Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Friday, November 16, 2018
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Hybrid Cloud Adopters Playing Catchup on DevOps 

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Hybrid cloud management issues are moving to the fore as more enterprise cloud consumers establish “direct” links to public clouds that ease the transition but leave them with little visibility into DevOps functions and how in-demand capabilities such as microservices are actually being delivered.

Those are among the central conclusions of a cloud management survey released this week that found lagging DevOps and microservices “enablement” is offsetting the cost savings associated with hybrid cloud deployments. The Ponemon Institute survey sponsored by cloud management specialist Embotics found growing appreciation for DevOps capabilities but little confidence that organizations could deliver on the promise. Only one-third of those surveyed said they could muster the necessary DevOps capabilities required for microservices and container-based applications.

Those emerging services are considered essential by 80 percent of respondents, but only about one in four believe they can deliver them.

Much of the uncertainty stems from lack of visibility: 46 percent of respondents said they have adopted a “cloud direct” approach to hybrid infrastructure deployment. The tradeoff for the convenience of bypassing IT and cloud management responsibilities is a lack of understanding into, for example, control over virtual machines in the cloud environment.

The preferred consumption model means users bypass cloud management technologies to communicate directly with public clouds via native APIs or public cloud accounts. Along with poor visibility into VM ownership, the survey found that an equivalent number (68 percent) of those polled said they lacked a single user interface for tracking overall cloud operations.

“This research indicates a real disconnect between enterprises’ need and desire to deploy next generation applications using DevOps methodologies and the ability of existing cloud management solutions to support that transition,” said researcher Larry Ponemon.

In response, more than two-thirds of those polled said they are adopting DevOps methodologies as a way to deliver microservice when needed without shooting their IT budgets.

The goal, the researcher said, is developing what it called cloud management platform 2.0 capabilities that allow enterprises to deliver microservices via containers along with other cloud-native applications. Those capabilities would complement existing operations such as provisioning, automation, workflow orchestration and the ability to balance capacity utilization and cost management across public, private and hybrid clouds.

The ability to deliver those next-generation cloud management tools would help magnify the advantages of hybrid cloud deployments, with savings estimated to average $34 million per year. That works out to about 23 percent of a typical cloud management budget, the survey found.

Among the other key data points in the survey of more than 600 cloud managers was confirmation of the shift to hybrid cloud deployments, with 29 percent of respondents saying they are using the cloud consumption model. The average budget for managing hybrid cloud operations was pegged at $147 million.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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