As companies rely more and more on the cloud, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of instances, resources, costs and workflows. These cloud management tools provide a remedy. […]
Not so long ago, no rooster crowed for cloud management software. Web applications were small and very simple at the functional level. They were able to run on a few servers, as far as one could cope with load peaks and decreasing responsiveness. All the people who had to do with these applications also fit into a small conference room at these times and communicated well enough to ensure compliance with the rules. Those days are long gone. Nowadays, development teams deliver mountains of data in visually appealing, click-inviting environments. Thanks to microservices, more problems can be solved and more clicks can be evaluated, while scaling according to the peak load. The only negative side effect: you have to juggle with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of machines to keep everything flowing.
Cloud management tools simplify this challenge by tracking computers and helping developers with organization. The teams can deploy their code without any problems – the cloud management tools continuously monitor the integration pipeline and enforce (security) policies. The cloud providers have a well-thought-out smorgasbord of web applications up their sleeve in this area. These basic web interfaces are well-suited if you’re just setting up an instance and want to get some code up and running. Small teams that are limited to a single cloud are likely to get along well with this for managing their stacks. But as the teams get bigger and not everyone knows everyone by name anymore, it becomes more difficult to rely on a standard management interface.
Cloud management software is especially worthwhile if you use several clouds. Whether you want to set up a hybrid environment that also uses the existing machines in your own data center, distribute the load on several clouds from different providers for security reasons, or move your code to the cheapest machines to save costs: cloud management tools can support all these goals.
We have compiled the best cloud management options currently available for you in alphabetical order.
With its cloudability platform, Apptio wants to support the collaboration of development, accounting and operations teams. For this purpose, budgets are allocated to the teams – the platform tracks exactly how this happens. The dashboards focus on resource consumption to support workload management and the purchase of reserved instances. The cloud management tool is integrated with other workflow tools such as Jira, Datadog and PagerDuty to ensure that all decisions can be supported by cloudability data.
The central dashboard of the CloudBolt solution combines control options for hybrid cloud environments and Kubernetes clusters over access, costs and deployment. A special focus of this cloud management software is on self-service for developers and IT staff: instances can be checked, configured and started without multi-level approval. In addition, the tool collects usage data and enforces policies at the same time. A collection of reports and dashboards keeps managers up to date on activities and costs.
CloudCheckr’s CMx platform promises optimized security and resource allocation. The cloud management solution monitors all instances, tracks their utilization and searches for anomalies and ways to save costs. Some problems can also be solved automatically by script – for example, to determine the size of the instance or to detect common configuration errors. Long-term needs can help predict future demand. This opens up opportunities for what CloudCheckr calls “purchase arbitrage”. In plain language, this is about “playing off” the clouds against each other in terms of pricing for reserved instances. The tool is also integrated with billing software, making life easier for companies that need to allocate their costs to individual customers.
The CloudSphere cloud management platform offers interactive visualizations of all cyber assets that are automatically detected, cataloged and tracked. Raw instances and the applications running on them are also included. The reporting system is provided with a governance layer that is intended to help prevent data leaks and errors with the help of a feature-rich collection of options for monitoring and sharing users.
Embotics Snow Commander
By ensuring that all resources are running on the right hardware, the Snow Commander platform aims to minimize costs. But the on-demand cloud management portal also allows developers to create instances with a dynamic cost estimate. The correct dimensioning of the cloud instances is the ultimate goal of this tool, which identifies oversized machines directly via a reporting function. This product combines cost control with cloud governance and enables user groups to manage their ever-growing collection of clusters, pods and instances.
Flexera’s main product is an extensive tool suite that combines cost management with cloud inventory tracking and asset management. The cloud management tool automatically creates an overview of all cloud machines and identifies cost-intensive overlaps. When it comes to reporting, Flexera One offers a colorful mix of visual possibilities to show (too) expensive software packages or unused computing resources.
*Peter Wayner writes, among other things, for our US sister publication InfoWorld.com and is the author of various books – including on the topics of open source software, autonomous driving and digital transactions.