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Cloud Managers: When Free Isn’t

Posted by John Menkart

9/9/13 12:41 PM

Recently a number of large IT vendors have begun bundling their cloud management software with their existing product suites. This results in the appearance that the vendors’ cloud management technology is free, or near free, and thus appears to have a significant price advantage over other technologies such as CloudBolt C2 that offers real value to customers.

vendor solution suite cash cow
Is that "free" product really just a loss leader for the cash cow solution suite?

VMware, CA, IBM, HP and others have jumped onto this bandwagon to incent customers (any customers) to adopt their proprietary Cloud Management Platform. My question is: why would a company give customers something for free that is valuable and takes resources to develop, maintain, and support?  The answer is that they wouldn’t.

We all know the adage of “there is no free lunch”. So what is the reason the apparent price of these supposed solutions is so low, or even as a free line item on your quote?

1)   You get what you pay for. If a product has little actual value, and as a result companies are unlikely to pony up cash post-evaluation, then giving the product license for free makes the overall expenditure look like a better deal. It also distracts the customer from looking too closely at the product, and from realizing that license cost is the tip of the cost iceberg. The time to implementation and functional use of the products combined with the resources consumed during the implementation process will likely dwarf the initial acquisition cost.

2)   Vendor Lock In. Cloud computing by its nature is intended to provide customers significant choice. It can free customers from an unhappy marriage with their vendors and enable adoption of best of breed technologies across the board. Despite this, many large vendors are using their free or low-cost cloud managers to lock-in customers to their larger solution suite. In short, the Will VMware work as hard to support alternative to vCenter hypervisors in vCAC? Will BMC ever make supporting Puppet, Chef or HP SA as easy and feature rich as the support for BMC BladeLogic? Any reasonably savvy customer intuitively knows the answer to these questions. The fact is: free products are loss leaders. They’re meant to drive revenue from other products and make it difficult if not impossible to switch to alternatives once deployed. As a result, they all have a significant bias toward the rest of the vendor’s solution suite.

The next time your vendor rep tells you that their solution is just as good as CloudBolt C2 and free (or nearly), think about why they are so anxious to avoid having their product scrutinized in comparison to C2. Look closely, and understand their motivation, or you could be accepting a free tool only to be forced to feed the cash cow that is all of the other vendor’s products.

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Topics: John, Vendors, Puppet

Cloud Management Solution Suite vs. the Best of Breed

Posted by John Menkart

8/27/13 2:14 PM

Listen to the large enterprise IT vendors for long enough, and you will hear that ‘best of breed’ solutions are a thing of the past. ‘The time when customers requiring a solution to a specific IT need should go out and seek the most capable tool and implement it in their environment has come and gone”, they say. These myopic and self-centered vendors will rail on and on about how;  “yes there was a time when best of breed IT solutions were a great path forward, but that was before ‘we’ insert your favorite large monolithic software vendor here bought up all the best solutions and marketed them as a family of products already pre-integrated for our customers.”  They will go on to say that “IT is so complicated and confusing that our customers should just buy all our products (and only our products) and all their problems will be solved!”

solution sets drag along over complicated
A solution suite has a lot of drag-along. It might seem simple, at first glance, but reality sets in quickly.

These same large vendors talk behind their customer’s backs about gaining a bigger share of the customer’s wallet—as if all of the more money they extract from their customers imparts more benefit the customer will accrue. (There is certainly benefit to the vendor when they have a stranglehold on the customer’s IT budget, but certainly much the opposite for the customer.) These vendors’ strategies are clearly to ignore the reality of the marketplace and where true innovation is happening, and to use any means necessary to convince customers that IT is easy if these customers “standardize” on their particular solution suite. “Don’t consider products from any other vendors  (large or small)”, they will preach. “Your IT environment will only support your business needs by sending all of your IT budget my way and exclusively locking yourselves in to our products.”

The Reality Versus the Hot Air

The reality of today’s dynamic markets is that standardization on a single vendor suite as being proposed by the large vendors is an impossibility for the modern enterprise.

hot air from cloud solution vendors
Vendors are quick to tell you that unifying environments is as easy as selecting all of their tools.  Tired of the hot air?

