EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

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1 EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q By Torsten Volk ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES (EMA ) Radar Report March 2013

2 ASG Software Solutions EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) ASG Average Architecture & Integration Functionality Radar for Private Cloud Platforms (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS): Q Deployment & Administration Vendor Strength Cost Advantage Quick Profile: ASG Founded: 1986 / Revenue: USD 300m Cloud Type: PaaS, SaaS, IaaS Use Case: Brownfield Target Market: Large enterprises, service providers Downloadable trial: No Implementation effort: High Products Reviewed: ASG CloudFactory Cloud Robot Cloud Shaper Cloud Cockpit Complementing Products: Perfman EAMS Ingenium Tevista ITASM NTR Hypervisors Supported: KVM, VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V Integration: Amazon EC2, VMware vcloud, CloudStack Introduction Adopting ASG s grand vision of private, public, and hybrid clouds, where each enterprise application is virtualized and managed centrally through CloudCockpit constitutes a paradigm shift for most customers. The ASG approach aims at helping customers receive the most value out of existing IT investments, by automating and orchestrating current and ASG: Best SaaS Solution EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q PAGE 2

3 future applications along the lines of business requirements. These applications are then packaged and centrally delivered through a self-service portal. EMA applauds this strong vision, which goes in line with today s much discussed concept of the Software Defined Datacenter. Only when enterprise applications are centrally managed, their lifecycle automated, and they are truly abstracted from their underlying hardware, will the customer be able to achieve optimal SLA compliance, flexible IT, and reduced OPEX. ASG CloudFactory consists of three core components (See Figure A): Backend Control Frontend Figure A - ASG CloudFactory Overview 1) CloudCockpit constitutes the centralized service portal delivered to any browser as well as through native applications for desktops and mobile devices. It includes two-factor authentication and single sign-on for end users to securely access IT services, as well as centrally managed software applications. 2) CloudShaper enables administrators to model, build, and package cloud services and application environments. These service and application packages are then provisioned through CloudRobot. 3) CloudRobot facilitates the modeling and automation of complex application and service delivery workflows. The CloudRobot control panel is used to define, manage, and bill for any of these offerings, such as Microsoft SharePoint Services, Microsoft Exchange Public Folders, or Web conferencing. In addition to these core elements, ASG offers a number of extensions and implementation services to further automate and centralize private and public datacenter resources. While ASG CloudFactory can also be used for IaaS cloud deployments, the product was designed for end-to-end service provisioning and management. Deployment and Administration In order to get the most out of CloudFactory, the software should be deployed with a key focus on SaaS use cases. This entails thorough planning and requires the involvement of all the business units owning the individual applications and services. SaaS deployment also requires the setup and configuration of other software systems for infrastructure and service monitoring, capacity planning, SLA management, root cause analysis, and IT service management (see complementing products in the ASG Quick Profile). While ASG offers a set of solutions for these areas, customers can also integrate CloudFactory with their existing systems management environment to reap the most rewards from current investments. From a staff training perspective, the implementation of CloudFactory is ambitious. This is not surprising, as the deployment of SaaS constitutes a paradigm shift for most organizations. This paradigm shift, by definition, involves a scripting and configuration effort, when packaging the individual applications so that they can be centrally accessed through a Web console (CloudCockpit.) PAGE 3

4 EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q Once this paradigm shift toward SaaS is complete, the organization reaps the benefits of a clean, consistent, and repeatable deployment and lifecycle management approach. Applications can now easily be rolled out to additional business units or external customers. Application updates and performance monitoring are handled in a much simpler and more consistent manner than before, and disaster recovery is simplified. In short, if the customer is willing to swallow the upfront investment in professional services internal or external the OPEX decrease can be tremendous and rapidly offset the upfront investment. Architecture and Integration CloudFactory is a robust solution, without a single point of failure. Disaster recovery simulations can be conducted without causing system downtime, and rely on recovery plans to automatically restore entire application environments. While the ASG cloud solution is SaaS-centric, IaaS and PaaS are also offered via support of Apache CloudStack. Integrating and centrally managing almost any type of application client, multi-tier, public cloud constitutes the core strength of CloudFactory (see Figure B). ASG CloudFactory The Most Complete Cloud Stack from a Single Vendor User Self-Sufficiency User Experience Customizable Workspace Service Catalog Location Aware Two Factor Authentication Device Independence Private Cloud Services SAP Google MS Office User Service Transparency SalesForce Automated Server Provisioning Automated Application Provisioning Cloud Aggregation Security Management Integrated Service Desk-ITASM Hybrid Cloud Services Citrix Receiver APPLICATIONS SUPPORTED etc. Citrix Infrastructure Management Service Level Management Service Delivery Management Back-up Management Quality of Service Public Cloud Services Microsoft VMware Linux etc. INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORTED Figure B - CloudFactory as the Central Enterprise Portal CloudFactory supports any major hypervisor, such as VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, and KVM, and allows customers to provision resources via Amazon EC2 and CloudStack. EMA was impressed with CloudFactory s capabilities to truly integrate resources and existing application environments into a hybrid cloud in order to serve up IT services that are tailored to the individual business units. As soon as ASG manages to fully integrate all components of this hybrid cloud solution, the ASG portfolio will be an even stronger contender in the cloud marketplace. PAGE 4

