Cloud orchestration platforms use automation to facilitate, manage, and coordinate IT operations in the cloud so organizations can create a cohesive workflow to achieve their business goals.
The best cloud orchestration platforms enable cloud integrations across hybrid environments, achieving cost-effectiveness while simultaneously providing advanced functionality, optimum service delivery, and optimized productivity.
Since cloud orchestration services have become an integral part of modern-day computing, I have taken the liberty to compile the 10 best cloud orchestration platforms in 2022.
The Best Cloud Orchestration Tools Shortlist
Here’s the list of the best cloud orchestration platforms that I’ll cover in this article.
Here’s the summary of what I look for when evaluating the best cloud orchestration platforms:
User Interface (UI): A user and web interface that’s easy to understand and navigate. This is vital because cloud orchestration platforms are often multilayered ecosystems.
Usability: Since cloud orchestrators are fairly complex systems, a user experience that enhances effectiveness and efficiency should be a highly sought objective of the platform.
Integrations: The best platforms provide users with flexibility through both in-built and out-of-the-box integrations that supply functionality that isn’t native to the platform.
Value for $: Even the most awesome features in a product need to be balanced against its cost-effectiveness. So, value for money reflects the utility of cost, quality, and ability to meet customer needs that the platform provides.
Cloud Orchestration Platforms: Key Features
These are some of the key features a cloud orchestration platform needs to be productive, deliver value, and meet customer expectations.
Infrastructure as code: This reflects the ability of the platform to allow provisioning and managing of its underlying infrastructure through machine-readable code rather than manual processes or physical hardware configuration.
Container orchestration: Containerized applications have become the de facto standard for packaging and delivering software efficiently, especially on cloud platforms. As a result, a cloud orchestration platform should have an effective and efficient way of managing and deploying containers.
Multi-cloud support: Cloud computing is currently all the rage. Hence, a cloud orchestration platform must be adept at load balancing, scaling, and generally managing cloud workloads on the fly. It should be able to support private, public, and hybrid cloud models.
API Automation: By necessity, cloud orchestration platforms need to juggle and coordinate complex, interconnected systems, tasks, and workflows. Hence, the need for well-rounded automation, typically administered through APIs, to configure and control a vast array of resources.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Cloud Orchestration Platforms
Azure Automation is designed to provide cloud-based automation that seamlessly integrates across both Azure and non-Azure environments. In addition to automating management tasks within Azure, it’s elastic enough to allow you to orchestrate events spanning external systems — while still operating within Azure’s confines.
Azure Automation grants users complete control of their workloads and resources, ranging from deployment, configuration, update management, and decommissioning operations. The platform is equipped with an impressive breadth of services such as configuration management, process automation, change tracking, and shared capabilities.
It is ideal for Azure users because it natively integrates into Azure architecture. However, its strength is also its downside; it tends to be overly reliant on Azure services.
Azure provides a free trial for 30 days, in addition to a $200 Azure credit. Pricing is provided upon request, along with a pricing calculator to estimate hourly or monthly costs.
2. CloudHealth – Simplifies cloud operations with transparency that enhances compliance, governance, and financial accountability
CloudHealth simplifies cloud operations by providing a single solution to undertake multi-cloud management systems. It is designed to help you manage resources while providing transparency across private and public cloud infrastructure.
CloudHealth’s real-time visibility, combined with its automatic data gathering capabilities, facilitates continuous cloud monitoring and performance analysis. The in-depth insights garnered enables businesses to optimize resources more effectively.
Also, its granular visibility into cloud operations enables businesses to adhere to compliance and governance policies. Moreover, CloudHealth allows you to report expenditure by cost center, which enhances financial accountability.
Due to its operational visibility, CloudHealth is ideal for cost-sensitive customers who need to stay on budget. CloudHealth integrates seamlessly with public cloud platforms and technologies like Ansible, Amazon, Google Cloud Platform, and Jira Cloud, among others.
CloudHealth provides a free trial for an unspecified period. Pricing is provided upon request.
