There are advantages and disadvantages to using multiple cloud platforms. The biggest advantage is the flexibility to choose specific cloud platforms for specific workloads and use cases. You can choose various cloud providers and adopt public, private or hybrid cloud models based on business, security and compliance requirements.
The biggest disadvantage of a multi-cloud strategy involves management complexity. How do you integrate, control and maintain visibility into all your data and various systems? Without an overarching management platform, you have two choices. Work with a single cloud service provider and use their management tools, which wipes out the primary advantage of a multi-cloud strategy. Or, you can use multiple management tools from multiple vendors, which is complicated, expensive, time-consuming and risky.
A cloud management platform enables organizations to deploy and manage applications and apply network and security policies in multiple public and private cloud architectures. According to Gartner, core features of a cloud management platform include self-service interfaces, provisioning of system images, metering and billing, and workload optimization. Earlier tools focused on the largest cloud service providers, but modern cloud management platforms offer much broader support.
To maximize cost efficiency and innovation, a cloud management platform should be able to integrate with other IT and business management systems, such as identity and access management, enterprise resource planning, and infrastructure monitoring. A cloud management platform should also be able to aggregate and integrate data from multiple cloud environments and support access and authorization management, resource management, financial management, self-service provisioning, and rules-based policy enforcement.
Cisco recently introduced the Cisco Intersight cloud management platform for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems. Intersight provides systems management as a cloud-based subscription service and eliminates the need to manage multiple environments separately. Machine learning, analytics and automation deliver complete system lifecycle management.
Simplicity and intelligence make it possible for Cisco Intersight to deliver on the promise of the modern cloud management platform. A dynamic interface can be customized at the user level according to role-based policies. Each user will have access to the data and services they need to do their job. New functionality is automatically delivered, and new systems can be seamlessly added and connected for management. The recommendation engine uses analytics, tight integration with the Cisco Technical Assistance Center, and insights from Cisco experts and the UCS Community to constantly enhance support.
Cloud-based machine learning enables continuous optimization of predictive analytics and resource utilization. The more Intersight is used, the smarter it becomes. IT can add, update and integrate service delivery policies as business needs change. Cisco InfoSec ensures that applications are deployed and updated securely, and that communication between the platform and managed endpoints is constantly protected.
The days of the neat, orderly and easy-to-manage on-premises data center, where each application had its own hardware and software, are long gone. The complexity of multiple cloud environments requires a new management approach. Let us show you how the Cisco Intersight cloud management platform allows you to holistically manage and optimize your cloud environments.