Best cloud management software of 2018

Conference room in the clouds
Best cloud management software

Currently there are any number of cloud-based services offering to handle your organization’s backup’s, manage costs, monitor performance and much more.

As your business grows the information generated can be overwhelming which is why any sensible SMB employs cloud management software. These are designed as a way to consolidate information on your various public/hybrid clouds.

In this guide, you’ll discover some of the very best cloud management tools designed to take the stress out of handling cloud-based services and data for you. All of these providers use an API and/or dashboard to monitor services, apps and data to provide useful information. Many also automate routine tasks such as applying updates.

Apache CloudStack

1. Apache CloudStack

Manage your machines with ease thanks to Apache’s free and open source platform

AWS E2 compatible
Free and open source
Not entirely customizable

Apache CloudStack is an open-sourced cloud computing company which creates, manages and deploys infrastructure cloud services.

The software is designed as highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service. The cloud platform is used to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines. It’s designed for use by companies which offer on-premise cloud or hybrid solutions.

Apache CloudStack supports VMware, KVM and Citrix XenServer amongst others. It is a turnkey solution which includes compute orchestration, Network as a Service, account management, open API and resource accounting.

Users manage their cloud through a user-friendly interface. This gives users access to command line tools and/or RESTful API. Users utilize all compute, networking, software and storage resources from the API.

CloudStack’s API is compatible with AWS EC2 and S3. This is a handy feature for those who wish to deploy hybrid clouds.

The platform controls storage for instances running on hypervisors (primary storage) as well as templates, snapshots and ISO images (secondary storage).

Users have noted that CloudStack is not entirely customizable compared to other open source providers.


2. Cloudcraft

Cloudcraft's magic includes architecture diagrams and a straight forward dashboard

Free tier
Optimized for AWS
Drag and drop interface

Cloudcraft users can design and visualize professional architecture diagrams.

The platform is optimized for Amazon Web Services. This means that users can create services with key components for EC2, Lambda, RDS, DynamoDB, CloudFront and Route 53 amongst others.

Subscribers can click on each component to view the current cost and configuration. Users also have easy access to the Amazon web console.  

Cloudcraft allow users to collaborate on projects. You can drag and drop files into diagrams and AWS resources.

Users components stay connected after being imported. They display more data including health and status information.

The platform creates information about the drawn cloud infrastructure along with data imported.

The ‘Free’ tier includes a single user, advanced AWS architectures, export, share, cost calculations and the ability to document your design.

The ‘Pro’ package is $49 (£37.56) per user per month. This incorporates all the free tier has to offer plus an infinite grid, live AWS sync, unlimited AWS accounts, team collaboration, 2-factor identification and priority support.  

The ‘Enterprise’ package also includes customized support, volume licensing and GovCloud support. Users need to contact the sales team directly for a quote. There is also a free trial.


3. OpenStack

Use OpenStack’s FOSS dashboard or API to manage your cloud infrastructure like a pro

Supports heterogeneous networks
Free and open source
Some documentation issues

OpenStack is a free and open source software platform for cloud computing. It is usually deployed as an infrastructure as a service (Iaas).

The software is designed for creating private and public clouds. Users can control compute, storage and networking resources throughout a datacenter. This is managed from either a dashboard or through OpenStack’s API. 

OpenStack Compute (NOVA) is a cloud computing fabric controller which is designed to manage and automate pools of resources. It works with bare metal configurations, virtual machines and containers. It integrates with legacy systems and third-party technologies.

OpenStack Identity (Keystone) is a directory of users linked to accessible OpenStack services. Keystone supports multiple forms of authentication such as password credentials and web service logins.

OpenStack works with many open source technologies. This makes it suitable for heterogeneous networks. The platform can automate all important processes such as workload provisioning, application lifecycle, networking, storage and container infrastructure.

Some reviewers have complained that OpenStack documentation is not very comprehensible.

ServiceNow Cloud Management

4. ServiceNow Cloud Management

ServiceNow bespoke dashboard shows each user only the information they need

Personalized dashboard
Automated processes

ServiceNow is a cloud computing company which was founded in 2004. The solution offers a standard operating approach to hybrid and public clouds. It is geared towards medium to large businesses.

All user activity is managed through the Cloud User Portal. Users can access information on cost, quota, usage and health of their resources from here. They can also order new services, send requests and monitor incidents affecting resources.

ServiceNow Cloud Management provides on-demand access to multi-cloud resources which is fully automated. The portal creates dashboards for every employee such as the cloud administrator, designer and operator.

The platform encodes organization governance policies. This ensures that the correct level of controls are applied in resource placement, resource selection and naming convention.

ServiceNow Cloud Management integrates with TeamViewer, Zoho CRM, and Anypoint Platform.

Users need to contact ServiceNow directly for more information and a quote.

ManageEngine Applications Manager

5. ManageEngine Applications Manager

Use ManageEngine’s slew of monitoring tools to keep your cloud apps running at peak effieciency

Monitors 100 performance indicators
Personalized demo
Relatively expensive

ManageEngine is an asset management tool. It was released in 2007.

The Application Manager offers a single integrated performance monitoring tool. Users can manage datacenters, applications, databases and systems. It is geared towards small to medium sized companies.  

Users can monitor end user, web servers, virtual systems and cloud resources. The platform can scale up to 500 applications.  

Users can view relationships between applications and databases using the application discovery and dependency-mapping tools. This information updates as the application changes.

The Applications Manager also allows users to track response times, view the performance of code segments, SQL statements and detect slow transactions.

Users can track over 100 key performance indicators of your apps such as memory utilization, resource availability and response time.

Users can request a personalized demo through their website. Prices start at $945 (£724.27) . Potential subscribers need to contact ManageEngine for more information and to get started.