Market Guide for #Cloud Management Platforms 2017

Market Guide for Cloud Management Platforms

Published: 25 April 2017 ID: G00308545




I&O leaders are challenged to manage private, public and multicloud services. Use this research to better understand cloud management tools, the trends and the problems that can be addressed, and to find a listing of CMP vendors and additional cloud tools impacting this area.


Key Findings

  • Cloud management tooling is focused on solving different management challenges, thus the breadth and depth of service offerings vary widely between solutions.

  • The cloud management platform (CMP) market, consisting of multifunctional tools called cloud management platforms, is fragmented and rapidly changing, with a broad range of vendor offerings that are extremely difficult to compare and contrast.

  • CMPs have had mixed success, with many enterprises finding deployment difficult and needing to supplement CMPs with other tooling.

  • Enterprises that are successful in managing multicloud deployments are typically early technology adopters, with technical expertise, mature processes and centralized governance.


To optimize IT operations to drive business value:

  • Keep in mind the multifunctional capabilities discussed in this research as part of your due diligence in selecting a CMP or broader cloud management tool.

  • Plan to invest in multiple tools to satisfy your cloud management requirements by evaluating CMP tools and adjacent cloud management tooling.

  • Select tools based on the alignment of your cloud service provider choices and cloud management tool vendors' roadmaps by adding specifics for each provider to your evaluation criteria.

  • Evaluate third parties (if you do not have in-house resources) as an alternative source for integrating cloud management tooling or providing preintegrated cloud management solutions, rather than managing and performing the integration yourself.

Strategic Planning Assumption

Through 2022, less than 30% of cloud workloads supported by cloud management tools will be within private cloud or cloud-inspired environments (on-premises or hosted), versus more than 50% today.

Market Definition

Cloud management requirements have multifunctional capabilities that fall into three major areas: access management, service management and service optimization (see Note 1). This functionality is required across a combination of cloud targets, including some mix of public, virtual private and on-premises private clouds. The primary tool focus for the abovementioned functionality is for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and potentially some platform as a service (PaaS) workloads.

Market Description

This Market Guide covers multifunctional tools (CMPs) used to manage cloud services within multicloud deployments (see Note 2 for a definition of multicloud computing). This guide will also mention complementary tools that provide the more limited and focused functionality (for example, cost transparency and optimization, capacity and resource planning, and security) needed to manage cloud environments.

To manage on-premises and off-premises cloud resources, organizations will require a set of functionalities (see Figure 1 and the associated descriptions of the functional areas).

Figure 1. The Multifunctional Aspects of Cloud Management
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (April 2017)

CMPs typically address service request management; provisioning, orchestration and automation; governance and policy; monitoring and metering; and multicloud brokering (shown in green in Figure 1). Some also provide other functionality, but the five areas mentioned above are typically where most provide capabilities. The key value proposition of a CMP is enabling multicloud management to apply policy, and to orchestrate and automate across public and private cloud services in a uniform way. The Representative Vendors table in this research includes a sampling of vendors that offer CMP functionality. The benefits of the CMP are threefold:

  • Enforce policies and standards — which provider to use and what can be consumed from that provider.

  • Offer a single view and implementation across multiple cloud providers through abstracting cloud providers' proprietary APIs.

  • Reduce lock-in of any one IaaS provider.

These value propositions are weighed against the lock-in of the CMP itself and the restrictions the CMP places on use of IaaS providers to enable this value. In order to enforce policy, most CMPs require that cloud consumers provision through the CMP, rather than directly through native cloud providers' APIs. This is becoming more unacceptable for many enterprises with developers needing access to these APIs. Some CMPs have responded by lessening the level of abstraction that they provide, leaning more toward tagging to allow visibility within public cloud environments. Some have added reactive governance — the continuous monitoring of the environment for compliance with policies and retroactive enforcement of those policies.

While initially targeted for private clouds, CMPs have often been used for public cloud visibility/governance and for on-premises, cloud-inspired environments. For cloud-inspired deployments, enterprises have evolved their virtualization environments to the next level (see"Four Types of Cloud Computing Define a Spectrum of Cloud Value" ), but are not incorporating many other cloud attributes.

