A powerful infrastructure management tool reduces the strain on your IT department, with tools that make managing your Cloud easier, faster and more automated. An integrated tool, with broader functionality, provides value beyond IT and infrastructure teams, allowing developers, managers, auditors and other non-infrastructure related teams to understand and optimize their Cloud usage.
Delivering the required level of functionality, requires the application to be more vertically integrated than horizontally - managing more functions within a single Cloud than providing limited functionality across multiple Clouds.
A modern approach to Cloud Management in any organization, of any size and using any Cloud, must satisfy 3 requirements. We refer to these requirements as the 3 pillars of Cloud Management.
One of the first Challenges that organizations experience as the usage of Cloud first starts to spread early test environments to wider scale adoption is to work out, what is actually running?
One of the biggest concerns users have with public cloud resources is not knowing how much they will cost, given the pay-as-you-go model.
IT shops are becoming cost centers for service delivery... but they’re looking for ways to determine how their clouds are running, how much it’s costing and whether it’s a good value.”
William Fellows, 451 Group
Effective cloud cost management requires not only knowing what you spend on compute, storage, and networking, but also where you are spending it and who is spending it. In 2014, AWS provided more granular billing data, allowing users to track their services hour by hour. There is also growing ecosystem of cloud management tools that help companies monitor, analyze and in some cases optimize the costs of cloud resources.
Cost tracking and assignment
The ability to allocate costs in line with your organization’s accounting and budget structure is key to effective cost management. This may include apportioning upfront costs over a budget term, allocating costs based on cost center or reallocating costs based on usage variation. Cost centers, chargebacks and other assignment mechanisms allocate the cost of infrastructure to the business units, teams or projects responsible for its use. Assigning costs to users is also the first step to the creation of an accountability culture which facilitates and encourage the efficient use of Cloud resources by individual users and teams.
Alerts are designed to provide instant insights for key cost and operational issues including security, availability and usage. Insights that provide intelligent cloud analytics that alert you to situations in your cloud that are either costing you money or affecting the performance of your environment.
Controlling who can access cloud-based applications can be tricky. The key is to grant enough access to some users, but not too much to others.
A long-standing information security principle is that users should only have the permissions they need to perform their duties -- and no more. This is known as the “principle of least privilege” and is designed to minimize the impact of a trusted user adversely affecting information systems. By define groups of users it makes it much easier to implement roles. Groups of could include managers. Developers, operations and support. From this group of users you could create roles, it may map exactly to the groups or you may choose to combine 2 of them to one role. E.g. Support and operations might become an "Operate" role.
Giving business lines direct access to Cloud technology is incredibly empowering. In a survey of enterprise IT Departments, 43 percent say they offer a self-service capability for general business users and a further 41 percent were planning such a portal. A proper portal means that with a few mouse clicks, almost any department can access, purchase and use cloud- based technology, often without understanding how those applications or services will (or will not) integrate with an organization’s existing IT stack.
Cloud governance is a general term for applying specific policies or principles to the use of cloud computing services. Good governance, no matter the framework, needs to include a policy based approach to:
- The management of Cloud resources
- The management of Cloud performance.
- The management of Cloud security.
Optimization primarily takes two forms.
- Cost Optimization
- Resource Optimization
The Optimization can been triggered by actioning insights that allow for human / manual oversight or be based on automated rules.
Effective cloud management is simplest with a unified Cloud management tool, capable of providing a single platform that provides all three of the pillars of Cloud management. Integrating the three pillars of Cloud Management into the way you manage Cloud infrastructure is essential to getting the full organization benefits of Cloud , including cost savings, speed, agility, efficiency and innovation.
Fortunately, there are Cloud management providers to assist. CloudMGR is an innovative solution that helps provide visibility, control and optimization for your AWS Cloud. CloudMGR helps organizations save money and reduce risk and get more from AWS.
The platform also features Insights, giving you more visibility into your problems or inefficiencies arising from cost saving, security, utilization and availability.
A full featured cost analysis and reporting suite allows infrastructure managers to identify the root-cause of cost movements, while allowing self-service access to cost data for accounting, finance and audit purposes.