Enterprise cloudification is reaching a mature state. With an array of cloud services providers offering competitive pricing, low TCO, and a multitude of features to support unique workflows, few companies can resist the attraction to expand their cloud portfolio.
The wrinkle? Hybrid cloud infrastructures are composed of a heterogeneous portfolio of clouds (public and private), products and technologies. As such, they’re becoming increasingly hard to manage. The major “selling point” of cloud migration was agility. However, with a growing silo of “mismatched” IaaS, PaaS, and other services, hybrid cloud infrastructure has become a managerial burden rather than a dynamic driver of faster workflows.
Clearly, businesses need new tools to effectively manage these disparate target environments. Hybrid cloud management (HCM) software does just that.
What is Hybrid Cloud Management?
The role of hybrid cloud management is to unify and streamline the cross-cloud management of Hybrid IT infrastructure, applications and services. Instead of fine-tuning, each element of your portfolio hybrid cloud management solution enables you to control and orchestrate all assets from a single UI.
Most HCM tools are purpose-built. Some focus on unifying self-service provisioning. Others are suitable only for consolidating workloads in specific environments (e.g. Amazon public cloud).
Software development veteran, Joe Kinsella proposes the following classification for existing HMC tools:
- Cloud & Service Fabric – consolidating the provisioning, deployment, and management of public/private cloud infrastructure and resources.
- Service Management – consolidating the optimization and orchestration of business and cloud services.
- Application and Infrastructure Management – consolidating the provisioning, deployment, and management of applications and cloud resources.
The Definitive Benefits of Adopting a Hybrid Cloud Management Platform
A single point of control simplifies the enforcement of environment-wide policies and compliance procedures. HCM provides complete control over all your assets, regardless of where they reside.
Streamlined Cost Management
Enjoy higher cost and utilization visibility for budgeting, control, and optimization of cloud resources. Most platforms allow you to add capacity/spend limits for specific projects to achieve granular control.
Gain a bird’s-eye view of your multi-cloud environment. Quickly locate operational bottlenecks, ineffective resource distribution, and underutilized assets, and identify and mitigate possible system outages early on.
Increased IT efficiency
HMC tools enable self-service access to cloud resources and services for developers, empowering them to do their best. Further, they accelerate on-demand provisioning in response to changing market demands; and enable automation-centric activities (e.g. resizing, reclaiming, and retiring assets).
Adoption Considerations & Challenges for HCM
Adopting a new product always comes with tradeoffs. While cloud management platforms are primarily geared towards simplifying and streamlining your operations, always be sure to account for certain entanglements first. These include:
Lack of Standardization
Today’s HCM vendors offer a disjointed array of functions and features within their management stack–satisfying your business demands only partially. This, in turn, makes the selection and rollout process even more complicated.
Due to a lack of standardized guidelines, you may end up signing on with a provider who fails to meet all of your managerial demands (e.g. they can assist with cost optimization, but don’t provide self-service capabilities.).
To function normally, an HCM platform requires access to all your systems, including those that carry sensitive data. When evaluating providers, conduct a comprehensive assessment of their security standards to ensure they’re on par with your internal policies and industry regulations.
HCM adoption requires integrations with multiple tools and infrastructure—supporting DevOps, service and configuration management, and financial management. While assembling these “moving pieces,” your business may experience issues with connectivity and service level commitments.
The simplest and quickest way to conquer the complexities of hybrid IT is to schedule a consult with Anexinet’s experienced team who can match your current cloud strategy with a complementing hybrid cloud management roadmap.
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