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Texas Cloud Brokerage - A Success Story


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Texas Cloud Brokerage - A Success Story

  1. 1. CASE STUDY Gravitant Powers First Cloud Services Brokerage Portal for State of Texas AT A GLANCE THE CHALLENGE Texas State Agencies wanted a better way to plan for cloud IT services, govern procurement and contracts, control provisioning, and manage costs in the cloud. They faced issues such as vendor lock-in, VM sprawl and cost uncertainty. THE SOLUTION Gravitant’s cloudMatrix technology offered Texas the ability to stand up aOverview powerful and dynamic web-based cloud brokerage portal for government agencies to design, order, provision,Cloud computing has already established itself as an alternative to and control IT services across multiple providers.traditional IT with shorter procurement times, lower cost and greateragility for both private enterprise and government IT needs. However, THE RESULTusers find that it is difficult to onboard and manage this new evolving Texas State Agencies were able to simulate cross provider provisioningand rapidly changing technology. and estimate cost prior to deployment. The portal alsoTexas State Agencies wanted to use cloud services but needed an allowed Agencies to establisheffective way to plan for cloud IT services, control provisioning, and complete command and control intomanage costs in the cloud. Texas State Agencies required a solution their cloud IT. Gravitant’s cloudthat aggregates services from multiple providers, integrates into brokerage solution therefore maximized the opportunity forexisting technologies, enforced audit and approvals, managed costs, Agencies to leverage cloudand could be customized for each instance – in other words, they computing to improve governmentneeded a cloud services brokerage solution efficiency. (512) 535 - 7399
  2. 2. THE CHALLENGEA common lament from CIOs is that IT is often “…characterized by low asset utilization, fragmented demand forresources, difficult to manage environments, long procurement cycles, and a decreasing IT budget.” Similar challenges arisewith cloud services and make it difficult for customers to realize the full capabilities and advantages of cloud technology.With thousands of different cloud service providers with different offerings and pricing models, customers have adifficult time selecting the cloud service provider and an offering that best meets their needs. The contractual solution, andoften times the optimal solution, may require mixing and matching of services from multiple cloud providers, but theresulting billing situation with multiple bills from different providers is a nightmare. “Every Cloud Provider is different, and we don’t know who to pick or how much it would cost ahead of time” - IT Director, Texas State GovernmentThe Texas State Agencies wanted to spin up resources on demand and spin them back down when needed. But differentterminology, standards and technology across providers creates inefficiency. Network and security settings needed to beidentified and configured per provider. Furthermore, the lack of automation with many cloud providers adds extra andoften unknown manual processes to provision resources.Also, the cloud providers did not offer any solution for Agencies to track how much resources have been utilized by eachapplication and apportion the bill accordingly. This level of transparency is needed for chargeback as well as SLAcompliance, cost and resources control and to ensure that ever-changing IT demands are being met.All of this made it a challenge for the CIO’s office to maintain visibility and control over IT spend. What the CIO’s officeneeded was a solution that aggregated services from multiple IT providers, could easily integrate into the existingtechnologies, and could be customized for each instance. In other words, Texas Agencies were in need of a cloud brokerage.THE SOLUTIONThrough the Pilot Texas Cloud Offering initiative, sponsored and created by the Texas Department of Information Resources,Gravitant instantiated a powerful and dynamic web-based cloud brokerage portal called the Texas Cloud Services Portal(TCSP). This portal runs on Gravitant’s innovative cloudMatrix CSB Platform and enables Agencies to design, order, provision& control IT services (public, private, and hybrid) across providers.Portal Capabilities  Wizard based tools for screening applications ripe for the cloud, identifying target cloud infrastructures, estimating capacity required on the cloud, comparing provider prices side-by-side, creating a migration roadmap, and finally evaluating the ROI of cloud migration.  Single view for designing application architectures in the cloud, assigning portions of the architecture to different cloud providers, automatically provisioning the entire architecture simultaneously, and cost estimation.  Dashboards for consolidated billing, utilization monitoring, and security monitoring.  Command and control screens for; provisioning authorization control, workflow orchestration, and provider compliance evaluation. (512) 535 - 7399
  3. 3. State of Texas Implementation At the center lies the cloud services broker platform – cloudMatrix - which integrates cloud services from public, private, and hybrid clouds as well as managed services and migration services. Above cloudMatrix lies the cloud management services fabric that allows for auto provisioning, consolidated billing, chargeback, command and control, and governance. These management services were critical for successful adoption of this portal in the government sector. All of this is exposed to the consumers through the Texas Cloud Services Portal which is accessible through the web in the form of SaaS. The participating agencies included: Texas Secretary of State, Texas Water Development Board, Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas Department of Information Resources.THE RESULTThe TCSP portal allowed the agencies to get hands on experience with cloud architecture design, sourcing, provisioning, monitoring,and billing. Agencies were also able to get their legal and financial groups involved in the procurement process through the portal’suser administration and access control capabilities. There are currently 18 Virtual Data Centers provisioned through the portal acrossAmazon, Savvis, Terremark, and Vintage IT Services.The success of the TCSP solution was expressed in public at the 2012 Texas Association of State Systems for Computing andCommunications (TASSCC) conference. A panel of speakers representing the different participating Texas agencies as well as Gravitantwas organized to describe the cloud experience and provide future recommendations for federal government as well as other stateagencies.The pilot program has been extended through 2013 in an effort to accommodate more agencies. The Texas Department of InformationResources has published a lessons learned document as a result of the combined shared experiences of these Agencies as well. “We have seen the agility of the cloud first hand. Using the cloud brokerage portal from Gravitant, we instantiated the Texas Voters Registration application and launched it in just 2 DAYS. That was a great proof point for us.” - Information Security Officer, Texas State GovernmentA B O U T G R AV I TA N TFounded by innovative executives with over five decades of combined experience in EnterpriseIT management, operations research, advanced analytics, and service -oriented architectures (SOA), Gravitantoffers next-generation on-demand cloud broker and management applications for enterprise IT organizations.For more information visit us at WWW.GRAVITANT.COM (512) 535 - 7399