Our View… From the Clouds

CloudBolt's CTO at Vancouver OpenStack Summit...

Posted by Jon Mittelhauser

5/13/15 12:56 PM

The 2015 OpenStack summit in Vancouver is only a week away!  Are you attending?

CloudBolt's CTO (Bernard Sanders) will be in attendance and is currently setting up meetings with folks who are interested in learning how CloudBolt works seemlessly with OpenStack public and private clouds to provide self-service IT.

If you are interested in learning more about CloudBolt and/or setting up a discussion with Bernard while he's in Vancouver please let us know.  You can reach us at info@cloudbolt.io.  

 

 

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Topics: Cloud Management, OpenStack

Meet the CloudBolt team at ChefConf 2015

Posted by Rick Kilcoyne

3/21/15 7:34 AM

ChefConf 2015 is a little more than a week away and we couldn't be more excited!

Not only is ChefConf amongst the seminal configuration management events of the year, but it's also a great opportunity for us to rub elbows with our automation peers and demonstrate how we leverage Chef to quickly deliver configured applications to end-users. CloudBolt includes native integration with Hosted Chef, Enterprise Chef, and Open Source Chef to deliver the best cloud delivery platform, and it does so by building atop your existing Chef infrastructure and automation efforts.

If you're headed to ChefConf 2015 in San Jose, stop by booth T3, say hello, build a server, and get some free stuff!

~Rick

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Topics: Event

App and Cloud Management, added Nebula Private Cloud with v4.6

Posted by Justin Nemmers

10/27/14 2:22 PM

In our latest release, we've continued enabling IT organizations that want to provision and manage their applications more effectively. CloudBolt v4.6 makes providing self-service IT access to applications easier than ever, regardless of whether that application resides on a single server, or is a complete end-to-end stack of servers deployed across several environments. Like never before, users can interactively request entire stacks with just a few clicks, and deploy those stacks into any one of the dozen or so supported cloud and virtualization platforms.

We haven’t stopped there, though. In addition to streamlining the application provisioning process, we’ve put a significant amount of effort into other areas of CloudBolt as well. 

Nebula

We're also proud to announce an all-new connector for Nebula Private Cloud environments.

Image: CloudBolt now supports Nebula Private Cloud

Image: Add Nebula Resource Handler in CloudBolt Cloud Manager

With this new connector, CloudBolt customers gain the ability to deploy into and manage servers, applications, and even entire services in Nebula-backed environments. Nebula private cloud customers using CloudBolt gain immediate access to all of CloudBolt's features in both new and existing environments:

  • Chargeback and Showback
  • Reporting
  • Governance
  • Automated provisioning and management
  • Lifecycle management
  • Software license management
  • And more

Service Catalog

Customers are using the CloudBolt Service Catalog to provide end users self-service access to entire application stacks for some time now. In v4.6, we've updated the service creation process to make it even more straightforward. Just as they can do for the single server ordering process, admins can alter how the service ordering process looks for different end users and deployment environments. End users can be prompted to enter specific information as necessary based on their desired target deployment environment. 

Once ordered by a user, CloudBolt’s built-in approval mechanism can be leveraged for additional validation before CloudBolt steps through any number of automated processes required for delivery of a fully functional application stack.

The end result is clear: CloudBolt administrators can quickly create new service offerings that are able to span any supported target environment. Regardless of your platform of choice, CloudBolt can deliver a complete stack to your end users, and in less time than you think. 

Active Directory Group Mapping

Are you using one or more AD environments to authenticate CloudBolt users? In v4.6, admins gain the ability to map AD groups to CloudBolt groups. This AD group mapping also works with multiple AD environments, so if you're using CloudBolt in a multi-tenant capacity, you can still pick-and-choose how auth is handled for each tenant. 

Orchestration Hooks

Orchestration Hooks enable IT administrators to automate every step needed to deliver IT resources and applications to end-users. Extending on this capability, we've added a new Orchestration Hook type that enables the execution of an arbitrary remote script.

