The customer in control of their Cloud IT? Who would have thought it?

Andy Fleck - 29th January 2016

App is King:

As part of my role at Innovise ESM, I am always looking for emerging technologies many of which extend the ServiceNow platform, and as such I’m always on the lookout for the next big industry trend. You may not have heard the name yet but CliQr has a very good shot at being the next big disruptive technology player in town. But more of CliQr later. First a little history and some context…

I work with vendors and partners large and small, but in this this ever changing competitive landscape, one constant today is the power of the software application. And now with mobile devices running that software, power is truly being placed in the hands of users in way that was unthinkable just a short number of years ago.

Many organisations and individuals in IT are therefore rather unsurprisingly, reducing the amount of time and resources spent on infrastructure as a way of focusing best effort on applications. An increasingly common approach is to leverage SaaS (Software as a Service) applications where possible and move both new and existing applications to public cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) as appropriate.

Hybrid Cloud 2.0

One consequence of this new world order is that architects and developers have experience with application deployments across multiple cloud environments. Enterprise IT organisations often work with multiple public and private clouds and as such some are on their 2nd or 3rd iteration of their cloud strategy. The increasingly prevalent view is that multiple clouds alongside hybrid cloud offers the best combination of speed and flexibility – and crucially, supports the role of IT as a strategic partner within the business.

However, this explosion in complexity and architectural options when deploying applications in various cloud environments creates a real challenge. Not all clouds are created equal and as a result both developers and IT professionals must learn the specifics and nuances of each environment. Precious time can be wasted working across different environments, whether AWS, VMware or Rackspace, all require specific support to enable and support applications.

The end result is that scarce resource is once again taken away from the application, the critical touch point between the technology and the customer, and wasted on the supporting infrastructure.

Application Abstraction

How many people in your IT organisation really required deep Linux kernel knowledge? Not many I bet. Red Hat does a fantastic job with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and they also provide excellent support to those that might have to go in knee deep with kernel level questions and issues.

This vision of abstracting the application from the technology is the philosophy at the heart of CliQr. What CliQr has done is develop a hybrid cloud management platform that abstracts the underlying cloud technology, APIs and deployment specifics away from those that develop and support applications.

It will now be possible for architects and developers to build and deploy applications across multiple public, private and hybrid clouds, without them having to maintain a deep technical knowledge of each. IT will now have the power to manage and maintain a portfolio of enterprise applications across environments without requiring, say separate AWS and VMware teams.

So once again, the IT organisation will be able to focus on adding value to the business, rather than on underlying technical aspects – which don’t directly add value. Which of course, is as it should be.

Cloud Brokerage

Look out for a follow-up blog where I’ll share more details of the CliQr infrastructure. But in a sentence the secret sauce in the mix is an orchestrator installed in each target environment (so say AWS or Rackspace) that manages the application deployment and ongoing interaction with the underlying technology. This orchestrator is continually updated by CliQr with the net result that it just works.

This means the customer can take full advantage of the latest services offered by each cloud vendor and simply deploy to the target environment - without any detailed technical knowledge of the specific cloud provider being utilized.

Also of note, is that cloud vendors vary enormously in terms of cost and quality of service, but often organisations will find it problematic to seamlessly move workloads from one environment to another. With CliQr whether migrating applications, augmenting capacity, offering IT as a Service or driving down cloud procurement costs. Problem solved.

In a word or two. Clever stuff. But what’s really key here is this marks a much needed step change – as for far too long customers have been at the mercy of the large cloud providers. But perhaps if CliQr has any say in matters, the status quo is about to change. The customer in control of their Cloud IT? Who would have thought it?

Learn more about how Engage ESM is working with CliQr.