Cloud Management: Purpose & Examples

Instructor: Giorgos-Nektarios Panayotidis

George-Nektarios has worked as a tutor and student consultant for five years and has a 4-year university degree in Applied Informatics.

How does one manage the Cloud properly? What are cloud management's most important aspects? Let's delve into this along with an overview of the managed entities and cloud management scenarios in this lesson.

Managing the Unmanageable

As the founder and CEO of an important cloud management company famously stated, ''Cloud computing is empowering, as anyone in any part of world with internet connection and a credit card can run and manage applications in the state of the art global datacenters.'' Well, running public cloud apps is one thing, but managing them is rather a completely different one, if one takes into account all those wildly-diverse resources. Still, the object of this lesson is precisely that. How and what does one manage in terms of all those funny things—data and apps and stuff—that mysteriously come together and form what we've come to know as the Cloud?

Cloud Management in General

By using the moderately-technical term cloud management, one refers to programs and technology in general, which is used to direct, coordinate and provide monitoring of public cloud apps as a whole.

What does cloud management consist of? All in all, three different elements are included:

  • Management/allocation of resources
  • Cloud optimization
  • Cloud governance

In the next paragraphs, we will look at cloud management from a set of differing aspects, beginning from service management and advertising.

Service Management and Advertising

Service management's purpose is twofold:

  • To reduce service requests' complexity
  • To maintain appropriate performance (or service) level

Specifically, promised availability must be met. Moreover, a monitoring capability should be available in order to assist proper resources allocation and related decision making.

As for cloud advertising, it is a type of management related to advertising workflows and, in fact, constitutes the largest part of the whole cloud computing market.

User and Account Management

The appropriate model of authorization the has been repeatedly proposed by NIST is Role-Based Security or Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). Based upon RBAC, there are four different types of authorized access for the Cloud:

  • Cloud Admin Access
  • Cloud Manager Access
  • Cloud Developer Access
  • Cloud General End-User Access

All of these cloud account types are entitled to different authorization levels, according to their roles.

Billing Management

Billing management is often considered a part of the cloud financial management and is thought of as an indispensable element of modern cloud management platforms (CMP's). Billing is interconnected with producing invoices and is generated through the financial sub-system, as it is integrated in the company's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. In this way, the information is collected from within the platform and the billing process is carried out.

Security Management

Security management is quite a challenge these days. Besides the company's particular security policy which must be applied, there also exists multiple external regulations which are obligatory. Security management has to do with user and account management, as already discussed, and extends to the cryptography-related encryption and (cryptographic) key management.

An important part of cloud security is the security and privacy of PII, that is, Personally Identifiable Information, highly sensitive information which is quite heavily regulated in a lot of countries, especially EU.

Managed Entities and Management Scenarios

Up to now, we have referred to elements and aspects of cloud management, but what about the actual entities that they are applied to? These entities are divided into two categories:

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