Forrester estimates the public cloud market will top more than $1 trillion worldwide by 2026. In today’s expansive market of cloud management tooling, with over 150 products available, it can be challenging to select the right solution for your specific environment.
This blog summarizes some key evaluation points, so you can choose the right cloud management tools and pricing model for your organization.
Understanding cloud management functions and tooling characteristics
Cloud management tools enable organizations to effectively manage hybrid and multicloud environments, encompassing on-premises, public cloud, and other services. These tools provide governance, lifecycle management, brokering and automation for cloud infrastructure resources across various functional areas. The seven primary functional requirements for managing cloud deployments are:
- Provisioning and orchestration
- Cost management and resource optimization
- Cloud migration, backup and disaster recovery
- Identity, security and compliance
- Monitoring and observability
- Inventory and classification
- Service enablement
Four characteristics of effective cloud management tools
When selecting a cloud management tool, consider the four following key attributes:
- Exposure to native cloud capabilities: Ensure the tool provides access to all the necessary native cloud capabilities required by your users.
- Only pay for what you need: Opt for a tool that offers modularity, allowing you to choose and pay for the specific functions you need, rather than a bundled package.
- SaaS deployment option: If possible, select a tool that offers a SaaS deployment model, eliminating the need for on-premises deployment and maintenance.
- AI and ML integration: Look for tools that effectively utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies where relevant, as this can enhance the tool’s capabilities.
What are the 6 key considerations when selecting a cloud management tool for your organization?
- Embrace cloud-native capabilities and modular design with AI/ML integration:
- Look for tools that expose cloud-native capabilities and offer modular design, allowing you to leverage specific functions as needed.
- Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) capabilities can enhance the tool’s effectiveness.
- Evaluate cloud provider offerings:
- Assess the tooling options available from your selected cloud providers. Many cloud vendors offer their own management tools that seamlessly integrate with their platforms. Choosing such tools can facilitate integration and potentially save costs.
- Assess your organization’s need for internal resources to operationalize the tooling:
- Assess whether the tooling can be effectively managed by your internal resources or if external assistance is needed.
- Weigh “lift and shift” needs for the migration of workloads from on-premises to the cloud:
- Consider the resources required to operationalize the tooling. If you plan to migrate existing workloads, look for tools that can assist with planning and moving virtual machines at scale.
- Consider SaaS management requirements:
- Historically, the two tooling markets (i.e. IaaS/PaaS management and SaaS management) have been separated, but vendors are increasingly starting to combine the two in a unified IT asset management offering. SaaS management is the practice of managing SaaS applications to effectively improve security and optimize costs. Evaluate the tool’s potential capabilities for SaaS management, especially if it aligns with your business needs.
- Normalize pricing models:
- During the evaluation process, ensure that you understand and normalize the pricing models of different vendors, as there may be variations. This will help you make accurate cost comparisons and avoid unexpected/hidden costs.
Considering your entire organization’s requirements and future plans
Before exploring third-party solutions, assess your organization’s requirements and evaluate the capabilities provided by your strategic cloud partners. The following questions will help guide your evaluation:
Cloud environment: Determine whether you operate in a single cloud or multicloud environment and consider future plans. Native tooling may be more suitable for a single cloud, while multicloud environments might benefit from third-party tools.
On-premises environment: Assess the size and significance of your on-premises environment. If you intend to utilize the same tooling as your cloud environment, native cloud tooling may present challenges.
Workload migration: If you plan to migrate workloads between cloud and/or on-premises environments, a third-party tool can help abstract complexities and bridge differences.
To learn more about reimagining your cloud management processes and tooling, download our in-depth guide.