For the past decade, information technology and cloud computing vendors have increasingly pushed the virtualization and abstraction of every possible part of IT infrastructure further and further, turning what used to be things you bought and paid for into services that you subscribe to. First there was software as a service, and then compute and infrastructure as a service, then platforms as a service, and now even storage and databases as a service. The “private cloud” brought the same models into enterprise data centers. And the “hybrid cloud” blew the data center walls out and mixed everything together. But managing each decoupled element of this brave new world of randomly distributed infrastructure has become increasingly complex. Arguably, it hasn’t really changed the business of running enterprise IT as much as it has made things complex in new ways.
But what if there was an “as a service” to fix that, too?
Today’s leading edge of enterprise IT pushes further toward automated deployment of everything from bare-metal servers to “containerized” workloads, juggling the networking and storage and system-management support through one portal or another, even internally, and cloud providers have started to drop not-so-little outposts of their infrastructure into their biggest customers’ data centers. Even the definition of “cloud” versus “on-premises” has gotten foggy, thanks to such private cloud options as Microsoft’s Azure Stack, Google’s Anthos, and Amazon’s upcoming Outposts that let enterprise clients move cloud resources back into local data centers.