Traditional IT companies may dominate in a few fields, but in others, they will never catch up to those companies “born in the cloud.”
I actually have a unique perspective on these two worlds, as prior to this adventure at ParkMyCloud, I worked at IBM for many years. I was originally with Micromuse, where we had a fault and service assurance solution (Netcool) to manage and optimize Network and IT Operations. Micromuse was acquired by IBM in 2006 by the Tivoli Software Group business unit (later to be named Smarter Cloud). IBM was great – I learned a lot and met a lot of very smart, bright people. I was in Worldwide Sales Management so I had visibility across the globe into IT trends.
In the 2012/2013 timeframe, I noticed we were losing a lot of IT management, monitoring and assurance deals to companies like ServiceNow, New Relic, Splunk, Microsoft, and the like – all these “born in cloud” companies offering SaaS-based solutions to solve complex enterprise problems (that is, “born in the cloud” other than Microsoft – I’ll come back to them).
At first these SaaS-based IT infrastructure management companies were managing traditional on-premise servers and networks, but as more and more companies moved their infrastructure into the cloud, the SaaS companies were positioned to manage that as well – but at IBM, we were not. All of the sudden we were trying to sell complex, expensive IT management solutions for stuff running in this “cloud” called Amazon Web Services (AWS) – a mere 5 years ago. And then Softlayer, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure popped up. I start thinking, there must be something here, but what is it and who’s going to manage and optimize this infrastructure?
After a few years sitting on the SaaS side of the table, now I know. Many meetings and discussions with very large Fortune 100 enterprises have taught me several very salient points about the cloud:
Public cloud is here to stay – see Capital One or McDonald’s at recent AWS re:Invent Keynotes (both customers of ParkMyCloud, by the way)
Enterprises are NOT using “traditional” IT tools to build, test, run and manage infrastructure and applications in the cloud
What’s different about the cloud is that it’s a YUGE utility, which means companies now focus on cost control. Since it’s an OpEx model rather than a CapEx model they want to continually optimize their spend
Agility and innovation drive public cloud adoption but as cloud maturity grows so does the need for optimization – governance, cost control, and analytics.
So where does this leave the traditional companies like Oracle, HPE, and IBM? How are they involved in the migration to and lifecycle management of cloud-based applications? Well, from what I have seen they on the outside looking in – which is why when my good friend sent this to me the other day I was shocked – I guess Oracle decided to spot AWS a $13B lead – pretty smart, I am sure they will make this gap up by oh, let’s say 2052… brilliant strategy.
That said, one company that “gets it” seems to be Microsoft, both in terms of providing cloud infrastructure (Azure) but also being progressive enough to license their technologies for even the smallest of companies to adopt and grow using their applications.
To put a bow on this point, I was at a recent meeting where a Fortune 25 company was talking to us about their migration into the cloud, and the tools they are using:
Clouds – AWS / Azure
Migration – service partner
Monitoring – DataDog
Service Desk and CMDB – ServiceNow
Application Management – NewRelic
Log analytics – Splunk
Pipeline automation – Jenkins
Cost control (yes, that’s a category now) – ParkMyCloud
Now that’s some pretty good company! And not a single “traditional” IT tool on the list. I guess it takes one born in the cloud to manage it.
We’re happy to announce today that ParkMyCloud now supports single sign-on (SSO) using Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0. The following identity providers are supported:
Azure Active Directory
When you use SSO, your users are authenticated against your own directory services/identity provider and then, once authenticated, will be logged in to ParkMyCloud. If the user account does not exist within ParkMyCloud, it is automatically created.
SSO For Security & Simplicity
With SSO, signing into ParkMyCloud is easier than ever. Simply sign in using your preferred identity provider for an even more streamlined ParkMyCloud experience. Reduce the number of passwords you need to remember and type in – and use SSO for security by keeping a single point of authentication.
Additionally, with SSO, ParkMyCloud account administrators can add new users using existing sign-on infrastructure – simply send an invitation to your users to add them to ParkMyCloud.
We spoke to Tosin Ojediran, a DevOps Engineer at a FinTech company, about how he’s using ParkMyCloud as part of his approach to save money in DevOps.
Hi Tosin. So you work in FinTech. Can you tell us about what your team does within the company?
I’m on the DevOps team. We’re in charge of the cloud infrastructure, which ranges from servers to clusters and beyond. We have the task of maintaining the integrations between all the different services we use. Our main goal is to make sure our infrastructure is up and running and to maintain it. Our team just grew from two to three people.
What drove you to search for a cost optimization tool?
Last year, we were scaling our business, and with all the new development and testing, we kept needing to launch new clusters, databases, and instances. We did monitor the costs, but it was the Finance team that came to us and said, “hey, what’s going on with AWS? The costs keep going up, can you guys find a way to reduce this bill or move to a cheaper provider?”