The functional areas are as follows:

  • Service Request Management — This is the self-service interface by which cloud services are consumed. Enterprises often face competing requirements where, on the one hand, some users will require a clearly defined finite set of services provisioned from a service catalog, while, on the other hand, some users require a service interface that serves as a pass-through to native capabilities within a public cloud service. The former could cater to infrastructure and operations (I&O) staff that just wants to provision commoditized IaaS resources while the latter could cater to developers that want flexibility to use a full suite of public cloud services. Service request management functionality is typically provided by CMPs or IT service support management (ITSSM) tools (see "ITSSM and CMPs Are Colliding at the Service Portal" ).

  • Provisioning, Orchestration and Automation — This refers to core orchestration/automation/provisioning capabilities that are often provided by CMPs, IT process automation (ITPA) engines within the CMP or native tools used to provision core infrastructure. This functionality includes user service blueprinting. Increasingly, this functionality is evolving into deployments where a CMP, when used, is becoming an orchestrator of a wide mix of underlying orchestrators, where other orchestrators (for example, Amazon Web Services [AWS] and Microsoft Azure native cloud orchestration/automation capabilities, OpenStack, and/or VMware vSphere) are doing the native provisioning while the CMP is operating at a higher layer of coordination (see "OpenStack Is Not a Cloud Management Platform" ). In this case, the CMP is often primarily used for applying governance and policy.

  • Governance and Policy — This is a key capability within CMPs, where this functionality could be detailed policy enforcement and governance (for example, clearly defining what users can do) or lighter tagging (for example, directing developers to a specific public cloud provider but allowing them to access any service there). This also includes automation policies that allow reactions to environmental conditions (for example, enabling autoscaling).

  • Monitoring and Metering — This is base-level monitoring (the lower level of the stack with no awareness of the application layer) and metering functionality, mostly geared toward monitoring consumption of the cloud resources, possibly with showback for internal users. These basic capabilities are found in many CMPs. Note that additional monitoring functionality can be provided through service-level management, which is discussed below.

  • Multicloud Brokering — This is connectivity and content that allows the bridging of on-premises and off-premises cloud resources. In some cases, decision support capabilities are also provided (i.e., identifying where best to run a specific workload). This functionality is often in CMPs and also tooling that is more geared toward cloud service brokering (see "Market Insight: Top 10 Things 'To Do' to Seize the Cloud Service Brokerage Opportunity" ).

  • Continuous Configuration Automation (CCA) — This refers to functionality that provides "last mile" configuration management support. This capability will typically integrate with a CMP, where a CMP orchestrates and the CCA tool performs directed automation. Increasingly, the tooling here is also adding orchestration and application release automation capabilities (see "Market Guide for Continuous Configuration Automation Tools" ).

  • Security and Identity — There are various security-related functionalities needed in a cloud computing environment (for example, risk management, segregation of duties, single sign-on and key management), particularly those involving public cloud services. Some of this functionality can be obtained through the use of a cloud access security broker (see "Market Guide for Cloud Access Security Brokers" ).

  • While a small set of functionality is within CMPs, they mostly interface or federate with existing AD, SAML or LDAP systems. Additionally, scanning and remediating deployed infrastructure for security vulnerabilities is needed where the remediation is performed by the automation functionality discussed above.

  • Service-Level Management — There is a set of functionality here that is broader and deeper than the functionality referred to in monitoring and metering. It includes end-to-end monitoring of the application (for example, user interface, business logic, data persistence, etc.), which normally includes introspection within the application itself. Often, the functionality involves reactive, proactive and forensic monitoring of applications and infrastructure. This functionality is often linked to orchestration/automation to allow an elastic infrastructure where automated action is taken based on triggered events (see "Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring Suites" and "Market Guide for IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools" ).

  • Cloud Migration and Disaster Recovery (DR) — The functionality here involves the cloud readiness determination, discovery, lifting and shifting of workloads between and/or among on-premises and off-premises environments. The use cases involve both workloads being permanently migrated from one environment to another and workloads repositioned during DR testing or during an actual disaster. The linkage between these tools and other cloud management tools (e.g., CMPs) is the ability of the other tool to manage the workloads that have been migrated by another tool. These tools are often procured through third parties that also offer migration assistance (see Note 3 for a sampling of vendors offering this functionality).

  • Capacity and Resource Planning — This functionality allows for the efficient operational use of the infrastructure footprint. It is often tied to orchestration and automation functionality. This area is increasingly being combined with the next area listed, cost transparency and optimization. This is a logical tethering as capacity and resource planning has definitive cost considerations (see "Innovation Insight for Dynamic Optimization Technology for Infrastructure Resources and Cloud Services" ).