Image: Add a hook for remote script execution

This further extends CloudBolt’s lead as the most powerful cross-platform application deployment and management platform, as it can now be seamlessly integrated into nearly any manually-scripted provisioning and management process. Reusing your existing IP has never been easier or faster. 

Connector Improvements

Discovering and importing current state from existing environments is a CloudBolt Cloud Management key strength. In v4.6, this is even more thorough, as we now also detect all disk information from VMware vCenter virtual machines as well as AWS AMI, and Microsoft Azure public cloud instaces. 

Have a lot of VMs? Users in environments with tens of thousands of VMs will be happy to learn that VM discovery and sync is more efficient and faster. 

Puppet Enterprise users can now also leverage multiple Puppet environments rather than the default "Production". This can further help customers simplify their IT environments. 

Get It Now

The CloudBolt Cloud Manager v4.6 is available today via the CloudBolt support portal. Our updates are just another feature, and take mere minutes to complete

Don't have CloudBolt yet?

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Topics: Public Cloud, VMware, Private Cloud, Upgrade, AWS, Puppet, azure, Nebula

Integrating Chef Enterprise with CloudBolt

Posted by Justin Nemmers

10/21/14 2:23 PM

Integrating Chef Configuration Management with CloudBolt enables IT Organizations to offer end users a broad selection of Chef-provided Roles, Cookbooks, and Recipes for self-service provisioning and management right from the CloudBolt UI and API. Users can deploy a single server and application, or entire server and application stacks with just a few clicks.

In this video, Bernard Sanders from CloudBolt Engineering walks through the integration of Chef Enterprise with the CloudBolt cloud management platform. This includes importing Chef Enterprise Roles and Cookbooks into CloudBolt, enabling end users to directly provision and manage servers and applications in a VMware-backed environment.

Video integration of CloudBolt with Chef Enterprise Configuration Management

Like what you see? Get your own copy of CloudBolt here.

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Topics: Chef, Video

Accelerate DevOps by Combining Automation and Cloud Management

Posted by Justin Nemmers

10/15/14 4:20 PM

The advent of DevOps in Corporate IT has dramatically increased the value that Configuration Management (lately, also known as CM and/or Configuration Automation/Data Center Automation tools) provided in a complex data center environment. Popular examples include Ansible, Puppet, and Chef. Whether your IT organization has implemented an end-to-end DevOps model, or you’re interested in implementing one, the unification of Cloud Management and Data Center Automation is a great way to ensure that your DevOps teams get the most out of IT-provided and supported services and resources.

At the core of highly productive and agile DevOps teams is the rapid access to required resources, and the ability to control what is deployed where. Long wait times for resource provisioning will not just delay release and product, but also likely anger your team. On the other hand, granting the DevOps team unfettered access to on-prem virt and public cloud resources is a capacity planning and potential financial disaster just waiting to happen.

As DevOps automates more of the application management and provisioning process with tooling (Related posting: Why Manual Provisioning Workflows Don't Work Anymore), it becomes more critical to effectively integrate CM with the actual infrastructure. Providing end users and developers alike with access to DevOps work product becomes more complex and challenging.  

Cloud-Management-and-Devops-is-like-PBandJ-72
DevOps and Cloud Management go together like peanut butter and jelly. Each makes the other more awesome. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

So how does an IT organization achieve maximum value from the time and cost investment in these CM tools? By tightly integrating Cloud Management with their entire stack of CM tools.

Advantages

Using a cloud manager such as CloudBolt to integrate CM with the infrastructure provides immediate value.  By deploying both tools, IT can provide DevOps with: 

  1. Controlled access to required infrastructure, including networks, storage, and public cloud environments.
  2. A single API and UI capable of front-ending numerous providers, which means when IT changes cloud providers, DevOps doesn’t need to re-tool scripts and automations.
  3. Fully automated provisioning and management for real-time resource access. 

CloudBolt allows IT to natively configure and import application and configuration definitions as well as automations directly from your CM tool of choice. End users can then select the desired components, and deploy them onto appropriately sized system or systems in any environment.

