Cloud Computing

Cloud Orchestration to Become Essential For DevOps Culture And Business Operations

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Working on the cloud is nothing new however organizations have yet to understand the true benefits of cloud computing. Cloud computing can be used as more than a way to scale up company processes. However, the companies should understand cloud orchestration and how to incorporate it into business operations.

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Cloud orchestration is now a buzzword in the world of cloud computing. As organizations operate a large number of DevOps teams, the IT managers and Chief Information Officers need to meet the ever-increasing demand for cloud capacity. That’s where cloud orchestration comes into the picture.

What is cloud orchestration?

Cloud orchestration is a process to manage several workloads in an automated way across multiple cloud solutions, in order to combine the workload into a single workflow. It is the management and coordination of cloud resources including networking, storage, and computing. Moreover, using cloud orchestration targeted workloads can be assigned to the most suitable set of nodes based on application demands.

Cloud orchestration is a self-service model where the end user can request several cloud services without involving IT. It ensures the efficient delivery of the requested workloads to end-users and it can support the DevOps approach to help end-users roll out new applications as quickly as possible.

Why choose cloud orchestration

With cloud orchestration services, IT teams can easily improve resource allocations and help end-users work more effectively. With a wide range of cloud service models and on-premises resources and public cloud instances, cloud orchestration is more suitable.

  • Self-service models: It can allow on-demand, self-service functionalities for pay-as-you-go business models
  • Support for cloud automation: Cloud orchestration enables automation of provisioning of storage, servers, databases among other resources
  • Cost-efficiency: Cloud orchestration could offer automated metering and chargebacks. This helps improve cost governance while encouraging the most effective and economic use of every resource.
  • Visibility and control: Cloud orchestration dashboard provides a holistic view of a cloud resource and its usage.
  • Remediation: Policy-based remediation or event-driven remediation allows to minimize downtime and enhance service level agreements (SLAs)

How to get ready for cloud orchestration

While several organizations often embrace cloud computing, their next step is cloud orchestration. It opens an array of opportunities. However, companies must build on their expertise by attracting expert IT professionals who are already aware of how to use cloud orchestration for their benefit or at least open to learning about it. Moreover, company authorities must take strategic decisions about how to organize cloud resources to ensure that the organization has enough capacity available. For instance, how should a company distribute data capacity across various platforms including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure? But, most of these answers change as the business goals change over time when new market development comes into the picture and regulations change over time. It is up to IT managers and Chief Information Officers to initiate such a process and monitor it carefully.

How cloud orchestration is different from automation?

Automation runs a specific task without the need for human intervention. In order to automate even complex and multistep processes, one must automate each individual task of the process. The objective of automation is to reduce the time of manual, time-consuming processes. However, cloud orchestration is automated configuration, management, and coordination of computer systems and software. It is way more complex than automation and needs to make decisions and react to events.

In short, cloud orchestration is another word for complex automation however, it is much more than that. While automation is a simple process, orchestration has advanced logic and it can make decisions based on outputs from one automated task and coordinate with multiple other tasks simultaneously.

Another key difference is one cannot orchestrate tasks that are not automated. It can be difficult to separate the line between cloud orchestration and automation, however, orchestration can be considered as managing multiple automated tasks.

Why cloud orchestration has become vital?

Over the last few years, the demand for cloud services increased drastically. The penetration of the internet of things (IoT) and other advanced technology encouraged the adoption of cloud services. While the demand for these services increased, monitoring these services became an overwhelming job. A single dashboard of cloud orchestration offers a holistic view of all cloud resources and offered better visibility. Moreover, it offers past and current usage statistics that help in planning usage strategies for the future. The centralized governance of security, resource, and access policies offers feedback.

Integrating several cloud services and maintaining their functional requirements is challenging. Cloud orchestration offers a facility to prioritize workloads of applications as well as VMs of different types. It makes the complex processes of approval of cloud resources easier. Cloud orchestration is known for its self-service feature. Thus, it has quickly become an integral part of critical business initiatives.

Latest market developments in cloud orchestration industry

Gr4vy, is the only payment cloud orchestration platform with a payment orchestration platform (POP) that combines with cloud platform with payments infrastructure. The company recently secured Series A funding of $11.1 million with participation from Activant Capital, a fintech investor.

It is observed that retailers often start with one payment processor and gradually expand and build a cloud orchestration platform. However, the process is complex and difficult to maintain. Gr4vy is an ideal platform for such retailers who want to manage and control how their payments should flow, both on the back end and front end.

Similarly, Singtel, a Singapore Telecommunication Limited., launched a new platform, Paragon, that allows companies to tap into the company’s 5G network and activate network slices on demand and deploy mission-critical applications. This platform is expected to empower companies to securely deploy several applications in a hybrid fashion across both the public cloud of their choice and the edge at Singtel MEC.

Paragon is the cloud orchestration industry’s first all-in-one orchestration platform for 5G edge computing and cloud services and is expected to reduce the complexity and time required to adopt 5G MEC. Moreover, it would reduce the barriers for entry-level companies which would enable faster deployment of use cases by removing operational and cost overheads.

