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Managing the Multi-Cloud: A Review of the new Kids on the Block

On June 4, 2019, Posted by ,

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As the number and complexity of applications being deployed on the cloud grows, organizations are finding that a single cloud is not sufficient to address all of their needs, such as tech stack, Platform as a Service (PaaS) components, workloads, data management, compliance across regions, performance, and security. Enter the Multi-cloud Strategy: where different applications can be hosted on different clouds but use common interfaces to integrate them.

Sounds complicated? Yes, since applications can quickly outgrow their platforms and any deep ties to one platform can make it difficult to migrate. Then there is the challenge of managing application and infrastructure resources and costs across multiple providers – each with their Resourcing models and Pricing plans that can be difficult to compare.

But Enterprises have no choice – according to a survey late 2018 by RightScale, close to 80% of Enterprises are adopting a multi-cloud strategy, albeit due to different reasons.

How then do you manage your application portfolio distributed across different cloud entities? Where there is a need, there is a Business!

Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs) are the answer. They have been around for half a decade, but support for different clouds has been difficult. But with rising cloud adoption, these CMPs have become critical components.

In this post, we compare different Cloud Management Platforms, their capabilities and pricing tiers, where available.

Let’s define the terms used, so that we have a common understanding

Multi-Cloud is a strategy of using multiple public cloud service providers such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, OpenStack etc. for managing multiple applications or different aspects of a single application, including on-premise infrastructure. Hybrid Cloud, on the other hand, involves a mix of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud services with integration between at least two platforms.  Hybrid Clouds are Multi-Cloud but not all Multi-Cloud are Hybrid Cloud. With both of them, challenges of managing costs, uniform governance policies, allocation and charging back, dependencies on IT teams for provisioning are common.

Rise of Multi-Cloud

As per 451 Research survey, 69% of organizations are planning to run a Multi-Cloud environment by 2019. As they said, “the future of IT is multi-cloud and hybrid” – but with this rise, cloud spending optimization and management also become more of a challenge.

Research firm IDC has predicted that 90 percent of enterprises will use multiple cloud services and platforms by 2020. The Multi-Cloud enthusiasm also comes with some speed bumps along the way regarding Orchestration and rising Cloud Costs, less visibility of Cloud Spends, allocation and chargebacks, Governance and Compliance, Provisioning of different service providers. But, at the same time help is on the way with the rapidly emerging options of Cloud Management Platforms.

Comparison of Cloud Management Platforms

Businesses vary in their challenges around Cloud Management. Selecting a right Cloud Management Platform requires laser focused approach to match challenges and features of platform. We picked up eight midsized vendors ($7.5 million to $30 million in revenue) in Cloud Management Space to draw a comparison among all of them.

  1. BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management: BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management replaces the existing IT landscape with self-service IT infrastructure for cloud and non-cloud platforms. The cloud management platform supports highly complex, large-scale IT initiatives that involve Self-service portal, Full-Stack service provisioning, Automated ITSM governance, Continuous compliance and Service health management. BMC’s advantages include support for leading cloud service providers to avoid vendor-lock in, cost-savings with unified view of all cloud resources and automating compliance to reduce risks across heterogenous IT environment.

When to pick – BMC is a good pick for large organizations having significant IT needs and investments and where one cloud service provider will not suffice their needs. These organizations have diverse needs leading to continuous rise in cloud usage and IT teams are already pressed with speed required to deliver it. BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management fulfils the need of continuous delivery of IT services, while maintaining control, improving security, and optimizing cost.

Clouds supported: OpenStack, AWS, Azure, Rackspace, SoftLayer
Pricing: Upon request

2. RightScale: RightScale is another popular platform in the Cloud Management space. RightScale claims to optimize cloud costs by auto-scaling and automated scheduling of workloads, leveraging discounts from cloud providers, and automated downsizing of instances based on usage. It offers a comprehensive solution for enforcing Self-Service IT by Governance and Compliance automation, maintain consistent and secure configurations and ensuring repeatable and standardized architecture across Multi-Cloud environments.

When to pick – RightScale is a great choice for organizations utilizing multiple clouds for running their applications, workloads, disaster recovery etc. As per the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud report from Flexera, respondents are already running applications in a combination of 3.4 public and private clouds and experimenting with 1.5 more for a total of 4.9 clouds. The advantage with RightScale is their strong capability of providing unified view around multiple public and private cloud resources including compute, network, and storage with a single pane of glass. The dashboard provides actionable information to reduce costs, improve infrastructure efficiency, and close security holes.

Clouds supported: OpenStack, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Azure, Rackspace, VMware
Pricing Details: Upon Request
Free Trial: Yes
Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web
Training: Documentation, Webinars, Live Online, In Person
Support: 24/7 (Live Rep)

3. Scalr: Scalr Enterprise-Grade Cloud Management Platform enables enterprises to achieve cost effective, automated and standardized application deployments across Multi-Cloud environments. Scalr uses a hierarchical, top-down approach to policy enforcement empowering administrators to find the balance between the needs of Finance, Security, IT and Development teams. Leading global organizations have selected the Scalr platform, including Samsung, Expedia, NASA JPL, Gannett and Food & Drug Administration.

When to pick – Scalr is a multipurpose suite and provide benefits in four areas of Cost Optimization and Visibility, Governance, Security, and Compliance, Business Agility and Increased Productivity. Scalr is a recommended choice for organizations struggling to implement standardize policies in Multi-Cloud Environment. Scalr’s Policy Engine creates re-usable guardrails around Access, Workload Placement, Application Lifecycle, Integrations, and Finance.

