This GigaOm Research Reprint Expires Oct 4, 2024

GigaOm Radar for Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs)v2.0

1. Summary

In response to digital transformation and evolving business needs, organizations are increasingly moving their applications to the cloud. Multicloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures are now the norm; however, data centers and legacy applications haven’t disappeared. This means organizations must contend with disparate systems and users around the world, all of which lead to complex and hard-to-manage infrastructure.

Cloud management platforms (CMPs) help organizations to manage these complex environments and control costs more effectively. A CMP that can manage both on-premises automation and orchestration needs, as well as the cloud hosting, will provide greater value than separate tools that do only on-premises or public cloud deployments.

Previously, essential functions such as asset tracking and dependency mapping ran in data centers with redundancy to protect against outages and ensure high levels of uptime. They used the asset tag of a physical server to track places where an application was running. The number of CPUs, network connections, and the amount of RAM and storage physical servers used was static and sized for peak expected workloads years in advance. This resulted in oversizing and wasted capacity.

Today, hardware is ephemeral, and organizations can’t use a physical server’s asset tag to track where an application is running. Additionally, in the cloud, none of these values—memory, CPU (count, type, speed, generation), storage, and network properties—are fixed. This is part of the promise of the cloud—to pay for only what is being used.

To ensure cloud implementations live up to this expectation, management systems must be able to track utilization, performance, and cost and relate them to the solution the business is paying for. CMPs provide real-time or near real-time situational awareness of the health and performance of a business solution. This helps businesses avoid both overspending and unplanned outages due to lack of capacity management.

More comprehensive CMP solutions also manage storage, security, disaster recovery, system health and performance, and application lifecycles. These are just a few examples of the functions that must now be managed across multiple planes while accounting for multiple, often differing, requirements—cloud versus on-premises, hardware versus software, and ephemeral versus persistent storage, for example.

This GigaOm Radar report highlights key CMP vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating CMPs,” we describe in more detail the capabilities and metrics used to evaluate vendors in this market.

This is our second year evaluating the CMP space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. All solutions included in this Radar report meet the following table stakes—capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the sector:

  • Hybrid and multicloud support
  • Event processing
  • Data correlation
  • Alert management
  • Recovery management
  • Abstraction

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

2. Market Categories and Deployment Types

To better understand the market and vendor positioning (Table 1), we assess how well cloud management platform solutions are positioned to serve specific market segments and deployment models.

For this report, we recognize the following market segments:

  • Small-to-medium businesses (SMB): In this category, we assess solutions on their ability to meet the needs of organizations ranging from small businesses to medium-sized companies. Also assessed are departmental use cases in large enterprises, where ease of use and deployment are more important than extensive management functionality, data mobility, and feature set.
  • Large enterprise: Here, offerings are assessed on their ability to support large and business-critical projects. Optimal solutions in this category have a strong focus on flexibility, performance, data services, and features to improve security and data protection. Scalability is another big differentiator, as is the ability to deploy the same service in different environments.
  • Managed service provider (MSP): This category holds solutions with features designed for service providers. The infrastructure is not managed by an end user, who usually subscribes to a service.

In addition, we recognize three deployment models for solutions in this report:

  • Software as a service (SaaS): The product is available only in the cloud as a SaaS offering. Designed, deployed, and managed by the service provider, each solution is available only from that specific provider. The advantage here is that the vendor is responsible for all maintenance and upgrades of the solution. Most third-party integrations are maintained by the service provider.
  • Hybrid: These solutions are meant to be installed both on-premises and in the cloud, allowing customers to build hybrid or multicloud infrastructures. Integration with a single cloud provider may be limited compared to cloud-only options, and these solutions may be more complex to deploy and manage. On the other hand, they are more flexible, and the user usually has more control over the entire stack in areas such as resource allocation and tuning.
  • Self-managed: With these solutions, the vendor provides the software, but the customer is responsible for installing it on compute platforms supported by the vendor. The OS or Kubernetes integration and all patching and software lifecycling are the customer’s responsibility. These solutions are often chosen by buyers who need to run on-premises or in private clouds where it would be impossible to route traffic to and from a SaaS solution.

Table 1. Vendor Positioning: Market Segment and Deployment Model

Market Segment

Deployment Model

SMB Large Enterprise MSP SaaS Hybrid Self-Managed
Apptio
BMC
Centilytics
CloudBolt
CloudSphere
CoreStack
Flexera
IBM
Morpheus Data
NetApp
Nutanix
OpenText
Red Hat
ServiceNow
Snow
VMware
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

For this evaluation, we looked at offerings in a binary way, rating vendors (++) if they support that market segment and deployment model and (-) if they do not.

3. Key Criteria Comparison

Building on the findings from the GigaOm report, “Key Criteria for Evaluating CMPs,” Tables 2, 3, and 4 summarize how each vendor included in this research performs in the capabilities we consider differentiating and critical in this sector.

  • Key criteria differentiate solutions based on features and capabilities, outlining the primary criteria to be considered when evaluating a CMP.
  • Evaluation metrics provide insight into the non-functional requirements that factor into a purchase decision and determine a solution’s impact on an organization.
  • Emerging technologies show how well each vendor takes advantage of technologies that are not yet mainstream but are expected to become more widespread and compelling within the next 12 to 18 months.

The objective is to give the reader a snapshot of the technical capabilities of available solutions, define the perimeter of the market landscape, and gauge the potential impact on the business.

Table 2. Key Criteria Comparison

Key Criteria

Cross-Platform Management Resource Management Cost Governance Automation Management Integrations
Apptio 2 2 3 2 2
BMC 2 2 2 3 2
Centilytics 3 2 2 3 2
CloudBolt 2 3 3 3 2
CloudSphere 2 3 2 2 2
CoreStack 2 2 3 2 2
Flexera 2 3 3 2 2
IBM 2 2 1 2 2
Morpheus Data 3 2 2 3 3
NetApp 2 2 3 3 2
Nutanix 2 2 3 2 3
OpenText 3 2 2 2 2
Red Hat 2 3 1 3 3
ServiceNow 2 3 2 3 2
Snow 3 2 2 2 3
VMware 3 2 2 2 2
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

Table 3. Evaluation Metrics Comparison

Evaluation Metrics

Flexibility Scalability Ease of Use Licensing & Support
Apptio 2 2 2 2
BMC 3 3 2 2
Centilytics 3 2 2 2
CloudBolt 3 2 2 2
CloudSphere 2 2 2 2
CoreStack 2 2 2 2
Flexera 2 2 2 2
IBM 2 3 1 2
Morpheus Data 3 3 2 2
NetApp 2 3 3 2
Nutanix 2 2 3 2
OpenText 3 3 3 2
Red Hat 2 2 2 2
ServiceNow 2 2 2 2
Snow 2 2 2 2
VMware 2 2 2 2
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

Table 4. Emerging Technologies Comparison

Emerging Tech

SecOps Governance AI-Driven Efficiency in Cloud Operations Security Policy as Code
Apptio
BMC
Centilytics
CloudBolt
CloudSphere
CoreStack
Flexera
IBM
Morpheus Data
NetApp
Nutanix
OpenText
Red Hat
ServiceNow
Snow
VMware
3 Exceptional: Outstanding focus and execution
2 Capable: Good but with room for improvement
2 Limited: Lacking in execution and use cases
2 Not applicable or absent

By combining the information provided in the tables above, the reader can develop a clear understanding of the technical solutions available in the market.

