Introduction to the VMware Cloud Operating Model

This article will go into the details of VMware Cloud
Operating Model for multi-cloud. VMware helps its customers to move into the
direction of multi-cloud as the world of multi-cloud is becoming a reality for
most enterprises today.

Digital transformation is the key driver behind this
journey to multi-cloud. Digital transformation drivers an increase in applications
and the applications nowadays typically run in multiple clouds.

For most customers this means they need to
transform their traditional way of operating IT to a model that is suitable for
managing clouds. For that an operating model is needed that will help to manage
application workloads and cloud resources across private, public and edge
clouds.

VMware helps its customers by providing guidance and software on how to transform towards a Cloud Operating Model that will help IT organizations to become the orchestrator of applications and cloud resources across multiple clouds.

Business consumes Applications, Applications run on Clouds

All of this starts with the business strategy of enterprises
today. The business strategy defines which direction the business should take
and how it should get there. For most companies nowadays that involves a
transformation towards becoming a digital business. A business that accommodates
its customers and employees through digital means. That doesn’t necessarily
mean that the products or services are digital, but it does mean that the
consumer and employee experience is getting more and more digitized.

And this happens in every industry. Banking,
industry, government or any other industry are all making a transition and are
looking into the opportunity of using digital to enhance the customer and
employee experience. Next to that digital transformation also happens to elevate
the brand, to remain relevant or to get a competitive advantage.

A good example of this is the banking industry. This
industry has been at the forefront of technology innovation. Banks have been
going through digital transformation journey for some time now. Every bank has
digital services that give access to bank services and products. Nowadays we
have become accustomed to using bank services through the web or on our mobile
phones. But it wasn’t that long ago that every had to be done manually. Going
to the bank to make deposits, receiving statements in the mail, etc. were all
normal activities. The analogue way of doing things. Today you would not use
services of a bank that still operate in this way. That shows that
technological innovation is key to staying relevant and, in some cases, create
a competitive advantage.

This digital transformation relies on applications
to deliver the digital components and foundation for the digital business.
Applications are the engine that make the digital business a reality. And it is
not only the new applications that make a digital business happen. Also,
existing applications still need to be part of the digital experience. All of
this is defined in a company’s application strategy that helps define how
existing and new applications need to be created and managed. Topics such as
application modernization and the hosting location of applications are defined
in an applications strategy that underpins the need of the busines into
becoming a digital business.

Those applications will be hosted on a cloud.
Either in a private, public or edge cloud. The choice for that typically is
defined by IT in a cloud strategy. This outlines where the applications, both
existing and new ones, are going to be hosted. There are of course a variety of
factors that determines which clouds will be hosted. Enterprises typically
still have their own datacenters hosting existing applications, but the
consumption of public cloud has also gained a lot of traction already. This
requires a good cloud strategy to accommodate the right cloud solutions for the
apps that run the business.

In the end it all comes down to this: Business
Strategy impacts your Applications Strategy. Application Strategy impacts your
Cloud Strategy.

And as with all things we also need to take cost
into account. All this needs to align with the Financial Strategy. Investments
need to be managed and the cloud spend needs to be governed need to remain
under control.

Transforming to a Cloud
Operating Model

IT within the enterprise is responsible for running
the application workloads and managing the cloud resources. Traditionally this
was done within company owned datacenters. However, over the last decade a
shift has happened that more and more resources are managed and maintained by
external cloud providers. This could be public cloud providers or service
providers that run their own cloud stacks. The new reality within most
enterprises that is then created is a situation that involves the management of
multiple clouds consisting out of private, public and edge clouds.

This means that IT needs to transform its operational
model. No longer is the traditional model of running IT sufficient to accommodate
the needs of the business.

Especially in the era of digital transformation the
consumers of IT resources, developers and application owners within the lines
of business, expect to get a cloud experience when consuming IT resources.

This cloud experience that IT consumers expect needs
to that of a cloud:

  • Self-service through API or portal
  • On-demand, anytime, anywhere
  • Scalable and expandable when needed
  • Pay for what you consume

For IT the challenge is to provide this model while
remaining in control of the underlying resources. In the end it is enterprise
IT that is responsible for delivering the cloud resources wherever they reside.
Could be in private cloud, but as we have already noted more and more resources
are also hosted in public cloud.

This needs a change in how people, process and
technology are aligned to the goal of supporting the digital transformation
outlined in the various strategies.

For people this means that there needs to be a
shift in mindset in how they provide cloud. The mindset should focus on
becoming a customer-focused, service delivery-oriented organization. This means
that people need to be multi-disciplinary and can work cross-functionally. The
world of multi-cloud is a dynamic environment where change is the new normal.

All of this need the adoption of a mindset that is focused
on delivering cloud resources to the consumers of IT within the business. As a result,
processes will need to be re-aligned to accommodate the transition towards a
Cloud Operating Model. The focus should be to automate or broker the delivery
of IT resources as much as possible and make them accessible through a
self-service portal or API.

