IT organizations must respond to increasing demands from business stakeholders. Virtually every decision business makes involves IT, and in business where first movers gain competitive advantage, IT responsiveness and agility matter. Yet many IT organizations struggle to meet business needs in a timely way because their applications and services run on infrastructures that are too costly to manage and challenging to change.
Today's IT organizations, faced with decreasing resources and increasing business needs, are looking to cloud computing to provide a more efficient, flexible and cost-effective model for delivering IT to business: IT as a Service.
While cloud computing provides the approach, Contour delivers a pragmatic path and customer-proven solutions that allow organizations to preserve existing technology investments, while achieving the goal of enabling IT as a Service.
Improve IT efficiency and agility while enhancing security and choice with a private cloud built on VMware. Leverage your existing investments while moving toward highly scalable, high performance public clouds built by top service providers on the VMware vSphere platform. By adopting the leading platform chosen by both the largest number of enterprises and service providers, you retain the ability to place each of your workloads in the optimal location, while fully retaining the ability to move workloads between or across private and public cloud infrastructures providers.
The Vision for Private Cloud
Private clouds present a shift from a model where everything is customized to one of standardization. Management in such an environment is no longer about avoiding change but instead embracing it to facilitate IT's twin goals: delivering on the needs of the business and managing the underlying resources in the most efficient way possible.
The move to private cloud represents an industrial revolution for IT, applying industrial manufacturing techniques to the provisioning of IT services, gaining standardization and automation. Standardization is central to achieving much greater operational efficiency. Private clouds not only facilitate standardization but dramatically increase the returns on standardization. Deploying standard infrastructure from a templatized catalog of applications is orders of magnitude faster and easier than building each application from scratch. Similar gains are available from centralizing and standardizing high availability, network management, and security.
In the private cloud, management will evolve from preventing and minimizing change to embracing constant change as the natural state of IT. For example, in the physical world moving an application from one server to another means both down-time and risk and needs careful planning and tracking in a Change Management Database (CMDB). By contrast, in a cloud environment change at all levels is embraced and executed automatically based on predefined policies. VMware vMotion is fast, riskless and automated, yielding significant efficiency and availability improvements.
The agility of a private cloud infrastructure lets you provide each application the resources it needs now, adjusting as demand changes. Management becomes focused on two distinct needs: ensuring that each application meets the needs of the business (availability, performance, security etc.) and providing the pool of resources to meet the aggregate needs of the organization in the most efficient and responsive way possible.
Key differences in Management approach:
- Static bindings between processes, applications, and infrastructure
- Change is carefully planned, risky, manual, and slow
- Heterogeneous elements and processes across silos
- Management software executes to the lowest common denominator
Private Cloud Management
- Dynamic relationships across all layers of the technology stack
- Change is constant and automated
- Massive standardization and high-level abstraction
- Day-to-day is automated; management tools should focus on higher order tasks
- To take advantage of the cloud, there needs to be a clear separation of the production versus consumption layer.
- In the cloud, the consumer (the business) has no idea – and importantly, little interest in or concern with – what hardware platform and management tools are being used to deliver services.
Traditional approaches to protecting the operating system and applications have relied exclusively on agents, which are themselves vulnerable, offer protection only within limited layers of the application + OS stack, and create sprawl and management/update issues on a large scale. The VMware vSphere platform has unique introspection abilities and provides comprehensive and efficient access to security controls while obviating the need for security agents in each virtual machine, identifying hard-to-detect problems precisely and efficiently.
Legacy security solutions have often been synonymous with keeping things locked down and static: static firewall rules, 'air-gapped' hardware and software infrastructure for various application zoning needs. This is no longer appropriate in cloud based models and IT as a service, which require rapid and dynamic reconfiguration of virtual machines across zones and datacenters. Security for cloud-based models cannot stop or prevent change and dynamic movement – it has to embrace it
Together, Contour and VMware enable organizations of all types to quickly and easily provision public cloud resources or securely extend their internal virtualized infrastructure into the public cloud.
- VMware vCloud infrastructure, built on VMware vSphere, VMware vCenter, VMware vCloud Director, and VMware vShield, enables enterprise-class cloud computing delivered both within the enterprise and through vCloud Powered service providers. vCloud Powered services allow customers to leverage secure hybrid cloud resources with confidence while providing choice and flexibility, and ensuring interoperability and portability of workloads between cloud environments.
- VMware vCloud™ Datacenter Services leverage globally-consistent infrastructure, management and security models, enabling enterprise customers to quickly and seamlessly move computing workloads from internal virtualized infrastructure out to an external cloud and back.
- VMware vCloud Express offers reliable, on-demand, pay-as-you-go infrastructure resources. The service is co-branded and delivered by leading service provider partners.