Nowadays, enterprises have the ability to set up and run a mature and open source cloud environment by bundling platform technologies like Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes with tools like BOSH, Terraform and Concourse. This bundle of open source cloud native technologies results in an enterprise grade and production-ready cloud environment, enabling enterprises to run any type of workload anywhere in an economically efficient way. Combining that with Enterprise Support from an experienced Enterprise IT Cloud solution provider gives enterprises the ideal enabler to achieve their digital transformation goals.
Reference architecture of an open source cloud environment
The reference architecture of an open source and enterprise grade cloud environment should at minimum contain these core elements:
- Infrastructure provisioning
- Release Management & Deployment
- Configuration Management
- Container based Runtime
- Orchestration & Scheduling
- Infrastructure & Application Telemetry software
- Monitoring & Analytics
- Application Deployment Automation
- Back-ups & Disaster Recovery
How to start?
For all the elements listed above, there are multiple open source technologies to choose from that one needs to be familiar with. The ‘Cloud Native Landscape’ from the Cloud Native Foundation is an elaborate and up-to-date overview of the open source cloud native tools available.
Navigating through this landscape and the multitude of tools to choose from is not an easy task. With a dedicated team and an agile approach every company is able to set up its own open source cloud environment. Nevertheless, bundling these technologies in a correct and seamless way is a complex undertaking. It takes an experienced and skilled partner to help enterprises simplify, automate and speed-up the setup process, relying solely on the same open source technologies. This support provides additional security and mitigates risk.
Having a single cloud environment is a big enabler for DevOps adoption within enterprises. It provides development teams with a unified platform, giving them space to focus solely on building valuable applications. Ops teams manage a homogeneous environment by using a tool like BOSH for release management and deployment for both Application Runtime and Container Runtime.
Technologies like Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes are independent from the underlying infrastructure making it possible to utilize any combination of the public and/or private cloud as your infrastructure layer of choice. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t underestimate the economic value here. Open source technologies that are supported by large user communities and the largest technologies companies in the world make having your own Open Cloud Environment a very compelling option.
In-house vs Managed
In the light of growing complexity associated with managing DevOps enterprises look to partners to provide managed services for their cloud environments. The main reason is that all the different stack components of a mature cloud environment can be complex for many IT organizations to deploy and manage on their own. With frequent required updates to the different components of the bundle the average IT organization is not well suited to keep pace, without help from a partner.
Having a partner provide managed services for the cloud environment creates additional benefits; reducing complexity and more resource allocation to areas that create more direct business value.
Personally, I’m excited to be a close witness and participant of this growing trend and look forward to seeing more enterprises run their production workloads on open source technologies.