IT organizations can put into place hard divisions between critical environments—such that only certain users and groups can deploy systems, services, and applications into specific environments. For instance, CloudBolt will prevent a developer from deploying a test app onto a system that has access to a production network and production data.

Results

Customers that have implemented CloudBolt also are able to chose from one or more CM tools based on capabilities of a specific tool. Does one team prefer Puppet over Chef? Each team can be presented with a discrite slice of underlying infrastructure that makes use of their preferred CM tool(s).

The result is clear: more effective DevOps teams that spend less time dealing accessing resources, and more time getting their work done. IT is happy because CloudBolt enables them to improve governance of entire enterprise IT environments, and finally offers IT the ability to alter underlying infrastructure technology choices in ways that are fully abstracted from end users. By using a single CloudBolt API to access and deploy resources, DevOps isn’t disrupted when IT alters underlying infrastructure technology.

Interested? You can be up and running with CloudBolt today. All you need is access to a Virt Manager or a Cloud Platform, and less than 30 minutes.

Schedule a Demo   or try it yourself

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Topics: Cloud Management, Automation, Puppet, Chef

Private/Public Cloud to Cloud Migration: VM Redeployment vs. Migration

Posted by Justin Nemmers

10/7/14 12:06 PM

We get the question all the time… “Can CloudBolt move my VMs from my private cloud to Amazon... or from Amazon to Azure?"

The answer is the same. “Sure, but how much time do you have?”

Cloud-based infrastructures are revolutionizing how enterprises design and deploy workloads, enabling customers to better mange costs across a variety of needs. Often-requested capabilities like VM migration (or as VMware likes to call it, vMotion) are taken for granted, and increasingly customers are interested in extending these once on-prem-only features to help them move workloads from one cloud to another.

fiber_cables_72

At face value, this seems like a great idea. Why wouldn’t I want to be able to migrate my existing VMs from my on-prem virtualization direct to a public cloud provider?

For starters, it’ll take a really long time.

VM Migration to the Cloud

Migration is the physical relocation (probably a better term) of a VM and it’s data from one environment to another. Migrating an existing VM to the cloud requires:

  1. Copying of every block of storage associated to a VM.
  2. Updating the VM’s network info to work in the new environment.
  3. Lots and lots of time and bandwidth (See #1).

Let’s assume for a minute that you’re only interested in migrating one application from your local VMware infrastructure to Amazon. That application is made up of 5 VMs, each with a 50GiB virtual hard disk. That’s 250 GiB of data that needs to be moved over the wire. (Even if you assume some compression, you will see below how we're still dealing with some large numbers).

At this point, there is only one question that matters: how fast is your network connection?

Transfer Size (GiB)

Upload speed (Mb/s)

Upload Speed (MB/s)

Transfer Time (Seconds)

Transfer Time (Hours)

Time required (Days)

250

1.5

0.1875

10,922,667

3,034.07

126.42

250

10

1.25

16,38,400

455.11

18.96

250

100

12.5

163,840

45.51

1.90

250

250

31.25

65,536

18.20

0.76

250

500

62.5

32,768

9.10

0.38

250

1000

125

16,384

4.55

0.19

250

10000

1250

1,638

0.46

0.02

The result from this chart is clear: the upload speed of your Internet connection is the only thing that matters. And don’t forget that cloud providers frequently charge you for that bandwidth, so your actual cost of transfer will only be limited by how much data you’d like to upload. 

Have more data to migrate? Then you need more bandwidth, more time, or both.

If you want to do this for your entire environment, note that you’re effectively performing SAN mirroring. The same rules of physics apply, and while you can load a mirrored rack of storage on a truck and ship it to your DR site, most public cloud providers won’t line up to accept your gear.

The Atomic Unit of IT is Workload, Not the VM

When customers ask me about migrating VMs, they typically want to run the same workload in a different environment—either for redundancy, or best-fit, etc. If it’s the workload that’s important, why migrate the entire VM?

Componentizing the workload can take work, but automating the application deployment with tools such as Puppet, Chef, or Ansible will make it much easier to deploy that workload into a supported environment.

