Efficient multi-cloud management and DevOps requires transparency

By: Morpheus Data

As multi-clouds become the norm, finding and addressing wasteful cloud resources jump to the top of the list of IT concerns. Keeping cloud management simple, timely, and accurate requires a view into your application usage that is clear and comprehensive.

Hybrid clouds give organizations the ability to get the best of both worlds: on-premises for traditional apps and resources they want to keep close at hand, and in the public cloud to realize the speed, agility, and efficiency of cloud-native applications. The challenge is to maintain the optimal balance between public and private clouds to achieve your business objectives. Doing so requires a 360-degree view of the full application lifecycle.

Companies need to partner with vendors who take the mystery out of hybrid cloud management by giving managers in IT and business units an up-to-date view of what resources are being used without slowing down DevOps activities. EnterpriseTech‘s George Leopold reports on a recent survey of CIOs and IT managers by cloud vendor SoftwareOne that found 37 percent of respondents identified unpredictable costs as their greatest cloud concern, topped only by security.

Sharpening your view into critical operations

According to studies conducted by ISACA Research, one out of three organizations doesn’t calculate cloud computing ROI. Network World contributor Bhanu Singh identifies three “core IT activities” that must be monitored regularly and accurately:

  1. Spinning up new cloud environments or adapting old ones as business needs change
  2. Providing the right services to the right people at the lowest cost possible
  3. Keeping those user services and app stacks reliable, secure, and stable

Gaining visibility into application health is one of the top four challenges of multi-cloud management, topped only by security and performance concerns. Source: eWeek

The benefits of visibility into all your workloads — in the cloud and on-premises — is demonstrated by an accounting application, which has peaks and valleys of activity in standard business cycles. Hosting the application in the cloud allows resources to be freed up easily when not needed, but only if you monitor workload demands as close to real time as possible.

One of the greatest impacts of enhanced visibility into application performance and health is the ability of CIOs to partner with the business units that rely on the apps. Knowing how cloud and non-cloud resources are being used in the organization allows CIOs to recommend specific platforms and services, keep tabs on the inevitable shadow IT projects, and have a more thorough knowledge of what the business units need.

Bringing monitoring and logging into a consolidated view across clouds with an orchestration platform like Morpheus unlocks the ability to detect app stack outages, scale across platforms and clouds, and otherwise assure day-2 production application tasks are first class citizens within the deployment phase of the app lifecycle.

As Singh puts it, having an untrammeled view of your multi-cloud operations can “elevate IT to a position of driving business value rather than restricting and frustrating the business.”

An opportunity for DevOps to drive the business to new heights

The continuous integration/continuous (CI/CD) delivery nature of DevOps is taking organizations by storm. Irshad Raihad writes on Computer Business Review that DevOps teams “think in terms of application portability,” which means applications are built “independent of where they will live [and] move across the continuum of on-prem, private and public clouds with complete transparency to end users.”

There’s only one way to achieve such a level of end-user transparency in multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments: via a single unified interface that is shared by people in IT and in business units. The growing popularity of multi-cloud management platforms such as Morpheus is due in large part to the increasing demand for a single, comprehensive view of diverse public cloud and private cloud services.

It must go beyond a unified interface though. Organizations using config management tools as part of their orchestration flow can track configuration state changes in development and then enforce an identical state of dependencies through test and production. When coupled with self-service provisioning via Morpheus, organizations are able to quickly tear down and refresh the entire pipeline at any time because everything is stored and managed as code within the CM tool.

TechTarget‘s Kerry Doyle states that unified cloud management services let teams execute workloads more simply and efficiently by identifying the optimal platform based on cost, reliability, and service portfolio. The single point of control the services provide means users have “new levels of order and visibility into multi-cloud environments and governance,” according to Doyle.