Our recent 2014 State of the Cloud Report showed Amazon Web Services (AWS) leading in public cloud adoption and VMware® vSphere® leading in private cloud. (Yes, vSphere is not really a private cloud, but I’ll get to that in a minute). So it’s probably not a surprise that our enterprise customers overwhelmingly tell RightScale that they want a single system to provision, manage, and govern both AWS and vSphere resources. They have two clear goals for this hybrid architecture. First, they want to cloud-enable vSphere so they they can provide on-demand self-service access for developers to quickly provision virtual machines (VMs) in their virtualized environments. Secondly, they want a single pane of glass to monitor and manage public cloud and on-premises resource pools and move workloads between them.
The IT Landscape
In most enterprises, the infrastructure team runs vSphere while the app dev, cloud, and DevOps teams typically use AWS and other public cloud services. These teams have independently chosen management solutions that were focused solely on their siloed environments. But now, with strategic cloud initiatives fueling the rise of cloud admin and cloud architect roles, a new, unified approach to cloud provisioning and management is taking precedence to support business and technical objectives.
Although some smaller companies are moving exclusively to public cloud, the overwhelming majority of enterprises want to leverage their existing vSphere investment because the platform is deeply embedded in the technology strategy. However, as enterprises shift toward a multi-cloud, hybrid IT future, they want to avoid lock-in to any particular cloud provider or hypervisor. As a result, they are seeking to both cloudify existing vSphere assets to make it easily available to their developers and internal users as well as to preserve the ability to migrate workloads to AWS or other clouds as their needs evolve. For a game plan on how to accomplish this, download the white paper, From Virtualization to Cloud with vSphere, AWS, and Other Clouds.
RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere
With the general availability this week of RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere, we now enable customers to manage workloads seamlessly across vSphere, AWS, Google, Azure, OpenStack, and all of the clouds we support. RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere is a virtual software appliance that runs on-premises and connects RightScale to your vSphere environment. Once you configure RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere behind your enterprise firewall (which takes just minutes), it enables you to manage your vSphere environment as if it were a private cloud. And it also serves to unify your previously siloed resource pools by providing a consistent set of cloud capabilities as well as a common management platform.
Benefits of RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere include:
- Self-Service Access: With RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere, RightScale users can now provide their developers with on-demand, self-service access to provision and manage vSphere VMs in a standardized and automated way.
- Migration and Portability: Using RightScale ServerTemplates™, you can build and configure workloads for use across AWS, vSphere, and other public and private clouds. And you can continue to use existing images and VMs for provisioning into vSphere. There are several compelling reasons for investing in application portability including lifecycle-based cloud deployment, cloudbursting, disaster recovery (DR), and supporting multiple hypervisors.
Configuration Management and Support for DevOps
RightScale supports the use of automated configuration management tools that can help companies in the evolution from “golden image” production to an infrastructure-as code model. This shift is a key enabler for the growing DevOps development movement that streamlines development and reduces errors through automation and collaboration.
Single Pane of Glass for Governance
RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere gives IT teams the same governance over vSphere workloads that RightScale provides for other clouds. This includes:
- Standardization of technology stacks and configurations.
- Visibility into who is running what and where it is running.
- Monitoring of running instances.
- Tracking and analyzing usage and costs.
- A complete audit trail of changes.
- Control over access to shared resource pools and workloads.
Cost and Capacity Management
With RightScale, companies can now attach costs to vSphere resources and provide cost visibility (showback); cost tracking and analysis; and cost allocations (chargeback) to business units. Companies can also implement cost quotas and optimize overall spend.
Support for Greenfield and Brownfield Applications
RightScale Cloud Appliance for vSphere enables companies to manage existing brownfield vSphere VMs and leverage RightScale tools and expertise as they migrate their applications to the cloud. VMware administrators can continue to use familiar vCenter tools because RightScale syncs with the latest vCenter information. Greenfield applications offer an opportunity to leverage RightScale ServerTemplates as a foundation for future portability.
Unified Cloud Management Promotes Innovation
In the future, application and workload placement will be constrained from moving among different clouds or on-premises environments by security and business policy – not by technology constraints. The RightScale Multi-Cloud Platform provides a key underpinning toward that end by unifying the management of these disparate resource pools so that you can understand what resources cost, provide governance for usage, and enable end users to have the best resources at their disposal to promote innovation.