Digital Themes

Cloud Management

Cloud management is the administration of cloud computing services and applications. Cloud management takes many forms, including ensuring proper cloud security, running data analytics to look for threats, and application lifecycle management. Cloud management also includes limiting who can access controls to only the individuals who truly need it, such as only allowing updates to be pushed by a qualified specialist. While cloud service providers are responsible for maintaining any physical hardware they have as part of their cloud architecture, the method of cloud deployment will often affect who is responsible for ensuring proper management of cloud services.

A public cloud service will generally be managed by the cloud platform provider, though they may offer options for customized provisioning. Public cloud providers will generally monitor and manage the software and hardware behind the cloud. They also maintain control of the cloud, which limits the ability for it to be fully customized for individual organizations. Private clouds are managed almost exclusively by the organizations who purchase the service, with the exception of the physical hosting hardware for the service. Hybrid cloud environments can pose additional management problems, as some parts may be controlled by the service provider, while other aspects rely entirely on the organizations who purchase services.

For many cloud service providers, organizations can utilize cloud management tools that will look for any security issues or software updates. Some specialized tools include cloud management platforms, such as Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Trusted Advisor, that will not only ensure optimal performance, but will also automate cost optimization through recalibration and provisioning of services as needed. Management is also a vital aspect of some particular cloud-based services, such as data centers or virtual machines. Specialized tools such as Red Hat Open Stack and Red Hat Cloudforms can assist with each of these services, respectively. Automated cloud management software and tools can allow employees to focus on other tasks, rather than having to scrounge through large amounts of data to look for trends or areas of opportunity.

Effective cloud management benefits businesses and organizations in the following ways:

  • Automation: By automating cloud management wherever possible, businesses can ensure that all software and security methods are being constantly updated as needed. Automation can also help with cost management by ensuring that only necessary applications are being used and paid for.

  • Security and compliance: Proper management ensures that access to data and services are assigned to proper user roles, as well as verifying compliance with any laws or regulations governing data use, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

  • Monitoring: A variety of monitoring options are available under cloud management, from checking uptime/downtime of services to verifying who accessed what information and when. Proper monitoring can identify issues before they become larger problems, such as an employee accessing sensitive data that should be unavailable to them.

  • Data backup: Proper data management should always include a data backup at a separate location than the original to ensure proper disaster recovery. With cloud services, this is easier than ever to implement. Many cloud storage solutions offer automatic, real-time backups across broad geographic regions.
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