The cloud can be overwhelming for enterprises that have finally decided to make the move. There are tons of cloud providers, pricing structures, and service offerings to choose from. It’s usually not a one-size-fits-all affair.
With the ever-growing workload requirements and compliance standards, organizations are increasingly seeing the value in hybrid cloud platforms. But there’s a problem. The hybrid cloud comes with management and visibility challenges related to security, performance, compliance, and governance. The only way to manage the chaos is by using a cloud management suite. It centralizes tasks across public and private clouds.
So, what is a cloud management suite?
A cloud management suite is a set of software tools used to control and monitor hybrid cloud and multi-cloud resources. Also referred to as a cloud management platform, it helps to centralize control of various cloud-based infrastructures.
The features of a cloud management suite usually vary by vendor. There are some niche tools aimed at specific industries. You’ll also find a broader set of tools that work for just about any business.
Vendors provide these tools as an on-premise deployment or via a software-as-a-service model. Cloud management involves exercising administrative control over private, public, multi-cloud, and hybrid deployments.
Cloud Management Platform Capabilities
A typical cloud management suite should include the following capabilities:
- General Services. This includes self-service capabilities, as well as reporting and analytics.
- Service Management. This helps with workload deployment, capacity planning, and performance monitoring.
- Resource Management. This aids in the management of cloud computing resources, such as storage, networks, and virtual machines.
- Financial Management. This helps with tracking and allocating cloud computing spend.
- Governance and Security. This enables enforcement of policy-based control of cloud resources.
Cloud Management Suite Implementation Best Practices
1. Map Your Architecture According to Requirements
Make sure to map your whole network, so you know where the cloud fits in your overall strategy. This way, you will avoid having to backfill gaps in the data needs of customers and business managers. Different lines of business should ideally use the services of different cloud providers.
2. Standardized Consumption
In a multi-cloud setup, each business unit might use services from different providers. For instance, you might use Azure for analytics, AWS for storage, and IBM Cloud for AI. Business units usually have to pay for these services in different ways. For example, they may buy AWS through a web portal or Azure through a sales rep. They may issue a contract for IBM Cloud. This set of circumstances can easily get out of hand in organizations with many business units. A cloud management suite should provide a central place for IT and procurement to manage consumption in a standardized way.
3. Integration is a Necessity
Enterprises are increasingly consuming a growing list of services from multiple cloud providers. As a result, they’re running into problems, such as escalating costs, slow deployment, lack of reliability, and lack of visibility. IT needs common standards for managing and integrating the supplier ecosystem to help address these problems. The six areas of integration required in a hybrid or multi-cloud setup include business, information, governance, information, tools, and processes.
For example, the network layer is a critical component of multi-cloud deployments. It should operate in such a way that companies can run their apps in a hybrid environment. Network control, visibility, and security should extend into the multi-clouds. These environments should operate as a single network.
4. Use Containers
Containers make it possible to abstract applications from the environment in which they run. Packaging applications and all their dependencies in containers improves portability and simplifies management. This is because enterprises can now deploy deployed applications consistently and easily in any environment. This could be an on-premises data center, the public cloud, or even a personal computer.