Every day, more businesses migrate applications to the cloud with big promises of ease-of-use, scalability, and lower costs. While all of these promises are possible, proper cloud management is needed to make these promises a reality.
What is cloud management?
Cloud management is the act of taking control over your public, private, and hybrid cloud. Having a proper cloud management platform can allow you to manage performance, reduce costs, and automate cloud to make it a more affordable and reliable resource.
The challenge is that many organizations don’t have the expertise to handle cloud management themselves. “Lack of resources/expertise is now the #1 cloud challenge,” says Kim Weins at RightScale Blog. To combat this, you need a trusted partner that is an expert in cloud management software.
Simply having a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure is not enough to ensure performance of your application. You need to constantly monitor the services to be sure that each one is available and that your application is running properly and providing the user a great user experience.
Using a cloud management platform like Unigma, you will be able to monitor your cloud workloads and user experience and be notified if there is a problem. This is done by using performance metrics that show issues such as latency, downtime, and whether or not the cloud service provider is meeting all service level agreements.
Here are some tips for reducing costs with public cloud:
Periodically right-size your compute instances to make sure you are only paying for what you need.
Monitor your cloud performance and cloud spending.
Make sure your workloads are designed for maximum scalability. This will allow them to use more resources when needed and then scale down when done.
If you use multiple cloud providers, you have the option to run your workloads at the time and location where cloud is cheaper. Ask your cloud service provider if they bid out spare compute resources. These are called Spot Instances by Amazon and Pre-emptive VMs by Google and are sometimes available at a discount.
Google Cloud allows discounts up to 30% for instances used through most or all of the month, while Amazon users can reserve EC2 instances for one to three years and save up to 75% compared to on-demand costs. Reservations can be particularly useful for more mature workloads with long-term and reasonably steady or predictable compute demands. Watch for long and short-term commitments that can be more cost effective as on-demand deployments,” said Stephen J. Bigelow Senior Technology Editor with techtarget.com.
Automate cloud provisioning
While it is possible to spend your days sitting in front of a screen monitoring your cloud instances and making changes to your provisioning, you’ve probably got better things to do with your time.
Automating cloud allows you to move on to more important things by creating rules that manage your cloud instances. Using workflow automation, your company will be able to take business policies and turn them into actionable steps that are used to manage cloud instances. These rules allow dynamic provisioning where resources are allocated when needed and then decommissions them afterwards.
Workflow automation can also improve reporting and compliance. “For example, cloud management tools can alert a manager when an employee tries to move a private cloud workload to the public cloud, potentially violating company compliance or security policies,” says Margaret Rouse with techtarget.com.
Monitor, review, and update your automated cloud provisioning rule sets on a regular basis to ensure you aren’t paying for services you don’t use. Doing each of these will keep you out of trouble and make cloud management a reality.
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