Category Archives: cloud governance

What’s Missing from Today’s Hybrid Cloud Management – Leveraging Brokerage and Governance

By John Dixon, Consulting Architect, LogicsOne

Recently GreenPages and our partner Gravitant hosted a webinar on Cloud Service Broker technology. Senior Analyst Dave Bartoletti gave a preface to the webinar with Forrester’s view on cloud computing and emerging technology. In this post we’ll give some perspective on highlights from the webinar. In case you missed it, you can also watch a replay of the webinar here:

Ben Tao, Director of Marketing for Gravitant, kicks off the discussion by describing the traditional data center sourcing model. Two key points here:

  1. Sourcing decisions, largely based on hardware selection, are separated by years
  2. In a cloud world, sourcing decisions can be separated by months or even weeks


The end result is that cloud computing can drive the benefit of a multi-sourcing model for IT, where sourcing decisions are made in close proximity to the use of services. This has the potential of enabling organizations to adjust their sourcing decisions more often to best suit the needs of their applications.

Next, Dave Bartoletti describes the state of cloud computing and the requirements for hybrid cloud management. The core of Dave’s message is that the use of cloud computing is on the rise, and that cloud is being leveraged for more and more complex applications – including those with sensitive data.

Dave’s presentation is based on the statement, “what IT must do to deliver on the hybrid cloud promise…”

Some key points here:

  • Cloud is about IT services first, infrastructure second
  • You won’t own the infrastructure, but you’ll own the service definitions; take control of your own service catalog
  • The cloud broker is at the center of the SaaS provider, cloud VAR, and cloud integrator
  • Cloud brokers can accelerate the cloud application lifecycle


Dave does an excellent job of explaining the things that IT must do in order to deliver on the hybrid cloud promise. Often, conversations on cloud computing are purely about technology, but I think there’s much more at stake. For example, Dave’s first two points above really resonate with me. You can also read “cloud computing” as ITIL-style sourcing. Cloud computing puts service management back in focus. “Cloud is about IT services first, infrastructure second,” and “You won’t own the infrastructure […]” also suggests that cloud computing may influence a shift in the makeup of corporate IT departments – fewer   core technologists and more “T-shaped” individuals. So called T-shaped individuals have knowledge and experience with a broad set of technologies (the top of the “T”), but have depth in one or more areas like programming, Linux, or storage area networking. My prediction is that there will still be a need for core technologists; but that some of them may move into roles to do things like define customer-facing IT services. For this reason, our CMaaS product also includes optional services to deal with this type of workforce transformation. This is an example of a non-technical item that must be made when considering cloud computing. Do you agree? Do you have other non-technical considerations for cloud computing?

Chris Ward, CTO of LogicsOne, then dives in to the functionality of the Cloud Management as a Service, or CMaaS offering. The GreenPages CMaaS product implements some key features that can be used to help customers advance to the lofty points that Dave suggests in his presentation. CMaaS includes a cloud brokerage component and a multi-cloud monitoring and management component. Chris details some main features from the brokerage tool, which are designed to address the key points that Dave brought up:

  • Collaborative Design
  • Customizable Service Catalog
  • Consistent Access for Monitoring and Management
  • Consolidated Billing Amongst Providers
  • Reporting and Decision Support

Chris then gives an example from the State of Texas and the benefits that they realized from using cloud through a broker. Essentially, with the growing popularity of e-voting and the use of the internet as an information resource on candidates and issues, the state knew the demand for IT resources would skyrocket on election day. Instead of throwing away money to buy extra infrastructure to satisfy a temporary surge in demand, Texas utilized cloud brokerage to seamlessly provision IT resources in real time from multiple public cloud sources to meet the variability in demand.

All in all, the 60-minute webinar is time well spent and gives clients some guidance to think about cloud computing in the context of a service broker.

To view this webinar in it’s entirety click here or download this free whitepaper to learn more about hybrid cloud management


Is There Such a Thing as Just-In-Time IT?

