• A single pane of glass into all your public and private cloud accounts.

A smarter way to manage all your CLOUD Resources from one place         A Hybrid Cloud that will pass the test of time and go beyond!

How to build a Hybrid Cloud management interface

In today's not-so-perfect world of cloud adoption, a multi or hybrid cloud infrastructure is seldom the result of a well thought out set of decisions based upon a clear analysis of the needs faced by the organization. Instead, in 99 out of 100 cases, the organization suddenly wakes up to the reality of a multitude of something-as-a-service being used, and often gainfully, and sometimes not so gainfully, in the various business units.

As a business unit head, desperately trying to be ahead of the competition, it is super easy to whip out the company credit card and buy an account for that nifty cloud service that saves my team hours of development time. But, imagine what happens when dozens of unit heads do that umpteen number of times every month with hundreds of nifty cloud services all over the internet? Chaos! No awards for guessing the right answer.

As the IT organization tries to bring these rogue activities under control, they find themselves in a greater quandary. They find themselves spending a prohibitive amount of time console hopping, trying to manage the multitude of these cloud services for their end-users.

At this point, the IT managers literally pray for an interface that would let them have a bird's eye view over the whole hybrid cloud infrastructure, while not getting in the way of the consumers of the hybrid cloud's services.

The interface they often dream, should have the following abilities at the very minimum:

  1. Should provide management access to all partcipants in the hybrid cloud from a single service catalog
  2. Should be easy to plug in a new participant cloud into the hybrid cloud management interface
  3. Should let the hybrid cloud service users consume the services easily through single sign on
  4. Should let the IT organization setup access controls and limits over the hybrid cloud's users
  5. Should allow building of an easy approval process for hybrid cloud users
  6. Should allow the IT organization to create orchestration templates, letting the hybrid cloud users to deploy complex hybrid/multi cloud applications at the click of a button

This is where a tool like xPlore.Cloud becomes relevant.

xPlore.Cloud is a Swiss knife on steroids for building flexible Hybrid Cloud management interfaces

In the rest of this document, we will walk you through the process of putting in place a flexible and scalable Hybrid and/or Multi Cloud management interface in place using xPlore.Cloud.

Step 1: Install Cloud Access Servers for all hybrid cloud participants

Expected duration: 10 minutes to 1 hour

First, identify the public/private cloud(s) and the private hypervisors you want to link up using xPlore.Cloud Hybrid Cloud framework. E.g. AWS and VMWare or Azure and Hyper-V or AWS, GCP and OpenStack or whatever selection of platforms you have.

Then for each, install a Cloud Access Server following instructions here. If you do not see your target cloud supported, just select Generic for target cloud when asked for.

Note: Although we are talking in terms of IaaS clouds, xPlore.Cloud is not at all limited to them. You can link up ANY cloud service(s), that has an API or another programmatic access mechanism, to the xPlore.Cloud hybrid cloud framework. It can well be SaaS clouds like the SalesForce or even an Accounting SaaS like QuickBooks that offer programmatic access!
 
If you have an inhouse team of developers, click below to start your Free trial.
If you want us to build your Hybrid Cloud, click below to contact us.
 

Step 2: Identify cloud Resources/Services to manage within your hybrid cloud interface

Expected duration: Couple hours to several days depending upon how large your organization is

These typically are resource types within the target cloud included in the hybrid cloud. For instance, if there is an AWS account as part of your hybrid cloud infrastructure, you could think of Virtual Machines (EC2 instances), Volumes, Elastic IPs, Security Groups as some of the items you would want to include in this list. Likewise, if this is an accounting application that you are including into your hybrid cloud infrastructure, these could well be Invoices, Bills of material, Balance sheets etc.

Step 3: Identify Actions to support for the hybrid cloud resources

Expected duration: Couple hours to several days depending upon how large your organization is. However, there are sufficient overlaps between this and Step 2

Once the list of services are identified in the previous step, this step boils down to just listing out the various actions the users would be interested in. For example, for the AWS example above, they might be interested in starting, stopping, restarting, terminating their EC2 instances. They could also be interested in accessing the console of the EC2 instance, so on and so forth.

Step 4: Write/Modify code in HyBench to implement the hybrid cloud Actions

Expected duration: Couple days to a Month depending upon how many actions to implement.

You may hire us for this step as we could provide an extremely quick turn around in a fraction of your in-house costs simply because we built this tool and our developers are intimately familiar with it.

Typically, this step is the one that would take the longest. But, you are in luck if we provide a reference implementation for the cloud you are trying to incorporate into the Hybrid Cloud management interface. In such a case, you need not start from scratch. You already get some tested code, that should work out of the box anyways. However, since we wrote these reference implementations without any consideration to your typical business needs, they almost always will be too broad for your liking. They are written with a one-size-fits-all approach and you will do better to rewrite sections of these implementations so as to customize them to your actual needs.

 
If you have an inhouse team of developers, click below to start your Free trial.
If you want us to build your Hybrid Cloud, click below to contact us.
 

Step 5: Create Groups and DevOps Users and assign Permissions and Quotas to hybrid cloud resources

Expected duration: Couple hours to several days depending upon how large your organization is

This is going to be easy. Just log into xPlore.Cloud with your owner credential (this is the email id that you used to create the xPlore.Cloud trial account). Then head over to the Access sub-menu within the xPlore menu at the top menu-bar. Here you will have tabs to add users and groups. Once you add users and groups and assign the users to relevant groups, you may go ahead and add permissions to the groups and/or put usage restrictions on the users. From within the interface, you could generate reports with various levels of granularity to review the permissions and quotas of all users of your hybrid cloud management interface.

A nice thing about xPlore.Cloud is, that the moment you add a new cloud to the hybrid cloud you are building, the access control module becomes active for the new entrant automatically. To start with, no users will have any permissions to this new cloud. You, as the owner, or another admin user will have to create explicit permissions for the users to this new cloud for them to be able to use the services exposed by this cloud from within the hybrid cloud management interface.

Step 6: Create xPloreApp Application and Deployment templates to enable single click deployments to any participant of your hybrid cloud

Expected duration: Couple hours to several days depending upon how many applications need templatization.

We can help you speed up this step too.

Note: xPloreApp is in active testing phase.