As per Gartner, cloud management platforms (CMPs) are integrated products that enable the management of public, private and hybrid cloud environments. The minimum requirements to be included in this category are products that incorporate self-service interfaces, provision system images, enable metering and billing, and provide for some degree of workload optimization through established policies. A good cloud management platform allows users to maintain control over dynamic and scalable cloud environments.
A cloud management platform (CMP) usually covers three basic areas of a cloud infrastructure:
- Cost Management – When organization are dealing with multi or hybrid cloud environment, managing costs and adhering to strict governance and compliance becomes a complex task.
- Security – Internal IT teams waste significant amount of time managing security threats.
- Automation and performance management – To maximize the ROI of cloud infrastructure, it is important to automate routine tasks and consistently monitor performance.
There is no denying that cloud infrastructure offers plethora of benefits such as flexibility, agility, optimized cost and security. However, in most scenarios, organizations lack in-house skills and adequate staffing to seamlessly manage disparate tools and technologies. Hence, cloud management platform must become a part of the organizations’ IT strategy.
Key functionalities of a cloud management platform:
Provisioning or orchestration – A CMP allows organizations to manage their cloud resources through an orchestration suite that automates cloud management tasks. In simpler terms, it automatically administers management tasks to help organizations to optimize their cloud resource usage. Through CMP, organizations can provision resources for their cloud environment themselves rather than being dependent on the internal IT team’s expertise and having to wait patiently to gain access to an organizations limited in-house resources. By leveraging a Cloud Management Platform, an organizations can determine the optimal resource requirements for their business needs.
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Cloud cost management – The biggest reason why enterprises want to manage their resource usage is to reduce costs. Idle resources leads to wastage of time and money. A CMP allows organizations to ensure optimum utilization of resources, thereby optimizing cloud costs and ensuring better returns on cloud infrastructure.
Monitoring & Analytics – What makes a CMP tool so unique is its ability to unify monitoring processes by providing logs from all the major resources. In addition, it gives insights to assist organizations in visualizing their usage, utilization, cost of current infrastructure and track cost consumption across all cloud resources. These insights helps in eliminating additional expenses.
Secure Access & Compliance – Unprotected or mismanaged in-house hardware and software create security issues. Data intrusions and hacks not only deplete a company’s finances but also damage its reputation. A CMP has dedicated tools that monitor the network activity round the clock. A cloud management tool brings in regulatory compliance, and have default or user-defined policies that continuously perform penetration testing for identifying security threats.
Integration – A CMP provides a suite of connectors that allow integrations to a wide range of internal systems and technologies. Furthermore, the in-built development ecosystem allows organizations to create new integrations and visualizations – this makes decentralized innovation easier, reduces time-to-market and ultimately delivers real-time management information and analytics.