Cloud computing has transformed how organizations store data, develop applications, and manage IT infrastructure.
Cloud platforms' scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency enable companies to focus on their core business goals instead of managing on-premises servers.
However, organizations need to utilize various cloud-based tools to leverage the benefits of the cloud fully. This article overviews the top cloud tools across three key areas - security, management, and productivity.
Cloud Security Tools
Migrating to the cloud does not make an organization's data and applications more secure. Without proper safeguards, a public cloud environment can expose confidential data.
Cloud security tools provide capabilities to control access, protect data, and monitor for threats.
Cloudflare is a DNS service that provides DDoS mitigation, data loss prevention, and other security measures. Its global network protects against various cyberattacks, including network layer attacks, application layer attacks, and volumetric DDoS attacks.
Key features include a web application firewall, rate limiting, bot mitigation, and API gateway. Cloudflare offers a free plan as well as paid plans for advanced protection.
Zscaler is a cloud-based security platform that is a secure internet and web gateway. Regardless of location, users connect to the Zscaler cloud, which provides full security inspection across all ports and protocols.
Core capabilities include next-gen firewall, sandboxing, DLP, CASB, and browser isolation. Zscaler supports inline cloud firewalls, sandboxing, and zero-trust network access.
Trend Micro offers comprehensive cloud security solutions optimized for servers and containers. It provides consistent security across physical, virtual, and cloud environments.
Capabilities include server security, application security, container image scanning, and cloud security posture management. Trend Micro seamlessly integrates with major cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
Cloud Management Tools
The first step is migrating infrastructure, applications, and data to the cloud. Cloud management tools enable organizations to efficiently provision, govern, and optimize their cloud environments.
With the right management tools, companies can reduce cloud costs, ensure compliance, and improve performance.
- AWS CloudFormation
CloudFormation is an infrastructure as a code tool offered by Amazon Web Services. It allows users to define templates for repeatable provisioning and updating of AWS resources.
CloudFormation manages the deployment, updates, and dependencies automatically. This enables consistent and efficient management at scale. Users can leverage over 500 AWS resources via CloudFormation.
RightScale is a unified cloud management platform designed for governance and optimization. It provides cost management, security automation, compliance, infrastructure management, and cloud analytics.
RightScale offers cross-cloud visibility, policy-based governance, and automation workflows. With RightScale, organizations can adopt cloud best practices, control costs, and adhere to regulations.
Ansible is an IT automation and orchestration tool that makes deploying and managing applications simple.
It utilizes declarative programming to automate app deployment, configuration management, intra-service orchestration, and many other IT needs on cloud infrastructure. Ansible contains over 4,000 modules for interacting with various technologies and cloud providers. Its agentless architecture provides simplicity and flexibility.
Cloud Productivity Tools
The cloud enables new ways of collaborating, communicating, and getting work done. Cloud productivity suites help employees be efficient and productive when working in the cloud. These tools provide web-based office apps, communication platforms, storage solutions, and more.
- Zoho Office Suite
Zoho provides a comprehensive office suite for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more in the cloud.
Built-in collaboration allows teams to work together on files in real time. Zoho Office Suite deeply integrates with Zoho's business apps for CRM, marketing, support, and analytics. It offers much of the functionality of Microsoft 365 at a lower cost.
Evernote is a popular note-taking and document management app designed for cloud accessibility. Users can take notes, clip web content, capture screenshots, scan documents, and organize files. Evernote utilizes optical character recognition to make all content searchable. Notes sync across all devices. Evernote offers personal, professional, and business plans.
Slack transforms business communication by moving conversations out of inboxes into a unified platform. It replaces fragmented email threads with organized topic-based channels. Slack integrates with a vast ecosystem of apps for deeper workflows.
It offers robust searching, messaging, notifications, file sharing, and calling capabilities. Technical teams widely adopt Slack, although it is useful for all organizations.
Transitioning to the cloud provides immense innovation, growth, and cost-reduction opportunities.
But simply moving to the cloud does not automatically yield these benefits. Companies must leverage the most effective cloud-based tools to address security, management, and productivity needs.
The tools discussed in this article represent leading solutions in these categories from major providers like AWS, Google Cloud, Zscaler, and Slack. By proactively addressing these areas with cloud tools, organizations can achieve the full potential of cloud computing.