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12 best cloud management platforms for 2024

The best cloud management platform (CPM) simplifies the deployment and management of multiple clouds across various providers, whether public, private, or hybrid. According to a Gartner report, industry cloud platforms are a growing trend, offering advantages for cloud management and addressing the growing complexity of cloud architecture. Moreover, they accelerate cloud adoption by directly appealing to a broader audience of business consumers beyond the initial users of cloud infrastructure and platform technologies.

Cloud management tools provide comprehensive oversight of cloud computing consumption, identifying redundant services and enabling cloud cost optimizations. In this article we explore the top 12 cloud management platforms for 2024, highlighting key features of each CMP. Additionally, we delve into the advantages of using a cloud management platform and steps to help you choose the right one for your business.

What are cloud management platforms?

A cloud management platform (CMP) offers self-service and DevOps solutions for deploying, managing, and designing IT operations. It provides users with a streamlined process for importing applications into the cloud, accelerating cloud ROI). The platform addresses critical aspects such as security, cost optimization, and billing. Key features include end-to-end orchestration of IT processes, a user-friendly self-portal, integrated release automation, and a containerized deployment framework.

Benefits of cloud management platforms

Using CMP has advantages for companies, fostering operational efficiency and success. Listed below are key benefits:

1. Cloud cost and resource optimization

CMPs streamline resource allocation, optimizing cloud costs while maximizing efficiency. Through automated resource scaling and intelligent allocation, businesses achieve optimal utilization of resources, ensuring cost-effectiveness in their cloud operations.

2. Efficient and simpler processes

CMPs simplify complex processes, offering a centralized platform for seamless orchestration of IT operations. This leads to streamlined workflows, reducing manual interventions and improving operational efficiency.

3. Enhanced performance

CMPs optimize the performance of cloud-based applications and services by ensuring effective resource management. Through automated load balancing and resource allocation, businesses experience improved application responsiveness and better overall system performance.

4. Robust security

Security is paramount in cloud environments, and CMPs play a role in ensuring robust protection. They provide features such as encryption, access control, and threat monitoring, safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

5. Operational agility

CMPs enable businesses to respond swiftly to changing demands. With automated provisioning and deployment, organizations achieve operational agility, allowing them to adapt to market dynamics and customer needs promptly.

6. Improved UX

CMPs contribute to a positive user experience by providing self-service portals and streamlined interfaces. Users benefit from simplified access to resources, personalized service catalogs, and efficient management interfaces, enhancing overall satisfaction and productivity.

12 best cloud management platforms

Selecting the right cloud management software is crucial for achieving optimal performance and cost savings. Here, we’ll explore some top cloud management platforms on the market.

1. Azure management tools

Microsoft’s native suite empowers comprehensive Azure resource governance, encompassing automation, deployment, security, and cost optimization. Built-in services like Azure Policy and Azure Advisor enable compliance enforcement and resource rightsizing, while tools like Azure Monitor and Azure Log Analytics offer detailed performance insights.

Key features:

  • Granular resource control with Azure Resource Manager, Azure Policy, and Bicep/ARM templates.

  • Deep performance insights using Azure Monitor for cost optimization and proactive monitoring.

  • Limited multi-cloud support; focuses primarily on Azure resources.

  • Compliance and security leveraging built-in features and integration with Azure Security Center.

2. Flexera Cloud Management Platform

Flexera’s Cloud Management Platform offers a robust set of features including discovery, template-based provisioning, orchestration, automation, operational monitoring, management, governance, and cost optimization. This platform is designed to operate seamlessly across multiple public and private clouds, as well as virtual and bare-metal servers.

Key features:

  • Cost optimization by aggregating bills, identifying savings opportunities, and automating resource optimization.

  • Strong governance and security using compliance tools, resource tagging, IAM integration.

  • Extensive multi-cloud and hybrid support, manages diverse cloud environments.

  • DevOps integration using built-in integrations with various CI/CD tools.