As companies merge and consolidate more rapidly, it is a certainty that the resulting entities will have a varied range of hardware and software solutions performing similar functions. Wholesale replacement of this technology to achieve homogeneity would be constant and costly while offering no real business benefit.

At the same time, the pace of technology change is rapid and uneven. An example is the recent innovation around network virtualization. The advent of network virtualization and Software Defined Networking (SDN) enables enterprises to examine how they might take advantage of this emerging technology to revolutionize data center architectures, not to mention ease the move to cloud-based technologies. Given that SDN technology is in its early stages, it is far from clear what implementation or vendor will emerge the leader in the space. Despite VMWare’s VMWorld 2013 announcement at about their NSX product (the bits that used to be Nicira), to date, nearly all of the larger vendors haven’t even developed a strategy much less a realistic product offering in this critical technical segment.

Independent Vendor Solutions and the Best of Breed Advantage

If standardization on a single vendor, and surrender of your IT budget is a non-starter, what does a successful approach look like, then?

The IT market today, perhaps more than ever before, presents a great range of best of breed technologies to select from. The fact is that most large vendors are working so hard to obscure this point. And they’re succeeding. The prospect of Cloud has the ability to give the choice and power back to the customer.

Cloud is much more than a way to provision and manage IT resources. The correct cloud manager enables enterprises to unify a heterogeneous environment (Hardware, Software private cloud and public cloud) to take advantage of best of breed solutions and increase the agility of the IT department to incorporate new and disruptive solutions. An independent cloud management tool can’t afford to be limited (or biased) in its support for internally deployed IT technologies (be they hardware  or software) or in its support for various private or public cloud resources.

Why does vendor independence matter?  Because an independent cloud platform is not beholden to making one IT technology or tool (or suite of tools) look or function better than any other. A truly independent and advanced cloud platform takes it cue from the market and supports those underlying tools and technologies demanded by the market and it’s customers.

In light of these requirements, examine the existing cloud management options, and you will find an independent vendor will provide significant advantage to your enterprise. Adoption of the proper independent solution makes best of breed technology easy to implement in your environment and provides a degree of agility and efficiency superior to standardizing on any single vendor.

Implement an independent cloud manager, and regain the power to chose the best of breed solution for each of your enterprise IT problems.

Want to learn more about what CloudBolt can do in your IT environment, regardless of your underlying technology choices or platform selection?  We'd love to show you.

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Topics: Software Defined Network, John, Vendors

7 Takeaways From the Red Hat Summit

Posted by Justin Nemmers

6/19/13 8:27 AM

CloudBolt Booth Red Hat Summit Boston John Menkart Justin Nemmers Colin Thorp Jesse NewellPart of the CloudBolt team at Red Hat Summit 2013.  Sales Director Milan Hemrajani took the picture.

A few sales folks and I have returned from a successful Red Hat Summit in Boston, MA. With over 4,000 attendees, we were able to leverage an excellent booth position to talk to many hundreds of people. One of the things that I love about my role here at CloudBolt is that I am constantly learning. I particularly enjoy speaking with customers about the types of problems they run across in their IT environments, and I take every chance I can to learn more about what their IT challenges are. Some of these are common themes that we hear a lot here at CloudBolt, and a few were a bit surprising as some organizations are still in earlier stages of their modernization efforts that I would have expected.

