Comparing Clouds: “Day 2” Management Operations

Richard Seroter's Architecture Musings

So far in this blog series, I’ve taken a look at how to provision and scale servers using five leading cloud providers. Now, I want to dig into support for “Day 2 operations” like troubleshooting, reactive or proactive maintenance, billing, backup/restore, auditing, and more. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to manage (long-lived) running instances at each provider and see what capabilities exist to help teams manage at scale. For each provider, I’ll assess instance management, fleet management, and account management.

There might be a few reasons you don’t care a lot about the native operational support capabilities in your cloud of choice. For instance:

  • You rely on configuration management solutions for steady-state. Fair enough. If your organization relies on great tools like Ansible, Chef or CFEngine, then you already have a consistent way to manage a fleet of servers and avoid configuration drift.
  • You use “immutable servers.”

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