ServiceNow has made it pretty easy to manage the growth and lifecycle of on premises IT assets. Having a background in on-premises IT and virtualisation, I was keen to understand how the ServiceNow SaaS approach can help bridge the gap between Public cloud and traditional on-prem environments.
A topic of growing importance for many customers is how to gain the same level of insight and control over business assets in the cloud. Many businesses are moving an increasing number of assets and application to hyper-scale cloud vendors such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure to gain agility, flexibility and to realise cost savings by eliminating physical on-prem servers.
Without efficient orchestration, a cloud-first strategy can lead to the growth in Shadow IT, leaving IT departments with little or no visibility of what is deployed in the cloud and no controls over these virtual assets. This is further exacerbated when companies have a hybrid and/or multi-cloud strategy. Virtualisation technologies such as VMware or Hyper-V make it easy to deploy new Virtual Machines (VMs) to host applications. However, when the growth in VM deployment isn’t monitored, this uncontrolled growth or ‘VM sprawl’ becomes a challenge and this approach in turn can lead to ‘cloud sprawl’ as services and application are deploy in the cloud, creating a real drain on IT management resources. Additionally, the use of homegrown or disparate cloud tools with uncoordinated approval processes or more likely the lack of them, means the gains of moving to the cloud can start to seem much less than originally hoped.
ServiceNow Cloud Management as the answer
By applying the ServiceNow Cloud Management solution,utilising role-based approval and a single system of record, customers get all the lifecycle management resources benefits for their AWS, Azure and hybrid cloud VMware environments too. Once account credentials for AWS and Azure are entered, any cloud resources deployed are discovered and added to the CMDB. Deploying an AWS Virtual machine via the Self Service portal and assigning the VM to a cost centre and business service ensures that a full audit trail of cloud resources can be maintained. This approach empowers users to rapidly build and deploy new applications but still retain corporate oversight, removing the lure of shadow IT.
Finally, ServiceNow can track Microsoft Azure usage, providing detailed billing and cost reporting. So for any IT department that wants to track cloud costs or offer a charge back model for business services it’s easy to monitor trends. This can be a powerful tool in ensure that a cloud first model delivers the promised business benefits that customers want.
I’m very impressed by the overall ease of use and flexibility of the ServiceNow Cloud Orchestration solution. It delivers a single tool for managing cloud resources from disparate providers, tracking what has been deployed in the cloud andaccurately monitoring costs.