4. GigaOm Radar

This report synthesizes the analysis of key criteria and their impact on evaluation metrics to inform the GigaOm Radar graphic in Figure 1. The resulting chart is a forward-looking perspective on all the vendors in this report, based on their products’ technical capabilities and feature sets.

The GigaOm Radar plots vendor solutions across a series of concentric rings, with those set closer to the center judged to be of higher overall value. The chart characterizes each vendor on two axes—balancing Maturity versus Innovation and Feature Play versus Platform Play—while providing an arrow that projects each solution’s evolution over the coming 12 to 18 months.

Figure 1. GigaOm Radar for CMPs

As you can see in the Radar chart in Figure 1, this market tends to be dominated by platform players that offer more than just cloud operations. There has been consolidation in the market, with some vendors acquiring other solutions that fill the gaps in their tools. Thus, some vendors are becoming strong across all three cloud components (operations, performance, and financial management).

Many of the vendors in this report are actively acquiring companies and products to enhance their offerings. For example, NetApp is buying Cloudcheckr to add to its cloud management portfolio, and IBM recently acquired Apptio to enhance its AI and automation capabilities.

Cost controls and performance management are newer features that most vendors have recently added. Some are focusing on software asset management while others are adding features to support application lifecycle management (ALM). The vendors that offer a suite of products to make up their platform are approximately equal to the number of pure play vendors offering point products.

If you’re focused on adopting a CMP, look to the Feature Play side of the chart on the left. Apptio has a narrower focus on cloud cost management and FinOps that also has cloud management features. CloudSphere is a cyber asset management solution that includes cloud management functionality. These solutions will often be paired with other tools to optimize customers’ value.

If you seek a broader solution to reduce your vendor sprawl, look to the Platform Play side of the graphic. Vendors that focus more on maturing their existing products are in the top half of the chart. This includes vendors such as BMC, Flexera, IBM, OpenText, Red Hat, ServiceNow, and VMware.

The vendors in the bottom half of the chart are generally newer and continuing to build out their solutions with new features to attract customers. This includes Leaders such as Centylitics, CloudBolt, Morpheus Data, NetApp, and Nutanix closely followed by CoreStack and Snow.

All the vendors in this report have compelling solutions and growing feature sets. A company’s current solution set of cloud services is a key component in the requirements for further expansion into cloud management solutions. Some organizations may just need to augment existing tools with great feature sets from the relevant vendors. Others may want a more comprehensive solution. Organizations that are already using (or are considering using) one of these full platforms to fulfill a broad variety of IT needs should consider these platforms first to meet their cloud management needs.

Inside the GigaOm Radar

The GigaOm Radar weighs each vendor’s execution, roadmap, and ability to innovate to plot solutions along two axes, each set as opposing pairs. On the Y axis, Maturity recognizes solution stability, strength of ecosystem, and a conservative stance, while Innovation highlights technical innovation and a more aggressive approach. On the X axis, Feature Play connotes a narrow focus on niche or cutting-edge functionality, while Platform Play displays a broader platform focus and commitment to a comprehensive feature set.

The closer to center a solution sits, the better its execution and value, with top performers occupying the inner Leaders circle. The centermost circle is almost always empty, reserved for highly mature and consolidated markets that lack space for further innovation.

The GigaOm Radar offers a forward-looking assessment, plotting the current and projected position of each solution over a 12- to 18-month window. Arrows indicate travel based on strategy and pace of innovation, with vendors designated as Forward Movers, Fast Movers, or Outperformers based on their rate of progression.

Note that the Radar excludes vendor market share as a metric. The focus is on forward-looking analysis that emphasizes the value of innovation and differentiation over incumbent market position.

5. Vendor Insights

Apptio Cloudability

Apptio’s Cloudability is a full SaaS solution that focuses on cost management and optimization, helping companies monitor, manage, and rightsize cloud expenses across businesses of any size. The solution consists of integrated modules that cover a variety of capabilities, allowing buyers to add functionality when they need it. The platform offers full visibility into cloud costs so users can reduce waste, optimize for efficiency, and bring solutions to market faster. Apptio was recently purchased by IBM. For this report, we assessed Apptio Cloudability as a standalone product. Future assessments will look at the solution as a part of the IBM suite.

Cloudability is the core cost management solution, which comes with two optional add-ons: TotalCost and Savings Automation.

  • Cloudability ingests, normalizes, and structures cloud billing and usage data from across the public cloud ecosystem to allow companies to actively manage spend and consumption to continuously improve the unit economics of cloud service.
  • Cloudability TotalCost is an add-on that goes beyond the public cloud bill to capture all cloud-related costs, such as observability tools and content delivery networks (CDNs); it provides capabilities to ensure all costs are allocated, and it is able to calculate unit cost metrics to aid with product profitability analysis.
  • Cloudability Savings Automation enables organizations to run their commitment program automatically, freeing up critical resources and delivering savings that are not achievable with a manual approach.

Cloudability focuses on financial operations and its UI highlights that functionality. The solution includes cloud cost management for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Its dashboard and reporting offer cloud-agnostic tagging, views, and a cost-allocation engine. The product can automatically map Kubernetes clusters, allocate these container costs to teams, and define business rules for allocation and governance. Scorecards allow organizations to track maturity and see how it compares with others. The solution can forecast spending to help organizations stay on budget and identify surprises in cloud spending.

Apptio Targetprocess is a separate product that provides agile portfolio management and supports SAFe, LeSS, Scrum, Kanban, and more. It enhances transparency and helps teams improve processes and product delivery.

Apptio uses public cloud providers, including a primary and a backup that are located in different geographic areas. This provides assurance that in the event of a natural disaster, data failover is quick and efficient.

Cloudability is priced according to a percentage of monitored cloud spend, with tiers offering lower rates at higher volumes.

Strengths: According to the vendor, Apptio consistently saves businesses 20% to 40% on cloud spend. Its self-service reporting and UI can also save users up to 25 personnel hours a month. The vendor boasts a wealth of experience from former AWS and GCP architects, which results in best-practice cloud cost management. Apptio possesses strengths as well in license management, spend management, and usage tracking with analytics.

Challenges: Apptio Cloudability’s platform is not focused on deployment automation, performance, security, or remediation. It could be beneficial to pair with a solution that automates deployment and links to CI/CD toolchains to add coverage for financial and license compliance.

BMC Helix Portfolio

BMC’s cloud management platform consists of a suite of products that cover a variety of capabilities supporting cloud management, from request management and provisioning to discovery, monitoring, and continuous optimization:

  • Helix Discovery helps teams discover assets and their dependencies across all environments.
  • Helix Continuous Optimization provides predictive resource optimization and right-sizing capabilities.
  • Helix Remediate automates security vulnerability management and simplified patching.
  • Truesight Operations Management uses AIOps to detect issues and predict and prevent their impact.
  • Helix IT Service Management (ITSM), a cloud-native SaaS solution, leverages AI and automation to deliver predictive service management capabilities.

BMC Helix Discovery provides visibility into hardware, software, and service dependencies across multicloud environments. Its discovery capabilities are designed to help manage a wide spectrum of configurations, including mainframe, traditional and hyper-converged infrastructures, containers, and cloud services.

