Cloud portfolio management provider RightScale has announced RightScale Self-Service, a portal that helps developers and other cloud users get instant access to cloud infrastructure. It enables enterprise IT teams to curate a catalog of applications and services across clouds within the necessary governance and cost controls of the organization.
Reining in cloud infrastructure and applications within the confines of the enterprise has been a major initiative to counter what has been dubbed as “shadow IT”. The ease of use of certain Software-as-a-Service applications or the ability to provision cloud resources has become so simple that many departments leverage tools outside of the confines of an organization’s policy. By curating cloud services, an enterprise regains control over increasingly independent IT users.
This is the third major RightScale product initiative. The other two were Cloud Analytics and Cloud Management. Cloud Analytics was announced in November 2013 and entered in public beta in March 2014. RightScale Cloud Management recently added vSphere integration, which went into General Availability in March.
Integrated with Cloud Management, RightScale Self-Service allows users to automatically provision instances, stacks or complex multi-tier applications from a catalog defined by IT. Common use cases include development, testing, staging, production, demos, training, batch processing and digital marketing. The self-service portal also enables users to manage cloud applications, track costs and set automated shutdown schedules through an easy-to-use interface. The combination of management and self-service allows teams to administer applications while giving business and finance teams the ability to visualize and optimize cloud usage and costs.
The self-service portal comes with a curated catalog of stacks and applications that can be deployed across a portfolio of clouds. It lets enterprises leverage corporate standard technologies and control the versions, patches, configurations and security settings. There are built-in cost controls to manage costs and set quotas for users and teams. Self-Service supports all major public and private clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack and VMware vSphere. It’s delivered as a service, so users can get started quickly, and RightScale has exposed an API for integration with existing systems and DevOps tools.
"RightScale Self-Service allows Nextdoor's operations team to provide our engineers simple one-click access to pre-defined resources,” said Matt Wise, senior systems architect, Nextdoor, a large free private social network for neighborhoods. “It also integrates seamlessly with RightScale Cloud Management and our Puppet automation framework. One of our core principles in the Ops team at Nextdoor is that we try to limit the number of technologies we leverage, but become experts in the ones we do use. We’ve chosen to leverage RightScale as our main cloud management interface."
Stephen O’Grady, principal analyst at Redmonk, notes that this brings in the best of both worlds: developers get the flexibility of the cloud and enterprises get the control they need. "Developers love the frictionless availability of cloud, but enterprises crave visibility into their infrastructure which is challenged by the widespread cloud adoption," said O'Grady. "RightScale Self-Service is intended to serve as a way to provide both parties what they need from the cloud."