Cloud Management 101

Cloud management is what enables administrative personnel to control various aspects of the cloud such as data, user accounts, applications and servers. Cloud management and cloud computing are not the same. The cloud provides the rules, and cloud management implements them. Here is a basic overview of cloud management for the uninitiated.

What is “the cloud”?

The simplest way to understand the cloud is to think of it as another term for the internet. A cloud implementation stores your data or software on another computer somewhere else in the world other than your own device. The nebulous aspect of cloud computing is that you don’t know which machine or machines you are accessing in order to use your software or data, thus the term “cloud” came into being. To be more precise, all cloud computing platforms are run on computers that are called “servers” which are specialized in routing and serving information from the machines of end users.

How does cloud management work?

IT professionals typically deploy cloud management software into environments such as virtual machines (VM) that consist of a server with a database. The server interacts with an API (application programming interface) to communicate with the database and other virtual assets that make up the cloud. The databases collect information about how the infrastructure is performing and sends an analysis to an application interface. This allows cloud administrators to view the details of cloud performance in real time. This system also provides a platform for admins to input commands to the cloud that are carried out by the virtual servers.

The interconnectivity between the virtual machines and other cloud assets is due in large part to the functioning of the operating system. These software platforms command the different hardware and software technologies that are the essential components of the cloud. The OS also deploys cloud management tools, so it needs to be able to work with any type of cloud structure that you are using. Linux is an operating system that performs this function particularly well.

There are generally three types of cloud services that users can choose from. These are user self-provisioning, advanced provisioning and dynamic provisioning. When customers purchase services from the provider directly, it is called self-provisioning cloud service. Customers can also pay a monthly fee for predetermined resources and functionality in an advanced provisioning structure.

Cloud management platforms (CMP)

CMPs provide a way for users to deploy and operate applications and data over a variety of different cloud services. This could include on-premise cloud servers or public servers. When both of these structures are mixed together, it’s called hybrid cloud management.

Cloud management is a vital part of the IT world and business in general. If you are a manager or business owner, it’s likely that you will have contact with this technology, so it’s important to understand the basics. As the world becomes more technologically advanced and automated, people with IT knowledge will gain a greater advantage.