Five cloud management requirements

IDC identifies these must-haves for the future of cloud management.1

1. Hybrid cloud support to ensure workload portability

IDC expects that by the end of 2017 over 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures encompassing multiple public cloud services, as well as private clouds, community clouds, hosted clouds, and/or non-cloud infrastructure resources. Automated infrastructure management tools will be needed to accommodate a range of infrastructure technologies, cloud platforms, and standards in order to enable seamless workload portability and automated migration on demand. Enterprises will demand tools that can optimize and orchestrate application deployments across multiple clouds to ensure SLAs, regardless of whether the workload runs in-house, on dedicated hosted assets, or in a public cloud.

2. Open, extensible architecture

Open standards provide investment protection and allow organizations to more easily migrate workloads across multiple cloud platforms and optimize hybrid cloud cost and performance. Extensible architectures simplify the process of adding visibility to new types of hardware platforms and systems. Together, open standards and extensible architectures insure automated infrastructure management solutions will be able to scale and adapt as the needs across hybrid cloud applications evolve.

3. API-based integrations across diverse infrastructure platforms and management tools

Cloud administrators need to be able to consistently manage the configuration, provisioning, and optimization of traditional IT, private cloud (on-prem physical and virtual) infrastructure, and public cloud resources in order to maintain end to end SLAs. API-based integrations with third party tools such as Puppet as well as widely used infrastructure management platforms allow administrators to maintain broad visibility while providing management information and control via a consistent set of intuitive interfaces and workflows.

4. Robust IT asset management and template design libraries

The move to automated cloud configuration and provisioning means administrators must have accurate, up to date information about available resources and standardized configuration templates. The ability to create, manage and update templates efficiently in a unified manner is critical to improving the productivity of cloud administrators and ensuring consistent end-user service levels.

5. Unified control across network, storage and compute resources

The majority of hybrid clouds will be built based on a mix of equipment and services from a variety of solution providers, including server, network and storage equipment, as well as integration of one or more public cloud services. Effective cloud automation and provisioning needs to support the full range of assets and services used by the organization and be able to expand as new technologies and vendor solutions emerge.

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1: Based on the Dell sponsored IDC white paper, "Dell Active System Manager (ASM) Powers Future-Ready Enterprise Clouds," February 2016.

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