Designing the optimal cloud management solution

Published on the 15/09/2015 | Written by Branko Bugarski


HP cloud management

When it comes to managing the hybrid environments, many have fallen back on using different tools to manage different services. Branko Bugarski, GM HP Software says it doesn’t have to be that way…

Booming demand for IT services has led many companies to embrace cloud computing, augmenting private infrastructures with on-demand public cloud resources. However, by using a variety of tools, the resulting siloed approach to management can create enormous drag on IT, stifle innovation and compromise agility. That, in turn, can handicap the company at a time when ever-changing business requirements demand precisely the opposite.

In the face of IT complexity and external pressures, such as increased competition and marketplace uncertainty, a new approach is needed, one that is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of cloud computing.

The key features of an optimal cloud management solution are:

Integral part of the cloud journey
Cloud is a journey, not an overnight transformation. As such, it can be divided into several distinct steps: consolidating and standardising IT resources to free up both staff and funding for your cloud initiative; automation of manual tasks and processes, which is a prerequisite for moving to cloud; self-service requesting by line-of-business users; operating and managing the complete lifecycle of these cloud services, from service creation to retirement; and finally, brokering internally created and externally sourced services.

Support for heterogeneous environments
In the real world, no large-scale cloud service delivery environment is going to be purely one type or the other, but rather, a mix of multiple elements. Thus, the most effective management solution is a single, comprehensive tool that takes care of the build, operate, and manage services in a heterogeneous environment with multi-vendor hardware, multi-OS, and multiple hypervisors.

Open and extensible architecture
Cloud environments should be capable of accommodating and adapting to business needs as they change over time—thus it is important to avoid getting locked into a single-vendor solution by keeping your environment open and flexible.

The optimal cloud management platform helps retain this flexibility by supporting publicly exposed APIs to facilitate integration with other third-party products. When building cloud services, it is critical to design for workload portability across public and private cloud.

A cloud management platform that supports open source cloud computing can help design for portable and interoperable services and avoid vendor lock-in.

Support for the entire stack
A solution that limits management capabilities to the infrastructure only also limits the ability to fully exploit the potential of cloud computing. The most effective solution will allow management of the entire stack—infrastructure (IaaS), platform (PaaS), and applications (SaaS)—not just infrastructure services.

Enterprise-grade capabilities
Cloud computing is a cornerstone of overall IT strategy and the tools used to manage the environment should reflect that importance. To support mission-critical applications, cloud solutions should be secure, compliant, and built on a highly available architecture, with the ability to scale infinitely and support large-scale enterprise applications.

Simplified, seamless user experience
In recent years, simple design and a seamless user experience have become the hallmark of many new consumer-facing applications, masking the complexity of the application underneath a modern and simple user interface. Today, line-of-business users expect this same simplicity, ease of use, and aesthetic appeal with their own IT applications.

Gone are the days when IT applications were skinned in visually unimpressive monotones—today’s user interfaces are colourful, playful and eye-catching, rendering perfectly on any device regardless of screen size or device type.

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