Cloud infrastructure is broad and complex. It refers to the servers, software, network devices, and storage devices that make up the cloud. It’s no different from typical data center infrastructure except that it’s virtualized and consumed over the Internet. Cloud infrastructure falls into three categories – computing, networking, and storage.
Cloud infrastructure management is the setup, configuration, monitoring, and optimization of the components of cloud infrastructure. It happens through a web-based interface. Cloud infrastructure management gives enterprises some level of scalability and consolidates IT resources. Users can share the same infrastructure without compromising each other’s data.
Basic Requirements for Effective Cloud Infrastructure Management
Productizing cloud functionality requires administrators to have the right tools for the definition and metering of service offerings. A service offering is a set of applications and services that end-users can consume on both public and private clouds. A service offering should ideally include metering rules, guarantees, resource management, and billing cycles. Service management functionality must have a link to the broader offering repository. This makes it easier for the user to deploy and manage defined services.
Visibility and Reporting
This is one of the key components of cloud infrastructure management. The lack of strong visibility and reporting mechanisms makes it increasingly difficult to manage cloud infrastructure. It becomes impossible to monitor customer service levels, compliance, system performance, and billing. Real-time visibility and monitoring give administrators the ability to manage compliance, security, billing, and other instruments seamlessly. They require high levels of granular visibility and reporting.
Integration with Data Center Management Tools
Most times, you will need to integrate new cloud management solutions with components of legacy data centers. Legacy data centers have a variety of tools used for provisioning, billing, customer service, systems management, security, directory, and others. Cloud infrastructure management solutions don’t replace these tools. It’s, therefore, important to have APIs that integrate into existing OAM&P (operation, administration, maintenance, and provisioning) systems.
End-User, Developer, and Administrator User Interfaces
Self-service portals and deployment models help shield the end-user from the complexity of the cloud. This helps drive adoption and decreases operating costs since the end-user takes up most management tasks. The user can manage his or her own virtual data center, manage virtual storage, and create and launch templates. The user can also access image libraries and manage network and compute resources.
Administrators should get a UI that gives them a single-pane view of all cloud resources. They should see virtual machine instances, physical resources, service offerings, templates, and users. Developers should also access all these features through common APIs.
Dynamic Resource and Workload Management
The cloud must be resource and workload aware. Then, it will be truly on-demand and elastic and meet SLAs (service level agreements). Cloud computing virtualizes all data center components. The resultant abstraction requires cloud infrastructure management solutions that can create policies around workload and data management. This ensures maximum performance and efficiency for the applications running in the cloud. This is particularly important when systems hit peak demand. The system should dynamically prioritize resources on the fly depending on the enterprises’ priorities or various workloads.