Review of SurPaaS® Continuo™ from Corent Technology

This article will take a look at the Continuo component of the SurPaaS® platform, made by Corent Technology Inc. The SurPaaS platform is based around intelligently migrating applications to the cloud using its MaaS (Migration as a Service) offering. Note the emphasis on applications. Whilst SurPaaS MaaS can easily provide assessment and Lift and Shift capabilities for customers and managed service providers (MSPs) like us, the clever stuff happens when we look at migrating workloads from VMs into Platform as a Service (PaaS) and also container services which Corent call SurPaaS PaaSify and SurPaaS Containerize respectfully.

In this post we will highlight what we found when using the Continuo product within the SurPaaS platform and how it helped us identify areas of saving cloud spend for our managed services customer. This product is aimed at service providers who want to ensure their customers are using the most cost efficient SKUs and services for their cloud environments. Continuo recommendations are mainly focussed on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) components with some PaaS elements lighting up recently.

SurPaaS Continuo

Through the dashboard you can view your customers cloud usage and recommended optimisations and more.

Key Strengths of SurPaaS Continuo

1. Optimization Recommendations

In terms of cost optimisation recommendations, Continuo did pick up a small handful of machines which were on a previous version of a SKU. e.g. There were a couple of D series V2 VMs which should be upgraded to V3 for example and same with small F series VMs. The newer versions are always cheaper and something to look out for in your cloud environments and something Continuo does well. The cost saving per month, in this case for the D series is ~£37 per month per VM. So just 3 of these alone can save around £100 per month, so £1,200 per year. The total saved annually would equate to about £2,000 in our test case based on one subscription scanned of over 150 VMs. In our case, the environment was already pretty optimised so these recommendations were welcomed.

2. Management Score

Continuo shows how “Well Managed” the environment is and in our case it was “Excellent” (Of course!)…

3. Product Support

The product support team were really helpful. During setup we need to select the regions of the subscription we want to scan. The setup process then created a resource group in each region for the service to work within the customer subscription. I fed back to Corent support, that ideally we do not want customers subscriptions to be “littered” with a resource group for every region we wanted to scan. Within days the team updated the platform to use just one resource group to contain it’s necessary assets such as a storage account and function.

4. Housekeeping

One area we like to focus on is good housekeeping of any customer platform and this tool was very valuable in this area. It showed us objects like unused Public IPs, NICs, Resource Groups etc. Of which there were not so many, but those it found could have been easily missed unless using other similar tools or home made scripts. One useful thing it found was an old backup storage account with some VHD backup files that were no longer required, again saving customer spend !

5. Remediate Directly From the Continuo Dashboard

If you provide the service account with the correct permissions in the subscription the platform will let you resize VMs for example, right from the dashboard. In our case we set up the software with Contributor rights required for the install then dropped the rights to read only for future scanning and recommendations.

Continuo Setup and Resource Group Creation

The setup involves setting up an application in Azure AD and providing it access to your subscriptions that you wish to scan, just like any other 3rd party solution. It will need contributor access as it needs to set up Resource Groups for storage and functions required to run the scan.

Azure Advisor

We also checked Azure advisor and both services provided good feedback and recommendations. In terms of VM sizing and Reserved Instances they were pretty similar. Continuo did not pick up unused Managed Disks and Snapshots like Advisor did. However we really liked the recommendations Continuo provided, the way they were presented as well as the housekeeping elements of the platform and its ease of use. Continuo would also help view multiple customer environments through their dashboard (using different customer setups of course) as well as multi cloud optimisation recommendations. We firmly believe that Continuo will help us to continue saving our customers money, and we are looking forward to seeing the platform develop further. We are also considering investing in partnering with Corent Technology on the basis of what we have seen so far and how it can help us help our customers. Stay tuned.

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