Redeployment, Not Relocation

If migrating whole stacks of VMs to the cloud isn’t practical, how does an IT organization more effectively redeploy workloads to alternate environments?

Workload redeployment requires a few things:

  1. Mutually required data must be available (i.e. database, etc.);
  2. A configuration management framework available to each desired location, or
  3. Pre-built templates that have all required components pre-installed.

I won’t spend the time here talking through all of these points in detail, but I will say that any of these options requires effort. Whether you’re working to componentize and automate application deployment and management in a CM/automation tool, or re-creating your base OS image and requirements in various cloud providers, you’re going to spend some time getting the pieces in place.

A possible alternative to VM migration is to deploy new workloads in two places simultaneously, and then ensure that needed data and resources are mirrored between the two environments.  In other words, double your costs, and incur the same challenges with data syncing. This approach likely only makes sense for the most critical of production workloads, not the standard developer.

Ultimately, Know Thy Requirements

It seems as though the concept of cloud has caused some people to forget physics. Although migrating/relocating existing VMs to a public cloud provider is an interesting concept, the bandwidth required to effectively accomplish this is either very expensive, or simply not available. Furthermore, VM migration to a public cloud assumes that the performance and availability characteristics of the public cloud provider are the same or better than your on-prem environment… which is a pretty big assumption.

While there are some interesting technologies that are helping with this overall migration event, customers still need to do the legwork to properly configure target environments and networks, not to mention determine which workloads can be effectively moved in the first place. Technology alone cannot replace sound judgment and decision making, and the cloud alone will not solve all of your enterprise IT problems.

And don’t forget that IT governance in the public cloud is much more important than it is in your on-prem environment, because your end users are unlikely to generate large cost overruns when deploying locally. If you don’t control their access to the public cloud, you will eventually get a very rude awakening when you get that next bill.

Want Some Help?

So how does CloudBolt actually satisfy this need? We focus on redeployment and governance. One application, as provided by a CM tool, can be deployed to any target environment. CloudBolt then allows you to define multi-tiered application stacks that can be deployed to any capable target environment. Your users and groups are granted the ability to provision specific workloads/applications into the appropriate target environments, and networks. And strong lifecycle management and governance ensures that your next public cloud provider bill won’t break the bank.

Want to try it now? Let us set you up a no-strings-attached demo environment today.

Schedule a Demo   or try it yourself

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Topics: Network, Cloud, Challenges

Three ways to prevent IT complexity from hindering cloud computing

Posted by Justin Nemmers

8/26/14 3:49 PM

Is IT environment complexity standing in the way of your ability to make better use of cloud computing technologies?  You’re not alone.

My daily conversations with prospects frequently have an undertone: “we’ve got a complexity problem,” they’re saying. Often, these IT organizations are not merely looking for software to help bridge this gap, but are looking for ways to help strategically alter the direction of IT at their business. Ideally, doing so in ways that help them to reduce complexity, unwinding a bit of the tangle that they have created in order to solve problems for which no single-package solution existed at the time.

IT Complexity makes implementing cloud more challenging
Successful IT organizations also tend to be ones that implement simpler solutions.

Cloud computing infrastructure technologies themselves are not necessarily simple, but the ways that IT organizations interface with them often are very well understood and defined. IT organizations want to move away from existing methods of end user access, and toward a more seamless, integrated (i.e. cloud-like) look and feel to their IT enterprise. Ironically, the very complexity that organizations want to solve with cloud-backed technologies becomes a relatively large chasm that must be crossed in order to be successful. The only real answer to this problem is a game-changing approach to how solutions are designed, implemented, and procured.

There are three ways IT organizations can help bridge the complexity chasm in their environments:

Reduce risk with simple solutions

IT risk is incurred when a project requires a significant investment of time and/or money, and has a chance of failing to meet the original business need. The more expensive and time consuming a project is, the higher the risk should it ultimately fail. For this reason, reducing the time and cost required to implement a solution can significantly reduce the risk of that solution. Restated, simple solutions that can be rapidly vetted, installed, configured, and put to use by the business reduce risk by saving time. Restated again, don’t be afraid to fail fast. 

