CMP or Cloud management platform is a hot topic for IT enterprise and CSPs.
After many years of infrastructure consolidation and resources visualization many companies have started looking for Cloud platforms and adapting automation as the way to satisfy the huge number of requested coming from business units and internal teams.
Such companies found their selves dealing with many cloud platforms, some for private use, others for public needs. And even more, since business approach are different for each product solutions, many operators are using Cloud platform as a revenue Sharing platform in order to share risks and have time to market much more better than the traditional way of doing business.
All of this reasons have initiated a new need for one platform that help entreprise unify this cloud silos platforms and bring them all together an order to facilitate management for IT teams and give business the power of unification to bundle offers and manage proposed services.
This concept of Cloud of clouds has been adapted by many vendors, and many of them are proposing their solutions as a Cloud Management Platform.
But what is the real capabilities of such platforms ? Are there suitable for private or Public Cloud ? How telco operators should deal within ?
What are a Cloud Management Platform ?
A suite of integrated tools that provide automated management of private and public clouds.
CMP facilitates the operation and delivery model of cloud services by eliminating the need of cloud silo specific platforms and interface.
CMP solutions include several capabilities:
- Self service portal for operations, monitoring and customer request
- Self service provisioning and resources management
- Life cycle management of requests.
- Charge Back and Billing metrics
- Automation , workflow, policies control.
Last Gartner CMP studies describe the hall picture of such solutions.Below figure describe components of Cloud Management platforms:
CMP platform architecture is composed from:
- Life Cycle management
- Configuration and change management
- Performance management
- Capacity management
- Charge back module
- Service catalog
- Self-service provisioning
- External Cloud connector
All of this modules are mandatory for a cloud management palatform.
The big challenge when implementing a CMP is the right integration and the ability of adaptation of some modules with the existing one in our enterprise
Usually Telco operators have their current systems of configuration and incident management.
CMP solution should be able to integrate current existing systems with their ones.
Billing and chargeback also is a hot topic for Telco operators.Since CMP can be used to manage Public cloud platforms. In order to resolve this bit of integration of Public cloud paltform with the current systems of Billing, CMP could play the intermediate role of preparing and defining all this charge back information for all the cloud items and units.
CMP after can be the only interface to Billing systems.In such case CMP should have the ability to deal with other charge back systems of Public Cloud.
Today, some Suppliers are coming with good solutions for Iaas offering, others with Saas offers, Operators or Service providers find thereselves having a silo and multi-cloud environment, such configuration can limit the flexibility for commercial teams to define promotions and coupling different offers.
Each public platform should be integrated with your current Billing systems and with your customer relationship management database.This wil double the work of integration and increse charge to operators and reduce time to market.
CMP should at this stage play the role of umbrella from backend side to be the unique interface to entreprise internal systems and should in the same time provide resource management and give IT administrator the converged view to his current capacity for each specific platforms without the need to have this multi-cloud interfaces.
Cloud Management platform could be very eefficientwhen company have multi-country cloud platforms located in many different sites.
Imagine One global operator who can offers to his internal teams the ability to request virtual resources from other country in which energy, cooling and Data centers facilities are more cheaper than others locations. Imagine for one case or another, you give your development teams the ability to request for Paas from other opcos which they have already the needed resource capacity.
This flexibility of provisioning across countries can be proved by CMP platform using a unique Service portal accessible for different Opcos. In such case your CMP solution should be designed to support such configuration
Charge Back module for Private use can help IT departments estimate the cost of resource utilization for each internal organisation or department. Within such way, RH, financial and business departments could estimate more efficiently their needs of infrastructure and resources for their planned projects .
The module of External cloud connector could help a lot departments who want to use some services from others public cloud provider without the need to buy it forever in our DC.
Platform as a service( Paas ) is a good example for such scenario.
With CMP, there is no need to have and manage all of this development environment with this specific tools of test and integration. Some Cloud providers provide this environment as a service, Microsoft Azure is a good example for such use case. CMP External connector can be connected to such cloud provider.
With CMP solution , you keep having the unique self service portal with the ability to be open on external Cloud platforms.
CMP and Automation
Automation is one of the most added value coming with Cloud Management Platforms.
This lot of repetitive tasks and request can be automated via orchestration tools helping IT administrator improving his day working journey.
Defining you service catalogs with the needed templates help automation engine work well when customers are requesting a pre-defined services.
This automation have more and more evolved to orchestration when we are talking about the automation of automation. Some vendor are focusing only for automation and are speaking for orchestration only when dealing with external platforms.
Today, many CSPs are providing Data Center as a service and such type of service need a lot of features and capabilities that your Orchestrator should done to orchestrate with the right way the request of customers.
Your service catalog reflect the true capabilities of your orchestrator and the level of virtualization given by your hypervisor.
NFV(Network Functions virtualization) and SDN are two features that help orchestrator automate the provisioning of your resources across multiple hardware infrastructure.
When dealing with application provisioning, orchestrator are usually deploying existing template for applications and just configure them to work properly.
Telco Cloud and CMP
Many discussing today about Telco Cloud and this wave of telco applications virtualization.
Telco vendors are very careful doing virtualization of telco applications.
Many requirements from telco perspective are different from what had used to do with IT platforms.
Virtualization vendors are working hard to improve this requirements and gain this big market of telco applications.
Many questions coming to my mind and when talking to my colleagues Are we living this big transformation at the Telco side by going to a global cloud Network world?
How could virtualization satisfy the requirements of such huge applications in term of resources ,performances and real time requests ?
Is CMP ready to manage such telco cloud platforms, or should it take on consideration what to add / update to its components such as orchestrator or service catalog ?