  1. Not everyone has heavily virtualized his or her enterprise.
    Sure, there are some environments where virtualization doesn’t make a lot of sense—such as parallelized, but tightly CPU-bound workloads, or HPC environments. But what surprised me were the number of organizations I spoke with that made little, or highly limited use of virtualization in the data center. It’s not that they didn’t see the value of it, more often than not, they still made use of Solaris on SPARC, or had old-school management that had not yet bought into the idea that running production workloads on virtualized serves has been a long-accepted common practice. For these folks and others, I’d like to introduce you to a topic I like to call “Cloud by Consolidation” (in a later blog post).
  2. Best-of-Breed is back.
    Organizations are tired of being forced to use a particular technology just because it came with another product, or because it comes from a preferred vendor. For example, an IT organization is pressed to use sub-optimal technology because it came with another suite of products. Forcing an ill-fitting product on a problem often results in longer implementation times, which consume more team resources over just implementing the right technology for the problem at hand. Your mechanic will confirm that the right tool makes any job easier. It’s not any different with enterprise software.
    • The gap between things like CloudForms (Formerly ManageIQ) it’s ability to manage OpenStack implementations
    • Nicira Software Defined Networking and the ability to manage it with vCloud Automation Center (vCAC, formerly DynamicOps)Either way, customers are tired of waiting as a result of vendor lock-in.
  3. Customers are demanding reduced vendor lock-in.
    IT organizations have a broad range of technologies in their data centers. They need a cloud manager that has the capabilities to effectively manage, not just what they have installed today, but what they want to install tomorrow. For example, a customer might have VMware vCenter today, but is actively looking at moving more capacity to AWS. Alternatively, they have one data center automation tool, and are looking to move to another (see my next point below, #4). Another scenario is not having to wait for disruptive technology to be better supported before getting to implement and test it in your own environment—while being managed with existing technology. Good examples:
  4. Customers are increasingly implementing multiple Data Center Automation (DCA) tools. 
    This is a bit interesting in the sense it used to be that an IT organization would purchase a single DCA technology and implement it enterprise-wide. I was surprised to hear the number of customers that were actively looking at a multiple DCA strategy in their environments. Our booth visitors reported that they primarily used HP Server Automation, and to a lesser extent BMC’s BladeLogic. Puppet and Chef were popular tools that organizations are implementing in growth or new environments—like new public cloud environments. Either way, these customers see the definitive value in using CloudBolt C2 to present DCA-specific capabilities to end users, significantly increasing the power of user self-service IT while at the same time decreasing complexity in the environment.
  5. Lots of people are talking about OpenStack. Few are using it.
    For every 10 customers that said they were looking at OpenStack, 10 said they were not yet using it. There’s certainly been an impressive level of buzz around OpenStack, but we haven’t seen a significant number of customers that have actively installed and are attempting to use it in their environments. I think that Red Hat’s formal entry into this space will help this, because they have a proven track record of taming the seemingly untamable mix of rapidly-changing open source projects into something that’s supportable in the enterprise. I have no doubt that Red Hat will be able to tame this into something usable. This does not, however, mean that customers will be making wholesale moves from their existing (and largely VMware-based) virtualization platforms to OpenStack. Furthermore, there are still significant market confusion in regards to what Red Hat is selling. Is it RHEV? Is it OpenStack? Do I need both? These are all questions I heard more than once from Customers in Boston.
  6. Open and Open Source aren’t the same thing.
    I spent too many years at Red Hat to know that this is the case, but I feel it’s extremely important to mention it here. Many customers told us that they wanted open technologies—but in these cases, open meant tools and technologies that were flexible enough to interoperate with a lot of other technologies, and reduce overall vendor lock-in. Sure, an Open Source development model could be a plus, but the customers were most interested in their tech working, working well, and working quickly.
  7. Most IT Orgs want Chargeback, but few businesses are willing to accept it.
    Thus far, the only groups that I’ve chatted with whom actually use some chargeback mechanism are service providers that have external customers. Pretty much every other IT Organization seems to face significant pressure from the businesses they support against chargeback. Showback pricing helps counter this resistance, and over time should help more IT organizations win the battle over chargeback. IT Organizations should be leaping at the chance to collect and report on per-group or project cost reporting. It’s a critical piece of information that businesses need to make effective decisions. Business-Driven IT has been a necessary step in the evolution of IT for a long, long time. IT needs to get with the program and make visible to the business the types of information the business needs to make effective decisions. And on the flip side, the business needs to get with the program and accept that their teams and projects will have to be held responsible for their IT consumption.

So how do you get started recognizing the value of integrating IT with the business? Start here.

We’re looking forward to exhibiting at the next Red Hat Summit, which is slated to be held in San Francisco’s Moscone North and South exhibition center. And if you thought we made a big splash at this year’s summit…  Just wait to see what we have in the works!

