Still wasting time and money managing your virtual infrastructure manually? If so, you’re not alone. Many organizations find the road to cloud utopia a little bumpy.

It’s a big shift in terms of mindset, technology and process to move from a traditional datacenter environment to cloud computing. Some teams try to make the move too fast, before they have the necessary technology stack in place.

To succeed in the cloud you need to automate management of your virtual infrastructure, including not just servers but also application deployment and authentication. Traditionally teams have had two options: build the whole stack themselves, or outsource it to a Platform-as-a-Service provider (often a public cloud vendor).

The DIY route takes significant time, money and expertise-which is why many teams end up outsourcing their stack. But there are multiple problems with outsourcing your PaaS, too. Outsourcing hampers developers by limiting visibility, flexibility and speed. And if you have a stack in place that you want to continue to leverage, it can be problematic to bring any of that into a managed cloud environment.

The “happy medium”-and for many teams the best of both worlds-between DIY and outsourcing is the Bitlancer Strings “Puppet-as-a-Service” solution. If your team is sidetracked on the path to cloud automation, adopting Strings can be literally a no-brainer.

Here are 6 reasons why we can make a bold statement like that with straight faces:

  1. Crazy value out-of-the-box. A Strings license starts at $1,500/month. Compare that to the cost of hiring one person with sufficient expertise to build and maintain custom tools. Strings includes an easy-to-use control panel, a fully configured and managed puppet master and built-in central authentication and authorization.
  2. The precise balance of automation and visibility/control that you want. Strings offers PaaS-like automation-but in your own cloud environment. Unlike typical PaaS, Strings gives you the option to keep things in-house.
  3. Configuration management orchestration built-in. Strings gives you “blueprints,” which neither Puppet nor Chef offers out-of-the-box. Blueprints allow you to spin up complex, custom formations of preconfigured cloud servers with one-click ease. Compared to having a human spin up and manually configure each node in the formation, which can take hours or days, blueprints are pretty sweet.
  4. Total flexibility. There’s no limit to how creative and complex your infrastructure can get with Strings. In particular, you can create Strings blueprints for any technology stack. To the greatest extent possible, Strings relies on open source technologies and basically keeps you free of vendor lock-in.
  5. Really, really good support. Unlike the many PaaS tools that throw you in the pool and tell you to swim, Strings is fully supported by the Bitlancer team. We’re fully committed to ensuring your success and helping you get maximum value from Strings. Ten hours of puppet module development and training are included in the base monthly license fee, and additional support levels are available.
  6. DevOps training. Bitlancer can help build your team’s knowledge of full-stack cloud computing, including configuration management and automation. It’s much more cost- and time-effective to train current staff and/or hire junior level folks and train them, than to hire someone with strong expertise. In short, Strings can get you where you want to be-managing configurations with automation and agility-faster and at lower cost than probably any other option. Instead of trading visibility/control for automation, you can have both. Strings lets you keep things “in-house” if desired, while providing the automation you need and support for your chosen technical stack.

UPDATE: Bitlancer Strings is now open source. For more information, visit Strings Documentation on Github.