3. Cloudify – Interoperability fostered through a single pane of glass consolidated view of cloud infrastructure
Cloudify is an open-source DevOps automation solution that makes it easy to manage all your automation tools in one platform. This central point of management is built on automation portrayed as “Environment as a Service” that comprises built-in integrations and toolchains that allow it to manage heterogeneous environments.
In addition to providing multi-cloud and hybrid support, Cloudify is designed with an open architectural model that’s suitable for pluggability. Cloudify automates DevOp processes, allowing you to manage apps effectively, especially those with a high degree of complexity.
The platform is suited for those who desire to work on hybrid clouds and stacks without having to change their existing codebase, workflow, or processes. Cloudify brings together the best practices of automation and orchestration throughout the process of continuous transformation.
Cloudify’s Terraform Only plan, which targets Terraform teams, is free. Its All Technologies plan is free for 30 days. Its Starter and Pro plans are priced at $1,000 / month and $4,750 / month respectively. Cloudify’s Enterprise plan’s pricing is available upon request.
4. Cloudbolt – Unifying islands of disparate automation into a straight-forward cloud strategy
While the cloud provides variety, the proliferation of tools has become a burdensome cognitive overload for IT operators. Cloudbolt seeks to cure this confusing patchwork by providing the means to interconnect it all.
Cloudbolt provides a secure and fast way to centralize IT orchestration for hybrid cloud resources in a cost-effective manner. The platform is designed to bring cohesion to an increasing multi-tool world, with its ability to bridge these tools across the organization to accelerate cloud transformation.
Cloudbolt enables enterprises to support a variety of technologies, including on-premise virtualization. Others range from private clouds to public and hybrid configurations.
Cloudbolt is ideal for enterprises that need the flexibility to optimize resources continuously in multi-cloud, multi-tool environments.
5. Kubernetes – De facto standard for enterprise container orchestration
Kubernetes is a powerful, popular, open-source container orchestration platform built by Google. Kubernetes has a complex infrastructure and huge ecosystem. However, its architecture is intricate in order to allow your applications to operate simply.
Kubernetes provides provisioning, load balancing, and container abstraction in the way of Pods. It also offers cluster management and deployment, logging, security, service discovery, turnkey scalability, and a host of other advanced features. It has APIs that automate provisioning and resource management processes so you don’t have to do it yourself.
However, Kubernetes can be an overkill for environments that don’t require its vast resources. Moreover, it requires a significant learning curve to grasp its complexities. But you reap the reward several times over in terms of productivity, especially with regards to managing containers at scale.
Kubernetes is suited for those who have to manage containerized applications at scale, who need to employ resilient container-based workloads. Kubernetes has proven so popular that all major cloud vendors currently support it for their customers out-of-the-box.
Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is open-source but customers are billed for the resources and workloads created and used.
BMC Multi-cloud management is a portfolio of solutions that offers services like multi-cloud migration and streamlining service delivery to provide a consistent, optimal end-user experience. It’s a multi-cloud service management that strives to provide the highest speed and accuracy to multi-channel environments at the lowest cost. It seeks to continuously optimize both cloud IT costs and capacity based on an organization’s business demands.
The software provides these services under a portfolio of featured solutions like BMC Helix ITSM, which handles service management with intelligent automation. BMC Helix Cloud Security provides enterprises with audit trails for its automated cloud resource configurations. In addition, it aspires to be user-friendly to the less tech-savvy by providing automated remediation without coding or scripting.
BMC provides free trials for its portfolio of products for an unspecified duration. Pricing is provided upon request.
IBM Cloud Orchestrator is a user-friendly, highly customizable, and configurable cloud management platform. It provides automation tools to help DevOps to manage and oversee resources along the spectrum of private, public, and hybrid clouds.
The platform offers integrated IT workflow capabilities that include resource management, cost management, process automation, and IT governance.
IBM Cloud Orchestrator is equipped with toolkits that give users the building blocks to create a robust cloud infrastructure. It provides easy deployment, with simplified management and improved service delivery times. IBM presents you with a choice of either IBM Cloud Orchestrator or IBM Cloud Orchestrator Enterprise Edition.