Avoid typical enterprise software buying cycles

With the swipe of a credit card, IT consumers compete with their IT organizations by access a multitude of resources. Shadow IT is certainly costly, but decision makers should take note not just of the technologies their users are purchasing, but also how they’re purchasing them. Look for products that provide needed capability, but that also allow you to break out of the traditional negotiate a huge contract and pricing mechanism (only to have to be repeated in a year). These buying cycles are at odds with the ease-of-access expected with cloud.

Select technologies that ease troubleshooting

Effective troubleshooting is a challenging skill to master, yet complex solutions absolutely require this to be the most developed of an administrator’s skillset. Why is it, then, that many enterprise technologies pile on the complexity in ways that force organizations to rely even more on their staff’s troubleshooting skills? Selecting tools that are able to short-circuit long workflow dependency chains will help IT teams unwind some of the complexity inherent to solving challenging IT needs. For instance, an orchestration event constructed in a hub and spoke model is far easier to diagnose than a branched linear process, as there’s a common point of reference that can indicate exactly what, where, and why a process failed.

In summary, there are frequently many possible solutions to nearly every technical problem, but although they may solve your initial problem, those that are needlessly complex are more likely to create a pile of their own. Conversely, technical solutions that are simple tend to show value quite quickly, enabling the IT team to field a significant quick-win technology to grumpy end users.

Reducing overall complexity in the IT environment removes barriers to new technology adoption, including cloud, and is a critical success requirement on the journey to becoming a more agile IT enterprise.

Need a cloud manager, but scared of the complexity presented by other solutions? Look no further than CloudBolt. Request a download today, and you'll join our happy customers in saying "CloudBolt's power is in its simplicity."
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Topics: IT Challenges, Agility, IT Self Service

Declare your Independence from Standard Cloud Management

Posted by Justin Nemmers

7/2/14 8:50 AM

Introducing the latest release of CloudBolt C2: v4.5

Connector Updates

With C2 v4.5, we’ve added two new connectors that further expand the breadth of technologies IT organizations can manage from a single-pane-of glass.

Google Compute Engine support gives administrators the ability to seamlessly offer end users controlled access to yet another public cloud provider. This includes the ability to install and manage applications from a supported configuration manager, as well as the ability to include GCE instances in C2 Service Catalog service templates.

Google Cloud Platform CloudBolt C2
Google Compute Engine CloudBolt C2
C2 v4.5 includes support for Google Compute Engine in the Google Cloud Platform.

We’ve also totally re-written and re-based our OpenStack connector. In this update, we’ve focused on compatibility, and we’re now able to support Icehouse, Havana, and Grizzly from the major OpenStack providers such as Mirantis. Of course, C2 can include OpenStack-backed resources when provisioning applications, running external flows, and accounting for licenses, just to name a few. C2 is already the best dashboard for OpenStack, and it’s getting even better with each release. No Horizon development needed!

openstack-cloud-software-vertical-large

We’ve also made some additional updates to our vCenter connector, including improved error handling when your VMware tools are out of date, and allowing for longer Windows hostnames. We’ve also made the Windows disk extending messages more clear and straightforward.

Amazon Web Services has also received some developer love. C2 now synchronizes both the public and private IP addresses for each AWS EC2 instance.

Configuration Management

We worked closely with the engineering team at Puppet, and now have a unique capability: C2 can now discover and import classes from a Puppet server.

Chef integration is even better: C2 now enables Chef bootstrapping on Windows and Ubuntu Linux systems.

User Interface Updates

Updates to the C2 UI are perhaps more subtle, but focused on helping users and administrators more effectively manage large numbers of applications and servers. We’ve integrated simple indicators describing the total number of selected items in each data table, making it much easier to manage large environments.

Did you know that you can use C2 to open network-less console connections on C2-managed servers? We’ve made this feature faster and more reliable in C2 v4.5.

