Most enterprises have a complex digital ecosystem that’s integral to running their business. Many of them use independent software vendors (ISVs) to help with any part of their complex internal and external components. Whether it’s cost reporting to deep monitoring that requires instrumentation of specific lines of code, an ISV provides a competitive edge to the enterprise or makes an organization run more smoothly in some way.
The need for these ISVs arises because a specific market emerges such as cloud computing with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings that cannot provide all things to all users. Amazon Web Services (AWS), as both an IaaS and PaaS solution is in that position, and have created a way to have “Select” and “Advanced” partner relationships through their AWS Partner Network (APN).
The value of an ISV comes from vetting a number of competitive choices. In a sense, AWS has pre-vetted a set of ISVs through their APN program. Let’s look at a scenario where this interdependence is at work by using CloudBolt as an Advanced Technology APN partner with AWS.
Public Cloud Expansion Scenario
Suppose a medium-to-large enterprise is starting an initiative that requires up-to-date web servers that deliver digital differentiation to a fast-growing market that is very responsive to trends in customer behavior. A team of software developers need to deliver software using a continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline of updates from developing, testing, and on to production without delay.
In the past, their web servers were hosted on-premises across several data centers in specific regions where they had the most customers.
They requested infrastructure to do development from central IT and they typically were waiting several days and even weeks sometimes to get what they needed. However, recent pressure to innovate and keep up with the competition requires a faster time to value (TTV). Some of these developers suggested that provisioning directly in AWS could be faster for them but this was not going to happen overnight. They did not realize that for an enterprise to have the processes in place to get the same resources they had on-premises in the cloud would be a little more challenging.
On one hand, enterprise IT could give uncontrolled AWS access to these developers in a DevOps initiative and let them run with their provisioning with minimal oversight. On the other hand, they could be more cautious and have the IT admin teams provision resources for them in much the same way they did for on-premises, but then they would be back to square one—almost taking the same amount of time to get the resources to the end users as they did in the past.
For smaller organizations, the learning curve for a few to get good at provisioning resources might not be so bad. It might take a few months and there could be some mistakes and hold-ups along the way. The impact on a smaller set of developers as opposed to hundreds in an enterprise would be noticeable but whatever that cost is in terms of TTV might be easier to justify and sustain. In a larger organization, shaving off minutes, days, and even weeks to do anything has a huge impact.
The goal is to get the web servers for development, testing, and production faster, so that the closer to a “one-click” operation, the better. Getting to this state would be ideal for a larger enterprise and make a huge impact on their digital initiatives.
“CloudBolt a Blueprint” in AWS
One way to combat the learning curve and provide “one-click” self-service access to the web servers would be to curate the steps in AWS into a platform such as CloudBolt that automates manual entries or provisioning steps that AWS users have to follow to provision a web server.
To demonstrate the process in AWS before curating, check out the example in step two in this AWS tutorial to create an EC2 Instance and Install a Web Server.
Log in to the AWS console and navigate to EC2, and then click Launch Instance.
You will then be prompted to select and configure an AMI:
Once you’ve selected your AMI, you then select your Instance Type:
Then you can configure the settings:
Next, you will need to identify or create your own key pair:
After you launch your instance, then you must create the Apache Web Server:
Alternatively, you can “CloudBolt” a blueprint. The following image is a configured blueprint for the web developers to get started right away:
They can order it with just a few clicks:
While ordering they can see a cost preview and provide an expiration date and power schedule to make sure the resource is only on when needed and decommissioned when they are done working with it.
This blueprint includes added value that was not highlighted in step 2 of the AWS tutorial. It’s easy to add the popularly-used storage for many web servers with an S3 bucket as well as notify the enterprise or organization’s collaboration tool such as Slack using a webhook, as shown in this image.
Making it easier for the developers to get resources that are controlled by IT and delivered much faster without additional configuration steps can have a huge impact on TTV. When you CloudBolt a Web Server in AWS, you can provide access faster and make your digital initiatives go much more smoothly.