What a difference a decade makes. It’s been more than 10 years since the advent of cloud computing. The technology first used by tech companies — primarily for development and testing — is now handling global production workloads. And it’s changing the way nearly every business and government operates.
“But if you think we’re standing at the summit of cloud, we’re not. We’re at basecamp,” says Joe Kinsella, VMware vice president and CTO. “We have a long distance to scale before we achieve the full summit — and value — of cloud computing.”
The State of Multi-Cloud Today
Enterprises adopting public, hybrid, and multi-cloud need agility and innovation. Instead, they’re discovering complexity, largely because of three things:
- Pace of change: Cloud is a fundamental, rapid shift in architecture. Monthly upgrades, for example, could be a 5- or 6-fold increase from the previous norm.
- Distributed management of cloud: Cloud services are often adopted
from the “outside in” by lines of business, before or outside of IT, creating decentralized management needs that increase risk, especially at scale.
- Pervasive multi-cloud: New SaaS products seemingly come to market every day, and CIOs need to support a rapidly expanding cloud portfolio.
A New Cloud Operational Model for the Journey from Basecamp
Kinsella says that successful enterprises go through four phases:
Prior to co-founding CloudHealth by VMware, Kinsella’s company had to recover from initial public cloud sticker shock. “Our cost per document per month was supposed to be $0.84,” he explains. “Our second month in the public cloud, the cost per document was $2.03.”
After quickly assessing and solving key challenges, he reports, the per-document cost declined to $0.32. Now, he helps others learn from his experience and slide right on the cloud maturity path.
Enterprises Join the Climb
Leading cloud communications platform provider 8×8 leverages multi-cloud management solutions from VMware for automation and service integration. The company’s journey has resulted in 1,000 microservices in production.
“One platform has to support all of our customers—big enterprises and small businesses,” explains Dejan Deklich, 8×8 chief product officer. “I don’t know how I would function without CloudHealth.”
A key CloudHealth platform capability is reservation management, which enables enterprises to pre-arrange capacity to get the most out of their cloud budget. That alone can provide a 40–50 percent reduction in cost every month, explains Kinsella.
“We run Wavefront everywhere, too,” says Deklich. That’s because his company needed a solution that would scale for all its products, services and infrastructure. The solution provides enterprise observability for the full production stack.
According to Deklich, “Wavefront is the only true enterprise-scale observability and analytics platform in the metrics space. We ended up instrumenting all microservices, all VMs, all containers—all the infrastructure that we could with Wavefront. Now we are talking about instrumenting all the business processes with it, including support.”
Wavefront has more than 200 integrations for apps, Pivotal PCF, Kubernetes, public clouds and SDDC infrastructure, as well as third-party tools. With AI/ML at its core, it provides a holistic view and enables teams to manipulate objects.
Getting to the Peak
According to Kinsella, the cloud management vision is:
- Take customers from a world of relying exclusively on people and tools, to a world in which they can count on smart software that continually optimizes based on business goals.
- Move customers from a world in which they take great risks every day, into one where they can run at cloud speed with integrity and confidence.
- Take customers from the challenges of multiple disconnected environments—multiple hybrid clouds, multiple public clouds and rich SaaS portfolios—to a world in which one suite of integrated products gives them the efficiency to scale with cloud.
- Move customers from struggling to keep up, to a world of simplified cloud governance.
“We want to take customers to the true summit of cloud computing—to realize the full value of this cloud disruption,” Kinsella says.
And he says multi-cloud success requires two things:
- Superior products, purpose-build for cloud that advance customers’ multi-cloud journey.
- A superior partner that understands enterprise challenges and what’s required to scale.