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By Gary Thome
Numerous studies show that employees who have a sense of control over their jobs are typically happier and more productive. Application developers are no different – the more freedom and options they have to do their jobs well, the more productive they can become.
What’s holding developers back?
Many organizations have moved to public cloud, which has streamlined processes and given developers immediate access to the resources they need. At first, this scenario seemed ideal. However, as organizations implement multiple infrastructure environments (both public and private clouds) to control costs and better meet developers’ changing needs, complexity has increased. This is because every cloud infrastructure has its own toolset, which is based on maximizing the value of each cloud platform — instead of the multi-cloud environment as a whole.
For developers using both cloud resources and traditional IT, the problem is compounded even more. These developers must also rely on internal IT operations to give them access to onsite resources, which can slow projects by days, weeks, or even months.
Empowering developers with more application ownership
Ideally, developers need to take more ownership of their applications’ lifecycles — from development through production deployment. The process of developing and deploying apps to cloud environments should be simple for developers; they shouldn’t have to become full-stack cloud deployment experts. IT must help in this endeavor, working with developers to make the process as simple and seamless as possible.
To help facilitate this type of partnership, enterprises are turning to hybrid cloud management solutions. These solutions go beyond just focusing on application management, which is offered by today’s typical cloud providers. The most effective multi-cloud management solutions empower developers by giving them on-demand, self-service infrastructure and cloud management tools for all applications located either on- or off-premises.
Moor Insights & Strategy recommends that enterprises implement a software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud management solution that delivers unified application deployment and cost management across an enterprise’s hybrid cloud environments. It should provide a consistent, unified Application Programming Interface (API) and user experience across the environments by creating connections with each one and surfacing its capabilities quickly.
A robust hybrid cloud management platform should allow IT to deliver public cloud options from AWS, Azure, Google, and others. The solution should also give developers a private cloud experience to run options such as VMware, OpenStack, and Kubernetes on bare metal.
The report also mentions two additional features that can help enterprise IT teams empower their developers even more.
Catalogs: Compute images, application stack templates, and services should be compiled in a self-service catalog available to developers. It should have the capability to be automatically surfaced and updated in real-time based on availability from each cloud platform. For example, if something new is available from Kubernetes or Docker, the hybrid cloud management software will automatically detect the addition of a service and add it to the catalog.
Projects: Another feature that can help empower developers is some sort of projects capability, which would allow developers to organize users and application deployments by team project. This feature gives teams workspaces to manage all resources for specific applications, including custom, role-based access management and tagging for cost management – across all resources in any cloud environment.
Are these types of hybrid cloud management solutions available today?
Very few cloud platform vendors have invested in cloud-management capabilities for the enterprise. As I mentioned earlier, they are more focused on their own public clouds, private clouds, or application management platforms. A multi-vendor, multi-cloud approach would be counter-productive to their goals of keeping customers fully engaged with a single cloud solution.
A more strategic, hybrid cloud approach is needed for enterprise customers – a need that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has stepped up to fill. In 2017 HPE announced HPE OneSphere, an as-a-service multi-cloud management platform that simplifies managing multi-cloud environments and on-premises infrastructure.
According to the report, “Moor Insights & Strategy recommends IT leaders consider HPE OneSphere as a cloud management solution to empower developers with an IT-curated, hybrid cloud experience that streamlines their path from application development to deployment.” HPE OneSphere helps enterprise application developers not yet familiar with cloud platforms to onboard via a simplified experience. For developers more experienced with cloud platforms, the solution’s image, service, and template catalogs offer simplicity in working across hybrid cloud environments.
Immediate availability, simplicity, and speed
Enterprises want to empower their developers by giving them the tools they need to be successful. That means embracing both on- and off-premises infrastructures in public clouds, private clouds, along with using bare-metal and containers. Yet developers must also be able to easily and quickly work in all environments – securely and cost-effectively.
With HPE as a partner, developers are empowered to deliver products and services that enhance customer engagement and experiences– no matter where applications are deployed.
Gary Thome is the Vice President and Chief Technologist for the Software-Defined and Cloud Group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He is responsible for the technical and architectural directions of converged datacenter products and technologies.
To read more articles from Gary, check out the HPE Shifting to Software-Defined blog.