Cloud management platforms
Cloud management solutions are inevitable for both enterprises and Managed Service Providers. Weolcan and the Software Improvement Group (SIG) have done independent research into a variety of cloud management platforms that provide valuable solutions for the centralized and efficient management of multiple clouds. We have done this research to help you getting insight into some of the most promising cloud management platforms currently available in the market, including their capabilities and the risks associated with these solutions.
You´re now looking at a comprehensive overview of our research results. Use the buttons to the right to scroll down to the individual reviews of each vendor.
There’s even more
If you want to learn more about the background and set-up of this research, read our blog post here. In addition to this market scan, we have compiled a Management Brief on the risks and opportunities of cloud management platforms. Finally, please contact SIG or Weolcan in case you are interested in discussing the research and its implications for your organisation with our analysts.
|Public Cloud support|
|Amazon Web Services|
|Google Cloud Platform|
|VMware vCloud Air|
|Private Cloud support|
|Bare metal support|
|Basic||8 hours||30 minutes||4 hours||-||0,5 hour||1 hour||1 hour||1 hour|
|Premium||0,5 hour||-||0,5 hour||-||0,5 hour||1 hour||1 hour||0,5 hour|
|Basic||Business hours||24x7||12 hours/day||-||Business hours||Business hours||24x7||24x7|
|License model and pricing|
|License models||Free, Enterprise||Subscription||Standard, Advanced, Enterprise||Hosted, Enterprise, Community||Free, Enterprise||Standard, Premium||N/A||N/A|
|Cost units||Subscription fee + per VM/hour||Per node||Portal License Unit (PLU)||Subscription fee + per VM||Per VM||Per socket and per VM's||Per application, virtual server and engagement||Per managed server + starter fee|
|Access to the platform|
|Single Sign On||SAML, OpenID||SAML||SAML||SAML||SAML||SAML||SAML, OpenID|
|Role Based Access Control||Pre-defined||Custom||Custom||Custom||Pre-defined||Custom||Custom||Pre-defined|
|Quota management||Cost||Resource and Cost||Resource||Cost||Resource and Cost||Resource||Resource and cost||Resource|
|Multi-tenant cloud support|
|Visual service modelling|
|CMDB integration||Yes, ServiceNow and APIs for integrations with others||Yes, with it its own CMDB service||Yes, multiple CMDB integrations possible||Yes, ServiceNow||Yes, Servicenow||Yes, through the API||Yes, Atrium, HP UCMDB and others|
|Search and find cloud assets|
|Version control and track changes|
|Automated scripting for patches and version updates|
|Set price per service|
|Service Demand Management|
|Usage historic trends|
|External SIEM support|
RightScale was founded over ten years ago and now offers an extensive cloud management solution. Starting with only supporting AWS in 2006, RightScale now offers extensive support for a wide variety of public and private cloud providers. Using RightScales Universal Cloud Appliance any cloud, virtualized and bare-metal environment can be added as well. The portal offers an abundance of possibilities, which makes navigation hard for the untrained eye. Rightscales API-first strategy which enables developers to access all functionality of the platform through the API allowing them to integrate other software and processes. A multi-tenancy set-up can easily be created using isolated parent accounts that can be managed on an enterprise or MSP level. RightScale offers extensive template-based service modelling functionality leveraging a marketplace with templates, configuration scripts and images. Users have access to selected cloud services through the self-service portal. RightScale offers a dedicated analytics portal which provides insight in historic, current and future spending and an advanced forecasting tool.
|Very broad cloud support||Requires some training|
|Clear self-service catalogue||Fixed user roles|
|API first strategy|
|Santa Barbara, California, U.S|
Being a market leader in the ITSM market according to Gartner, ServiceNow also offers cloud management capabilities and is expanding its strategy in this area with the acquisition of ITapp. Currently, the support for public cloud providers is limited to the templates provided by AWS (Cloudformation) and Azure (ARM). With regard to private cloud, only VMware vSphere is supported at this point in time. However, next releases will integrate parts of the ITapp-functionality due to which support for the clouds may change. The cloud management functionality is included as an app in the ServiceNow portal. This strategy offers the possibility to build your own apps, using the ServiceNow API. Downside of all these apps in one platform is that it affects the overview of the platform. The build-in governance engine makes it possible to very granularly set company policies. The platform also allows for multi-tenant set-ups. In one of the next releases, capabilities with regard to service modelling (a blueprint canvas designer) will be added. The platform offers basic insight into cost and utilisation.
|Advanced policy engine||Marginal cloud support|
|Possibilities to build your own apps||No service modelling capabilities|
|Integrated in ServiceNow portal|
|Santa Clara, California, U.S|
In the area of cloud management, VMware offers the vRealize Suite which consists of four parts: Automation, Business for Cloud, Operations, and LogInsight. The vRealize Suite is mostly deployed on premises and is available as Standard, Advanced and Enterprise edition. Being a VMware product, vRealize is mainly focused on vSphere (including vCloud Air). Although support for the major public clouds is still very limited, VMware is working on expanding its capabilities in this area. The look and feel of the portal is similar to other VMware products. vRealize offers API functionality of which the availability differs per part of the vRealize Suite and the edition (Standard, Advanced or Enterprise). Automation allows for a multi-tenant set-up in which tenants can connect to their own identity store, can have their own branding and portal URL. For service modelling, Automation offers drag and drop functionality and a canvas for creating blueprints for services, which can be offered through an advanced self-service catalogue. Business for Cloud offers insights in spending patterns which can be used for service optimisation.
