Cisco’s recent acquisition of CliQr for a cool $250M could prove to be one of the best acquisitions this technology behemoth has made in recent years. In CliQr, Cisco gets a proven technology that can help them deliver on their Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) vision.
Already deployed in a number of marquee accounts, CliQr’s offering enables businesses to fluidly move workloads from their on-premises private cloud environments into any public cloud facility, and to do so while maintaining application service levels, ensuring security, adhering to corporate data governance policies and controlling costs.
CliQr helps to simplify application deployments across clouds by providing administrators with a way to automate the workflows for provisioning resources for new or existing cloud workloads. Through CliQr, administrators can build application profiles that capture all of the performance, availability, security, etc. attributes required to meet a given workloads service levels. What’s really interesting is that once the profile is built and the workload is ready to be deployed, CliQr runs the workload natively across multiple cloud service providers and then generates a real-time price/performance analysis to determine the best venue for hosting that workload.
In addition to orchestrating the migration of a given workload into the cloud, CliQr provides full visibility into performance, availability, security status, etc. CliQr also provide full service lifecycle management of the cloud workload. If a user, for example, sets a time limit on how long a particular workload will run in the cloud, CliQr will ensure it is decommissioned at the time of expiry.
The need for cloud application lifecycle management is becoming particularly acute especially for those businesses that have a heavy workload presence in the public cloud. Anecdotally, I have heard many instances of organizations going “all in” into the public cloud only to go into “full retreat” months later after getting hit with skyrocketing costs. In addition to lack of visibility into cloud workload consumption, the lack of a way to manage the full lifecycle of any given application workload — from development and test to production and eventual decommissioning — is what can contribute to out of control costs.
And ironically, with many organizations looking to public cloud computing services as a way to reduce IT costs, it is possible, without lifecycle management, for businesses to get totally whipsawed. CliQr’s application lifecycle management can help businesses maintain better “cloud hygiene” and consequently have a much better chance of striking the right balance of cloud enabled agility and lower costs.
Given CliQr’s capabilities for simplifying the process of deploying applications across hybrid cloud environments while giving organizations a way to ensure application service levels, performance, security and costs, it will likely play a very prominent role in Cisco’s Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS). Moreover, with businesses moving towards a multi-cloud consumption model, CliQr’s native ability to dynamically move workloads across multiple clouds, in concert with Cisco’s software-defined networking (SDN) intelligence, has the potential to produce a very potent 1-2 combination that can bring even higher levels of automation and operational efficiency to hybrid cloud workload management.