By Praveen Asthana, Chief Marketing Officer, Gravitant


The concept of “Just-in-Time” was pioneered in the manufacturing supply chain as a critical way to reduce costs by minimizing inventory.   Implementing a just-in-time system that can handle unexpected demand is not a trivial undertaking.  It requires the confluence of a number of disciplines such as analytics, statistics, sourcing, procurement, production management, brokerage and economics.

An interesting new idea is to take this concept pioneered in manufacturing and apply it to Information Technology resources.  Doing this can provide an effective way to meet dynamically changing needs while minimizing the inventory of unused IT resources across a set of cloud services platform and providers.

Case Study:  Election Day 2012.

With the growing popularity of e-voting and use of the Internet as an information resource on candidates and issues, the Secretary of State’s office for one of the most populous U.S. states knew that demand for IT resources would go up significantly on election day.  But they didn’t know exactly how much, and they didn’t want to buy extra infrastructure for a temporary surge in demand.  Even if they could come up with a good guess for the demand, deploying the right amount of resources in a timely manner would be challenging.  Given the time it normally took (months) to deploy and provision new servers, the Secretary of State’s office knew they couldn’t use traditional means to procure compute and storage capacity to meet this demand.

As it turned out, demand went up over 1000% to over five million hits on the state voting web site by noon on Election Day.


Fortunately the state had deployed a novel capability based on a cloud brokerage and management platform to seamlessly provision IT resources in real time from multiple public cloud sources to meet the variability in demand.  As a result, this demand was fully met without needing to do complicated planning or buy unneeded infrastructure. I’ll actually be speaking on a webinar with Chris Ward, CTO at GreenPages-LogicsOne and Dave Bartoletti, a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research on June 12th to talk about leveraging cloud brokerage and the impact it can have on managing your IT environment.

Minutes, not months—that’s what enterprise users want when it comes to having I.T. resources available to meet changing business needs or develop new applications.

However users find this to be an extraordinary challenge—most IT departments today struggle with rigid processes, a round-robin of tasks and approvals across multiple silos and departments, and manual provisioning steps.  All this adds significant time to the deployment of I.T. resources resulting in users waiting for months before the resources they need become available.

How do users respond to such delays?  By going around their IT departments and directly accessing cloud services.  Often termed ‘rogue IT’ or ‘shadow IT,’ such out of process actions expose the company to financial risk, security risks, and operational risk.

The Solution: Just-in-time IT with Real-Time Governance

Just-in-time IT is not merely about using private or public cloud services.   It is about engineering the end-to-end IT supply chain so it can be agile and respond immediately to dynamic business needs.  To achieve this in practice, you need:

  1. Effective assessment and strategy
  2. Self-service catalog of available IT resources
  3. Collaborative solution design
  4. Rapid approval work flow
  5. Sourcing platform that allows you to select the right supply chain partners for your business need or workload profile.
  6. Single button provisioning of resources
  7. Transparency across the IT supply chain
  8. Sophisticated supply-demand analytics
  9. Elastic source for resources
  10. Governance—dynamic control of resources based on goal based optimization of budget, resource usage and SLAs.


The first critical aspect of real time supply chain is identifying, sourcing and procurement of best fit cloud platforms and providers (internal or external) to meet your unique business needs.

The second critical aspect of ensuring just-in-time IT is effective is real-time governance, for this is the mechanism by which you truly manage the elasticity of cloud resources and ensure that IT resource inventory is minimized.   This also has the additional benefit of eliminating shadow or rogue I.T.

As I mentioned above, if you’re interested in learning more on this topic I would highly recommend registering for the upcoming webinar “What’s Missing In Today’s Hybrid Cloud Management – Leveraging Cloud Brokerage” being held on June 12th. This should be a great session and there will be time for Q & A at the end.

About the Author:

Praveen Asthana is Chief Marketing Officer of Gravitant (, a cloud services brokerage and management company.  Prior to joining Gravitant, Praveen was Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Dell’s $13B Enterprise Solutions Division.