In Pictures: 10 useful Cloud-management tools

New tools help IT execs cut Cloud costs, optimize resources, integrate and manage Cloud instances.

  • Cloud vendors are delivering boatloads of new tools to help enterprise IT build, buy, manage, monitor, tweak and track cloud services. These tools are designed to help IT execs free up their budgets and their staff so both can be used towards more strategic, line of business projects. We surveyed cloud practitioners and came up with this list of the most useful cloud tools. Here are their top 10 picks.

  • Cloudability Cloudability is a financial management tool for monitoring and analyzing cloud expenses. It aggregates expenditures into reports, helps identify opportunities for reducing costs, offers budget alerts and recommendations via SMS and email, and provides APIs for connecting cloud billing and usage data to any business or financial system. The company currently monitors over $250 million in cloud costs, double what it monitored less than six months ago.

  • Cloudyn These tools are designed to help corporate IT from over-buying Amazon cloud resources. Cloudyn’s suite of services gives users a dashboard showing detailed information on all of their virtual machine instances, databases, and storage. Cloudyn then provides insights into inefficiencies and suggestions on how to get rid of them. Currently focused on Amazon’s cloud, the company will expand to include Rackspace, Microsoft Azure and GoGrid in the future.

  • Dell Boomi AtomSphere is a cloud-based software Platform as a Service used by customers who want to integrate their various cloud-based applications with each other and with on-premise apps. New functionality allows usage of multiple data sources and reservation of cloud resources for real-time data transfer in integration processes. The AtomSphere platform is now handling more than a million integration processes per day, up 250% from a year ago.

  • enStratius EnStratius provides cross-platform cloud infrastructure management for public, private, and hybrid clouds that can be closely aligned with an enterprise’s governance and security requirements. Features include self-service provisioning/de-provisioning; multi-currency cost/chargeback tracking; customizable role-based access controls; single login to manage all cloud resources; and, support for enterprise authentication systems including SAML 2.0 and OpenID.

  • Informatica Informatica this month will roll out its next generation suite of cloud integration tools that include enhancements that address data security issues in the cloud and help enterprise IT manage data integration issues in hybrid cloud deployments. The new Informatica Cloud Data Masking service reduces the risk of data breaches during application development and testing. And the new Informatica Cloud Extend workflow service is geared toward business process creation and management in the cloud.

  • MuleSoft Delivered as a packaged integration experience, CloudHub and Mule ESB are built on open source technology to provide quick, reliable application integration without vendor lock-in. The company offers CloudHub, a cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for connecting SaaS, cloud and on-premise applications and APIs; and, Mule ESB, an open source enterprise service bus for connecting enterprise applications on-premise and to the cloud.

  • Opscode Chef is an open source Ruby-based configuration management product served up by Opscode under the Apache license. Hosted Chef (and its private cloud sibling, Private Chef) lets cloud system administrators programmatically configure virtual systems, thereby cutting down on repetitive, manual operations. Chef – which uses culinary terms as metaphors to organize its processes – focuses on provisioning, configuring and integrating cloud resources.

  • PuppetLabs Puppet Enterprise is IT automation software that gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy critical applications, and proactively manage infrastructure changes, on-premise or in the cloud. The product can automate tasks at any stage of the IT infrastructure life cycle. New features include enabling sys admins to view and respond to requests graphically; support for third-party authentication services and support for Windows.

  • RightScale RightScale was one of the first companies to address cross-platform cloud management. Its platform lets organizations easily deploy and manage business-critical applications across public, private and hybrid clouds. RightScale provides configuration, monitoring, automation and governance of cloud computing infrastructure and applications.

  • ServiceMesh The Agility Platform provides a single, integrated control point for governance, compliance and security across an enterprise’s cloud applications and cloud environments. The platform comprises an extensible policy engine enabling the creation and enforcement of an impressive range of custom governance, compliance and security policies. It provides an end-to-end security model spanning network, instance, data, and access levels including federated identity management.

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