Cloud managed services have become an important feature in the both the public and private sectors of computerized activities. Vendors that offer both the technical know-how and the ability to oversee managed IT services help their clientele navigate the complex world of 21st-century computing resources to achieve the most efficient and economical outcomes.

The Virtual Environment

Simply defined, cloud managed services function to help end users maintain and employ a shared set of computing reserves that are set to meet their specific needs. These resources may involve a combination of software and hardware. Storage, data applications, network access, and servers all of which would be extremely expensive if individually owned are economically achievable when shared among a pool of users.

The term “cloud” was a metaphorical representation of how this type of computing environment functioned. To the individual or business entity accessing a network system offered by a vendor or provider, the individual elements that make up this virtual environment are obscured, as if hidden by a cloud. While the exact origin is unclear, popular usage of this description first appeared in the mid-1990s and gained wide acceptance since that time.

Involved Services

Cloud managed services perform a wide variety of functions for their clients that cover the important aspects of this kind of virtual computing.

These functions include:

  • Monitoring Network Security. This may be the single most critical task that a vendor provides. The company ensures the network is protected from outside intrusion; there are numerous hacking and security breaches reported weekly.
  • Providing Access. A virtual network is of little use if the end users are unable to access its resources. Creating and maintaining  secure gateways for clients to login and perform their desired tasks is a mission critical feature.
  • Resource Allocation.  Demands on the network increases due to items such as data transfer, storage, and bandwidth requirements. Providers must be flexible and adaptable enough to allocate resources where needed and for how long.
  • Manage And Track Both Software And Hardware. Keeping track of the software and hardware required to oversee the network and to maintain the level of functionality expected by end users is another task that providers must undertake. This may include updating and replacing programs and equipment that is no longer appropriate for the purposes and functions of the network of its users.

The Future

The importance and scope of cloud management services will continue to expand. The number of individuals and business entities that want to incorporate the advantages of shared computing resources continues to grow. This expansion will also bring with it challenges for these managers.

Allocation of resources to meet a growing number of applications is an ongoing challenge for cloud managers. Keeping the balance between the customizable features of the virtual network while not limiting the resource capability is necessary. Business growth requires the use of new monitoring tools and protocols.

Maintaining cost-effectiveness will also be a major challenge in the future. Clients need to measure affordability, comparing the actual expense in managing the virtual network to their expected level of efficiency.