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Boosting data strategies by combining cloud and infrastructure management

Remember the Jack Johnson song, “Better Together?” It’s one of my favorites, not only because it was my wedding song, but I believe it translates well to this cloud dilemma.

So, before my wife rolls her eyes, let me explain. Say you work for a startup looking to scale operations at a fast-pace in order to promote business growth. Or, a decade old business that utilizes legacy technologies but is looking to modernize processes in order to digitally overhaul operations. How do you know which solution or, more often than not, combination of solutions are correct for your organization?

While cloud management platforms have a significant place in cloud success by enabling uniform and efficient service delivery, infrastructure management tools provide the functional support of standard IT processes to receive a real-time view of functionality in the data center and enterprise applications.

Let’s take a look at each solution to understand why the combination of these management tools is the smartest choice for many organizations.

Cloud Management Platforms

Cloud management platforms provide organizations with an overview of cloud performance through the monitoring of virtualized compute, storage, and network services. While the traditional elements of a data center – like the racks, hardware, and cooling – still exist, clouds and cloud management platforms derive insights through measuring the virtualized resources included in the stack and orchestration of these resources across the physical infrastructure.

Through constant monitoring, reconfiguring, and provisioning, companies can assess and improve current operation processes such as the CI/CD pipeline in real-time. This is why these platforms are seen as critical to the successful usage of cloud technology.

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Coaxial cables connect to a computer server unit inside a communications room at an office in London, U.K., on Monday, May 15, 2017. Governments and companies around the world began to gain the upper hand against the first wave of an unrivaled global cyberattack, even as the assault was poised to continue claiming victims this week. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Since cloud management platforms are typically a mix of open source projects, more complexity is added by requiring monitoring to be reformulated for the way an organization has constructed and runs their cloud, along with identifying what innovation gaps need to be reconciled. Otherwise, data center operators will revert back to looking through the logs and identify the source crash error, then fix the error manually. This reliance on additional technology and manual intervention showcases the lack of visibility into the underlying constructed solution.

Infrastructure Management

Infrastructure management solutions provide companies with a comprehensive approach to operating and system maintenance ensuring all aspects of the IT infrastructure is being used as efficiently as possible.

By receiving insights into IT operations including hardware, software, and network environments, these tools support daily operations through real-time monitoring, reduce downtime, and maintain business productivity. The current increase in integrating next generation technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence is positioning infrastructure management as an attractive choice for IT teams.

One major benefit infrastructure management gives data center managers is the ability to monitor all aspects of IT operations. Through an intuitive platform that allows you to tap into the full value of existing infrastructure, these platforms fuel modernization through intelligent software by providing complete visibility and control over the environment. For example, companies using infrastructure management tools see up to a 40 percent increase in operating efficiencies.

From these insights, operators can take control of power consumption, real-time data center health, and preventative analytics. Infrastructure management offers a structured and scalable approach to the IT environment analysis that can grow with operations – both today and in the future – once integrated into a company’s business strategy.

Combining the Management Solutions

Whether a data center operator works at a startup or a decade old organization, successful mission critical decisions rely on a detailed level of infrastructure insights. While both cloud and infrastructure management options offer companies valuable insights into various aspects of an organization’s IT environment, bringing these solutions together provides several benefits that lead to a bigger, better picture of operations.

By combining these two management solutions, companies can gain:

  • More insights into cost and resource availability,
  • Assurance that the physical infrastructure is being used efficiently,
  • Smarter scheduling and provisioning of resources, and
  • Hardware failure alerting and continuous support for all hardware platforms.

In addition to the benefits above, one major advantage of combining both cloud management platforms and infrastructure management solutions is the ability to connect data center management and asset tracking with a cloud service platform. However, in order for this to be successful, cloud management platforms need to offer simpler integration capabilities while infrastructure management tools need to embrace upstream potential tools within the open source community.

As businesses continue to evaluate and integrate digital components into long-term growth strategies, companies need to look at both infrastructure management and cloud management platforms to discover critical cost saving opportunities, optimize performance, and align IT with the overarching business strategy.

If your company is looking for simplified insights into how the complexities of data center operations relate to the overall business, data center managers need to explore the potential of combining cloud management platforms and infrastructure management tools.

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