The terms control plane and data plane get tossed around quite a bit these days, but it seems that many have a difficult time understanding the key differences between these two terms, with the ambiguity even leading to debate amongst CCIE candidates. This is understandable since the terms are abstractions of a sort, but like many abstractions, they serve an important purpose if you can grasp the core concept.

As Peter Singer put it, "Whatever cannot be said clearly is probably not being thought clearly either." In a nutshell, the control plane is where network signaling, learning, and planning occur and the data plane is where the packets are actually moved between endpoints. This Cisco Learning Network Post comparing the control plane to planning public transportation routes and the data plane to actually moving people in buses and trains is a good reference for those looking to further conceptualize the terms.

With the concepts defined, the reason CIOs and tech teams should concern themselves with these abstractions should become a bit clearer. Now it becomes time to move past the concepts and into the realities of what to do. While the “how to's” associated with the data plane may be clear enough, how can one address the challenges of the control plane in modern IT environments that include on-premise physical servers, hypervisors, virtual machines, and various cloud solutions? Starting with a true control plane solution is the first step.

Why Morpheus Is a Control Plane Solution

As mentioned in this Cloud Computing Today Q&A with our CEO, Jeff Drazan, Morpheus is a unique solution that sits in the control plane. Jeff points out that many PaaS solutions lock users into a specific prepackaged environment. This approach can be successful as it achieves the goal of abstracting the underlying infrastructure and serves its purpose in many use cases, but oftentimes the lack of flexibility offered by these solutions can impact business.

What happens when there is a requirement to run services on a variety of platforms ranging from public cloud to on-premise servers? This is where Morpheus stands out. In a single-pane of glass, Morpheus offers users the ability to shift between platforms and provision apps in public and private clouds or on-premise servers seamlessly. This additional level of flexibility and platform agnosticism are what differentiate Morpheus from other cloud solutions. 

What that Means for Your Cloud

If you’re part of a modern IT organization, it’s likely that cloud adaptation in your corporate environment will only continue to grow in the near future. In fact, Gartner projects that the public cloud services market will grow 18 % to $246.8 billion in 2017.  The continued adoption of cloud services in your organization probably won’t be one clean transition from on-premise to one specific cloud-based infrastructure, such a solution is too simplistic for most environments (and that’d make your job way too easy, right?).

On the contrary, you’ll probably face a transition where apps are run in multiple environments and cloud adoption for a given solution means another environment to manage.

These high-paced and varied environments are exactly the instances where Morpheus shines. Using a simple yet powerful GUI, users can provision applications, databases, and other app stack components in seconds.  

Why that Makes Morpheus the Perfect CMP

Because Morpheus resides in the control plane, the Morpheus Control Panel is uniquely capable of mitigating many of the complexities of life in the cloud. If you have ever been tasked with migrating an application from an on-premise server or vice versa, you’ll appreciate the fact that Morpheus can handle the move in minutes.

Coupling this flexibility and ease of use with built-in monitoring, logging, access and role management, a robust API and CLI, and backup & recovery solution make Morpheus the ideal CMP for a wide variety of use cases. Built from the ground up to solve real world business problems, Morpheus comes ready to integrate with any aspect of your application stack from day one.

All these features come together elegantly to make Morpheus the premier cloud management platform and a truly holistic solution. Contact us today to see what Morpheus can do for you.