DCN July 2016 - Page 25

virtualisation & cloud services of cloud should provide the ability to burst (ie. scale up and down) as needed either automatically or through a simple self-service mechanism. If your provider can’t do this it’s not really cloud. You should only pay for what you use, and be able to add or reduce capacity, and associated costs, as needs change. If your organisation needs 100 virtual servers for a month, they could be provisioned and ready for use within 48 hours. You simply turn the capacity on and then turn it off when you no longer need it, only paying for the time used. Second, many organisations think that they have to buy a standard package. However, the better managed cloud services can be customised to your organisation’s characteristics. You can combine this type of service with ‘vanilla’ services to create your own hybrid cloud to suit your needs. Finally, there are now standards in areas such as interoperability, web, authentication etc., which means that some of the historical integration challenges can be avoided and these will help to increase the spread of hybrid cloud services. The key challenges in implementing hybrid cloud are around integration and standards. At present not many people are dynamically moving workloads between organisations. Once you have chosen to provision services with different providers you will need the ability to integrate those services. Toolsets to do this and remote management and reporting capabilities are also evolving within both the commercial and open source worlds. When defining, running or buying services you should make sure that the interfaces used are as standard as possible e.g. XML, SOAP, REST, SAML etc. Figure 2: Service integration and management (SIAM) for hybrid cloud Managing and monitoring multiple providers Once you have a portfolio of cloud services, you need to actively manage that portfolio and monitor performance against the agreed SLAs to ensure you receive the contracted service. You will want to know: How well are my service providers performing against contractually agreed SLAs? If they are not performing, where is the problem? This is particularly important where multiple providers are responsible for elements of the IT service Is the aggregated service delivering suitable performance to our user community? This is leading to a growth in new services (Cloud Monitoring as a Service, or CMaaS) to monitor the performance of multiple suppliers, all of whom will claim ‘it’s not their fault’ when a problem arises. An effective monitoring service should pull together service availability and other performance information. It should have the ability to carry out synthetic transactions against defined services and applications, show overall system health, and monitor response times and latency. It should also consolidate events and other performance statistics across the IT supply chain. Management services are continuing to evolve to meet the needs of hybrid cloud. Ideally, an organisation would carry out this monitoring from a single pane of glass. Fordway has developed a solution with its CMaaS service, taking publicly available information from cloud providers such as Amazon Cloud Watch and using the AWS integration tool plug-in for the company’s toolset, which is based on MS Systems Centre. The same can be done for other public cloud services such as Azure, Office 365, Service Now and Salesforce. Network monitoring is also provided 25