Choosing A Cloud Software Partner - Page 5
Federation Across Clouds
To provide a single interface for all end-users, a cloud must hide distinctions between different datacenters, geographies and providers. There should be one end-user experience for deploying to anywhere in the cloud – public, private, or hybrid. While end users, due to compliance reasons, may need to dictate placement policy in terms of location or provider, it should be a policy component of their work within a single experience – it is not acceptable for there to be a private cloud experience and completely separate public cloud experience.
It is critical that the choice of public clouds to federate to is not forced by the cloud software provider, that would be too limiting. By not allowing the customer to pick the best possible provider at the right cost, cloud deployment will become unnecessarily expensive.
Federation features need to be as follows:
- From a single user interface, resources can be deployed and managed across multiple sites and providers.
- Each site and provider can be allowed or denied on a per customer or per user/group basis.
- When accessing public clouds that are tied to shared credential and billing information, like private keys and credit card numbers, the end user must have that information hidden from them. They don’t need to know it and they must not be able to take it with them when they change jobs or roles.
Identity is preserved across sites and providers so that:
- Users are permitted access to resources at each site according to their specific permissions.
- Bills from public cloud providers can be itemized by department, user, and project.
- There needs to be a single audit trail showing who did what activity in what clouds.
When a cloud management system follows these rules, multiple sites within an organization can be managed as one. Furthermore, hybrid cloud becomes a reality with public cloud becoming a viable part of the IT toolkit, not a bootleg process hidden from the visibility of those most trained and responsible for keeping services safe and secure.
Enterprise IT departments and service providers have no shortage of choices today for cloud infrastructure software. But, for an organization doing a significant deployment, the list of requirements above can help separate the serious contenders from less mature or well thought through products.
When writing RFP’s don’t just fall back on the same enterprise management or virtualization platform requirements or you will wind up with the same old infrastructure. Start with your traditional requirements, but make sure to add in critical new requirements around what is really needed to take the next step and have a real cloud today!