Useful cloud management tools for your business
There is a growing ecosystem of cloud management tools. Some help companies manage, track and optimize their use of public or private cloud resources. Others help companies automate and deploy cloud resources. And others act as a platform for managing public cloud resources.
These tools are designed to help IT execs free up their budgets and their staff so both can be used towards more strategic, line of business projects. Here is a list with 5 of the most useful cloud tools I’ve encountered so far. Please keep in mind this is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, but rather an overview of some of the players.
- Cloudability – is a financial management tool for monitoring and analyzing cloud expenses. It aggregates expenditures into reports, helps identify opportunities for reducing costs, offers budget alerts and recommendations via SMS and email, and provides APIs for connecting cloud billing and usage data to any business or financial system. Cloudability works across multiple public cloud providers as well.
- Cloudyn – gives users a dashboard showing detailed information on all of their virtual machine instances, databases, and storage. The tool provides tracking of cloud resources and recommendations of how to optimize cloud usage. It offers a free reserved instance calculator, which helps customers calculate costs related to reserving virtual machines in AWS’s public cloud, and has a premium enterprise version that will provide recommendations of which cloud resources to use and alerts of underutilized cloud resources. The company claims that it helps customers avoid an average of 40% of their costs by optimizing their cloud usage.
- EnStratius – provides cross-platform cloud infrastructure management for public, private, and hybrid clouds that can be closely aligned with an enterprise’s governance and security requirements. Key features include the ability to manage public or private cloud environments, including security controls such as key management, automation of cloud resource provisioning and installing spending caps for specific projects. It’s delivered either as an on-premise application or a software-as-a-service hosted platform and works across most of the leading cloud providers including: Amazon Web Services, AT&T Synaptic Storage, Bluelock, Cloudscaling OCS, Citrix CloudStack, CloudSigma, EMC Atmos, Eucalyptus, GoGrid, Google Storage, HP Cloud Services, Joyent Cloud, Nimbula, OpenStack, OpSource, Rackspace, ServerExpress, Tata InstaCompute, Terremark, VMware and Windows Azure.
- Chef – is an open source Ruby-based configuration management product that includes a library of configuration management tools. Developed by Opscode, it integrates with existing applications, including various databases and LDAP directories, and allows for the discovering and provisioning of public or private resources. Hosted Chef (and its private cloud sibling, Private Chef) lets cloud system administrators programmatically configure virtual systems, thereby cutting down on repetitive, manual operations. Chef – which uses culinary terms as metaphors to organize its processes – focuses on provisioning, configuring and integrating cloud resources. It has “cookbooks” which include “recipes” for launching OpenStack private cloud instances and AWS public cloud resources, for instance, and it also works across VMware and Rackspace environments, among others.
- Puppet Labs – is an IT automation software that gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy critical applications, and proactively manage infrastructure changes, on-premise or in the cloud. The product can automate tasks at any stage of the IT infrastructure life cycle. New features include enabling sys admins to view and respond to requests graphically; support for third-party authentication services and support for Windows.
It’s your turn now. What other tools do you know or use to cut cloud costs, optimize resources, integrate and manage cloud instances? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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