With the cloud computing market growing so rapidly there has been a rise of cloud computing management vendors like RightScale, Enomaly, Scalr, Elastra, and others. These companies have developed solutions that work very well for the early adopters in the cloud computing market, but I wonder if these tools are getting an equally warm reception from the enterprise. After all, most medium to large IT shops use systems management suites like Opsware, Tivoli, etc and don’t have expertise in this new breed of tools. Not to mention, most decent sized IT shops don’t want yet another management tool because they probably already have three too many!
In the long run, I believe we are going to see hybrid datacenters where enterprise customers are able to run workloads simultaneously in local and cloud datacenters and manage them in a seamless way. The question is: How will these hybrid datacenters be managed?
I think there are three possible outcomes:
- Systems management vendors add cloud functionality to existing tools: Opsware, BMC, and the rest of the usual systems management suspects will make their products cloud-aware just as they have made them virtualization-aware.
- Cloud management vendors add traditional systems management functionality to their toolkit: This would be a very tough nut to crack, but the emerging cloud vendors could take a stab at developing more traditional IT management functionality, allowing them to handle management of both traditional and cloud hosted datacenters.
- Proxy or Glueware: Startups build tools that allow both the cloud management vendors and the systems management vendors to interact with non-native environments. In effect, they glue together these two separate worlds. These glueware startups would almost act as proxies, allowing say a systems management tool to manage cloud hosts in a seamless way and with minimal retraining of staff required, while letting a cloud management tool manage legacy IT infrastructure.
I think we’ve seen #1 come to pass in the virtualization market to date, but in the cloud management space I think #3 is a more likely outcome. There would be major rearchitecture required of most enterprise IT management products to support a hybrid datacenter configuration and so some sort of proxy or glueware would enable much faster/easier integration.