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Topics: Virtualization, Cloud, Enterprise, Red Hat, Challenges, Vendors

CloudBolt C2 is the Cloud Manager for the Dell Cloud for Government

Posted by Justin Nemmers

6/11/13 10:57 AM

I’m thrilled to announce that CloudBolt C2 is the Cloud Manager Dell is using in their recently announced Dell Cloud for US Government. In this solution, CloudBolt C2 provides the automated workflows, provisioning, rapid scalability, and metered pricing customers need in order to become their own cloud provider.

Dell Cloud for US Government uses CloudBolt C2

The Dell solution enables organizations to take advantage of the cloud delivery model to provide a range of on-demand resources to end users in a predictable and reliable manner, all while using infrastructure that meets various US Government security criteria including:

  • NIST 800-53
  • FedRAMP
  • FISMA Low and Moderate
  • HIPAA 

This solution is being offered two ways:

  • Dedicated solution either hosted or installed in a customer environment
  • Hosted multi-tenant on-demand cloud

Either way, Dell has the ability to provide either solution in a manner that meets the broad range of security criteria Government Customers are faced with.

This solution required a powerful Cloud Manager that could not just offer an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, but also one that could just as easily support multi-tenant environments as it could single tenant ones. C2’s Section 508 compliance, robust orchestration layer and the ability to plug into nearly any required technology made it the natural and secure fit for the Dell Cloud for US Government solution.

Dell offers this solution with a flexible acquisition model: either can be purchased with enough capacity for as few as 100, and all the way up to 100,000 or more VMs. This Dell Cloud for US Government solution can be Dell hosted, installed in a customer environment, or offered as a hybrid model. No matter how you chose to consume it, the capabilities and certifications are the same. Dell has rolled in over 270 security controls to help customers attain and track any ATOs needed to run in their environments.

Dell’s FedRAMP Cloud builds on the capabilities of the NIST Dedicated Cloud solution and adds the required security controls to achieve FedRAMP certification. This Dell-hosted multi-tenant environment allows public cloud-like metered on-demand access to secure computing resources. Because this solution comes with FedRAMP certification, no additional ATOs are needed for those agencies able to run FedRAMP-approved solutions.

Dell Federal Services CTO Jeff Lush has a series of YouTube videos where he highlights the capabilities of this solution.

Customers will use CloudBolt C2 to request on-demand Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) resources, which will automatically be provisioned, tracked, and managed in an ongoing basis. Organizations that deploy the dedicated solution will get access to the full suite of C2 capabilities, including multi-cloud management, which will enable those customers to manage other Virtualization or Cloud environments as well.

CloudBolt C2’s power and flexibility were key reasons why Dell chose C2 for this solution. Interested in learning more? Give us a ring at 703.665.1060.

(FedRAMP stands for Federal Risk and Authorization Program. See more info about that here.)

(Dell is a registered trademark of Dell, Inc.)



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Topics: News, Cloud, Private Cloud, Government, Vendors

Have Your Cloud Vendors Spent Time in the Data Center?

Posted by Justin Nemmers

5/30/13 5:34 PM

data center vendor virtualization and cloud planning

As part of a project kickoff meeting yesterday, I walked through a massive data center in Northern VA. It’s the same one that houses huge portions of the Amazon Web Services’ us-east region, amongst nearly every other major ‘who’s who’ of the Internet age.

Of the various people that accompanied me on this tour, there were several that marveled at both the expansive magnitude, as well as the seemingly strict order of cages, racks, and hallways alike. Seeing this all through the eyes of folks that had not been in a data center before got me thinking about a simple question: “Has your vendor spent time in a data center?”

I pose this question both literally and figuratively. For enterprises, the data center is more than just a location. The data center encompasses not just a location, but business logic, processes, software, licenses, infrastructure, personnel, technology, and data. Saying something is “in the data center” imparts a certain gravity, meaning that a person has implied capability, responsibility, and knowledge. For a technology, being in the data center means that it’s likely a critical component of the business. By being “in the data center”, a technology has most likely met numerous standards for not just functionality to the business, but also reliability and security.

When it comes to IT environments, then, there are really two categories when it comes to the data center. Those technologies, people, and businesses that have experience working in one, and everyone and everything else. In no place is this notion more important, and true, than in Enterprise IT.