  • Cost Transparency and Optimization — The functionality involves enabling tracking, budgeting and optimization of the cloud expenses. This functionality is also often tied to orchestration and automation functionality, where action is taken based on usage (see "Innovation Insight for Cloud Service Expense Management Tools" ).

Many other tools besides CMPs, with strengths or having originated in a single functional area, have started extending into related areas; for example, many cloud service expense management tools that begun providing cost transparency functionality are now adding workload optimization or orchestration/automation functionality. This is a logical progression as there is an affinity among many functional areas and, in combination, they can enable a fluid, elastic infrastructure. See Note 4 for a sampling of vendors that provide capacity and resource planning and/or cost transparency and optimization.

Companies will need to typically deploy/manage four to six products for their cloud management needs. Through 2022, 80% of organizations implementing cloud management tooling will need, at minimum, four tools to address hybrid and multicloud management requirements. For example, it is common to see an ITSSM tool as a front end for the cloud activity (for example, ServiceNow or BMC Remedy 9), a CMP, a CCA tool, an application performance monitoring (APM) tool and a cloud service expense management tool. Managing such a varied mix of tooling makes it very difficult for many I&O teams. This has culminated in many organizations not having success in managing/integrating such a set of tools or turning to a third party to manage the tools for them. Many organizations have just gone with a single function tool to address a specific area (for example, a cloud service expense management tool for cost optimization of public cloud use). Cloud service expense management tools are a popular entry point for enterprises wanting to gain control of public cloud spend.

There is a growing and evolving number of cloud management tooling consumption options. Besides stand-alone software tools, it is possible to procure integrated systems where vendors have incorporated hardware with cloud management software (among the vendors offering such tools are Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise [HPE], Nutanix, Cisco, Joyent and ZeroStack). Increasingly, vendors are incorporating hyperconverged technology into the hardware architectures.

As noted above, many enterprises struggle with navigating this market. Many turn to third parties (for example, managed service providers [MSPs] like Accenture, CSC and Rackspace; see "Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide" ) for assistance, where the third parties have packaged tooling with their own IP and professional services to manage cloud management for enterprises. Many of these offerings also provide SaaS management services, which are not traditionally handled with the tools discussed in this Market Guide, which are focused on IaaS and, to a lesser extent, PaaS.

Finally, traditional PaaS and emerging container-as-a-service tooling are beginning to encroach upon this area (for example, products from vendors like Apcera and Rancher Labs). These products often provide orchestrator services for an underlying mix of tools that provision and manage infrastructure (for example, vSphere or OpenStack). These target cloud- and/or container-native workloads.

Market Direction

There are over 100 tools that offer some form of cloud management functionality. Many of these tools are very good in a single area or maybe a limited number of functional areas. In the future, we will see more innovative, functionality-focused tools emerging with the visibility and governance for multicloud environments in the following areas:

  • Cost control

  • Configuration management

  • Security/compliance

  • Capacity and resource planning

There will be fewer traditional CMPs attempting to address most or all of the functional areas. Attempting to address all of the functional areas is very difficult, as it requires innovation in each area, and, in many cases, enterprises might already have selected tools in specific areas. Many vendors have tried and failed at this attempt to provide an uber CMP. Successful CMPs will be those that are able to provide best-in-class functionality in a few areas and are able to leverage an ecosystem of partners for the functional areas that their products do not address. Successful CMPs will also:

  • Provide a SaaS with on-premises option being secondary.

  • Expose or integrate with public cloud native tooling.

  • Expose all functionality via APIs.

  • Allow users to consume cloud services in any way they want.

There will continually be acquisitions in the cloud management tool area, where a company with tooling in multiple areas might acquire a single functionality tool to augment its overall toolset. Many companies will not survive because they are unable to distinguish themselves in a crowded market (see the Evidence section).

Service providers will become more prominent to help I&O teams as more enterprises have multicloud requirements and are unable to navigate the tool market. The service providers will not only provide tooling, but also assistance in key areas like process transformation.

The growth and enhancement of native public cloud tools will also have a major impact. Many enterprises will opt to use public cloud native tooling instead of cloud management tooling. Additionally, as many companies will not need to move workloads between cloud environments (i.e., become tethered to a specific cloud service for a specific workload), they will prefer very light policy/governance from a cloud management tool while using the native tools.