Upgrading

Upgrading C2 is just like any other feature in C2: fast, easy, and predictable. Upgrading to C2 v4.5 is now even faster and easier than before.

Sounds Great, I Want It!

CloudBolt C2 has been recognized by Gartner for our industry-leading time to value. We effectively eliminate the barrier to entry for enterprise Cloud Management. C2 v4.5 is available today. Request a download, and you'll be up and running in your own environment in no time.

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Topics: Upgrade, AWS, Puppet, Chef, OpenStack, GCE

What's New in C2: More Cloud Management Same Convenience

Posted by Justin Nemmers

5/21/14 10:37 AM

It's been a little while since I've blogged about the cool things that we're doing in C2, Beyond doubling our customer count since 1 March, we are also thrilled to be  a 2014 Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud Management. This announcement has led to even more interesting in our amazing unified IT management and self-service IT platform. Follow that up with an upcoming GigaOM Structure participation, and it’s even more clear that we’re gaining significant traction across the industry.

CloudBolt Gartner Cool Vendor Cloud Management 2014

Throughout all of these exciting developments, our engineering team continues to innovate C2. They're constantly adding new capabilities and features that we know will help IT organizations change the way they work with and communicate to the business they support.

What's new in CloudBolt C2

Since the release of C2 v4.4.1, we've produced two additional releases, capped by the 19 May release of C2 v4.4.3. We've focused on adding capabilities that will empower IT organizations to provide end users with greater levels of controlled access to and management of IT resources and applications, all in a manner that enables the IT organization full control over governance, as well as cost transparency.

By focusing on lifecycle management, we’ve created more valuable touch points in C2 that enable IT organizations to more effectively unify multiple environments, easing the management burden that often increases and complexity grows. Of course an offshoot of simplifying complex environments is that it frees IT staff to focus on value-added tasks, such as developing new offerings to the business.

Orchestration, Modeling, and Customization

Complex environments typically have workflows that require numerous custom parameters and actions based on the values of those parameters.  C2 can now associate flows with server parameters, such that the changing of a parameter will result in a flow execution. Additionally, parameters can now have cost values assigned to them.  The result is that administrators can expose a parameter—let’s use “Enable Monitoring” as an example—and execute a workflow to actually enable or disable monitoring when the parameters is changed.  Also, when the parameter is enabled, C2 will add an additional charge to the showback reporting for that instance or application.

Self-service IT order application with chef integration

We’ve also made the creation and maintenance of parameters cleaner and easier in our intuitive user interface.

Configuration Management

Quickly integrating Configuration Management tools to enable IT organizations to automate application installation and maintenance is a reason many customers deploy C2.  Despite our integrations already being leaps-and-bounds easier to use than other vendors, we’ve added additional improvements to this core capability, too.  We’ve tightened up both our Puppet Labs and Enterprise Chef connectors, including key enterprise capabilities present in both those tools. We’ve added improvements that will aide organizations that have a high rate of VM and application churn, as well as some UI updates that make it easier to manage application lifecycles.

Want to see how easy this is? I challenge you to install an additional application on an existing stack using another tool.  And then try the same thing with CloudBolt C2.

API

Our API v2 was build by developers that interface with other vendors’ APIs on a daily basis, so you can imagine that we know a thing or two about how to build a great API. Since C2 v4.4.1, we’ve added more capabilities to the v2 API, and C2 now ships with several example CLI scripts that will be useful to any developer interested in programmatic access to C2’s extensive capabilities.

Provisioning and Lifecycle Updates

We’ve been listening to our customers that are tired of managing multiple Windows templates for each required instance disk size.  C2 can now auto-extend the primary windows disk when you select a larger storage size in an order form.

Users can now request additional disk space not just at provisioning, but at any point in the VM’s lifecycle, and that disk can be thin, thick, or eager-zero provisioned.

Challenged by vCenter’s lack of customization support for CentOS? C2 will automatically solve that problem, too—CentOS VMware customizations through C2 will now work properly like they used to on previous versions of vCenter.

Have other ideas that will make your life easier?  We’re always listening.

