I recently had the chance to communicate with Eli Feldman,Vice President, Cloud Solutions and Services at EPAM Systems about his organization's use of Nimbula. Here is a summary of what Eli had to say.
Please introduce yourself and your organization
EPAM is a leading software engineering outsourcing company with development centers in Central and Eastern Europe. The company's main focus on being the highest quality provider of software development, testing and integration services. EPAM is the largest testing andSupport Organizations in the region. The company positions itself as the Software Services Provider “of choice” to world's top software companies. Over the life of the company, it has developed a significant Track Record in Cloud, SaaS, Re-engineering, and High-Volume, Low-latency Scalable Applications.
I'm Eli Feldman and am Vice President, Cloud Solutions and Services at EPAM Systems. I'm responsible for driving the company’s Cloud vision, which is to enable EPAM’s clients to leverage Cloud Computing enveloped with application development, maintenance and support services. We hope to improve innovation, reduce time to market and offer the ability to support global dynamic marketplace.
What are you doing that needed technology of this type?
EPAM is a Value Added Service provider. The company provides cloud services to our clients as part of end to end technology strategy. EPAM delivers complete solutions as a service. The goal is enabling continuous delivery of client solutions in an elastic, multi-tenant development and testing environment. We offer services such as Cloud testing (Testing as a Service, especially for high volume scenarios), Cloud consulting and assessment and Private cloud implementation.
We view cloud computing as a game changer in IT in terms of business process and value. In our view cloud computing is about abstracting underlying technology and its components, automating provisioning and availability of ALL building blocks and leveling the playing field to allow any application to use as much technology and resources as it requires anywhere and at any given time. And it is not about public vs. private, as most things cannot be painted black or white, but rather as shades of gray. And most of our clients are likely to rely on federated solutions for decades to come.
What products did you consider before making a selection?
Given the above, technologies and products are actually limiting factors, but nonetheless essential to enable the business value that cloud computing offers. Historically, EPAM had deep expertise in virtualization technologies. This included extensive internal use, implementation and support for clients and taking part in developing some of the solutions. But when it comes to cloud computing, virtualization is at best only one of the ingredients.
The layers of automation, orchestrations, scalability and standardization required, as well as cost components are the primary drivers. So we looked at the solutions available from virtualization vendors, these were, unsurprisingly, repackaged virtualization. We also looked at the early players in private cloud space. These were either too far away from prime time or lacked resiliency and other core features. Surprisingly, most solutions did not offer any multi-tenancy. (This was about a year ago, some of the vendors and solutions evolved since).
Why did you select this product?
EPAM's main decision points were the following (in order of importance):
- Multi-tenancy – fully automated and high performance distributed firewall
- Usage metering – capturing usage of all resources
- Distributed control plane – highly available and scalable
- Federation (including distributed management of multiple Nimbula sites, and federation to third-party clouds)
- Granular permissioning – ability to designate roles within tenants
Nimbula offered other important features including:
- Distributed NAT services
- Block storage services
- Deployment plans and versioning – ability to manage deployments as fully defined infrastructure and not individual instances.
What tangible benefits have you received through the use of this product?
A very tangible benefit is that now we can deliver complete solutions in fraction of the deployment time than was required for enterprise IT organizations and at greater quality.
We also created a complete continuous delivery process and framework that can be utilized by any project. This allows defining all aspects of solutions’ infrastructures, including compute, storage, networking, application layout and deployment at project inception as part of architecture phases. And continuously update and test it during development with consistent staging and versioning.
What advice would you offer to others facing similar challenges?
There is a lot of “clouds” buzz out there - focus on business value that cloud computing offers YOU. Remember that automation on all layers of your technology stack is a key. Infrastructure automation is just the first step. Keep in mind which which problems you’re trying to solve with cloud computing.
Not every software implementation fits standard cloud computing paradigms; many applications need to be optimized/redesigned for cloud computing. So, federation is a key consideration. Also remember that processes need to adapt to the new way.