So we looked into different options. We could move to Google for example, or we could move on prem, but at the time we were a team of two running a new project, trying to get things up and running, so we didn’t have the time. We had to find out how we could save money in DevOps without spending all our time to move to anew infrastructure. We went online to do research and came across ParkMyCloud, and started a trial.
What challenges did you experience in using AWS prior to using ParkMyCloud?
Like I mentioned, we were trying to cut costs. To do that, we were brainstorming about how we could write scripts to shut down machines during certain hours and spin them up. The problem was that this would require our time to write, integrate, and maintain.
We have different automation tools and containers – Chef, Docker machines, and Auto Scaling. Each of these takes time to script up. This all takes away from the limited time we have. With ParkMyCloud, we didn’t need to spend time on this automation – it was fast and simple. It allowed me to have all teams, including Analysts and others outside of the DevOps team, park their own resources. If you have a script that you runandif you have a two-man DevOps team, every time someone wants to park their machine, or start it outside of hours, they have to call me and ask me to do start their machines for them. But now with ParkMyCloud, I can assign machines to individual teams, they can start their machines whenever you want them – and it’s easy to use, you don’t have to know programming to use it
It frees up my time, because now everyone can control their own resources, when they used to have to ask me to do it for them.
Can you describe your experience so far using ParkMyCloud?
It’s been great for us to reduce AWS costs. We’re better staying within budget now. ParkMyCloud actually really exceeded my expectations. We sent the savings numbers to our CTO, and he said, “wow, this is awesome.” It’s easy to use, it does what it’s supposed to use. We’re reducing our bill by about 25-30%.
One other thing I love about ParkMyCloud. So, I work with a lot of vendors. A lot of times, they promise you one thing, and you get something else. There’s different terms and conditions, or you have to pay extra to actually qualify for different features. But with ParkMyCloud, it was up and running in 5-10 minutes, it was easy to integrate, easy to use, and you all deliver what you promise.
Last week, we held a web session introducing ParkMyCloud for Microsoft Azure. We’re excited to open up the ParkMyCloud platform to Azure customers, so you can get the same savings that AWS customers have been enjoying for the past year and a half.
Watch the video here, and use the guide below to skip ahead to the parts of the session that interest you:
00:28What is ParkMyCloud?
WHAT: Simple, single-purpose SaaS tool.
HOW: Automatically schedule on/off times for idle servers.
WHY: Optimize cloud services spending.
ROI: Save 60% or more; 6 week payback.
01:13How ParkMyCloud Works
•Discover & Manage cloud computing resources
•Analyze & Recommend resources to ‘Park’
•Policies automatically schedule resources for off/on
01:48ParkMyCloud vs. AWS cost savings options
02:15How much has ParkMyCloud saved our customers?
02:39The Azure World
Your Azure Account (Active Directory Tenant ID)
Your Azure Subscription (Subscription ID)
Your Application (Application ID)
Service Principal for Your Application
Limited Active Directory Role for Service Principal
Your Azure Cloud Resource Groups and Resources
Azure limited access role credential is analogous to an AWS IAM Role + policies
Requires a lot more information:
Subscription ID ~ analogous to an AWS account
Tenant ID ~ the ID of our Azure AD instance
App ID ~ the ID of the ParkMyCloud App in AD
Password (a.k.a., Client Secret) ~ You set this
04:39Four Azure CLI Approaches to creating Azure credentials
Windows Powershell – manual or scripted
Unix azure-cli – manual or scripted
05:42 ParkMyCloud Demo
05:51 PMC Dashboard
06:05 Adding an Azure credential to ParkMyCloud
07:29 Walkthrough of the ParkMyCloud dashboard
08:27 How to attach a schedule to an instance
09:18 How to create a custom schedule
10:51 Your savings projections in ParkMyCloud
11:51 How to see information about your individual instances
12:34 Teams and Roles in ParkMyCloud – containers for organizing users and resources with role-based access control (RBAC)
14:22 Logical Groups – the ParkMyCloud construct for organizing resources for group scheduling and sequencing
16:51 Policy engine – apply schedules in an automated fashion
17:02 Never Park policy – protect production instances from parking
17:26 Creating a new policy for scheduling
19:44 Always Off Schedule – use to park for the maximum amount of time. Useful when users are across time zones.
22:09 Audience Question – using the policy engine for sorting to teams, “snooze only” for schedule enforcement, and others.
23:37 Actual Savings number
24:04 Quick filters for viewing the dashboard
24:32 Recommendations – how to edit and add recommendations, and parking resources that are recommended to park.
25:00 How to download reports in ParkMyCloud
25:12 Audit Log
25:33 Pricing – by instance count
26:45 Is there any functionality for AWS that doesn’t translate to Azure?
28:59 Do you plan to support other clouds besides AWS and Azure?
29:42 How are the projected savings and actual savings numbers calculated?
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