Cloud management platforms (CMP) are the ultimate reins to cloud computing chaos. Imagine tracking, automating, and provisioning faster and more efficiently. Imagine actually knowing your usage of your cloud resources, before you see an ugly bill at the end of the month.
Software companies, developers, tech startups will appreciate the heightened control and insight they can get with cloud management solutions. Many offer affordable cloud migration and cloud cost optimization tools to make your transition worthwhile.
If you are new to cloud management software we have a brief overview and some resources to catch you up.
Cloud Management Platform and Cloud Management Software
There are 4 types of cloud platforms: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud. We went deeper into definitions in our article defining cloud management software, but you should know that a private cloud is an on-premises cloud on your personal computer, a hybrid would be both public and private, and multi-cloud could be all of them.
Within these clouds, there are 3 types of cloud computing services, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS). Cloud management platforms cater to different cloud types, and can also be IaaS or SaaS.
A Cloud Management Platform (CMP) can have several different Cloud Management Software (CMS) available. Cloud management software is for applications on cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Cloud providers offer services that can be tedious or strenuous to run, as well as expensive and hard to track.
A CMP can offer some of the best cloud cost management tools to help you with budgeting, automation, provisioning, chargeback, and more. Even if your cloud applications are enormous and intertwined like AWS applications, you can find a service to manage it.
If you need more background on cloud platforms and cloud computing we have an enlightening article about what cloud management software is. We also have a guide for how to choose cloud management software, and an overview of the benefits of cloud management software.
Cloud Management Software Pricing and Features
Most CMPs have common features and benefits like security, monitoring and cost management. In our article about the benefits of cost management, we talk about the advantages of cloud management services. Knowing the general features will help guide you to the software that fits your needs the most.
Each platform provider on this list isn’t guaranteed to offer everything. In fact, some are more niche to certain needs than others. Many will offer applications for multi-cloud, a popular need for those using both private and public cloud environments. Some management services here could be better for public cloud-only because they may not offer on-premise options.
Our list here isn’t organized by who is better than the other, because your needs are subjective and so are the best uses for each service. Some will be software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service.
Many will be a rabbit hole of different products that separate popular CMP benefits in different services. One unfortunate problem is not all cloud solutions offer upfront pricing or clear pricing models.
One awesome cloud management solution is vRealize by VMware. VMware is a major tech giant that offers cloud computing services and virtualization. Virtualization refers to VMware’s use of virtual machines on company servers or personal computers to manage resources, allow cost optimization, enhance your storage for speed, and much more.
|VMware CMP Solutions
|SaaS Management with vRealize Cloud Universal
Essential Cloud Management with vRealize Suite
Modern Application Infrastructure with VMware Cloud Foundation
Hybrid Cloud Management
|They have products with automation, log insight, network insight, and operations.
vRealize is a cloud management platform with hybrid cloud and multi-cloud options.
Unfortunately, the vendor does not provide any upfront pricing. Their products include SaaS and on-premise options. VMware cloud can be pretty complex and has self service options in products, so there is a ‘for dummies’ guide to help you manage your cloud management. As crazy as that sounds a guide can’t hurt to have if you go with VMware.
vRealize Cloud Universal CMP offers all of their cloud management solutions under one license. You’ll have log insight, network insight, and be able to deploy automations and operations. This is the recommended option because it combines all their main features in one license.
Their automation, operations, log insight, network insight, AI cloud are all considered separate services and can appear in combination in vRealizes other products, but Cloud Universal already has access to them. This plan is perfect for teams that need almost every kind of cloud management service because they use so many applications.
vRealize Suite is designed for an on-premise system to have lifecycle management along with automation, operations and log analytics. The product combines with vCloud to give you a ‘self-service consumption layer,’ which is an automation framework.
The VMware Foundation includes all of vCloud Suite, and their storage and networking products vSAN and NSX. This service is ideal for on-premises data centers. Especially ones that need powerful storage options that can pool resources from attached devices like vSAN, and manage your network from one place with NSX.
vRealize’s Hybrid Cloud product is specifically designed for AWS. Vmware integrates with almost all cloud computing platforms, but vRealize the cloud management software integrates perfectly with Amazon. By integrate, this service specifically manages VMware cloud computing applications with AWS cloud computing applications. It comes with VMware storage options and global support.
VMware’s vRealize does not have many resources for cost savings. VMware’s CloudHealth on the other hand has a great selection for financial management and operations tools.
Cloudhealth is a separate cloud management platform that was acquired by VMware. They provide a number of fantastic cloud solutions for cloud management: cost management, operations management, governance automation, and industry-specific solutions.
|VMware CMP Solutions
CloudHealth Partner Platform,
CloudHealth for AWS,
CloudHealth for Azure,
CloudHealth for GCP,
CloudHealth for OCI,
CloudHealth Secure State
|Amazing for managing workflow integrations and compatible with major cloud computing platforms.
Cloudhealth offers 9 different products. Their product Multicloud Platform has all the main financial management and operations management for multi-cloud environments. Their financial management helps with forecasting performance, budgeting, cost reporting, and discount management.
