Cloud Jumpstart to Staging and Collaborative Workflow Testing
Moving Virtualization from Machines to Workflows
For savvy CTOs, integrators, and consultants serving external constituencies, as well as CIOs with internal constituencies, CloudShare provides a cloud-based extended VMware environment to build and share sophisticated IT solutions for complex application-driven IT environments. More importantly, the next wave of virtualization projects will see a shift in the focus of IT from opportunistic consolidation projects to the complex application-centric issues of critical business processes. New virtualization projects will involve multiple virtual machines (VMs) and must meet rigorous Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for process availability and continuity.
IT projects of this scope raise significant issues with respect to provisioning hardware and software for the pre-production environment. In addition, IT providers must be able to demonstrate that a solution is able to support a business process to a level that is acceptable to line of business executives.
Using CloudShare, IT providers are able to collaborate with customers, partners, and colleagues in a way that goes well beyond point-and-show presentations that characterize standard webinars. CloudShare provides users with true hands-on interaction with a dedicated production-class instance of a complete IT environment.
What distinguishes the CloudShare user experience from that of typical cloud-based VMware environments is CloudShare’s ability to virtualize an independent copy of an entire workflow—VMs, storage, networking, and preinstalled software—and present it with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop user interface. Virtualized on demand workflows also boost development capabilities by allowing software teams to freeze entire workflows to track subtle integration problems that can degrade a process workflow without actually introducing a traceable error. As a result, any IT-provider can now lay a foundation for a rock-solid excellence by delivering over the web robust, agent-less solutions for pre-production tasks such as development, testing, QA, staging, and back-end training sessions.
Furthermore, CloudShare provides IT providers with client marketing options and sales tools that are as powerful as the development tools. With the growing adoption of IT Service Management (ITSM) paradigms, including SLAs, even CIOs now have to sell the credibility of IT internally to line of business executives. As a result, IT providers with internal, as well as external constituencies can benefit from the use of CloudShare even if they are not developing VM-based services.
Virtualization of Virtual Environments
Key drivers of the next wave of virtualization projects for mission-critical applications are the growing concerns of line of business executives over business continuity in a competitive 24x7 economic environment. The challenge for IT is to assuage the business continuity fears of corporate executives within budget constraints that exclude costly disaster recovery components, such as fault-tolerant servers, redundant hardware and software, and standby network bandwidth.
The cost-effective solution for business continuity that IT is now embracing is an extended VOE for mission critical applications. Using a hierarchy of workloads as fundamental building blocks, IT can respond in minutes to changes in business processing via the automatic provisioning and moving of VMs. This is a game changer for the old perception of IT as being a cost center and not a business enabler.
Nonetheless, moving beyond simple stand-alone VM solutions into the world of complex business workloads increases the complexity of provisioning and prototyping. Using CloudShare, however, IT can focus entirely on the construct of a workload, which has a natural affinity to a CloudShare environment and a business service.