As more companies enter the cloud computing market, they need the right tools and solutions to help them successfully build and deliver high-quality cloud services. However, cloud computing isn’t without risks; risks of reduced performance and lack of reliability — among other things. That’s where CMPs (Cloud Management Platforms) come into the picture. A good CMP enables businesses to deploy, manage, monitor and control their applications across the Cloud, ensuring both agility and scalability.
But, when it comes to the features a Cloud Management Platform must incorporate, to help companies succeed in the Cloud, things get a bit vague. To that end, in this article, we highlight some of the most important capabilities your platform needs to include, for optimal results.
6 Key capabilities of a comprehensive CMP
Today, SaaS companies are looking to Cloud Management Platforms to help manage their growing portfolio of cloud applications. Besides, a good CMP is the backbone of all cloud operations. On one hand, a CMP is a central place to control and manage the entire cloud infrastructure. On the other hand, it provides deeper insights into the performance, security and compliance of the applications in question. This twofold nature of CMPs enables CTOs to make better-informed decisions.
That said, the CMP you choose, as a CTO, needs to be able to help your team rapidly deploy new features — or entire applications — for your end-users, as well. Now, there are many important features that your CMP must have, for it to be effective. Here, we highlight six key capabilities that will help your cloud assets perform without a hitch.
1. Simplifies Complexity
One of the main reasons that CMPs have risen in popularity, in recent years, is their ability to simplify complexity; especially regarding your infrastructure. To elaborate, you can easily create environments, choose operating systems, containers, programming languages, databases, stack templates, and add in several other built-in items; all from a centralized, self-service management point.
Consequently, an effective cloud management platform offers you the customization and freedom you need to keep everything — and everyone — under control. Such a tool, not only helps you improve your management, but also helps boost your team’s productivity.
2. Supports the Application Lifecycle
Creating and managing applications involves much more than just releasing them to your end-users. Typically, an application has many life stages; and requires many tools and processes to help with each one of them. Consequently, comprehensive CMPs include monitoring, alerting, configuration management, disaster recovery and other tools necessary to take the application from the source code repository to new updates and features.
3. Offers a Service Catalog
As mentioned, a sound Cloud Management Platform comes with built-in collections of automated tasks and IT services, gathered under a central Service Catalog. The Service Catalog allows you complete control over your deployed services, applications, resources, etc. At the same time, you can ensure compliance, while keeping track of Cloud costs, application performance and security.
4. Comes with a Unified Cloud Inventory
For your management to be consistent, first you need to have visibility into what you’re managing. A Unified Cloud Inventory can greatly help with that, as it allows you to view or review your cloud resources from a single pane of glass. The Inventory also helps your team to manage the environments effectively. Overall, through this CMP feature, you can:
- Monitor how assets and workloads change, over time
- Allocate available resources and create isolated workspaces for your environments
5. Allows for Full-Stack Monitoring
Every good CMP is able to provide you with full-stack observability across every nook and cranny of the system. That’s how you’ll effectively track and assess application health and performance, in their environments. With full-stack monitoring capability, you can:
- Gain visibility into your system and monitor what matters
- Receive actionable alerts and solve issues, in minutes
- Get application insights to help improve performance and reliability
6. Provides the Necessary Automation Tools
Your team’s productivity depends on eliminating challenging tasks, duplicity and the chances of error, to manage these tasks efficiently. Using your Cloud Management Platform, you can easily automate repeatable tasks, through different architectures. Even better, if your CMP provides you with self-service DevOps capabilities, you can:
- Set up cloud resources and applications, right off the bat
- Optimize repeatable tasks in your development lifecycle
- Facilitate infrastructure provisioning and automate workflows
Utilizing your CMP to deliver a five-star user experience
The Cloud has, undoubtedly, changed the way modern businesses structure their IT and data architectures. It’s the center of attention for CTOs, who wish to provide an excellent service experience to their customers. But, in order to do so, first, they need to plan a cloud strategy that will help increase productivity, maintain cost-efficiency, and scale. An all-around CMP is, of course, an integral part of this strategy.
With the six capabilities we discussed in this article, you’ll be ready to manage your applications, in order to reap the benefits of the Cloud; at least, in terms of application performance, cost savings, agility and innovation. What’s more, combining your advanced CMP with best practices and processes — such as application monitoring, asset management, stack standardization, configuration management, etc. — will help you transform your services into a five-star experience.