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2023 Blog, SWB Blog, Blog, Featured, Feature Blog

While there is rapid momentum for every enterprise in the world in consuming more Cloud Assets and Services, there is still lack of maturity in adopting an “Automation-First” approach to establish Self-Service models for Cloud consumptions due to fear of uncontrolled costs, security & governance risks and lack of standardized Service Catalogs of pre-approved Assets & Service Requests from Central IT groups. Lack of delegation and self-service has a direct impact on speed of innovation and productivity with higher operations costs.

Working closely with AWS Partnership we have now created a flexible platform for driving faster adoption of Self-Service Cloud Portals. The primary needs for such a Self-Service Cloud Portal are the following.

  • Adherence to Enterprise IT Standards
    • Common architecture
    • Governance and Cost Management
    • Deployment and license management
    • Identity and access management
  • Common Integration Architecture with existing platforms on ITSM and Cloud
    • Support for ServiceNow, Jira, Freshservice and Standard Cloud platforms like AWS
  • Ability to add specific custom functionality in the context of Enterprise Business needs
    • The flexibility to add business specific functionality is key to unlocking the power of self-service models outside the standard interfaces already provided by ITSM and Cloud platforms

A common way of identifying the need for a Self-Service Cloud portal is based on following needs.

  • Does your enterprise already have any Self-Service Portals?
  • Do you have a large user base internally or with external users requiring access to Cloud resources?
  • Does your internal IT have the bandwidth and expertise to manage current workloads without impacting end user response time expectations?
  • Does your enterprise have a proper security governance model for Cloud management?
  • Are there significant productivity gains by empowering end users with Self-Service models?

Working with AWS partnership and with our existing customer we see a growing need for Self-Service Cloud Portals in 2020 predominantly centred around two models.

  • Enterprises with existing ITSM investments and need to leverage that for extending to Cloud Management
  • Enterprises extending needs outside enterprise users with custom Cloud Portals

The roadmap to Self-Service Cloud portals is specific to every enterprise needs and needs to leverage the existing adoption and maturity of Cloud and ITSM platforms as explained below. With Relevance Lab RLCatalyst products we help enterprises achieve the maturity in a cost effective and expedited manner.


Examples of Self-Service Cloud Portals



Standard Needs Platform Benefits
Look-n-Feel of Modern Self-Service Portals Professional and responsive UI Design with multiple themes available, customizations allowed
Standards based Architecture & Governance Tightly Built On AWS products and AWS Well Architected with pre-built Reference Architecture based Products
Pre-built Minimum Viable Product Needs 80-20 Model – Pre-built vs Customizations based on key components of core functionality
Proprietary vs Open Source? Open-source foundation with source code made available built on MEAN Stack
Access Control, Security and Governance Standard Options Pre-built, easy extensions (SAML Based). Deployed with enterprise grade security and compliances
Rich Standard Pre-Build Catalog of Assets and Services Comes pre-built with 100+ catalog items covering all standard Asset and Services needs catering to 50% of any enterprise infrastructure, applications and service delivery needs


Explained below is a sample AWS Self-Service Cloud for driving Scientific Research.



Getting started
To make is easier for enterprises for experiencing the power of Self-Service Cloud Portals we are offering two options based on enterprise needs.

  • Hosted SAAS offering of using our Multi-tenant Cloud Portal with ability to connect to your existing Cloud Accounts and Service Catalogs
  • Self-Hosted RLCatalyst Cloud Portal product with option to engage us for professional services on customizations, training, initial setup & onboarding needs

Pricing for the SAAS offering is based on user based monthly subscription while for self-hosting model an enterprise support model pricing is available for the open source solution that allows enterprises the flexibility to use this solution without proprietary lock-ins.

The typical steps to get started are very simple covering the following.

  • Setup an organization and business units or projects aligned with your Cloud Accounts for easy billing and access control tracking
  • Setup users and roles
  • Setup Budgets and controls
  • Setup standard catalog of items for users to order
  • With the above enterprises are up to speed to use Self-Service Cloud Portals in less than 1-Day with inbuilt controls for tracking and compliance

Summary
Cloud Portals for Self-Service is a growing need in 2020 and we see the momentum continuing for next year as well. Different market segments have different needs for Self-Service Cloud portals as explained in this Blog.


