ONUG Working Groups Are Building Hybrid Multi-Cloud Reference Solutions

A series of ONUG Working Group calls, exclusively for IT executives, kicked off last week to share use case requirements and organize their work leading up to ONUG Spring on May 7th and 8th in Dallas. Some 80 IT executives registered to participate in the working groups to collaborate in an effort to build a set of hybrid multi-cloud reference solutions. IT executives from Ford, eBay, PwC, Bank of America, Citigroup, Apple, GE, McGraw Hill Education, Xcel Energy, First Data, Intuit, Gap, Paddy Power Betfair, the Federal government, Bloomberg, American Express, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Ellie Mae, ExxonMobil and many others added their input to define hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure reference solutions. But why is ONUG interested in building reference solutions?

ONUG’s industry stature is secured as its Board members boast an aggregated market capitalization of over $1.6 trillion with some of the most marquee brands in the global economy spanning multiple industry sectors.  ONUG created the $4B SD-WAN market and now is focused on identifying the new software building blocks, skills and organizational solutions that are fundamental for success in the digital economy. These software building blocks will define secure hybrid plus multi-cloud ecosystems, which are the underpinning of most IT transformation projects today. ONUG is the largest community of Global 2000 IT executives who are organized around aggregating use case requirements and reference solution frameworks so as to favorably influence the vendor community to deliver solutions that are interoperable, open, tested and meet practical business problems.  

Nearly all ONUG IT community members struggle with the lack of reference solutions available for the new type of IT solutions all are building to gain digital business advantage. We live in an API-driven, service mesh world, where IT organizations stitch together software modules, some open, some closed and some homegrown with start-ups and established vendor/cloud/service provider products and services all in the hopes of delivering a secure, visible, analytics-friendly solution to support their digital businesses.  

The fundamental impediment to IT transformation is that there are no reference solutions. IT organizations are on their own. The ONUG Working Groups with a few solutions integrators seek to assist their community members, and the industry at large, by providing proven and practical reference solutions to speed up the Global 2000’s entry into the digital economy.  

What follows is a brief update on the strategy, direction and use cases being defined within the ONUG Working Groups (WG) taking place now to build these reference solutions. ONUG WGs are organized around five groups focused to construct a hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure. These groups, which can be viewed as a short stack, include:

1) Hybrid multi-cloud (HMC WG)

2) Edge and cloud connectivity (SD-WAN 2.0 WG)

3) Cybersecurity and data protection (Software-Defined Security Services WG)

4) Monitoring/visibility and analytics (Monitoring & Analytics WG)

5) Workload orchestration automation via containers (Container WG)

The Container WG is currently in a pause mode. All of the WGs are basing their use case requirements upon a reference mediawiki workload that is available at the ONUG github account hereA reference topology for all working groups is detailed in the figure.  

The ONUG WGs have defined a reference topology and workload upon which to base requirements so that solution integrators such as Dimension Data, World Wide Technologies, Microland, ACS, et al., may construct reference solutions. The vendor community will be invited into chosen solution integrator labs for verification testing to assure they support the reference solution and associated requirements. These reference solutions will be on full display at ONUG 2019. The ONUG Board has authorized day two of the ONUG Conference to be dedicated to education, training and community awareness of the reference solutions. The goal is to build three reference solutions that demonstrate the above hybrid multi-cloud reference topology for the mediawiki workload from the perspective of SD-WAN connectivity, security and monitoring & analytics.

The following provides insight into the ONUG WGs use case requirements being identified.  

Hybrid Multi-Cloud (HMC) Working Group: The ONUG HMC WG is co-chaired by Carlos Matos, Senior Vice President, Tools, Automation and Digital Transformation at Bank of America, and Mick Currey, Director, Enterprise Architecture (Cloud & Cybersecurity) at Fidelity Investments. HMC is taking on two roles: one is of an oversight group assuring that all ONUG WGs are addressing hybrid multi-cloud requirements; and second, to develop best practices and major industry gaps to cloud adoption. Most of its work and output will be non technical. The following list provides what the group calls “boulders” or obstacles that are in the way of cloud adoption:  

1) IT Culture and Organizational Transformation

2) Cloud Governance & Compliance

3) Automation Orchestration

4) Reliability, Anti-Fragile Apps

5) DevSecOps

Software-Defined Wide Area Network 2.0 (SD-WAN 2.0) Working Group: The SD-WAN 2.0 WG is focused on use case requirements for the next generation of SD-WAN deployments which span edge/cloud connectivity plus performance as the number of logical connections scale and security. The uses cases identified during the first meeting are:

1) SD-WAN for hybrid multi-cloud environments with shared services such as (dns, dhcp, pki etc) being a major requirement

2) How SD-WAN fits into multi-cloud connectivity options and approaches plus workload automation

3) SD-WAN connectivity options that include internet, MPLS, 4/5G, Satellite, public cloud, cloud exchanges

4) Single-sided SD-WAN; that is, how to operationalize when you only have control of one side of an SD-WAN connection and the other side may be IPsec termination

5) Multiple country connectivity for those countries that block or step on IPsec

6) Secure SD-WAN; what are the encryption standards?

7) SSL or other tunnel protocol use

8) Bandwidth monitoring plus capability planning for SD-WAN workloads   

Software-Defined Security Services (SDSS) Working Group: The SDSS WG has developed a cybersecurity framework for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. To secure the mediawiki reference workload, this WG is defining the following specific requirements in detail so that a solution integrator may build a reference solution:

1) Policies should be bound to workloads, whether virtual machines, containers, applications, services or microservices

2) Write security policy in one place and deploy in multiple places, where workload policy would then be enforced

3) Must be able to measure the ability of network workloads to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability (the Security Triad) of the services they are delivering

Monitoring and Analytics (M&A) Working Group: The M&A WG confirmed its focus on hybrid multi-cloud, then started to collect new M&A use cases for multi-cloud environments to support the reference solution mentioned above. The following use cases were identified:  

1) An automated application dependency map of the infrastructure it consumes is of high interest to hasten trouble resolution

2) SD-WAN capacity planning and automated configuration management dashboard  

3) Configuration automation

4) New dashboards for various use cases to monitor and provide visibility for the mediawiki reference workload  

Each working group will focus on three to four major requirements that the ONUG reference solution is to support. The process has started. There is room for everyone in building these reference solutions. All you have to do is sign-up to join in, have some fun with peers and change the industry in the process.

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