Cloud Brokerage as tooling and as team

A realistic approach for a transition to a private or public cloud
September 19, 2018

With the current Multi-Cloud trends, companies are struggling to get in control with their Cloud usage. Public Clouds are used as well as Private Clouds, operated by the IT departments. Public Clouds are very easy to access and to consume cloud services from, but there is a huge risk in that. Without a proper Cloud Architecture, this can lead to security issues as well as availability issues, which can have severe impact on the business and in fact on the existence of the company. As multiple Public Clouds are getting common these days this challenge is even bigger, as every Public Cloud has its own architecture and usage and should therefore be architected separately. Different Clouds with their different usage have an impact on IT management as well. None of the Public Clouds are the same, so different working methods and expertise is necessary to manage these Public Clouds, using IaaS or, in certain extend, PaaS services. The usage of Multiple Clouds also creates a diffuse insight in costs. Every Public Cloud comes with its own billing engine and its own type of billing reporting. Without a proper governance model on the usage of these clouds, a good overview of the total costs of your Cloud is impossible. Even within one Cloud Provider, let alone when you have Multi Clouds! Proper tooling is necessary to get insight in the different costs between the Public Clouds and to get control on costs. How nice would it be if you have insights on which Public Cloud your Workload would run best and cheapest?

Another huge risk concerning workloads is the choice of the Public Cloud. Without proper planning you can end up with deployments which are not compliant to company policies, laws and regulations. Companies in the EU for instance, have to think about the impact of the new GDPR and US CLOUD Act and storing privacy sensitive information at US Cloud Providers. In some cases, the GDPR and CLOUD Act are in conflict with each other concerning the actual data location and who has governmental authority over that information.

Cloud Brokerage

There are two instruments that can help to get into control. A Cloud Brokerage tool and a Cloud Brokerage team. A Cloud Brokerage tool is a Cloud Management Platform (CMP) capable of managing multiple Public Clouds as well as a Private Cloud. The tool provides a service catalog and reporting functionality to present the services your business needs. This ensures a standardization and an opiniated way of using cloud services. It will give your company a way of governance and control and ensures a secure and high available usage of Cloud services. Even without losing the added value and advantages a company gets using Public Cloud services. The Cloud Brokerage tool will support the Cloud Brokerage team to provide a standard platform where predefined services are made available which have been tested, are secure, but still flexible to use for the Cloud consumers.

Cloud Brokerage tool

Currently several CMP tools are available in the market.  Our practical experience gained by running Proof on Concepts with five of these tools has showed us that this market is still very young and growing rapidly. We have worked with some of the CMP vendors to improve their product and we have gained a lot of experience on the matureness of these CMP’s. To get the necessary insights in costs for instance, most of the CMP tools are not mature enough. We discovered that is better to use a so-called Cloud Reporting Platform (CRP) in combination with the CMP. Getting the costs insights with a CRP and providing services and day2 operations using a CMP. In some cases, a CMP vendor also provides a separate CRP that can be access directly via the CMP.

Cloud Brokerage team

The Cloud Brokerage team is the team who can help the organization in the transition to the Cloud. The team should be an agile team with at least Cloud Architects, Cloud Engineers, and a Product Owner. The team must be able to act upon change rapidly without unnecessary process overhead. This team can guide your company through the journey of getting a proper Cloud strategy, set up one or more Cloud Architectures and provide Cloud Engineering using the selected Cloud Management Platform product. The team can educate your staff to use the portal and to provide additional services when the business requires them.

Tooling is necessary to help your company to standardize and to work with multiple Clouds as efficient as possible. The Cloud Brokerage team will help your organization to define the services, making sure that Cloud usage is within company policies and architecture, and easy and flexible to use. Besides that, this team can ensure that your company stays up-to-date with the ever-changing world of Cloud Computing. Being able to be innovative with the latest technologies enhances business value and ensures your company stays competitive in your market.

 

Do you want to know more about Cloud Brokering? Do you encounter the same problems described above? Please give us a call at 0651061876 (Tom) or 0623467809 (Rick) to discuss how we can help you.

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