Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise The Value of Cloud Services Brokers

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1 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise The Value of Cloud Services Brokers

2 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 2 The cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate with millions of new subscription-based services acquired each month. Available ondemand, cloud technologies have been embraced by the global workforce as a powerful enabler of business. The benefits of the cloud model are proving true and companies are realizing costsavings, improved service to users and reduced time to market for new products and services. However, managing cloud technologies is difficult, and it will be even more of a challenge as cloud implementations continue to grow and more providers offer niche services to benefit specific areas of business. Most of the challenges associated with the cloud can be solved with innovative cloud governance solutions provided by Cloud Services Brokers. Cloud Technologies and Enterprise Challenges Today, there is a proliferation of business-enabling cloud services. Across an enterprise there may be multiple instances of 3rd party providers infrastructure as a platform (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) along with private, internal and hybrid installations. These powerful new applications and environments can be deployed into production in a matter of minutes. Because the cloud is still relatively new, effective governance and management is lacking at most enterprises, and there is no central acquisition point for these services. Because of this and because cloud solutions are so easy to access online, it s easy to understand why users take technology purchasing decisions into their own hands. It s common to find cloud services that were purchased with minimal and oftentimes no IT oversight. But user-led cloud acquisition in the absence of IT governance brings with it many risks to the business. Primary Cloud Concerns: Security, Governance and Interoperability Security: As cloud adoption has grown, businesses have become more comfortable with having their intellectual property and other digital assets stored in the cloud. Many 3rd party providers have security levels that meet enterprise needs, and private clouds can offer unique company or industry-specific features that address compliance and regulatory needs. But what about the corporate data and assets that exist in cloud silos across the enterprise? How does IT ensure access and visibility into these instances to govern and manage against data loss and privacy risks? Without centralized cloud governance and tools to automate cloud provisioning, it is impossible for IT to manage the diverse cloud instances and implementations across the enterprise. Governance: Cloud service consumption is driven by business needs, and needs at large organizations are diverse, immediate and not always communicated with IT. Addressing a broad range of needs in terms of performance, platforms and service options can drive up costs in the absence of managed cloud acquisitions. IT s private cloud might be less expensive and offer unique advantages in terms of security, reporting

3 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 3 or geography, but if it s faster and easier to acquire a 3rd party solution, the business user will spend more. The need for central governance and enforceable IT standards grows more critical by the day, but most enterprises don t have the bandwidth to manage every cloud provider, contract, subscription and SLA. What s needed is a way for IT to auto-enforce its standards across the cloud. And, IT needs a unified view of cloud implementations across the enterprise to track usage, predict future consumption and reduce costs. Interoperability: When IT standards are not enforced at the time of cloud acquisition, it s easy for affordability at the time of purchase to be replaced with significantly higher total costs once implementation and integration services are factored in. Portability of data and interoperability of systems are important considerations that are often overlooked with user-led purchases. IT wants data they can easily migrate from one cloud service provider to another. When key employees leave or change jobs, IT needs to ensure continuity of business with system compatibility and contingency planning. Cloud Services Brokers have arisen to address and overcome most of the operational and governance challenges that prevent enterprises from more widespread cloud adoption. What are Cloud Services Brokers? Cloud Services Brokers (CSB) are 3rd party companies that add value to diverse and distributed cloud installations. Sometimes called arbitrators, a CSB typically enhances cloud services in the areas of: Service Intermediation, Service Aggregation and Service Arbitrage. Service Intermediation improves the access to and delivery of cloud services to users. The CSB federates and provisions services from multiple cloud providers. With knowledge on a wide range of consumer scenarios, they can facilitate and speed acquisition of the most suitable cloud services. Typical offerings are enhanced security, managed access to cloud services, identity management and authentication, and performance reporting. Service Aggregation combines and integrates multiple services into one or more new services. In this area, the CSB federates cloud services, provide integration assistance and ensures that data can move between cloud consumers and multiple cloud providers. Lastly, Service Arbitrage refers to the Broker s breadth of offerings which are based on relationships, pre-negotiated prices and packaging and integrations with any number and type of cloud providers. CSBs provide vital cloud management functions that streamline deployments and facilitate cloud adoption across the enterprise. A viable CSB provider can make it less expensive, easier, safer and more productive for companies to navigate, integrate, consume and extend cloud services, particularly when they span multiple, diverse cloud services providers. ~ Daryl Plummer, Chief of Research, Cloud Computing, Gartner, Inc.

