What is cloud management?

Cloud management is the control and oversight of an organization's infrastructure, services, and applications that run in the cloud. More and more organizations are moving their IT setup into the cloud to enjoy the flexibility, scale, and cost benefits that this technology brings. However, all cloud resources must be configured and managed systematically for optimum security, efficiency, and cost control. Cloud management includes policies, strategies, and technologies to control and maintain private, public, and hybrid cloud resources.

What are the benefits of cloud management?

Cloud management gives organizations a single point of control over the vast resources they deploy on the cloud. Organizations can balance innovative cloud expansion with governance, cost control, and flexibility. We share several benefits that organizations will gain from using cloud management solutions.

Ease of use

Cloud management tools provide user-friendly interfaces that allow system administrators to deploy, manage, and scale resources across single or multi-cloud environments. Instead of individually provisioning resources for cloud workloads, IT teams can deploy several quickly from the cloud management platform in simple steps. Moreover, cloud management tools enable continuous monitoring, so all events and alerts are channeled to the respective departments.

Centralized cloud governance

Organizations migrating to the cloud need a robust governance and compliance strategy to streamline policy implementation and access control. With a cloud management platform, organizations can enforce consistent business and security policies on applications, services, databases, and other workloads they deploy on the cloud. This reduces operating overheads in conventional setups where organizations spend considerable resources to manage disparate business workflows. 

Cost and capacity control

Cloud sprawl refers to deploying cloud resources without centralized control and accounting. Organizations can handle cloud sprawl more effectively with cloud management solutions. Administrators can keep track of unused cloud resources and reallocate or shut them down appropriately. 

Automated incident response

Cloud workloads may occasionally experience incidents that require manual intervention. Organizations implement cloud management strategies to automate incident management and accelerate disaster recovery. They can improve service availability, operational reliability, and customer satisfaction. 

Multi-cloud management

Scaling digital resources across multiple cloud environments requires navigating the infrastructural differences between public, private, and hybrid clouds. A cloud management platform provides organizations with the necessary resources and software tools to bridge the infrastructural gap between different cloud setups. For example, you can move a general knowledge base to the public cloud while retaining proprietary data in the private cloud network.

How does cloud management work?

Cloud management allows organizations to unify their efforts in deploying and managing workloads across one or multiple cloud environments. 

Traditionally, IT teams used various software tools to oversee and track workloads in separate infrastructures. However, data exchange across different cloud environments caused maintenance complications and made it challenging to respond to unforeseen incidents. Governing business and regulatory policies on multiple clouds also proved challenging for organizations. 

Cloud management solutions consolidate such efforts, enabling visibility while simplifying controls with analytics, automation, and other third-party tools. You can use a cloud management platform to view application event logs, compute resource usage, policy alerts, and other performance indicators essential to supporting digital growth. Development teams can also access various cloud services to expand their organization's cloud capabilities without overstretching resources.

What are the different aspects of cloud management?

Cloud management is a broad practice that coordinates, governs, and automates efforts so organizations can innovate and scale their cloud workloads. A good cloud management platform offers features that improve efficiency in the following areas. 

Provisioning and orchestration

Organizations need a consistent infrastructural framework to expand cloud workloads while complying with respective policies and business requirements. Cloud management provides organizations with self-managed services that they can replicate and scale while staying aligned with policy guidelines. 

Monitoring and observability

Cloud management tools provide data-driven insights from interactions between cloud applications, services, databases, and other workloads. They help development teams maintain application health, collaborate efficiently, and quickly respond to incidents. Some cloud service providers incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically predict, detect, and resolve problems affecting deployed workloads. 

Configuration, compliance, and auditing

In efforts to strengthen cloud resilience and meet regulatory compliance, organizations are challenged by the cloud's dynamic and complex computing environment. Cloud management software enables organizations to automatically collect audit-ready logs from all connected workloads. This way, you can monitor workload activities and pre-empt noncompliance by taking prompt remediation actions.

Enterprise governance and control

Cloud management allows IT administrators to set up a central cloud governance portal that applies consistent policies and fine-grained control on all third-party services. Organizations use cloud management platforms to strengthen their cloud security posture by applying best security practices under the shared responsibility model. 

Centralized operations management

Cloud management streamlines efforts to manage hybrid, private, public, or edge workloads by providing a single operational console for IT administrators. Whether updating security patches, remediating technical issues, applying policy changes, or other operational tasks, everything is enabled and automated from a centralized platform. 

Cloud financial management

Cloud management platforms enable organizations to plan and budget their cloud expenses more effectively. Finance teams use the platform's cloud cost management tools to optimize resource usage and billing plans. Some cloud providers allow organizations to set alerts for certain spending thresholds and offer discounts for specific billing plans. 

What are some cloud management strategies?

Organizations can accelerate their cloud innovation and transformation programs with these strategies. 

Encourage cloud visibility

Cloud visibility is essential to justify cloud spending and the environment's positive business outcomes. It lets IT teams retain accessibility to cloud usage metrics, resource allocation, data usage, policy implementations, and other aspects when managing cloud workloads. Seek a cloud provider that provides transparent management and integrations of cloud resources and third-party services.

Simplify cloud migration

A robust cloud management strategy requires a shared understanding amongst key stakeholders in an organization. Migrating workloads to the cloud involves choosing appropriate software tools and aligning changes with business requirements. To enable that, organizational leaders must define clear roles and awareness amongst team leaders and managers. At the same time, all stakeholders collaborate to identify risks, challenges, and opportunities when embracing cloud transformation. 

Enable cloud-business integration

Instead of treating cloud infrastructure and business operations as separate entities, organizations should apply cloud management to empower business efficiency. This means setting measurable business indicators and aligning them to organizational cloud strategies to optimize workflows, infrastructure management, and policy compliance. 

Optimize cloud resource usage

Organizations strive to balance cost and compute capacities when migrating to the cloud environment. To enable effective cloud management, IT teams must plan ahead to maximize resource usage and reduce costs. For example, different cloud service providers may offer varying usage plans. Hence, assessing your cloud computing requirements, comparing plans, and choosing an infrastructure with cost optimization features is important. 

How can AWS help with your cloud management efforts?

AWS Management and Governance provides organizations with managed services to control, scale, and operate cloud environments affordably. For example:

  • AWS Budgets allows you to track cloud usage and sends alerts when spending exceeds a predetermined threshold.
  • Amazon CloudWatch offers centralized visibility of workloads deployed on private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. 
  • AWS Cost & Usage Report provides detailed insight into cloud spending and uncovers cost optimization opportunities.
  • AWS Service Catalog provides infrastructure as code (IaC) templates that allow organizations to offer governed self-service cloud resources to their customers.
  • AWS X-Ray lets software teams debug and optimize cloud applications' performance by collecting service request data.

Organizations can also choose from third-party cloud management solutions in AWS Marketplace to modernize and accelerate their cloud initiatives. 

Get started with cloud management by signing up for an AWS account today.

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