The right cloud management tool can bring speed, flexibility, security, and cost efficiency to any IT organization. We highlight some of the most popular and powerful options.
Large numbers of organizations have adopted cloud services to achieve cost savings, flexibility, and scalability of IT infrastructure. However, managing theses services is often easier said than done, involving complexities like management and cost evaluation for multiple services running across multiple cloud platforms, resource consumption details, integration with other enterprise tools, and other factors.
A wide range of tools is available to deal with these challenges and help you facilitate efficient operation of applications and services in the cloud. Vendors offer a variety of cloud management tools that enable IT organizations to build, purchase, manage, monitor, track, and optimize their cloud resources. With the help of these tools, organizations can save time and effort while allowing IT staff to focus on more strategic goals. These tools also help in monitoring users' interactions with the cloud infrastructure and managing resource allocation.
In the cloud marketplace, different tools have unique feature sets. Capabilities include unified management across multiple clouds, integration with third-party tools for configuration and monitoring purposes, dashboards and reports for detailed information about resource consumption, notifications and alerts when predefined thresholds are reached, and controlled access to resources to avoid over-usage or unauthorized access. By simplifying the management of cloud environments and reducing the complexity and cost of managing multiple activities, the right cloud management tool can bring speed, flexibility, security, and cost efficiency to any organization.
Many people ask about "the best cloud management tool," but it's important for users to decide what cloud management features and functionalities they need for their business, and then find the best tool that fits. In this week's installment of our Top in Tech series, we present a range of cloud management tools that can help manage your cloud infrastructure effectively.
Cloudability is a cost management tool for monitoring and optimizing cloud expenses. It helps organizations monitor resource consumption details and provides various reports to efficiently analyze and manage finances. Cloudability supports multiple public, private, and hybrid cloud service providers.
Features include custom usage reports for scheduling and sharing; custom dashboards to provide a single view of useful information; budget alerts when a predefined spending limit is crossed; Reserved Instance (RI) planner for effective provisioning of Amazon reserved instances; and API access to make data accessible from any other business intelligence tool. It also provides analytics, multi-user support, and filtered views of information to compare spending across multiple cloud services.
VMware's vRealize Business (formerly known as VMware IT Business Management Suite) is a cost and utilization management tool for cloud-based services. It provides details about the cost of virtual machines and utilization of shared resources running in the cloud to help manage budgets and resources. It also provides insights into capacity and efficiencies to simplify cloud infrastructure management. vRealize Business can be integrated with various public, private, and hybrid clouds.
The platform provides usage details through consumption reports and usage metering, and it performs what-if analyses of cloud environments based on cost and utilization. It also tracks actual versus planned or forecasted spending to capture variances and gives managers the ability to identify top spenders and consumers of all IT services.
Cloudyn is a cloud management tool that offers a variety of functionalities to manage and optimize the cost and performance of public and hybrid cloud deployments. Primarily it provides insights on spending and helps managers deploy resources accordingly. Cloudyn is customized for AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and OpenStack deployments.
A single dashboard helps managers visualize detailed information about cloud resources, governance, and reporting. Cloudyn provides insights on economical usage of AWS EC2 instances (On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances) and enables managers to compare cost and performance of resources on AWS and the Google Cloud. Customized alerts and actionable insights with recommendations are available in the premium edition of the tool.
Dell Cloud Manager v11 (formerly EnStratius) is a tool that allows managers to track and control cloud usage and spending. It provides agility, governance, and the freedom to choose from a wide variety of cloud platforms, so enterprises can build the infrastructure that meets their customized business needs. Dell Cloud Manager v11 supports various public, private, and hybrid clouds including Amazon Web Services, Apache CloudStack, Digital Ocean, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack (RedHat OSP 4 and 5 and SUSE Cloud 4), ScaleMatrix, Virtustream, VMware vSphere 5.5, and Windows Azure Pack. Additional clouds may also be supported through Dasein Cloud.
Features include role-based access control to allocate specific levels of access to users; encryption for data security; insights on cloud spending to manage the budget; compatibility with other tools for monitoring and logging purposes; self-service provisioning; auto-scaling and auto-healing of applications; and a service catalog that enables the ability to compare, purchase, use, and manage public clouds and cloud applications. Dell Cloud Manager integrates with other configuration management tools such as Chef and Puppet, offers multi-cloud management from a single console, and enables API integration to extend the functionality and procurement of new public cloud accounts (currently available for Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and Joyent Cloud) through the tool.
RightScale's Cloud Management platform offers a single console to design, deploy, operate, and govern infrastructure and applications in public, private, and hybrid clouds. It helps businesses reduce outage risks and optimize costs for cloud-based operations. RightScale supports a variety of public cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services, Google, HP, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer, and private cloud platforms including CloudStack, OpenStack, and VMware vSphere.