Clouds supported: OpenStack, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Rackspace, Eucalyptus,Nebula
Free Demo: Yes
Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web, Installed – Mac, Windows
Training: Documentation, Webinars, In Person
Support: Online, Business Hours, 24/7 (Live Rep)

4. CloudCheckr: CloudCheckr is a comprehensive cloud management solution, helping businesses manage and automate cost as well as security for their public cloud environments. We are an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with Security and Government competencies, as well as a certified Silver Partner with Azure, to support multi- or hybrid-cloud strategies.

When to pick – CloudCheckr’s platform focuses on cost optimization to a huge extent, so if you are looking for cloud costs optimization, CloudCheckr can be a suitable choice. CloudCheckr has in-built Predictive Analytics for forecasting future cloud spend and recommendation engine to eliminate unnecessary cloud wastages.

Clouds Supported: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud
Starting Price: $499.00/month, Includes all Cost, Security, and Compliance modules.
Free Version: Yes          
Free Trial: Yes   
Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web
Training: Documentation, Webinars, Live Online, In Person
Support: Online, Business Hours, 24/7 (Live Rep)

5. Cloudability: In the world full of Cloud Management solutions, this platform talks about bridging the gap between IT, business and finance together to achieve accountability for the cloud spend. Apart from Cloud Cost being their key differentiator, Cloudability offers Governance and Migration solutions for top cloud service providers.

When to pick – Cloudability is a good pick for organizations looking to control their cloud costs and have their financial teams to support in their goal with unit economics of cloud for competitive advantage. Cloudability focuses on cost optimization, adoption and democratization of cloud spend to translate cloud bills to different business units.

Clouds Supported: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud
Starting Price: $499.00/month, Includes all Cost, Security, and Compliance modules.
Free Version: Yes          
Free Trial: Yes   
Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web
Training: Documentation, Webinars, Live Online, In Person
Support: Online, Business Hours, 24/7 (Live Rep)

6. Apptio: Apptio is another acclaimed vendor in the Cloud Management Platform Market. For most companies, cloud initiative is a complex landscape–with CIOs, Finance, Operations, Infrastructure, and Security teams consuming their share of cloud applications and resources and restrict the ability to optimize cloud spend by trimming the wastages. Apptio targets cloud challenges and their solutions based on various roles and specific problems they deal in cloud usage. Apptio talks about offering solutions to cloud challenges based on the role like CIOs, CFOs, Infrastructure and Operations and other cloud initiatives like DevOps and Agile, Corporate Shared Services, Digital Business and Service Transformation.

When to pick – Apptio is a suitable choice for organizations or IT leaders looking to highlight the financial value of IT departments. Apptio claims to be one of its kind Technology Business Management (TBM) tool to provide the visibility about costs, budgeting and forecasting. Apptio offers Apptio Cost Transparency to align costs automatically to peer infrastructure benchmarks and IT Planning to align IT budgeting and forecasting to business strategy.

Clouds Supported: AWS, Azure, GCP
Pricing Details: Upon Request
Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web

7. Embotics: Embotics is a new age Cloud Management Platform providing solutions for adoption of DevOps, Microservices, Continuous QA, Kubernetes Version Management, Integrated Cloud Governance and Cloud Expense Management across all these initiatives. With the conventional solutions of providing cloud usage visibility, uniform governance policies and self-service IT infrastructure, Embotics seems to be an all-in-one solution for organizations to navigate in their cloud journey.

When to pick – Organizations confused about picking cloud management platform based on their business initiatives of Digital Transformation, DevOps, Microservices, Containers, IT Modernization should consider Embotics. Embotics talk about the bigger picture of cloud management space and target its solutions to new-age technologies like DevOps automation, Microservices and Containers, while continue to manage traditional workloads, IaaS, and development and support methodologies. Embotics provides use-cases about each of these practices that help businesses to deliver modern features, services and solutions faster than ever before with high quality standards and consistent user experience.

Free Trial: Yes
Deployment: Cloud, SaaS, Web
Training: Documentation, Webinars, Live Online, In Person
Support: Business Hours

8. Accenture Cloud Management Platform: Accenture Cloud Management Platform boasts of the patented innovation and Accenture IP built into the solution for cloud resource visibility, management consistency, and operations control, that can be scaled as per the needs of global organizations. Accenture’s Cloud Management Platform presents concrete numbers in terms of cloud management efficiency, cloud migration, saving costs and deployment of SAP, Oracle and DevOps instances.

When to pick – Accenture’s Cloud Management Platform has a rich legacy of Accenture cloud capabilities and project implementations. Accenture Cloud Management platform is a right pick for organizations working towards leading technologies like next-generation mobility, advanced analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive technologies, blockchain, APIs/microservices, and natural language interfaces. The global organizations struggling with scalable, secure and compliant solutions should implement Accenture’s Cloud Management Platform.

Deployment: Hybrid Cloud
Support: Phone, Web Chat, Live Training, Email and Online Ticketing

Cloud Management Platforms Comparison @2x-100 (1)

Conclusion :

Cloud adoption and specifically, multi-cloud adoption is here to stay and while challenging and expensive, Enterprises need to manage them properly to give their customers, IT staff and internal Business stakeholders the best infrastructure to run their applications. A cloud Management Platform can go a long way in easing those challenges.

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