5 Functionality CloudCockpit offers users a comprehensive portal, where they can access their own virtual workspaces, any type of external SaaS applications (such as Salesforce.com or Microsoft Office365), and internal enterprise applications, such as Outlook, document management systems, virtual desktops, customer relationship management solutions, or accounting packages. CloudCockpit integrates with Citrix XenApp, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, App-V, CAMEYO, and other technologies for delivering virtualized desktop applications, such as Microsoft Office. No data is stored on the local machine, unless off-line mode is employed, which eliminates the need for end point data management. The CloudCockpit self-service portal is comprehensive and suitable for even the largest enterprises and service providers. Advanced order and contract management is available, while CloudRobot guarantees the automation and orchestration of multiple enterprise systems, along the lines of business requirements. Therefore, EMA believes that customers looking for the ultimate degree of automation of their IT environments should take a close look at ASG CloudFactory. The user interfaces of the various ASG tools, CloudFactory, as well as complementing solutions such as Perfman and EAMS, include an incredible amount of functionality and are tied together through CloudCockpit s single sign-on and authentication capabilities. However, these interfaces could be better integrated. CloudShaper enables customers to automate the provisioning and management of servers based on a consistent build process. The solution includes preconfigured Citrix XenApp, and XenDesktop environments, Microsoft Windows remote desktop environments, and traditional multi-tier clientserver applications. ASG delivers a large set of pre-packaged templates for the most common applications and operating systems, reducing the professional services effort for the initial setup. This radically automated approach to application deployment, release, lifecycle, and patch management ensures ITIL compliance, as all application-related processes can easily be reproduced and rolled-back if needed. Therefore, the CloudFactory value proposition is especially interesting for industries that are subject to strict regulatory requirements or organizations who wish to streamline the build and management of all types of servers. Cost Advantage The cost of implementation services to stand up the initial environment, automate the target enterprise applications that have to be centrally provisioned, and integrate the new SaaS cloud with existing or newly purchased systems management software may be hard to swallow for some. However, at the end of this exercise, customers will realize a significantly lower OPEX and a decreased risk of SLA and compliance violations, compared to most of the much simpler cloud platforms. Due to this significant upfront investment, the ASG cloud solution is targeted at larger enterprises and service providers, with the in-house resources and capabilities to handle this type of implementation process. These larger organizations will especially benefit from the agility and efficiency the ASG solution offers. ASG has over ten years experience in delivering such projects. PAGE 5

6 Vendor Strength Founded in 1986, ASG is a privately held company and does not disclose financial metrics other than its revenue of $300M. The company serves an estimated 3,000 enterprise and service provider clients, offering an overall portfolio of approximately 200 software products. In 2011, ASG acquired German company Visionapp, the makers of CloudFactory. The vast majority of CloudFactory customers are located in Europe, which is where most of the consulting and support organization is still situated. However, based on CloudFactory s excellent value proposition, EMA expects that ASG will be able to make inroads into the US market in Strengths and Limitations Strengths Helps leverage existing investments: CloudFactory is focused on the automation and integration of existing applications environments. This leads to increased agility, compliance, and cost efficiency within the corporate datacenter. Focused on minimizing OPEX: CloudFactory s software release and lifecycle management capabilities make the IT organization more agile, while lowering OPEX. Integration with CloudStack: Enabling customers to provision CloudStack resources equips the CloudStack platform with a much needed management layer. Centralization through orchestration and automation: CloudFactory enables organizations to centrally manage application environments and business services. Centralization is the key for agility, efficiency, compliance, and resiliency in enterprise IT. Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop automation: Customers reported a high degree of satisfaction with CloudFactory s capability to automatically deploy and manage Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop. Comprehensive solution: CloudFactory, complemented by ASG s systems management portfolio, constitutes a comprehensive and mostly consistent solution from a single vendor. Limitations Professional services requirements: Customers reported significant requirements in terms of professional services hours internal and external. Integration: While CloudCockpit provides single sign-on and one single front end for all applications, services and data, there are still a number of different administration interfaces. U.S. presence of cloud team: The ASG CloudFactory core team is located in Europe. Currently, ASG is in the process of establishing CloudFactory delivery and support offices in Northern and Latin America, as well as in the Asia Pacific region. Strong focus on SaaS: While IaaS and PaaS is on ASG s list of priorities, CloudFactory is currently focused on SaaS deployments. SLA management: While ASG offers the EAMS (Enterprise Automation Management Suite) platform for SLA management, the creation and monitoring of SLAs must be streamlined. Scripting boot camp needed: In order to fully automate applications, a significant scripting effort is required. PAGE 6

7 About Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Founded in 1996, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is a leading industry analyst firm that provides deep insight across the full spectrum of IT and data management technologies. EMA analysts leverage a unique combination of practical experience, insight into industry best practices, and in-depth knowledge of current and planned vendor solutions to help its clients achieve their goals. Learn more about EMA research, analysis, and consulting services for enterprise line of business users, IT professionals and IT vendors at or blogs.enterprisemanagement.com. You can also follow EMA on Twitter or Facebook. This report in whole or in part may not be duplicated, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or retransmitted without prior written permission of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All opinions and estimates herein constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. EMA and Enterprise Management Associates are trademarks of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. in the United States and other countries. EMA, ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, and the mobius symbol are registered trademarks or common-law trademarks of Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Corporate Headquarters: 1995 North 57th Court, Suite 120 Boulder, CO Phone: Fax: ASG-Profile

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