The worst thing about the cloud for users tends to be the built-in policy tools that are either very expensive or too broad in scope to fit the peculiarities of any one organization.
So providers of private and public clouds have been busily buying up firms that make it easier to layer a specific set of rules and allocations over a cloudy service.
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IT giant CSC joined the gobbling spree on Wednesday by snapping up ServiceMesh, a private cloud management outfit that produces technologies for letting admins better control and add compliance to changeable cloud infrastructure.
As is de rigueur for modern cloud releases, the tinned statement from CSC's tech chief Dan Hushon was packed with buzzwords touting how ServiceMesh is "lowering the friction for companies to execute a multi-vendor hybrid cloud strategy while maintaining central governance, policy and administration."
This is in reference to ServiceMesh's ability to prioritize workloads according to costs, geographic location, and other parameters, and place these jobs on a varied number of cloud underlays, such as an on-premises system or a public cloud such as Amazon's.
The system can handle workload deployment and monitor workloads for configuration changes to send alerts back to third-party systems about changes in infrastructure. It can capture a large amount of operational information running in the cloud and feed this to other systems such as help desks or application-performance management tools.
The technology supports most of the major cloud gear running today, including: VMware vCloud Director, VMware vCenter, Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, Fujitsu, Terremark, Savvis, CSC, OpenStack, CloudStack, Rackspace, and Eucalyptus.
Unlike rival systems, such as Dell's Enstratius, or independent company Rightscale, ServiceMesh is highly customizable, though – we understand – that comes at a significant price. It has many customers in the financial services sector, which fits in with some of the key clients of its (now parent) mega-outsourcer CSC.
The buy is part of CSC's shift towards the buzzwords of the moment – cloud and big data – and follows its garbled acquisition of data analytics company InfoChimps in August. With ServiceMesh now consumed, there are very few private firms specializing in private cloud management left, aside from a mysterious perpetually stealthy company named Apcera, and Rightscale which has pegged itself fairly closely to Amazon's whopping cloud. ®