nOps has developed a SaaS product suite aimed at delivering AI-powered solutions that help companies build, manage, and operate a well-architected AWS cloud infrastructure that is secure, reliable, efficient, cost efficiency, and embodies operational excellence. As a strategic partner with iOLAP, we were asked to integrate similar well-architected features from Microsoft Azure into nOps that opened new channels for business opportunities in the product.

Not only did iOLAP deliver the product, but we also use the product in our daily activities with our clients. The value that nOps allows us to pass onto our clients via well-architected reviews has been tremendous; especially in cost savings seen across our AWS practice.

iOLAP, in recent times, added a focus on AWS, Azure, App Dev, conversational AI, data science, and advanced analytics as core services. nOps tapped iOLAP to build a team of experts who could quickly integrate complex features for Azure into the existing nOps product. Lots of care was taken to separate out logic between AWS and Azure.

nOps Business Objectives

nOps provides AWS cloud management services through their SaaS offering and wanted to extend this capability to manage Azure cloud services from within the same application. The existing application was extended and slightly redesigned to work as a common platform and provide a one stop shop for managing multiple cloud services (AWS and Azure).

Adding Azure to the core product provides a significant opportunity to move into new cloud markets with the goal of becoming cloud agnostic within the product suite. Short term business goals were to accomplish the following:

  • Branch out and integrate with Azure
  • Initially offer single subscription (pay-as-you-go) support
  • Offer as similar set of current AWS features to Azure customers
  • Maintain the quality and integrity of the product in the process
  • Capture initial sentiment from the customers

Longer term goals with Azure integration into nOps are to become a Microsoft CPV, support CSP subscription models, and extend the nOps customer base to Microsoft partners.

MVP Goal

The goal of the nOps MVP was to build an additional set of functionality into the nOps SaaS product by integrating with Azure cloud in order to ingest and process billing and usage data.


Below is an overview of what features objectives that would be part of the MVP.

  • Abstract from any specific cloud (AWS) terminology and design; created UI/UX for all relevant sections of the application.
  • Azure account on-boarding design and development (Support for CSP NCE accounts)
  • Extend current nOps suite to support capture of Azure data and allow data ingestion for components outlined in this document.
  • Extend existing filters across the application to leverage information from Azure accounts.


Part of developing products is the need to understand who makes the buying decisions and how you want to influence those decisions. Part of our project design process is defining how different personas will interact with the product or application. Different personas will change what screens they see and potential messaging oriented to that persona. For the nOps product, we focused on End User/Clients, Partner/Resellers, and Distributors as the targeted personas.

End User/Client

  • Could be an independent user of cloud services (with a single tenant and possibly multiple subscriptions)
  • Must be an nOps core customer or part of Azure CSP NCE program.
  • Sample roles: CIO, CTO, DevOps, and Cloud Engineers


  • Manages multiple clients.
  • A CSP NCE 2 tier reseller
  • Will have all capabilities of a client in addition to partner capabilities.
  • Can view consolidated billing across all accounts and all clients.
  • Sample roles: Operations team, Sales, Solutions


  • A CSP NCE 2 tier provider
  • Sample roles: IaaS sellers, Market place integration expert

Client View
Picture 3.png

  • Cost Dashboard will have total cloud spend (Save money not supported for Azure)
  • Cost Control support for Azure accounts. Chargeback center will be utilized for sending budget alerts as MVP requirement from Ingram.
  • Change Management only for Cost change and nOps Rules Change.
  • nOps rules dashboard will have Azure rules. 24 rules have been identified that are eligible for Azure, but not all will be implemented within the timelines of MVP. Order of implementation is defined in Azure rules mapping document.
  • Security Dashboard will be updated to provide Azure recommendations and violations.

Partner View

  • Partner can onboard the Partner CSP Azure account and add CPV consent where Partner doesn’t have parent distributor.
  • Cost Control will have both Azure and AWS spend.
  • Clients will have AOBO status.
  • Opportunities will be updated to show Azure opportunities.

Distributor View

  • Distributor can onboard multiple Azure CSP NCE root accounts and add CVP consent for each account.
  • On the existing Distributor Client View, all associated Azure accounts and their Partner/Client will be shown.
  • Cost Control will have Azure and AWS spend grouped by Partner. Further drill down of Partner to show spend by Client will be provided.

How the project looked like from start to finish

The project started with a four-week discovery phase where we worked closely with nOps product owners to gather requirements, start UI/UX design work, and confirm our understanding of the Azure integration scenarios, business logic behind it, and provide guidance on how to on-board new customer accounts into nOps Azure. Additionally, we have developed new features of fetching data which can be used for implementing Well Architected Framework Review reports and map existing AWS rules to Azure rules via API calls.

In order to better understand how iOLAP approaches AppDev projects, we would like to expose you to the Project Discovery Process we conducted for nOps:

  • iOLAP executed a 12 Factor App review of the current nOps platform in order to better understand any current architecture gaps needed to support the future scope. This also provided insight into the project team needed to deliver the project. The project team consisted of the following buildout which is typical for projects of this nature.
    • Account Manager
    • Project Manager/Scrum Master
    • Technical Lead
    • Multiple Frontend Developers
    • Multiple Backend Developers
    • Data Architect
    • Cloud SME for Azure
    • UI/UX Designer
    • DevSecOps Engineer
    • Multiple QA Engineers
  • Research methods and approaches for linking Azure accounts to the nOps platform. Provide options and recommendations with pros and cons.
  • Research methods and approaches for applying the nOps rules engine against the Azure cost and usage data. Provide mapping documentation with pseudo code of an approach for each rule.
  • Create an epic and story backlog for the future implementation work.
  • Estimate the backlog and transpose into a project plan with necessary staffing and estimated costs

Final Thoughts

nOps is leading the way cloud refinement is achieved by offering tools to help you make sense of complex cloud infrastructure best practices. Here at iOLAP we were excited to take on such an opportunity to evolve the shape of the nOps toolset by integrating it with Azure. We realized that strategy matters as much as execution. Partnering with the teams at nOps allowed us to maximize value while implementing a complex product together. Sustained involvement from key stakeholders with a constant focus on business value and technical direction was a fundamental element that helped us both achieve delivery excellence.

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