What is a cloud management platform?
Cloud management platforms have emerged with the adoption of hyperscale computing technology and cloud providers. The main idea of the multi-cloud management platforms is to consolidate infrastructure information and to simplify control for users that feel overwhelmed with endless possibilities and configuration settings in different platforms, and need a tool that crystalizes important data.
What drives the demand for cloud management platforms? Surveys show that cloud consumers consistently struggle with cost optimization for multi-cloud environments, the priority is compliance with the security requirements across the clouds, and finally IT departments are looking to automate the workflows. With hybrid cloud model as the new market standard, hybrid cloud management platforms are entering the mainstream phase and soon are said to become an essential part of most corporate software stacks.
To help customers with an evaluation of the market offerings couple of years ago research company Gartner has developed an elaborate evaluation criteria model that has eight primary categories. These categories are provisioning and orchestration of virtual resources, cost management, migration and backup, identity management and compliance, monitoring and analytics, classification and inventory of virtual resources, packaging and delivery, and integration with an internal service desk. Categories can be further evaluated with additional attributes:
- resource brokerage;
- virtual resource lifecycle management;
- cloud governance;
This is a nice framework to have at hand while approaching the cloud management platform market.
When you take a closer look at the market offerings, you will see that many of the solutions have a lot in common in terms of product functionality and marketing. The line can be drawn between the following types: cloud management platforms (such as Softline Maestro), tools native to cloud provider, platforms focused only on cloud cost optimization, and finally software asset management platforms (SAM).
Let’s start with the native tools of cloud providers. As you can guess, their focus is on the platform itself (such as Azure or AWS) and their functionality is optimized for the provider and its partners. These are a good choice if you have only one cloud.
The second category is cost optimization platforms. These solutions are all about cost management. You won't be able to orchestrate and provision virtual resources with them.
- SAM platforms are another interesting category. They help to optimize the cost of SaaS products and can even go as far as provide cost insights into your cloud subscription and accounts. But, once again, you won’t be able to provision and orchestrate resources.
- Hybrid cloud management solutions. These cloud-agnostic solutions support both orchestration, cost optimization, and self-service. Softline Maestro is a fully functional hybrid cloud management platform.
In a nutshell, hybrid cloud management platforms have the following distinctive features. Firstly, they support virtual resource provisioning and orchestration. Secondly, they offer self-service and creation of cloud service catalog. Thirdly, platforms are cloud agnostic and work as a unified interface with a single set of tools for all clouds.
Try Softline Maestro
The public cloud market is very competitive, and its players want to obscure the direct comparison with competitors' products, aggregating their bills and focusing on unique services like AI. Softline Maestro makes working with many providers fully transparent.
Softline Maestro has integrations with the major public clouds like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google and key private clouds technologies as VMware and OpenStack. Softline Maestro is always on the customer's side!