By Steven Dwyer, Savision’s VP of R&D
Recently, Mindy Cancila of Gartner presented a webinar entitled “Best Practices for Managing Public Cloud Services”. Mindy discussed the need for appropriate people, processes, and tools, stating “your cloud deployments will fail if you do not plan for management.” At the same time, she also discussed the relative immaturity of public cloud management tools compared to the features and services offered by public cloud vendors. In particular, management tools lag far behind both IaaS and SaaS offerings on the “Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing.”
When evaluating public clouds providers, cloud service brokers, and various management tools, Gartner provides a list of over 150 requirements that enterprises should consider in their report “A Comprehensive List of Management Requirements for Organizations Using Public Cloud Servers.” These requirements are grouped into four categories: “Consume and Operate”, “Administer and Deliver”, “Budget and Optimize”, and “Compare and Select”. While the last category focuses on how you should be choosing a public cloud provider and ancillary services, the first three are key to keeping your cloud-deployed assets healthy and your IT spend under control.
Many organizations find themselves confronted with the same management challenges Gartner highlighted in their on-premises data centers and private clouds. While Microsoft tools such as System Center Operations Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and the Windows Azure Pack all contain functionality to manage and administrate private cloud deployments, there are still many gaps in them and they present a fragmented interface to what should be a unified experience. Recently, MVP Aidan Finn published an article, “Hyper-V’s Biggest Weakness” that outlines many of these deficiencies. This comes on the heels of The Register’s article “If hypervisor is commodity, why is VMware still on top?” which echo’s Gartner’s webinar with the quote “All of which really boils down to one key take home: when it comes to hypervisors, the tech is solid all over. It’s ease of use that matters – and management tools, of course.”
So how do you gain better visibility into your private cloud and improve your management of it? Savision has commissioned whitepapers from Microsoft MVPs and influential authors that are designed to help you improve your understanding of private, public, and hybrid cloud management challenges and to offer solutions to the problems that all enterprises confront. Whitepapers such as John Joyner’s “Instrumenting the Hybrid Cloud”, Steve Buchanan’s “Service Management’s Role in the Private Cloud”, and Kristian Nese’s “Azure Technologies in the Private Cloud” will help you get in front of management problems. These whitepapers also come with accompanying on-demand webinars that include examples and demonstrations of the techniques outlined in the papers.
When one thinks of the “Budget and Optimize” category in the context of the private cloud, two important considerations come to mind: ensuring that you’re making the most efficient use of your on-premises resources, and being able to properly forecast future capital expenditures.
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Steven is the Vice President of Research and Development at Savision where he is responsible for delivering excellence in System Center solutions. Previously, he has led development teams at Sitebrand and Shout Research, and has developed System Center Operations Manager management packs for applications like Apache, Tomcat, and Oracle WebLogic.