The VAR Guy Blog

Success in the Cloud: Tips for Effective Partner Offerings

The public cloud is one of the fastest-growing market opportunities in history. Forrester, a leading research company, estimates the total size of the public cloud market will grow from $25.5 billion in 2011 to $159.3 billion in 2020.

Companies are moving to the public or hybrid cloud model for a number of reasons including:

  • Business agility. Forward-looking CIOs are deploying cloud computing as a strategic weapon—not just for IT, but to enable full business transformation, eventually changing how they operate their business.
  • Cost reduction. The public cloud makes it possible to spend less on “plumbing,” which means a reduction in CAPEX, and by streamlining provisioning, management and other tasks it also helps cut OPEX.
  • Cost visibility. Project teams seek improved visibility into all costs associated with their project.
  • Fill short-term voids. Companies with short-term projects and growing data requirements can find a short-term solution in the public cloud.
  • Risk mitigation. Companies without security expertise can now maintain a secure, compliant environment and meet SLAs.
  • Familiarity with public cloud. Internal users already using or bursting to public clouds.

Typical use cases for public cloud include:

  • Datacenter extension. Companies run out of capacity in their data center or have non-budgeted projects.
  • Disaster recovery. Companies want to backup data in multiple locations around the world or reduce underutilized resources and instead reserve resources in the event of an emergency at predictable monthly costs.
  • Bursting. Companies have short-term projects, temporary capacity for development and test projects and cyclical businesses that need to dynamically burst when required.
  • Global access. Companies want globally consistent architecture and service plans.
  • Security and compliance. Companies have an industry-mandated compliance requirement which is too expensive to fulfill on premise or want secure connectivity and VPN as a Service.

If you’re a service provider or VAR considering offering cloud computing capabilities to your customers one of the key technologies you should be focused on is automation. Data centers today increasingly are being driven by software and automated management is at the heart of this increasing trend.

Traditional management tools have typically been designed to react to system events in a physical world. These tools frequently fall short in providing the capabilities necessary to manage today’s emerging cloud computing environments. Traditional management tools also lack the built-in automation and control needed to meet the continuously changing demands of inherently dynamic virtualized environments. They’re unable to extend existing IT investments, and can’t aggregate and correlate data from every layer of a modern IT architecture, which prevents IT leaders from isolating and determining the root cause of performance problems.

If you’re providing cloud services, you must adopt and embrace a new management approach—one that is as agile, flexible and dynamic as their new IT infrastructure. It needs to support proactive IT management and enable IT as a service. To be successful and provide a valuable service to your customers, your management solutions should include embedded, integrated and converged capabilities that provide unprecedented visibility into, and control of, infrastructure and application health and performance, as well as service costs and risks.

Other critical factors for service provider success to consider are:

  • Management of SLAs – ensure you can monitor and report on service health with predictable alerts in advance of performance degradation.
  • Improve capacity utilization – effective management of the SLAs can also help you drive up service margins with capacity analysis, forecasting, VM right-sizing, capacity reclamation and automated views and alerts to speed decision-making.
  • Compliance – ensure you can deliver continuous compliance through automated patching and provisioning, utilization of comprehensive change-tracking to isolate root-cause issues and remediating images to normal with single-click rollback.
  • Standardization – enable your customers to deploy multi-tier applications to any cloud, making it possible for customers to use the same blueprints to deploy packaged and custom applications across multiple virtual and hybrid cloud infrastructures.

As indicated by the Forrester findings, the cloud computing market is ripe for cloud service provider success. Learn more about these capabilities which will help you succeed in this market from VMware’s recent solution announcement at the VMware vCloud blog. With effective analysis and pre-planning of your offerings, the sky’s the limit!

WorkmanJay Workman is Director, Global Partner and Alliances Marketing at VMware. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual platinum sponsorship.

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