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We've invited Mark Johnson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Strategy at Emergent and Mythics, to contribute to the Red Hat Services Speak blog. As a Premier Business Partner, Emergent partners with Red Hat Consulting to deliver a variety of solutions to our end customers around Red Hat's emerging technology portfolio.


The RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report showed that on average, organizations are operating in 3.6 public and 4.4 private clouds—8 different clouds!  Wow.  I have to think there is more than one CIO lying awake at night wondering where all his data and applications are—and what that is doing to their budget!  I have advocated for quite a while that automation is really what organizations want when they look for “cloud,” but different cloud providers adopt different automation strategies and interfaces.  Building native skills for each provider is difficult and costly—which is where a cloud management platform comes in.


A good cloud management platform (CMP) is a simple application that allows properly identified users to create the resources they need in multiple cloud providers without worrying about the different provider interfaces.  The CMP also needs to provide strong governance—only allowing users to create and use the resources they have permission for (or to kick off an approval process to access additional resources).  It must have comprehensive reporting so that managers can monitor what their organizations are using and CIOs can do chargeback to the lines of business that are consuming cloud services.  Finally, the CMP needs to have an excellent user interface that is simple and clear.  If it is too difficult to use, then organization personnel will bypass it and access the cloud services directly.


There are several different applications in the marketplace for achieving these goals, but we found that Red Hat CloudForms was the best option in most situations.  It provided much of the functionality we needed out of the box and was extensible to meet the other requirements our clients have.  Its integration with the Red Hat ecosystem was important, since many of our biggest customers use several Red Hat products and the robust Open Source community around CloudForms was appealing as well.


CloudForms is exceptionally capable for managing private clouds and can also connect to a wide array of public cloud providers but the Oracle Public Cloud (OPC) is not one of those.  At Emergent, we have found that many of our biggest customers were heavy users of Oracle products and although we have been successful with implementing and managing Oracle on other CSPs, many customers wanted to remain within the Oracle cloud.  Therefore, we are developing a new connector for CloudForms to the OPC.  A native CloudForms connector for the OPC will allow those enterprises with large Oracle installs to easily migrate workloads to the cloud and manage them seamlessly with their on premise (maybe private cloud?) solutions.


In partnership with Red Hat Consulting, Emergent can help your organization build a cloud strategy and manage your public cloud environments to optimize performance and cost.  One of Gartner’s three pillars for Public Cloud Managed Service Providers is a robust Cloud Management Platform (CMP) that provides governance of cloud accounts and Emergent is committed to ensuring CloudForms remains a leader in that space.  Reach out to Emergent to learn more about our automation skills and host an Ansible workshop for your org!


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