3. Nutanix Cloud manager

Designed for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, Nutanix Cloud Manager simplifies infrastructure management with self-service provisioning, application blueprints, and automated lifecycle management. Its strengths lie in rapid provisioning, workload mobility, and automated cost optimization. Integrations with other Nutanix offerings enhance the platform’s capabilities.

Key features:

  • With hybrid and multi-cloud focus, it simplifies management across clouds and on-premises infrastructure.

  • Rapid provisioning and workload mobility by leveraging self-service, application blueprints, and automated lifecycle management.

  • Automated cost optimization by built-in features and integration with Nutanix Prism for AI-powered insights.

  • Seamless integration with Nutanix ecosystem.

4) IBM Apptio Cloudability

Apptio strategically organizes technology spending and enterprise operational data to provide actionable insights for business, finance, and technology leaders to collaborate effectively. By assimilating, aggregating, and normalizing data on spend, cost, consumption, performance, and attributes from diverse systems, including cloud vendors, Apptio offers a comprehensive and unified understanding of technology expenditure. This insight empowers confident prioritization of tasks, facilitates cloud adoption, and optimizes technology investments for greater business value.

Key features:

  • FinOps-focused cost management tool providing detailed breakdowns, budget forecasting, chargeback capabilities.

  • Cloud governance and resource tagging by enforcing policies, and tracking resource usage for cost allocation.

  • Business value alignment via connecting cloud spending to business objectives and desired outcomes.

5) HashiCorp Terraform Enterprise

This Infrastructure as Code (IaC) platform empowers centralized management of multi-cloud and hybrid environments. It leverages HashiCorp Terraform’s declarative syntax for infrastructure provisioning, while adding enterprise-grade features like state management, version control, and user access control. Terraform Enterprise simplifies collaboration and governance, making it ideal for large organizations with complex cloud footprints.

Key features:

  • Centralized state management and policy enforcement for multi-cloud deployments.

  • Modular configuration language (HCL) and infrastructure-as-code approach.

  • Collaboration features for team-based infrastructure management.

  • Limited built-in cost optimization, relies on integrations for cost management.

6) Harness Cloud Cost Management

This platform tackles cloud cost optimization through granular visibility and automation. It collects detailed cost data from various cloud providers, identifies spending anomalies and optimization opportunities, and automates cost-saving actions like rightsizing instances or scheduling shutdowns. Harness integrates with CI/CD pipelines and ticketing systems for seamless cost management workflows.

Key features:

  • AI and ML-driven proactive cost optimization with automation capabilities.

  • Continuous cost optimization throughout CI/CD pipelines.

  • Detailed cost analyses and recommendations for resource optimization.

  • Cloud asset governance, using automated governance-as-code and AI powered policy generation with Harness AIDA.

7) Morpheus Data

Morpheus Data combines infrastructure provisioning, configuration management, and application deployment enabling enterprise agility and control. It supports multi-cloud and hybrid environments, offering self-service provisioning, automated workflows, and role-based access control. Morpheus’s strengths lie in its intuitive interface, ease of use, and ability to manage diverse IT assets.

Key features:

  • Vendor-agnostic platform, supporting hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

  • User-friendly interface and extensive automation capabilities.

  • Support for diverse cloud platforms and on-premises infrastructure.

  • Robust cost management utilizing inventory brownfields, rightsizing resources, tracking cloud spend, and centralizing visibility.

8) Spectro Cloud Palette

This container-focused platform simplifies multi-cluster Kubernetes management. It facilitates workload scheduling, resource allocation, and application lifecycle management across multiple clusters. Palette’s intuitive interface and automated workflows make it ideal for DevOps teams managing containerized applications in hybrid or multi-cloud environments.

Key features:

  • Open-source platform for managing and scaling containerized applications on Kubernetes.

  • Simplifies deployment, scaling, and resource allocation for microservices architectures.

  • GitOps principles and Helm charts for automated and version-controlled deployments.

