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Why should cloud management software be part of your AWS & Azure cloud management strategy?

The cloud is here to stay. It is now an established part of most IT departments, with both on-premise and cloud components as well as Software as a service (SaaS) and Platform as a service (PaaS) components.

If you're running cloud infrastructure on AWS or Azure, a cloud management solution should be a key part of your setup. In this article, we discuss why this is the case and how it can accelerate your cloud adoption.

Book a Test Drive Online - The test drive is not a software demo, it’s a briefing before we hand you the keys!

There are many advantages of test driving a product before you buy it and at igroup we would strongly suggest that you test drive before you buy.

Whether you’re looking at putting in place cloud support or reducing the cost of your cloud infrastructure, working with a new cloud partner and implementing cloud management software is a big step.

Getting as much information about how we will work with you and accelerate your AWS & Azure deployments helps you make that step with confidence.

What is cloud management software?

This is a software solution that helps you manage and optimize your cloud infrastructure, whether it's on AWS, Azure, or another cloud platform. It provides you with visibility into your cloud infrastructure and resources and enables you to automate tasks such as provisioning, monitoring, and auto-scaling.

Why do you need it?

There are a number of reasons why you should consider using a cloud management solution as part of your AWS or Azure cloud infrastructure.

  • Automate processes for maintenance / monitoring / provisioning
  • Gain visibility into your use of cloud services
  • Gain insight into the health of your cloud infrastructure as it evolves
  • Cost modelling / Alerting & recommendations to make your cloud spend more efficient
  • Enable decision-making with real-time & historical data

 

What are the key components of a cloud management solution?

There are a number of key components that you should look for in a cloud management solution, such as:

Resource monitoring - this enables you to see how your cloud infrastructure is performing and identify any issues.

Auto-scaling - this ensures that your cloud infrastructure can scale up or down automatically in response to changes in demand.

Provisioning - this allows you to automate the provisioning of new resources, such as when you need to add new servers or storage.

Auto-recovery - this allows your cloud infrastructure to recover from errors or alerts you when this fails

Alerting & logging - Dashboards and alerting to keep you on top of any issues with your cloud infrastructure and highlight any areas of concern

 

How do you choose the right cloud management platform for your business?

There are many cloud management platforms on the market, but you need the one that's right for your business and your circumstances. When evaluating cloud management solutions, there are a few key factors you should consider:

Ease of use - the solution should be easy to use and allow you to get started quickly without the need for extensive training. It should be a complete solution, not a set of tools or apps bundled together.

Flexibility- the solution should be flexible and allow you to tailor it to the needs of your business.

Support - the solution should come with excellent support in case you run into any issues.

Pricing - the solution should be competitively priced and offer value for money.

Roadmap - The product you choose should have a direction so you know that over the long term it will cover new functionality areas and expand as your business grows.

The Partner - The company behind the software should have some depth and experience and a team that has the right experience & certifications

 

What can a cloud management solution do for you?

A cloud management solution can help you accelerate your cloud adoption in several ways.

It can help you save time and money by automating repetitive tasks such as provisioning and monitoring. This frees up your staff to focus on more strategic tasks (Several of our customers have implemented CAMS for this reason. Read about their cloud journeys here). In addition, a cloud management solution can help you optimize your use of resources, which can lead to cost savings.

A cloud management solution can help improve the performance of your cloud infrastructure. By providing you with visibility into your resources and performance data, you can identify and address potential issues before they impact your business.

Often most importantly, a cloud management solution can help you get visibility and control of your cloud infrastructure costs across AWS & Azure without first carrying out a project to understand the built-in tools and configure them.

In addition, a cloud management solution can help you comply with regulations and security best practices by providing features such as role-based access control and auditing. By using a cloud management solution, you can be sure that your cloud infrastructure is running smoothly and securely.

In conclusion, a cloud management solution should be a key part of your cloud infrastructure, whether you're running on AWS or Azure. It can help you save time and money, improve performance and scale seamlessly.

 

Why should software as a service (SaaS) or independent software vendors (ISVs) implement a cloud management solution?

The primary focus of a SaaS or ISV business should be the service it offers to customers and expanding its install base. Anything that takes time/resources away from that should be examined and eliminated.

Most of the SaaS / ISV businesses we have worked with have saved a large amount of internal staff time just by implementing CAMS. Instead of firefighting issues with the cloud infrastructure that their customer's services run on they have moved to be more proactive.

This has led to several positive benefits:

  • Saved technical team time often amounting to up to one full time employee a month (This time is then available again for their roadmap)
  • Better service for customers with more robust cloud infrastructure and reduced outage or number of incidents
  • Better visibility within your business of cloud costs and the ability to surface that information to other teams like finance and management

We recently published a case study about Adaptive, who working with CAMS has realised savings of:

  • 18 developer days each month
  • 15% reduction in cloud management costs in the first three months
  • £45,000 staff cost saving on going

Stop wasting time on firefighting issues that pull you away from your business objective and get back to pushing your roadmap forward. Find out how CAMS can help you achieve this.

 

How does cloud management software save your team time & reduce staff costs?

The main way cloud management software saves your team time is by automating repetitive tasks. For example, you can use cloud management software to automate the provisioning of new resources when you need to scale up your infrastructure. This means that your team doesn't need to manually provision new resources every time you need to scale, which can save a lot of time.

A side advantage of this is that it also allows you to keep your processes consistent every time, using the same documented approach.

In addition, cloud management software can automate tasks such as monitoring and logging. This means that your team doesn't need to manually check the status of your resources or check logs for errors. The cloud management software will do this for you, which can save a lot of time.

Your team can just review a dashboard or set up alerts for any exceptions which have to be resolved manually.

