The cloud came upon us promising ease of use, flexibility and scalability never seen – and for the most part, it delivered. Wondrous cost savings emerged in the form of IaaS and SaaS solutions, and rapid testing and development meant any organization could now put solutions into the hands of employees and customers much more quickly.
The Cloud: Too Fast? Too soon?
Along the journey to the cloud, as deployments grew, something happened. Organizations began to realize that with every benefit the cloud brings, additional challenges are introduced. With the speed of agile development taking hold, infrastructure teams were required to deliver more, better, faster. But enterprise systems still required real-time monitoring, deployment and maintenance across the entire infrastructure, while IT resources are stretched incredibly thin.
Fast forward to 2017 — you have IaaS and SaaS multi-cloud deployments that are massive in scale and getting bigger by the day. In a rush towards cloud utilization, IT often whipped together solutions and networks to get things rolling, and it’s now catching up with them. It was never a concern of developers to streamline the deployment process, leaving organizations scrambling to manage the infrastructure and mitigate bottlenecks.
It has become increasingly apparent: We can’t keep pace with our cloud infrastructure demands – we need a game plan to strategically streamline our cloud processes.
Enter Cloud Orchestration
If you have ever heard a symphony when all of the instruments are perfectly in tune and the director is coordinating the whole cast together as one to create symphonic bliss — then you can envision cloud orchestration.
Cloud Orchestration tools were developed to provide resource control and data center interconnectivity, to fine tune, simplify and automate deployment, and provide added visibility into cloud resources and processes. Orchestration tools combine all available cloud resources and provide the mechanism to link and automate provisioning for the various services your organization requires.
To achieve efficiency and smooth operations in the cloud, orchestration tools are rapidly becoming a required resource as opposed to a “nice to have.” IDC states that “Automation and orchestration technologies are important resources for any data center management team that wants to work more efficiently and effectively. IT teams can use automation and orchestration to standardize many frequently repeated tasks, to reduce delays across complex workflows and to empower end users.”
In his article, Andrew Froehlich highlights eight benefits that cloud orchestration tools can bring to the deployment and management of cloud resources, summarized here:
- Force best practices, like creating pre-built deployment templates, baked-in security, and structured IP addressing.
- Simplify optimization such as automated provisioning of multiple servers, storage, databases and networking.
- Unify automation by centralizing automation processes under one umbrella.
- Improve visibility and control to automatically monitor, alert and modify/spin down VM instances to significantly reduce the number of man-hours needed to manage your cloud.
- Provide a self-service portal to remove the need to include infrastructure admins in the deployment process.
- Automate metering and chargeback to keep close track of the cloud resources used.
- Provide long-term cost savings by improving the cloud service footprint and reducing staffing.
- Facilitate business agility to accommodate the shift to the digital world.
Cloud orchestration is key to managing all the moving parts in your increasingly complex, multi-cloud infrastructure and realizing the full efficiency, scalability and cost-saving benefits of the cloud. Orchestration of your environment will lay the groundwork for strategic projects of not only the cloud, but also big data, mobility, IoT and more.