A cloud management platform (CMP) is software that provides management for public, private and hybrid cloud environments. Managing an entire infrastructure can become highly complex, and that’s where a cloud management platform comes in. A CMP is a tool that automatically organises and pilots your cloud infrastructure, allowing you to gather all of your tools and technologies in a single pane of glass.
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Public, private and hybrid clouds cannot all be handled with a basic virtualisation management tool, making a cloud management platform an essential and valuable aid in helping businesses develop a more advanced, cloud-centred IT strategy.
Who needs a cloud management platform?
A cloud management platform provides the functionality needed to manage a multi-cloud strategy and complex cloud architectures. Suitable for enterprises with extensive IT requirements and load fluctuations, a cloud management platform is also a useful tool for those wanting to begin dealing with requests created by service use in addition to operational use.
To better understand the benefits of a cloud management platform, let’s go through its fundamental features.
Key features of a cloud management platform
Though unique features vary depending on provider, these platforms usually include the following:
Self-service control panel – The dashboard from which you manage your cloud infrastructure. Often customisable, a good self-service interface offers a simple and efficient control panel for selecting configurations and carrying out deployments.
Cloud service metering – Cloud management platforms present data on your infrastructure expenditure, allowing you to edit bills using this information. This feature is useful for businesses looking to recharge costs to internal departments and services (sales, marketing, developers etc), however is also helpful for service and cloud providers charging invoices based on a customer’s consumption. Cloud service metering allows you to keep track of your infrastructure use, telling you the rates of consumption according to time of day, month and year, comparing times of peak consumption with lower levels. This information provides the means to thoroughly analyse efficiency and adapt the business accordingly.
Workload optimisation tools – CMP features work seamlessly together, being in place to help streamline workload management. This can be either automatic, using intuitive wizards and GUI controls, or simply act as an assistance for manual decision making. Using these tools, you are able to make management policies and instructions to help handle resources better and use less energy. For example, a rule could be put in place to provision a new server each time a physical server has reached a certain level.
Service governors – Service governors are in place to analyse requests made by users to ensure that they are deployed using the right configuration and following established circumstances. A service governor makes sure that operations and access controls are running as intended.
External management – A CMP consolidates your data centre tools and processes in one interface. Whether it be to gather information or pilot processes directly, a CMP simplifies management through centralisation of these tools.
Service catalog and customisable add-ons – Through the self-service interface, you can select templates and configurations which can be applied to your services. You can choose between several pre-made services, or alternatively make and customise them yourself.
Configuration of network and storage resources – A CMP allows you to join your server management with your network and storage technologies. You can set up storage and network configuration for each service using a CMP, with everything being customisable to meet the needs of your services.
High performance management – Ensuring resources are managed with optimum efficiency by gathering all policies (services, infrastructure trend use etc), a CMP will provision and automatically deploy your services using only the resources needed.
Simple to deploy and straightforward to use, a cloud management platform allows you to collect all of your technologies and tools in one fully automated and scalable environment. Though unique features vary dependent on provider, a CMP simplifies multi-cloud management, optimising operation using a single pane of glass.
Sam Martin lives in the cloud, eager to make cloud computing easier to understand, use and deploy, OnApp is a complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution for cloud providers, CDN providers, telcos, carriers, MSPs and enterprises. More than 3,000 companies in 93 countries use our software to deliver cloud, CDN and DR services, and add scale and reach on demand through the OnApp Federation – the world’s biggest public cloud.