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Best cloud orchestration software of 2019

If your company uses cloud-based services to manage backups, run apps and so on, each bit of data and every system resource is precious. It's easy to feel overcome by the sheer amount of information generated. This is why all sensible SMB owners employ cloud orchestration tools. These are designed to consolidate information on your various public or hybrid clouds such as the cost of running certain apps and services.

In this guide, you'll discover some of the very best cloud orchestration tools on the market today. All of these providers use an API and/or dashboard to monitor your services and provide useful information. Many also allow you to automate policies and raise alerts if there are any issues.

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Image credit: BMC

BMC Software produces software and services that assist businesses in moving to digital operations. These include IT service management, data center automation, performance management and cloud computing management.

The software has a self-service portal where users can request configurable services across infrastructure, platforms and applications. The solution has tools for automated provisioning, governance and management of cloud services.

Users can apply compliance checks and then automate remediation to stay secure.

The service health management features allows users to monitor service health through an intuitive dashboard. The platform is fully scalable.

BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management allows users to automatically apply policies for regulatory and security compliance requirements.

Interested clients need to contact BMC directly for pricing.

Some users have complained of difficulties with integrating the platform fully with public cloud services.

Image credit: Juniper

AppFormix is part of Juniper Networks, founded in 1996.

The solution is a cloud operations management and orchestration platform which provides end-to-end visibility for your multi-cloud environment. 

The solution can convert raw data into an easy to read format through its monitoring and intent-based analytics. 

Users can monitor real-time performance for data center and campus networking devices using OpenConfig and the Junos Telemetry Interface. It supports a mix of bare metal systems in private cloud, virtual machines in OpenStack and containers in “Kubernetes” environments.

AppFormix can also track and analyze programs which are operating in public clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

The platforms user interface is easy to navigate. It includes automated in-service installation and operation alarms. It can connect into existing Nagios plug-ins.

AppFormix allows users to set business outcomes. The platform can identify issues and automatically implement corrective actions based upon them.

Potential subscribers need to contact Juniper Networks for pricing.

Image credit: IBM

IBM Cloud Orchestrator serves the cloud management needs of enterprises. It was launched in 2014.

The platform is designed to automate the provisioning of cloud services using policy-based tools. Users can configure, provision, deploy, integrate and add service management. Users can utilize the interface to manage, monitor, backup and secure applications.

Users can use the tool to view how resources are being utilized and the costs associated with using them.

The self-service portal can be extended through API’s and augmenting tools. Users can deploy in multi-node applications. The platform offers insights on virtual and physical infrastructure along with chargeback costs so as to ensure you do not go over budget.

IBM Orchestrator is available in two custom priced packages. They both offer a customizable self-service portal, advanced orchestration platform, IT processes automation, support for VMware and multi-cloud management. Users need to contact IBM directly for more information.

Some reviewers have noted reporting issues but these are by far the exception.

Image credit: Cloudyn

Microsoft Azure Cost Management is licensed by Cloudyn, a subsidiary of Microsoft.

It is a cloud spend monitoring platform. It allows users to monitor, allocate and optimize cloud costs. Users can collate cloud usage and billing data through API’s from Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. Users gain insights in relation to cloud resource consumption and costs across different cloud services from one location.

Azure Cost Management ensures that users do not go beyond their budget by monitoring expenditure in real-time. It also offers users access to a forecasting feature which reads historical data to improve accuracy.

Users can allocate costs to teams and projects. Azure Cost Management also allows users to create budget thresholds which raise an alarm when a project is at risk of going over budget.

Azure Cost Management is free to existing customers and partners.

Image credit: Morpheus

Morpheus is a unified multi-cloud orchestration platform aimed at connecting developers to self-service infrastructure. It was founded in 2010. Clients listed are HSBC, Arris and McDonalds amongst others.

The platform offers users analytic features which provide insight into cloud spending. This allows users to compare costs as they use various cloud infrastructures and resources.

Users can build service catalogs, complex multi-cloud structures and access stack visualization tools. Users can also govern and control access to cloud-resources using multi-tenant policies. Users can connect service catalogs to ServiceNow, create policies for workflows and keep track of configurations management activities.

Morpheus enables teams to set policies for handling service requests, scheduled automated clean-up activities and pause services during off hours.

The platform integrates with developments tools which manage source code, executing, deploying code and monitoring app performance. Users can access repositories from GitHub and Git. They can also deploy containerized applications using tools such as Kubernetes.

Users can request a demo and pricing information directly from Morpheus.

Online commentators have complained that customer service is not always up to scratch.

Image credit: Pixabay

Other cloud orchestration options to consider

Advances in cloud technology have led to a profusion of cloud service providers. Sometimes the biggest difficulty is finding one that fits, especially if you need to manage legacy IT infrastructure while migrating services to the cloud, or if your company is having to manage multiple clouds and hybrids. Here we are highlighting some additional companies worth looking at if you need help orchestrating your cloud IT needs.

Embotics is a leader in Gartner's magic quadrant for cloud management platforms, providing services to companies such as NASA, and data center outfit Flexential. Its main offering is vCommander, which offers both easy deployment as well as extensibility to fit an enterprise's unique needs. 

Cloudbolt offers enterprise hybrid cloud platforms which aim to make self-service and scalability easy. It's especially geared towards orchestrating diverse IT infrastructures, particularly where legacy services need to be integrated into existing and future-planned platforms, not least using multi-cloud and hypervisor management.

RightScale offers a simplified cloud platform to manage existing or new workloads across any cloud or server. It boasts a very wide range of support integrations, including AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, VMware, and OpenStack, to name just a few. Even better, not only can RightScale offer managed and professional services, but also worldwide implementation.

VMware's vRealize Suite is another hybrid cloud management platform for orchestrating multiple clouds, not least major cloud systems such as AWS, Azure, and Google. It provides native integrations across the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) elements, for computing, networking, storage, and management. 

OpenStack isn't so much a cloud management provider as an open source software solution for creating public and private clouds. This means that rather than rely on a third-party to try and simplify the process for you, you can work with the code directly to customize a solution that works for your specific needs. Naturally, bear in mind that you will need the relevant expertise to achieve this.