Self-service provisioning represents both challenge and opportunity in cloud computing. While this capability promises to free business users from the time consuming exercise of requisitioning services from IT, in reality, in most corporate environments, provisioning remains the preserve of IT who have the knowledge, expertise and patience to work through what is essentially a manual process. Avanade is about to change this though – through a new solution called Cloud Services Manager (CSM) that has been designed to enable business and IT collaboration on the management of private clouds.
Describing the solution, Avanade's global CTO, Tyson Hartman, explained, “Cloud Services Manager has been designed around business needs, such as increasing efficiencies and controlling costs, and presents information in a language that business people understand," adds Hartman. "By managing cloud services in a business context, Avanade's Cloud Services Manager empowers IT and business people to dial up or down the cloud services they need at any given time."
The key features that enable this collaboration in CSM are control and customization. Built by extending the capabilities of System Center 2012 (SC), the latest version of Microsoft’s systems software
for infrastructure management in multiple hypervisor environments, Avanade's Cloud Services Manager enables companies to deploy and manage cloud services across private clouds based on Microsoft, VMware and Citrix technologies – as well as Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services where companies have also contracted the public cloud. Avanade’s new solution is differentiated from System Centre, which offers a number of consoles aimed at provisioning, tracking and managing resources, through its business orientation. As Ryan McCune, senior director, global technologies & solutions at Avanade, explained, “If someone is the IT admin or the central admin, those [SC] technical consoles work really well for them. But what Avanade has realized is that there are a lot of business services and business application owners who want a more unified console that pulls together the information that they need to track for resource utilization, or for charge back or show back capabilities. Avanade’s Cloud Services Manager provides this view by integrating with SC 2012 and consolidating a lot of that information into a single console.”