IT manager illustrating allocation of cloud network resources

CloudBolt puts multiple cloud and IT resources into a unified view

Agencies adopting a single or multiple cloud strategy need a unified view of all their assets to let IT managers order services and effectively control their resource consumption, usage and waste. 

CloudBolt Software, a year-old startup company, is addressing this emerging demand with a cloud manager designed to speed up the delivery of private and hybrid clouds that include configurable options for on-demand, self-service capabilities. At the same time, CloudBolt Command and Control (C2) lets IT managers identify, track and control IT resources and manage software licenses.

CloudBolt C2 is the cloud manager used in the recently announced Dell Cloud for U.S. Government, providing automated workflow, provisioning, rapid scalability and metered pricing for organizations to become their own cloud provider, said Justin Nemmers, CloudBolt’s vice president of marketing.  

The Dell cloud offers agencies a variety of options to create on-premise, dedicated private and hybrid clouds as well as secure, multitenant cloud environments, according to Dell officials. Its infrastructure also meets the security and compliance requirements of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) as well as those outlined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53 and the Defense Department 8500 guidelines.

The Dell solution required a powerful cloud manager that offers an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, as well as one that could easily support single and multitenant environments, Nemmers said. For example, a user could order 16 servers on demand into a single, dedicated or multitenant cloud environment in a way that matches an agency’s required security controls.

The cloud manager accomplishes tasks such as automated provisioning and resource management by tapping into six different resource types including:

  • Hypervisors such as VMware, KVM, and Citrix XenServer
  • Cloud frameworks such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and Openstack
  • Physical hardware
  • Provisioning engines, data center automation and configuration management tools
  • Network virtualization technology
  • Storage managers

All of these IT resources can be viewed through a single pane via a self-service portal, Nemmers said.  CloudBolt C2 is delivered as a virtual appliance template — with its own operating system — that is easily imported into an existing virtualization manager such as VMware, Nemmers said.  The administrator is then walked through a set of 10 to 12 simple questions.  Afterwards, the C2 install wizard can discover and import information about a user’s specified virtualization environment. CloudBolt C2 will import existing virtual machines, templates and networks. IT administrators and users both log into the same, Web-based interface. C2 adjusts what options are available based on the user’s role and permissions, Nemmers said.

Nemmers demonstrated how IT administrators could easily set up groups or environments and customize the provisioning order form to match a business user’s expectations and requirements. For instance, a stock division in a financial institution might have been allocated 200 servers, but then the user can delegate servers to another group such as the yields or bond divisions. IT administrators, though, have visibility into every aspect of resource consumption including server count, software license installations and resource costs. They also can generate reports on nearly any aspect of the IT environment.

The State of Wyoming used CloudBolt C2 to save money and increase availability by building a private cloud and unifying multiple data centers across the state.

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