Fortunately for all of us, we have noticed that cloud washing is dying down. However, on the other hand, we have also noticed ‘cloud orchestration’ washing is on the rise. Over the last six months, there have been many announcements on new orchestration solutions most likely because people now recognize you cannot truly have a cloud services market offer without it.
So how does a service provider tell the difference between ‘cloud orchestration washing’ where a vendor puts together a few bits and pieces and names it orchestration vs. a true cloud orchestration solution?
Here are eight questions you should ask your cloud orchestration vendor before signing on the dotted line.
- Does your cloud orchestration solution allow complete customer lifecycle management without external input?
Your orchestration solution should offer end-to-end customer lifecycle management that includes customer sign up, self-service provisioning, application management, metering and billing.
- Is the cloud orchestration solution multi-hypervisor agnostic?
Why would you only want to support KVM? Or just VMware? Or Xen? Or maybe just Parallels Cloud Server? Instead of finding yourself in an ‘or’ situation, support all the key hypervisors.
- Can the solution completely orchestrate your compute, network and storage?
After all, this is your infrastructure that underpins your cloud services. You want one interface to easily manage this.
- Does the cloud orchestration solution give you the ability to intelligently place workloads on-demand basis?
You want to be able to intelligently place workloads to ensure service levels are met, allowing either the service provider or the end users to label and control their workload deployments near to, or far from other workloads and compute nodes.
- Will you be able to automate and orchestration third party tools and external systems?
You most likely have systems in place already that your business is built on e.g. monitoring or backup, so why would you want to scrap that for a cloud orchestration solution? With an ‘API-first’ cloud orchestration solution, you can easily integrate with third party tools and external systems and automate and orchestrate these from one interface.
- Do you need an army of consultants because the ‘orchestration toolkit’ isn’t actually ready to get you to market or easily extendable?
You want to avoid a toolkit that you will have to stitch together with the aid of expensive consultants. Instead, you want to install software in a few hours without an army of consultants so you can get your operations and cloud services ready for the market. You also want to easily integrate it with your existing systems.
- Does the cloud orchestration solution come with integrated metering & billing?
You want to bill for what customers are consuming right? Your cloud orchestration should come with integrated metering and billing so you can make money based on consumption. You’ll also be able to plan better over the year by metering usage.
- Can the orchestration enable multi-datacenter scalability?
Service providers are often using multiple datacenters and this takes considerable management. You need a solution that from one place can manage multiple datacenters. This will help you to support increased customers, scale and additional routes to market such as through resellers.
These eight questions are a bare minimum. Your cloud orchestration vendor should enable all of these features to deliver a true cloud orchestration solution. But because this is just the bare minimum, think about what else you need – do you want to grow your channel capabilities? Do you need to offer application management to customers, not just infrastructure? Read how Weserve is doing it.
If you need to make money from cloud services (and as a service provider I hope that answer is yes), you need a cloud orchestration solution that’s ready to get you to market today with extensibility for the future. Have a look at Flexiant Cloud Orchestrator, we think you’ll find it’s the leading solution in the market. It’s not just our opinion, analysts agree too.
Image Provided by: Christopher Sessums