The rise of the multi-cloud and hybrid cloud has seen an increase in the demand for a reliable cloud management system. This is in a bid to ease the management and deployment of apps and resources across their disparate IT environments.
Before you invest in a tool, you need to figure out your requirements for cost optimization, resource provisioning, user access, and other features. Below, we look at some of the steps you should take to get the right tools for the job.
1. Define Your Cloud Management Goals
Before you can settle on a cloud management system, you must first answer the following questions:
What goals does your organization want to achieve?
How do you plan on going about it?
What are the reasons for doing it?
Start by defining what exactly you’re looking to achieve with the cloud management system. You must understand that it’s OK to start small. For instance, your organization might want to start by implementing self-service capabilities before going into anything else. A cloud management tool can help you with this. You can use the tool’s premade templates that users can access to launch resources.
Are the goals of your organization leaning more toward reducing deployment overhead and having consistency across cloud environments? You can start with self-service options for VMs. Build up from there as users become more accustomed to the self-service model.
2. Access to Cloud Management
Before rolling out a cloud management system, define who will have access to the tool and the resources it supports. This is not always as simple as it sounds, however. Your organization may have a complex structure with many groups that need to access cloud resources for various reasons.
If this is the case, you need to deconstruct your requirements into the following areas for each group that requires access:
- Consumers: This refers to the developers, project managers, and end-users within each group that needs to access cloud resources.
- Managers: This refers to the individuals charged with managing and approving customer requests.
- Business admins: This refers to individuals charged with providing access to cloud resources and managing access to resource templates. They ensure that customers are using the desired configurations.
In some organizations, the IT administrator or other technical staff member can take over the role of business admin.
To make management simpler, you must create groups – usually with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol or with Active Directory – for each unit. Assigning roles directly to users can be a problem. It makes management more complicated as your cloud deployment grows. It makes more sense to manage access by grouping users. You can remove them from these groups when the need arises. In short, the authorization workflow in your organization should mimic the structure of the business and not the other way around.
It’s possible to repeat the same resource templates in as many or as few business lines as you want. Note that templates are normally not sharable between cloud tenants.
3. Resource Consumption and Workflows
Organizations should monitor and manage the consumption of resources in the cloud just as they would in an on-premises deployment. Each cloud management system you evaluate may handle this differently. You must determine the amount of memory, CPU, and disk space users and their workloads consume on a group basis. Admins should be able to monitor and track consumption. This ensures each business unit and its apps aren’t using more resources than the organization allotted to them.
Most cloud management systems give administrators the power to quickly build workflows for resource deployment. They do this with a drag-and-drop wizard. A workflow typically consists of the following steps:
- Step 1: Users check-in and select a blueprint. The blueprint includes VM details and configuration data.
- Step 2: Managers receive approval requests through e-mail. Some cloud management systems allow for customization at this stage. Admins can either skip this step or apply it to certain resources or groups.
- Step 3: After the approval process, the user or requester can now access a VM.
4. Cost Monitoring and Optimization
The ability to approve and deploy VMs is just the beginning. Organizations have to pay their bills. For this reason, organizations need to keep track of and manage costs. This is the only way they can stick to a budget. A cloud management system should give admins cost visibility across the entire deployment. They should be able to identify ownership of every VM that runs on the cloud-based on cost.
For instance, if there’s a VM build failure where it created zombie or phantom VMs, costs can run out of control. A cloud management tool should give admins the power to identify and remediate these problems as quickly as possible.
With the right cloud management systems in place, your organization will be able to leverage the power of the cloud to stay competitive in the marketplaces. Get a Free Demo