If you are a cloud provider that has multiple data centers or cloud zones, for example infrastructure in a primary and secondary location, it is imperative that you have cloud management software. You cant always control sprawling infrastructure, especially if your business model requires you to maintain multiple zones, but you can take steps to make the environment more conducive from an administrative user experience. Compared to methods that require you to manage each zone individually, a cloud management platform can aggregate your data so that they can all me managed from a central location. This allows you to have monitoring and management teams in a central location and facilitates a simplified process.
In the same line of thought, federated clouds are also good candidates for a cloud management platform. Since you may not have control of the infrastructure on which your software is hosted at the federated zone, it makes sense to have a management platform that can bring data to your technical staff, regardless of where they are. Although you dont have control over the infrastructure, you still have total authority over the software component. Cloud management software helps you take charge and provide an optimum cloud environment for your end users.
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Cloud management allows you to measure cloud cost and revenue for your business to lend a full picture of how your business as a whole is benefitting from cloud services. Reports can be created on a schedule or manually, and allow you to see how your cloud is performing overall. This gives you educated insight into how you can improve your cloud and where it is exceeding end user expectations.
In addition to the benefit of creating reports, cloud management will also help you monitor your cloud. Appropriate monitoring is a way to actively identify potential issues as they arise. Monitoring will allow you to respond to these potential issues and correct them before they become an issue for your end users. Cloud management will also allow you to aggregate monitoring and reporting to further facilitate streamlined usage for both IT staff and end users, which includes alerts.
Lack of Automation
The automation component of a cloud management platform enables on demand scalability of your cloud environment for end users by reducing the manual processes necessary to deploy resources, a feature that is necessary to provide cloud as a service. As your customers enter busy seasons, the amount of compute resources they have access to is not limited in any way. This enables them to utilize as many resources as they need during peak seasons and then scale back so they are not paying for under utilized resources during off seasons.
Provisioning and de-provisioning by individual end users can also be accomplished through cloud management by continuing to reduce the necessary manual processes. Again coupled with automation, you can set up your cloud environment so the end users can spin up servers and virtual machines on demand them without assistance from your technical staff. This helps you conserve resources and is an added benefit for end users.
Continuous System Failures
If you are currently utilizing a monitoring system, but receive continual error reports, this is a clear indicator that you need cloud management. A cloud management system will allow you to compensate for these errors by identifying and helping you correct them before they become an issue. It can also help you plan a backup solution for your business and your end users.
Allocating space using cloud management and including redundancy will give you the resources you need to include a backup solution, which is another selling point for potential customers. Cloud management systems will also let you know when you need to upgrade your hardware to continue accommodating for your end users servers. This is a valuable addition to your environment because it will help you avoid overload issues.
There are many indicators that you cloud need cloud management software. These are just the surface, but huge issues that could affect not only your cloud environment, but also your end users. A cloud management solution is a valuable resource that every cloud provider should have in place to provide an optimized end user experience. Take time now to assess the benefits it can provide and give your customers the environment they deserve.
photo credit: Lubbock Heart Hospital, Dec 16-17, 2005