BMC Helix Continuous Optimization provides ongoing visibility into applications and business services, enabling IT to easily add, remove, or adjust compute, storage, network, and other resources to meet demand. Service views, forecasting, modeling, saturation prediction, and simulated cloud migrations provide insight for future resource requirements and help control the timing and cost of new expenditures.

BMC Helix Remediate integrates with leading vulnerability scanners to collect scanner data for resources. It applies advanced analytics to that data, maps vulnerabilities to assets and remediation actions such as patches, sets priorities, and uses automation to obtain the necessary patches, then deploys them in accordance with a company’s change management processes. It also automates compliance with external regulations such as SOX, HIPAA, PCI, CISA, and DISA along with an organization’s internal policies.

Truesight Operations management includes several areas of focus. Infrastructure management helps detect and address performance abnormalities before they impact the business. It automatically learns the behavior of the infrastructure, pinpointing what is normal, and issues alerts only when behavior needs attention. IT Data Analytics uses machine-assisted analysis for log data, metrics, events, changes, and incidents. Connecting Truesight monitoring and event intelligence with Helix ITSM helps prevent or resolve issues before they affect the business.

BMC Helix ITSM provides service and change management capabilities and a seamless service experience across multicloud environments. The dashboards have reports and visualizations providing data driven insights. Container deployment allows Helix ITSM to run on any type of public cloud.

For many enterprises, the tight integration of these BMC products provides greater value than integrating best-of-breed tools from multiple vendors. Some of the value of this integration derives from ChatOps, which quickly connects the right people at the right time when automation alone is unable to remediate a problem.

The BMC portfolio can be deployed as SaaS, on-premises, or in a hybrid scenario. The company offers free trials for each product, but pricing requires working with the sales organization.

Strengths: Integration with other BMC tools boosts the value of the solution. The AIOps features improve both ITOps and SecOps functionality. The solution is excellent for companies that need mobility from on-premises to one or more cloud vendors, and it can scale to support extremely large organizations.

Challenges: The BMC suite works best as an integrated collection of products. The individual BMC products are not tuned to work in isolation or in environments with highly diverse vendor ecosystems.

Centilytics

Centilytics, an intelligent cloud management platform, is a fully automated solution that enables organizations to efficiently manage, secure, and optimize the cloud. It provides visibility, governance, and optimization, allowing organizations, particularly in healthcare, to manage all their cloud infrastructure, apps, and processes.

The clear and easy-to-use UI shows a simple, integrated view of all three major public cloud vendors (AWS, Azure, and GCP). This dashboard provides in-depth insights into the cloud resources. The product also features enhanced alert management with third-party solutions such as Slack and Microsoft 365.

Cost-reduction optimizations are visualized on a dynamic dashboard to show resource usage, enabling roles and permissions management and enforcement across cloud vendors. Tags are enforced post-deployment, which means that any process missing a tag will not be accounted to the specific business unit that requested the spend. The ability to find and alert untagged systems is extensive, but it relies on humans to close the alerts correctly and tag costs.

Cloud management features include access control, billing and provisioning, capacity analytics, cost management, demand monitoring, multicloud management, and performance analytics. This breadth of features shows the power of a tool that was purpose built for cloud management.

Centilytics has invested heavily in tagging and creating policies for cloud resources, with a focus on GDPR, HIPAA, PCI, and other regulatory standards. The company is driving innovation in SecOps and is well suited for MSPs through go-to-markets (GTMs). It can also help MSPs with software license auditing.

The solution pinpoints loopholes in the cloud infrastructure to ensure resources are optimally utilized, and it checks the infrastructure for threats and malicious attacks. Centilytics’s compliance features enable it to excel in the emerging category of governance and flexibility.

Centilytics is deployed as a SaaS solution and has several licensing options available.

Strengths: The product is useful for industries with heavy regulatory compliance demands. It also has excellent monitoring capabilities and allows a lot of flexibility.

Challenges: While Centilytics performed well in this report, it could benefit from expanded mapping beyond requirements tools or code repositories to develop, track, and manage the lifecycle of tags.

CloudBolt

CloudBolt offers advanced hybrid cloud automation, orchestration, and financial management solutions that enable I&O teams to support global IT delivery at scale:

  • Hybrid Cloud Management provides technology integration, hybrid cloud management, resource provisioning, automation, orchestration, and cloud abstraction.
  • Cloud Financial Management provides cost reporting, forecasting, governance, and optimization with automated workflows.

This CMP aims to manage multicloud environments while addressing CI/CD challenges with hybrid clouds. CloudBolt’s “build once, deploy anywhere” application hosting approach reduces barriers to cloud portability.

The product offers a single portal across all clouds, with deep integrations that abstract cloud complexity to make one-button deployment a reality—users (service requestors) don’t have to know details about a cloud for a successful deployment. Extensible integrations available via the API and over 200 plug-ins can support new use cases in minutes to future-proof the product. The solution also offers out-of-the-box integrations with industry-leading tools like Terraform and ServiceNow. The service is also security and data protection compliant.

Organizations can deploy CloudBolt as a single virtual appliance with out-of-the-box support for Kubernetess, Terraform, and Ansible to increase the productivity of ITOps and DevOps. CloudBolt is well integrated with VMware-based private clouds, including vRealize and VRA, and it uses OneFuse as an abstraction layer for third-party integration. CloudBolt can sit between tools like VMware, vRealize, and Terraform as well as orchestration tools like Morpheus and third-party tools from naming and data protection solutions.

CloudBolt pinpoints operational inefficiencies that may affect speed and cost in service delivery. With its continuous infrastructure testing (CIT) feature, users can schedule and run tests on demand to ensure optimal performance of the environment, thereby preemptively addressing potential issues.

The ability to handle compute provisioning through the CloudBolt user-friendly portal is an advantage. The platform integrates an organization’s technology portfolio, exposing a preconfigured target (AWS, Azure, or VMWare on-premises). The developer or requester does not need to manage the unique features of each cloud vendor.

The solution uses AI/ML models in optimization analysis features today, and the CloudBolt roadmap includes the use of AI/ML capabilities to analyze historical resource usage data and predict future capacity requirements.

CloudBolt offers both a per-seat licensing model and a consumption-based model. For hosted appliances, the per-seat model is tied to the quantity of virtual compute instances, while Saas-based solutions are tied to a consumption model based on the percentage of public cloud spend. Both allow for dynamic pricing as a customer’s infrastructure expands or contracts. All pricing tiers provide multiple-year, fixed fee, or rolling billing options for maximum flexibility through which organizations may align to either CapEx or OpEx billing approaches. In addition to standard support, CloudBolt offers premium services, such as Customer Acceleration Team (CAT), professional services, and organizational enablement. There are three tiers of support with the ability to add additional services such as a customer success manager and other professional services.

Strengths: CloudBolt includes cost management and rich compliance frameworks with continuous alerts offering actionable intelligence about cost, security, and compliance issues. The product also excels in resource management and automation.

Challenges: CloudBolt uses SaaS for part of its functionality, which requires some acceptance of a permanent SaaS dependency. However, some features can run wherever you want them to run—on-premises or in private or hybrid cloud environments.

CloudSphere Cloud Cyber Asset Management

This Cyber Asset Management platform uses a data science approach to manage hybrid and multicloud infrastructures, including migrations to the cloud. It’s the only solution that automates the creation of a top-down, business-service view of a company’s cyber assets. The continuous business service graphing constructs a real-time view of a company’s entire IT estate, saving countless personnel hours. This new visibility dramatically simplifies important use cases like IT optimization, security, and compliance.

