It’s only been a few years, and cloud-native practices are not offbeat anymore. As reliance on the cloud increases, so do the difficulties of managing complex cloud operations.
The dramatic shift to cloud services has given birth to many functional verticals and their “uni-dimensional” products. And as more of these “best of breed” products proliferate, the silo problem gets magnified.
This is where Spot by NetApp is delivering a comprehensive, unified CloudOps portfolio. To address some of these new cloud product silos, ad-hoc scripting for optimization and scale, and manual maintenance of cloud operations, NetApp acquisition Fylamynt has been revamped to become Spot Connect.
With its low-code workflow automation technology, Spot Connect is the “connective tissue” providing a single pane of glass to orchestrate and automate workflows across multiple cloud operating systems and solutions. The flexible low-code builder makes it easy to customize automation workflows to serve your specific needs. Out-of-the-box integrations with all the key tools in your cloud operations toolkit enable the orchestration of actions and machine-speed-level workflow execution.
How does Spot Connect work?
Today’s operations workflows are complex. We can monitor every aspect of cloud infrastructure and analyze every log, metric, and event that is generated. Advances in monitoring, tracing, and data analytics can help you in diagnosing the root causes of the observed problems. However, in today’s large-scale dynamic cloud environments, a fix is not simply one operation (e.g., reboot a VM) that you can quickly execute and move on. You need a workflow that consists of a series of operations interspersed with logic that can be run in an automated fashion.
Spot Connect’s unique three-pronged CloudOps approach combines the power of integrations across the cloud product stack to orchestrate and automate workflows:
Integrations come from a wide range of tools for metrics, monitoring, logging, CI/CD, communication, cloud services, and Spot services to bring all critical data and incoming/outgoing actions into a single pane of glass.
With a refreshing Orchestration approach, Spot Connect can help you tap into that right brain creativity, with a visual and intuitive interface that makes chaining a series of resources, services, and products easier to perform high-level business tasks.
Automation is about reducing manual burden and using technology to complete specific tasks. Furthermore, it is also about achieving:
- Reliability: Running services with minimal failures and human intervention
- Scale: Allowing teams that are resource-constrained to manage large infrastructures
- Consistency: Repeatedly running specific activities securely and consistently
Spot Connect workflow
We plan to make Spot Connect the central integration and automation hub for all Spot services. With the core workflow engine and integration capabilities, Spot Connect will interface with all Spot actions using its API so that any automation use case can be implemented under Spot with a lot more flexibility.
In this example workflow, we illustrate the business value that Spot Connect brings to all our Spot Services, in this case Spot Elastigroup. The use case expands the existing Elastigroup budget monitoring capabilities beyond notifications to include automated executable actions.
- The workflow takes a SNS topic notification and triggers the workflow, which opens a ServiceNow incident.
- The workflow then retrieves the name of the Elastigroup from the SNS topic output payload and sends a Slack notification to a channel informing the users that the budgeted threshold was reached.
- The users within the Slack channel are then requested to approve the automatic scale down of the Elastigroup.
- If approved, the Elastigroup is automatically scaled down, the users are notified of the successful completion of the task, and the ServiceNow Incident is closed.
There are many use cases for us to explore around all the different Spot services, which includes onboarding, large scale configuration changes across multiple Spot Ocean clusters and Elastigroups, as well as running workflows off events that are triggered from Spot’s Notification Center.
As Spot Connect is now available with its alpha version, we are looking for select design partners to further explore additional use cases that can solve real-life CloudOps automation challenges. If you are interested, please reach out to your Spot contact person.