IBM Cloud Orchestrator range of governance automation capabilities streamlines processes to stay in regulatory compliance.
IBM Cloud Orchestrator doesn’t offer any free trials. Pricing is available upon request.
8. Cyclr – Creating powerful integration workflows with minimum effort and low engineering overhead
Cyclr is an embedded integration platform. It provides a scalable connection architecture that allows organizations to deliver native integration directly from their apps. This empowers SaaS applications with automation and powerful integration workflows.
Cyclr provides an orchestration layer to create connections with hundreds of third-party integrations. The software comes with a library of connectors that gives you a range of methods, actions, and events to activate when connecting to data sources.
Its low-code toolkit and drag-and-drop interface are suitable for those lacking much technical expertise who nonetheless want to build meaningful integrations and move data between applications with ease.
The monthly fees for its Startup and Growth product tiers are $899, and $1,799 respectively. Its Scale offering is listed as a customizable product, with pricing contingent upon selected features.
9. Puppet Bolt – Agentless task runner and automation tool that also handles multi-platform server configuration
Puppet Bolt is an open-source orchestration and server configuration tool. Bolt is simplified so you don’t need to learn as much before grasping its primary elements and commands. Bolt allows you to run simple plans instead of trying to orchestra complex workflows.
Part of the way Bolt does this is by enabling IT operators to manage configuration by code instead of manually. IT operators and DevOps engineers can write code in either YAML files or Bolt’s orchestration language known as “Plans”. This ultimately makes application and server management and deployment more efficient.
Bolt can be used to execute various services, including troubleshooting, deploying, patching, and updating systems. It’s equipped with a command-line tool that can be used as a robust remoting system.
Bolt is agentless, so it doesn’t require users to install on servers. Moreover, it supports multiple OSs and platforms such as Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Bolt is beneficial when you need a tool with a light footprint that can be managed remotely and configured by code.
No pricing is listed for Bolt although pricing is provided for Puppet upon request.
10. AWS CloudFormation – Easy setup, deployment, and management of AWS resources in a repeatable manner
AWS CloudFormation is an infrastructure automation platform. It is used on the popular Amazon Web Services cloud platform as an infrastructure of code tool.
CloudFormation’s software-defined infrastructure lets organizations to provision, model, and manage both their AWS and third-party resources efficiently and effectively. It offers the choice of either YAML or JSON to automate resource management and even model your entire cloud environment.
Using built-in templates, administrators can provision, scale, manage, and deploy cloud infrastructure in multiple environments. As a managed AWS service, CloudFormation provides immense advantages with its interoperability and integration with other AWS solutions like AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and AWS Service Catalog, among others.
The platform is designed for those on AWS who want to reduce errors and inconsistencies of manual configuration.
AWS CloudFormation utilizes usage-based pricing and provides price estimates via its AWS Price Calculator.
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Here are a few other honorable mentions that didn’t make the top list.
ActiveBatch – Provides a layered, architectural approach to workload automation.
RedHat Ansible – Enterprise framework for building, deploying, and managing automation at scale.
Terraform – Allows DevOps to describe their infrastructure as a code, then build, manage, and reuse resources across providers.
Morpheus – Self-service automation delivery and cloud orchestration with control over VM and container-based systems.
Embotics – A hybrid cloud management platform deep in IT Asset Management expertise.
vRealize Suite – A cloud management solution that integrates VMware vRealize’s cloud management suite of products.
OpenStack – One of the most widely adopted cloud platforms built on open standards
Chef – Versatile configuration automation tool for heterogeneous and large-scale infrastructure.
The Importance of Cloud Orchestration Platforms
The cloud optimizes the utilization of resources through on-demand delivery of IT resources. Cloud adoption and the rising complexity of today’s IT environments have created the need for cloud orchestration platforms. Since its inception a couple of years ago, cloud adoption is steadily rising across industries.
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