Your business has decided to move to cloud-based systems. These could range from storage to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), or Platform as a Service (PaaS). But whatever size your company is, and whatever size or extent of your cloud systems, you are going to need a way to oversee the various aspects, platforms, and applications. Just as you have administrative oversight and control at physical premises, you need something similar for all cloud-based and virtualization activities. Without such oversight, then things could get messy and confusing, and that can have serious negative effects on your business. Understanding cloud management is essential for efficient working.

What is Cloud Management?

Cloud management is the organized oversight, control, administration, and maintenance of public cloud, private cloud, or more commonly, hybrid (public and private) multi-cloud computing infrastructure, services, and resources. It gives IT teams a firm hold over scalable and dynamic cloud computing environments. Cloud management services combine different technologies and products to deliver a cohesive, consistent strategy and process. Administrators can orchestrate the delivery and management of cloud infrastructure, applications, data, services, and access control. They can access resources, automate processes, make changes as needed, and monitor utilization and cost.

Organizations are increasingly deploying enterprise applications to the cloud to reduce the high upfront investments they would otherwise have to make for on-site infrastructure. Public cloud environments provide on-demand computing power and data storage that is consistent with the growing, fluctuating demand for data and services. Through cloud service management, administrators oversee cloud activities ranging from resource deployment and utilization to lifecycle management of resources, data integration, and disaster recovery.

cloud management

How does it work?

Cloud management software can gather the information necessary for an informed decision about what to keep in a private cloud and what to move to a public cloud, and it can monitor the results of that decision to optimize hybrid cloud and multi-cloud management. Many businesses develop their in-house tools for private or hybrid cloud management.

Public cloud providers typically offer their software tools for monitoring, securing, and managing the cost of their cloud offerings. However, these tools rarely offer insight into performance, instead sticking to basic reporting. Third-party tools designed to help manage public cloud services become necessary if organizations are using multiple public clouds that all have their proprietary cloud management tools.

IT administrators can use private cloud management software tools to allocate resources more efficiently. For instance, an IT manager might use a cloud management tool to instate a user-based resource quota to ensure that one user does not overwhelm the server with a large workload request. Administrators can also use data gained from resource monitoring to predict and plan for spikes in resource demands.

Why is it important?

Companies are more likely to improve cloud computing performance, reliability, cost containment, and environmental sustainability when they adhere to tried-and-true cloud optimization practices.

There are many ways to approach cloud management, and they are ideally implemented in concert. Cost-monitoring tools can help IT shops navigate complex vendor pricing models. Applications run more efficiently when they use performance optimization tools and with architectures designed with proven methodologies. Many of these tools and strategies dovetail with environmentally sustainable architectural strategies to lower energy consumption. Cloud management decisions must ultimately hinge on individual corporate priorities and objectives, as there is no single approach.

What are the benefits? 

A solid cloud management strategy is a critical component of cost management, and it can also improve IT performance and efficiency. It provides the following additional benefits:

Pervasive Automation

Cloud application management eliminates manual intervention from routine tasks and workflows by automating resource provisioning and maintenance through models or blueprints. Business policies are transformed into virtual steps that are then configured into the cloud management platform. Provision of cloud infrastructure and enterprise application resources based on pre-defined permissions and policies. Cloud management software can detect problems, resolve them, generate reports and send notifications to administrators, all without human intervention. Automation reduces errors while improving efficiency.

Informs the optimal cloud strategy

Cloud management can provide insights into the user experience as well as analyze the workloads that are being processed in the cloud. Using cloud analysis tools as part of the management strategy allows an organization to balance workloads more efficiently and better plan for the correct capacity. This type of analysis also can help an organization make an informed decision about whether to use a public, private, or hybrid cloud for different needs and what the optimal balance among those clouds might look like.

Flexibility

Customers demand various facilities and want CPU, memory, disk space, or network configuration. These facilities should be customer friendly and should provide maximum flexibility to the customer. The customer can modify what they need for self-service provisioning and eliminates costly hardware. Cloud management also provides flexibility so that the customer has to pay only for what they have used.

Security and Compliance

The methods for protecting cloud-based resources vary between cloud services even though all follow the shared responsibility principle. Cloud management streamlines security monitoring processes for cloud-based applications and services. Organizations can maintain compliance certainty by conforming to relevant regulations and standards such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS as well as internal policies like cloud email encryption. It drives governance compliance while giving developers the confidence that they are working within the confines of rules and law.

cloud management

What is a Cloud Management Platform?

There are several reasons why more enterprise organizations are adopting the cloud computing model and subscribing to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The first and most important reason is cost reduction. It is much cheaper to lease data storage capacity and computing party from a third party on an as-needed basis than to develop the same capabilities in-house.

The proliferation of cloud technologies in the business environment has changed the way that CIOs and IT managers must approach the management of IT costs, compliance, security, and asset management. The implementation of cloud management platform software solutions makes it easier for enterprise CIOs to maintain control of an increasingly disparate ecosystem of cloud computing technologies.

A cloud management platform is a software solution whose main characteristic is a robust and extensive set of APIs that allow it to pull data from every corner of the IT infrastructure. A CPM allows an IT organization to establish a structured approach to security and IT governance that can be implemented across the organization’s entire cloud environment.

Conclusion

Cloud management solutions are built to reduce complexity and provide IT teams with an easy-to-use platform with a rich UI to simplify the overall management of the hybrid IT estate. It ensures that decision-making is accelerated as information is available in real-time.