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Step #7 for successful cloud brokering: Avoid vendor lock-in

collinchau on ‎02-20-2014 08:53 AM

When transforming your operations for a cloud service broker model, it's critical to avoid vendor lock-in. Avoiding vendor lock-in helps you stay flexible and agile in order to meet changing business needs. This is particularly important considering most businesses have not evolved their strategies for the cloud. Technology decisions made must protect both current and long-term heterogeneity and extensibility of their cloud environments.


Mixing and matching

The cloud industry is still in its early days, and the landscape and players are shifting. The good news is that the right cloud management platform makes it easy to keep your options open.


As a cloud service broker, your organization will need the ability mix and match with any cloud resource or service provider or internal virtualized environment. Your cloud management platform will require an open architecture to be able to support multiple technology standards that are likely already within your enterprise.


Consider hypervisors: VMware is the leading vendor, but most enterprises have two or three different standards operating in their environments, including KVM, HyperV and OpenStack. As you build out your cloud services, you will likely encounter these and if your cloud management platform doesn’t support them, you may face costly migration projects or a problematic gap in your services.


More than one kind of cloud

Although the industry likes to refer to “the cloud” as if it’s a single homogeneous thing, the reality is that enterprises will inevitably end up using multiple types of clouds, from different vendors and service providers. This is one of the ways that the cloud presents a new paradigm: procuring computing resources is not a long-term decision, in which selecting a vendor or service provider is a one-time decision.


Your cloud management platform should stitch these multiple internal and external cloud services into a cohesive, flexible whole, enabling your organization to make changes and shift computing resources between different vendors or service providers if necessary.


A tunable strategy

There are not a lot of one-size-fits-all answers in the cloud. As you prepare your organization to become a cloud services broker, you will have to examine your specific business needs, your application portfolio and the potential solutions in the market. In general, embracing Open Source vendors will offer you greater choice in the long run, as will selecting service providers that meet most of your requirements regardless of technology standards.


Each organization will be different, with unique priorities for optimizing cost, agility or performance. Your cloud management platform should let you tune your strategy as business demands shift.


Begin the journey

As I’ve emphasized throughout the previous posts in the series, the transformation into a cloud service broker does not happen overnight. Pursuing a strategy of technology heterogeneity will help ensure that your organization’s journey follows a path best able to achieve its goals.


Learn how HP Hybrid Cloud Management provides an open and extensible platform for becoming a successful, agile and cost-effective cloud service broker. Visit www.hp.com/go/cloudmanagement for more information.


--With written contribution by Andrew Wahl


Related links:

Step #1 for successful cloud brokering: Start with a strategic plan

Step #2 for successful cloud brokering: Plan for all types of services

Step #3 for successful cloud brokering: Automate common processes

Step #4 for successful cloud brokering: Manage service SLAs

Step #5 for successful cloud brokering: Protect service offerings

Step #6 for successful cloud brokering: Monitor your bottom line

About the Author


Lending 20 years of IT market expertise across 5 continents, for defining moments as an innovation adoption change agent.

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