Managing The Cloud

Deployments of cloud technology must be monitored and managed in order to be optimized for a better performance. For analyzing problems of distributed network applications the cloud adds the virtual infrastructure, which is one of the most active area of product development.

Defining Cloud Management

It is the software and technologies constructed for operating and monitoring various applications, data and services residing in the cloud. Cloud management software tools provide capabilities for managing faults, accounting, security, other performance maintenance and configuration. The management responsibilities depend on the particular service for based on the deployment. Cloud computing management includes not only managing resources in the cloud but also managing on-premises resources.

Cloud Management Strategies

It contains various types of tasks including performance monitoring - which include response time, uptime and latency, security, compliance auditing and management, disaster recovery etc. With the growing cloud technology, there has to be company's collection of cloud management tools that needs to be just as flexible and scalable as its cloud computing strategy.

Administrating Features of Cloud

Traditional network management system offers the following fundamental features. These are:

  • Resource administration
  • Resource Configuration
  • Security Enforcement
  • Operations monitoring
  • Provisioning of resources
  • Management of policies
  • Performance maintenance
  • Performance optimizing

Network management systems are often described regarding FCAPS as an acronym which stands for the following five features:

  • Fault
  • Configuration
  • Accounting
  • Performance
  • Security

Most cloud network management software packages have more than one characteristics, and no single package provides all five of them in one set. Five famous vendors offer products for cloud management. The names of these five large cloud vendors are:

  1. BMC Cloud Computing (http://www.bmc.com/solutions/esm-initiative/cloud-computing html)
  2. Computer Associates Cloud Solutions (http://www.ca.com/us/cloud-computing.aspx)
  3. HP Cloud Computing (http://h20338.www2 hp.com/enterprise/w1/en/technologies/cloud-computing-overview.html)
  4. Microsoft Cloud Services (http://www microsoft.com/cloud/)
  5. IBM Cloud Computing (http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/)

Management Responsibilities

The following are the points that separate network management package from cloud technology management package:

  • Billing is based on 'pay-as-you-go.'
  • Management service is scalable
  • Management service is ubiquitous
  • The cloud networking standard is used for communicating between cloud and other systems

There are six different categories to monitor the entire cloud computing stack. These are:

  • End user services like HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and POP3 (Post Office Protocol).
  • Browser performance on the client.
  • Application monitoring in the cloud.
  • Network monitoring and discovering using protocols like SNMP and apps like WMI (Windows Management instrumentation).
  • Machine instance monitoring for checking process utilization, memory usage, disk consumption, queue lengths and other important parameters.
  • Cloud infrastructure monitoring services.

NOTE: It is to be noted that there are 2 aspects of cloud management. These are:

  1. Managing cloud resources
  2. Manage on-premises resources using cloud

Managing and Monitoring Capabilities

When someone deploys an application on App Engine cloud service, the administration provides the below listed monitoring capabilities:

  • Create new application
  • Set up that application in your domain
  • Invite people to be a part of developing your application
  • Analyze data and error logs
  • Monitor the network traffic
  • Browse application data-store
  • Manage its index
  • View application's scheduled task
  • Test the application

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