Cirba - stick that app where it's needed

Profile picture for user mbanks By Martin Banks May 7, 2015
Cirba's technology additions are interesting, but the flexibility they give users are central to making cloud services function without users noticing.

If there is one criticism that can be levelled at Canadian-based Cirba it is the standard one that applies to most vendors these days: missing the point of what they are really selling.

Such companies love their technology, tending to talk at some length about the foot-long, ultra-high tensile steel bolt and nut combination they make, while missing the point that its job of successfully holding the wings on aeroplanes is actually that is of much more interest to most people.

The real story here, for example, is that Cirba has come up with a software-defined cloud services capacity management system that can manage resource provision for applications running in multiple, different environments, and in different geographies.

The technology part of this is based around the fact that the company has added full support for the KVM hypervisor.

This now joins the company's existing coverage of VMware ESX, IBM's PowerVM, Microsoft's Hyper-V and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation, which means it is able to cover all the leading hypervisor environments used it business.

The only possible exception to its coverage is the Xen hypervisor, but the company states that there it no noticeable demand for that in its target corporate marketplace.

Enough of the technology!

But that's enough technology. What this means for users, especially as cloud services spread and scale up, is that it can apply capacity allocation planning and management to the most appropriate resources regardless of the technology environment, geographic location or compliance and governance regimes in place.

That spread of cloud services is going to drive a huge demand for ever-increasing flexibility for where applications and services can be run or need to be run. The traditional model of them being run in fixed locations, even if that is just a designated datacentre, will need to give way to applications being moved around to meet a wide range of operational requirements.

For example, some businesses will have a requirement to run an application in a specific location for a specific purpose. This could be running it in a designated geographic location to meet compliance or governance requirements laid upon a specific customer, such as meeting data sovereignty regulations or matching detailed security requirements.

no technology
Say's it all

Being able to move the application to an appropriate datacenter, indeed to specific resources pre-configured to its needs, will offer businesses such as cloud service providers, the benefit of cost and resource management by switching applications in and out of appropriate resources as and when it fits operational and budgetary requirements.

Their customers will also have the benefit of cost savings by having their applications running in environments that best match their budget, service level and compliance requirements.

This process is then enhanced by using Cirba's predictive analytics, which can manage the allocation process based on the current availability of resources, the terms and policies set out in the customer's SLA, and the timing of the request coming from the Cirba Control Console.

This type of agility is only going to be required more regularly as the lifecycles and utilisation cycles of applications shorten. The DevOpps move towards continuous delivery of software will push applications to be created, consumed for a short period of time for a specific purpose, and then killed off. Other applications may be more long-lived, but will need to be switched in and out of use as and when needed.

The ability to manage such processes will be key to making best use of datacentre resources, including having useful by-products such reducing unnecessary energy consumption.

My take

The ability to move applications and services to environment that best suit all their requirements, and predict when those moves will be needed, is going to be increasingly important, and is the real point of the story.