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The Enterprise Cloud – It’s a Thing

May 25, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Chuck Dubuque, Tintri

With the advent of AWS and Microsoft Azure, the public cloud has become a widely accepted means for businesses to achieve greater agility and scalability. But while the public cloud delivers many benefits, it is not always the right solution for every situation. Some workloads must reside within a data center, to ensure predictable costs and performance or to meet compliance requirements. But organizations now want their on-premises applications to enjoy the same level of agility as public cloud offers. Many companies use a combination of public clouds, hosted private clouds and on-premises infrastructure.

With mounting pressure to modernize or create cloud-native applications, organizations require a broad range of cloud technologies to address a diverse set of application requirements. Enterprise clouds, which are defined as a cloud infrastructure deployed in an organization’s own data center with connections to public cloud, possess many of the same benefits and capabilities as public cloud, including autonomous services, automation, self-service and analytics. But they also add control, security and support capabilities for enterprise applications that only a private cloud can provide.

Enterprise and cloud-native applications can have widely disparate storage performance requirements, yet conventional storage does not provide performance guarantees for all applications. A true enterprise cloud platform combines cloud management with storage to simplify the management and operation of enterprise and cloud-native applications.For organizations wanting to adopt an enterprise cloud, here are five main considerations:

1. Autonomous Quality of Service – Application performance is critical to running successful organizations. But applications have internal and external dependencies that if managed improperly can cause downtime or errors. In a more dynamic multi-cloud environment, self-management is key. Autonomous quality of service (QoS) ensures that every application is automatically allocated predetermined levels of storage resources and delivers consistent performance and QoS metrics for applications without intervention. Traditional storage often requires manual interventions by storage admins to maintain predictable performance for applications, even when QoS policies have been defined for the storage where they reside. Autonomous QoS technologies ensure that every application performs as required.

2. Highly Scalable – Enterprises in industries such as financial services, retail and healthcare often contend with unpredictable workloads and varying performance requirements. To meet demand, ensure smooth operations and maintain their reputation with customers, companies must implement a scalable infrastructure with simple storage management. Companies should consider an enterprise cloud with efficient storage delivery that is both extremely flexible and easy to manage.

Advanced storage technology can manage pools of storage resources that can intelligently optimize applications performance by policy, without manual intervention, and reduce an organization’s overall storage footprint and costs. An enterprise cloud should be able to scale easily to thousands or even hundreds of thousands of applications to support large virtualized and cloud environments. Such systems minimize inefficient and time-consuming manual intervention to simplify infrastructure scaling and allow IT managers to focus on more strategic projects.

3. Simple Self-Service Models – IT organizations are under constant pressure to work faster and produce greater results with fewer resources. Self-service models reduce demand on IT and storage expertise by providing self-service tools and policies that plug into an extensible web services based architecture. In addition, they introduce opportunities for non-experts to interact with the infrastructure. The emergence of technologies such as Alexa and Slack help to pave the way for new, faster, more mobile forms of communication and management for virtualized and cloud infrastructures. Automatic speech recognition and natural language engines enable IT staff to chat requests to their enterprise clouds to request capacity, performance, policies and other actions. They can also maintain role based access control to ensure the integrity of the infrastructure and make decisions that optimize the environment or route approvals as required.

4. Application-Level Insight – Maintaining visibility into the health of applications is key for overall performance of the IT organization. Advanced enterprise clouds with application-level insight allow for deeper visibility into each application, instead of hundreds of applications at a time. This key difference provides real-time insight into the application’s exact behaviors and needs to help organizations troubleshoot those that are underperforming for whatever reason. By monitoring applications at the individual level, IT departments can address issues faster and with less effort. Additionally, these capabilities show how and where a company’s applications’ resource needs change over time, giving IT more control over its footprint.

5. Comprehensive Automation CapabilitiesCompanies adapting to the digital economy are accelerating their application development and transitioning to DevOps models. Given the changes, many IT organizations are struggling to keep up with developer needs using traditional storage processes. Conventional storage technology requires specialized expertise or third-party software to manage. This can often halt the software development process while storage is being provisioned, slowing application release cycles. Enterprise clouds should automate the provisioning of storage and application of policies to reduce the time, cost and manpower associated with ongoing storage management. Automation also enables software development teams to be more productive and efficient by managing their own storage requirements, without relying on outside resources. And for companies turning to DevOps methods, this feature can shorten and simplify time-critical tasks across different teams.

Cloud technologies are changing how organizations deploy, manage and support the applications that are critical to business. A successful enterprise cloud can drastically improve efficiencies and performance. When adopting an enterprise cloud strategy, ensure it possesses autonomous quality of service, self-service, a highly scalable infrastructure and comprehensive automation capabilities.

About the Author

Chuck Dubuque is VP of Product Marketing at Tintri. Prior to joining Tintri in 2014, he was at Red Hat, where as director of product marketing for the virtualization business unit, he was responsible for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (RHEL-OSP) market strategy. Before Red Hat, Chuck worked at a value added reseller for VMware, NetApp and Cisco and also spent several years in biotechnology in marketing and business development.

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