Typically the start of the change towards a Cloud
Operating Model in IT happens within a newly formed  Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). The group
of people will be responsible for making the transition towards a Cloud
Operating Model. This group is the tip of the spear when it comes to the
transformation. They are responsible for defining the cloud strategy and making
sure it gets implemented. This group has representation of cloud architects
(private and public), platform engineers, developers, security, cloud
operations, finance and other relevant functions within the organization. The
goal of this group is to set out the direction and accommodate the broader IT
organization with best-practices and guidance for implementing cloud within the
organization.

And all this needs to be facilitated with the right
technology to deliver cloud services and manage and govern the applications and
infrastructure cloud resources that have been deployed across multiple clouds.
The technology that drives the Cloud Operating Model needs to be technology
that supports and binds the strategies that have been defined in the
Application and Cloud Strategy. Creating an operational control plane that
gives IT the means to remain in control of the clouds.

VMware Operational Model for Multi-Cloud

VMware empowers IT organization to be able to do that and to make the transition towards a Cloud Operating Model by:

  • Building VMware Clouds
  • Embracing Public Cloud

Traditionally a lot of enterprise IT runs IT
workloads within their own datacenters. VMware through virtualization has
helped enterprise IT to abstract the compute, storage and network capabilities
within a datacenter to run application workloads. This so-called Software
Defined Data Center (SDDC) makes it easy to deploy, operate and govern those
workloads. Next to that VMware now also can deliver this SDDC as-a-service
within an AWS datacenter through VMware Cloud on AWS or within a customer
datacenter as-a-service through VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. Next to the
SDDC-as-a-Service offering from partners such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle or
any of the 4500 VMware service providers.

However, a SDDC does not yet make a cloud. For that
we need to have cloud management software that gives cloud operations the
ability to transform the SDDC into a cloud that can deliver the relevant
services towards the consumers of IT within the business. VMware vRealize cloud
management software together with Tanzu application management portfolio
delivers these cloud capabilities that are needed to transform a VMware SDDC
into a VMware Cloud.

Consumers of IT resources should then get a cloud
consumption experience like that of public cloud. They can consume services
delivered by IT that are hosted on a SDDC.

But IT also is challenged with the consumption of
public clouds. Over the last decade public cloud has gained traction in every
enterprise. The usage of public cloud services is easy and is something that
most enterprise companies are adopting. However, what starts with the
consumption of one public cloud results in the adoption of multiple public
clouds. That, in combination with the management of existing private cloud,
creates the challenge of managing multiple cloud in a consistent way.

VMware helps customers to embrace public cloud with
unified management across private, public and edge clouds. VMware vRealize
cloud management and Tanzu application management already have multi-cloud
capabilities out-of-the-box. Giving cloud infrastructure and applications
operators the ability to manage cloud workloads and resources across multiple
clouds. VMware further strengthens that with the capabilities in the
CloudHealth portfolio which provides risk management and cost control across
clouds. Putting governance in place to remain in control and be secure and
protected across all the clouds that host the applications.

Competencies to Run Multi-Cloud

The VMware Cloud Management stack, delivered by the vRealize, Tanzu and CloudHealth software, give IT organizations the means to create VMware Cloud Operating Model which is focused on delivering three main competencies for multi-cloud management.

The three competencies are:

Service Delivery

This competency focused on delivery of services to
accelerate the ability of the organization to deliver and update appellations.
It focuses on delivering a modern applications platform by leveraging the
services from the VMware Cloud Management stack. It fully supports the adoption
of DevSecOps best practices enabling developers to integrate applications and
cloud resources wherever they are needed. This increases the speed and agility
to deliver applications to the business and enables application developers to
deliver application innovation for digital transformation.

Operations

All application and cloud services that are
deployed need to be delivered in the most optimal form possible. The VMware
Cloud Management stack has breath of tools to maximize efficiency and optimize
performance and cost across multiple clouds. Delivering an end-to-end stack of
intelligent operations that can create a full-stack view from application down
to the underlying cloud infrastructure. All of this to create full overview of
what is happing with the applications and the cloud resources that are created,
managed an operated by the applications developers, platform engineers and
cloud operators.

Governance

To remain in control of all the clouds there needs to be governance put in place to make sure that risk is being managed and investment are being improved and kept under control. VMware Cloud Management stack deliver that through a framework of that create accountability and clarity for all parties involved in delivering and consuming application and cloud resources across the different clouds. For both the cloud consumers as the cloud operators it provides insight into the cost of applications and cloud. While enforcing compliance from a central point across all the workloads.

With these three competencies in place, IT teams
can focus on delivering and source applications and cloud resources from
various clouds. Either from the private, public or edge cloud. This provides
application teams the means to deliver the applications that are required to for
the business to go through the digital transformation journey.

In the end these three competencies will help IT to become the innovation partner the business needs to do great things.

For more information look here :

Cloud Operating Model for Dummies Guide

YouTube video by Purnima Padmanabhan, SVP and GM for Cloud Management : VMware Multi-Cloud Briefing: Cloud Operating Model

Whitepaper on Multi-Cloud Management

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