“Cloud management isn’t just a pretty wrapper that you put on top of virtualization to make it easier to use” says GigaOm Blogger Mark Thiele. He goes on to explain that an effective cloud management platform allows the owner to express their company’s directives and policies effectively and safely onto their myriad technology solutions and across international borders. Keep reading to learn why the cloud management platform you choose is so important.
Like any software that solves a problem or creates an opportunity (often one and the same), a cloud management platform should be acquired only after defining a clear set of requirements. A cloud management platform should:
- Be capable of managing a variety of clouds
- Handle data security and location
- Take care of policy management across clouds
- Include well-developed role-based security
- Incorporate a virtual machine security suite
- Consider the full life cycle from creation to deletion
- Integrate with operations platforms (monitoring, billing, etc.)
- Offer API’s for common tools and scripting languages
This isn’t a complete list of considerations but it is a starting point of things to consider. More detail on each of these items can be found on the original blog post by Mark Thiele. One thing that is not listed above, however, is also the most critical. It is the necessity to think about how a cloud management platform should complement and re-orient your IT organization.
The delivery of IT is different now. The old ways are gone. The addition of cloud to your organization isn’t an opportunity to do the same old things faster, it’s an opportunity to delivery functionally improved IT services in real-time to your business.
The bottom line is cloud is not a solution that can simply be purchased. It requires strategic planning and a change in the way IT is run within the company.