Another issue affecting market direction is the shifting of the foundational cloud technologies. For example, much of the cloud management tooling was built for virtualized compute, storage and networking. Such tooling enables abstracted API sets so that application and I&O personnel can interact with infrastructure in the same way across providers. With the advent of containers starting to disrupt the software development life cycle, cloud management vendors are reassessing their value proposition in light of application definitions being moved from their system to systems like container orchestrators. This has resulted in a flurry of new requirements, integrations and partnerships that must be prioritized to future-proof the need for many cloud management tools as a result of these new technology innovations. Increasingly, governance will need to be extended upstack, beyond just core IaaS. Emerging serverless offerings will cause additional disruption.

In light of these challenges, the direction of the cloud management market is in flux. This is particularly so for CMPs. Despite the overall cloud management market being healthy, it has not resulted in increased revenue for many CMP vendors. There are dozens of CMP providers, some having marquee accounts. Market consolidation continues. Given the necessity that IT enforce policies over cloud services lest they result in cost overruns and massive technical debt, we continue to see CMP functionality as a key part of the overall cloud management and governance landscape. As noted above, it is being pushed more as a governance tool or an orchestrator of orchestrators.

Market Analysis

Enterprises that tend to be successful with cloud management tooling (particularly CMPs) are those with strong central governance in place — often Type A enterprises (see Note 5). They realize early on that cloud services must have policy enforcement to reduce the risks and sprawl that inevitably come from decentralized acquisition of cloud services. They have organizational roles in place that focus on standards, service delivery and process design. They have often made the decision that they would like to treat public cloud providers as commodity infrastructure, and restrict their use of the platform-level services that would lock them into the provider. This approach works for some enterprise roles, such as I&O needing virtual machines quickly, but not for others, such as developers needing native APIs. This approach is also being challenged by the fact that public cloud providers are blending IaaS and PaaS and encouraging users to go upstack, which causes more reliance on native tools. This requires cloud management tools to allow dual functionality — in some cases, "heavy touch," where users are restricted in what they can access, and in other cases, "light touch," where users are tagged for visibility and allowed to use what they want.

Approximately 20% of large enterprises fall into the Type A enterprise category, leaving the bulk of enterprises in the Type B or C categories. For these enterprises, implementing cloud management tooling is daunting because they either don't have central governance over decentralized IT spend or they lack the roles and skills to implement new processes and standards. This continually limits the addressable market for the fuller function tools like CMPs. Many vendors have responded with capabilities to enable visibility and some management functions for cloud consumers that use the native functionality of the provider. This provides vendors with a new entry point into less mature IT organizations, with the promise to expand as new cloud projects are initiated. This is also an opportunity for third parties to assist companies in their cloud management journey, which is increasingly becoming multicloud for many enterprises.

Midsize Enterprise Perspective

Midsize enterprises — those below $100 million in revenue — often have a desire to utilize cloud services. Most do not have the resources that larger organizations have to integrate the multiple tools that are needed. Thus, they must place additional emphasis on the sourcing options.

Choose the right cloud management tool and sourcing option by clearly identifying your cloud management functionalities needed, inventorying your current tools and objectively evaluating your in-house resources. You must strongly consider third parties, integrated solutions or going solely with a public cloud vendor's native tooling.

Representative Vendors

The vendors listed in this Market Guide do not imply an exhaustive list. This section is intended to provide more understanding of the market and its offerings.

Table 1.   Representative Vendors in Cloud Management Platforms







CloudPlatform and CloudPortal Business Manager



Cloud Lifecycle Management




CloudBolt Software





Cloudsoft AMP and Cloudsoft Service Broker






Embotics vCommander

GigaSpaces Technologies






HPE Micro Focus


Cloud Service Automation



IBM Cloud Orchestrator



Microsoft Operations Management Suite

Morpheus Data





Managed OpenStack and Platform9 Managed Kubernetes

Red Hat





RightScale Cloud Management Platform






ServiceNow Cloud Management



Terraform Enterprise



vRealize Suite

See Note 6.

Source: Gartner (April 2017)

Market Recommendations

Over the next 18 months, the cloud management tool market will see more vendor consolidation, vendors leaving the market and other tooling encroaching on the domain defined by CMPs. This will make for a tough environment for I&O leaders trying to map out their cloud management strategies. Gartner offers the following recommendations:

  • Plan for multicloud computing requirements, particularly the ability to have visibility into and governance of cloud service costs and also workload and cost optimization across clouds.

  • Anticipate needing more tooling than a CMP to fully and successfully manage your multicloud services.

  • Conduct due diligence when selecting cloud management tools, as they can be difficult to replace; focus on the 11 functionalities discussed in this research, noting strategic vendor partnerships or existing tooling.