Benefits of cloud orchestration

1. Simplified optimization:

Cloud automation is considered as a subset of cloud orchestration; automation handles individual tasks but orchestration act as an integrator of automation. It combines individual tasks into a larger optimized workflow. Moreover, cloud orchestration automates multiple things including storage, multiple servers, databases, and networks to make management and deployment of processes and resources effectively. It ensures the maintenance of cloud elements in an integrated way.

2. Effective visibility and control:

The main benefit of cloud orchestration is it offers an overall view of cloud resources for complete visibility. It has several tools that can monitor as well as modify VM instances automatically while minimizing manual work and work hours. In addition, cloud orchestration offers centralized management of security, accessibility, and resource policies.

3. Cost-effective:

Cloud orchestration drastically improves cost governance and promotes the economic use of resources. It provided optimized tools that improve the use of cloud services with self-service processes and automation. In addition, the automized process reduces the infrastructure investment for organizations and ensures long-term cost savings.

4. Reduction in manual errors:

As the majority of the part is automated, cloud orchestration solves a variety of problems that are related to cloud computing domains. It can develop a streamlined process to reduce the risk of errors by automating simple, small operations without human involvement. In addition, it increased the reliability and consistency of IT.

Advent of multi-cloud orchestration and hybrid cloud orchestration

In multi-cloud orchestration, a company utilizes several private and public cloud services for several tasks to get accurate results. A company’s different domains require different types of R&D, software development, and thus, they demand different cloud solutions that catered to their requirement. For this purpose, multi-cloud orchestration gained importance in major organizations.

In a hybrid cloud, private and public clouds are combined with software-enabled communication between several services. In addition, hybrid cloud offers businesses flexibility by dividing the workload between cloud services.  

DevOps culture and cloud orchestration

Both automation and cloud orchestration are extremely vital for DevOps culture. As the point of DevOps is to minimize the system development life cycle, customers need to automate several processes to fulfill the desired objective. Thus, they need cloud orchestration to provide continuous delivery and high-quality integration. For instance, if the software delivery process has several steps in between, to optimize DevOps culture, one needs not just automation but a completed orchestrated process. However, some companies avoid integrating cloud orchestration into their business operations to avoid risks but it is the most effective way to get rid of human errors.

Major cloud orchestration platforms:

IBM cloud orchestration:

The self-service portal and automated tools of IBM help manage customers’ cloud without straining on their budget. It is highly customizable and has automated provision. IBM cloud orchestration platform is used for automating cloud services with the use of policy-based tools. With this platform, user can deploy, configure, integrate service management with this service and use them to manage, monitor, secure applications. Moreover, they can use the platform to view how their resources are used and how it costs them. IBM cloud orchestration has two packages, divided on the basis of price but they both offer customizable self-service portals.

Azure Automation:

The cloud orchestration platform of Azure, Azure Automation offers a cloud-based automation service that streamlines management across Azure and non-Azure environments. It consists of update management, process automation, and configuration features that are developed to aid customers to reduce human errors and time consumed on the deployment of the user’s infrastructure. The demand for Azure Automation gained popularity over the last few years as it is developed for not only Windows but Linux hosts that are executed with Python runbooks and PowerShell. It manages cloud spending and optimizes the cloud resources and allows cost allocations and chargebacks.

AppFormix:

It is a cloud operation management and cloud orchestration platform that offers end-to-end visibility for a multi-cloud environment. It could convert raw data into easy to understand format using its intent-based and monitoring analytics. AppFormix can track and study programs that operate on public clouds including Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services. In addition, it enables users to define business outcomes and detect problems and if necessary, it can take corrective actions. The user interface of AppFormix is pretty simple and includes operation alarms and has in-service installation.

Morpheus:

This cloud orchestration platform helps to connect developers to self-service infrastructure. It provides several analytical features that offer an inside view of cloud spending. Moreover, it enables them to compare costs as they can use multiple cloud infrastructure and resources using multi-tenant policies. With Morpheus, users can develop different policies for different workflows to keep track of their management activities.

To sum it up:

The ever-increasing demand for cloud services has made the management of cloud operations an overwhelming process. As cloud automation gains popularity, cloud orchestration has offered a novel way to manage resources and innovative technology. With cloud orchestration, companies can manage several automated tasks more efficiently and there is a better use of resources at disposal.

The definition and purpose of cloud orchestration may vary but in a simpler view, it is just more advanced automation. Both automation and cloud orchestration are essential for any mature DevOps organization. But more importantly, it is vital to understand where mere automation would fall short and cloud orchestration can complement automation in an organization. In the end, both automation and cloud orchestration would minimize manual processes and would help achieve streamlined flow in business operations and in the software development life cycle.

According to Allied Market Research, the global cloud orchestration market is expected to reach $105.07 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 21.4% from 2021 to 2030. Rise in demand for optimum resource utilization, surge in cloud adoption across multiple industries vertical, and increase in demand for low-cost process setup and automation have boosted the market growth. Thus, in the future, the demand for cloud orchestration would certainly increase and organizations must be ready for it.

Swamini Kulkarni holds a bachelor’s degree in Instrumentation and control engineering from Pune University and works as a content writer at Allied Market Research. She is deeply fascinated by the impact of technology on human life and loves to talk about science and mythology. When she is not glued to the computer, she loves to read, travel and daydream about her areas of interest.

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