Morpheus Data As Enterprise Glue Layer

Morpheus Data is now positioning itself as a glue layer connecting cloud management, infrastructure automation, and container management.

Morpheus continues to expand its capabilities to integrate with more and more pieces of the enterprise infrastructure that real companies are using today, as well as adding the newer things people are starting to use, like service mesh. Its integration with Terraform in particular has opened up a lot of scope, as it seems every second infrastructure company on the planet is announcing Terraform providers.

The notion of all workloads moving to cloud continues to exist, but even Amazon “Thou Shalt Have No Other Cloud But Me” AWS has relaxed its position a bit to allow that, perhaps, just occasionally, the people with money might want to do something other than use AWS public cloud for things. The beautiful theory of being able to do everything by renting some computer forever turns out not to work for a lot of companies that have already become quite successful… not doing that.

But these companies still need something. Running multiple separate IT orgs, each one specialising on a different way to computer, causes a bunch of problems, and bringing a little bit of shared goodness to them all has its merits.

I’ve long said that cloud is a state of mind, not a location, and Morpheus is putting more and more of that mindset into its product to provide the cloud-style experiences for enterprise tech regardless of where it actually runs.

Morpheus’ take on this challenge is essentially to provide options. Their customer base is “enterprise tech” which encompasses a much bigger range of ways of doing things than just public cloud.

This presents a challenge.

Too much choice is a problem (that’s what too much means) because customers have increased friction from search costs, decision fatigue, interoperability, and other scale-related challenges. Just trying to find the set of potential candidate technologies for your usecase can be tricky, and it all changes constantly.

Enterprises don’t actually want endless choice because it becomes a nightmare to manage. It’s hard enough to keep firmware patches up-to-date without needing to maintain skills across five different PC vendors to do it, and that’s just one small part of the infrastructure stack a modern enterprise maintains.

Less is more.

But less is also less, and too little choice is also bad (that’s what too little means) because it’s too restrictive. The corporate standard Windows image doesn’t support the software Sales needs to use to make money, and IT’s desire for ease of management isn’t as important as the organisation’s ability to sell things to customers. The whole reason cloud took off initially was because internal IT organisations were too slow and restrictive, so people just bypassed it at $20 a month on their credit card.

Morpheus is trying to provide a flexible mix of options that enterprises need, but with enough rigor and control that it remains manageable by an enterprise with grown-up constraints like regulatory compliance. The optimal tradeoff between options and constraints is constantly changing as the world, and technology, changes around us, which is why Morpheus continues to adapt and change as well.

Morpheus is ultimately a tool that enterprises can deploy to provide a abstraction layer over the infrastructure they use so that a bunch of people can stop caring about how it works under the covers, so long as it works. Service catalog items for “a Kubernetes cluster running Ubuntu” or “some AWS instances and a database service” or anything else can be defined, and sensible defaults for boring things like backups can just happen.

Spend controls are nicely definable and granular, so you can get away from micro-managing what people are allowed to have and just let people pick whatever they want up to their budget.

A tool like Morpheus helps glue the genuine benefits of the cloud approach— on-demand self-service with a consumption model—and bring it to other kinds of infrastructure.

But the biggest benefits, for me, are how Morpheus helps you plug in your own organisation’s unique governance arrangements and makes them invisible to the people using the infrastructure. Want to mandate a certain kind of data protection for everything in Dev? Easy. Just make Morpheus enforce the backup tech and policy choices behind the scenes. Want to prevent people from bypassing regulatory requirements because they’re “too hard”? Automate them!

Morpheus is now flexible enough and integrates with enough different types of technology that it looks like a tremendous way to improve the way tech is done here in the real world today. Completely re-building everything as cloud-native from the ground up is never going to happen.

We need a way to make it easy to make better choices, and Morpheus looks to me like a good way to do just that.

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