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Why modern private and hybrid clouds need orchestration

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By Richard Thomas (thomas1@us.ibm.com) and Manish Aggarwal (maggarwal@ca.ibm.com)

Cloud orchestration is one of those ambiguous concepts in cloud computing with varying definitions on when cloud management truly advances into the realm of orchestration. Very often, people believe that automation is the same as orchestration.

But automation is just the starting point for cloud. As organizations move from managing their virtualized environment, they need to coordinate capabilities across their data center to work effectively. The automation of storage, network, performance and provisioning are often handled by individual solutions that have been added on over time and as needs arise.

Even for organizations that take a transformational approach to cloud (jumping to an advanced cloud to optimize their data centers), the management of heterogeneous environments with disparate systems can be a challenge not easily addressed by automation alone. Remember, “If you automate a mess, you get an automated mess.”

The need to orchestrate really becomes clear when various aspects of cloud management are brought together. The value to the organization is simplifying the management of automation based on business needs, with the ultimate goal being to deliver services faster.

In today’s blog, I want to discuss the approach IBM is taking with IBM Cloud Orchestrator to bring self-service, automation and orchestration capabilities to the customer’s data center.

In today’s business environment, being competitive requires rapid innovation. Some analysts have said, “Speed is the new currency for IT,” meaning that IT departments are being pressed to deliver services much more quickly.

Our interactions with clients show that there are two areas that businesses focus on:

1. Optimizing existing IT investments
2. Innovating using agile methodologies to rapidly deliver new business services

Optimize_Innovate_2

Optimization continues to be significantly about cost management. The goal is still to do more with the same or less; more efficiency, more density, fewer resources to manage it all.

But optimization is only part of the story. Real value comes when enterprises innovate, bringing products and services to market that drive new revenue opportunities. We look around and see this every day with the rapid (or should I say rabid?) investment in mobile and big data applications.

Fifty-eight percent of IT leaders say rapid iteration and delivery are key priorities for their enterprise. However, 85 percent of those same leaders say they cannot deliver services fast enough. This is why service orchestration is critical for the modern private/hybrid cloud and it is precisely what IBM Cloud Orchestrator has been designed to provide.

Orchestration enables innovation

• Orchestration is the coordination of tasks, activities and approvals across teams and environments.
• Orchestration manages the flow of actions required to deliver IT services.
• Orchestration enables deployment of IT resources for self-service consumption.
• Orchestration helps ensure compliance to corporate policies.

IBM Cloud Orchestrator reduces the impacts of error-prone manual processes and enables IT to spend less time and fewer resources to deliver services; addressing both the cost and innovation needs of the enterprise.

See how IBM is using IBM Cloud Orchestrator across its own Software Group to dramatically increase the speed of deployment of IT resources.

Manish Aggarwal is a Product Manager at IBM and is responsible for strategic planning & rapid development of the next generation of cloud management solutions. With a strong business and technical background, Manish has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. He has experience helping businesses, design and deploy, enterprise systems management solutions in large, complex and distributed multi-tier environments. He has worked on cloud computing projects for several years, including some of the earliest adopters of cloud. Follow him on Twitter @manish3801.

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