Cloud Infrastructure includes all the software and hardware elements required for cloud computing and it consists of the following:
- Virtualization resources
- Compute (server)
There are various types of cloud infrastructure that come with a user interface (UI) to manage all these virtual resources. IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service is this model’s accessible and prominent example. When you use IaaS, an enterprise or a team can acquire the infrastructure for computing necessary for use over the internet.
This includes computing power (regardless of whether it is on virtual or physical machines), related needs like firewalls and load balancers, and storage. That makes it necessary to use such resources for managing and provisioning their physical infrastructure. This is a prime example of what they should be doing, but instead, what they do is lease the required resources from IaaS providers.
Even though it is an example that is well-known, cloud architecture or cloud infrastructure will encompass an extensive range of environments and platforms, which include hybrid and private clouds.
What Is Cloud Infrastructure Management?
When you talk about cloud infrastructure management, you have to take into account all the things under the umbrella term, which will comprise the tools and processes required for effectively delivering and allocating key resources where and when they are needed.
The dashboard or UI is an excellent example of a tool like this because it will act like a control panel to manage, provision, and configure cloud infrastructure. In essence, cloud infrastructure management is extremely useful when you are trying to deliver cloud services to:
- External users – like business partners and customers
- Internal users – like developers and other roles which consume resources from the cloud
Why Use Cloud Infrastructure Management?
If you want to take full advantage of the promise of cloud computing, you will require cloud infrastructure management. When properly optimized and managed, the cloud will offer organizations with enhanced scalability and flexibility for their infrastructure and applications. At the same time, it will also offer the benefit of controlling the costs for the organization.
As end users and enterprises consume virtual resources through the cloud and can also pay for such resources on an as-needed basis, it helps in minimizing the cost of buying and maintaining the physical infrastructure mirrored by these virtual resources.
However, without the proper governance, visibility, and monitoring the costs associated with cloud computing will unnecessarily increase. For instance, a prime example would be leaving the cloud development environment running around the clock, even if the engineer only needs to work for a couple of hours.
In models that are pay-as-you-go, which are commonly found in platforms that are Infrastructure-as-a-Service, this kind of wastage will result in higher cloud expenses. It has become imperative that enterprises pay attention to cloud infrastructure management because it has become extremely vital, particularly due to cloud strategies evolving continuously into hybrid cloud and multi-cloud models.
For approaches that have a more distributed infrastructure, organizations have to manage and allocate resources not only from single shared platforms or pools, but from multiple environments that are heterogeneous in nature. An open standard API such as a cloud infrastructure management interface (CIMI) can facilitate in streamlining the management with the help of a system known as Representational State Transfer (REST).
Cloud Infrastructure Management and What It Does?
You can define cloud infrastructure management as a discipline which is supported by various technology tools, helping to bring the necessary oversight for cloud usage. The best part is that it allows organizations to configure, create, retire, and scale cloud infrastructure as required. To put it in simple terms, cloud infrastructure management is sort of like the central nervous system or command center for various cloud environments.
In essence, cloud infrastructure management ensures that there is maximum operational agility and flexibility, while it maintains cost efficiencies through the provisioning of capabilities required for securely managing consolidated resources. You can also say that, ultimately, cloud infrastructure management is what potentially allows hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies to be both sustainable and attainable.
If you don’t have cloud infrastructure management, the distributed models of the infrastructure will establish an operational complexity, which will create new challenges for the people trying to manage them manually. When deployed effectively, cloud infrastructure management ensures that even small teams can manage to deliver services that are web-scale.
Different Tools for Cloud Infrastructure Management
The tools of cloud infrastructure management give IT professionals and engineers the means for managing the operations running daily in their cloud environments. Even though cloud providers generally provide native controls for management, they will only allow control over a particular service or platform. Cloud management tools that are third-party generally promise to deliver 360-degree views along with the management capabilities for every environment, which may be required in hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. Regardless of the scenario, the tools for cloud infrastructure management provide a combination of features as follows:
- Configuration and Provisioning:
Systems engineers, IT professionals, and other developers use these tools for setting up and configuring the software and hardware resources required. That includes:
- Launching a new server
- Installation of other software or an operating system
- Allocation of storage resources and other requirements for cloud infrastructure
It also comes with features for managing and enabling self-service provisioning, from where users use other mechanisms or a dashboard to stand up their resources as required, based on the rules.
- Monitoring and Visibility:
Tools for cloud infrastructure management help operators to view their environments. It also integrates or includes monitoring tools that will:
- Check systems health
- Deliver notifications and alerts in real-time
- Create analytics and reports
- Resource Allocation:
Features of resource allocation are relative to cost optimization and allow granular control over the consumption of cloud infrastructure by users, which includes self-service provisions. It’s the same as budgeting as it divides shared resources and, in certain circumstances, can also go over budget.
Cloud infrastructure management is required by all businesses today as it ensures easier allocation of resources and allows them to operate their cloud environments effectively. It is best that organizations learn about the importance of cloud infrastructure, specifically what comes under the umbrella term, so that they can take full advantage of it.
Further blogs within this What Comes Under Cloud Infrastructure Management? category.