The vast majority of companies rely on multiple types of IT infrastructure to do business. They use public cloud providers, like AWS and Azure. They use their own on-premises IT, too, whether it’s traditional “bare metal” infrastructure or their own private clouds.

This hybrid of on-premises and public cloud usage is becoming the norm – but with it, comes a whole new range of IT and management challenges.

  • Shadow IT

it’s so time-consuming for IT to provision compute and storage to employees, using traditional IT infrastructure – and so easy for employees to get the resources they need from public cloud providers – that they often circumvent official IT policy and use public cloud without the knowledge of the IT department.

Many companies run important – sometimes critical – workloads in public clouds that IT has no knowledge of. This ‘shadow IT’ causes serious security, management and cost control issues.

  • Governance

Assuming you have a way to control access to multiple cloud infrastructure types, how do you manage user access? Can you automate the approval process for individual users, or departments?

  • Cost control

Assuming you can control access to different cloud resources, do you also have a way to report on how much resource each user or department is consuming – and how much they’re spending on third party cloud providers?

  • Single view

Assuming you’ve cracked the first three problems, can you actually integrate access to the different cloud infrastructure resources you need? Managing multiple different accounts and logins for each type of resource isn’t just time-consuming and annoying: it means you have no single view of all of the infrastructure types your company needs.

  • Workload placement

Without that single view, how can you make best use of your own infrastructure, or third party providers? Public cloud will suit certain workloads, but not workloads that need to reside in a specific location because of data sovereignty or compliance issues.

Public cloud may offer additional scale, but equally you may have unused capacity in your own datacenters that would cost less to use. Public cloud may introduce unwanted latency, or offer access to a location much closer to your target users. Having one view of everything helps you make informed decisions about workload placement.

Addressing each of these problems has given rise to the need for a new kind of cloud management platform. The old approaches to cloud management are no longer sufficient: companies cannot be locked into a single vendor or single virtualization type. Nor can they depend on a multitude of private cloud and public cloud management tools.

OnApp has been solving this problem for years in the public cloud service provider market – helping cloud providers gain a single view of their distributed infrastructure, and providing unified access to remote third party datacenters through a single user interface.

Now OnAppis bringing this approach to enterprise private cloud, too – giving companies a single way to manage one or more private clouds, in their own datacenters, with third party public cloud resources, in one integrated, turnkey HCI (hyper-converged infrastructure) appliance.

With this unified control of all types of infrastructure – not just cloud, but containers, and bare metal too – companies are much better placed to make smarter, more cost-effective use of the IT resources available to them.