Cloud computing is spreading rapidly in our homes and businesses. If you’re managing a business, you’ve probably encountered the concept and might even be employing it at this moment. As cloud computing needs grow more specialized, many businesses are turning to cloud management platforms to help keep all infrastructure and cloud needs organized and functioning as effectively as possible. The following will explore what a cloud management platform is, what benefits it could offer you, and present a few tips to help you choose the right platform for you and your business should you decide to pursue one.
What Is Cloud Computing?
You’re probably already using cloud computing, even if you weren’t aware of it. Cloud computing is any sort of computing service that is conducted virtually over the internet. When you watch Netflix, you’re watching a film from the cloud—you’re not storing the movie on your laptop, television, or phone; Netflix is doing that for you. More and more services are expected to make the leap to the cloud in the next few years. The term cloud comes from the feeling that the computing is taking place somewhere out in the ether, like in a cloud, instead of in a tangible place in your office or home. Common types of cloud computing services include storage, databases, servers, software, intelligence, networking, and analytics.
Many businesses turn to cloud computing for these five reasons:
- Because things on the cloud are safe from physical damage should a fire or flood, or something similar strike the office, cloud computing can be more secure than physical computing.
- Cloud computing options also tend to be more environmentally friendly as they often reduce the need for as much paper both within work and within the storage.
- Cloud computing tends to cost less than traditional computing methods as it is common to only pay for the services that you use, which can reduce your operating costs (including massive utility bills from keeping your own servers up and running). Moreover, hardware and software don’t need to be bought and set up and run on-site in data centers which can mean less money spent on IT.
- Cloud computing is often more easily scaled than traditional computing allowing businesses to grow or downsize with ease.
- Cloud computing options allow more workplace flexibility as employees are able to access their work from anywhere if they have internet access and the appropriate security steps outlined for them.
There Are Three Types Of Clouds
Given the above information, you might already be able to see how clouds are working in your life: your phone and personal computer, and home email address are all likely interacting with the cloud on a regular basis.
When it comes to understanding the possibilities with cloud computing, you need to grasp the different types of cloud available:
- Public cloud: public clouds are both owned and operated by third-party providers who offer up computing resources such as storage and serves over the internet. When dealing with a public cloud, all hardware, software, and infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud service provider.
- Private cloud: in contrast, a private cloud is one where computing resources are being used by only one business or organization. It can be physically located on-site in a data center on the company’s premises or hosted by a third party. All services and infrastructure are maintained by people with explicit access to the private network.
- Hybrid cloud: a hybrid cloud is one that combines both public and private clouds. Data and applications are shared between the two clouds resulting in greater flexibility for businesses.
What Are Cloud Computing Infrastructures?
When discussing cloud computing, infrastructure comes up quite often. This refers to any completed cloud computing system and might include storage, networking components, hardware, and virtualization. In more basic terms, cloud infrastructure includes any tool you’d need to build a cloud.
What Is A Cloud Management Platform
A cloud management platform (CMP) is a platform that allows a cloud consumer (either an individual like yourself or a group of individuals within your company) a way to manage all their different cloud computing products and services. It is particularly useful for working with multiple cloud infrastructures (both private and public). Because some companies have multiple cloud computing elements that function independently but also need to interact on occasion, cloud management platforms are often necessary.
There are several different cloud management platforms, and the choice of which one you’ll use will depend heavily on your industry and the needs of your business. Two of the most popular options include CloudStack and OpenStack, but there are many others as well. Take a moment to read about CloudStack vs OpenStack before making your choice. Your company’s size, budget, and needs will help you determine what the best fit for you and your business goals is. Of course, there are consultants who work specifically with businesses looking to better incorporate or better use cloud computing options, so don’t feel like you have to get a grasp on all of this yourself.
It is also crucial that when making these sorts of decisions, you consult with other staff members who will be affected by the outcome of your decision. Sometimes colleagues and employees are doing more than we realize they’re doing, and so we might not be taking these extra tasks into consideration while making plans. It’s a good idea to ask what people find difficult about your current storage and computing situation, fears they have about future computing scenarios, and how their work will be impacted, as well as what could make their day-to-day work easier.
Talk About Security
If any part of your business exists on a network, computer, digital storage device, or cloud, you need to be putting security upfront and center. Long gone are the days when people didn’t know how valuable data was or how common mass data breaches are. Your clients, customers, and employees are all becoming aware of the battle for data rights ongoing right now and are going to expect you to do your due diligence.
The above information should have broken down what cloud management platforms are, why you might want to consider seeking one out for your business, and what to look for if you do. Take your time and weigh all your options carefully, keeping in mind that you want things to be flexible so you can reflect future growth and business needs.