How to Choose the Right Cloud Management Service for Your Needs


If you are like most companies you have a cloud footprint, and this is probably with one of the two main cloud providers Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure or both. Once you have cloud infrastructure of some description you probably need some form of cloud management service, but what should this look like and what should it do for you?

In this article, we will look at the components of managed cloud services and how you should compare different offerings. From the provider/partner giving the service to the components of those services.

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What is service management in cloud computing?

Service management in cloud computing is the process of aligning cloud services with the needs of business users. It involves provisioning, controlling and monitoring cloud resources to ensure they meet SLAs and performance goals.

Cloud management services provide a central platform for managing cloud resources and deliver an overview of usage, costs and performance. They also automate key tasks such as cloud provisioning, monitoring, patching and scaling. As businesses increasingly adopt cloud-based services, service management will become an essential part of ensuring a good user experience and maximizing the value of cloud investments.

What is cloud management and what are its benefits for businesses of all sizes?

A cloud management service is a platform that helps businesses to manage and monitor their AWS and Azure cloud computing resources. The cloud is a collection of remote servers that businesses can use to store, manage, and process data. Cloud management services provide a centralised way to view and control all of a business's public cloud services. They can help businesses to save time and money by reducing the need for IT staff to manually provision and manage cloud resources.

They can also help businesses to improve their security posture by providing features such as user monitoring, activity logging, and access control. In addition, cloud management services can help businesses to meet compliance requirements by providing reports and management tools for auditing cloud usage. As the use of cloud computing continues to grow, cloud management services are becoming an essential tool for businesses of all sizes.

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Who are the main cloud service providers?

Cloud service providers are companies that provide cloud computing services to customers. These services can include data storage, applications, and cloud-based solutions. This could include hybrid cloud, private cloud, self service and multi-cloud offerings, but for the purpose of this article, it means public cloud providers.

The two largest cloud service providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Each of these providers offers a wide range of self-service cloud services, making them well-suited to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. In addition, each cloud provider has a different pricing model, so it is important to compare prices before selecting a cloud service provider.

If you are in the process of choosing between AWS and Azure then there are a few differences to understand.

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At IG CloudOps, we believe that the first and most important thing to look for is that their service is underpinned by cloud management software. If the partner is providing a cloud management platform, then this may be their software or a third-party tool.

A list of the main areas you should look for in a partner would be:

  • Partnerships with the main cloud providers: Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure
  • Automation not just pairs of hands: Their offering must be underpinned by robust cloud management software or cloud management tools which automate maintenance tasks and flag issues. For more about cloud management software and why it should be part of your AWS & Azure cloud management strategy read our article here.
  • Support services: Public cloud services are complex and always evolving, any provider needs a team of experts as well as software. This should cover you for business-as-usual issues that crop up from time to time.
  • Consultancy services: Activities such as architecture scoping, deployment and advice about changes to your cloud that don't come under support traditionally have required external consultants to validate or provide a sounding board. Try to find a partner who includes this in their service, this removes the need for expensive consultants to be brought in.
  • Machine learning (ML) and Artificial intelligence (AI): Usually used to flag risks/security problems and generate suggestions to improve performance / reduce cost for your cloud environment. Be aware that machine learning and artificial intelligence can sometimes be used interchangeably in features overviews
  • Maintenance: Configuration management and monitoring should be part of their offering to make sure your environments stable for the long term.
  • Cloud Security and compliance: Ideally this should be part of any cloud management platforms that your partner uses, and it should include constant monitoring/updating and recording of issues for resolution.
  • Cost analysis: This is quite a standard component of most cloud management platforms, but it should enable you to work with your partner to balance cost vs performance for your managed cloud services. For more about how to get clear costs and stop getting surprises in AWS & Azure read our article here.
  • Operations management: Unified cloud management dashboards to allow you to manage your cloud infrastructure across multiple cloud providers all in one place and conform to best practices that are followed for each managed cloud environment.

Some useful questions to ask any potential partner?

  1. The ability to support your specific cloud environments needs checking before you sign up, do they understand the features of the public cloud you are using now and in the future?
  2. Are they up to date and keeping up to date with the evolving cloud services available from the main providers?
  3. Does their offering work across multiple cloud providers?
  4. Does their offering handle multi-cloud tenants/regions?
  5. Do you get a sense from their team that they understand your business and can work with you long-term?
  6. Are they a smaller specialist team or a larger more corporate organisation?

