What is a Cloud Management Platform and How to Choose the Best?
Cloud Management Platform (CMP) provides cloud consumer a way to manage the cloud computing products and services across multiple cloud infrastructures, including both public and private cloud. Gartner says Cloud Management Platforms are integrated products that provide for the management of public, private and hybrid cloud environments.
The minimum requirements for CMP offerings Gartner sets as "products that incorporate self-service interfaces, provision system images, enable metering and billing, and provide for some degree of workload optimization through established policies."
Capabilities of a Cloud Management Platform (CMP)
Cloud Management Platform should support self-service cloud fulfillment and administration capabilities.
2. Service Catalogs
The Cloud Management Platform should present a catalog of target cloud environment services available for the organization users. Users will have access to a defined set of services or they can configure it as per the need.
3. Resource Management
A Must have for CMP is the ability to provide cloud resources visibility of virtual resources and on-demand services delivery. Following are the capabilities needed to manage resources efficiently:
- Discovery of cloud resources for effective resource management and maintain an inventory on an ongoing basis.
- Must be able to apply tags to cloud resources for effective resource management.
- The platform should support provisioning and de-provisioning of cloud resources.
- Orchestration – Automate processes needed to manage cloud resources.
- Support for Migration including shifting workload from private to public cloud.
Hybrid cloud services must be managed in accordance with organization policies. Governance capabilities in CMP enable an administrator to manage critical business processes and automate tasks using defined rules. It also enforces policy-based control of cloud resources.
5. Financial Management
Automating rating, metering, billing of services, chargeback reports or invoicing of consumptions and third party settlement processes are critical capabilities of a Cloud Management Platform. Accurate, real-time analysis and reporting along with predictive analytics is required to contain cost.
Security features in a cloud management platform include encryption management that extends to key management and certificates associated with encryption capabilities, role-based access control, user authentication and authorization against different identity providers etc.
Integration is another aspect to look for in a cloud management platform. The platform, for example, needs to support access to IT systems, billing systems, reporting and monitoring tools etc.
8. Reports and Dashboards
Many cloud management platforms provide cost management dashboards that can monitor real-time resource consumption and provide cost modeling and metrics, visibility and control over performance, availability, and capacity utilization. Granular view of cloud usage via interactive cost analytics dashboards and holistic recommendations helps to optimize the cloud cost.