Remote Administration System
The remote administration system mechanism provides tools and user-interfaces for external cloud resource administrators to configure and administer cloud-based IT resources. It essentially acts as a portal for access to administration and management features of underlying systems, including the resource management, SLA management, billing management, and audit management systems (Figure 1).
Figure 1 - The remote administration system abstracts underlying management systems to expose and centralize administration controls to external cloud resource administrators. The system provides a user console for external cloud resource administrators, while programmatically interfacing with underlying management systems via their APIs.
The remote administration system is primarily developed and customized by the cloud provider to give individual cloud consumers the level of administrative control over IT resources they are entitled to.
- the type of cloud product or cloud delivery model the cloud consumer is leasing or using from the cloud provider,
- the level of access control granted by the cloud provider to the cloud consumer, and
- further depending on which underlying management systems the remote administration system interfaces with,
... tasks that can commonly be performed by cloud consumers via a remote administration console include:
- configuring and setting up cloud services
- provisioning and releasing IT resource for on-demand cloud services
- monitoring cloud service status, usage, and performance
- monitoring QoS and SLA fulfillment
- managing cloud costs and usage fees
- managing corporate users, security credentials, authorization, and access control
- tracking internal and external access to leased services
- planning and assessing IT resource provisioning
- capacity planning
The remote administration system also typically exposes an API to enable cloud consumers to develop applications that can automate certain administration tasks - or - to allow them to develop their own, custom user-interfaces. The latter option is especially attractive for cloud consumers that would like to centrally administer on-premise and cloud-based IT resources from a single console.
Figure 2 illustrates a resource administration environment being accessed both directly and programmatically.
Figure 2 - A collection of services provides a programmatic interface to a remote administration system, which interoperates with the cloud consumer management system.
While the user-interface provided by the remote administration system will tend to be proprietary to the cloud provider, there is a preference among cloud consumers to work with remote administration systems that offer standardized APIs. This allows a cloud consumer to invest in the creation of its own front-end with the fore-knowledge that it can reuse this console if it decides to move to another cloud provider that supports the same standardized API. Additionally, the cloud consumer would be able to further leverage standardized APIs if it is interested in leasing and centrally administering IT resources from multiple cloud providers (Figure 3).
Figure 3 - Standardized APIs published via cloud services offer a interoperable programmatic interfaces to remote administration systems from different cloud providers.