Management as a Service (MaaS). The capability provided to the consumer includes security, policy management, authentication, disaster recovery, billing, provisioning, capacity planning, monitoring, and systems management. [Remember I cobbled this definition together, so let’s continue to refine it.]
While I try to stay away from cloud service provider and technology service provider materials as they usually provide a viewpoint which is more specific to their technology offerings and thus can be limiting in definition, I do find the IBM Common Cloud Management Platform discussed in the NIST Cloud Architecture Reference Models document to be quite comprehensive. The materials below are from that reference.
The cloud management platform is the set of tools and capabilities that provide services to the consumer. Most of the previous items were about services that were consumed. Cloud management is about providing resources to the system so that services can be consumed. The Common Cloud Management Platform (CCMP) contains a set of business and operational management focused services that must be used by Cloud Services to actually be a cloud service. The CCMP is responsible for:
- Delivering instances of Cloud Services of any category to Cloud Service Consumers
- The ongoing management of all Cloud service instances from a provider perspective
- Allowing Cloud Service Consumers to manage their Cloud Service instances in a self-service fashion
The CCMP is split into two main elements: Operational Support Services, and Business Support Services.
Business Support Systems
The Business support systems (BSS) represents the set of business-related services exposed by the CCMP dealing with clients, supporting processes such as taking orders, processing bills, and collecting payments. It includes the components used to run business operations that are client facing. The BSS provides services that either enable the cloud service provider or facilitates certain task to deliver the cloud from a business perspective. It contains the services offering management, customer management, pricing and rating, order management, entitlement management, subscriber management, general accounting, invoicing, billing, peering and settlement, contract and agreement management, opportunity to order, metering, analytics and reporting, and service offer catalog.
Besides the business aspect, there is also the technical side of cloud computing because it includes a fast provisioning of standardized IT products and services. In the reference architecture, this area is called Operational Support Services.
Operational Support Services
OSS represents the set of operational management and technical-related services exposed by the CCMP, which must be exploited by Cloud Service Developers to take advantage of the common cloud management platform. The OSS contains the following services: service delivery catalog, service template, service automation management, service request management, change and configuration management, image life cycle management, provisioning, incident and problem management, IT service level management, monitoring and event management, IT asset and license management, capacity and performance management, and virtualization management.