Unified IT Management. Today.

If you’re looking at Cloud Management Platforms because you have an active project underway, or if you’re just kicking the tires, the time is right to consider CloudBolt C2. We’re constantly working to lower the barrier of entry to enterprise software to levels previously unseen. CloudBolt C2 is cloud, made easy.

Schedule a Demo  to get started, or or try it yourself . And let us know what you think!

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Topics: Feature, Cloud Management, Upgrade

Why C2 is Important When Adopting OpenStack

Posted by Justin Nemmers

5/14/14 9:49 PM

“If I’m moving to OpenStack, why do I need a Cloud Manager like CloudBolt C2?”

As organizations look to extend their footprints beyond the traditional virtualization infrastructure providers (read: VMware), we hear questions like this both more frequently, and with more fervor. It’s a good question. At face value, many people see projects and products like OpenStack, and just assume that they compete directly with CloudBolt C2, but actually, when used together, the two products each provide distinct benefits that are absolutely game changing.

OpenStack Cloud Software

Despite the influx of added code and interest in Horizon, this still represents a rather significant, and complex barrier to full OpenStack adoption in the enterprise.  In my conversations with many large organizations that are implementing OpenStack, it’s become apparent that nearly every single one is either writing their own non Horizon-based front-end interface on top of OpenStack, or purchasing a commercially-available front-end (i.e. CloudBolt C2). Those organizations that are developing their own UIs are effectively signing up to maintain that code and project in-house for the life of their OpenStack environment.

Why C2?

We can look deeper into one example: updating a UI option for an instance order form. In Horizon, it requires advanced knowledge of Django and Python, and creates upgrade problems down the road. (Random aside: Want more info on UI and how difficult it is to make a good one? Read more here.) In C2, updating the order process takes a non-developer just a few clicks. Add to that C2’s built-in rates, quotas, ongoing server/application management, and software license management, and the potential value-add to the build vs. buy decision becomes quite real.

Beyond the configurability of the interface itself, there is the question of choice, and existing complexity. Chances are your IT environment contains a significant number of technologies—some of which will integrate well with OpenStack, and others that will not. And then, it apparently does matter which vendor’s OpenStack you decide to purchase, given Red Hat’s ominous announcement at the OpenStack Summit about their impending support policy changes.

Despite this concerning policy shift, OpenStack vendors will continue expanding support for proprietary tools and platforms, but are unlikely to solve the equation for every technology present in typical IT organizations’ legacy environments.  In the end, OpenStack-- from any vendor--  will force a choice: roll your own capability, or replace what you’ve got with something more OpenStack friendly. Using C2 can ease this transition by managing everything in the environment- OpenStack, legacy systems, public cloud providers, configuration management systems, etc.. End users will not know where their servers and applications are actually being deployed. IT again owns the decision of the best underlying environment for the workload.

Given these points, the difficulty of implementation and ongoing support of your existing infrastructure and environments means that the only real scenario when implementing OpenStack is to run two environments in parallel—one is your existing environment making continued use of existing integrations and technologies—and the second is the new OpenStack-based one, which will largely be a re-implementation and re-basing of both technology and process. The IT organization can then begin the task of migrating workloads from the legacy environment to OpenStack.

When run alongside existing IT, new environments absolutely benefit from a unified visualization, reporting, quotas, access, and management. This is another reason why C2 is still important in enterprises that are moving to OpenStack. Few organizations that are investing in OpenStack immediately replace their existing technology. Their environments are a mix of legacy and modern, and they need to find ways to effectively manage those stacks. Rapidly growing businesses also frequently need to ingest infrastructure and technology from acquired companies.

OpenStack is gaining significant momentum in IT, and for good reason. IT organizations looking for ways to further commoditize their technology stacks see OpenStack as a great way to build and maintain a standards-based private cloud environment, and they’re largely right. C2 is a critical component into easing the adoption of not just OpenStack, but also other disruptive technologies.

Ready to get started?  Schedule a Demo

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Topics: News, IT Challenges, OpenStack

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