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Best cloud orchestration software of 2020: organize your data online

cloud orchestration software
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Cloud computing services have become an increasingly common part of the modern business, with public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid cloud strategies becoming an ordinary part of the IT infrastructure.

However, managing different cloud systems can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the automated processes and workflows that run from them. This is where cloud orchestration software comes in, to provide a single platform through which you can better configure and control how you need automated functions to work.

This is essential because automated processes are involved in every part of cloud services, from saving data to cloud storage, to balancing networks, monitoring apps, or working with security and compliance - cloud orchestration aims to provide a way to manage all these simply and easily.

Additionally it can also aim to help automate processes as well as compare resource usage and cost projections so that what you do use is the most price-effective for your needs, without sacrificing service or quality.

Even though the very name cloud orchestration sounds intimidating, once in play you should have a properly balanced, manageable, and user-friendly network and application manager you can work with.

Here then are the best in cloud orchestration software platforms currently on the market.

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Best cloud orchestration software - at a glance

  1. IBM Cloud Orchestrator
  2. Azure Automation
  3. Bolt
  4. BMC Cloud LifeCycle Management
  5. Morpheus

(Image credit: IBM)

1. IBM Cloud Orchestrator

IBM’s self-service portal and automated tools helps manage you cloud while staying within budget

Highly customizable
Automated provision
Some reporting issues

IBM Cloud Orchestrator serves the cloud management needs of enterprises. It was launched in 2014.

The platform is designed to automate the provisioning of cloud services using policy-based tools. Users can configure, provision, deploy, integrate and add service management. Users can utilize the interface to manage, monitor, backup and secure applications.

Users can use the tool to view how resources are being utilized and the costs associated with using them.

The self-service portal can be extended through API’s and augmenting tools. Users can deploy in multi-node applications. The platform offers insights on virtual and physical infrastructure along with chargeback costs so as to ensure you do not go over budget.

IBM Orchestrator is available in two custom priced packages. They both offer a customizable self-service portal, advanced orchestration platform, IT processes automation, support for VMware and multi-cloud management. Users need to contact IBM directly for more information.

Some reviewers have noted reporting issues but these are by far the exception.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

2. Azure Automation

Manage automation in hybrid clouds or on-premises

Manage configurations
Cloud or on-premise
Automate updates

Azure Automation works within Microsoft Azure cloud services, and allows you to integrate different management systems. This makes it especially useful for managing automated tasks when dealing with hybrid cloud configurations.

With Azure Automation you can manage deployments not just within Azure but also hybrid clouds and on-premises infrastructure. This makes it easier to orchestrate updates across Windows and Linux software, with automation reducing the possibility of introducing errors.

You can also import configuration files, inventory system resource allocations, and use reporting to find information on any part of your IT infrastructure.  Changes can be tracked across services making it easy to identify any issues that may require investigation.

Altogether, Azure Automation isn't just about automating tasks but about making complex systems easier to manage and monitor, and also ensure your systems are running cost-effectively and error-free.

(Image credit: Puppet)

3. Bolt

Open source orchestration and automation

Free and open source
Command line tool
Wide scripting support

Puppet is a leading provider of cloud management services for enterprises, and their Bolt service offering is focused specifically on cloud orchestration and automation management.

Bolt is a free and open source command line tool for Linux, macOS, and Windows, that aims to make it easy to set up plans for your application stack so as to avoid having to manually orchestrate workflows.

You can also use existing scripts and plans, and there's support for YAML, PowerShell, Bash, Python, and Ruby, in order to make changes and deploy upgrades across your IT infrastructure and cloud services more quickly. 

Bolt also works with Puppet's enterprise services so you can ensure security and compliance policies are set and enforced across your cloud services.

Online guides and a community can provide support and guidance for users, and boot camps are also available for training purposes.

(Image credit: BMC Cloud)

4. BMC Cloud LifeCycle Management

BMC’s self-service portal and intuitive dashboard make cloud management much easier

Self-service portal
Simple dashboard
Some customization issues

BMC Software produces software and services that assist businesses in moving to digital operations. These include IT service management, data center automation, performance management and cloud computing management.

The software has a self-service portal where users can request configurable services across infrastructure, platforms and applications. The solution has tools for automated provisioning, governance and management of cloud services.

Users can apply compliance checks and then automate remediation to stay secure.

The service health management features allows users to monitor service health through an intuitive dashboard. The platform is fully scalable.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management allows users to automatically apply policies for regulatory and security compliance requirements.

Interested clients need to contact BMC directly for pricing.

Some users have complained of difficulties with integrating the platform fully with public cloud services.

5. Morpheus

Fine tune your cloud access policies and control spending with Morpheus’s advanced features

Supports containerized apps
Advanced policy tools
Some support issues

Morpheus is a unified multi-cloud orchestration platform aimed at connecting developers to self-service infrastructure. It was founded in 2010. Clients listed are HSBC, Arris and McDonalds amongst others.

The platform offers users analytic features which provide insight into cloud spending. This allows users to compare costs as they use various cloud infrastructures and resources.

Users can build service catalogs, complex multi-cloud structures and access stack visualization tools. Users can also govern and control access to cloud-resources using multi-tenant policies. Users can connect service catalogs to ServiceNow, create policies for workflows and keep track of configurations management activities.

Morpheus enables teams to set policies for handling service requests, scheduled automated clean-up activities and pause services during off hours.

The platform integrates with developments tools which manage source code, executing, deploying code and monitoring app performance. Users can access repositories from GitHub and Git. They can also deploy containerized applications using tools such as Kubernetes.

Users can request a demo and pricing information directly from Morpheus.

Online commentators have complained that customer service is not always up to scratch.

Image credit: Pixabay

Image credit: Pixabay (Image credit: Image Credit: Pixabay)

Other cloud orchestration options to consider

Advances in cloud technology have led to a profusion of cloud service providers. Sometimes the biggest difficulty is finding one that fits, especially if you need to manage legacy IT infrastructure while migrating services to the cloud, or if your company is having to manage multiple clouds and hybrids. Here we are highlighting some additional companies worth looking at if you need help orchestrating your cloud IT needs.

Embotics is a leader in Gartner's magic quadrant for cloud management platforms, providing services to companies such as NASA, and data center outfit Flexential. Its main offering is vCommander, which offers both easy deployment as well as extensibility to fit an enterprise's unique needs. 

Cloudbolt offers enterprise hybrid cloud platforms which aim to make self-service and scalability easy. It's especially geared towards orchestrating diverse IT infrastructures, particularly where legacy services need to be integrated into existing and future-planned platforms, not least using multi-cloud and hypervisor management.

Flexera offers a simplified cloud platform to manage existing or new workloads across any cloud or server. It boasts a very wide range of support integrations, including AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, VMware, and OpenStack, to name just a few. Even better, not only can RightScale offer managed and professional services, but also worldwide implementation.

VMware's vRealize Suite is another hybrid cloud management platform for orchestrating multiple clouds, not least major cloud systems such as AWS, Azure, and Google. It provides native integrations across the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) elements, for computing, networking, storage, and management. 

OpenStack isn't so much a cloud management provider as an open source software solution for creating public and private clouds. This means that rather than rely on a third-party to try and simplify the process for you, you can work with the code directly to customize a solution that works for your specific needs. Naturally, bear in mind that you will need the relevant expertise to achieve this.