You can stay on top of cloud billing and be able to achieve cost savings. The added insight into your resources and their overall cost will also make decisions about whether to continue certain cloud applications easier. That way you can prioritize spending and plan for cheaper alternatives.
The operations management aspect of CloudHealth’s Mulitcloud service centers around governance. Governance can be policies, risk reduction, and the upkeep of infrastructure. These functions automate tedious tasks to comply with policies, streamline workflows, rightsizing operations to cost, and providing visibility into your cloud usage for analysis.
If your organization needs structure and financial insight and uses multiple clouds, this service is a great option.
The CloudHealth Partner Platform is essentially a CRM for cloud computing. Customer relationship management refers to services to help focus and connect with customers as well as collaboration tools for employees. With Partner Platform, it’s about centralizing customer management, streamlining billing, managing customer needs, and driving growth.
You could use this platform if you were managing someone’s cloud computing applications for them. With this platform, you would be able to automate client onboarding with an easy to use API, integrate customer products, control client permissions, and give customer recommendations from the real-time metrics and reports you monitor.
CloudHealth Secure State is all about security. Secure State lets you manage your security for connected clouds and Kubernetes infrastructure. You can track threats, stay within compliance guidelines such as HIPAA, and minimize risk with access controls.
This solution is great for teams that need role based security and use multiple clouds and utilize Kubernetes. If your content also requires using sensitive data, you will want a management platform that can meet any compliance policies you have in place.
The Integrations service for CloudHealth lets you manage your other cloud management providers like Datadog as well as collaboration tools like Slack. With this solution you can gain insight into your cloud resources without changing your current cloud management software, and seeing all the combined data in one place.
CloudHealth offers products for Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. These are separate products specifically designed to manage your applications on those platforms.
Datadog is a cloud management platform with a plethora of awesome products for log management, database monitoring, error tracking (for debugging), serverless monitoring, and so many more. When you look at Datadog, you should expect to purchase cloud management application subscriptions separately. There isn’t one service with all of them but they do have volume discounts, for more information contact sales.
The Datadog product we’re looking at for this list is their Infrastructure monitoring plans. We still recommend going to their site and looking at all their other offerings. The reason their infrastructure plans make this list is because it has super useful features, upfront and easy to comprehend pricing, and a free, yes free, plan.
|Datadog – Cloud Management Product
|Price Plans – per host, per month
|Free $0, Pro $15, Enterprise $23
Datadog’s Infrastructure Free plan allows 5 hosts and unlimited users accounts. You will have access to high security, the community forum, training videos, and over 500 integrations. One big limit is you get 1 day of metric retention, so if you need more you’ll need to jump to Pro. If you have a fair sized team and you can operate with just 1 day of data retention, this plan is a great start.
The Pro plan has no limits on hosts and 15 months of metric retention. This plan has only a few more features than Free but they definitely pack more punch. You get unlimited alerts, container monitoring (10 per host), and custom metrics (100 per host). This is great for more control and insight into your infrastructure. It is limited, but still a pretty good next step up for small teams.
Enterprise has full access to all Datadog’s infrastructure monitoring features. This means everything from Free and Pro, but now with automated insights from their Watchdog algorithm, anomaly detection, and forecast monitoring. The plan also has more hierarchical functions like advanced admin tools, and technical support in email, chat, and phone.
Not all of Datadog’s plans have such clear pricing, some plans require a little math like Real User Monitoring which is based on sessions used, and not a flat price. The majority of Datadogs plans are so much more intuitive than other cloud management tools that it’s refreshing.
If you were considering a cloud management tool on some tech giants like AWS and Azure, and became so confused it wasn’t funny, check out Datadog.
Flexera One is one of the best options for managing super complex hybrid IT environments for public and private cloud users. All of the software features are meant to provide you in-depth insight into your cloud environment so that you can make informed decisions on cloud spending, risk, and infrastructure.
|Flexera – Cloud Management Product
IT Asset Management
Cloud Migration and Modernization
Cloud Cost Optimization
Flexera One can handle intricate, and confusing IT environments. They can manage multiple SaaS products, licenses, cloud infrastructure and physical infrastructure. If your team has an immense volume of applications, cloud providers, integrations to the point your current CMP doesn’t provide enough insight then Flexera might be the answer.
The software isn’t simply for managing your applications but also for simplifying them. It can help you cut down unnecessary spending and maximize return on your investments (ROI). Flexera noted in their 2021 report that businesses waste 30% in technology spending. They find the cause is a lack of insight into the software you use, lack of governance policies, and underutilization.
Mid size and larger enterprises will find Flexera One to be worth considering for its tools for analysis of your workloads. If your company does not have a dense amount of software or trouble keeping track of what you’re using, a simpler platform like Datadog would be better.
Here is another open source, budget saver from the glorious company Apache. Excitement aside, Apache offer great open source software, but that does not make them or their products perfect. Open source software has its limits, and in Cloudstack’s case its that you need a hypervisor or software system to run it.
|Apache – Cloud Computing Software
|Free (Open Source)
|It’s free with a huge community, and full control of resources.
CloudStack is actually a cloud computing software. The reason they’re on the list is they have awesome management features. This can be useful to teams just starting out, haven’t gotten far with cloud applications, or want to switch. With CloudStack you have full control and customization over clouds deployed on virtual machines.
