Open Infrastructure Summit 2019: Cloud Providers and Data Center Giants Link Arms to Achieve Multiple Cloud Management

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Last week’s Open Infrastructure Summit conference highlighted key cloud management partnerships between OpenStack and public cloud providers.
  • This week, during Red Hat Summit, we expect the company to focus on OpenShift’s ability to accelerate multi-cloud deployments as well.

This year’s Open Infrastructure Summit, held in Denver, reflected the culmination of the past year’s progress in important hybrid and multi-cloud management advancements, helping to clarify the role traditional infrastructure providers will play in enterprise DevOps strategies. This role is being realized through partnerships with public cloud providers where Cisco, VMware, and others are integrating their core data center technologies with the evolving cloud management platforms offered by Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, enabled through standard interconnect protocols (please see Open Infrastructure Summit 2019: Data Center Giants Cisco and VMware Hitch Their Wagons to Multiple Cloud Partners,” May 6, 2019).

The end goal in cloud technology among participating providers is to offer multi-cloud management services, which call for a single pane of glass that not only provides visibility across an enterprise’s hybrid cloud environment – spanning private, on-premises, and public clouds – but also serves as a management solution inclusive of numerous public cloud solutions. Such a technological feat will eventually provide operations with the monitoring, logging, and management of various cloud scenarios, alongside artificial intelligence through ML to support the automation, security, policy, and governance necessary to ensure an efficiently run cloud infrastructure. This is particularly important as new app architectures such as serverless evolve. Multi-cloud management solutions are not merely an extension of hybrid cloud management. They are also an important complement to evolving DevOps management services addressing new app architectures, such as microservices network and app management solutions. (Note, GlobalData recently launched a new set of ‘Market Disruptor’ reports, highlighting leading startups in this space.)

Most notable among today’s cloud trends is the realization by all technology stakeholders that the cloud industry has reached a point where it can’t attain multi-cloud status without formalizing OpenStack relationships, largely through CNCF and OpenStack Foundation interconnect protocols and frameworks, which bring crucial infrastructure components into the picture. Early examples of key cloud management solutions include Microsoft Azure Stack, AWS Outposts, VMware Cloud on AWS, Red Hat CoreOS, and most recently, Google Anthos.

Key to Google’s strategy is its infrastructure partnerships. Building on last year’s Cisco technology partnership via Cisco Container Platform for GCP, Cisco provides important IT-as-a-service components including Stealthwatch (security), HyperFlex (data services), AppDynamics (monitoring), and UCS (connectivity). Cisco will continue to build out the Anthos solution through Istio service mesh and Kubernetes integration, via NSM (Network Service Mesh). Google’s Anthos announcement last month is potentially disruptive because it not only delivers on the promise of hybrid cloud computing, but through its IT service capabilities via partners such as Cisco, Google represents the first real foray by a public cloud provider into multi-cloud management. Google made its intentions clear that Anthos will run on rival clouds including AWS and Azure, providing enterprises with cloud management across their on-premises clouds and multiple public cloud deployments as well.

Similarly, VMware is offering various cloud management solutions, most notably its VMware Cloud on AWS offering, which moves workloads between the data center and AWS, providing necessary operational visibility. Last week during OIS, VMware announced another hybrid cloud partnership with Microsoft Azure, laying the groundwork for its own multi-cloud strategy. Like its AWS partnership, the newly announced Azure VMware solution provides a consistent operational experience from customers’ data centers to the Azure public cloud. We expect VMware to further enhance its offering through application lifecycle management (ALM) technologies including WaveFront (APM) and its recently acquired Smart Assurance (root cause analysis).

Traditional data center competitors are beginning to realize that those best positioned to succeed in today’s cloud era will have readied solutions and partnerships which support new app architectures, backend integration platforms, cognitive app development, and most importantly, a growing hybrid and multi-cloud management ecosystem.

This week, I’ll be attending Red Hat Summit, where I expect this cloud management trend to continue. Red Hat serves as an attractive partner to public cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, to provide open source services for managing and auto-scaling of next-generation containers (e.g., microservices, serverless) running on Kubernetes. Stay tuned!

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