So It Is Not Just Fluff!
- Automation: delivery and lifecycle management needs to be automated which in turn, done properly, reduces risk and increases agility. Delivering a Virtual Machine to a client in 7 days (or even a day) does not represent what a Cloud is meant to provide the customers. This has a preceding activity, processes need to be well defined, no use automating something to be delivered as-a-Service without knowing all the speeds and feeds that relate to it. Lifecycle is also critical, need to ensure that you don't end up with VM sprawl.
- Assurance: There needs to be a way that the administrators and customers are aware of the integrity and performance of the service. This directly feeds into operational health and performance monitoring, chargeback/showback facility and service assignment states. A customer and administrator need to know how well a service is run, how much is consumed and how compliant it is to the SLAs assigned to it.
- Self Service: There needs to be an electronic shop front to the services on offer. A cloud is consumed on demand as is the norm now for the general tablet and smart phone community as provided by Google Play, Apple and Microsoft Stores. This in turn leverages automation to provide the requested service. Can you imaging grabbing an app from your iphones stores and then waiting a month for it to be available :)
- The enablement of automation
- The extensibility of the capabilities of existing physical assets, think what VMware has done to your servers with ESX but across the rest of your DC assets including networking and storage