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One cloud manager to rule them all!

Posted by Justin Nemmers

11/12/12 9:40 AM

When I first started at Red Hat, I was a consultant who helped customers deploy a relatively wide set of technologies. A common delivery that we performed frequently was to install and configure the Red Hat Network Satellite Server, which did a phenomenal job of deploying and managing its namesake: Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Managing resources is fundamental to operations in a data center, and within a short time, a new breed of management tools started to materialize. These tools promised—and many delivered—one tool with a single-pane-of-glass actionable management of every server resource in a business datacenter, as long as you only tried to use it for the products those tools managed, that is.

The technologist in me was instantly skeptical of single tool products. As I saw it, the problem was more nuanced than “one tool to rule them all,” because most IT shops had more than just a single platform in play. Red Hat Network Satellite server could do things to and with RHEL systems that these other tools couldn’t touch, but it couldn’t do anything on Windows. In any case, why would you want that? You probably had Microsoft System Center to handle your Windows. In fact, most major enterprise platforms have a powerful management tool built alongside it, and also have the ability to control even the smallest configuration. How can a “we-do-everything tool” ever hope to match the power already built into these products for management and configuration?

Rings to Rule the Cloud

It’s no different with cloud management platforms (CMP) - they run into the same walls, and don’t have the ability to talk to anything except their own product line. In order for a CMP to qualify as a true “one tool” management product, it has to talk to everything in the datacenter across physical and virtual platforms and cloud frameworks, and help you make use what you’ve already invested in, or it is just another tool that adds weight and costs to a datacenter. And, a “one tool” product shouldn’t require the replacement of expensive technologies or require a significant investment in time and money to install, use and maintain, either.

I would put my skepticism to rest if there was a tool that could give you situational awareness of your entire IT environment while still being able to use the deeper functionality of the native management utility in a manner that leverages rather than replaces your existing tools. This means “one tool” that can identify what is in use, talk to it, allow for full utilization of its capabilities and, perhaps even as icing on the cake, provide it to end-users. Furthermore, the approach must salvage the significant investment in acquisition, implementation, and training you’ve made in those other tools without ripping or replacing anything. Why should a company have to start over, or spend a huge amount of money to buy new stuff so they can use what they already own?

Do-it-all technologies may be very good at certain tasks, but most will fall down when it comes creating a resource management tool that works across the entirety of the resource pool and cloud frameworks, uses existing assets and doesn’t require any significant amount of time or money to implement. At CloudBolt, we’ve focused all of our efforts on a full-on solution for the problems virtualized environments face with a product that can evolve with a company as it makes changes in IT, even as it solves the challenges of right now across multiple platforms and cloud frameworks. Our development team, under the leadership of our CTO Bernard Sanders, and lead product architect Auggy Da Rocha, struck out to create a “one tool” resource management product that can truly rule them all by solving all of those problems, and making maximum use of the capabilities of existing IT as it deploys a private cloud with hybrid cloud functionality. A huge part of my job here is to make sure our customers are getting solutions that provide them with full enterprise situational awareness as well as interoperability with existing management tools. CloudBolt C2 is one tool to rule them all, and it can truly revolutionize how organizations work with, and use their IT.

An affordable tool that builds on top of what you’re already doing, C2 makes what you’ve got visible and presents it as cloud, so your IT shop gains the ability to unify management across a wide variety of technologies in a way which allows for the easy presentation of any IT resource to end users. Because those users are fully abstracted from the underlying technology, you’re suddenly able to choose and configure the best underlying technology combination possible. Not only do you gain agility in serving end users, you also gain flexibility in your choice of technology, and that turns into the ability to drive down costs on things like VM sprawl. Plus, it decreases possible attack vectors.

By leveraging the existing technologies already in your environment, CloudBolt C2 allows IT shops to realize the full value and potential of existing management and virtualization tools, and gives higher ups a much clearer, fully-transparent view into cross-environment utilization in ways that were absolutely impossible before. I could go on, but you get the idea. In short, using C2 as one tool to rule them all gives you the ability to unlock the true power of your entire IT environment in ways that will save you time, money, and ensure that you leave your end users smiling.

Topics: IT Challenges, Management