At IG CloudOps, we have built our cloud management software solution IG CloudOps with all of these things in mind. We also have hard-won knowledge from working with hundreds of cloud environments over more than a decade.

So if you are looking for a partner for the long term with a strong cloud management platform underpinning their support and advisory services then take a test drive and let us show you what CloudOps can do for you.

What are some of the most important factors to consider when making this decision, such as price, features, scalability, and security?

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing between managed services from a cloud provider.

Price is often a key consideration, as cloud services can range from free to hundreds of dollars per month. However, it is important to weigh the price against features and review the offer in detail to ensure that you are getting value for money.

Another key consideration is scalability. If you anticipate that your needs will change over time, then you will need a service that can accommodate those changes.

Finally, security is also an important consideration, especially if you are dealing with sensitive data. Be sure to review the security features of any cloud service you are considering before making a final decision.

Please review the cloud management services offered by IG CloudOps and take our test drive to learn more about how we can help you manage your cloud resources effectively. You can review the features of our cloud services here.

How much should you expect to pay for a managed cloud platform?

Cloud management involves a number of different tasks, including provisioning and configuring virtual servers, monitoring and optimizing performance, and ensuring security and compliance.

The cost of cloud management can be driven by several factors, such as:

  • The size and complexity of your environment
  • The level of support you need, there might be several offerings based on the size of the business from SME to Enterprise
  • Number of devices or virtual machines (EC2 on AWS)
  • Number of services or cloud artefacts like Kubernetes clusters
  • Amount of data processed or stored
  • Does the cloud management platform cover other areas like on-premise infrastructure as well?
  • A percentage of your monthly cloud spend

Each of these elements could be part of or influence your final price for cloud management tools. Basic cloud management services can start at around $50 per month, while more comprehensive plans can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. When choosing a cloud management provider, it's important to assess your needs and compare pricing plans to find the most affordable option.

Many cloud management platforms only provide limited pricing information online and ask you to contact their sales team for a comprehensive quote. This can be quite frustrating when you are trying to review different options for managing your cloud environments.

At IG CloudOps, we have made our pricing available on our website so that you can compare our pricing against any other provider. We believe our pricing is simple and competitive and our cloud management platform CloudOps provides great value for money.

Cloud management for software providers

Software providers go by many names independent software vendors (ISVs), Software as a service business (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS). As a software provider, you need to be able to trust that your cloud management solution will deliver the performance, security, and compliance that your business demands. Your customers rely on you to provide a high-quality experience, and you need a cloud management platform that can help you meet those expectations.

The right solution will give you the visibility and control you need to manage your applications and infrastructure, while also providing the scalability and flexibility that you need to grow your business. With so much at stake, it's important to choose a cloud management solution that you can rely on.

IG CloudOps has the experience and expertise to help you navigate the challenges of cloud management with CloudOps, ensuring that your business can succeed in today's competitive landscape. We have worked with many similar businesses some with well-established cloud environments, others taking their first steps into the cloud and others with both legacy and cloud environments.

Automating cloud operations management (NoOps)

CloudOps allows us to scale our knowledge gained by working with hundreds of public cloud environments around the world. If you are a SaaS or ISV business then CloudOps allows you to automate your cloud operations management and focus on your software roadmap.

We have worked with several organisations to allow them to move away from fire-fighting cloud-related issues and get back to focusing on their software. For more background about this NoOps approach read our article on the subject.

Are there any other things business owners should know about choosing a cloud management service?

When making the final choice, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you want to make sure that the supplier is reputable and has a good track record. Checking references and reviews can be helpful in this regard. Also, make sure that their case studies are up to date and ask to speak to an existing customer if possible one who is similar to your organisation.

In addition, it's important to ensure that the supplier has strong partnerships in place with leading cloud providers. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your data is in good hands.

Finally, be sure to ask about pricing and feature options so that you can find the best fit for your business needs. By taking these factors into consideration, you can be confident that you're making the best choice for your business.

How do IG CloudOps provide cloud services?

At IG CloudOps, we are driven by a cloud-first mentality and have built our CloudOps software with this in mind. We are always improving the product and have the specialist knowledge in our AWS and Azure teams to support, and advise on your cloud infrastructure.

We have a proven track record of working with the cloud for over a decade and are partnered with AWS and Azure. Take a test drive of CloudOps and find out how this combination of software and expertise on demand can help you.

CloudOps 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 

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