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How Cloud Orchestration Tools Influence Cloud Infrastructure Design

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Partnering with a cloud orchestration platform can provide many benefits for cloud providers, and ultimately influence the way service providers build out their cloud services.

As one of the industry’s leading cloud orchestration platforms, RightScale has partnered with many cloud providers in the last few years. In doing so, RightScale has played a role in shaping the way cloud providers build their services.

Recently, cloud hosting company SoftLayer Technologies expanded on its partnership with RightScale to provide scalability and automation solutions that allow companies to speed their time to market.

SoftLayer first partnered with RightScale in September, and began offering integration with the RightScale platform in December. Since then, SoftLayer has been working on providing full integration within the RightScale management dashboard.

“SoftLayer is really about automation and provisioning for cloud instances and dedicated servers and getting the OS installed and configured, and at that point we hand off the servers to our customers to manage and build out their infrastructure,” said Marc Jones, VP of product innovation at SoftLayer Technologies. “The server templates from RightScale allows customers to layer in application stacks on those instances.”

By integrating its cloud hosting service within the RightScale management dashboard, SoftLayer is able to provide customers with scalable IT resources to meet large workloads and Internet traffic demands.

Using RightScale’s pre-built ServerTemplates, SoftLayer customers are able to boot any server from a small set of generic images and configure the server dynamically at boot time.

Cloud orchestration platforms ensure that cloud provider customers are able to manage their cloud workloads through a single customer portal and API, providing greater efficiency, control and scalability.

This allows cloud companies to more easily build and deploy their cloud services, making the process more accessible for those providers with a smaller operating budget.

“We released base ServerTemplates which is a simple instance that has connectivity back to the RightScale platform,” said Jones. “We also launched server templates for a Lampstack, phpA Server, HAProxy Load Server, Database Manager, and those are all available in the RightScale dashboard for SoftLayer instances.”

Cloud orchestration platforms like RightScale can help improve the value of a service provider’s cloud with a value-added service to differentiate its offerings, provide customers with access to best-of-breed solutions for common applications and software stacks, and combine the strengths of their cloud with an automation engine.

The feedback helps providers more effectively design and build out a cloud infrastructure platform with fully automated capabilities, such as customizable templates, scripts and architectures.

“For us it’s about having an additional application management capability on top of our infrastructure,” said Jones. “It extends the reach a bit from a customer standpoint and allows them to build a dynamic, scalable application leveraging the RightScale platform.

“And with SoftLayer, RightScale customers have the ability to build a dynamic, scalable application because of our infrastructure. But because of our data center footprint, SoftLayer services via RightScale is available from all of our cloud data centers, including Amsterdam and Singapore, and it allows customers to take advantage of private network.”

Talk Back: Are you currently integrating a cloud orchestration tool with your cloud hosting offerings? Has this partnership influenced the way you build your cloud services? Let us know in the comments.

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