Other cloud platforms separate the services and features CloudStack comes with. These features resource accounting, compute orchestration, and an intuitive UI. You can oversee your cloud with command line tools at your fingertips.
Users of CloudStack take advantage of the amount of control they have and offer public cloud services, or use it as a private cloud for their own company. The general size of companies that utilize this gem is pretty spread out between large, medium, and small companies.
Similar to Datadog, Centilytics is a CMP with common cloud management services as separate products. Unlike Datadog, Centilytics does not have upfront pricing and you will need to contact sales and book a demo before finding out the estimate for your business. This doesn’t mean Centilytics doesn’t have fantastic product solutions.
Centilytics caters to more general needs than some other CMPs. They integrate with most collaborative tools like Slack and Microsoft teams, and outline for each product how they can help CIO, CTO, CFO offices. The CMP utilizes cost reporting features centered around helping you budget for company needs.
They offer some of the main features buyers look for including automation, cost optimization, security, governance policies all in an agnostic platform. This means it can be independent from cloud providers. It is scaled to be a self-service platform with managed capabilities.
Governance and Reporting
Optimization and Allocation
Security and Health
|Products that keep business needs at the forefront of cloud management.
Their Cloud Visibility service provides insight into your inventory and cost monitoring. Cloud Visibility illuminates your inventory using a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to give you one easy view of all your applications.
It uses real-time asset discovery and asset tracking to make managing and controlling resources easier. Through analysis, it can bring comparisons of your inventory, and with filters you can customize searches within inventory.
Visibility cost monitoring looks at your cloud infrastructure and reports back cost distributions in applications and services. This way you can consider your spending patterns and decide accordingly. Cost monitoring can analyze multiple accounts, services, workloads, data transfers, trends etc.
Their Governance and Reporting comes with report management, alert management, and budgeting. This product has strong automation features for alerts while you’re not actively logged in. These alerts can be for security, and budget restrictions. When it comes to report management, you can schedule the sharing of reports, apply custom filters, use templates, export in Excel, PDF and more.
Optimization and Allocation center on their cost optimizer and cost allocation. It’s meant to simplify the process of checking your resources over multiple clouds, and tag and allocate them to the right categories. Their cost optimizer appliances dynamic strategies identify areas to improve. They apply cost allocation through tagging resources across clouds based on your needs.
Security and Health utilizes security audits, performance optimization, fault tolerance, and service limits to protect your cloud. With their security audit they ensure best practices are followed such as HIPAA compliance. With a dedicated dashboard and over 300 security checks they monitor your infrastructure.
Performance optimization helps the health of your cloud. They check that resources are used efficiently to avoid overuse of provisioned resources and keep performance from being hindered.
Fault tolerance also protects the health of your system by preventing downtime with disaster recovery. To further protect your applications, you can track service limits to make sure they aren’t breached, if they are that can make actions fail and inhibit scalability.
Centylitic’s Cloud Automation focuses on automating time consuming and tedious tasks to ensure teams waste less of their day. You can schedule resources, automate clean up, restarts, backups, and security needs like data transfer and encryption.
If you need a CMP with products catering to business needs and growth, Certilytics is a great choice.
Morpheus is another agnostic cloud management solution that gives you on-premise control on public cloud. It’s a hybrid cloud option that is independent from cloud providers, so you have more control.
They offer a demo, but don’t have upfront costs. Morpheus licenses based on the volume of workloads you need to automate and orchestrate. This way they can be fair to large and small teams by providing need based pricing.
|Morpheus – CMP
|Cost optimization, security, self-service provisioning, and automation.
Similar to Centrilytics, it brings in a cost centric mindset, and cost optimization with metrics reporting for drawing comparison between use and overall cost. They also have self-service provisioning with limits to prevent shadow IT, which is when software is used past approvals.
They allow for codeless integrations between cloud computing platforms like AWS, and software like Kubernetes. They also have enticing features for developers like enabling infrastructure as code and letting you connect automated tasks to Git repositories and starting GitOps functions.
Their platform is meant for as much control and management as you need along with features to build, do, and grow more. It’s also good for teams that would rather have pricing set for their own business needs.
Which Cloud Software Is Right for You?
Not all of the software listed will be ideal for every use case. Morpheus, Flexera, and Centilytics are beneficial to expert teams with a wide volume of private, public, and hybrid cloud options. They are CMPs meant for some serious chaos.
Datadog was the best option here for smaller teams that don’t need every feature under the sun, and love transparent pricing. CloudHealth, Centylitics, and Morpheus are great for teams that need to control all their costs and make new budget conscious decisions.
vRealize and Felxera offered a cloud management solution that had most of their main features instead of pricing them all out as separate products. Those of you that need more control can migrate over and start over with CloudStack, this time with more built in management features than other cloud providers.
If you’re interested in seeing more CMPs and their reviews from users you can check out our list of software here. If cost management is the most important part of a CMP for you, we have another list just focusing on that core feature.
Those of you who’ve used some of the software in the article, please consider leaving a review to help other buyers make informed decisions.
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