Cloud management is the management of cloud computing products and services.
Public clouds are managed by public cloud service providers, which include the public cloud environment’s servers, storage, networking and data center operations. Users may also opt to manage their public cloud services with a third-party cloud management tool.
Users of public cloud services can generally select from three basic categories:
- User self-provisioning: Customers purchase cloud services directly from the provider, typically through a web form or console interface. The customer pays on a per-transaction basis.
- Advance provisioning: Customers contract in advance a predetermined amount of resources, which are prepared in advance of service. The customer pays a flat fee or a monthly fee.
- Dynamic provisioning: The provider allocates resources when the customer needs them, then decommissions them when they are no longer needed. The customer is charged on a pay-per-use basis.
Managing a private cloud requires software tools to help create a virtualized pool of compute resources, provide a self-service portal for end users and handle security, resource allocation, tracking and billing. Management tools for private clouds tend to be service driven, as opposed to resource driven, because cloud environments are typically highly virtualized and organized in terms of portable workloads.
In hybrid cloud environments, compute, network and storage resources must be managed across multiple domains, so a good management strategy should start by defining what needs to be managed, and where and how to do it. Policies to help govern these domains should include configuration and installation of images, access control, and budgeting and reporting. Access control often includes the use of Single sign-on (SSO), in which a user logs in once and gains access to all systems without being prompted to log in again at each of them.
Aspects of cloud management systems
A cloud management system combines software and technologies in a design for managing cloud environments. Software developers have responded to the management challenges of cloud computing with cloud management systems.
At a minimum, a cloud-management system should have the ability to:
- manage a pool of heterogeneous compute-resources
- provide access to end users
- monitor security
- manage resource allocation
- manage tracking
For composite applications, cloud management systems also encompass frameworks for workflow-mapping and -management.
Enterprises with large-scale cloud implementations may require more robust cloud management tools which include specific characteristics, such as the ability to manage multiple platforms from a single point of reference, or intelligent analytics to automate processes like application lifecycle management. High-end cloud management tools should[original research?] also have the ability to handle system failures automatically with capabilities such as self-monitoring, an explicit notification mechanism, and include failover and self-healing capabilities. Cisco recently[when?] launched its InterCloud solution to provide flexibility to dynamically manage workloads across public and private cloud environments.
Second section from cloud computing
Legacy management infrastructures, which are based on the concept of dedicated system relationships and architecture constructs, are not well suited to cloud environments where instances are continually launched and decommissioned. Instead, the dynamic nature of cloud computing requires monitoring and management tools that are adaptable, extensible and customizable.
Cloud management challenges
Cloud computing presents a number of management challenges. Companies using public clouds do not have ownership of the equipment hosting the cloud environment, and because the environment is not contained within their own networks, public cloud customers do not have full visibility or control. Users of public cloud services must also integrate with an architecture defined by the cloud provider, using its specific parameters for working with cloud components. Integration includes tying into the cloud APIs for configuring IP addresses, subnets, firewalls and data service functions for storage. Because control of these functions is based on the cloud provider’s infrastructure and services, public cloud users must integrate with the cloud infrastructure management.
Capacity management is a challenge for both public and private cloud environments because end users have the ability to deploy applications using self-service portals. Applications of all sizes may appear in the environment, consume an unpredictable amount of resources, then disappear at any time. A possible solution is profiling the applications impact on computational resources. As result, the performance models allow the prediction of how resource utilization changes according to application patterns. Thus, resources can be dynamically scaled to meet the expected demand. This is critical to cloud providers that need to provision resources quickly to meet a growing demand by their applications.
Chargeback—or, pricing resource use on a granular basis—is a challenge for both public and private cloud environments. Chargeback is a challenge for public cloud service providers because they must price their services competitively while still creating profit. Users of public cloud services may find chargeback challenging because it is difficult for IT groups to assess actual resource costs on a granular basis due to overlapping resources within an organization that may be paid for by an individual business unit, such as electrical power. For private cloud operators, chargeback is fairly straightforward, but the challenge lies in guessing how to allocate resources as closely as possible to actual resource usage to achieve the greatest operational efficiency. Exceeding budgets can be a risk.
Hybrid cloud environments, which combine public and private cloud services, sometimes with traditional infrastructure elements, present their own set of management challenges. These include security concerns if sensitive data lands on public cloud servers, budget concerns around overuse of storage or bandwidth and proliferation of mismanaged images. Managing the information flow in a hybrid cloud environment is also a significant challenge. On-premises clouds must share information with applications hosted off-premises by public cloud providers, and this information may change constantly. Hybrid cloud environments also typically include a complex mix of policies, permissions and limits that must be managed consistently across both public and private clouds.
Cloud Services Brokerages
Like any other brokerage firm, a Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) manages cloud services for clients. Gartner explains that CSBs play an intermediary role in the cloud computing management process. Cloud services brokerages consolidate cloud services from one or more sources and allow customers to access these services through one portal.
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