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 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 in order 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 is a discipline but one that is facilitated by tools and software. To realize the control and visibility required for efficient cloud management, enterprises should see their hybrid IT infrastructure through a consolidated platform that pulls relevant data from all the organization’s cloud-based and traditional on-premises systems.
Cloud management platforms help IT teams secure and optimize cloud infrastructure, including the applications and data residing on it. Administrators can manage compliance, set up real-time monitoring, and preempt cyberattacks and data breaches.
So how does it work? Typically, a cloud management system will be installed on the target cloud. It captures information on activity and performance then sends analysis to a web-based dashboard where administrators can see and act accordingly. Where there is an issue, administrators can issue commands back to the cloud through the cloud management platform, that servers as a consolidated point of control.
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 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.
Cloud management allows IT to customize cloud services for specific requirements. Design blueprints – IT services – which can be simple applications or complex full-stack environments for your developers. Some cloud management solutions enable modularity, where a single design can be reused to automate the fulfillment of a wide variety of requests - by simply selecting service options or parameters into the fulfillment process. Scripts can be composable, which means you can just as easily remove parts of particular scripts or flows as you can add to them. Making the service customization experience much easier.
“Silos of skills” within an organization is a real problem that finds alleviation in rich, immersive user interface (UI) that can take the place of the coding environment, making knowledge transfer, onboarding, minimum coding skills required, and ability to execute quickly, all much easier and faster. Cloud management solutions can offer simple or advanced UI for developers – both for building automation and for designing IT service blueprints (designs).
The pricing models of public cloud service providers range from simple to complex, making the comparison of different providers and determining total cost arduous. In addition, it isn’t always easy to forecast usage and its associated spend. Cloud management includes cost monitoring tools that give IT teams the ability to navigate the sometimes murky pricing models of cloud computing vendors.
Organizations can understand where their bills come from, allocate charges to different customers or departments, forecast future expenses and make long-term commitments.
Some solutions also enable showback and chargeback and even provide auto generated recommendations for effectively lowering the public cloud spend.
Today’s organizations have dozens of diverse applications running in the cloud. Cloud management gives visibility and control over this otherwise disparate ecosystem, integrating cloud operating systems, applications, storage frameworks, provisioning, cloud security and anything else hosted on the enterprise’s cloud. Cloud management tools ensure the effective operation and management of cloud resources, creating a consistent mechanism for resource allocation, cost management and compliance. Administrators gain access and control over the enterprise cloud through a web-based interface they can access from anywhere they are. All that’s required is a secure Internet connection.
Cloud Management solutions can provide you with out of the box content for custom automation (library of operations, workflows), for integrations with other widely used software and technologies, and more. This can help IT administrators get a head start on every project resulting in improved time to value.
Ensure company-wide IT compliance with a complete view of all CIs (configuration items) and their dependencies. This includes storing and maintaining relationships between them, providing you with the information needed to make better business decisions and run efficient IT processes. For example, during disruptive events, impact and root cause analysis can therefore easily be performed helping IT quickly bring resources to the desired, optimal state.
Whether by design or circumstance, the future of cloud computing for the average enterprise is a mix of private, public and hybrid cloud solutions. Cloud management equips today’s organization with the tools required to manage multiple clouds of different types (public, private and hybrid). Enterprises can optimize cost and manage capacity across multiple cloud types.
End users can browse the service catalog that IT created, and they can independently request company-approved resources – using a self-service portal – for their specific projects and needs.
Cloud management accelerates and orchestrates the delivery of cloud infrastructure and applications. By leveraging performance optimization tools and proven methodologies, it ensures cloud-based applications run efficiently.
Cloud services are easy to procure. With this convenience, however, comes the risk of taking up more than you need or can afford, leading to resource sprawl. Since a virtual infrastructure is intangible, an organization can lose track of just how much they are using and whether they need such capacity.
Through cloud management’s granular reporting and comprehensive analytics, organizations can better forecast and plan for their infrastructure needs while optimizing resource acquisition, resource utilization and workload placement. They can manage cloud capacity without compromising delivery on service level agreements (SLAs).
You can inject automated or manual actions into the fulfillment process, making sure all IT services are compliant with your company’s standards and budgets. These actions can also be used to configure advanced, multi-level approval flows for service requests. Easily assign dynamic rules based on different users and use cases.
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 with relevant regulations and standards such as GDPR, HIPAA and PCI DSS as well as internal polices like cloud email encryption.
Cloud management drives governance compliance while giving developers the confidence that they are working within the confines of rules and law.
The cloud will be with us for decades to come. But cloud computing technology is not static – it’s rapidly evolving as it grows in complexity. With these changes comes difficulty in manual oversight. Cloud management solutions are built to reduce that complexity and provide IT with an easy to use platform, rich in UI, to simplify overall management of hybrid IT estate.
Cloud management ensures a unified view of infrastructure utilization and health. It facilitates automated performance tracking as well as proactive discovery and resolution of issues. Decision-making is accelerated as information is available in real-time. Policies guide resource access, configuration and capacity.
By driving environment-conscious cloud architectural strategies, cloud management can help lower the energy consumption of cloud infrastructure.
Micro Focus Hybrid Cloud Management X provides comprehensive fulfillment orchestration for organizations that want to speed-up application delivery, improve operational efficiency, and streamline service delivery and consumption across a broad set of new and traditional, private and public cloud-based deployment platforms. It addresses public cloud overspending, slow internal resource delivery, the complexity of building and deploying hybrid IT, and the management of siloed tools.
Download the RIA Vendor Selection Matrix 2021 for Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure and Service Management to learn why Hybrid Cloud Management X was ranked #1, and gain useful insights into the rapidly evolving cloud management tooling market, based not only on analyst’s judgment but leaning primarily on cumulative results where 1,500 enterprise IT and business managers were interviewed.
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