4 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 4 How Do Cloud Services Brokers Benefit Enterprises? Cloud Services Brokers enhance cloud services in areas such as: Security, Provisioning, Service Catalogs, Operations, Billing and Reporting. The range of capabilities, level of integration and quality of services offered varies by CSB. Examples of how a CSB can add value are provided below. In the areas of Security, Provisioning and Service Catalogs, CSB providers with a focus on security simplify the user experience, authenticating users at a storefront web page. From within this storefront users can view a list of services from a catalog that is personalized for them. Role-based access controls allow IT to govern cloud acquisition. The CSB offers cost savings and time savings with pre-negotiated rates on a range of services. The model is designed to service cloud consumers and minimize the amount of effort required to instantiate the services they need. Some enterprise-focused CSBs federate and provision 3rd party cloud services and also platforms and infrastructures that are internal ITsourced or hybrid. These CSBs free businesses from being locked in to a single vendor or specific type of cloud architecture (private, public or hybrid). To this end, the CSB can integrate, consume, and auto-extend a larger selection of cloud services for end users without requiring significant time investments from IT for support. Another benefit enterprise-focused Cloud Services Brokers provide is Operational Controls with visibility across all of the cloud services provided. Figure 1: Before Cloud Services Brokers, organizations had ad-hoc cloud implementations across the enterprise. Some had IT oversight, and all had separate and distinct reporting and management tools. Multiple interfaces were required with no cohesive, centralized single pane view. Fees varied from one department to the next depending on how well prices had been negotiated. Utilization rates and true cost were difficult to ascertain. IT governance was a manual, time intensive and inefficient process. Via a user interface and adapters, the CSB enables a single destination for business units and IT to access the information they need about costs and cloud consumption across all implementations. This capability enables true IT governance and reporting on internal and external cloud usage. The centralization of all these components allows for holistic Reporting, Billing and Management of utilized services. Central reports benefit IT and business users. Examples include allowing IT to verify that cloud-based SLAs are being met and both groups to identify services that are being underutilized. The complexities of cloud management are automated and orchestrated in the background

5 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 5 without any manual intervention. This reduces IT s involvement allowing staff to focus on matters that provide a larger impact to the business. Perhaps the greatest impact a CSB will have on the business is enabling IT to improve its service levels to the business. By using a CSB, users gain easy access to the heterogeneous services offered which drives interdepartmental utilization. It also prevents cloud support from getting in the way of the day-to-day tasks for IT. Paving the way for rapid deployment of new services, CSB s improve IT satisfaction ratings and optimize the business impact of the cloud to its consumers. Figure 2: Components of the CSB How Does a Broker Platform Work? the appropriate commands to their correct destinations. There are several underlying technology components that are used within CSB products and solutions. At the core is the service catalog which is a datastore of some type, typically a relational database that houses all services provided through the CSB. The catalog provides the consumer with the choices that have been integrated into its Broker including items like software service selection, host operating systems, hardware specification, and locations (whether private or public) along with corresponding costs. A workflow component is also required to orchestrate the instantiation of the selected services. These workflows utilize a messaging bus to direct commands to the appropriate location based on the request. The middleware workflow engine is the brain behind the CSB, funneling The next layer is adapters. Having a robust orchestration component does little good without the adapters needed to work with the growing number of cloud service providers. The adapter layer of the CSB provides the provisioning capabilities to cloud service resources supplied by the cloud provider (both private and public). Messaging queue standards like AMQP, specifications like SPML and SCIM, and infrastructure management standards like CIMI may allow for easier integration among cloud service providers if they support the standard. Unfortunately however many providers still do not. The CSB adapters receive a request from the orchestration layer and instantiate the service using the providers supported formats and protocols. This instantiation is not only the startup of the

6 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 6 services, but could also provide the notifications, management, and reporting on those spun-up services for a particular consumer or consumers group. The wrapper for all of these components is the interface. Think of the interface as an enterprisewide store-front or marketplace that authenticates the user and provides a customized selection of services based on the service catalog to that user. The user can select a service or move a service from one provider to another. Each selection kicks off the appropriate workflow, which then automates all needed steps behind the scenes. This interface can also show the consumer what services they have instantiated and the current billing for these services, as well as provide an operational view for the services. Similar to the way the travel industry has revolutionized the way consumers buy travel services online, CSBs use a similar methodology to transform the way enterprises consume public, private and hybrid cloud services. How to Select and Implement a Cloud Broker There are many important qualities and capabilities to look for when evaluating a potential CSB. A big criterion is their grasp of the unique cloud challenges faced by your enterprise and their ability to offer solutions that address them. For small enterprises that have only one cloud service provider or a small data center, an Figure 3: Cloud Services With A Broker Federated Marketplace View on-premise CSB may not be a good fit. Such enterprises may want to look to a SaaS-based solution. For larger enterprises, the complexity of your organization s needs and internal cloud service capabilities needs to be factored in. The kinds of services required are important because the vendor landscape is diverse and CSB specialization varies. It is common for CSBs to cater to specific types of services like SaaS or PaaS, and if you are working in a hybrid cloud environment and utilize it for virtual builds and data storage, then a CSB geared toward SaaS solutions is not going to give you what you need. The Broker you choose should have the ability to reach across platforms and providers and provide allow you to very easily move your infrastructure or platforms from your internal OpenStack or VMware virtual builds to Rackspace, Terremark or

