Pretty soon you'll start seeing in the IT press and online the buzz around CloudForms that I've mentioned here a few times in passing. CloudForms is going to be disruptive in a most welcome way to the way that IaaS is accepted and understood by technologists. CloudForms in my mind is a physical big black pen mark on the height chart of Cloud as it grows and matures, representing a change in the way we define IaaS. The concept of taking accepted comprehensive application lifecycle management with the ability to then extend those mature behavioural abilities across physical, virtual and Cloud computing platforms in a manner that is truly portable.
The market wants and needs technologies and solutions that simplify without dumbing down the problems and engineering challenges around self service and the automation of tasks in everyday Cloud management. The need to be able to prove that an organisation embracing Cloud can still apply the same governance structures and processes that they'd have over local applications once they move to any type of Open Cloud.
Importantly as companies move to this new world order the hidden but very real costs will start to emerge (wielding the sword of truth here - I'll never make a career as an analyst at this rate...) when you start to consider the manpower and dev cycle costs of application ownership across multiple tiers of Cloud or multiple providers, dealing with server sprawl the whole compliance piece that I so often talk about here as well as understanding privilege, privacy and data loss prevention measures around storage, data in transit and the vulnerability management of application services.
Talking to companies (it's my job - someones got to do it) I throw out the question of how much of current and future budgets they're going to allocate to this portion of IT Ops and it's often met with a "how long is a piece of string ?" response. Luckily CloudForms goes a lot of the way towards solving that problem by design.
But it's also not just about the inevitable (again I'll never make an analyst) march to Cloud and the consumption of Cloud resources be they private, public or hybrid resources. Also understanding how you allocate those resources, applications and services across blended platforms be they bare metal locally allocated, a single or multiple public Cloud consumptive model (accepting that most companies are entirely of a mind that lock-in is a bad idea).
CloudForms makes easier to understand and consume by virtue of great software engineering the whole scheduling piece and a major step forward in the self service equation allowing easier deployment of applications and resources. Introducing proper messaging in the stack as well as remembering always and everywhere that we need to maintain security throughout this model.
Now it's a Monday you don't want to sit here and keep reading so instead I am going to point you at a two part podcast Gordon Haff my US opposite number recorded with our product dynamo Chris Wells which makes great listening. Also below the links to the podcasts you can find two video recordings one with Chris and one with Bryan Che talking CloudForms.
When I get time this week in between my day job and pressing stuff I am going to make available (probably Thursday this week) a podcast I recorded ten days ago with James Labocki which does an in depth dive around the whole consumptive usage of CloudForms. Audacity is not my friend - I must get my head round it !
Some CloudForms resources
- Whitepaper: Red Hat CloudForms: Build Clouds Without Limits
- Reference architecture: Red Hat CloudForms Architectural Overview
- Whitepaper: Build a Private PaaS with Red Hat CloudForms and JBoss Enterprise Middleware