What do we mean by ‘Cloud Management’?

If you are consuming a significant amount of cloud services, particularly if they incorporate diverse cloud services, you will need some form of cloud management tool. A Cloud Management Platform goes beyond virtualisation management controls. Gartner suggests that, at a bare minimum, such a system should: provide self-service interfaces, enable the provision of system images, manage metering and billing, and provide for some degree of workload optimisation through established policies.

Who are Cloud Management Platforms for?

These tools are really aimed at the enterprise or organisation with large or complex infrastructure management requirements. They are designed to reduce the complexity of the infrastructure management and facilitate the provisioning of cloud resources.

Because of the role they play, they are targeted at the needs of Infrastructure Managers, CTOs and Environment Managers.

What benefits do Cloud Management Platforms offer?

“Piloting an entire infrastructure can become extremely complex, especially as you have as many interfaces as you have technologies,” argues Jeanne Le Garrec of CMP vendor, Hedera Technology. He argues that the value of the Cloud Management Platform is to provide a ‘single pane of glass’ view of all IT and infrastructure tools which can facilitate the management of the cloud environment. Le Garrec continues: “Since companies nowadays have very heterogeneous infrastructures it can be hard to think about optimisation because there are so many aspects to consider. CMP has a role to play here too.”

Are there any risks associated with Cloud Management Platforms?

Given the increasingly crowded marketplace, the challenge is to find a solution that best supports the requirements of your organisation, infrastructure and management policies. Gartner’s definition points out that: “More-advanced system offerings may also integrate with external enterprise management systems, include service catalogues, support the configuration of storage and network resources, allow for enhanced resource management via service governors and provide advance monitoring for improved guest performance and availability.”

Choosing the appropriate tool to meet the requirements of the business presents a challenge in a market that is “still immature”, according to Gartner.

The biggest risk, however, rests with the use of proprietary management tools which inevitably limit the interoperability of cloud services and consequently limit the potential value of moving to cloud provision.

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