A guide for floating down the Amazon

With Amazon's rapid success in the cloud market comes increased awareness of what it can, and even more importantly, cannot do.

The success is easy to explain, with Amazon's attractive price point and ever-growing set of technical functionality. The roadblock to wider adoption is equally easy to explain:

"Businesses want a full dish to eat, while Amazon serves up ingredients and asks users to get cooking"

AWS works very well as a purely technical standalone platform, and so those were the enterprise early adopter's use cases: test and dev environments, new standalone outwards-facing web apps, and other sandboxed examples.
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The problem is that these are all use cases that remain in the lab, behind the curtain. Sometimes this technical approach can even mean that AWS is introduced surreptitiously, as part of so-called "shadow cloud".

When it comes to discussions about strategic enterprise cloud platforms, that sort of pedigree is not helpful, especially to managers who may not be deeply familiar with some of the more technical aspects of the discussion.

To become an integral part of an enterprise IT architecture, more than purely technical services are required.

Kyle Hilgendorf from Gartner says:

"I get calls all the time from enterprises that want to use AWS. They say ‘we wish that they did X, Y or Z.' They often go to an AWS partner to fix these problems."

A study by Hilgendorf and his Gartner colleagues this year concluded that AWS meets 71 percent of what enterprises need to fully embrace public cloud computing.

Luckily, Amazon has robust support through its partnership with BMC Software to fill the remaining gap and become a first-class citizen of enterprise IT.

The recently launched versions of BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management and BMC Cloud Operations Management extend their previous support of AWS to make it completely transparent to end users, offering them up a fully prepared dish with all the trimmings.

This works because behind the scenes CLM is able to take the excellent technical ingredients provided by Amazon, season them with each particular enterprise customer's requirements, and prepare them to taste so that they are ready to consume.

This approach also helps enterprises that are not sure about moving wholesale to the cloud. Many have specific requirements that are still best satisfied by using in-house infrastructure, so a management layer that provides that fabled "single pane of glass" across many different technologies, whether local or off in the public cloud, is the best option for them.

Others have done a lot of work on processes and systems for managing and monitoring their in-house systems and want to continue taking advantage of those developments as they move towards a public cloud model.

BMC CLM helps these organisations get the best of both worlds, managing on-premise IT and public cloud infrastructure in one place, with one set of processes, and with the same level of visibility and control, including of costs.

For more on how BMC can help your enterprise IT take advantage of Amazon AWS, please see the partnership page. As ever, bmc.com/cloud is your source for all things BMC and cloud. You can also find me on Twitter or just follow the #BMCcloud conversation.

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