Finally, cloud management software can also help you surface information between teams such as finance and technical who both need information about the cloud but from different angles.

Reduce the scope of your internal team

Often when working with SaaS & ISV businesses you see a core technical team that is passionate about their software product. However, this can often mean that there is a trade-off within the team in certain areas, such as a cloud architect/administrator.

Often this is split between a consultant or a partner who looks after the cloud environment to some extent. This approach in most SaaS / ISV businesses I have worked with is often a legacy from their previous on-premise install.

Moving to the cloud has then often been a painful experience with unexpected levels of cost or surprises along the way. A cloud management solution often allows you to avoid this by leveraging the best practice recommendations from the platform.

Also, cloud management software will take into account the evolving cloud platforms and will make recommendations about new services/features as they become available or they are retired.

As an example of this working with certain types of virtual machines on AWS & Azure CAMS will make cost recommendations based on utilisation vs spend. In some cases, we have saved our customers over 30% of their cloud spend by reducing over-resourced machines or implementing auto-scaling for peak periods.

Make your team happier and get the best out of them

A knock-on effect of stable cloud infrastructure is that your team gets their focus back on their roadmap. They are actually back to working on the things they find interesting.

In my experience most small to medium ISV/SaaS teams are heavily made up of developers and they hate working on infrastructure and hate having the business breathing down their neck even more.

This then leads to a lowering in team morale and a feeling of being under pressure all the time, which is no good for any team. A cloud management solution removes this and helps them get back on track and put their efforts into the next release cycle not just in keeping the software up or reacting to incidents.

 

How does cloud management software save you money?

A cloud management solution can help you save money in several ways. It can help you optimize your use of resources, which can lead to cost savings.

In addition, a cloud management solution can help you get visibility and control of your cloud infrastructure costs across AWS & Azure without first carrying out a project to understand the built-in tools and configure them.

More importantly, a cloud management solution can help you take advantage as your chosen cloud platform evolves and new services become available. This can be something as simple as a new version of a virtual machine with a different specification of cores to RAM or something more complex like the commitment terms or spot instances market.

In conclusion, a good cloud management solution will enable cost savings by optimising what you have/need to deploy and making it more efficient. It will also keep you up to date with changes in the cloud as they become available and ensure you are on the most efficient payment/procurement model for the cloud.

 

Why not just use the native tools / APIs in AWS and Azure?

A question I hear often from business professionals from different areas of the company is... "Doesn't Azure / AWS do all of this out of the box?"

Taking the area of cloud cost optimization as an example each of the cloud platforms available from Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) have components for this.

But... and it's a big but... they all require set-up & configuration and they are changing all the time. So you almost end up setting up a project to implement/deploy the monitoring for each of the areas you use. Then you have to stay on top of them to get the benefit out of them.

Also, these tools are only for tier individual platforms and they will not make recommendations about cost-saving or alternatives. They will just tell you what you are spending. You will still have to dig through the cost/performance data and set up the alerts before you make any progress into the issues you are having.

A cloud management solution should include cost and performance recommendations tailored to your cloud deployment and you can accept or reject them without carrying out an internal project.

 

What operational impact does implementing cloud management have once it's in place?

The operational impact of implementing cloud management will depend on the size and complexity of your cloud infrastructure and internal team. However, in general, a cloud management solution can help you save time and money, improve performance, and scale seamlessly. All of our SaaS customers have reported significant time savings in their development teams which was spent just running / reacting to issues with their cloud infrastructure in AWS & Azure.

In addition, a cloud management solution can help you get visibility and control of your cloud infrastructure costs across AWS & Azure without first carrying out a project to understand the built-in tools and configure them.

 

Why is CAMS the perfect approach for your cloud management solution?

CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS) is built to solve all the issues discussed here, and more. CAMS has been built based on over a decades experience managing cloud environments.

We have worked with hundreds of cloud deployments in AWS & Azure and with businesses both large and small. We also have the experience of working with SaaS/ISV business to help them get the most out of their cloud infrastructure.

CAMS is built around a single portal which brings together monitoring for performance / cost / maintenance as well as security and support.

CAMS Features:

  • Always-on support; fault, find, and fix
  • Easy-to-use management, monitoring, and reporting dashboards
  • Proactive infrastructure optimisation
  • Monitoring / Patching / 24-hour support
  • Guaranteed cost savings.

CAMS is a proven way of solving the challenge of cloud management. The system can be implemented across any new or existing AWS and Azure cloud environment, allowing you to focus on delivering applications and services rather than worrying about maintaining your cloud infrastructure.

Unlike a traditional cloud support service, CAMS already includes all the features and functionality your business needs without any hidden costs or surprise charges.

CAMS will:

  • Become an integral part of your team, delivering high-quality advice and support
  • Allow you to concentrate on delivering your own services and applications
  • Improve overall business profitability and reduce cloud costs
  • Provide full confidence in the security of your applications and data
  • Enable your business to grow through the cloud.

Book a Test Drive Online - The test drive is not a software demo, it’s a briefing before we hand you the keys!

There are many advantages of test driving a product before you buy it and at igroup, we would strongly suggest that you test drive before you buy.

Whether you’re looking at putting in place cloud support or reducing the cost of your cloud infrastructure, working with a new cloud partner and implementing cloud management software is a big step.

Getting as much information about how we will work with you and accelerate your AWS & Azure deployments helps you make that step with confidence.

CAMS is designed specifically to give you full transparency, control, and support, for your cloud infrastructure. Get in touch with a member of our team to learn more, and we’d be happy to help!

 Steve Rastall

Steve Rastall - Managing Director 

Get in touch: Steve.Rastall@igroupltd.co.uk

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/steverastall

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