What is cloud management?
Cloud management is the management of cloud infrastructure using tools, framework and processes that typically include monitoring, notification, provisioning, orchestration, configuration management, capacity management, application performance management, incident/problem/change management, log management, security and compliance management, DevOps pipeline management and so on.
What are the business benefits of cloud management?
With effective cloud management, an organization achieves numerous benefits, including:
- Robust governance. Ensure controlled cloud usage and better visibility by bringing in technology, financial security and service governance.
- Operational efficiency. Use automated management of cloud resources to reduce manual intervention and increase efficiency.
- Security and compliance posture. Use continuous monitoring and management to reduce cyber vulnerabilities and security threats and increase compliance.
- Continuous optimization. Optimize budgeting and improve utilization/allocation of resources, spend and performance measurement.
- Resiliency and business continuity. Focus on availability, fault-tolerance and disaster recovery to ensure business resiliency.
- User empowerment. Reduce turnaround times and improve the user experience with self-service models for business users, developers and the executive community.
Why do organizations need a cloud management platform?
Organizations are increasingly adopting multi- cloud strategy for better resiliency, to reduce costs, bring new products and services to market more quickly and better serve their customers. But the lack of a suitable cloud management platform can make it difficult or impossible to meet these goals. An inability to find, much less manage, all the cloud resources consumed by various business units can lead to ballooning and, often, hidden costs not only for cloud services, but also for troubleshooting performance or reliability issues within them. An inability to discover, monitor and manage multiple clouds makes it harder to bring new applications and services to market more quickly with proper security and compliance with industry and government regulations.
An integrated cloud management platform (ICMP) can reduce these hurdles by providing greater visibility into and control over multiple cloud environments. An integrated “single pane of glass” provides greater optimization and security as the ever-changing mix of public, private and cloud services grows. Based on our client experiences, this unified integration and user-interface layer, along with associated workflows and best practices, can increase operational efficiency as much as 70%, cut one-third from the total cost of ownership of cloud management tools, and reduce the time required to provision technical infrastructure, from weeks to as little as an hour.
What are some features of a state-of-the-art cloud management platform?
- Cloud provisioning and optimization tools that make it easier for organizations to create cloud resources and ensure that they are being used efficiently. These tools also provide consistent, proven deployment blueprints that increase the performance, stability and security of cloud applications. An ICMP provides a single interface through which an organization can coordinate the creation and management of compute, networking and storage across multiple clouds.
- Provisioning, configuration management and application deployment tools and automated continuous code delivery and integration offerings. An ICMP automates provisioning of cloud resources, assuring that proper approvals are followed to post the code to production, triggering required changes and providing ongoing performance monitoring.
- Application performance management tools that ensure applications provide the required responsiveness and reliability.
- Financial management tools that help organizations understand their cloud spend, track it to budgets, and ensure the most cost-effective mix of cloud resources.
- IT service management (ITSM) tools that track performance and reliability issues, and the tickets those issues generate.
- Security and compliance tools that ensure applications and data are safe from attack and meet governmental and industry standards, automatically collect compliance information, and remediate issues.
What are some essential capabilities to look for in an integrated cloud management platform?
- Easy integration with a wide variety of leading cloud service providers (CSPs).
- A single user-interface dashboard that captures data from all clouds and cloud management tools, customized to the needs of business users versus technical users through role-based access control.
- Pre-integration and pre-configuration with ready blueprints to reduce deployment time.
- Automatic cloud-resource discovery, naming and (importantly) tagging of cloud resources, regardless of which or how many cloud providers are used. When paired with analytics, this provides richer and more detailed tracking and billing report data to reduce costs and maximize efficiency. It also simplifies required customization to meet business needs, using open standards and APIs to integrate with CMPs, thus reducing costs and improving performance, functionality and scalability.
- AI and machine learning to help remediate problems and optimize operations, as well as conversational AI to ease troubleshooting and bot-based FAQ response and ticket creation to speed up problem triaging and resolution for user queries and ticket closure.