  • Scientific Research community is interested in a Research Gateway Solution
  • University IT looks for a University in a Box Self Service Cloud
  • Enterprises using ServiceNow want to extend the internal Self Service Portals
  • Enterprises are also developing Hybrid Cloud Orchestration Portals
  • Enterprises looking at building AIOps Portal needs monitoring, automation and service management
  • Enabling Virtual Training Labs with User and Workspace onboarding
  • Building an integrated Command Centre requires an Intelligent Monitoring portal
  • Enterprise Intelligent Automation Portal with ServiceNow Connector

We provide pre-build solutions for Self-Service Cloud Portals and a base platform that can be easily extended to add new functionality for customization and integration. A number of large enterprises and universities are leveraging our Self Service Cloud portal solutions using both existing ITSM tools (Servicenow, Jira, Freshservice) and RLCatalyst products.

To learn more about using AWS Cloud or ITSM solutions for Self-Service Cloud portals contact marketing@relevancelab.com



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2023 Blog, AWS Platform, Blog, Featured, Feature Blog

Relevance Lab (RL) is a specialist company in helping customers adopt cloud “The Right Way” by focusing on an “Automation-First” and DevOps strategy. It covers the full lifecycle of migration, governance, security, monitoring, ITSM integration, app modernization, and DevOps maturity. Leveraging a combination of services and products for cloud adoption, we help customers on a “Plan-Build-Run” transformation that drives greater velocity of product innovation, global deployment scale, and cost optimization for new generation technology (SaaS) and enterprise companies.

In this blog, we will cover some common themes that we have been using to help our customers for cloud adoption as part of their maturity journey.


  • SaaS with multi-tenant architecture
  • Multi-Account Cloud Management for AWS
  • Microservices architecture with Docker and Kubernetes (AWS EKS)
  • Jenkins for CI/CD pipelines and focus on cloud agnostic tools
  • AWS Control Tower for Cloud Management & Governance solution (policy, security & governance)
  • DevOps maturity models
  • Cost optimization, agility, and automation needs
  • Standardization for M&A (Merger & Acquisitions) integrations and scale with multiple cloud provider management
  • Spectrum of AWS governance for optimum utilization, robust security, and reduction of budget
  • Automation/BOT landscape, how different strategies are appropriate at different levels, and the industry best practice adoption for the same
  • Reference enterprise strategy for structuring DevOps for engineering environment which has cloud native development and the products which are SaaS-based.

Relevance Lab Cloud and DevOps Credentials at a Glance

  • RL has been a cloud, DevOps, and automation specialist since inception in 2011 (10+ years)
  • Implemented 50+ successful customer cloud projects covering Plan-Build-Run lifecycle
  • Globally has 250+ cloud specialists with 100+ certifications
  • Cloud competencies cover infra, apps, data, and consulting
  • Provide deep consulting and technology in cloud and DevOps
  • RL products available on AWS and ServiceNow marketplace recognized globally as a specialist in “Infrastructure Automation”
  • Deep Architecture know-how on DevOps with microservices, containers, Well-Architected principals
  • Large enterprise customers with 10+M$ multi-year engagements successfully managed
  • Actively managing 7000+ cloud instances, 300+ Applications, annual 5.0+M$ cloud consumption, 20K+ annual tickets, 100+ automation BOTs, etc.

Need for a Comprehensive Approach to Cloud Adoption
Most enterprises today have their applications in the cloud or are aggressively migrating new ones for achieving the digital transformation of their business. However, the approach requires customers to think about the “Day-After” Cloud in order to avoid surprises on costs, security, and additional operations complexities. Having the right Cloud Management not only helps eliminate unwanted costs and compliance, but it also helps in optimal use of resources, ensuring “The Right Way” to use the cloud. Our “Automation- First Approach” helps minimize the manual intervention thereby, reducing manual prone errors and costs.

RL’s matured DevOps framework helps in ensuring the application development is done with accuracy, agility, and scale. Finally, to ensure this whole framework of Cloud Management, Automation and DevOps are continued in a seamless manner, you would need the right AIOps-driven Service Delivery Model. Hence, for any matured organizations, the below 4 themes become the foundation for using Cloud Management, Automation, DevOps, and AIOps.


Cloud Management
RL offers a unique methodology covering Plan-Build-Run lifecycle for Cloud Management, as explained in the diagram below.


