Many IT organizations have aspired to build a private cloud only to find that they don’t have the granular control over IT infrastructure to deliver on that promise. To solve that problem, ZeroStack unveiled DevOps Workbench, a framework internal IT organizations can employ to present developers with a set of options that can self-select to automate the deployment of an application in an on-premises environment.
DevOps Workbench is designed to layer on top of the ZeroStack Intelligent Cloud Platform, which combines 40 developer tools and templates on top of a layer of abstraction based on a Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) to unify the management of underlying IT infrastructure via a cloud management service. Steve Garrison, vice president of marketing for ZeroStack, says DevOps Workbench adds a self-service framework on top of that private cloud to present developers with an experience similar to the way they provision resources on a public cloud. The company also announced it has added DeployHub, continuous deployment software from OpenMake, to the portfolio of DevOps tools it makes available.
Garrison says developers have been doing an end run around internal IT organizations for years now because it takes too long for internal IT teams to make infrastructure resources available. ZeroStack aims to solve that problem by first applying an abstraction layer to create the private cloud, which is then managed via a suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that ZeroStack exposes in the cloud.
Rather than trying to force collaboration between developers and internal IT teams, Garrison says DevOps Workbench allows both groups to accomplish what they need without getting in each other’s way. Developers can access a user interface to provision IT infrastructure within a set of use cases predefined by the internal IT team.
Because of performance issues and compliance concerns, there are whole hosts of applications that will not be deployed in a public cloud. But the IT teams who manage those applications are still under pressure to provide developers with a cloud-like experience. In fact, Garrison notes that in 2017 research by Gartner found that 76 percent of respondents indicated that they are using DevOps in regulated situations, an increase from 47 percent in 2015.
ZeroStack rivals also are advocating transitions to software-defined data centers (SDDC). But most of those efforts involve expensive upgrades to both software running on virtual machines and the underlying infrastructure. Garrision says a private cloud approach that relies on cloud management services provides a faster, less costly, means to achieving the same goal, especially in midmarket IT organizations that don’t have access to much internal expertise to begin with. He adds that ZeroStack is committed to providing support for additional hypervisors soon.
Most IT organizations are still a long way from being able to build, deploy and manage a true private cloud at scale. Most of them have what might be more aptly described as large virtual machine farms. The operating costs associated with managing virtual machine farms will eventually push most IT organizations to some form of an SDDC platform. It’s just not clear yet what the preferred path for making that journey will be.