The CloudSphere Cloud Cyber Asset Management Platform provides a single view into migration planning, security posture, identity, compliance, and cost management across multicloud deployments. It creates a single UI for cloud planning and governance across all cloud providers, potentially reducing the number of tools required.

The subscription-based pricing model features agentless application discovery and dependency mapping. Custom pricing is available from CloudSphere. However, the UI is not as intuitive as that of other CMPs, and the product lacks a robust automation framework and third-party tool integration.

CloudSphere primarily targets MSPs and cloud service providers (CSPs). The unified solution supports application discovery and dependency mapping associated with cloud migration, primarily around SAP, Oracle, and complex workloads. The solution also provides multifunction cloud management. The CloudSphere solution offers compute, storage, and networking services as well as an enterprise app store of over 400 application templates for deploying complex enterprise apps on virtual machines (VMs) and containers. It also supports the management of external public clouds including AWS, Azure, and GCP.

The product can perform cost analysis and workload optimization. Together, these features enable cloud governance to manage migration, cost, and security on a per-application basis in the cloud.

Strengths: Agentless access discovery and dependency mapping are desired features in this market, while planning for migration and security assistance are required by companies moving to the cloud. The product is aimed at supporting MSP success—enterprise and SMB customers of the MSP are able to gain enhanced cloud knowledge from the MSP staff.

Challenges: CloudSphere’s UI is less intuitive than other CMPs, and its partner ecosystem is not as broad. The company is limited in what it supports compared to competitors, especially with regard to its automation features, which are less developed than others in this market.

CoreStack Next Gen Cloud Governance

CoreStack Next Gen Cloud Governance provides autonomous cloud governance using AI/ML. The product focuses on enterprise cloud governance, management, and compliance, targeting both enterprises and MSPs. Companies can efficiently and seamlessly manage and govern complex and multicloud operations with improved productivity and availability through rules-based orchestration. Organizations can continuously assess cloud operations, gain new levels of operational visibility, and integrate with custom enterprise workflows for more efficient business processes.

CoreStack uses a declarative approach to cloud service consumption that the company calls Cloud-as-Code. This allows customers to use, operate, and optimize cloud services across various cloud environments and technologies while enforcing budget and policy compliance.

The core product, CoreStack, specializes in FinOps and SecOps. Its FinOps capability provides visibility into cloud costs, and control over them, allowing organizations to manage multicloud costs with financial accountability via a single pane of glass. Enterprises can reduce spend, create more accurate forecasts, optimize cloud usage, and attribute 100% of cloud costs, promoting a culture of financial accountability.

The solution enables organizations to right-size cloud resources to match workloads, identify and remediate idle and orphaned resources, and optimize cloud configurations to help reduce costs. It also allows the review and adjustment of Reserved Instance (RI) utilization to ensure the optimal mix of RIs and on-demand resources.

With the SecOps module, organizations can govern security operations autonomously and achieve continuous cloud compliance. This solution also provides visibility into security threats, attacks, and data vulnerabilities as well as remediation for assured security and compliance. It has built-in support for more than 1,800 policies and the ability to create even more through customization. CoreStack NextGen Cloud Governance allows organizations to assess, remediate, and ensure multicloud security and compliance.

Out-of-the-box integrations are currently available for ITSM tools such as ServiceNow and Jira as well as monitoring tools such as Nagios and Zabbix.

CoreStack offers comprehensive compliance with industry standards, regulations, and best practices, such as ISO, FedRAMP, NIST, HIPAA, PCI DSS, Azure CAF, CIS Azure, CISAWS, and the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

The solution can be deployed as a SaaS, private cloud, or on-premises, depending on a company’s requirements, and it has a flexible pricing model. It is available as a subscription, based either on total cloud consumption or on resources.

Strengths: CoreStack enables MSPs to take advantage of cross-customer multicloud implementations and handles continuous operational monitoring and adjustment (that is, CloudOps, FinOps, and SecOps) very well.

Challenges: Although CoreStack has an orchestration layer, it lacks out-of-the-box integrations with key third-party software and tools.

Flexera: Flexera One Suite

Flexera provides IT asset management, cloud management, and cloud cost optimization via its Flexera One suite. It acquired RightScale in 2018, adding cloud management and cost optimization to its portfolio and fully integrating the tools in one UI.

Flexera One is a SaaS-based, API-driven platform designed with a microservices-based architecture. It provides a rich set of capabilities for discovery, template-based provisioning, orchestration, and automation; operational monitoring and management; governance; and cost optimization across multiple public and private clouds as well as virtual and bare-metal servers. It also offers business service and application discovery and dependency mapping (ADDM), including cloud migration assessment and service mapping.

Flexera One consists of three main solutions that can be used individually or in combination depending on the needs of the organization:

  • Flexera Cloud Management includes Cloud Cost Optimization, which enables enterprises to cut cloud costs and ensure efficient use of cloud resources across all business units, cloud accounts, and applications. It also includes Cloud Migration and Modernization, which provides cloud migration planning, cost assessments, workload placement, and migration governance.
  • IT Asset Management provides hardware and software and SaaS management and license optimization.
  • IT Visibility includes unified dashboards and analytics, business service mapping, technology intelligence, end-of-life and end-of-support hardware and software research and visibility, and integrations to other solutions.

Flexera has a unified data store and uses a single UI across products. The Flexera One administration module manages users, user groups, and roles across accounts. Flexera supports authentication with username and password or through an identity provider (IdP). Flexera’s customizable dashboards and table views enable the creation of reports to suit specific needs.

As a Platform Play offering, Flexera can reduce the number of vendors needed to manage and optimize technology resources. The Flexera Cloud Management components can be bought independently or as a part of the Flexera One suite of tools. However, the modular product model results in implementation complexity in providing multiple personas controlled access to the increased functionality and information.

Strengths: Flexera is excellent at cost management, migration, and governance, as it leverages its historical strength in asset management. The Flexera One solutions are integrated, but individually packaged, and they work in concert to optimize the value of an organization’s technology investments.

Challenges: The ability to automate disaster recovery and show compliance with security or regulatory requirements like GDPR are areas not addressed by Flexera today. Companies that want to use the full feature set should expect to include a services engagement to help deploy this correctly the first time.

IBM: IBM Cloud Pak for AIOps, IBM Cloud Pak for AIOps Insights, IBM Instana, IBM Turbonomic

IBM meets the requirements for this report with four key products:

  • IBM Cloud Pak for AIOps provides organizations with consistent visibility, governance, and automation, with a range of hybrid and multicloud management capabilities.
  • IBM Cloud Pak for AIOps Insights is an event and incident management solution that offers central IT operations teams a comprehensive view of their managed IT environment, providing holistic context in a single pane of glass. ​
  • IBM Instana offers full stack observability.
  • IBM Turbonomic provides a hybrid cloud cost optimization platform that includes resource management.

Organizations can integrate Cloud Paks with CI/CD processes to enable intelligent application awareness based on business views and feed ITSM and security information and event management (SIEM) systems to ensure corporate awareness. Cloud Paks also provide security reporting and vulnerability scanning with better application awareness than similar products that don’t integrate with the CI/CD pipelines. They enable cross-domain data ingestion and integration, event correlation, and AI-accelerated operations. Additionally, Cloud Paks offer bare-metal management via RedFish, which is supported on both x86 servers and IBM’s Power-based servers.