7 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 7 AWS, (or vice versa) Without a Cloud Broker, the time to accomplish these tasks is exponential IT must snapshot the service, save it offline, move it to a new location, convert it to another baseline in some cases, relocate the information, re-establish security, move metrics reporting from one service to the next. All of these steps can be orchestrated by a Cloud Service Broker with a simple click-andapply. There is no rule-of-thumb that dictates when a business is ready to, or needs to take the step of implementing a Broker. There are, however, key indicators that suggest a CSB is likely to be beneficial. Consider your answers to these questions: Do multiple organizations within your company use cloud services? Do you have more than two providers of cloud services? Do multiple groups utilize private, public, or hybrid cloud for IaaS capabilities? Is your IT department overly taxed with instantiation and maintenance of services? Do you have multiple agreements with the same service provider? Each of these scenarios points to a need to evaluate Cloud Broker technology. When choosing which Broker to use, you should make sure to include your IT department and responsible business units in the decision making process. Develop a list of current and future-state requirements to help narrow the list of compatible CSBs. Verify interoperability between Cloud Service Brokers and your internal cloud infrastructure components along with your service providers. And finally, evaluate the CSB against these standards: - Will the CSB make cloud computing less expensive, easier, and/or safer? - Will business users and IT become more productive? - Does the CSB platform offer advantages in navigation? - What are the CSB s integration offerings and how do they address my interoperability needs? - Does the CSB offer a range of services and flexibility to work with a variety of providers many of which offer services my organization needs now or in the future? - Can my users choose services based on a range of criteria such as service level guarantees, price points, geographic limitations and performance? Special Security Considerations Risk and Mitigation to the Broker For enterprises where security and compliance are top cloud concerns, it s important to know how CSBs provide encryption. Those who provide it at the messaging layer allow data to move securely between the enterprise and cloud service providers. This also allows front-end CSB interfaces to employ authentication with group and role isolation so that only authorized users can see your infrastructure. Across cloud service providers, there is a general lack of standards, and this has some associated complexity. The lack of standards means that CSBs have to customize their service adapters based on providers specific programming interface. One size does not fit all in this realm. Ostrato Cloud Broker is one CSB with the ability to compensate for this gap

8 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 8 via its workflow engine and Cloud Service Provider adapters. Make sure to take this lack of standards adoption into account when choosing your Broker; it will save you implementation time and some headaches in the long run. Ostrato Cloud Broker The Premier Cloud Services Broker Organizations have choices when deciding which Cloud Services Broker offers the best fit for their needs. When a high degree of governance is required along with scalability and flexibility, Ostrato Cloud Broker is the most advanced CSB solution to address complex needs and heterogeneous environments. Built on open standards and designed from the ground-up with enterprise security and governance needs in mind, Ostrato exists for large organizations that want more from the cloud but need their operational concerns addressed first, especially those related to workflow and the financial approval process. Why Ostrato? Figure 5: New levels of governance for the cloud online shopping marketplace that allows users to compare and order cloud computing services with industrial-grade workflow and scalability, including integration into Provisioning and Automation systems. Do your users have unique variables such as geographic constraints, SLA requirements, or performance constraints? This is not a problem. With Ostrato, administrators can even allow consumers to provide feedback on different services and provide new levels of transparency to IT users seeking cloud services. Ostrato Cloud Broker is designed for companies that want an integrated approach to governing and managing any combination of public, private or hybrid cloud services. With connections to over 35 leading cloud computing service providers, IT organizations can place their internal private cloud services side-by-side with those of public providers and allow consumers to choose what is best for their requirements. Ostrato combines a modern, Once orders are placed, Ostrato queues the provisioning request to the various cloud service providers, even if multiple providers services are in the same shopping cart. Once provisioned, CIOs have a record of every transaction so that they can analyze purchase patterns, predict cloud usage across the organization and deliver cost savings to the business.

9 Whitepaper: Managing Cloud Services in the Enterprise 9 What happens when companies have existing service catalogs, workflow engines, or other external systems? No problem Ostrato was designed using open standards to allow organizations to integrate into the core technology platform without duplicating effort. This key feature allows organizations the flexibility to deploy Ostrato in any configuration that meets their specific security, governance, and organizational requirements. Cloud computing can be a powerful agent of change within an organization, but the appropriate security controls, governance and oversight are needed to ensure that existing policies, procedures, and financial constraints are not side-stepped. Only Ostrato can do this for your organization.

10 Ostrato Cloud Broker is a powerful way for IT groups to establish governance and control over today s readily available subscription-based cloud technologies. By providing the ability to manage the use, performance, and delivery of cloud services through an easy-to-use storefront and centralized marketplace, Ostrato enables enterprises to realize the benefits that cloud technologies offer more quickly. Cost-savings, improved service to users and reduced time to market for new products and services are what Enterprises can expect from the cloud with an Ostrato Cloud Broker implementation.

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