Insight and perspective to navigate a noisy market

  • CLOUD
    MANAGEMENT

    1st Generation CMPs
    never fully delivered

  • INFRASTRUCTURE
    AUTOMATION

    Infra. as code & config.
    management need help

  • CONTAINER
    PLATFORMS

    Kubernetes should
    not be yet another silo

Cloud Management Platforms (CMP)

What is a Cloud Management Platform (CMP)?

Gartner defines CMP as follows: “Cloud management platforms (CMPs) enable organizations to manage multi-cloud (private and public cloud) services and resources. This includes providing governance, life cycle management, brokering and automation for managed cloud infrastructure resources across eight required functional areas: Provisioning and orchestration, Service request, Inventory and classification, Monitoring and analytics, Cost management and workload optimization, Cloud migration, backup and disaster recovery, Security, compliance and identity management, Packaging and delivery

What are the issues with traditional CMPs?

PLATFORM CENTRIC: Options like VMware vRealize Automation, Red Hat CloudForms, Nutanix Calm, and ServiceNow CMP are generally perceived as secondary products used to protect the core revenue streams of those vendors. It doesn’t mean they are bad, you just need to be clear you are putting all your eggs in that vendor’s basket and the basket may have some holes.

These can be part of fragmented suites or bundled ELAs so you pay more than you should.  The result?  You could be locked into a future of jumping between different tools with different interfaces, roadmaps, and shortcomings.

FIRST-GENERATION: Vendors have used ‘cloud management’ to describe products ranging from optimization to security to migration and more. Having multiple tools to manage multiple clouds is not sustainable.

Legacy options like RightScale (Flexera), Embotics, and Cloudbolt had their time, but when we consistently replace those products we find it’s because customers found them too narrow, not adequate for developers, or just not ready for enterprise scale.

We welcome the challengers. Review your options and then test drive Morpheus.

How does Morpheus compare to those traditional Cloud Management Platforms?

Morpheus is more than just the best multi-function CMP in the market. Even in the crowded CMP category it stands head and shoulders above the rest. Morpheus has a Persona-Based approach to Hybrid Cloud Management…. meaning everybody consuming private and public clouds gets what they need, without compromise.

  • CloudOps gets a rapid path to private cloud and a consolidated platform for public cloud management.
  • SecOps gets role-based access, policy management, and compliance hooks to reduce risk exposure.
  • DevOps gets self-service to move fast with a full API/CLI or application-centric infrastructure-as-code.
  • FinOps gets visibility tools to track cloud use plus assign and optimize cost in one place across all clouds

These are just a few reasons why Morpheus was the highest scoring vendor in the Gartner CMP Critical Capabilities report for the Cloud Provisioning, Cloud Brokerage, and Cloud Governance use cases. It’s also probably why Morpheus has more 5-Star Peer Insight reviews than any other MQ CMP vendor.

BACK TO TOP >

See why Morpheus is a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CMP

Infrastructure Automation Tools
Ex: Infrastructure-as-Code and Configuration Management

Why is Infrastructure Automation so important in Hyrbid Cloud and DevOps?

Gartner’s definition states: Infrastructure automation (IA) tools allow DevOps and I&O teams to design and implement self-service, automated delivery services across on-premises and IaaS environments. IA tools enable DevOps and I&O teams to manage the life cycle of services through creation, configuration, operation and retirement. These infrastructure services are then exposed via API integrations to complement broader DevOps toolchains or are consumed via a centralized administration console.

Can I do everything in Terraform and Ansible?

First let’s be clear, Morpheus LOVES Terraform and Ansible. They really are great tools and solve a very real issue for customers looking to shift left and manage infrastructure and applications. The challenge we see in many large enterprises however is when customers start to use the tools outside of their original design center. It’s like taking your sports car on a 4×4 dirt road… it doesn’t make it a bad car but you probably should’ve thought twice about a more purpose built vehicle choice.

Terraform and Terraform Enterprise

Terraform is a powerful infrastructure as code platform and its HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) has become widely used. It’s particularly good when used to programmatically provision resources in public cloud since providers like AWS abstract the complexity of things like networks, load balancers, etc. Organizations use Terraform to provision the state of infrastructure but then must turn to tools like Ansible to configure applications. One challenge with Terraform is the number of separate providers that must be managed when using it on-premises and also the requirement to purchase Terraform Enterprise to add governance of Terraform, a GUI, and other operational elements.

