18th October, 2018 5 Min read
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With the proliferation of cloud deployments among enterprises in last few years, the need for cloud management has increased dramatically. Organizations need ways to keep their cloud environments under control. This is especially true in multi-cloud deployment models.
In order to keep financial, operational, and performance targets on track, organizations need to have a deep understanding of how elements of your IT infrastructure work together and implement cloud policies that drive targets forward without compromising security. This only adds to the complexities of governing the environment and addressing policy violations when they occur.
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The solution to the growing complexity of cloud policy governance is automation. In much the same way as automation and orchestration can better control deployments, accelerate responses, and streamline processes, automated cloud policy governance can better control the environment, accelerate responses to policy violations, and streamline the processes for how policy violations are addressed.
In this article we’ll take a look at automated cloud management and how it can help you reduce your cloud costs and increase ROI without compromising security.
Cloud management is essentially the activity of defining, continuously monitoring, and auditing the rules, guidelines, policies, and processes that allocate, coordinate and control a given operation’s resources and actions. In short, establishing and auditing the application of existing ruling.
Cloud application governance means the placement of policies around the use of cloud resources, such as storage and compute, as well as cloud services (APIs).
According to a Gigaom survey from 2014, 63 percent of the roughly 1,000 IT leaders who responded said that leveraging cloud governance systems will likely be accepted in their organization. Only 7 percent think cloud governance systems will be ignored.
The concept is quite simple. You upload your cloud policies to a cloud management platform with automation capabilities. The platform monitors activity in the cloud and, if a policy is violated or an action requires approval before it is allowed, the platform addresses the violation/approval request in one of the following ways:
Examples of how automated cloud policy governance works include applying a policy to advise you when costs are projected to exceed a monthly budget, to suspend the launch of a Virtual Machine if its CPU capacity exceeds a certain level, to terminate a Virtual Machine with unauthorized open ports, and to revoke access to an account logged into from a non-conforming IP address.
The automation of cloud policy governance means you only have to govern by exception—i.e. when non-conforming activities need to be addressed, or when policies need to be amended to account for an expansion of your cloud presence. In the same way as automation and orchestration frees IT personnel to focus on more profitable activities, automated cloud policy governance can create more time for business-critical decision making.
Having a complex cloud infrastructures offers many benefits, but also challenges. Let’s first take alook at what challenges organizations face when using cloud.
Generally speaking, those who move to the cloud can live without a cloud governance strategy and technologies for the first few deployments, because they can manually perform most management and governance operations. However, with the second or third cloud deployment, teams typically hit a tipping point in the number of cloud services and resources under management. Enterprises can no longer manage the increasing number of cloud services at that point, and the numbers of cloud types and brands typically increase as well.
The trick is to prepare for the complexity. Before your cloud deployment becomes more complex and cumbersome, it’s wise to get a sound governance program under way. Moreover, it’s wise to include developers early on, since they will be ultimately responsible for cloud governance, not to mention security and some parts of operations.
The list of potential benefits varies according to the industry your business operates in, but generally includes optimized security management, optimized financial management, optimized operational management, and optimized performance management—driving targets forward without compromising security or adding to the complexity of governing the environment.
Managing cloud infrastructures can be substantially more complex than traditional data infrastructures; however, cloud infrastructures have the potential to become highly optimized, intelligent systems that improve enterprises. If you have any questions about how we can help you optimize your cloud performance and automate your cloud management, contact us today to help you out with your performance and security needs.
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