Opting for a cloud is imperative but having transitioned, you must not regret it due to the limited availability of free services. Users have to resort to opening multiple accounts on the cloud and juggling them to store and handle data. All this account-switching leads to confusion and makes one think of cloud as a big bother.
How do you avoid all these tiresome troubles and manage cloud services better?
This is where cloud managers come in.
What is a Cloud Manager?
A cloud (platform) manager is a software tool or service that helps you pool all your cloud services at one virtual area so that they can be accessed by using a single login. This SSO or Single SignOn is the greatest offshoot of a cloud manager.
Some features of popular cloud managers are:
Customer accounts can create ‘child’ accounts with various levels of access and permission controls.
Users can subscribe to services via a marketplace that contains either a contractual listing of services, or a ‘global’ directory of services.
Resources and services can be scaled automatically based on usage and workloads.
The manager can connect with auxiliary systems like billing, support, analytics etc.
Data from one cloud source can be used to drive actions in another cloud destination.
Benefits of Using a Cloud Manager
- A cloud manager is a single reference point to handle or manage multiple platforms.
- The user can bring in data from multiple digital channels to a single viewing window.
- Users can move data between various accounts and sources/destinations.
- Being a single window of cloud operations, a cloud manager helps in greatly optimizing time and cost.
- Cloud managers allow dynamic management of workload between public and hybrid environments.
- Users can intelligently use analytics for automating processes and taking business decisions.
The platforms allow for disaster management by using self-monitoring, failure alert notification, self-healing and fall-over facilities.
How to Choose a Cloud Manager
There are a plethora of cloud managers waiting to offer you competitive features. How do you choose?
- List your needs and the features you expect from the cloud manager. Do they match? Not every cloud manager interacts with all cloud providers. Check what all accounts can be synced. Do these criteria suit you?
- Is the cloud manager easy to handle and elastic? Some cloud managers allow easy use by drag and drop facility while some lack this feature.
- Is the cloud manager reliable? Check for data encryption, password protection and other licensing features.
- Is the cloud manager cost-effective? Are the subscription rates skyrocketing?
- Is there an expiry date for the password or data access and security? Some cloud providers use this as an added security layer.
Keeping these pointers in mind, make a survey of the cloud managers available and opt for the right one based on the account syncing, data storage and file collaboration features.
SaaS Cloud Managers
Managing transfer of data across multi-Cloud accounts is a tedious task. Cloud Managers like Otixo, Cloudii, OwnCloud, SkyKick etc. do this job seamlessly.
PaaS Cloud Managers
As IT and web hosting firms deploy their own platforms, there is a need for Multi-Cloud management across various platforms. This is offered by a set of Cloud Managers developed individually for PaaS. OpenShift, CloudFoundry, Mirantis, and OnApp Cloud offer good PaaS management with GUI interface etc.
IaaS Cloud Managers
For IaaS, cloud management is all about monitoring infrastructure like networks, storage, virtual machines, hypervisors etc. RightScale, Scalr, Abiquo, GoGrid, etc.
Continue reading our roundup of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS Cloud Managers.