Innovation happens in the data center because of the unique problems encountered with IT at scale. If a vendor is not familiar with the types of issues organizations face at the data center scale, they’ll likely discover numerous limitations in capability and process alike. Furthermore; and a bit more insidious, is that the vendor doesn’t understand how IT organizations interact with and otherwise manage the data center environment in the first place.

Actual results may vary, but I’d venture that many solutions born in places other than the data center tend to cost more to implement, and have more thorny integration issues than promised—as a likely result of forcing the hand of IT organizations and business to effectively and wholly change their approach rather than just presenting a technology that fuses well with existing process, then presenting those same organizations with the choice of when and how to evolve.

IT organizations need solutions born in and for the data center. Looking to a team that has significant experience building, managing, selling to, and supporting the data center environment can be a significant benefit to IT organizations. Thankfully, CloudBolt is just one such company with substantial data center experience. This results in C2 being designed and built with the data center in mind. This has several effects:

  • For one, we’ll understand your actual problem, not the problem we, as a vendor, want you to have.
  • Two, we’ll be dis-inclined to wedge our product in places where it doesn’t fit well merely because we know what it takes to support a product in the enterprise, and we definitely don’t want to support an ill-fitting product in a data center.
  • Lastly, we’ll allow you to both implement the new tool, and continue to keep up business-as-usual. No sweeping, massive change required up front.

Collectively, our team has spent over 40 person-years in the data center. It shows in how we interact with customers, and it definitely shows in our product. 

Why not give our whitepaper a once-over, and then take C2 for a test drive?

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Topics: Enterprise, Challenges, Vendors, Data Center

The C2 Cloud Manager Value Play: IT in a Business Context

Posted by Justin Nemmers

5/13/13 12:53 PM

 car fleet cloud manager CFO and CTO

The march toward simplicity in technology and data centers is one that grows more difficult with every technical innovation that occurs. For years, CIOs and IT managers have maintained that standardization on a select provider’s toolset will help simplify their IT enterprise. “Standardize!  Reduced fragmentation will set you free,” the typical IT vendors will shout. However, reality is just not that simple. I’ve made some other cases for why the mentality of strict standardization isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be, but I’m going to take a different approach this time. 

One problem that I hear pretty frequently when talking to customers’ non-IT leadership and management is that they frequently lament that their IT organizations just don’t understand how the business actually needs to; not just consume IT, but also track and measure various metrics from an IT organization in ways that make sense to the business.

Let’s look at this a bit more practically for a moment. I used this analogy with a CFO last week, and it resonated well in describing the real issue that the non-IT leadership types have with IT as a whole.

In a large pharmaceutical company, there is a fleet of company-owned cars. A recall is needed on one year of a particular model because of poor paint quality. Upon learning that information, the fleet manager can not only tell you exactly how many of those cars she has in her fleet, but also tell you exactly who each car is assigned to, which ones are green, and the home address of that car. The fleet manager is able to present information about her part of the business in a way that makes sense to management. How is it that IT does not operate with the same level of intelligence?

Now let’s apply the same thought process to IT. The CFO wants to know what percentage of the IT budget is being used by a particular project. Enter the IT organization. The real numbers behind the CFO’s request are daunting. The IT organization is juggling thousands of VMs, different licensing models and costs for software, different hardware, multiple data center locations, and a convoluted org chart, just to name a few. Different environments have different cost structures, and therefore add complexity to reporting because of the requirement to understand not just what a VM is running, but where it is running.

And that’s a relatively uncomplicated example. What happens when you start to add things like applications, software licenses, configuration management tools (HP SA! Puppet! Chef! Salt Stack!), multiple data centers, differing virtualization technologies (VMware! Xen! KVM!), multiple versions of the same technology, multiple project teams accessing shared resources, multiple Amazon web services public cloud accounts, etc.

From a seemingly simple request, we have revealed the main frustration that the non-IT leadership faces nearly every time they have a seemingly simple request. At core to the problem is that the IT processes and technologies were not built in a way to provide this transparency. Instead, technologies such as virtualization, cloud, networking, etc. were designed and implemented to provide high availability, and meet an SLA. They were not designed to offer reporting transparency, or cost accountability. The end result:  IT the Business cannot understand IT, and vice versa.

