Going to dinner at a new restaurant with family and friends is always a bit risky. After you get a multi-page, colorful menu, someone says, “There are too many choices” or “I’ll have one of everything!” Another person might whisper to whoever’s sitting next to them, “Who’s paying for this? It looks too expensive!”
There are plenty of choices—decisions about drinks, appetizers, saving room for dessert, and of course, who picks up the bill. You’ll have to decide who’s paying or how to divide it up so everyone is happy. Some folks in the group might be finicky about what is offered and pose a lot of questions about specific items on the menu. Questions about allergies, food intolerances, and meat or plant-based options are routine for many of us who dine with folks from a range of backgrounds. Think of this with the end-users you might have to please at your organization for IT provisioning as a comparison.
Alternatively, some fine-dining establishments have what’s called a prix fixe menu so that the price is set and everyone at the table makes fewer decisions—taking part in a meal that has been curated for a specific cuisine or an occasion. If you’re paying the bill, it’s easy to plan a budget for this type of occasion. It’s a simple calculation of headcount.
Many reception planners give hosts a prix fixe option rather than pitching to them a more open-ended choice where guests can order anything. Some have an open bar while at other events you may get one or two drink tickets and a choice of pre-selected wines and beers.
IT Provisioning—Open Menu or Prix Fixe?
These dining scenarios compare to IT provisioning in many ways. First, let’s consider the multi-page, colorful menu that has many options and specials that make it difficult to decide exactly what you want. With a subscription to a public cloud provider, such as AWS, Google Cloud, or MS Azure, you log in and can go all over the place and have options for tons of IT resources as entrees or a la carte items. Let’s take a quick look at these “big menu” interfaces in the following examples and then the alternative prix fixe.
In AWS, the basic building element is an “EC2” instance, which is equivalent to a virtual server that can be configured with many of the options and settings that are shown in the following screenshot. You can navigate to many other pages of resources and information from the left and right panels as well as from the main navigation menu. This set of resources is running in the N. Virginia region—you can toggle the display to other regions depending on your security group and the access configured by an AWS administrator.
Similar to AWS, Google Cloud uses “VM Instances” as the building blocks of virtual machines with many options and steps for configuring them. To highlight a similarity between all three public cloud provider cases, they each have a Marketplace (as shown in this screenshot) so that you can deploy and configure third-party solutions. In many cases, you will pay as you go or have to purchase licensing to run these marketplace resources. It’s a convenient way to start running the resources from a Google Cloud account instead of having to do it separately.
MS Azure simply uses the term “Virtual machines” for it’s virtualized server instances as shown in the following screenshot. On one hand, you might conclude one interface looks a little more user-friendly than another. However, you won’t know until you try and, in the case of MS Azure to be fair, this looks pretty user-friendly. Once you select any of the options to get started, the complexity will be revealed. If not complexity, then multiple configuration steps that can each be confusing to an average or new user.
Having a full-featured cloud management platform, you can curate the access to these different and often complicated public cloud provider platforms. You can make it as easy or as complex as you need for each of your end-users. To make it even better across an enterprise-wide strategy of provisioning, you can set up cost control and governance of the resources using a specific plan across your hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure resources. The following screenshot shows curated blueprints for specific resources from CloudBolt.
The ability to right-fit resources with curated, prix fixe blueprints helps IT budget better and reduce the number of choices and complexity for end users who need resources without a hassle. CloudBolt provides a single platform that is secure, safeguarded, and standardized for strategic enterprise provisioning from any cloud-native provider.