform from ServiceMesh. Think of ServiceMesh as creating that ‘magic garage’ that you can stock with whatever stable of cars suit your needs. It’s a platform that unifies governance, management and security across a federation of internal and external clouds, so that implementing clouds and using them as needed

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