  • Limited functionality outside of Kubernetes-specific tasks.

9) Apache CloudStack

Apache CloudStack, an open-source IaaS cloud computing platform, efficiently deploys and manages large virtual machine networks. Ideal for public or private cloud solutions and hybrid setups, CloudStack offers a comprehensive stack, encompassing compute orchestration, Network-as-a-Service, user/account management, and a robust native API. Supporting leading hypervisors like VMware, KVM, Citrix XenServer, and more, it ensures versatility. Users benefit from an intuitive web interface, command line tools, and a RESTful API. CloudStack’s API compatibility with AWS EC2 and S3 facilitates seamless hybrid cloud deployment.

Key features:

  • Compute orchestration for efficiently deploying and managing large virtual machine networks.

  • Network-as-a-Service providing comprehensive management of network resources in the cloud.

  • User and account management using robust tools for handling user accounts and permissions.

  • Native API for accessing and controlling CloudStack functionalities.

  • Hypervisor support with VMware, KVM, Citrix XenServer, etc.

  • AWS EC2 and S3 compatibility for hybrid cloud deployment.

10) Cloudbolt

CloudBolt Software seamlessly integrates on-premises resources and public clouds through an intuitive interface. This platform streamlines cloud management across diverse technologies and locations, optimizing workload placement. Supporting on-premises virtualization, private cloud, and various public and hybrid configurations, CloudBolt facilitates easy import, syncing, and management of both legacy and new cloud environments.

Key features:

  • Flexible environments for logical resource grouping based on attributes.

  • Role-based access control for defined and enforced user access.

  • Quotas for aligning resource usage with business needs and budgets.

  • Hierarchical groups for detailed tracking at every organizational level.

  • Centralized management with extensive capabilities for administrators.

  • Intuitive end-user experience with out-of-band console, SSH access, and remote script execution.

11) Oracle Enterprise Manager

Oracle Enterprise Manager offers comprehensive capabilities for managing, migrating, testing, and deploying across hybrid clouds. Facilitating 100% reuse of existing IT operations management skills, it streamlines and automates complex tasks throughout the cloud lifecycle. The platform enables seamless monitoring and management of on-premises and public cloud services interchangeably. Users can utilize familiar tools for Oracle Cloud services, reducing the need for new, costly solutions. Enterprise Manager Cloud Control consolidates on-premise, Oracle Cloud, and Oracle Cloud Machine deployments in a single management console.

Key features:

  • Integrated monitoring for on-premise and Oracle Cloud.

  • Automated agent deployment and configuration.

  • Monitoring of database and Java PaaS instances.

  • Incident management with notifications and ticketing integration.

  • Configuration management with Search and Inventory.

  • On-premise and cloud instance comparison.

  • Configuration history, compliance, and cloning between on-premise and Oracle Cloud.

12) BMC Software

BMC Software’s Cloud Management Platform facilitates digital innovation through agile, full-stack service provisioning across cloud and traditional platforms. Scaling seamlessly, it integrates with vital compliance and governance policies, minimizing risks. The platform intelligently places services across diverse infrastructures, avoiding API lock-in and preserving flexibility across platforms.

Key features:

  • Rapid deployment and scaling.

  • Built-in integration with change management and CMDB.

  • Full-stack service provisioning with sophisticated blueprint technology.

  • Self-service portal for configurable services.

  • Integration with TrueSight Capacity Optimization and TrueSight Operations Management for enhanced IT services.

  • Intelligent analytics for improved visibility, control, performance, resource optimization, and cost reduction.

How to choose the right cloud management platform

Selecting the appropriate CMP is a crucial decision for any organization seeking to optimize the advantages offered by cloud computing. Listed below are steps to choosing the ideal CMP for your company:

1. Establish clear corporate objectives

Defining precise business objectives is key for effective cloud adoption. Companies must assess whether their goals involve enhancing operational efficiency, cutting costs, expediting application development and deployment, or implementing growth strategies. A clear understanding of these objectives is instrumental in selecting the optimal cloud management tool.

