What is Cloud Management?
February 27, 2012
From cloud storage to cloud hosting to cloud recording, there is little today in the IT environment that has not made its way to the cloud. In fact, many contend that 2011 was the year of the cloud and, accordingly, 2012 means that cloud will only continue to become more ubiquitous.
Since there are so many applications, data and services residing in the cloud, nowadays there needs to exist a set of tools or resources capable of ensuring that a company’s cloud computing based system is working optimally and properly interacting with users and other services. These tool sets are responsible for cloud management – the process of making sure that all cloud services are working at optimal levels.
One of the biggest shifts over the last few years has been towards the private cloud, or proprietary computing architecture, that provides hosted services to a limited number of people behind a firewall. As opposed to a public cloud model, private cloud is oftentimes viewed as more desirable option as it is catered toward organizations that need and want additional control over their data. Several cloud management solutions catered for private models allow customers to consolidate resources, allocate and manage services, optimize service levels and reduce operational costs.
With proper cloud management solutions, private cloud users can run multiple operating systems on the same physical server, all at the same time, or have providers duplicate a company’s existing virtual machine, for easy and quick setup.
Companies employ various cloud management strategies but a successful one usually accounts for a number of tasks such as performance monitoring (specifically response times, uptime and latency), security and compliance auditing, and initiating and overseeing disaster and contingency disaster recovery plans.
While a cloud management strategy might have been simpler years ago – back when some would argue that cloud was more a fad than a “must-have” IT commodity – nowadays, with the rise of private, public and hybrid clouds, a cloud management strategy has to be more comprehensive. Specifically, the trend to have several applications hosted on premise while others are hosted in the cloud has spearheaded the need for better cloud management practices. And these practices must be just as flexible and scalable as the cloud computing strategy itself.
Some of the most successful cloud management systems automate the decisions and process of provisioning diverse resources against diverse incoming workloads. In so doing, companies can enjoy a faster delivery of IT services to businesses; reduced capital and operating costs; and automated chargeback for resource usage and reporting, Moreover, cloud management solutions can ensure that the constantly growing number of TI services won’t fail so IT staff can scale without worry as well as meet service level requirements and address changing conditions.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin