In part one of this post, we told you that OpenStack was beginning to see traction in the enterprise. With organizations like Walmart Labs “running in excess of 100,000 cores of OpenStack,” it’s clear that OpenStack has a role to play in enterprise app development.
In the second part of the series, we will discuss three more ways companies can win with OpenStack by broadening the benefits and technology fit through the incorporation of an enterprise PaaS:
3. POLICY-BASED ACCESS OF OPENSTACK API FOR DEVELOPERS
Some New Cloud Apps Will Be Self-Aware and Spin Up Infrastructure On-Demand
Most developers are not going to become experts of the entire IT stack, but there are projects that will require developers to spin up various types of infrastructure on-demand. Some applications will need to onboard new users with more servers or additional volumes of storage. OpenStack’s API allows developers to do that. However, not all developers should have the ability to circumvent the controls that central IT has put into place to limit direct access to infrastructure.
To give developers what they need while balancing the needs of IT operations, there needs to be policy based access to OpenStack APIs. The policies need to be automated in order to cut down on additional frictions: then one line of business developer can have fine-grained access to infrastructure through the APIs while another is given resources on-demand while leaving operations in charge of the infrastructure details.
4. OPENSTACK NEEDS TO CATER TO BOTH EXISTING AND NEW APPLICATIONS
Most of IT is Struggling with Improved Efficiency and Delivering Better Experience, Not Software Disruption
Most large organizations have hundreds, if not thousands, of custom or off-the-shelf Java applications. Furthermore, these large enterprises are mostly concerned with increasing efficiency and the current user experience of existing systems.
Because of these statistics, it should be relatively clear that OpenStack in the enterprise should support both existing and new applications and application architectures. Clearly, OpenStack purists who believe that everything needed to be built for the cloud were wrong.
Conversely, the cloud needs to be built for everything that is currently used and planned for the data center. IT professionals in large organizations are pragmatic and they clearly understand the need to leverage existing investments.
5. ENTERPRISES NEED TO START PLANNING TO USE THE PUBLIC CLOUD
Public Cloud Exponential Growth is Not Slowing and Is Expanding to the Enterprise
OpenStack has too often been diametrically opposed to public clouds such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. This marketing spin largely came from those who were worried about losing existing sales and sales growth to public cloud providers. Not all pundits and vendors took this view, however. Microsoft, for example, has built one of the most successful public clouds despite also selling on-premise infrastructure management tools.
OpenStack needs to fully embrace public clouds, including the two clear leaders in the space: AWS and Azure. While many highly-regulated organizations are not currently using a lot of public IaaS and will probably have a significant on-premise footprint for some time, the role of public IaaS is growing. Almost all large pharmaceutical companies have tapped into public IaaS to run research projects on infrastructure sizes that would simply be impossible on-premise.
Apprenda addresses all three of the above concerns. First, the Apprenda PaaS provides developers with a service catalog that can include all OpenStack APIs. Access to certain services are mapped to developers through policy automation. For example, one development team may have the ability to spin up OpenStack storage on-demand, whereas another only sees virtual machine and load-balancing APIs.
Additionally, Apprenda is the only Enterprise PaaS on the market that has brought world-class cloud enablement capabilities to both new and existing apps. Central IT can onboard hundreds of existing applications to the platform in months and ensure they receive scaling, elasticity, and high availability.
Finally, Apprenda gives IT operations the ability to easily move applications to any public cloud based on an automated policy. Organizations working with Apprenda have taken advantage of public IaaS, in one example, for offshore development and testing. Once the application goes into production, it moves on-premise as the lifecycle is updated. Apprenda’s unlimited development/test licensing allows organizations to remove any limits from those crucial activities. For pilot purposes, Apprenda Express licenses are perpetually free in Amazon Web Services and free for one month in Microsoft Azure.