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More proof that we live in a multi-cloud world

September 25, 2015, 12:16 PM UTC
Photograph by Getty Images/Image Source

There’s lots of evidence showing that when companies move workloads to the cloud, they are apt to use more than one cloud. Part of the reason is that different constituencies spin up their own cloud operations outside the normal IT approval process. It’s also true that most companies still run some older databases and enterprise applications that do not lend themselves to cloud deployment.

High input-output applications often do better in non-virtualized environments that run without an operating system directly on the hard drive. Those “bare metal” environments mean applications don’t have to pay the virtualization tax, a performance hit attributed to running hypervisors atop computing resources.

RightScale has followed this trend for some time. The Santa Barbara, Calif. company started out monitoring and managing Amazon (AMZN) Web Services for business customers. Then it branched out to support Microsoft (MSFT) Azure, Google (GOOG) Cloud Platform, IBM (IBM) SoftLayer in the public cloud arena—where shared compute and storage resources are parcelled out among multiple customers. And it manages OpenStack-based private clouds. Private clouds represent dedicated resources that a company does not share.

Now, in a nod to workloads that are not necessarily cloud-ready, RightScale said it will now manage bare-metal implementations. Applications that run on bare-metal, non-virtualized infrastructure tend to generate a ton of input/output operations that can be problematic in a virtualized world. Databases and older enterprise resource planning applications are some examples. The beauty of bare metal is speed. As good as virtualization is, there is typically that aforementioned virtualization tax that slows performance.

RightScale’s goal is to give a company that runs many workloads in many clouds—and now on bare metal— the proverbial “single pane of glass,” that is, one dashboard to monitor all that action, said Kim Weins, vice president of marketing for RightScale.

The idea is not necessarily to force Windows or Vmware (VMW) administrators to give up their own consoles, but to add a single place to view everything together.

Competitors in multi-cloud management include Cliqr, Dell Enstratius, Gravitant, and others, although it’s unclear that any of those offerings support bare metal. Not only that, the big cloud providers are adding their own tools to bring outside administrators into their spheres. Amazon, for example, has added consoles that let VMware and Windows administrators also manage their AWS implementations.

Ther’s even research, albeit from a non-neutral party, that Salesforce customers are apt to use multiple Salesforce clouds. Time will tell if single panes of glass like that RightScale has developed improve the already popular multi-cloud experience.

For more on how cloud computing can boost businesses, see the video.

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