Managing Cloud Computing Resources

In theory, cloud computing services-based resources should be no different from the resources in your own environment, except that they live remotely. Ideally, you have a complete view of the cloud computing resources you use today or may want to use in the future.

In most cloud environments, the customer is able to access only the services they’re entitled to use. Entire applications may be used on a cloud services basis. Development tools are sometimes cloud based. In fact, testing and monitoring environments can be based on the cloud.

Cloud computing and IT security

You want the IT security in the cloud to integrate seamlessly with the IT security in your own data center. However, the cloud service provider implements its own IT security procedures

  • To protect customers from external threats

  • To ensure that individual customer environments are isolated from one another

For every type of cloud service, the provider delivers a good deal of the IT security.

As the customer, you should

  • Understand the IT security software and hardware (firewalls, intrusion detection systems, virtual private networks [(PNs), and secure connections) that the cloud provider has in place.

  • Know how the cloud providers are protecting the overall computing environment.

Cloud computing services performance management

Performance management is all about how your software services run effectively inside your own environment and through the cloud.

If you start to connect software that runs in your own data center directly to software that runs in the cloud, you create a potential bottleneck at the point of connection.

Services connected between the cloud and your computing environment can impact performance if they aren’t well planned. This is especially likely to be the case if there are data translations or specific protocols to adhere to at the cloud gateway.

As a customer, your ability to directly control the resources will be much lower in the cloud. Therefore,

  • The connection points between various services must be monitored in real time. A breakdown may impact your ability to provide a business process to your customers.

  • There must be expanded bandwidth at connection points.

Provisioning of cloud computing services

With Software as a Service (SaaS), a customer expects provisioning (to request a resource for immediate use) of extra services to be immediate, automatic, and effortless. The cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining an agreed-on level of service and provisions resources accordingly.

The normal situation in a data center is that software workloads vary throughout the day, week, month, and year. So the data center has to be built for the maximum possible workload, with a little bit of extra capacity thrown in to cover unexpectedly high peaks.

Cloud computing service management

Service management in this context covers all the data center operations activities. This broad discipline considers the necessary techniques and tools for managing services by both cloud providers and the internal data center managers across these physical, IT and virtual environments.

Service management encompasses many different disciplines, including

  • Configuration management

  • Asset management

  • Network management

  • Capacity planning

  • Service desk

  • Root cause analysis

  • Workload management

  • Patch and update management

The cloud itself is a service management platform. Well-designed cloud service portfolios include a tight integration of the core service management capabilities and well-defined interfaces.

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