Cloud automation services
VMware is delivering a SaaS service focused on multi-cloud delivery with three independent yet integrated services called Service Broker, Cloud Assembly, and Code Stream. These services give you flexibility in defining how services are delivered, whether they be to consumers requiring high governance and a catalog approach, IT consumers who are building and deploying services, or DevOps that need to manage the deployment of services through an automated pipeline.
Having experienced some of the challenges that organizations face today, in terms of deployment choices to multiple clouds and delivery of services, I want to showcase some challenges many of our customers experience.
An example is an organization in the retail industry that has a number of retail brands that they have acquired through acquisition and these brands also have commonality around their customer focus. The organization also faces a great deal of competitive pressure for the retail space they are in. To overcome the competitive pressure and differentiate themselves they are looking to improve the customer experience using web and mobile platforms to enhance the shopping experience. They are also looking to integrate the inventory systems across the acquisitions they have made to further simplify the buying experience for their customers and integrating their brands. The technology challenges they confront are how to deliver infrastructure and applications quickly and cost effectively, to deliver the new services they are building and finally how to integrate that into public cloud providers. All of this will create additional flexibility and enable the use of new services such as: light analytics and machine learning for better understanding of customer and market trends. In addition, how do they integrate into many of the development tools to streamline the delivery of services in timely process while accelerating the delivery process from an agile development and Dev/Ops processes.
Let’s look at the services across our SaaS based Automation capabilities.
As organizations embrace delivery of services through a multi-cloud approach, it is important to give consumers of those services an agnostic ability to consume and manage their services. This could be via a common broker of services to implement the proper governance and compliance. Now developers and line of business users have access to deliver their own services with proper controls and through an access control of what services are pertinent to them. It is also important that as a broker, multiple technical formats be available including native formats like Cloud Formation Templates (CFT) for AWS, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates for Azure, Helm Charts for containers and Cloud Agnostic blueprints from the Cloud Assembly service. This allows organizations flexibility to deliver their services and also abstract away where services live, making the difference of cloud providers invisible.
A modern blueprinting and assembly service needs to support infrastructure as code through a declarative, and iterative capability. This also needs to provide the building and delivery of cloud agnostic services that can map to multiple cloud endpoints. Treating infrastructure delivery as code allows the same modern agile methods developers rely on to provide efficient delivery of services as well as meeting business demands in timely and iterative process for ongoing improvement. The support for not just agnostic infrastructure delivery but also to deliver addition orchestration, application delivery, and configuration is critical to deliver complete full stack services. A marketplace for out of box integrations also simplifies the building of blueprints. Unified with building out the controls for governance and compliance of services to meet organizational controls is also part of defining and building these blueprints. This simplifies and offers a prescriptive approach for organizations over other solutions.
The Code Stream offering provides a valuable capability for organizations to manage and bring together their release management capabilities. This is often cumbersome for many organizations as many tools and processes need to come together to deliver development pipeline needs. It also difficult to understand what areas to focus on next for improvements when bringing together a release pipeline. Bringing together the delivery of services from the Cloud Assembly service (blueprints) and/or combining that with code repository, artifact management, testing, tracking and reporting capabilities as an example of some of the supported services. These can include tools like: git, Team Foundation Server, Artifactory, Jenkins, Selenium, Jira, Slack and many others. With reporting services built in, you can track the performance and outcome of your delivery pipelines and furthermore you could add in steps that might be manual processes that have not been automated yet and track those to report against. Those steps that have a lack of automation and are segmented can then be reported against to see where the organization can focus on improving next.
Finally bringing this back to the value for the retail organization I first mentioned, it gives them a platform to deliver and build services through multi-cloud sources that best meet their needs and creates business agility. In doing so, they can make those clouds invisible through utilization of the the Service Broker and Code Stream, so the organization can decide how the clouds are best utilized and remove that abstraction away from the consumer. The retailer expects this will help them drive faster routes to market and provide their customers a better buying experience and allow them to manage their inventory availability to better meet customer demand. They are expecting that this will accelerate their plans to deliver customer interfaces that have an improved intimate understanding of customer needs and market trends, thus improving their ability to be a leader in their marketplace.