The good news is that the capabilities needed to resolve this imbalance are present today. When implemented in an environment, CloudBolt enables IT managers to answer the questions their non-IT leadership is asking. “CloudBolt enables IT in a Business Context”. CloudBolt C2 solves more than just the problems that CIO, CTO, and IT Directors and Managers have. For the first time, C2 enables the non-tech leadership to view IT in a way that’s analogous to how they look at any other portion of their business, which is both good for business, and IT. 

It’s time for IT in a Business Context. It’s time for Business-Driven IT.

Take a look at our Benefits Overview, and see how we can make a difference today.

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Topics: IT Challenges, Enterprise, Business Challenges, IT Organization, Vendors

The 5 Cloud Management Vendor Categories: Where Does Your Vendor Fit?

Posted by John Menkart

4/8/13 3:51 PM

With Cloud Managers assuming such a critical role for IT groups, it is easy to understand why every existing IT vendor wants to supply a Cloud Manager that favors their core products in the roll out of an enterprise private/hybrid Cloud.

cloud manager chose wisely
Where does your Cloud Manager fit amonngst the available choices?

The Gartner Group has studied private/hybrid cloud management extensively and has summarized the space as having five (5) categories of vendors with ‘solutions’ for Cloud Management, as described by Gartner in their research note titled “Cloud Management Platform Vendor Landscape” Published 5 September 2012:

1) Traditional IT Operations Management Vendors

This segment of the Cloud Manager market includes vendors whose primary focus for management has been targeted at traditional physical and virtual infrastructures.  (BMC, HP SW, IBM, CA and others)

2) Infrastructure Stack Vendors

In this segment of the Cloud Management market are providers of the virtual infrastructure resources (Citrix Systems [Citrix], Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware) —the hypervisor and basic virtualization management. While some of these vendors offer some multiplatform (hypervisor or OS) capability, their expertise and deep integration are for their own platforms.

3) Fabric Based Infrastructure Vendors

Most hardware infrastructure vendors offer cloud management software, which enables them to sell private and hybrid cloud solutions and not just the features and benefits of their hardware. (HP, IBM, Cisco, etc.). Think wholly contained racks of equipment that include storage, compute, network, and software, sold in pre-integrated chunks.

4) Open Source

These projects or vendors provide an open-source-based abstraction layer for resource management. They provide basic CMP functionality and generally provide a northbound API so that other vendors/independent software vendors (ISVs) can develop and build enriched CMP capabilities.

5) Best-of-Breed Point Solutions Vendors

The point solution Cloud Management vendors, which include mostly smaller Cloud Management companies, potentially are able to introduce innovation to the market. This is primarily because these vendors don't have legacy products that have to be integrated to build their solution.


Examining these categories some concerns about vendor motivations and the resulting limits placed on customers adopting some of these solutions arise.

The first three categories of vendors have a clear mission to maintain and advance the dependency that IT organizations have on their core technology.  A primary reason for adopting Cloud Management is enabling flexibility for future IT choices, yet selection of a Cloud Management solution from vendors in categories 1 through 3 have effect of restricting choice and flexibility for the customer due to biased technology support.

In order to gain full functionality from the offering, all the vendors in these three categories mandate use of a suite of software and/or hardware from the vendors’ own portfolio. These requirements will hamper the organization that adopts a Cloud Management solution.  Rather than being free over time to adopt new technologies like Network Virtualization, IT organizations will be limited to continuing to feed their ‘Cloud Management” vendor large sums of the IT budget for software and hardware, ensuring they are now ‘locked-in” as a result of a biased Cloud Management approach. These large vendors have a term for what they are trying to achieve with the customer. It’s ‘share of wallet’.  Any vendor looking for more share of your wallet is not going to make it easy or flexible for your enterprise to adopt products or technologies that they do not provide.

Gartner views the fourth category (open source) with promise noting: These solutions “provide basic Cloud Management functionality and generally provide a northbound API so that other vendors/independent software vendors (ISVs) can develop and build enriched CMP capabilities.”

