Top Trend: Web-based GUIs for Cloud IaaS

Many administrators are not developers and do not necessarily know how to use the APIs of current infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers to programmatically build a complex cloud infrastructure. The next generation of cloud services, especially in the area of IaaS, must and will be much easier to use. In the future we will see more and more cloud offerings that provide in addition to an API a graphical web interface, to „click“ cloud infrastructures together, without having knowledge of the underlying API.

Web-based GUIs for cloud infrastructures

Pioneer is the German company openQRM Enterprise. Since 2009, they provide in addition to their open source cloud infrastructure solution openQRM, for setting up own public and private clouds, also a web-based GUI called „Visual Designer Infrastructure“.

openQRM Visual Infrastructure Designer

openQRM Visual Infrastructure Designer

openQRM Visual Infrastructure Designer

Since May 2012, ProfitBricks, also from Germany, provides its infrastructure-as-a-service solution. Also ProfitBricks has, as the first public cloud provider on the market, a web-based GUI for creating an own cloud infrastructure, the „Data Center Designer“.

ProfitBricks Data Center Designer

ProfitBricks Data Center Designer

Both web GUIs, the „Visual Designer Infrastructure“ and the „Data Center Designer“ help cloud administrators establishing and managing common up to complex cloud infrastructures.

Open source cloud solutions like Eucalyptus, OpenStack or CloudStack and also public IaaS providers such as Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure and Rackspace do not offer such surfaces, so that administrators are completely dependent on the APIs.

Top trend with more potential

The „Visual Infrastructure Designer“ of openQRM and the „Data Center Designer“ of ProfitBricks do not exhaust ​​their full potential yet, but they show very well in what direction the design and management of cloud infrastructures will develop. In addition to an extensive and well-documented API, web-based graphical management interfaces and infrastructure designer tools are the top trends in infrastructure-as-a-service and belong to the portfolio of each IaaS cloud provider in the future.

Von Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as Silicon.de and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of CloudUser.de and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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