(originally posted on dzone.com on Dec. 5, 2017, by Bill Stoddard, IBM)
Multi-cloud management with Cloud Automation Manager
This is a great time to be working in the IT field with rapidly evolving trends in
- Cloud computing
- Artificial Intelligence and machine learning
- Block chain technology
- Mobility technology
However, the rapid pace of change comes with a downside. It’s more challenging than ever to bring simplicity to an ever-rising tide of complexity. For example, a primary challenge facing IT Managers is balancing Central IT’s need for governance and oversight against business unit’s need to respond with speed and agility to new business requirements.
Business units seeking expedient solutions to pressing business needs are driving organization’s shift to the cloud. According to a recent report, 85% of enterprises today have a multi-cloud strategy, and 71% of organizations are using 3 or more clouds. While multi-cloud strategies have improved business agility, the improvements have come at a cost:
- Increased operational complexity - Maintaining one of-a-kind environments using vendor specific tools is expensive
- Reduced efficiency – It is difficult to standardize delivery of cloud services
- Governance – It is difficult to ensure applications are secure and compliant
- Cost management - Are resources being use efficiently? Future trends?
The key to achieving balance between Central IT and Lines of Business is to give Central IT tools and capabilities that enable them to respond with speed and agility to the needs of the business. When Central IT can respond with speed and agility, the incentive for business units to go-their-on-way is reduced and it becomes possible to achieve cost efficiencies by standardizing delivery of cloud resources and application services.
IBM Cloud Automation Manager enables Central IT to respond quickly to the needs of the business by providing a common automation framework for provisioning application services in all of your public, private and hybrid clouds and an integrated service composition experience that enables IT Architects to create multi-architecture application services that are easy to consume in DevOps tool chains and from self-service catalogs.
Enterprise grade cloud agnostic automation for public, private and hybrid workloads
Manually configuring cloud infrastructure and application environments is tedious and error prone. Automation reduces errors but most automation solutions are cloud vendor specific and require specialized skills. IBM Cloud Automation Manager leverages open technology Terraform to deliver cloud agnostic automation that can be used to provision multi-architecture and hybrid application services in public and private clouds including IBM Cloud, IBM Cloud Private, AWS EC2, Azure, VMware, OpenStack, PowerVC and Google Cloud Platform.
IBM Cloud Private and IBM Cloud Automation
IBM Cloud Automation Manager, delivered on IBM Cloud Private, offers end-to-end capabilities that allow IT operations to deploy, automate and manage multi-cloud, multi-architecture application environments, while providing easier access for developers to build and create applications within company policy and security.
Together, IBM Cloud Automation Manager and IBM Cloud Private provides a consistent, fully integrated solution for deploying and managing all of your containerized, VM based and cloud native workloads in all of your public, private and hybrid clouds.
IBM Cloud Automation Manager gives you flexibility in your hybrid IT and helps you gain speed through self-service access to cloud and application services. IBM Cloud Automation Manager’s modern micro-service architecture is highly flexible to meet your future needs and is purposefully designed for extensibility, enabling you to leverage your existing datacenter investments.
IBM Cloud Automation Manager and Terraform
IBM Cloud Automation Manager uses open source Terraform for cloud agnostic automation.
Terraform is a highly successful, rapidly growing, innovative open source project that enjoys the support of multiple cloud vendors. Terraform is designed around the principle of managing cloud infrastructure as code. Using Terraform, cloud infrastructure is described with declarative text files that can be stored in a version control system and managed as code. Infrastructure managed as code is easy to share, easy to reproduce and simple to govern.
IBM Cloud Automation Manager brings enterprise capabilities to Terraform:
- Graphical user interface to simplify access to cloud automation services
- Multi-tenancy and RBAC separation between service providers and consumers
- Integration with Gitlab and GitHub
- REST API to access all IBM Cloud Automation Manager capabilities
- Production ready out of the box. High availability, security, monitoring, tenancy and other services are obtained from the IBM Cloud Private runtime.
Workflow orchestration and service composition
IT Architects can use IBM Cloud Automation Manager’s drag and drop Service Composer to combine different types of automation activities into a service object that that can be published into self-service catalogs or delivered in DevOps tool chains. Automation activities are dragged from the palette onto the canvas, connected with other activities on the canvas and published, as a single consumable entity, into an object store or service catalog. The Service Composer supports multiple activities including Terraform configurations & variable presets, order forms, REST API invocations, if/then decision logic, email notifications, Helm charts and others. A service object can also invoke activities that reside in different clouds, enabling delivery of hybrid cloud services.
Composed services enable IT Architects to hide automation complexity and tailor delivery of cloud infrastructure and application services to meet the needs of the individual business unit consumer.
Get started fast with pre-built automation and your choice of application architecture
IBM Cloud Automation Manager with IBM Cloud Private includes a catalog of pre-built Helm charts, Terraform configurations and Chef scripts for popular IBM middleware and open source software. Select the architecture that is right for your project, or compose mixed architecture solutions and get into production quick with IBM Cloud Private and IBM Cloud Automation Manager.
Any workload, any cloud, on-demand
Business units can respond with speed and agility to business requirements when Central IT is able to deliver on-demand self-service access to cloud infrastructure and application services.
Cloud agnostic automation enables Central IT to reduce cost by standardizing processes, tools and skills for delivering and maintaining cloud infrastructure and application services at scale in all of your clouds. IBM Cloud Automation Manager in IBM Cloud Private provides a multi-cloud management solution that achieves the right balance between Central IT’s need for governance and oversight with business unit’s need to respond with speed and agility.
Don't miss the webcast!
Date: December 11th 12:00 PM EST
Title: IBM Cloud Automation Manager & IBM Cloud Private: How We are Making Your Cloud Experience More Developer Friendly & Enterprise Ready