A couple years back, I always heard people talking about their cloud like some greenfield dreamworld. And then, over time, as the market matured and we all grew a little older, somehow, the word “integration” crept into people’s discussion of cloud. Integration with what? all sorts of stuff…
- Legacy infrastructure – I had no idea how popular our AIX support would be!
- Configuration Management – because a cloud service necessarily has to be configured
- CMDB – the natural derivative
- Compliance – why build a new compliance system for cloud workloads?
- Change Management – Cloud is change. One must manage it.
- and the list goes on…
Why? For obvious reasons, the world realized that there was no reason to throw out the best practices in their current environment with the bathwater of cumbersome process, slow delivery and sad users.
As an illustrative tangent – I was on a call with a few of our favorite cloud customers the other day, and across multiple time zones and a rather large ocean, they were violently agreeing that: only a fool would set up a cloud without change management and CMDB integration! It was…refreshingly entertaining.
But then, this whole topic begs the question – is it hard? Are these integrations challenging for us, as we build our cloud? I am here to say – No. They aren’t hard – not if you think of them from the start. Retrofitting them can be hard, particularly if you’ve built our cloud on the back of a stand-alone greenfield-based platform. But, if you start with a good set of requirements, you can find a cloud platform that was constructed with this in mind.
The other side of this question, of course, are the people – and the processes. Are integrating those hard? Well, they will require you to engage with all those other teams far earlier in your cloud design and build process. The team with the CMDB. The team that owns compliance, etc. But, as we’ve said before, a cloud that works for all of IT delivers the change you want – the change you need. An isolated cloud in a silo benefits no one.