The Cloud Twofer: Accelerate Your Public Cloud Strategy with a Cloud MSP and HyperCloud
I first heard the word “twofer” when a CEO of one of my former employers that I immensely respect, Joe Tucci of EMC, used it to describe the VMware acquisition, one of the most successful technology acquisitions ever. I thought it was a perfectly made up word for the occasion but the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines twofer as:
1: two articles available for the price of one or about the price of one
2: something that satisfies two criteria or needs simultaneously
I think it is the perfect word to describe today’s announcement and press about Burwood Group adopting HyperGrid’s HyperCloud Intelligent Cloud Management Platform to accelerate their cloud services offerings, such as application development and deployment, governance, and cost control services for customers operating in a public, private, or hybrid cloud.
If you’re an enterprise customer looking to drive any type of digital transformation and leverage the powerful hyper-scale public cloud platforms as part of that transformation, you may be asking why do you need a Cloud Managed Services Provider (MSP) aka Managed Cloud Provider?
The answer to that question is multi-faceted because it is a multi-faceted problem. However, at the center of it all is the fact that having a knowledgeable partner that brings both the cloud expertise and solutions to assist with your migration and on-going administration can be the difference between getting your “public cloud adoption” right or finding yourself in over your head. Here are some of my thoughts on why Cloud MSPs are important partners in your cloud journey:
1) Ensuring real cost savings and predictable cloud spend
Even though public cloud accounts for around 26% of all infrastructure spending, this spend is poorly managed today with estimates of resource wastage in the public clouds ranging from 30 to 50% of cloud spend or around $6B a year. Customers are paying for idle resources, not getting negotiated discounts, struggling with complex bills and chasing down rogue spending across their organizations. According to a recent survey by SoftwareONE, 37% of IT executives complain of cloud costs as the top pain point. An experienced cloud MSP can ensure that you have the right cost policies setup based on your different application and lifecycle needs and implement best practices to prevent wastage in typical areas of public cloud usage. HyperCloud helps cloud MSPs to automate cost management so that you can proactively estimate cloud spending based on application requirements and control costs by having resource and spending limits, analyzing usage patterns, setting leases and schedule based policies to continuously optimize your run-time environment.
2) Addressing cloud talent and skills shortage
When enterprises think of public cloud, they get excited about the prospect of not maintaining infrastructure anymore. What they often under-estimate are the skills needed to operate efficiently in one or more of them – “efficiently” being the operative word. The familiar infrastructure management approach gives way to a trio of new considerations – technology stack, workflows and processes. Unfortunately, skills development and re-training has not kept up with the rapid public cloud usage. According to this research, two thirds of IT pros could bring greater innovation to their organization with the right cloud insight. Unfortunately, it takes on average 50% more time to find people with the right skills. So how do you solve this problem and accelerate innovation? The right cloud MSP can fill the gap in cloud expertise using their knowledge and real-life experiences with other customers to make your cloud transition efficient, cost-effective and low risk. By using a platform like HyperCloud that provides simple management and consistent user experience across any private or public cloud, cloud MSPs can ensure that enterprises execute their hybrid cloud strategy more completely. HyperCloud provides a custom app store for single-click self-service provisioning, supports cloud-native frameworks and services for apps, delivers app monitoring and integrates with 3rd party tools workflow extension and automation on any cloud, private and/or public.
3) Accelerating cloud migration planning and adoption
Typical migrating efforts to a public cloud focus on just the tools to move data or apps. But, this is a complex, multi-layered problem that benefits most from real-world experience, breadth of platform capabilities and a deep understanding of what is and is not possible. Risks are enormous and cover business, finance, operations, organization and technology. Cloud MSPs can deliver tremendous value by streamlining the overall end-to-end execution – they can help enterprises by performing workload assessment and dependency mapping; providing cost transparency for various cloud environments (which cloud, which instance and which region) for a given app; migrating apps and data; containerizing apps for portability; and helping architect and refactor apps for greater scalability and resiliency.
Having a platform that helps with better planning is critical to overall success. For example, cloud egress costs can have a significant impact on the overall app architecture and delivery model, so cost transparency is an extremely important factor to consider. Also, depending on the size of the organization, such an effort can span many months if not years. HyperCloud can help simplify and accelerate this process with capabilities that let cloud MSPs deliver services aimed at solving/streamlining efforts in these areas. HyperCloud’s highly intelligent, real-time and automated framework for cloud and workload optimization is based on a database of 100s of millions of instance permutations and combinations in various clouds, with information on performance benchmarks, pricing, security and compliance. This built-in intelligence and a MSP’s experience can be a powerful combo and save you time and money.
4) Ensuring cloud security and governance
Stories about orphan or leaky S3 buckets may be well known, but that does not mean cloud security measures are easy to institute or keep up with in a changing threat landscape. Often internal IT resources are not adequately skilled for managing these cloud security threats especially given the rapid pace of cloud application development. This isn’t acceptable as security must be an integrated part of the cloud planning and app deployment process. Partnering with right the MSP that brings value to the table with the experience they have in managing cloud environments is a great way to augment your enterprise capabilities. In combination with the HyperCloud platform, cloud MSPs can help institute DevSecOps practices as previously detailed in this blog. The HyperCloud platform can also help augment the MSP capabilities offered by enforcing Role-based access controls, enabling groups and user entitlements, secure multi-tenancy and VPC enforcement on any cloud and multi-layered security with ACLs and security groups. HyperCloud container services also can automate enforcing application level micro-segmentation between different layers of the application on any cloud environment.
5) DevOps self-service environment in the cloud
One of the primary drivers for cloud adoption in enterprises is digital transformation and the need for speed and agility best exemplified by rapid development, integration and deployment of distributed apps using an agile DevOps methodology. It is often misunderstood that adopting a cloud means DevOps automation comes for free. Successful customers who adopted cloud platforms like AWS have had to deploy an army of technical talent to build automation, reporting, monitoring and orchestration of their platform’s services. For enterprises to become DevOps friendly, there is a fundamental need to make collaboration seamless between IT and business teams.
Cloud MSPs with the right expertise and an DevOps platform, can help operationalize, automate and scale DevOps quickly within the enterprise. With HyperCloud, cloud MSPs can deliver services throughout the app lifecycle – initial setup and maintenance of continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines including integration with 3rd party tools; custom app store with pre-configured multi-tier app blueprints with embedded security and governance policies; and automate workflows from development to deployment. Even more importantly, as business needs change, so will the developer needs. Cloud MSPs can help enterprises operationalize a new cloud very quickly – while keeping the entire process transparent for developers, so that they do not need to change their workflows or processes. Cloud MSPs can be catalysts for change and seamless collaboration across the entire organization. They can serve as trusted advisors and curators of a dizzyingly complex software lego marketplace, helping enterprises take advantage of the true agility of the cloud.
Finally, the cloud provider MSP certification and audited programs (e.g. AWS has a good audited MSP program; Azure and Google are getting there) are focused on cloud MSP capabilities with a single cloud provider, while the combination of the right Cloud MSP with the HyperCloud platform ensures that enterprise customers have a single point of control across multiple cloud environments so they can follow a best of breed strategy with the standardization that comes from adoption of the broad platform capabilities that HyperCloud offers in managing the underlying cloud platforms.
The combination of the right cloud MSP like Burwood Group with the HyperCloud intelligent cloud management platform is a perfect example of a Cloud Twofer!