|Excellent fit for VMware environments||Limited public cloud support|
|Multi-tenancy options||Only available on-premises|
|Strong service modelling||Complicated pricing and license model|
|Palo Alto, California, U.S.|
Scalr was born as an open source platform, which offers (potential) users the ability to experiment with Scalr and explore the code. Besides the open source edition, customers can choose the Hosted or Enterprise edition for additional support and SLAs. Scalr offers support for major public and private cloud platforms, which makes the platform useful for hybrid solutions. The portal looks fresh and follows an intuitive and streamlined design and contains an easy-to-navigate menu. The REST API allows for easy integration with other services. Scalr uses layered scopes to enable a multi-tenant set-up for both enterprises and MSPs and offers a visual service builder to model services or parts thereof. There is no self-service catalogue, but allows the user to deploy and configure services through cloning templates in the template overview. Scalrs analytics tool provides insight in current and historic cloud spend. For spend optimization, a build-in integration with Cloudyn is provided.
|Advanced support for AWS||No support for Azure on Hosted edition|
|Attractive and clear UI||No continuous discovery and inventory|
|Open source edition available|
|San Francisco, California, U.S|
Although being one of the youngest companies included in our research, Cloudbolt offers a fairly mature cloud management platform. With basic support for all major public and private cloud providers and the ability to manage bare metal environments with the Cloudbolt c2 tool, Cloudbolt is a serious contender. The portal is simple but clear, which makes navigation easy. The API comes with a handy to use API browser which makes it easy to test and create API calls in the dashboard. Cloudbolt uses groups to create a logical structure within the boundaries of an enterprise, but does not yet support true multi-tenancy. Cloudbolt offers extensive functionality for creating blueprints for services, leveraging the power of provisioning and configuration tools and (pre-defined) parameters that can be added to the service. With regard to analytics, Cloudbolt allows for basic insight into cost and usage, but does not provide recommendations for optimization or forecasting capabilities.
|Broad cloud support||No network or storage deployment|
|UI is easy to navigate||Only self-hosted edition available|
|Strong service modelling|
|Campbell, California, U.S|
RedHat CloudForms is the enterprise distribution of the open source ManageIQ cloud management platform, which leverages community build plugins and support. CloudForms supports the three major public clouds and offers integration with a variety of private cloud technologies. Bare metal servers can be controlled with the help of RedHat Satellite, which is a separate product. The UI of the platform looks clean and has a clear structure. The platform offers a well-documented REST API, but not all functionality is available. Cloudforms allows for a multi-tenant set-up using truly separate tenants, with the possibility to determine relationships between these tenants. Tenants can have projects as children. Services can be built out of components, which can be modelled using scripts that are created with the CloudForms system engine. Integration with Ansible Tower is on its way and also a visual service builder is on the roadmap for a release in December 2016.
|Extensive private cloud support||Not possible to set prices for catalogue items|
|Multi-tenancy options||Limited service optimization possibilities|
|Open source edition available|
|Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.|
With the acquisition of Gravitant IBM is expanding its cloud management portfolio, which now holds IBM cloudMatrix (old Gravitant) and IBM Cloud Orchestrator (ICO). These platforms have a certain overlap but also have very specific use cases, therefore IBM offers these packages both separately and as one integrated solution. Basic support for the major public cloud providers and private cloud platforms is available and both platforms offer a clear UI which makes deploying services and other resources easy. Other enterprise applications and services can be integrated with both platforms through the offered REST API. ICO allows for a true multi-tenant set-up, enabling the MSP-model. For service modelling, cloudMatrix offers a visual service builder to build multi-tier applications and put these in the self-service catalogue. Analytics is mostly done in with cloudMatrix, in which extensive analytics capabilities are included.
|Strong policy engine for ICO||Two separate systems can be confusing|
|Together the platforms offer a very complete solution||No integration with configuration management tools in cloudMatrix|
|Strong reputation of IBM|
|Armonk, New York, U.S.|
BMCs cloud management platform which is called Cloud Lifecycle Management offers support for some of the major public clouds, all of the most common private cloud platforms and bare-metal environments (using resourcing pools that can be configured). The look and feel of the end-user portal has recently been renewed, enabling a more shopping-like experience. This new look will be transferred to the admin portals soon. The REST API of the platform encloses all functionality of the platform to developers or other stakeholders that are interested in setting up specific integrations or extractions. The platform allows to set-up a multi-tenant environment, in which tenants are logically separated. The policy engine can be used to create policies that span multiple tenants. BMC offers a drag-and-drop canvas for building blueprints, which consist out of two parts (1) a functional description (based on JSON) and (2) information regarding the deployment model. After a service has been built it can be added into the service catalogue with the possibility to add additional information such as specific pricing schemes. Due to the extensive measurement capabilities of the platform, there is advanced insight into (historic) usage and analytics.
|Private cloud support||No pick and choose catalogue for service modelling|
|Web shop-like service catalogue||No cost analytics|
|Extensive enterprise support|
|Houston, Texas, U.S|