As the IT Ops guy responsible for his company’s approximately 4,000 AWS instances, Mr. Bobvious was eager to read the report from Gartner Research titled, “Market Guide for Cloud Management Platforms: Large, Emerging and Open-Source Software Vendors.”
He settled in with his morning cup of Folgers drip and opened the PDF, wondering if he’d see ParkMyCloud on the list of cloud management platform vendors. Mr. Bobvious scrolled down the list of CMP write-ups:
- CloudBolt Software
- GigaSpaces Technologies
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- Red Hat (ManageIQ)
Mr. Bobvious checked again between numbers 8 and 9 to make sure he hadn’t missed ParkMyCloud. Nope. Not there. He then went back and read the report. “OK,” he said to himself. “I get it.”
What did Mr. Bobvious “get”? That ParkMyCloud is not a cloud management platform, which Gartner defines thusly:
A cloud management platform (CMP) provides three major tiers of service that sit architecturally above the virtualization and cloud-enabled hardware layer.
“ParkMyCloud doesn’t try to solve a lot of cloud management problems,” thought Mr. Bobvious. “They just solve one problem very well: cost optimization. Most companies leave AWS EC2 instances running even when they don’t need them, and then end up writing their own homegrown solutions. So they waste a lot of money and time every month paying for and managing idle instances.”
“I don’t need or want a cloud management platform to do that,” said Mr. Bobvious to himself. “A CMP has a zillion features I don’t need and requires a lot of overhead to onboard, integrate and run. Even if I were willing to risk the investment, I’m not convinced we’d reduce cloud spending – which is the problem I had in the first place. And above all, how much savings would it take to recoup the high cost of the acquiring and maintaining the software?”
So while Mr. Bobvious concluded that ParkMyCloud shouldn’t be compared to cloud management platforms, he smiled when he read one of Gartner’s concluding statements.
However, whether CMPs will ultimately “win” versus other alternative approaches (such as point cloud management tools…) is an open question we will continue to analyze.
Do You REALLY Need a Cloud Management Platform for Cost Optimization?
Gartner defines cloud management platforms as “integrated products that provide for the management of public, private and hybrid cloud environments. The minimum requirements to be included in this category are products that incorporate self-service interfaces, provision system images, enable metering and billing, and provide for some degree of workload optimization through established policies.”
Would these features help you save costs? Probably, but they may not be your best choice when looking to optimize costs. As Mr. Bobvious concurred, many platforms overcomplicate cloud management by providing functions most businesses find unnecessary. These additional functions are factored into the cost of the platform, eating into the financial benefits of cloud management and failing to optimize costs.
However, although ParkMyCloud doesn’t try to solve a lot of cloud management problems, it does have some useful functions that cloud administrators can take advantage of to simplify the management of EC2 instances deployed on AWS and Azure and make indirect cost savings in addition to the financial benefits of assigning parking schedules to non-production instances.
For example, ParkMyCloud provides a single dashboard view of all a business´s EC2 instances and Azure VMs. This can help identify unused resources that can be reassigned, placed into a cheaper pricing plan or retired. The ability to assign instances to development teams increases accountability (and often leads to increased productivity), while the reporting functions can help with future project, capacity and budget planning.
So, although ParkMyCloud is not a Cloud Management Platform for cost optimization, and therefore not on Gartner´s list of software vendors, it is a solution for cost optimization with cloud management features – which are, in fact, better positioned to help you achieve rapid ROI and cost optimization than expensive cloud management platforms. Want to find out more? Try ParkMyCloud now for free, or contact us with any questions you have about not using a cloud management platform for cost optimization.