The complexity of the cloud data center continues to explode. There are more resources than ever before to manage, and these resources are often divided further into virtual machines and networks. The sheer volume of all the IP addresses, routes and security policies that need to be managed can be overwhelming, quickly running into the millions. You can add to that the exploding number of apps and users that need to be supported and the varying cloud environments (hybrid deployments) that need to be managed homogenously, and it quickly becomes clear that simple scripts and rudimentary tools are not going to cut it.
To address this, we have seen the rise of cloud-optimization vendors who help organizations maximize the ongoing operations of their cloud data centers. These vendors offer solutions that enable organizations to monitor activity, consolidate resources and schedule and manage workloads in a more efficient manner to lower costs across both public and private clouds and accelerate delivery. They help organizations determine what to place where, when and in what order to ensure optimal scale, performance and agility. This enables the cloud’s SDx infrastructure to achieve the scale required by the Googles and Facebooks of the world. They help bring the knowledge from the mammoth Web 2.0 organizations to every enterprise and service provider, large and small.
Cloud optimization vendors layer in the intelligence required to effectively manage the provisioning of complex services, going beyond the orchestration of raw compute/capacity to enable advanced, application-level service delivery (such as database as a service (DBaaS), object store as a service, offline backup as a service, etc.). There are three flavors of optimization vendors: management, orchestration and automation, which are covered in the following sections.
The Cloud Management Platform – OpenStack and Beyond
Cloud management platform (CMPs) provide enterprises and service providers a way to manage the lifecycle of the cloud’s resources. A CMP could be thought of as the cloud’s operating system, giving organizations a way to control the pools of compute, storage and network resources in their cloud data center.