Dell Cloud Manager Cloud Management Overview

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The Business Perspective

Dell Cloud Manager provides cloud agility, governance, and choice for enterprises. Think of Dell Cloud Manager as the enterprise console to the world of cloud computing.

The Enterprise Cloud Management Solution

Dell Cloud Manager (formerly Enstratius) enables deployment and management of enterprise-class applications across private, public and hybrid clouds. It provides a suite of tools for managing your cloud infrastructure, including the provisioning, management and automation of applications across the leading private and public cloud platforms. Available as software-as-a-service (SaaS) or as on-premises software that enables you to control the cloud from within your own data centers, Cloud Manager provides agility, governance, and choice for your enterprise.

Agility – Cloud Manager helps you meet the economic and operational advantages of cloud computing through a variety of automation tools including auto-provisioning, auto-scaling, automated backups, recovery, cross-cloud bursting and more. This provides consistency across all cloud platforms and enables your organization to improve service levels.

Governance – Maintaining control over your systems is crucial to reducing risk. Cloud Manager provides tight access controls including encryption, advanced user authentication and budget management. This enables you to provide only the right people the right level of access to your cloud environment.

Choice – With support for all leading public and private cloud platforms, plus access to leading configuration management tools, Cloud Manager offers your organization a unified management solution for your single- or multi-cloud environment. This provides increased efficiency and allows you the freedom to choose the cloud services that work best for your organization.

Today we support Amazon Web Services, Apache CloudStack, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, ScaleMatrix, Virtustream, and VMware vSphere, plus additional Dasein supported clouds. Click here to learn more about certified clouds with Dell Cloud Manager.

In addition, we provide Consulting Services to assist you in your migration into the cloud. We can help you design a deployment to meet your target SLAs and address issues such as scaling parameters, security and compliance.

To learn more, review the screen shots below or view a Dell Cloud Manager demo. If you have questions or would like to discuss your cloud project in more detail, contact us or call 612-746-3091.

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The Technical Perspective

Through key management, auto-recovery and cross-cloud support, Dell Cloud Manager provides reliability and security for your applications.

Your IT Policies and Procedures Delivered In the Cloud

Dell Cloud Manager focuses on managing the consumption of most major cloud services without locking your enterprise into specific operations tools or processes. By providing a consistent management solution for the governance and automation of application operations across most major public and private cloud platforms, Dell Cloud Manager is your console for the world of cloud computing.

The Dell Cloud Manager technology consists of two core elements:

  • The Dell Cloud Manager Cloud Management System
  • The Dell Cloud Manager Guest Agent (optional)

The Dell Cloud Manager Cloud Management System

  • Enables self-service provisioning of cloud resources on any of the clouds we support through a single user ID.
  • Watches over your cloud infrastructure, monitoring any combination of supported cloud services -- public, private or hybrid.
  • Enforces consistent governance policies for actions taken against your applications in any combination of supported clouds.
  • Automates applications running in one or more supported clouds, including provisioning, scaling, backup and disaster recovery.

With the SaaS deployment option, you sign up for an account and we operate the cloud management system for you in our data center that is independent of all the clouds we manage. When any of your clouds fail, you still have access to all of the information about your deployments in the failed cloud(s). Dell Cloud Manager can automate recovery into a backup cloud or you can manually execute disaster recovery procedures.

Under the on-premise deployment option, you provide the infrastructure, install, and operate your own copy of the Dell Cloud Manager cloud management system. When Dell Cloud Manager is deployed on-premise, the solution provides identical functionality to the SaaS version, but is simply operated in your own data center.

The Cloud Management System is architected as a cloud application with automated horizontal scaling in mind.

There are two front-end components:

  • The Dell Cloud Manager API service
  • The Dell Cloud Manager Console service

Both of these services provide access to Dell Cloud Manager functionality. The Dell Cloud Manager API provides programmatic access while the console provides the user interface. Both systems are driven by a common MySQL database and may be placed behind a load balancer for automated horizontal scaling.

