By Tobias Manolo
Ok, so you’ve moved to the cloud, but you aren’t reaping the benefits you expected. Well, your existing LAN-based client/server architecture could the problem. Today, these system management solutions that were implemented 10 or more years ago aren’t able to work effectively with the cloud solutions, a more mobile workforce, BYOD, SaaS and more, which leaves IT managers at a bit of a disadvantage and the headache of trying to make it all work together.
To ensure that your cloud migration works successfully for your organisation, it is important to ensure that your systems management model is scalable, agile and flexible, thus ensuring that they blend well together. Kaseya’s White Paper, Eight Keys to Cloud Friendly Systems Management, highlights 8 systems management models that organisations should consider when implement cloud solutions.
1. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based – just hosting a service on a remote server may not necessarily deliver the ‘cloud’ benefits you’re looking for, such as scalability and flexibility. It needs to be designed according to your requirements.
2. Hybrid Cloud – a hybrid cloud will offer non-cloud and cloud-based assets within a single platform that can be controlled by the system administrator, yet allows full reporting, monitoring and auditing capabilities with policy automation alongside other features for management.
3. Not a one-size-fits-all – the scope of the system needs to cover the full spectrum of management’s requirements, including security, privacy and back-up, as well as ease of deployment, fluid configuration, updating and reporting. The types of reports management would require include: security status, capacity management, policy compliance, network usage and statistics, system utilisation, hardware and software inventory, event and log management, plus others.
4. Integration – it doesn’t all come in box now, cloud-friendly systems management solutions are more accessible, take less time to implement and are often more cost-effective. It also makes the task of keep up-to-date with software and security changes, and the application of such changes, easier and more relevant. But remember that as your network covers more locations through an increase in remote and home users, it has to address more levels of firewalls and security issues. A cloud-friendly systems management model will be able to handle this smoothly and be based on predefined policies.
5. Platform diversity – IT departments and systems management models have to cope with much more diversity in applications, mobile devices and an ever-changing environment. Some people use PCs that are Windows-based, some use Macs, some use applications that are not mainstream. The cloud and the systems management model has to cope with the diverse world of mobile, online platforms, browsers, etc.
6. Value-added content and pre-defined templates – a key benefit of the cloud for IT departments is the quick and easy deployment of content, and implementing content that is pre-defined, such as policies, templates and scripts, enables all users to be using the tailored solutions that are branded to your organisation. It also aids policy enforcement automatically and allows management to monitor policy usage.
7. Pricing that is scalable – use and pay for as much or as little as you need; as the progression of cloud computing has increased, so has the introduction of pricing models that allow more and more companies to benefit from the cloud.
8. Multi-tenanted solutions – most cloud-based services contain a range of applications, service providers and even platforms, which are combined within a single solution. Known as multi-tenanted solutions, they are also combined with systems management models to ensure that the organisation is ready and prepared to adopt all the benefits of their cloud strategy.
Whichever SaaS/cloud platform you ultimately choose, it is wise to ensure that it is aligned with your current business and process applications.