Each Cloud Pak supports third-party tools that leverage industry-standard approaches for multicloud deployments. Integrations include chat tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams and staffing tools like PagerDuty, as well as coding tools like GitHub (Cloud Paks use a GitOps approach for configuration as code). IBM Cloud Paks are fully integrated with the Red Hat family of products, including full support for Ansible and OpenShift.

Instana uses a single, lightweight agent per host that discovers all components and deploys sensors to continuously monitor application performance, microservices, Kubernetes, databases, APIs, serverless computing, and containers in real time with no sampling.

The Turbonomic platform focuses on full-stack visibility and AI-driven resource recommendations and insights. Companies can automate critical actions in real time that proactively deliver the most efficient use of compute, storage, and network resources to the applications at every layer of the stack, without human intervention.

Both Instana and Turbonomic can be installed as SaaS or as on-premises software managed by the customer.

Cloud Paks for AIOps is self hosted. AIOps Insights is a SaaS offering. Modular pricing is available to pay for what is needed, and there’s a custom pricing solution as well.

Turbonomic’s pricing is based on the total number of managed virtual servers (MVS) across the hybrid cloud environment. One MVS is equal to one VM, one cloud instance, or one Kubernetes node.

Instana is licensed either for application performance management, which includes infrastructure quality management, or at a lower cost for infrastructure quality management only. Pricing varies slightly depending on the deployment model.

Overall, IBM Cloud Pak solutions are best for larger enterprises that are current IBM customers and want tools that integrate with other tools from that vendor.

Strengths: By connecting to the entire IT landscape, especially to CI/CD systems, IBM’s Cloud Pak solutions provide excellent insight into who or what is driving increased capacity and consumption spending. Organizations can install the control plane on-premises, which means it can better support on-premises needs and meet requirements about the control of intellectual property (IP).

Challenges: The solution leverages several IBM products that require separate licensing, support, and cost. Sales are focused on Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies and better suited to buyers with existing investments in other IBM solutions.

Morpheus Data

Morpheus Data enables hybrid cloud platform engineering and developer self-service. It simplifies the consumption of hybrid clouds, container clusters, and automation tools so organizations can eliminate friction, improve efficiency, and optimize costs.

Morpheus’ CMP functionality is more extensive than what many competitors offer. Features include ALM, Kubernetes cluster management, integration with Terraform and other infrastructure as code (IaC) tools, hybrid cloud and multicloud management, cloud cost management, access control, billing and provisioning, capacity analytics, demand monitoring, performance analytics, SLA management, supply monitoring, and workflow approval.

The analytics features provide insight into cloud spending, guidance for rightsizing hybrid cloud applications, and diagnostics that show how VMs, containers, and cloud infrastructures are being used and the costs associated with their usage.

Morpheus Data combines DevOps, cloud operations, and a self-service, platform-independent solution. It maintains a wide range of integrations with all major cloud providers, both public and private, as well as out-of-the-box integrations with a large number of third-party ALM tools.

Morpheus is a unified platform that is distributed as a standard Linux package. It can be installed as an all-in-one virtual appliance in under 30 minutes, via individual service tiers (app, db, and so on), or externalized in separate scale-out clusters for extreme scale and resilience. Many MSP customers run the solution as a multitenant control plane installed in the hosting facility or a hyperscale public cloud. Morpheus intentionally does not provide a hosted SaaS version of the platform. Instead, they partner with MSPs and OEM/GSI partners to deliver fully managed and outcome-based services to both enterprise and midmarket customers.

Morpheus is licensed based on the number of workload elements (WLEs)—application services provisioned or discovered within a supported cloud—under management. Pricing per WLE is tiered based on volume and commit term. Tiers range from 200 WLEs to more than 10,000 WLEs and include access to all features. This provides the ability to flex beyond a committed rate at a higher per-WLE rate. Larger enterprise deployments with more than 10,000 WLEs can have custom, unlimited enterprise license agreements (ELAs).

In the second half of 2023, Morpheus is planning to roll out a modular pricing structure with tiers at 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 WLEs per month with increasing scale and discounts at each level. The tiers will support incremental levels of discovered objects, automation executions, and Kubernetes workers. Add-ons will include distributed workers in large edge-cloud deployments, which will provide lower volume customers an advantageous price point to use the solution.

For an additional cost, Morpheus offers premium support services, professional services, and training.

Strengths: Morpheus Data combines the strength of an ITOps automation tool and an IT orchestration tool to add integrated value to cloud-based deployments and provides an extensive partner ecosystem. The GUI is intuitive and easy to use.

Challenges: Morpheus is a term-based subscription software business, which will be an issue for customers looking for pure utility-based billing on a monthly basis for actual consumption without a long term commitment. However, the company does offer utility-based flexibility above a minimum commit, and modular billing is on the roadmap.

NetApp Spot by NetApp

Spot by NetApp offers a portfolio of products for cloud management that allow customers to optimize their public-cloud and container-based infrastructure and operations. It provides visibility, analytical insights, automation, optimization, governance, cost control, and security components, including the following:

  • CloudCheckr for cloud cost management, which delivers full cost visibility, best-practice checks for spend and cloud use, cost allocation, rebilling, and chargeback/showback capabilities.
  • Eco for lifecycle management for RI/savings plans, which covers continuous commitment portfolio design, purchasing, rebalancing, and optimization.
  • Elastigroup for cost and capacity optimization of VMs, which leverages the most cost-effective mix of resource types, locations, and purchasing models.
  • Ocean for automation and optimization of containers and Kubernetes infrastructure, which uses the most cost-effective mix of resource types, locations, and purchasing models.
  • Spot Security for security management, which surfaces critical threats, vulnerabilities, and misconfiguration, with automated and guided remediation, to improve cloud security posture and compliance.
  • Spot Connect (available late 2023), which will streamline orchestration, automation, and integration by providing a visual interface to connecting products and services.

The Spot by NetApp portfolio supports public clouds such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. The platform focuses on the complex cloud infrastructure of large enterprises, MSPs, and government agencies, with an emphasis on cloud management and security.

Spot by NetApp combines CMP, FinOps, and cloud resource management to provide industry-leading intelligent automation optimization. This combination yields an excellent FinOps feature set for enterprises and MSPs.

The Spot products are ready to use out of the box via an intuitive UI. They come with default settings that do not require significant configuration, meaning companies can gain immediate value from the products. The solution provides automated compute scaling for VM and Kubernetes clusters, and provides right-sizing recommendations for containers with one-click launch of workflows to implement them. If desired, reserved instances, savings plans, spot instances, and containers/Kubernetes optimization can be automatically and continuously accomplished without human intervention.

The solution enables MSPs to optimize their own businesses through profit-enhancing tools, including automated invoicing, custom rates, credit and discount unsharing for arbitrage, and reporting. A dashboard offers a unified view into multiple client account families and data subsets. It also provides detailed reports and over 600 best practice checks for performance, usage, cost, and security.

NetApp is working aggressively to combine the various technology platforms, including CloudCheckr capabilities, to deliver a simplified and unified user experience via a single pane of glass.

