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Unisys unveils cloud mangagement services

Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service | March 23, 2011
Unisys is packaging together existing and a few new consulting and management services in order to help enterprises better manage various cloud implementations.

Once it helps an enterprise determine which applications it wants to move to which type of cloud, Unisys will then help the enterprise closely examine which cloud vendors to use.

"We have a little bit of a 'slow down' mentality here," Treadway said. Many enterprises are not adequately evaluating the cloud services on offer in order to make the best decision about vendors, he said.

While there are 30 or more cloud services vendors out there, many enterprises are "fixated on the top level," he said. They tend to look at the management tools and processes layer. But they should make sure they know about important factors of the cloud service such as the storage model, network performance, security of workloads, how the vendor handles isolation of applications, and whether the way the provider breaks out financial charges matches the way the enterprise charges business units.

"If you don't know how the cloud was built, how do you know your application will run correctly on it?" he said.

Some service providers are more transparent than others, he said. For example, companies such as Unisys and Savvis are relatively transparent, while others such as Amazon are more of a challenge to find out details about, he said. "I'm not saying Amazon should change. It's just important to know as much as you can. If there's an application for which not having that knowledge is not critical, feel free to put that application over there," he said.

The final component that Unisys wants to help customers with is managing the various applications that may be running in a variety of environments. Many enterprises may be running a handful of disconnected tools for monitoring and managing services. "It means there's a risk that things will fall through the cracks, either operationally or from a security perspective," he said.

 

Unisys can't offer one product that can connect all of those into a single portal -- no one could, Treadway said. However, it can help customers reduce the number of management tools they use and integrate them into a single framework that makes management more straightforward, he said.

Customers that go through the analysis process with Unisys will participate in a series of workshops and will receive an operations document that proposes how the enterprise should move applications into the cloud. The cost of the process will vary.

It's not a quick process, Treadway warned. "This is so 180 degrees from the cloud-in-a-box approach," he said, referring to offers from some cloud vendors to help customers move to the cloud in 30 days or so. "Typically, that won't be sustainable."

 

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