What is cloud management software

Cloud computing offers several user models that require different requirements at the infrastructure level. Above all, companies prefer to use the private cloud operated in their own company network. But what happens when peak loads need to be cushioned with capacity booked at short notice from a public cloud? How do companies manage the various clouds? The specialist article explains how needs-based cloud orchestration as part of effective cloud management can help to use heterogeneous cloud structures efficiently.

In recent years, cloud computing has become more and more popular, especially in the professional environment, and is an integral part of day-to-day operations in many companies. If companies still mainly use private clouds, the future could be dominated by the hybrid cloud. According to Gartner, almost 50 percent of all large companies should have hybrid cloud structures by 2017. The research specialist IDC confirmed this development: In Germany, too, IT is becoming more hybrid and complex in favor of cloud services. This increases the effort for IT organizations to coordinate and control the hybrid IT environment.

The increased demand for public or hybrid clouds goes hand in hand with their special advantages, which are becoming increasingly important for companies in terms of competition: flexibility, needs-based scaling and lower costs compared to in-house solutions. But some of these advantages fall by the wayside due to a lack of overview of the resources used. If the private cloud in the company is already subject to careful management, this need becomes even more urgent as soon as various cloud structures in the company come together.

Demand-based cloud management helps to maintain an overview of the capacities used, to use them efficiently and to increase the security of external services. Last but not least, new cloud management tools enable companies to establish hybrid cloud structures in the company and to fully exploit all potential. The requirements for this management software are high. On the one hand, it has to bring together heterogeneous structures in order to ensure that the various systems work together. On the other hand, it is responsible for ensuring adherence to security and compliance guidelines. Therefore, cloud management is also an essential component of the basic IT protection of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

Clever management tools are required
Holistic cloud management includes the provision, administration and operation of cloud infrastructures. Fundamental to the use of the hybrid cloud is the secure provision of capacities and the associated smooth interoperability with the company's internal IT landscape. Successful cloud orchestration is therefore crucial for the success of the cloud in heterogeneous IT landscapes. In order to avoid later errors in operation, it is necessary to carefully check the existing IT landscape in advance as part of a requirements management. This is the only way to validate the performance of your own capacities and at the same time check what the external cloud provider has to do.

The central components of good cloud management include a uniform interface and single sign-on. A common control center enables access and management of all cloud services used. Administrators have bundled all important functionalities via the uniform interface. Automatic scaling for the start of load-dependent instances ensures the correct performance of the cloud. The applications automatically distribute the load over the correct number of instances. Configuration management tools integrated in cloud management, such as puppet or chef, support service orchestration and facilitate the provisioning of the required systems.

Page 1: New tools for hybrid clouds
Page 2: Minimize Security Risks

09/10/2014 / ln / Josef Glöckl-Frohnholzer, Managing Director at Zimory