No session state is maintained in the services themselves. As a result, no sticky sessions are required and user sessions survive service restarts. The services may also optionally be configured to spread database reads across multiple MySQL replication slaves.

There are a number of backend components:

  • The Dell Cloud Manager Dispatcher
  • The Dell Cloud Manager Worker Subsystem
  • The Dell Cloud Manager Key Management System
  • The Dell Cloud Manager Ping Router

These components all store persistent data in a MySQL database and use Rabbit MQ as a message bus. As with the front-end components, the backend components may be configured to spread database read operations across multiple replication slaves.

The Dispatcher
The Dispatcher is a web service that provides an interface into the core Dell Cloud Manager database and interaction with public and private clouds. The API service, Console service, and Guest Agent all use the Dispatcher to execute tasks on behalf of users and agents.

For example, when a user launches a VM in the console, the console requests the launch through the Dispatcher. The Dispatcher then routes that request to the proper cloud and creates a job that can be tracked through the API or console for monitoring the state of the VM launch. Multiple independent copies of the Dispatcher may be running behind a firewall. Consequently, the Dispatcher supports automatic horizontal scaling.

The Worker Subsystem
Dell Cloud Manager uses a worker architecture to handle "long-lived" processes and ongoing polling of cloud resources. In particular, there are two kinds of workers handling various tasks:

  • Cache workers
  • Task workers

Cache workers are running continuously, watching over a specific cloud resource and reacting to changes. A reaction can be as simple as recording a state change in the Dell Cloud Manager database or as complex as an automated reaction to a change in the state of the cloud. The Worker Publisher regularly looks at all of the resources that need polling and publishes worker jobs to the message queue. The Worker Subscriber then picks up these jobs and manages the cash worker for a finite period of time.

Task workers are "fire and forget" tasks that must execute. For example, an auto-scaling event is a task worker triggered by a cache worker watching over your applications. The cache worker for your application deployment will notice that you have too many or too few virtual machines running for a specific application component and publish a task worker request to the message queue.

The subscriber will then pick up this request from the message queue and spawn off an independent process to execute the task. The task workers are self-healing in that they will re-submit themselves to the message queue in the event of recoverable error conditions.

Because workers communicate via message queue, you can instantiate any number of VMs/physical servers with the Dell Cloud Manager worker subsystem running on it and have it scale horizontally based on VM load and RAM usage.

Key Management System(KM)
The Dell Cloud Manager Key Management system is a separate web service accessible only to the Dispatcher and Worker Subsystem. It stores all sensitive data such as cloud API access keys, data encryption keys, and custom configuration files. This data is encrypted using customer-specific encryption keys and stored in the key management system in de-identified rows. Because the encryption keys are customer-specific, there is no master key in the SaaS deployment context for decrypting the entire key management database. A row in the KM database simply looks like this:

key ID (BIGINT) version (VARCHAR) public_part (TEXT) private_part (TEXT)

key_id is a meaningless numeric key; version tells us what kind of encryption is being used; and the public_part and private_part are the encrypted data. The database itself is front-ended with a light-weight web service through which the Dispatcher and Workers create and fetch keys by ID. No encryption or decryption occurs within the key management database or web service.

The Dell Cloud Manager Guest Agent (optional)

The optional Dell Cloud Manager Guest Agent is a lightweight web service that you may optionally install on some or all of the virtual machines you have running in the cloud. The

The function of the Dell Cloud Manager Guest Agent is:

  • Establishes a trust relationship between the Dell Cloud Manager cloud management system and the guest OS.
  • Enables extended automation and governance functionality, including executing configuration scripts of your choice when specific events occur.

To learn more, review the screen shots below or view a Dell Cloud Manager demo. If you have questions or would like to discuss your project in more detail, contact us or call 612-746-3091.


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