Here’s why you should centralize your cloud tools
There is a solution to help you stop navigating to different platforms for all your cloud needs
The problem of having too many types of tools for Managing Public Cloud infrastructure
Managing cloud is a challenging task made worse by the ever-increasing options and complexity from the Cloud Providers themselves. As Public Cloud Infrastructure rose in popularity, so did companies looking to make a fast buck on people’s pain points. Blow are the different types of cloud tools and their main focus.
Cloud Spend Management Tools
Remember that category? These tool vendors created pretty graphs to help their users understand where cloud spend was going and provide recommendations for the various cloud provider buying options. Reserved Instance anyone?
These tools were mostly reporting-focused and didn’t provide any operational changes, so cloud consumers still had to do the hard work. Almost all Cloud Spend Management tools licensed as a percentage of a user’s cloud infrastructure bill! #ouch$$
Compute Management Tools
This category of tool vendor is focused on helping users better manage their compute costs. It turns out this isn’t a horrible investment as most users spend 70–80% on computing resources. The problem here is integration and licensing. Looking to capitalize on the complexity of management and the need for cost savings, vendors adopted one of 2 common license patterns — either % of your bill/savings or a fixed fee per “device/instance” managed.
The issue with these sorts of licensing models is that there is no relationship between the value the software is delivering and the price of the software itself. Remember in the late ’90s when weblog vendors wanted to charge based on the size of the log being processed (on your own server!). It's that kind of aggressive licensing that leads people to distrust compute management tools.
Security and Governance Tools
This is a newer category of tools but also one that is being pushed heavily from a marketing perspective. Prospective users will hear marketing messages claiming to help them achieve security and cost management goals using this tool or that tool.
This is an area where the cloud providers have made good progress on their own. You can implement 90% of existing tools with out-of-the-box cloud provider functionality. AWS Control Tower + AWS Systems Manager + AWS Security Hub can handle most of your issues if configured appropriately.
The DevOps and CI/CD movement has created many categories of tools, though the most sought after for cloud management tend to be deployment-automation focused. These tools can be helpful to automate cloud deployments and deploy your application onto your infrastructure.
Most tools in this category are freemium products that offer a free, typically open-source, option for beginners and small teams (usually <10). Then they are priced by the user for folks that need more functionality or have a larger team. The other benefit to some of these tools is that they can be cloud provider agnostic, although there is still work for your team to deploy across different clouds. Investigate cloud provider options here, before you spend $20-$70+ per user per month. There are decently built-in solutions that are more tightly integrated into the provider stacks at a fraction of the cost.
The Tool Tax
The categories above represent just a handful of the types of software a typical business may deploy to help them manage public cloud infrastructure. If you have an issue with a particular component within the public cloud, chances are there is a tool for that. The problem here is that companies do have real problems and need solutions, so they purchase tool after tool to try and fix issues or areas one by one. Soon these tools become a tax on the organization in three major ways:
Most tools produce some sort of API for integration. This is great because now end users can consume the API and integrate with other tools right? Mostly right. Each tool vendor has its own API and there are usually no out-of-the-box integrations with other tools. It’s often up to the customer to integrate with other tools and platforms, this can become expensive quickly.
Operating an environment with multiple tools places management headaches on staff who now have to get up to speed on a dozen different tools, all with their own management plan while dealing with run-time issues and quirks. Public Cloud Infrastructure has become critical for almost all companies who use it. When you have an issue or outage, you don’t want inefficient operational tools to get in the way, nor do you want to try and track down the one person in your organization who knows how a particular cloud tool operates.
The last and perhaps most painful tax is that of the tool’s license itself. The TCO of moving and running in the public cloud is well understood and a common reason for people to start their journey. The constant license additions for tool vendors take away from any cost savings the company would see as each tool has to be licensed independently. Suddenly companies are now spending a large percentage of their monthly cloud bill on tools to manage it.
Don’t let tools manage your cloud
There are a lot of companies offering tools to help you manage your cloud but they’re actually taking advantage of your vulnerability. Their main focus is profit instead of productivity. It’s about time to refresh your toolbox.
Move forward with Vega
Vega was built to help companies manage their public cloud infrastructure. You won’t find ridiculous license schemes here or a tool that only does one function. We do it all in one platform. We are a team of experts with decades of experience running public cloud infrastructure at scale. We know what best practices look like and we want to help you get there. Drop us a line to talk about your cloud and how we can help you save time and money.