4 Resolutions for Cloud Management in the New Year
As we enter the new year, we tend to reflect on the past and look ahead at what needs to change with many of us declaring resolutions. Well, yes of course, this is the year we’re going to get fit physically, sort out our personal finances and finish that house painting job we started in 2011.
On the business side, I offer these four resolutions to improve cloud management of virtualization and platforms.
1. Get Shadow IT Under Control for better Cloud Management
This is one of the biggest problems as enterprises convert from on-premises data centers to purchasing compute power. Now, anyone in the enterprise can go rogue and buy computing resources outside the control of IT. The biggest issues with this practice, of course, are runaway costs – or unmonitored, at very least – and loss of control, namely working outside corporate compliance guidelines for security of data. Both scenarios are unacceptable for any enterprise. If this hasn’t already been done, it’s time to use available tools to monitor and inventory computing assets on-premises, as well as the cloud. Assure compliance and cost controls are in place. Cloud computing is a terrific resource but must be maintained with the same rigor as on-premise data centers.
2. Leverage Open Source and then Pay for Features, Value for reliable Cloud Management
Remember how companies tried to sell us “premium” speaker wire and HDMI cables? And then we all realized that the $10 cables worked exactly the same as the $100 cables? Wouldn’t we rather put that money toward buying components that add real value, like a better pair of headphones?
Same goes for data center tech. Our first reflex should always be to look at open source for the “plumbing” and then spend money on features higher up in the stack that deliver real value. And, in fact, there is a tremendous wealth of open source technology available that should be leveraged whenever and wherever possible. Take core virtualization: I can’t think of any good reason to pay for a “brand-name” hypervisor when there is open source KVM and Xen. For that matter, while Hyper-V is not open source, it is a perfectly viable option to paying separately for VMware. Another metaphor here is buying a Porsche to drive to the train station. You’ll get there, but there are many other great ways to get there for a lot less money.
And where should that money go? Management and automation are good places to pay for features. We have one customer that made a wholesale change from VMware to Linux (KVM) as the core virtualization technology and uses automation software to manage everything. They’re very happy and their costs went down dramatically.
3. Centralize Management of Virtualization and Clouds
It’s inefficient to use the separate management and automation that comes with each different virtualization and cloud platform, or in some cases with scripts and homegrown tools. Administration that is splintered across a number of tools and technologies makes day-to-day management inefficient, unnecessarily complex and error prone. Address this fragmentation problem by instead using available automation and management software that bridges platforms and pools resources. This leverages administrative resources and scales operations for full lifecycle management, including a centralized web-based console, along with template-based provisioning that enables user self-service access to computing infrastructure.
4. Ensure High Availability of All Compute Resources
This was much easier before the days of virtualized servers and cloud computing when each physical server had its own backup. We must apply the same diligence today with effective failover protection against hardware and operating system outages. That includes those in the cloud. If you haven’t already, choose automation software that works across virtualization types and cloud computing platforms and is capable of handling live migrations and will reliably protect your VMs and server pools with enterprise-class, policy-based backup and restore.
About the Author
Arsalan Farooq is vice president, cloud products at Accelerite, which he joined when Convirture was acquired in 2015. Previously, Farooq was CEO and co-founder of Convirture, started in 2006, and before that he founded Oracle’s Application Service Level Management division, growing it from two engineers to a multi-national organization. His career started as a software designer and in college he founded a technology consultancy. He holds degrees in Theoretical Physics and Computer Science from Reed College and Caltech.