Tier 3 Brings Server Group Management to the Cloud
The cloud is supposed to make IT administration easier by centralizing computing in one (virtual) place. But what happens when the data centers on which the cloud is built become too expansive to manage easily? Tier 3, which develops cloud solutions for the enterprise, seeks to resolve that issue with a new feature it’s calling Cloud Server Group Management. Here are the details.
The concept behind Tier 3’s new capability is not very new. It’s pretty similar to the nearly age-old functionality in Unix operating systems that allows administrators to create groups of users for setting file permissions and other policies, for instance.
Groups For Your Server
But the application of an idea such as this to the cloud is relatively novel, and it should make it simpler to manage the sprawling and complex server farms which more and more organizations are creating to build their clouds. In Tier 3’s own summary:
As organizations move more of their workloads to the Cloud, organizing and managing those server farms can become challenging, expensive and time-consuming. The Tier 3 Cloud Server Group Management capability gives system administrators the tools they need to navigate these challenges starting with the ability to logically group and manage their large-scale cloud deployments.
Groups are intuitively integrated within both the Tier 3 Control Portal and programmatic API, allowing administrators to create collections of servers that have their own permissions, policies and default server configuration settings. In addition, actions performed against the groups, such as rebooting or taking snapshots of a server, can be performed in bulk—allowing administrators to spend less time maintaining individual servers and more time optimizing their overall cloud environment.
In particular, the Cloud Server Group Management feature allows staff responsible for maintaining clouds to perform maintenance tasks across groups of servers from one centralized location. It also supports reporting and monitoring of servers at the group level, and — perhaps most interestingly — it makes it possible to allot and cap the resources available to groups of servers, to make it easier to avoid inefficiencies and overloads.
Of course, the major catch is that this functionality is available only to Tier 3 customers. But it’s a great idea, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the developers of competing cloud platforms and services introducing their own takes on the concept.