Monitoring is a skill, not a full-time job. In today’s world of cloud-based architectures that are implemented through DevOps projects, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and operations staff must collectively define an effective cloud monitoring strategy. Such a strategy should focus on identifying when service-level objectives (SLOs) are not being met, likely negatively affecting the user experience.
Cloud management vendor CloudCheckr surveyed 304 cloud decision-makers and found that more than half of their IT infrastructures were in the cloud – compared with 47% in 2020. Only 31% of IT professionals said they were successfully optimizing and monitoring public cloud costs today, despite having 64% of their IT assets running in the public cloud within five years.
To ensure performance optimization and security, it is imperative to have complete visibility into the environment. Hybrid and multi-cloud monitoring, however, can prove considerably more complicated, as they have the potential to jeopardize infrastructure performance, impede productivity, and negatively impact the end user experience. In the event that those performance problems impact customers, a crisis can occur. The pandemic of digital expectations has left consumers with no patience for digital disappointments, according to a survey this year by app performance vendor AppDynamics. 76% of consumers said their expectations for digital services are higher now than just a few years ago.
These factors make it imperative that organizations be able to monitor what’s happening across their cloud environment. This means finding the right cloud monitoring tools.
What is cloud monitoring?
Public cloud monitoring is becoming increasingly popular as public cloud environments expand, increasing the need for network management tools to help organizations gain visibility into the performance and stability of their cloud-based infrastructure, services, applications, and connectivity.
Monitoring tools for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments collect data from the deployments across the different clouds and report it back to IT teams as alerts and reports. Some of these reports are automatically generated and display the information graphically, which is more digestible and easy for IT pros to understand.
Monitoring tools for cloud networks can provide insights into every layer and aspect of the environment – from databases and systems running on the cloud to application performance and the links between the cloud and the enterprise.
Getting a clear understanding of how workloads are distributed across hybrid or multi-cloud environments can be challenging. In many cases, resources are distributed ad hoc to multiple cloud environments.
IT staff can gain greater insight into the performance of individual assets and how operations are running at an enterprise level through the integration of data collected across these complex environments. This can benefit real-time analysis, ongoing planning, and cost management. An in-depth cloud network monitoring program can also provide the answers to the following questions:
Resources have been provisioned properly by the organization?
● Is there a bottleneck somewhere?
● Is it possible to simplify the implementation?
● How does cloud monitoring work?
Various network monitoring tools are designed to detect issues, such as security breaches, errors and performance degradation, as well as downed systems and services. The tools track and transmit data about assets’ status and activity.
These tools are used by IT organizations to perform several different tasks Among them is the tracking of cloud data from different regions, spanning different cloud environments. More cloud monitoring services are integrating feeds from different tools and providers.
Cloud monitoring has other security benefits as well, such as looking for anomalies that may indicate a potential breach and alerting IT staff. These services are also important for supporting regulatory compliance by providing the auditing data that is necessary..
The different types of cloud monitoring tools
Monitoring public clouds is a real challenge. Increasingly, IT teams have a variety of choices when it comes to monitoring public cloud environments due to the proliferation of on-demand deployments.
● There are three general categories of services offered by suppliers:
● Offers that are proprietary to the public cloud providers;
● Tools from third-party vendors for monitoring networks and applications; and
● Managed cloud services are provided by cloud providers.
IT organizations can use these services to establish a baseline perspective on environmental health, and for fine-tuning. IT organizations can also use the metrics to improve provisioning, and to manage costs more effectively.
What are the benefits of leveraging cloud monitoring tools? With cloud monitoring:
- Scaling for increased activity is seamless and works in organizations of any size
- Dedicated tools (and hardware) are maintained by the host
- Tools are used across several types of devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and phones, so your organization can monitor apps from any location
- Installation is simple because infrastructure and configurations are already in place
- Your system doesn’t suffer interruptions when local problems emerge, because resources aren’t part of your organization’s servers and workstations
- Subscription-based solutions can keep your costs low
Best practices for cloud monitoring
Enterprises must address the challenge of gaining full visibility into their complex multi-cloud environments in order to establish solid cloud monitoring practices. This can be accomplished by integrating data from multiple monitoring sources that are pulled from multiple cloud environments.
It is crucial for IT professionals to have a unified approach by using a tool capable of ingesting data from multiple sources. Whether developed internally or through a third party, the tool should report information in a consumable format and not just spit out numbers that are hard to understand.
In order to provide meaningful cloud monitoring, all stakeholders need to collaborate, including application developers who need feedback on potential performance or security issues. Role-based access control must also be incorporated in the process, so that the appropriate individual or group has administrative rights.
It is important to constantly monitor any cloud environment both from a security and performance standpoint. When a hybrid or multi-cloud environment has more than one tenant, a consistent and constant cloud monitoring strategy is necessary.
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