Spot is offered solely via a SaaS model and scored high on scalability for being hosted across multiple providers, regions, and continents. Licensing for Spot varies across the portfolio components. Eco, Ocean, and Elastigroup SaaS are priced based on a percentage of savings realized. CloudCheckr pricing is based on a percentage of cloud spend under management. Spot Security is based on the number of compute instances to be protected. The company offers volume and commitment discounts to customers as they grow.

Strengths: Spot continues to enhance its strong security focus. This benefits many organizations, including highly regulated industries, governmental organizations, and MSPs. The combination of CMP, resource optimization, and FinOps place Spot in a leadership position for end-to-end cloud management and optimizations.

Challenges: NetApp continues to work to unify authentication, authorization, billing, and reporting across the portfolio to enable easier deployment and integration of the multiple modules. Lack of on-premises capabilities will limit use for some organizations.

Nutanix Cloud Management (NCM)

Nutanix Cloud Manager (NCM) is a hybrid multicloud management platform for building a cloud operating model:

  • NCM Intelligent Ops provides low-code automation that leverages AI/ML, VM-centric capacity forecasting and planning, an anomaly detection and optimization engine, VM and SQL monitoring and correlation, ticketing integrations, analysis, and custom reporting capabilities.
  • NCM Self-Service provides self-service UI/CLI-based blueprints, Day 2 lifecycle management, policy-based governance, and multicloud management.
  • NCM Cost Governance provides showback, chargeback, budgeting, and reserved instance optimization.
  • NCM Security Central provides security audits, compliance, remediation, and asset inventory.

NCM is a multicloud governance service that gives organizations visibility into and analytics on cloud consumption patterns for AWS, Azure, GCP, Nutanix Private Cloud, and VMware ESXi. There are also one-click fixes for cost optimization and security compliance across cloud environments. The solution provides provisioning, application lifecycle monitoring, and hybrid cloud orchestration to manage an organization’s infrastructure. It uses blueprints for application provisioning and orchestration delivered via a self-service marketplace.

The solution intelligently plans and optimizes for capacity, proactively detects performance anomalies, and enables codeless automation of operations tasks. Powered by X-Fit (Nutanix’s purpose-built ML technology) and X-Play (a codeless task-automation engine), it mines large volumes of system data to generate actionable insights. It also enables IT to automate remediation and everyday tasks for performance management and capacity optimization, and these features work with major ITSM tools. Also included in the Operations tiers are advanced application insights and automation for troubleshooting application-related infrastructure bottlenecks.

Nutanix provides a TCO model that helps users to compute the true cost of running a private cloud, including hardware, software, power and cooling, and data center infrastructure—all calculated based on configurable industry standards.

NCM enables users to build a cloud with easy, on-demand access to a catalog of services via a single click. It incorporates a marketplace prepopulated with standard and custom internal apps, allowing for quick delivery of applications. It includes prepackaged, sharable blueprints, enabling one-click self-service deployment across different clouds, VMs, and/or Kubernetes. It integrates with popular ITSM and builder tools like ServiceNow, Jira, Jenkins, Azure DevOps, and others with its API-first design as well as dedicated plug-ins and prebuilt integrations.

Licensing prices are uniform, with different discounts available to customers depending on their purchase sizes and scale as well as geography. Nutanix offers pricing by the number of CPU cores and virtual machines across different tiers based on functionality and flexible subscription terms for on-premises and SaaS. The SaaS solutions are offered both with and without Nutanix Cloud Infrastructure (NCI).

Nutanix offers multiple support levels to customers that can be added to the product, with SLAs from one hour to less than 30 minutes. Nutanix guarantees a service availability of 99.9%. In addition, there are several thousand Nutanix-certified partners available to customers.

Strengths: Nutanix has become a platform that provides a range of cloud management capabilities for different use cases. It has numerous prebuilt plug-ins and integrations to support easy integration to third-party tooling. Nutanix’s management solution is also a good fit for enterprises with a large on-premises deployment.

Challenges: Nutanix customers need to be aware of some of the limitations in availability of out-of-the-box PaaS services and support for some cloud providers. For example, NCM lacks support for Oracle Cloud and Ali Cloud.

OpenText Hybrid Cloud Management X (HCMX)

OpenText (formerly Micro Focus) HCMX is built on an extensible IT operations management (ITOM) platform called OPTIC (Operations Platform for Transformation, Intelligence, and Cloud) that leverages open source technologies including Kubernetes and Docker. Organizations can deploy HCMX in prebuilt containers for Kubernetes, and it supports popular on-premises and major cloud vendors’ Kubernetes solutions. This reduces both the time to install and the labor required to maintain the solution.

The product also supports Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

HCMX is best for medium to large enterprises looking for a CMP that integrates with other tools from OpenText. The full scope of CMP functionality that OpenText can deliver requires several additional products connected by the OPTIC platform. This provides value for on-premises as well as cloud-based hosting, which works well for large organizations that have to manage both environments and prefer one integrated solution.

HCMX unifies on-premises infrastructure and cloud hosting. It also provides cloud FinOps services. CMP functionality can be extended via the following additional OpenText products:

  • Operations Bridge adds AIOps functionality.
  • Universal Discover finds and manages all configuration items.
  • Carbonite automates migration of on-premises workloads to cloud instances.
  • Data Center Automation provides provisioning, patching, and compliance automation.
  • Data Protector provides backup and restoration services on-premises or in the cloud.

Security automation, alerting, and awareness are all strong features for OpenText, and the automated patching to support VMs is very robust. It helps update security compliance of images and deployment patterns for those who prefer to redeploy rather than patch an instance.

HCMX is built on a shared, highly scalable, container-based platform that allows (optional) seamless integration with OpenText Assure and OpenText SMAX for ITSM as well as for integration with OpenText solutions for AIOps, asset management, and more. The solution delivers ready to use integrations with other third-party tools, open source applications, and add-ons. These integrations expand the functionality of the solution. HCMX blends with existing tools such as Jenkins, Chef, Ansible, Terraform, and others to facilitate the DevOps journey.

The breadth of data that OPTIC is able to analyze from various sources, along with its AI engine, enable the tool to surface key insights better than competing solutions. HCMX also incorporates comprehensive built-in FinOps capabilities. By the same token, configuring the system to generate relevant recommendations for the purpose of cloud operations and resource optimization does require a hands-on effort.

HCMX would be a good fit for organizations already using OPTIC to expand capabilities into cloud resource optimization, or for organizations that need either LoadRunner’s proven ability to simulate huge workloads or to leverage the deep insights that OPTIC can be made to surface. The solution scored high on scalability and can be relied on by enterprises of any size or unique need.

Licensing for on-premises and SaaS are the same.

Strengths: High availability and service recovery are strong features along with support for legacy on-premises cloud environments. As a suite vendor, the OpenText CMP provides added value when integrated with other solutions from the company. OpenText excels in helping enterprises manage highly complex environments and its overall governance capabilities lead the market.

Challenges: The various modules required to take full advantage of OpenText’s CMP offering make this a complex solution to implement and maintain.

Red Hat

Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud enables customers to run any application or workload consistently across any footprint, including on-premises, at the edge, and in the cloud. The open hybrid cloud strategy is built on the technological foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift, and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux enables a company to deploy and run applications from physical and virtual machines as well as private and public clouds by delivering the operating foundation needed for enterprise hybrid cloud deployments. Red Hat collaborates with major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

Red Hat OpenShift is a hybrid cloud application platform powered by Kubernetes, bringing together services to reduce the friction of developing, modernizing, deploying, running, and managing applications. It delivers a consistent experience across public cloud, on-premises, hybrid cloud, and edge architecture.

