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Cloud Management 101

I work as an evangelist & strategist for the Cloud Management business unit within VMware. In this role I talk a lot to customers about what Cloud Management is and how it fits the customers needs when it comes to providing IT resources to the consumers of IT.

Depending on the maturity of the customer I talk about why of cloud management, but in general most of them are at the beginning or early start of looking into cloud management. And the perception of most customers is that cloud management is “just automation”.

Actually automation is just a part of the whole cloud management solution. Automation may be the first step because the transition to cloud requires stuff to be delivered “as-a-service”. For that we need to take as much of the manual labour out or delivery and “automate the manual process”.

If automation is just the first step, then what is the end goal? Well and that’s where we need to return to the name.It’s all about managing clouds. And if you see clouds as a collections of services that you can consume, then cloud management is the management of all those services.

And in today’s world customers are not consuming services from just one cloud. It could of course be a starting point. Today most enterprise customers have some form of private cloud. This is a starting point as most customers have evolved their IT infrastructure to a state where consumers can get their IT resources as a services.

But most customers I talk to foresee a world that embraces multiple clouds. Some customers are already using services from AWS or from Azure. Next to that see you other parties trailing these leaders in public cloud such as Google, Alicloud and Oracle. And let’s not forget the thousands of service providers out there that deliver services that need to be consumed. All of which provide services that need to be governed and that need to comply with the policies and regulations that the business needs to follow.

This is where we need to have to have a model that describes all the functionalities of a Cloud Management Platform. A description that can govern all aspects of managing multiple clouds and the applications that sit on top of it.

Luckily Gartner has created such a model. Below you will find a graphical representation of the model.


Courtesy of Gartner for more info click on the picture.

The model shows and envisions all aspects that a cloud management platform needs to address. Of course not everything needs to be in place when starting with cloud management. It’s a journey where most companies start small, but over time all areas will be addressed when moving into a multi-cloud, app-centric world.

The goal is to provide a cloud management system that enables internal IT departments to become a service broker to the business. It should not be a problem that the business wants to consume applications and infrastructure resources from multiple providers. Either internal, private cloud resources or public cloud resources should be consumable. As long as IT can govern those IT resources. In the end it’s all about staying in control and making sure that everything happens in accordance to the requirements and needs of the company and costs remain within budget. That’s the purpose of a Cloud Management Platform.

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