Following are the basic steps for Cloud Management:

Step-1: Leverage
Built on best practices offered from native cloud providers and popular solution frameworks, RL methodology leverages the following for Cloud Management:

  • AWS Well-Architected Framework
  • AWS Management & Governance Lens
  • AWS Control Tower for large scale multi-account management
  • AWS Service Catalog for template-driven organization standard product deployments
  • Terraform for Infra as Code automation
  • AWS CloudFormation Templates
  • AWS Security Hub

Step-2: Augment
The basic Cloud Management best practices are augmented with unique products & frameworks built by RL based on our 50+ successful customer implementations covering the following:

  • Quickstart automation templates
  • AppInsights and ServiceOne – built on ITSM
  • RLCatalyst cloud portals – built on Service Catalog
  • Governance360 – built on Control Tower
  • RLCatalyst BOTS Automation Server

Step-3: Instill
Instill ongoing maturity and optimization using the following themes:

  • Four level compliance maturity model
  • Key Organization metrics across assets, cost, health, governance, and compliance
  • Industry-proven methodologies like HIPAA, SOC2, GDPR, NIST, etc.

For Cloud Management and Governance, RL has Solutions like Governance360, AWS Management and Governance lens, Cloud Migration using CloudEndure. Similarly, we have methodologies like “The Right Way” to use the cloud, and finally Product & Platform offerings like RLCatalyst AppInsights.

Automation
RL promotes an “Automation-First” approach for cloud adoption, covering all stages of the Plan-Build-Run lifecycle. We offer a mature automation framework called RLCatalyst BOTs and self-service cloud portals that allow full lifecycle automation.

In terms of deciding how to get started with automation, we help with an initial assessment model on “What Can Be Automated” (WCBA) that analyses the existing setup of cloud assets, applications portfolio, IT service management tickets (previous 12 months), and Governance/Security/Compliance models.


For the Automation theme, RL has Solutions like Automation Factory, University in a Box, Scientific Research on Cloud, 100+ BOTs library, custom solutions on Service WorkBench for AWS. Similarly, we have methodologies like Automation-First Approach, and finally Product & Platform offerings like RL BOTs automation Engine, Research Gateway, ServiceNow BOTs Connector, UiPath BOTs connector for RPA.

The following blogs explain in more detail our offerings on automation.



DevOps and Microservices
DevOps and microservices with containers are a key part of all modern architecture for scalability, re-use, and cost-effectiveness. RL, as a DevOps specialist, has been working on re-architecting applications and cloud migration across different segments covering education, pharma & life sciences, insurance, and ISVs. The adoption of containers is a key building block for driving faster product deliveries leveraging Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) models. Some of the key considerations followed by our teams cover the following for CI/CD with Containers and Kubernetes:


  • Role-based deployments
  • Explicit declarations
  • Environment dependent attributes for better configuration management
  • Order of execution and well-defined structure
  • Application blueprints
  • Repeatable and re-usable resources and components
  • Self contained artifacts for easy portability

The following diagram shows a standard blueprint we follow for DevOps:


For the DevOps & Microservices theme, RL has Solutions like CI/CD Cockpit solution, Cloud orchestration Portal, ServiceNow/AWS/Azure DevOps, AWS/Azure EKS. Similarly, we have methodologies like WOW DevOps, DevOps-driven Engineering, DevOps-driven Operations, and finally Product & Platform offerings like RL BOTs Connector.

AIOps and Service Delivery
RL brings in unique strengths across AIOps with IT Service Delivery Management on platforms like ServiceNow, Jira ServiceDesk and FreshService. By leveraging a platform-based approach that combines intelligent monitoring, service delivery management, and automation, we offer a mature architecture for achieving AIOps in a prescriptive manner with a combination of technology, tools, and methodologies. Customers have been able to deploy our AIOps solutions in 3 months and benefit from achieving 70% automation of inbound requests, reduction of noise on proactive monitoring by 80%, 3x faster fulfillment of Tickets & SLAs with a shift to a proactive DevOps-led organization structure.


For the AIOps & Service Delivery theme, RL has Solutions like AIOps Blueprint, ServiceNow++, End to End Automated Patch Management, Asset Management NOC & ServiceDesk. Similarly, we have methodologies like ServiceOne and finally Product & Platform offerings like ServiceOne with ServiceNow, ServiceOne with FreshService, RLCommand Center.

Summary
RL offers a combination of Solutions, Methodologies, and Product & Platform offerings covering the 360 spectrum of an enterprise Cloud & DevOps adoption across 4 different tracks covering Cloud Management, Automation, DevOps, and AIOps. The benefits of a technology-driven approach that leverages an “Automation-First” model has helped our customer reduce their IT spends by 30% over a period of 3 years with 3x faster product deliveries and real-time security & compliance.

To know more about our Cloud Centre of Excellence and how we can help you adopt Cloud “The Right Way” with best practices leveraging Cloud Management, Automation, DevOps, and AIOps, feel free to write to marketing@relevancelab.com

Reference Links
Considerations for AWS AMI Factory Design



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