Why is a cloud-native strategy important?
A cloud-native strategy allows an organization to realize business benefits through the use of public, private and hybrid cloud resources. Cloud resources can be used in different ways to achieve varying business objectives, including: reducing infrastructure costs, achieving faster application updates, and meeting data location requirements. An organization must craft a cloud-native strategy that meets their specific business requirements. Since HCL Software supplies the enterprise software that many organizations use for their business applications, it is important for us to have a cloud-native strategy that, in turn, supports the cloud-native strategies that benefit our customers.
What are the biggest challenges facing customers today moving towards cloud native?
The biggest challenges that I see for our customers are limited cloud-native skills, enterprise software that is only available in selected clouds, and the ability to make choices that don’t lock them in to a single cloud vendor.
Our customers are highly skilled in the administration of our software, but most are just getting started with cloud-native technologies. We can help by making it easy to get started with our products in containers and Kubernetes, and by integrating technologies that are mainstream in the cloud-native world and already proven for large-scale production use.
Many large software vendors have strong associations with particular cloud vendors, so using their software ties you to that cloud. This can restrict freedom of choice of both software and cloud vendors, and can make migration very difficult. As workloads move to the cloud and the characteristics and costs of different clouds become better understood, many users want the ability to move to a different cloud vendor, or to spread workloads across multiple clouds. It is important that we enable this flexibility for our users.
What is HCL Software’s cloud native approach?
Our cloud-native strategy combines a technical platform rooted in the most widely adopted cloud-native technologies, with the choice and flexibility, that allow each of our customers to adopt cloud native in a way that best meets their own specific business objectives.
Our technology choices are guided by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s definition of cloud native. We enable our software with core cloud-native technologies: containers with Kubernetes orchestration and Helm packaging. Request routing, access control and monitoring are provided by broadly adopted open source solutions: Ambassador, Keycloak, Prometheus and Grafana. A dashboard application provides consistent access to the underlying Kubernetes resources, product log files and more, making it easy to get started with Kubernetes regardless of which cloud provider is used. We develop and deliver our offerings using cloud-native practices, including dev/ops and CI/CD, so evolving our software into a rapidly-delivered, cloud-ready portfolio of products with consistent install, monitoring and update characteristics.
How does cloud native compare to single-tenant, multi-tenant and cloud architectures?
HCL Software’s cloud-native offerings leave our customers in full control with choice and flexibility. Our software can be installed on any Kubernetes environment, in the customer’s data center or in their public cloud account.
How is it different from other cloud-native offerings in the marketplace today?
Most cloud-native offerings tie the customer in to a specific cloud vendor. Our cloud-native strategy is unique among major enterprise software vendors in being completely cloud agnostic. Our cloud-native capabilities depend only on Kubernetes, with no cloud vendor lock-in. This leaves our customers free to run our software on any cloud, public or private. This flexibility allows easy migration across cloud providers, to quickly benefit from lower costs, to meet requirements from individual end users, to implement a multi-cloud strategy and to satisfy many other motivations.
How does HCL Software help customers adopt cloud native?
SoFy is the HCL Software cloud-native platform that helps our customers adopt cloud native quickly and easily. SoFy is a catalog of enterprise software products in a cloud-native form factor, running in containers which are installed with Helm and orchestrated by Kubernetes, with a common set of services to monitor and manage them. One or more products can be selected and deployed in minutes into the Kubernetes environment of choice. When our existing customers get their hands on SoFy and see that the products they’ve been working with for years really can be installed into Kubernetes and start running in minutes, the typical reaction we receive is, “Wow!”
Helm provides installation and upgrade, while Kubernetes orchestrates scaling and failover. SoFy common services utilize proven open source components to add monitoring, access control and simplified access to Kubernetes resources with a consistent experience across all cloud environments, thus simplifying the administration of software across different clouds.
Customers can run these SoFy solutions in their own Kubernetes environment, which can be hosted by a public cloud provider, or running in their own data center. Prerequisites are minimal (Kubernetes and cert-manager) so you can have any of our software installed and running in under an hour.
Is SoFy available to anyone (or just HCL product customers)?
SoFy is available to all HCL Software customers and business partners.
How does a customer get started? Any cost?
Go to hclsofy.com and request access to get started today! There is no additional cost to use SoFy. We even provide a free Kubernetes sandbox where you can try out all of our enterprise software products running in Kubernetes. Once you’re ready to get serious, you can download the Helm installation package and run your software in your own Kubernetes environment using your existing software licenses – the SoFy common services come for free! Our guides will walk you through how to do this in a free Google Cloud Platform trial account if you don’t already have access to a Kubernetes environment.