CTO Q&A: Self-Service Private/Hybrid Cloud Coalition


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newScale, rPath and Eucalyptus Systems have announced a self-service private/ hybrid cloud offering delivered by MomentumSI.

This coalition brings together three foundations as a basis for an enterprise cloud:

1. Self-service
2. Automation
3. Elasticity

I had a chance to sit down with principals from each organization for perspective on what this coalition means to them, and to the broader market.

The following is an excerpt from a conversation with Jeff Schneider, CEO of MomentumSI; Rich Wolski, founder & CTO of Eucalyptus Systems; Erik Troan, founder & CTO of rPath; and Rodrigo Flores, founder & CTO of newScale.

Q: Jeff, what makes this combination of particular interest to enterprise IT today?

A: IT is being held to higher standard for speed, responsiveness and cost-efficiency in part because of the rise of public cloud services, which have become both the context and example for what IT must become, as well as a potential alternative to IT organizations that fall short of this new standard. This is both a risk and an opportunity for enterprise IT today. The combination of self-service, automation and elasticity provides the technology foundations IT organizations need in order to make this transformation—to, in effect, transform into something that looks a lot like a public cloud service: Self-service, automated and elastic. This is the aspiration for most large IT organizations today.

Q: Rich, in a recent report, James Staten at Forrester says, “You’re Not Ready for Internal Cloud.” What do you make of this? Do you agree?

A: I think James is making a good point when he points out that internal clouds require new processes and policies to be effective. Even before the possibility of on-premise clouds, IT organizations first had to standardize and automate infrastructure and processes to the greatest extent possible before they could scale. With the speed and flexibility of cloud computing, however, IT can be overwhelmed by the scale of demand generated by the users it serves. As a result, previously-defined manual or ad hoc approaches can simply break down. Our partnership addresses this concern by providing the foundations enterprise IT require to scale and sustain a private or hybrid cloud through principles of reuse and standardization and deep automation. Thus, in my view, James is offering an appropriate caution and an enumeration of the key challenges faced by enterprises making this journey. The good news is that the technical solutions and process expertise exist today.

Q: Erik, most of us understand the role of automation in this context, but the ideals of reuse and standardization are more abstract. What does this mean to you?

A: A good analog for what we’re talking about is modern manufacturing. Can you imagine a factory working at scale without reuse and centralized control of common components and a standardized approach to assembly and change processes? It would be chaotic. The same is true in an IT context. A key premise of this solution is “industrializing” IT processes: Control over the software supply chain, standardization and reuse of OS, middleware and application components, and policy-driven processes for the construction, provisioning and change of software systems across physical, virtual and cloud environments. The result is the sort of process maturity IT needs to operate efficiently at scale and at the speed of business.

Q: Rodrigo, let’s talk about the front-end of this self-service hybrid cloud. The user experience of this solution has significant implications for adoption and conformance. What do you see as the key principles for making self-service stick?

A: Erik is correct when he says that IT processes must be “industrialized” to take on speed and scale. I’d add another adjective to the vernacular: For IT processes to be delegated via self-service, they must be “consumerized.” Again, public cloud providers offer a perfect example of what this means: A consumer-like e-commerce shopping model for ordering and provisioning IT services. It’s the online store to complement the IT factory. By providing a simple self-service menu of infrastructure and application service offerings, IT becomes a business enabler instead of a bottleneck. By populating these menu options with standardized and approved components, IT retains control of what gets deployed and how these systems are maintained over their lifecycle. And perhaps most importantly, this storefront must provide the policy-based controls for governing how and by whom services are consumed, where they can be deployed and other rules governing their lifecycle. By allowing IT to define and enforce these policies, self-service can be achieved without sacrificing the security and control that IT requires.

To learn more:
watch this two-minute video
Read this white paper
Or visit MomentumSI to learn about this solution offering

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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