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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

What is Cloud Governance?

A compilation of important points from the Cloud Governance articles I read:

Cloud services governance involves applying specific policies or principles to the use of cloud services.

It can be useful to think of cloud governance by examining its opposite: the free-for-all chaos in which cloud services are used by an organization without any oversight in place. To avoid this chaos, put polices in place for cloud service use to control the leakage of private information to the cloud and to control the  excessive use of cloud services (which must be paid for, after all). With governance and security in place, cloud computing can be used in safety and confidence.

The idea of Cloud governance is to monitor cloud resource usage, such as servers and services, and to limit what systems and users can do with those resources.

Cloud governance comes in many flavors, including service level, data level and platform level

Service­ level or API governance installs policies around access to services exposed by public or private clouds. Users who request access to cloud services have to go through a centralized mechanism that checks the requester's authorization. This mechanism also forces compliance with predefined policies that dictate when and how to access the cloud services 

Data ­level governance, much like service ­level governance, focuses on both storage and data management. Once again, policies are placed around data and data storage systems to define and control access. 

Platform­ level governance, sometimes called a cloud management platform, is related to platform management itself. This means placing automation services around cloud platform governance and management, including provisioning and de-provisioning cloud resources as needed by applications or data. 

The objective of platform ­level governance is to provide a single point of control for complex, distributed, and heterogeneous public and private cloud­ based resources. This allows policies to define when and where resources are put to work and to ensure users use only what's necessary. The end result is not overpaying for subscription ­based services, and the system works around issues like outages. 

Public cloud removes some of the infrastructure and administrative overhead of the traditional data center, but the onus of meeting cloud governance requirements still  falls squarely on IT's shoulders. In the ever-shifting cloud landscape, it's important to create a governance model that resembles an ongoing process -- not a product

To illustrate Cloud governance with an example, consider the case of Amazon Machine Instances (AMIs or Azure VMs). The ability to enforce rules such that certain users can deploy certain AMIs is important. At a finer level, the ability to control who can reboot a VM, who can add capacity to an existing VM environment, and who can delete existing virtual machine instances is important. 
Without a Cloud governance system in place, unwanted running AMI machine instances can proliferate and cause unnecessary cost. However, the opposite is also true:  without a Cloud governance solution in place, it is possible that useful AMI instances might be mistakenly deleted. 

Lifecycle management of AMI instances avoids the problems of rogue instances, just as SOA Governance tackled the issue of rogue services which tend to proliferate in organizations without a governance framework in  place. 

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