Tip Tuesday: Don’t be scared of self-service!

A key characteristic of a cloud solution is self-service – allowing the cloud consumer to provision their computing capabilities without the intervention of an administrator. Many IT administrators will shudder at the thought of providing the user with a full self service experience.

Scared Yao

                                                                                                                     Frightened IT- guy meme

Abiquo helps here by providing self service to the cloud consumers, whilst allowing the cloud administrator, or infrastructure owner to remain in complete control. Abiquo’s controlled self service is delivered through several different features:

1. The Cloud administrator controls which logical pools of private resource (Abiquo data centers), or public cloud regions any tenant (Abiquo enterprise) can use

2. The cloud administrator sets resource limits to control how much resource a tenant can use in any one datacenter. Read how to do this here.

3. The cloud administrator defines allocation rules, so that when a consumer deploys through self service the administrator has control over where the workload is provisioned and how the infrastructure is utilised.

4. Finally how the consumers self service capabilities are controlled by over 56 separate privileges (that can be grouped into roles), that define what information can be viewed in the Abiquo UI, and what tasks the user can perform. By configuring roles the  cloud administrator can delegate as much (or as little) self-service as required.

Watch to learn more about self-service and other Abiquo features. Contact us for more information or visit the Abiquo Wiki

Abiquo has been named as a cloud computing champion in a recent assessment of the top global cloud management services by Info-Tech. Info-Tech is an independent global leader in providing IT research and advice on the best IT solutions out there.  Abiquo was credited in the top tier category of ‘champion’ as a leading vendor with a leading product, above Eucalyptus, CA Technologies and OpenStack out of the top nine cloud management solutions analysed.

To determine how strong the cloud management service is, both product and vendor offerings were analysed against set criteria. The cloud product was assessed Info-Tech highlighted three core areas of Abiquo’s platform which make it so strong and unique compared to other platforms.against its features, usability, affordability and architecture. Vendors were weighed against four factors, the first being their viability, which looked at how profitable, knowledgeable and long-term they are. The second was the vendor’s strategy; how committed are they to the space and if they have a future product. The third was the vendors reach; how much support they are able to offer customers post sale and if it is worldwide.  Finally, vendors were assessed on their channel strategy and the channel’s strength.  Abiquo scored highly in both product and vendor categories with 87% of their offering being above sufficient requirements and 47% being exemplary.

Our support for multiple hypervisors, providing our customers with flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in was noted as being a champion area as many are yet to provide this as an option. In addition, our extensive and fully-integrated self service capabilities, with stand out “show-forward pricing” enabling customers to see what resources will cost before they are provisioned, was noted as being a strong point.

For more information on the Info-Tech report please click here

I recently came across an interesting article on InformationWeek by Rob Preston.  He covers the top 10 technology priorities for US CIOs.  A lot of the article was the usual buzzword bingo of “big data, consumerization of IT, and social media.” Of course cloud computing was mentioned, but interestingly enough he makes a point on #9 that it’s the “exploration of cloud computing” not the “embracing.”  Specifically he states, But rather than migrate whole hog to public cloud services, most U.S. companies are looking to build hybrid clouds, capitalizing on the flexibility of cloud architectures while keeping their most sensitive or critical workloads behind their own firewalls.”  We’ve heard many people talking about the idea of the “enterprise cloud restart.”  This concept is built from the premise that many enterprises have built “something” but it didn’t accomplish the goal, or worse yet, there was no specific goal.   So in additon to evaluating which type of cloud, many firms are also re-evaluating what cloud success looks like and what is realistic.

CIO Top Ten IT priorities

Technology Priorities for US CIOs


So you might be asking, what were the top 3 priorities? I think these points can be summarized as faster, cheaper, and easier.

  • #3: Stop spending 70-80% on maintenance
  • #2: Align IT and the business
  • #1: Make IT faster

First the scary part, just in time for Halloween.  Point #3 highlights that cost issues aren’t shifting out of IT, even with virtualization.  Specifically, Mr. Preston states, “As represented by our annual InformationWeek 500 ranking, even the most innovative IT users spend 63% of their IT budgets on ongoing operations as opposed to new initiatives–a percentage that has barely budged in a decade.” Considering how fast cloud computing and new application development is moving, it’s hard to believe this is still an issue.  When you compound the costs with the anticipated efficiencies hoped for from virtualization, we see both elements have remained relatively constant.  For example, customers that expected 70% server utilization are really only seeing 30%.

Points 1 and 2 are refreshing that they came up as points 1 and 2.  We all call this revolution “cloud computing,” but these two points get to the reality that we need efficiencies in IT, in real terms.  Specifically, by adding automation, governance, self service and management to many aspects, IT teams can have the agility they need, even on a large scale.  As stated in the article, “As the American Express CIO Toby Redshaw looks at the challenge in a positive light, stating in a recent presentation to the company’s board: “Small agile beats big slow–big agile beats everything.””  2012 needs to be the year that IT teams find a project (start small), set some goals on efficiency in order to best serve the business and start to test the waters.  Don’t try to boil the ocean, pick something to be successful with, learn from it and show success.