Cloud computing

What is cloud management?

Cloud management is a concept that means a user has control over everything that operates in a cloud: the data, applications, and services. The management tools themselves, which generally run as platforms, are the software used to manage those data, applications, and services. These tools are used to ensure that the cloud-computing resources are running efficiently and securely, while accessible to everyone (or everything) that needs them. Basically, cloud management platforms exist so that anything running in a cloud—public, private, or hybrid—actually works, and works well.

Cloud management connecting apps, data, servers and storage

At its heart, cloud management is a strategy that incorporates different pillars of a management platform. Those strategies and tools have different uses for different types of clouds. Some tools help enterprises deploy cloud resources, while others help the user track and optimize cloud use. Other tools work on data integration, and still others focus on disaster recovery and data retention. But their goals are fundamentally the same: to provide administrative control over the infrastructure, platforms, applications, and data that need to work in a cloud.

Cloud management is not cloud computing

It’s easy to confuse the 2 concepts, but they are different, and 1 necessitates the other. Cloud management is simply a set of rules and approaches to running applications, data, and services across a network. Clouds themselves are pools of virtual resources, storage, applications, and services that are managed by software so the resources can be accessed on demand. That software is—you guessed it—the building blocks of a cloud management platform.

Cloud management is a combination of software, automation, policies, governance, and people that determines how those cloud computing services are exposed to the organization. Now, some cloud management platforms can be deployed as part of the networking, storage, and processing power that makes up cloud infrastructure. For example, private cloud management is actually part of the cloud infrastructure, as it incorporates the functions of a cloud management platform into a broader, more comprehensive cloud management system. For the most part, cloud computing provides the rules and cloud management carries them out.

What a cloud management platform should do

Though public clouds are usually managed by a public cloud service provider, users can still deploy their own cloud management platform to integrate management across public and private clouds. In a perfect world, once a new capability is added to a cloud management platform, it would be self sufficient and require minimal oversight. But IT professionals still need the expertise to create efficient workflows within the management tools they’ve chosen. And regardless of how good a tool is at monitoring data, cloud admins still must manage the tools that run the cloud. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Cloud management platforms must be customized to your needs: they must meet the requirements of the operating systems, apps, storage frameworks, and whatever else is running in the cloud.

Automation should remove humans from everyday tasks. Automation is integral to everything that cloud computing can do, and therefore self-service capabilities are vital to any cloud management platform.

It’s easy to use cloud services, so it’s very easy to use more than you can afford. A cloud management platform should provide accurate cost forecasting and reporting.

Like the resources, data, and processing power of your cloud, your cloud management tools should be accessible by the admin regardless of where he or she physically is.

By necessity, an enterprise’s future is filled with all types of clouds: private, public, and hybrid. Every cloud management platform should be able to support all 3 types of clouds smoothly and securely.

This seems like a gimmie, but self-service capabilities are vital to any cloud management platform. It should maintain control over everything, while policies guide user access to resources, configurations, and capacity.

Why Red Hat

The cloud is here to stay. But as cloud computing needs change, users will adapt, as should the cloud management tools. Whether you operate across a single or multiple cloud environments, effective management makes all the difference. Our open source multicloud management platform offers a consistent way to track cloud costs, control resource allocation, and ensure compliance. It’s also designed to run the the leading open source IT automation playbooks natively, letting you standardize the cloud experience using a unified automation language.

Start managing your clouds today

Red Hat Cloudforms

An infrastructure management platform that allows IT departments to control users’ self-service abilities to provision, manage, and ensure compliance across virtual machines and private clouds.

Red Hat Ansible Automation

Automate cloud management by defining a wide range of policies and processes with no coding or scripting required.

There's so much more to do with the cloud