The options in this category are tools like OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus.  The level of immaturity of the technologies in this space are the reason Gartner sees the need for an API so other more refined and mature Cloud Managers can abstract the users from these specific tools. By avoiding direct use of the cloud frameworks’ UI, the organization can use a more complete Cloud Manager to integrate the Cloud pilots undertaken with Open Source tools using only a broader cloud approach by the overall enterprise.

The additional concern with respect to these open source frameworks is that they are developed as a monolithic technology stack and bring unique technology such as server virtualization and configuration management. Rather than being truly vendor and technology agnostic, they represent a considerable integration effort and encourage costly rip and replace.

So that leaves only one category of Cloud Management vendor that doesn’t approach the IT organizations’ problem as an opportunity to ‘lock-in’ the customer, or is not too immature to deliver organizational value today.

The “Point Solutions” category is one where real unbiased solutions will be able to emerge. Like CloudBolt, other vendors in this category must deliver value in their own right. The products must account for heterogeneous resources in an IT environment and must stand on their own when considered as a solution.

The range of vendors offering independent solutions for cloud management is extensive and the solutions are diverse. From products limited to organizations using only virtualization to full-on enterprise offerings like CloudBolt Command & Control (C2) that cohesively manage and coordinate hardware provisioning, virtual servers, virtual networking, configuration and automation (HPSA, Chef, Puppet, etc.).

I am sure I speak for all the point solutions vendors when I suggest that; “selection of a Cloud Management solution must be made with eyes wide open with respect to each vendors’ desired outcome. Increased “Share of Wallet” is not a technical objective.  Only when your Cloud Management vendor is fully aligned with your organizations will you be able to deliver to the enterprise the desired technical and business flexibility.”

Want to learn more about CloudBolt C2? Download our Product Overview! 

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Topics: Management, Cloud Manager, Gartner, John, Challenges, Vendors

Next-Generation IT and Greenfield Cloud Infrastructure

Posted by Justin Nemmers

3/12/13 3:06 PM

The problem is consistent. Consistently difficult, that is. As an IT manager, how does one implement new technology in an otherwise running and static environment?  New technology decisions are not just difficult, but the range of questions that rise from thinking about implementation plans can seem daunting. 

Whether you’re talking about switching hardware vendors, or implementing something relatively new like network virtualization, how it’s implemented in your environment will often be more critical to the project’s success than the validity of the technology itself. 

greenfield IT is great IT

Ideally, every environment would be brand new.  How many times have you asked yourself “Wouldn’t it be great if I could just scrap my current infrastructure and start over?”  Fundamentally, greenfield implementations like this are a good route to go for a number of reasons:

  • They allow you to select the best-of-breed and most effective technology to solve the problem at hand
  • You get the valuable opportunity to think about how the technology stack will scale in the future
  • They allow for rapid change while the environment is being built
  • Because there are few barriers, you have the opportunity to investigate other new and upcoming technologies, and you will have time to experiment 

A Cloud Manager provides significant value here.  Using one to unify the management of a lab environment allows the rapid integration of new technologies—technologies that your IT teams need to learn and gain experience with before implementing in the production environment.  Using a Cloud Manager eases the introduction of these technologies, and unified the management interface to make administration more predictable. These tools together help to mold processes and the IT organization into a more agile group.

In my mind, one of the core issues here is that too few IT teams are able to think outside of the box when it comes to implementing new tech. If greenfield implementations are easier than shoehorning new tech into your existing stack, why not give it a shot? Starting with a small base of gear and intelligently growing the installation over time is a great way to migrate capacity. I have an entire different blog post on how to migrate via attrition that is coming soon.  In the meantime, go ahead and identify a few pieces of hardware, install your preferred virtualization tool, download CloudBolt C2, and start piecing together your future architecture.  Once C2 is installed, you’ll be able to quickly layer in additional technologies like Data Center Automation, Network Virtualization, and even other virtualization or Public Cloud resources seamlessly.  

Happy integrating!

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Topics: Virtualization, New Technology, Cloud Manager, Challenges, Implementation, Vendors, Development, Hardware