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is an end-to-end automation solution for configuring systems, deploying software, and orchestrating advanced workflows. It includes resources to create, manage, and scale across the entire enterprise.

Red Hat has a multicloud management platform and configuration assessment tool called Red Hat Insights. The solution includes a centralized dashboard that combines operations with reporting and insights. It uses predictive analytics and deep product insight to assess and remediate risks in a proactive manner across the environments. The tool is included with every subscription for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift, and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

Red Hat Cloud Services include hosted and managed platforms and application and data services that streamline the hybrid cloud experience, reducing the operational cost and complexity of delivering cloud-native applications. There are versions supporting AWS, GCP, Azure, and IBM Cloud.

Services Insights is designed for system administrators, architects, and operators. It helps users more efficiently and effectively identify and prioritize risks involving performance, stability, security, and availability, while also tracking subscription utilization, resource allocation, and cloud costs across the entire enterprise.

When Insights is paired with a subscription to Red Hat Smart Management, which includes Red Hat Satellite and other cloud management services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat customers get more advanced management capabilities, particularly with on-premises deployments. With a few clicks, system administrators can also run the recommended playbooks Insights generates to more quickly remediate most critical and urgent issues.

Red Hat is best for SMBs or large enterprises that want fewer vendors and prefer a tool that integrates with other tools from that vendor. While it overlaps with IBM’s product, Red Hat targets a different set of needs and company sizes. This may change over time as IBM rationalizes its portfolio between legacy IBM and Red Hat offerings.

Strengths: Red Hat excels in automation and resource management and has a wide range of partner ecosystem integrations. It is well integrated with the OpenShift Kubernetes framework.

Challenges: The product needs improvements in FinOps and cost management. There is no out-of-the box disaster recovery solution. The vendor needs to improve security operations and recommendations.

ServiceNow IT Operations Management (ITOM)

ServiceNow is one of the largest vendors in the IT management space. The company got its start as an ITSM platform, but it is focused now on cloud management as part of its operational and service management offerings. ServiceNow ITOM provides automated provisioning and governance of both on-premises and cloud environments. It offers support for several cloud environments, including AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM, Oracle, and VMware. The Cloud Cost Management solution is focused on FinOps use cases. Container vulnerability response and Prisma integration have recently been added.

Users can request cloud resources from a self-service multicloud catalog via the employee center, a centralized user interface, and optimize costs, manage budget forecasts (planned versus predicted spend), and improve resource use.

The single-pane-of-glass UI helps users manage, govern, and create cloud services. There are dashboards for cloud administrators, cloud governors, cloud designers, and cloud operators. ServiceNow supports AWS CloudFormation (CF), Azure ARM, Google GDM, and Terraform templates, which can be reused by turning them into catalog items.

ITOM integrates with a company’s preferred monitoring tools, cloud platforms, serverless infrastructure, and asset management software. The solution has features that focus on visibility, AIOps, and governance.

ITOM Visibility discovers the end-to-end IT infrastructure and automatically maps it to the digital services, creating a complete, accurate, and up-to-date record in the configuration management database (CMDB). This includes discovery, service mapping, certificate inventory and management, and firewall inventory and management. It can also discover cloud resources after they have been provisioned, linking tags that are responsible for the tracking and tracing of applications. Event-driven discovery ensures rapid discovery and allows cloud teams to map the dependency up and downstream in the app hierarchy.

ServiceNow has a Cloud Observability solution that helps customers running high-scale cloud native apps. This capability allows development and site reliability engineering (SRE) teams to analyze issues in the cloud-native apps and troubleshoot efficiently.

Predictive AIOps features from ServiceNow’s Metric Intelligence product include health log analytics, event management, and metric intelligence focused on identifying anomalies and preventing incidents before they happen.

Governance features allow operations teams to create and enforce guardrails related to cloud deployments. ITOM Governance packages common cloud-related tasks in one place where teams can take actions and make course corrections without halting application development and productivity. This includes cloud migration assessments, tag governance, the cloud action library, and cloud configuration guidance. A policy engine integrates an organization’s governance policies within automated workflows to ensure enough ​​control is applied to configuration issues, tagging, naming conventions, and resource planning.

The Cloud Provisioning and Governance solution provides on-demand cloud services, accelerating service delivery while providing consistent, nonintrusive governance guardrails that prevent uncontrolled cloud spend. The Cloud Service Catalog delivers a unified experience through which users can create new cloud services, manage existing cloud services, track approvals, and see associated changes and incidents for their cloud resources.

ITOM pricing has three tiers of capabilities: standard, professional, and AIOps enterprise, each building on the previous level. The professional level and above meet the table stakes of this report. ServiceNow provides on-demand or live courses, certifications, and hands-on training, and it has an extensive partner network it leverages for support.

Strengths: ServiceNow offers continuous improvement of IT cost management and is well integrated with its ITSM, ITAM, ITOM, and other ServiceNow products, making this an appealing offering.

Challenges: The CMP is only a small aspect of ServiceNow’s capabilities; however, they are continuing to invest in this area. It may be costly and difficult to determine the correct components to be implemented to benefit an organization.

Snow Software Commander Cloud Management Platform/Snow Atlas

Snow Commander is a hybrid cloud management tool that leverages automation to deliver business agility, oversight, and efficiency. The overarching platform centralizes cloud provisioning, governance, and automation across multiple on-premises and public cloud environments, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, and VMware. The Commander product focuses on cloud management and has good support for containers, DevOps, and expense management.

Snow Atlas delivers a comprehensive view of the technology landscape, with a unified view of licenses, users, cloud infrastructure, cloud applications, and even usage by business units. With a unified dashboard, it provides insights into data, cost, and usage to help optimize spend, reduce risk, improve governance, and accelerate digital transformation. Snow Atlas also provides the inventory of assets used for software, SaaS, on-premises, and cloud services. Snow Cloud Cost, powered by Anodot, provides advanced FinOps capabilities.

The Snow Atlas Platform hosts software asset management, cloud management, and SaaS management. It offers three packages that increase functionality. The first package is the starting point to get up and running with SaaS management. Each level progresses to more advanced management of multicloud environments. There’s also a handful of add-on functionalities for an additional cost at each level to help meet company requirements. Organizations can buy cloud management and cloud cost optimization products separately from the other offerings. Pricing is tailored to each company’s specific needs.

Snow Commander boasts support for the provisioning of containers and microservices through native approaches as well as template-driven mechanisms that include AWS Cloud Formation and Azure Resource Manager templates. Kubernetes support enables the deployment of new Kubernetes namespace and allows the current state of Kubernetes configurations to be compared against best practices. Users can also tie deployments with their CI/CD pipeline and deploy applications within governance controls.

Recently, the vendor added automated intelligent placement to Snow Commander, which enables the automatic deployment of workloads to ideal cloud environments based on a dynamic, multifactor rating system.

Strengths: Snow Software has been successful with SMBs, enterprises, and managed service providers that require a significant degree of functional management parity across public cloud and on-premises infrastructure resources. It also boasts a broad range of automation functionality.

Challenges: To build a holistic cloud management platform across public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud environments, customers will need a combination of Snow products.

