End-to-end cloud management using apiculus for Cloudstack-powered clouds

For managing a public cloud service, there are many factors that need to be considered in order to offer subscribers a complete solution. Subscribers of a cloud service look towards self-fulfilment and self-service and it has become imperative for cloud service providers to build an all inclusive service that provides effective operations management, market strategy, usage monitoring, tracking and technical support. Apache CloudStack based clouds have a distinct advantage as this orchestration platform is flexible, robust and offers automation for most of the virtualisation tasks and enables seamless operation of the entire cloud infrastructure. Other than this, for managing the entire cloud infrastructure from a business perspective, there is a need for a cloud management platform that can not only aid the underlying layers with the day-to-day operations, but also cover the entire spectrum of business activities such as subscriber management, account management, billing, reporting, marketing etc. This is exactly where apiculus – a cloud management platform can help.

Let’s take a look at how Apache CloudStack powered clouds can make use of a complete cloud management solution like apiculus to manage their cloud services better.

CloudStack based clouds have a distinct advantage when it comes to cloud operations management.

CloudStack is one of the leading open source orchestration platforms used by many of the world’s largest public clouds. It supports multi-hypervisor, multi-tenant, high availability cloud infrastructure and provides automation for the creation, provisioning and configuration of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) components. Being hypervisor agnostic, it supports VMware, Oracle VM, Xenserver, KVM and Xen Cloud Platform. Apart from all this, it also presents a range of APIs that allow CloudStack based clouds to integrate with other platforms to orchestrate the non-technical functions of service delivery. This orchestration layer is in itself very robust and forms a solid foundation to base your cloud on.

apiculus plays an important role in managing a public cloud, and acts as an experiential layer to accommodate all the business and monetisation functions.

Who is apiculus for?

apiculus is designed for cloud service providers who wish to extend the Apache CloudStack’s technical capabilities into a customer engagement context and operate a high-performance cloud business. It works with Apache CloudStack and builds a business context on top of physical and virtual infrastructure.

Watch this video to get a quick look at what you can do using apiculus.

Subscriber account management

apiculus completely captures subscriber journeys throughout their lifecycle. It keeps track of customer’s subscription records, payments, compliance, activities, invoices etc. It also allows service providers to restrict, disable or terminate accounts based on various end-of-life criteria. Further, it also includes enhanced security features like 2-factor authentication and role based access for technical, operational and financial actions.

Inventory Management

Service providers can use apiculus effectively to create a diverse portfolio using Apache CloudStack’s compute, disk, network and system offerings. IaaS, PaaS and XaaS services can be configured and monetised in a pay as you go subscription model. In addition to owned cloud resources, apiculus also supports multi-cloud environments where service providers can resell global public clouds such as AWS, GCP and Azure in their local geographies.

Subscription management

By using apiculus, service providers can extend the apache cloudStack offerings as a subscribable plan. Payment plans can be defined as prepaid or postpaid. Subscribers can also modify the subscriptions by either upgrading or downgrading the underlying resources.

Billing management

Geared towards cloud utilization and modelled around IaaS, PaaS and SaaS billing patterns, the apiculus billing management systems enables subscribers to choose how to consume and pay for the resources. Subscribers also have the flexibility to set up billing frequencies with options for hourly, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly billing. Users can also set up quotas and credit limits. Invoices and monthly account statements can also be easily generated.

Support management

apiculus extends the underlying OTRS functionalities to provide support and customer operations management modules. Subscribers can create tickets without leaving the platform and also tag it down to the exact resource. Detailed activity logs can also be viewed and the support team can also define and configure their SLAs by using the OTRS administration backend.

Cloud operations management

apiculus acts as a single touchpoint service management portal. For CloudStack resources, apiculus acts as a UI wrap that relays all supported underlying actions. For resource types that are not owned by the service provider, like multi-cloud, backup suite, DNS management etc., apiculus allows subscribers to perform the most common actions from the apiculus platform interface for example, starting or stopping an AWS instance or initiating a backup job or creating a DNS record. apiculus also uses a combination of data from Apache CloudStack, the underlying hypervisor and the Zabbix monitoring software to give relevant reports to subscribers as well as providers. It also has custom reports which can be configured during deployment at the service provider’s premises.

Advanced monitoring and autoscale extension

apiculus also ships with an advanced monitoring and autoscale execution suite that allows customers to create automation workflows on virtual machines. Historical virtual machine monitoring allows for multiple visualisations and date range selections. The autoscale extension allows customers to configure time-based actions to be automated. It also supports event based automation in case of unpredictable workloads. For example, customers can define triggers on CPU and RAM utilisation and configure autoscale to execute up or down based on threshold breaches.

Marketing enablement

apiculus ships with native marketing features that allow you to run discounts using vouchers. You can also activate your local sales channels and partners by onboarding them as resellers. Not only that, you can also integrate your marketing intelligence tools like Google analytics, Amplitude, Heap, HubSpot and Drift, and the likes.

apiculus is focused on enabling cloud service providers to not only manage their cloud from a single pane of glass, but also includes built in business functions and integrations to help your business to grow.

For more information on how apiculus can help better manage your CloudStack powered cloud, request a demo here! You can also join us for an interactive webinar on ‘Supercharge your Cloudstack-powered cloud with apiculus’ by filling this registration form and booking your seat!

Kshitish Purohit

Kshitish is a ‘startup expert’ and has been involved with early stage startups, seeing various phases of growth, for more than 15 years. A specialist in Product Management, User Experience, Technology and Product Growth/Strategy, Kshitish is a seasoned entrepreneur with deep expertise in building enterprise products and horizontal/vertical SaaS. Kshitish did his PG in Product Design from NID, Ahmedabad.

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