  • Target business agility and IT cost and operational efficiency use cases.

  • When evaluating tooling, evaluate vendor roadmaps based on your requirements for emerging technologies and planned use of commodity and proprietary cloud provider services.

  • Long-term viability of CMP vendors or product functionality is not assured in this market. Plan for changes and disruptions at least every two years.


This research is based on over 300 client inquiries from April 2016 to March 2017 within the cloud management area, and two Research Circle surveys conducted in 2016, the first surveying "Private versus Public Cloud Adoption" (in April 2016 with 121 IT and business leaders) and the second surveying "The Characteristics of Applications Moving to the Cloud" (in June 2016 with 145 IT and business leaders).

Among the cloud management tooling market dynamics referenced above are the following:


  • Dell acquires Enstratius.

  • CSC acquires ServiceMesh.


  • IBM acquires Gravitant.


  • Cisco acquires CliQr Technologies.

  • Citrix sells cloud management products to Accelerite.

  • CenturyLink buys ElasticBox.


  • Micro Focus acquires HPE's cloud products.

Note 1 
Gartner's Emerging Market Coverage

This Market Guide provides Gartner's early coverage of an emerging market and focuses on the market definition, rational for the market and market dynamics.

Note 2 
Multicloud Definition

Multicloud is the use of multiple cloud services in an autonomous manner (for example, specific workloads operating in different cloud environments with common tools used for aspects like governance or visibility). Multicloud could also include the rarer situation where an application traverses multiple clouds (i.e., hybrid-cloud).

Note 3 
Sampling of Vendors Providing Cloud Migration and DR Functionality

  • AppZero

  • Arcserve

  • Atadata

  • Capital Continuity

  • CloudEndure

  • CloudVelox

  • Cohesive Networks

  • Cristie Software

  • RiverMeadow Software

  • HotLink

  • RackWare

  • Racemi

  • UShareSoft

  • Veeam

  • Vision Solutions

  • Zerto

Note 4 
Sampling of Vendors Providing Capacity and Resource Planning, and/or Cost Transparency and Optimization Functionality

  • Cirba

  • Cloudability

  • CloudCheckr

  • Cloud Ctrl

  • CloudCXO

  • CloudHealth Technologies

  • Cloudyn

  • Cloud Cruiser (HPE is acquiring)

  • Krystallize Technologies

  • RISC Networks

  • Turbonomic

Note 5 
Levels of Technology Adoption in Organizations

  • Type A — Enterprises that are aggressive in technology adoption. Often such enterprises' main service is IT services.

  • Type B — Enterprises that tend to be in line with the majority of enterprises in the adoption of new technology.

  • Type C — Enterprises that tend to be conservative in technology adoption and lag behind most in the adoption of new technology.

Note 6 
Representative Vendor Selection

Vendors included in this research represent a broad section of the technology providers that provide all or a portion of the major components described in this document. They are products that can be purchased stand-alone without hardware or as professional services. Some vendors have a longer track record in the cloud management marketplace, while others have emerged using new technologies. Vendors were identified by analyst interactions in the market, as well as through external research of publications and other public sources.

Fanky Christian  Director  PT. DAYA CIPTA MANDIRI SOLUSI  Graha Utaka26  Jl. Utan Kayu Raya No.26A  Jakarta Timur, Indonesia, 13120    Telp: 62-21-2962-2097  Fax: 62-21-2962-2098  Support: 62-881-8867333    mobile: 62-812-1057533 / 0881-8857333   skype: fankych1211  web:    Data Center Solutions  - Structure Cabling System   - Restructure & Documentation Services  - Environment Monitoring System  - Data Center Maintenance Services    Cloud Solutions  - Site24x7  - Zoho Software  - VCloudpoint Zero Client  - Sangfor Hyperconvergence  - Awingu - Unified Workspace
IT Management Solutions  - Network Analyzer : Colasoft  - Management System : ManageEngine, PRTG, Nagios  - SMS Gateway : SendQuick  - Database Management : Navicat  - Chart Library : FusionCharts  - Application Builder : PHPRunner
Organizations:  Ketua DPD DKI Jakarta - APTIKNAS (Asosiasi Pengusaha TIK Nasional) 2017-2021  Waketum ASISINDO (Asosiasi System Integrator & Sekuriti Indonesia) 2017-2021  Sekretaris ACCI (Asosiasi Cloud Computing Indonesia) 2017-2021