5 Key Service Capabilities for Cloud Providers
September 21, 2011
Steve Harriman
Share this

Service providers have been running their operations like a cloud for years, with infrastructure managed as shared resources, multitenancy, chargeback based upon resource usage and more. This makes them well-positioned to make the transition to cloud and take advantage of a golden opportunity to offer differentiated services and increase revenue.

However, recent survey results suggest that users of public cloud lack confidence in the service provider industry to adequately monitor and manage their resources in the cloud. Of more than 100 IT directors and above in North America surveyed, 79 percent indicated they are running some production applications in the cloud, but only 17 percent expect to rely solely on their cloud service provider to provide performance metrics.

Service providers who are making the transition to cloud services or already offer them need to not only deploy the right processes and technologies for monitoring and management, but also be transparent with customers about the quality of service and insight they are able to deliver as a result.

The following are five key capabilities and offerings that help successful cloud service providers deliver the highest quality service, provide customers insight into usage and performance, and increase revenue. These resources ensure expectations are set and met, and that customers have the utmost confidence in the service provider’s cloud management capabilities.

1. Centralized Management

Service providers need tools that enable them to manage their traditional and cloud infrastructures as one entity. The ability to consolidate critical IT operations and dynamic cloud management functions such as performance, fault, availability, service desk, automation and event management is critical to delivering high-quality services across distributed resources. Having a consistent, correlated set of metrics across both on-premises and cloud infrastructures speeds troubleshooting. It also simplifies and optimizes management workflows and minimizes integration work to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

2. Service-Level Management with Integrated Events, Notification Workflow and Ticketing

Centralized management supports the ability to set more effective and consistent policies for events, alerts, notifications, escalation paths, IT ticketing and problem resolution workflow to ensure fast troubleshooting and consistent service delivery. It also facilitates proactive service-level management as defined by each customer’s SLAs to ensure both service provider and customer are on the same page. Service providers can also include customers in notification and escalation policies so they receive automatically designated alerts and messages that can be used for on-demand customer upgrades.

3. Customer Self-Service Portals

Service providers are offering customers their own web-based portals for views into system and application availability and performance. With multi-tenant views to see each customer’s data separately, service providers can give each customer secure views into their own data. Giving customers views into the same data they use – such as service levels and availability, performance levels, ticket queues and bandwidth usage for billing and analysis – enables service providers to be more responsive and efficient as well as quickly add revenue-generating services across virtual and cloud resources.

4. Automated Provisioning

Customer expectations of cloud service quality require a heightened level of speed and scale on top of traditional service provider operations, making automation essential. This includes the ability to provision service monitoring automatically. Successful cloud service providers are adding automation into their customer self-service portals, so that the setup of new management services can be done without requiring human intervention.

5. Bandwidth Reports and Billing Calculation

Successful cloud providers also generate standardized and customizable reports on bandwidth usage and availability per customer to ensure complete visibility into cloud deployments. This includes the use of built-in reporting tools to perform automated billing calculations according to each customer’s actual usage and billing terms.

In a world where end users expect always-on, on-demand cloud services, just deploying the infrastructure is not enough. For cloud adoption to increase, enterprise customers with critical business applications need to have faith that their service providers deliver secure, high-quality services and transparency into service levels. While not an exhaustive list, using these five cloud management technologies and service offerings – and clearly communicating the value – will help boost service levels and give customers an increased level of confidence in cloud computing. This will better enable service providers to take advantage of the massive opportunities cloud computing brings and capture more market share.

About Steve Harriman

Steve Harriman is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for ScienceLogic. For more than twenty years, Harriman has led technology marketing in startups, privately-held mid-sized ventures and publicly traded corporations. Before joining ScienceLogic, he spent five years as Senior Vice President of Marketing at NetQoS . Prior to NetQoS, Steve worked for Sterling Software and Candle Corporation. Harriman began his career in data center operations and systems programming, working in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States.

Related Links:


Share this

The Latest

September 25, 2020

Michael Olson on the AI+ITOPS Podcast: "I really see AIOps as being a core requirement for observability because it ... applies intelligence to your telemetry data and your incident data ... to potentially predict problems before they happen."

September 24, 2020

Enterprise ITOM and ITSM teams have been welcoming of AIOps, believing that it has the potential to deliver great value to them as their IT environments become more distributed, hybrid and complex. Not so with DevOps teams. It's safe to say they've kept AIOps at arm's length, because they don't think it's relevant nor useful for what they do. Instead, to manage the software code they develop and deploy, they've focused on observability ...

September 23, 2020

The post-pandemic environment has resulted in a major shift on where SREs will be located, with nearly 50% of SREs believing they will be working remotely post COVID-19, as compared to only 19% prior to the pandemic, according to the 2020 SRE Survey Report from Catchpoint and the DevOps Institute ...

September 22, 2020

All application traffic travels across the network. While application performance management tools can offer insight into how critical applications are functioning, they do not provide visibility into the broader network environment. In order to optimize application performance, you need a few key capabilities. Let's explore three steps that can help NetOps teams better support the critical applications upon which your business depends ...

September 21, 2020

In Episode 8, Michael Olson, Director of Product Marketing at New Relic, joins the AI+ITOPS Podcast to discuss how AIOps provides real benefits to IT teams ...

September 18, 2020

Will Cappelli on the AI+ITOPS Podcast: "I'll predict that in 5 years time, APM as we know it will have been completely mutated into an observability plus dynamic analytics capability."

September 17, 2020
One of the benefits of doing the EMA Radar Report: AIOps- A Guide for Investing in Innovation was getting data from all 17 vendors on critical areas ranging from deployment and adoption challenges, to cost and pricing, to architectural and functionality insights across everything from heuristics, to automation, and data assimilation ...
September 16, 2020

When you consider that the average end-user interacts with at least 8 applications, then think about how important those applications are in the overall success of the business and how often the interface between the application and the hardware needs to be updated, it's a potential minefield for business operations. Any single update could explode in your face at any time ...

September 15, 2020

Despite the efforts in modernizing and building a robust infrastructure, IT teams routinely deal with the application, database, hardware, or software outages that can last from a few minutes to several days. These types of incidents can cause financial losses to businesses and damage its reputation ...

September 14, 2020

In Episode 7, Will Cappelli, Field CTO of Moogsoft and Former Gartner Research VP, joins the AI+ITOPS Podcast to discuss the future of APM, AIOps and Observability ...