Ansible and Ansible Tower

Ansible is probably the most popular configuration management and automation tool in use today. It uses YAML syntax in playbooks in concert with hundreds of modules to connect all those playbooks to all your infrastructure and enable automation jobs. Ansible and Terraform can overlap when you start using those hundreds of modules to go beyond configuring applications and use it to start automating infrastructure provisioning. One challenge we’ve seen in large environments using Ansible outside of configuration management is they can quickly require entire teams to manage and maintain thousands of playbooks which is difficult at scale. Additionally if security is a concern you have to have SSH and WinRM access into your instances which may be a problem in some environments. Lastly, like Terraform you must purchase Ansible Tower if you want a proper GUI, role-based access for Ansible, and advanced job scheduling.

How does Morpheus help improve Infrastructure Automation processes?

First, Morpheus lets customers get the most out of Infrastructure Automation tools by natively integrating with dozens of technology providers directly with no scripting or playbooks required. Morpheus provides a GUI and Role-Based Access Controls to BOTH Terraform and Ansible at the same time… as well as the rest of your Hybrid IT estate to reduce cost and risk. The abstractions and integrations in Morpheus can radically simplify the use of tools like Terraform on-premises.

Second, Morpheus is agnostic and enables teams to mix and match a variety of IaC and Config Management technologies to provide maximum flexibility. In some large enterprises we find one group using Terraform and Ansible while another is using Chef or Puppet and still another is using AWS CloudFormation. No problems… Morpheus can bring all of these disparate automation technologies into one place.

Lastly, Morpheus itself has native capabilities to model complex application stacks across heterogeneous technology types and clouds. These blueprints can be represented as YAML or JSON and consumed the same way you would Terraform. The upcoming Morpheus Scribe module will take this one step further and support HCL2 syntax to make the switch even easier.

BACK TO TOP >

Are you the home lab type that should probably get out more?
(It’s ok… we are too)

Container Platforms

Why has Kubernetes taken the world by storm?

Linux Containers have been around for a long time and the container landscape has evolved considerably. With its history in the Google proving ground, Kubernetes (K8s) has quickly become the de-facto standard for containers today.

Kubernetes offers a lot of the same value of cloud computing as an application platform, such as self-service, elasticity, extensibility, plus a declarative dialect for configuring state. It many ways it offers development teams the same freedom as the cloud and that is a way to bypass classic IT bottlenecks.

One hallmark that differentiates K8s from the cloud, however, is that it is an open source framework that can run anywhere.  The flexibility to deploy a cloud anywhere and develop portable applications offers a freedom that can’t be overstated.

What are the current options and issues?

K8s is an open source project, available to anyone in vanilla format as a framework to be installed in their environment.  Alone it lacks many things that Enterprise customers seek, such as a GUI, a policy engine, a support contract, and many useful abstraction utilities and hooks into Enterprise tools. 

K8s is also a challenge to refactor into.  Not just at the application level by bringing new compute primitives and new ways to manage dependencies to the conversation, but also at the ecosystem level where pre-container automation tooling has been built around infrastructure such as networking and operations such as ITSM. 

Several vendors, large and small, have entered the market to provide extensibility on top of k8s to address these needs, but as of yet are not Enterprise feature complete.  They either tend toward the Developer end of the spectrum or the Service and Support end of the spectrum, but none have completely captured the entire hierarchy of Enterprise needs in a way that brings Dev and Ops closer together.

How does Morpheus help improve Kubernetes and assist in the move from VMs to Containers?

In the Enterprise, the CMDB still rules the day, and heavy investments in ITIL mean that newer tools are going to need to follow patterns for compliance and policy just as traditional ones have.

Morpheus bring its out-of-the-box integrations into the realm of k8s application orchestration, enabling true hybrid application deployments that work within the bounds of governance and approvals. Morpheus also makes it easy to package applications and application components for self-service, and eases the burden on the developer to care and feed for operational concerns of the application in the environment.

Lastly because application modernization is a journey Morpheus can help as you replatform applications for example some application tiers may run as VMs, others using a cloud-native PaaS service, and others may be using containers. With Morpheus that’s a single multi-platform blueprint.

Morpheus cluster management includes the Morpheus Kubernetes Service (MKS) and hooks to EKS and AKS or can bring these operational benefits into existing k8s deployments, extending the existing platform offerings that may already be in place.

BACK TO TOP >

We believe in more show and less tell
(despite how long this page is)

X