– Nand Mulchandani, CEO and co-founder of ScaleXtreme (www.scalextreme.com), says:
Enterprise data centers are evolving: most are using virtualized servers; many have private cloud deployments, and some are running hybrid clouds, combining public and private cloud infrastructure resources. ScaleXtreme’s high performance, scalable cloud-based systems management technology provides a simple way for IT administrators to manage all servers; whether they be cloud servers at Amazon EC2, VMware virtual machines hosted at a private cloud provider or physical server deployments in the data center. These capabilities significantly reduce the amount of manual server maintenance involved, and provide systems administrators with a simple way to both provision and manage the lifecycle of their cloud servers with end-to-end lifecycle management from a single system – all across multiple server types and hosting providers.
Any technology that enables the data center to elastically expand or contract based on IT needs is critical to creating a cost-effective, efficient infrastructure; cloud-based systems management does exactly this. While many products on the market provide the ability to provision machines, IT is typically required to pull together a mix of products from multiple vendors to solve their hybrid-cloud provisioning and systems management needs. The ability for one cloud management product to provision new machines across multiple clouds as well as maintain those machines throughout the machines’ lifecycle – including configuration management, inventory management, and task automation – is key and should be a priority since it saves time and money.
Legacy systems management has been a hindrance to cloud adoption, since the inability to configure, inventory, patch or audit machines in the cloud means that long-lived machines are typically not moved into the public cloud.
Legacy systems management applications were never designed to scale in line with an elastic data center. In a modern enterprise data center, where servers may be provisioned on demand, used for days, weeks or months, and decommissioned, the traditional approach to systems management just isn’t relevant any more.
Equally, the cost models for those legacy management tools – heavy on-site license fees, long implementation cycles, and expensive consultants on the project – simply doesn’t fit for cloud servers that are being paid for by the hour.
To overcome these challenges, it is important to unify the management for all of an organization’s servers, spanning private and public cloud machines, public cloud providers running on any virtualization platform and even physical machines. By managing the full lifecycle of machines through this “single pane of glass”, customers don’t have to stitch together multiple products to solve their hybrid-cloud provisioning and systems management needs, allowing for greater flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness.
And by choosing a cloud-based systems management service that scales in line with their server footprint, IT managers can apply appropriate systems management resources that match their needs.
It is important to look into the options available on the market. Many solutions are expensive, have a steep learning curve, and require a number of people to run well. Also, some providers are limited to providing access across the cloud and through physical servers, which requires log-ins on multiple machines.
Cloud management should be seen as a full server lifecycle management process. Simply starting up some cloud servers and leaving the IT user with little more than a command prompt with which to manage them, is no longer enough. Systems administrations want to able to control the whole process: bring machines online, manage them on a day-to-day basis – moving files, automating installations, configuration changes etc – and decommission them at will. Make sure you invest in something that delivers end-to-end systems management – IT users will thank you for it.