Life changed for programmers and operations teams when the cloud arrived. Instead of waiting weeks, months, and sometimes more than a year for new hardware to be purchased and provisioned, the cloud of servers makes it possible to get a new idea up and running in seconds with just a click or three.
Alas, every great leap forward usually comes with some backsliding. Now that anyone can start up a server in seconds, everyone is doing just that. The number of machines is proliferating and our jobs are now dominated by the task of herding the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of machines. Where we once could keep everything straight with a clipboard or a checklist in a Word or Excel document, now we need serious tools to juggle everything.
Programmers have solved this challenge as they solve everything: by creating another layer of code that stores bits in another set of tables in another database. In this case, the code is a hydra-headed tool sometimes called hybrid cloud manager that can connect to all of the clouds out there, create and destroy machines on its own, and at the same time fill its own database tables with lists of the machines and where they are.
These so-called hybrid cloud management tools keep track of our machines and make it possible to orchestrate hundreds or thousands of instances so the work gets done by the cheapest, fastest, and best-configured option. They also make it possible to blend multiple public clouds with in-house servers to lower overall costs, improve security, enhance redundancy, and support world-wide operations.