Cloud tech is evolving faster than ever and somehow you have to keep on top of it all.
New tech is introduced to solve legacy problems and typically promises speed, efficiency or cost savings. There is great value to be had with cloud native tech such as microservices, containers and infrastructure as code.
The goal of a CMP is to systematize your team's expertise and remove the complexity of interacting with dozens of cloud services.
One major objective is to have a platform that empowers specialists but removes complexity from generalists. This is where a good CMP can elevate a generalist into a specialist.
Current state of cloud management platforms
The first wave of cloud management platforms aligned with early waves of private and public clouds. Its focus was VMs and then AWS/Azure instance management.
Some of the core features of a cloud management platform included:
- Support for Multi-cloud, hybrid or private
- Cost Optimization (Reports, right-sizing, intelligent-placement)
- Governance/Compliance (Security, policies)
- Management (provisioning, automation, workflows)
- Self-service user portal (cloud apps/infrastructure)
For IT & Service Providers it helped:
- Save costs on your infrastructure & labor costs
- Drastically reduce response time
- Enable self-serve provisioning on-rails
- Govern costs & security for unowned cloud assets
For DevOps it was engineering enablement that helped:
- Ensure system performance & elasticity
- Increase deployment and provisioning times
- Save on cloud costs (single or multi-cloud)
- Meet corporate security and other policies while still moving fast
Cloud Native development
This current state of cloud management is not going to cut it in a cloud-native world.
Software development is shifting away from apps running on hosted VMs.
Modern development is an app comprised of services that can spin up, run a 2 second job and shut down. There is no need for an always-on VM eating unnecessary resources.
Two of the major driver's behind cloud native development are:
Breaking code into bite-sized modules/services makes them easier to write and manage. It also allows for various teams to collaborate by each tackling a small piece. As Martin Fowler says "it
System Performance & Cost
A VM or cloud instance needs to be generic to support many purposes. If you only need to do a single task, everything else is running is unnecessary bloat. Microservices & Infrastructure as Code (e.g. AWS Lambda) remove bloat and keep the essential. This means low resource consumption and shorter run times. This saves costs and boosts system performance
CMP 2.0 is a hub for your DevOps stack
Cloud management platforms must expand to support cloud-native needs for evolving enterprises.
A CMP doesn't need to replace developer or other deployment tools. Instead it should be a hub for them. For an exhaustive integration list see Ecosystem Integrations.
The CMP has the benefit of being completely neutral.
This means writing to the CMP API can deal with Ansible, Chef, Puppet, SaltStack or other.
In short, you can support the latest cloud tech and development best practices without knowing the syntax of every new cloud service.
It's not just about speed
Developers often don't have to worry about production costs, security or deployment times.
Not so for DevOps.
DevOps not only has to understand the bleeding edge tech developers dream up, they have to manage & pay for it.
Development speed and system performance are great, but what about deployment complexity? Your CMP needs to be able to support your CI/CD efforts.
Cloud sprawl is real. You can't keep tabs on all developer instances manually. Your CMP needs to report on production resource cost wastes and even set per-user quotas. Some environments (e.g. dev/test) can be fully powered off during non-business hours for massive savings.
Security & Governance
A necessary step that doesn't have to be painful. Centralized policies in your CMP allows developers to run fast with guard rails to reduce security risks.
Enterprises are more agile than in the past. Technology is at the core of everything today's enterprise does.
As a result, large organizations are more open now than ever to exploring new tech strategies.
To stay efficient in the fast changing cloud landscape a CMP that supports your cloud native goals is critical.
Going deeper into cloud management 2.0
For a deeper dive on the evolution of cloud management platforms
Next Generation Cloud Management Platforms: Transforming Digital Business with CMP 2.0”, can help you get up to speed on the evolution of CMPs.