Looking to grow its role as a linchpin around hybrid cloud services that revolve around the data center, Dell today added support for Windows Azure Pack and enhanced support for Microsoft Azure to its cloud management software.
While most clouds today are managed in a semi-autonomous fashion, it’s clear that IT operations teams are starting toward unifying the management of hybrid cloud computing environments, George Hadjiyanis, director of sales and marketing for Dell Cloud Manager, said.
“A year or two ago that might not have been the case,” he said. “Now the cloud is central to IT operations.”
The software is designed to provide IT organizations with a single pane of glass for access to specific cloud applications and to cloud management tools, such as tracking usage and spending, while giving developers self-service provisioning capabilities.
Deployed on a virtual appliance, the cloud management software provides integration with Chef and Puppet, the provisioning tools popular with DevOps professionals, along with an ability to auto-scale and auto-heal applications based on user-defined policies.
Based on technology Dell gained when it acquired Enstratius in 2013, version 11 of the Dell Cloud Manager also adds support for the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA). TOSCA provides a common description of application and infrastructure cloud services, the relationships between parts of the service, and the operational behavior of those services.
Adding support for TOSCA is critical for Dell. Launched in the early part of 2014, TOSCA is an open standard designed to make it possible to more easily switch between cloud service providers.
Without TOSCA, the amount of demand for a tool that unifies the management of those clouds would be severely limited.
Dell Cloud Manager already supports Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, Joyent, ScaleMatrix, CloudStack, OpenStack, vSphere, Virtustream. According to Hadjiyanis, support for Digital Ocean is coming in the very near future.
Dell’s cloud management software, available as both a freemium service and as commercial software, can be deployed on-premise or as a hosted service managed by Dell. There is also a Software-as-a-Service edition for managing public clouds.
Hadjiyanis said one of the things that distinguishes Dell Cloud Manager is that as a platform for hybrid cloud management it integrates directly with Microsoft Active Directory, which is widely used on-premise to manage access to existing applications. Without that capability, internal IT organizations are going to be reluctant to embrace a hybrid cloud management platform that doesn’t serve to extend their existing workflow and application provisioning processes.