2. Assess scalability and flexibility

As business requirements evolve, it becomes crucial to evaluate the scalability and flexibility provided by a cloud management platform. The platform should possess the capability to adjust to growing demands on resources and accommodate fluctuations in workloads effectively.

3. Look for multi-cloud compatibility

If your company plans to adopt a multi-cloud strategy, ensure your CMP is compatible with various cloud platforms. This is vital for streamlining the management of cloud resources.

4. Ensure ease of use

The CMP should be easily accessible and intuitive for the average user, enabling the IT team to leverage the platform’s functionality without encountering an overly steep learning curve.

5. Examine security and compliance features

Ensure that the CMP incorporates robust security features, including granular access controls and data encryption. Additionally, it should facilitate the company’s adherence to relevant industry regulations, promoting compliance.

6. Understand cost and ROI

Evaluating the total cost of ownership (TCO) is extremely important in the selection of a cloud management platform. Beyond the upfront implementation expenses, factor in sustained operating costs over the long term. The platform should demonstrate a robust cost/benefit ratio, featuring well-defined advantages in terms of both savings and performance enhancement.

7. Evaluate customer support and services

Issues may arise unexpectedly, necessitating external support. Make sure you can reach out to a human support representative for prompt issue resolution. Your cloud management platform should also provide supplementary resources, including how-to articles, user manuals, and comprehensive documentation.

8. Research user feedback

Examining reviews and feedback from other companies utilizing the same CMP can offer valuable insights. These testimonials, from sites like Capterra and Garnter help in gaining a deeper understanding of the platform’s real-world performance and its alignment with user expectations.

Scale your business with DigitalOcean’s cloud services and tools

Digital Ocean offers a range of tools and features to help you manage and scale your infrastructure. Considering various aspects of cloud management, DigitalOcean offers:

  • Load Balancers to optimize traffic distribution for efficient performance. Ideal for managing and scaling infrastructure, they balance workloads across multiple servers to ensure seamless operations.

  • Managed Databases with automated backups, updates, and security patches, allowing you to focus on building robust applications without the hassle of manual database administration.

  • Spaces Object Storage to store and serve large amounts of unstructured data like images, videos, and backups, providing scalable and secure storage with easy integration into applications through a simple API.

  • Volumes Block Storage to increase the storage capacity of your virtual machines, providing flexibility and performance for applications that require additional disk space.

  • Droplets, providing one-click provisioning, with pre-configured options for popular operating systems and applications. Scale resources on-demand and easily create snapshots of your Droplets to revert to previous states or create backups for disaster recovery.

  • DigitalOcean Control Panel, for effortlessly handling Droplets, creating new instances, and configuring infrastructure settings. The control panel also serves as a monitoring hub, allowing users to track infrastructure performance and access usage statistics.

  • Advanced security features including firewalls, monitoring, DDoS protection, intrusion detection, automatic patching and updates, and secure access controls to protect data and applications.

  • Robust cloud compliance with certifications such as AICPA, SOC 2 Type II and SOC 3 Type II. Our commitment extends to compliance with major privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA, underscoring our dedication to user privacy and data protection.

  • Managed Kubernetes, taking care of provisioning, scaling, and maintenance of your Kubernetes cluster, letting you focus on your applications. Built-in high availability and fault tolerance ensure your applications stay online even if individual nodes fail.

  • DigitalOcean App Platform for building and deploying web applications with features such as continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), containerization, and automation. Additionally, distribute traffic across multiple Droplets or Kubernetes clusters for improved application responsiveness and scalability.

DigitalOcean also offers a suite of APIs and command-line tools to streamline cloud infrastructure management by enabling automation and seamlessly integrating with other services and tools.

Whether you’re a developer or a business, DigitalOcean can help you manage and scale your infrastructure with ease.

Sign up for DigitalOcean to get started today.

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