VMware (VMware Cloud Management)

VMware Aria Cloud Management is a unified solution for the delivery and management of IT services and applications across private, hybrid, and native public clouds, aiming to bring consistency, compliance, and confidence in a multicloud world. VMware has completed rebranding to VMware Aria, expanding its features to include deeper operational insights and automation capabilities by bringing together vRealize, CloudHealth by VMware Suite, and Tanzu Observability by Wavefront.

From a CMP perspective, there are four key product offerings:

  • VMware Aria Automation (formerly vRealize Automation) is an infrastructure automation platform that provides a secure self-service multicloud environment with governance and resource lifecycle management.
  • VMware Aria Operations (formerly vRealize Operations) enables IT operations management to minimize downtime and increase operational efficiency with improved availability, performance, cost optimization, and increased scalability of businesses.
  • VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth (formerly CloudHealth) is a standalone FinOps solution and a premier partner of the FinOps Foundation.
  • VMware Aria Universal Suite (formerly vRealize Cloud Universal) combines SaaS and on-premises capabilities for automation, operations, log analytics, and network visibility into a single license.

Aria Automation leverages a service-driven cloud computing interface, a policy-controlled self-service catalog, IaC, infrastructure pipelining, and the innovative power of Salt. VMware Aria Automation enables cloud operations teams to maintain governance and control while empowering developers with a high level of agility and flexibility. For security automation, it delivers consistent policies across multicloud environments and strengthens infrastructure with native compliance management and vulnerability remediation.

Aria Operations empowers organizations to efficiently deploy, monitor, and manage their infrastructure. With features like intelligent automation, self-service provisioning, and advanced analytics, Aria Operations facilitates agile and cost-effective IT operations, helping businesses adapt in today’s dynamic and rapidly evolving technology landscape. A management pack for Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth acts as a bridge that connects these two worlds and brings the costs and resource usage of public cloud from Aria Cost into Aria Operations. These solutions are bidirectionally integrated, allowing on-premises data from Aria Operations to be ingested into the Aria Cost platform. This is just one of the many integrations available between VMware Aria solutions.

Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth provides FinOps capabilities and configuration efficiency. Its customers can improve resource utilization with tailored rightsizing recommendations, manage commitment-based discounts throughout their lifecycle, and drive continuous optimization with governance policies and automated actions that execute changes in their public cloud environment. VMware Aria Cost is available as a service and comes with a 14-day free trial.

VMware Aria cloud management is available on-premises or as SaaS. The products can be licensed individually or as a suite. The Aria Universal Suite can be licensed as on-premises or SaaS in a single license. It is available in three tiers: standard, advanced and enterprise, with features increasing at each level, and can be purchased in one-to-five-year subscriptions.

Organizations that have native public clouds or are heavily invested in a VMware infrastructure—whether deployed in the data center or on VMware-based public clouds such as VMware Cloud on AWS—should evaluate the VMware Cloud Management product solutions.

Note: It was announced that Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth is now Tanzu CloudHealth.

Strengths: The portfolio offers significant functionality for VMware-based public clouds and VMware-based on-premises installations. Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth is an example of greater value VMware is adding for public cloud use cases. VMware also offers flexibility to choose deployment options (on-premises, SaaS, or hybrid).

Challenges: To accomplish a holistic cloud management platform across public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud environments, customers will need a combination of VMware Aria products. VMware Aria’s greatest benefits are realized by customers who have a deep existing investment in other VMware technologies.

6. Analyst’s Take

As a discipline, cloud management encompasses three functional areas, often implemented with separate tools that are integrated to some degree:

To ensure IT and development operations are integrated, a CMP must get data from an enterprise architecture tool for governance, update a knowledge repository (a CMDB), and make itself programmatically consumable from an API or via integrations with a ticketing system (ITSM).

For organizations with a high level of operational maturity, the right CMP tool can automate all IT services and intelligently place workloads to meet business unit SLA and SLO requirements. It can also provide showback to enable feedback about value stream management. (Few products can perform chargeback and make entries directly to the general ledger.)

Not every organization is ready for a fully automated environment that spans all aspects of IT and software delivery. For decision-makers in these organizations, it’s important to consider CMP tools that meet short-term needs and can also grow to support a more integrated IT-as-a-service environment in the future. A tool that lacks headroom for your future requirements will ultimately force a costly migration.

Also, it’s important to be aware that the CMP market is changing. While each vendor is still enhancing core CMP features, we are seeing an increase in alignment across the three aspects of total cloud management—automation, performance optimization, and financial accountability. There are vendors in each of these categories that have expanded their offerings to include broader feature sets across all three key areas. They are accomplishing this either with consolidation or partnership with best-of-breed solutions in the areas where they are weakest. Some of the greatest impacts are coming from expanded FinOps and AIOps capabilities.

Several vendors have created or bought multiple products to enhance their solution. At first, many of these products were run as separate tools with differing UI and security configurations. These vendors are creating consistent and common UIs and base configurations using feature flags to enable functionality.

IT decision-makers should prioritize the ability of CMP solutions to feed AIOps, security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR), and SEIM tools with meaningful metrics and telemetry. These integrated data flows can reduce unplanned outages and security-impacting events. Buyers should also assess the vendor’s longer-term roadmap and ensure that it encompasses key needs of the organization.

7. Methodology

For more information about our research process for Key Criteria and Radar reports, please visit our Methodology.

8. About Dana Hernandez

Dana Hernandez is a dynamic, accomplished technology leader focused on the application of technology to business strategy and function. Over the last three decades, she had extensive experience with design and implementation of IT solutions in the areas of Finance, Sales, Marketing, Social Platforms, Revenue Management, Accounting, and all aspects of Airline Cargo, including Warehouse Operations. Most recently, she spearheaded technical teams responsible for implementing and supporting all applications for Global Sales for a major airline, owning the technical and business relationship to help drive strategy to meet business needs.

She has led numerous large, complex transformation efforts, including key system merger efforts consolidating companies onto one platform to benefit both companies, and she’s modernized multiple systems onto large ERP platforms to reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and provide more modern functionality to end users.

Throughout her career, Dana leveraged strong analytical and planning skills, combined with the ability to influence others with the common goal of meeting organizational and business objectives. She focused on being a leader in vendor relationships, contract negotiation and management, and resource optimization.

She is also a champion of agile, leading agile transformation efforts across many diverse organizations. This includes heading up major organizational transformations to product taxonomy to better align business with enterprise technology. She is energized by driving organizational culture shifts that include adopting new mindsets and delivery methodologies.

9. About GigaOm

GigaOm provides technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. Enterprise business leaders, CIOs, and technology organizations partner with GigaOm for practical, actionable, strategic, and visionary advice for modernizing and transforming their business. GigaOm’s advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.

GigaOm works directly with enterprises both inside and outside of the IT organization to apply proven research and methodologies designed to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks while balancing risk and innovation. Research methodologies include but are not limited to adoption and benchmarking surveys, use cases, interviews, ROI/TCO, market landscapes, strategic trends, and technical benchmarks. Our analysts possess 20+ years of experience advising a spectrum of clients from early adopters to mainstream enterprises.

GigaOm’s perspective is that of the unbiased enterprise practitioner. Through this perspective, GigaOm connects with engaged and loyal subscribers on a deep and meaningful level.

10. Copyright

© Knowingly, Inc. 2023 "GigaOm Radar for Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs)" is a trademark of Knowingly, Inc. For permission to reproduce this report, please contact sales@gigaom.com.