The platform enables definition of service catalogues and server templates to easily deploy machines; integration with other configuration management tools including Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Salt, Bash, and Powershell; and unified management of multiple cloud resources including storage, database, firewalls, network, DNS, and more. It also offers automated backups, assisted failover, and disaster recovery environments to reduce downtime; role-based access control, reporting, and audit histories to track changes among resources; and triggered and automated notification alerts.
BMC offers tools to manage cloud operations and lifecycles, helping businesses optimize costs and capacity with unified management across all platforms. BMC Cloud Management provides support for various public, private, and hybrid clouds and offers the following tools for managing services in the cloud.
-- BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management provides simple use cases and scales to support provisioning of complex workloads in production-class hybrid clouds.
It offers a self-service portal to provide a seamless user experience; built-in integration with change management and a configuration management database (CMDB) to ensure governance; security policies to meet regulatory requirements; and provisioning across servers, networks, platforms, and applications. It also helps in monitoring service health through dashboards and auto-scaling resources up or down according to predefined service requirements to avoid service disruption.
-- BMC Cloud Operations Management provides the performance and capacity management required to run a reliable cloud infrastructure.
It provides performance analytics to identify under-provisioned resources and avoid outages; real-time visibility into performance across the infrastructure; and automatic workflows to forecast, measure usage, and charge for cloud services. It also offers capacity analytics to analyze current and future capacity across all resources to effectively plan capacity requirements, as well as cloud panorama to assess the real-time health of all services across multiple cloud stacks, from the infrastructure to the end user.
HP Hybrid Cloud Management is a tool that helps businesses plan, build, and operate cloud services from a single control point. It offers centralized management capabilities to manage resources across the infrastructure and supports various public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms, including HP's Helion Cloud. HP Hybrid Cloud Management is primarily powered by HP Cloud Service Automation, which is an enterprise-grade solution for cloud services. HP Cloud Service Automation builds on the capabilities of HP Server Automation and HP Operations Orchestration.
The platform provides centralized control for secure and compliant services monitoring and reporting for managing performance and utilization of resources. It also supports integration with other management tools for better reporting, cost management, and security management.
The IBM Cloud Management platform helps businesses manage and provision resources, optimize the patch cycle, and gain visibility into costs and usage of cloud infrastructure. IBM Cloud Management supports various public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms including IBM SoftLayer, OpenStack, PowerVM, IBM System z, VMware, and Amazon EC2.
The IBM Cloud Management platform includes a wide range of products including IBM Cloud Orchestrator, IBM SmartCloud Cost Management, and IBM SmartCloud Patch Management. Features include integration with existing tools for metering, usage, accounting, monitoring, and capacity management; detailed insights about resource utilization; and advanced analytics with reporting to provide visibility into infrastructure. The platform also supports cloud showback and chargeback processes to provide metering, and it has a cost rating tool for tracking business processes against budgets.
The CSC Agility Platform is a cloud management platform that provides management capabilities for the entire lifecycle, including planning, designing, consumption, release, and operation of cloud-based services. It offers centralized management, orchestration, and governance across cloud resources, and it helps businesses reduce costs and increase the agility of their IT environment. The CSC Agility Platform supports various public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms including Amazon EC2, CloudStack, CSC, Eucalyptus, Fujitsu, HP Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft System Center, OpenStack, Rackspace, Savvis, Terremark, VMware vCenter, VMware vCloud Director, and several others.
Features include secure self-service access to standardized IT services, customizable applications, and platforms; end-to-end security covering network, instance, data, and access levels; custom policies to meet compliance requirements; and dashboards and reports for consumption tracking. It also offers API, cloud adapter, SDK, CLI, and workflow automation capabilities to simplify infrastructure management; automated firewall configuration across private and public clouds; and Application Release Automation to manage software releases and application delivery lifecycles.
Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) offers cloud IT management solutions to provide control capabilities across the hybrid cloud. It provides a unified view of all IT assets for managing tasks. OMS supports various public, private, and hybrid cloud platforms, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, VMware, and OpenStack. Microsoft OMS includes Operational Insights, Site Recovery, Backup, and Automation.
Other features include real-time operational insights using features like custom dashboards, integrated search, and solution gallery; automation of manual and repeated tasks using runbooks and graphical workflow-authoring tools; protection of users, servers, and workloads with audit, breach analysis, malware, and system update assessments; and integration with existing tools including the System Center environment. The suite also provides support for application, server, and data backups; automated protection and replication of VMs; orchestrated recovery; and customizable recovery plans.
CloudMatrix from Gravitant is cloud brokering and management software that helps IT organizations with various tasks in the entire cloud-based IT chain, including assess, compare, design, procure, provision, operate, and control. It helps businesses centralize management of cloud resources and budgets and supports various public, private, hybrid, and community cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure IaaS, Verizon Terremark, VMware vCHS, VMware vCD 1.5 and 5.1, and OpenStack.
Features include centralized financial reporting for budget control; detailed reporting of resources; what-if analysis; advanced catalogues; an app store to publish IT solutions; predefined policies to track consumption; and application provisioning. It also offers tools to compare clouds and calculate ROI for multi-cloud environments.