With all the pressure on the IT organization for an enterprise, it’s a surprise anybody wants the job. You’re not just responsible for making sure that everything is running smoothly, and that nobody is stealing all of your customer data, and that developers can do their jobs.  Is it any wonder there’s a shortage of qualified professionals on the market?

What’s more, you need to do all that while you’re also responsible for helping your company innovate. Unfortunately, you may be spending way too much time simply trying to keep track of where all of your company workloads are–much less that they’re properly secured–as developers use public clouds to get resources such as virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters, and storage on demand.

Or maybe you’ve conquered that problem by ensuring that they can get everything that they need from inside your organization, with your own internal cloud platform.  If you’ve done this right, developers can get all sorts of resources on demand, from Kubernetes clusters to Ceph (or other storage) clusters to database clusters. If a developer feels they need a medium sized kubernetes cluster with 500GB or high speed storage and a highly available database, they can go to a web UI under your control and request it.

In other words, you’ve become a cloud service provider.

But you know what? These days you’re thinking that maybe there was a reason those cloud service providers charge so much. This is hard! There are just so many moving pieces to keep track of and keep running, that’s all you and your team seem to be doing these days. Hardware needs to be monitored for potential failures and replaced–hopefully BEFORE it impacts running jobs, networks need to be continually secured, and somebody needs to ensure that those storage clusters don’t fill up.

So much for innovation!  Sure, setting all of that up was interesting, but does it really move the needle for your company?  No, you need to be spending your time helping your teams write better applications that serve your customers. Maybe that developer really needs a small Kubernetes cluster and 100GB or standard storage, to conserve resources–or maybe they need a large cluster and 1TB of storage so that the application is performant. Or maybe Kubernetes isn’t even the right choice for them in the first place!

And every hour you spend tracking down a failing server is an hour you’re not helping create better applications.  Unfortunately, you can’t even beef up your staff because it’s so hard to find people with the right skills.

Here at Mirantis, we like to focus on outcomes, we’ve found the best way to do that is to figure out your bottlenecks–the things that are holding you back–and do what you need to do to eliminate them. For our customers, we find that while moving to cloud certainly makes a huge difference in what they can accomplish, it brings with it its own challenges.

But what if you could eliminate those challenges? What if you knew that there was a combination of intelligent automation and experts who were keeping an eye on your infrastructure, proactively monitoring your platform to prevent issues from impacting your users? What could you do with all that extra time?

That’s what ZeroOps is all about. ZeroOps combines targeted cloud native automation and cloud native expertise to provide an as–a-service experience through managed services in partnership with an organization’s existing operations, enabling frictionless go-to-market with greater reliability and security.

It’s a combination of:

  • Self-Service through Automation, in which the tools and resources your developers need are available through the API, on the command line, or through the web interface. As the first step to ZeroOps, you need to ensure you’re not manually creating clusters and hypervisors so your developers can do their jobs.
  • A balance of targeted automation and cloud native expertise to work with you to make sure your platform is what it needs to be, providing all of the services your people need, and built properly rather than stitched together ad hoc like a well-intentioned Frankenstein’s monster.
  • Access to a global talent pool so that you always have someone available, no matter the time of day. Imagine actually being able to take a day off without worrying that everything was going to come to a screeching halt.. You could even go on vacation once in a while!
  • Support for “Shift Left” operations, in which your developers handle more of the security, testing, and infrastructure decisions for their applications, and earlier in the process, so that they both build better applications and understand the implications of what they’re doing.
  • Enabling of “Shift Right”, a newer set of practices for observing and testing the behavior and performance of systems already delivered in production so your customers have a better experience.  Never have your biggest client call you with a complaint about a downed system again.
  • A mature approach to implementing automation that takes advantage of the APIs and analytics involved but recognizes that humans are still required for many more complex tasks. Just about everything today has an API that makes it available for analysis and automation, but that doesn’t mean you let the AIs run wild–as a seasoned professional yourself, you know they’re not yet mature enough to make every decision.

ZeroOps isn’t just another name for outsourcing or No-Ops; it’s a way for you augment yourself and your organization so you can stop doing all of those things that aren’t the best use of your time, and instead do all of those things that you know, deep in your heart, can really make a difference.

Nick Chase, Director of Technical and Marketing Content, Mirantis

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