The Cure for Cloud Sprawl: Nimble Operationalization

The Cure for Cloud Sprawl

Enterprises are shifting to a cloud-first footing. That’s no secret. But just as companies and their IT teams are getting used to the idea of going to the cloud, now they need to anticipate—and lay the groundwork for—a multi-cloud environment. That’s the IT world these days: solve one challenge, and four more appear.

Success in the multi-cloud world will depend greatly upon solutions and services that help enterprises operationalize data, making sure all the moving parts adhere to governance and compliance protocols.

The Challenges of Multi-Cloud

Juggling multiple software platforms, server Instance types, security policies, operating system images and application-specific requirements taxes already-stretched resources. Every project turns into three or four projects, because every app and service needs to be tweaked for each cloud platform. It can lead to constant rewriting of the entire deployment instruction script and ultimately, cloud sprawl.

The multi-cloud world can also promote the spread of shadow IT within the enterprise. In many companies, the manual processes used to deploy and manage cloud services can take days or weeks to complete. Once the services are available, end users are disconnected from lifecycle operations and must rely on help desk interactions to get their jobs done. This process can be slow and delay end users from completing their tasks or worse yet, force users into going it on their own with the swipe of a credit card, putting them outside the control of IT.

The Tools to Operationalize It All

There’s a rapidly emerging market of multi-cloud management solutions and services. To be nimble in the multi-cloud world, you should zero in on tools that have the following features. It’s not so much a wish list as it is a must-have list.

Blueprint design tool. It should be cloud-agnostic and translate well when moving from our cloud provider to another. Overall, it will reduce the hours of work it takes to create and deploy cloud services. By abstracting the different elements of the creation workflow, it also simplifies the design of cloud services by auto-generating an execution plan. This plan will bring together all the up-to-date elements of the blueprint and automatically generate corresponding service catalog items.

Easy-to-set compliance. Governance (e.g. approvals, quotas, permissions) and compliance (e.g. data center selection, security settings) policies should be defined independently and applied at run-time across any cloud.

Single-pane control panel. Developers who want to test their code on a multi-tier test environment (e.g: development to acceptance to production) should be able to do so with a simple click of a button.

User portal with drag-and-drop ease. A good user experience curbs shadow IT. The end user should be able to easily access their personalized service catalog to launch new services, manage lifecycle operations of stacks or individual resources and manage consumption against costs, usage and quotas.

A single system of record. This should discover and manage all cloud resources and provide seamless integration with incident, problem and change management. This type of system will automatically route issues and requests through the standard IT processes.

Be Ready for the Next Shift

Acceleration into the cloud and multi-cloud—and beyond—is making it imperative for businesses of all sizes to be ready. It’s vital to set yourself up for success in an ever-shifting tech-scape. The kind of seamless automation we envision for developers and users in the multi-cloud environment will allow a business to scale nimbly as their cloud usage increases exponentially. And, that is something that will put a smile on the face of everyone in the C-suite and the IT department.

By Allan Leinwand

Brian Day

Tips for Developing Apps In a Cloud Environment

DevOps and the Cloud Unless you’ve just started a brand-new organization, your IT environment is currently running a diverse collection of last-generation and older applications that were deployed with the one-application-per-server approach that unleashed the ...
Brad Thies

System Vulnerabilities Are an Issue for Everyone

System Vulnerabilities Are an Issue for Everyone Over the past decade, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of companies relying on cloud services. Given the nature of the cloud as a shared-resource ...
Back G Cloud

Five Reasons Why There’s A Digital Stampede To The Cloud

The Digital Stampede As the transfer of digital assets to the cloud gathers momentum, we examine the fundamental reasons why it’s happening Many organizations have been contemplating moving some or all their assets to the ...
Machine

Machine Learning: The Importance of Actionable Data

The Importance of Actionable Data How awesome would it be to know for sure exactly what your customers want to see from your business? Imagine being armed with enough actionable data to be able to ...
Scott Leatherman

Beware the Perils of Blind Cloud Provisioning

The COVID-19 Rush to the Cloud Results in Steep Costs and Chaos For many companies, their data center capacity was not built for the instant tsunami-sized jolt of increased load caused by the global pandemic ...
Martin Mendelsohn

Who Should Protect Our Data?

Who Should Protect Our Data in The Cloud? You would think that cloud service providers are safe havens for your personal data – they all have a ‘security’ component embedded into their offerings and claim ...