Playing the Match Game, with Cloud Services

As more cloud service providers come online, the choices seem to just get harder and harder to make. This one has one technology stack, that one has doesn’t share what technology they are using, this one has white glove support, that one tells you to fend for yourself, this one has a different SLA for each service. And the list goes on. How does an IT department or a procurement department make the right decision when it comes to selecting a CSP?

Several companies have come up with a way to solve part of the problem by providing a service catalog with a broker interface that a company can use to select which cloud service to use for which workloads. While this helps a lot when the person selecting and provisioning them knows what to choose, this doesn’t really help the person who doesn’t know what makes one match their requirements. Finding out the capabilities of different providers can be hard to do – it may be spread all over their website and service catalog/portal, it may be in whitepapers, it may take a sales call. And imaging what all this is like for the procurement person?

Now think about what this would be like if we could just be faced with a bunch of questions, which is what Cloudconveyor has set out to do create a simple set of questions that allow either a technologist or a procurement person define what they need for resources (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Finding the Right Match: Servers

So, imagine using the previous questions to select the server. What if the requirements included governance and privacy – such as PCI compliance (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Finding the Right Match: Governance

The magic sauce behind these seemingly simple questions is a whole lot of work that these folks have spent the time building – a large library of different service architectures with all the details about specific services from service providers including SLA, cost, trust (governance and security), and of course the functionality of the services (e.g., compute, storage, etc.). And it goes deep – do you need layer 2 networking? Want to dual source the service? All these things are built into the library making it easy to find out where the services can be found and connects the customer needing a service to all the service providers who meet the criteria after all the questions have been answered.

What makes this different and interesting is it can be used on top of cloud services to quickly find the services that best meet the needs of a company – truly simplifying the selection process and narrowing down the possibilities to the candidates that make the most sense. This is much better than a blind date – might even be the right way to find the right match without the gamesmanship.

Topics: Cloud Services & Orchestration