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Admins need to control a fast-changing hybrid cloud environment, where instances come and go and virtualization and orchestration blur the concept of where, exactly, a job runs. There are many aspects to manage, such as billing and access controls, especially since cloud users typically maintain control.
To get a handle on hybrid cloud management tasks, admins need cloud policies to establish what users can do, how they do it and what happens when things go wrong. And by setting up these cloud policies as templates, admins can address multiple support requests or issues simultaneously, rather than have to react manually to a single request at a time.
Also, as hybrid cloud management tools evolve, admins move away from editing scripts by hand and instead use sophisticated tools for script generation. The result is a faster control process, with fewer logic errors and typing mistakes.
These management tools can generally be classified into three groups: tools, generally a suite of them, from major cloud providers; more targeted tools that IT teams can combine to produce a complete toolkit; and software as a service tools that change the cost and support profile. Many tools come with a set of standard templates or can access template libraries online, providing examples for admins to copy to accelerate startup.
When using these templates, start with the public side of the hybrid cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Microsoft Azure have a good grasp on cloud policy issues, but it makes sense to have the same templates and cloud policies in both public and private clouds. Public cloud providers are beginning to encroach on the private cloud space, so the option to use the same software to create cloud policies may soon exist.
Other, third-party software suppliers to consider for hybrid cloud policy management include:
- Abiquo -- covers all the major public and private cloud stacks;
- Egnyte -- focuses primarily on cloud storage;
- Primary Data -- offers a single namespace model for all storage;
- CSC -- provides easily extended policies;
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Eucalyptus -- designed for hybrid clouds built with AWS; and
- Scalr -- offers an easy-to-use GUI.
This is just a sample of the tools available to manage hybrid cloud policies, and reflects the new cloud environment -- a mix of large vendors and startups -- with technology changing fast.
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