Forrester Research has coined the term “unmanaged clouds.” It describes the phenomenon of IT leaders who are abdicating responsibility for managing their cloud resources to the cloud service providers. But no matter where your technology is, on-premise or in the cloud, it all affects the user experience. As more and more of your applications find homes in the cloud, it’s dangerous to assume that performance there will be flawless.
But no matter where your technology is, on-premise or in the cloud, it all affects the user experience. As more and more of your applications find homes in the cloud, it’s dangerous to assume that performance there will be flawless.
The truth is, you’re dealing with an entity that by nature is nebulous. Given this reality, you need to take a rigorous approach to cloud-based infrastructure management. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you get optimal performance and return on investment in the cloud.
Use a Single, Comprehensive Monitoring Solution
Whether your technology is on-premise, hybrid or in the cloud, you need to use one tool to monitor all of it.
Such a unified approach not only provides consistency but is also easier on system administrators. After all, they’re busy, and it takes time to ramp up the learning curves of multiple tools. Also, it can be a cumbersome task to marry the data from one tool to the next and ensure it’s presented in a coherent way. Finally, when you loosely link a group of monitoring solutions, the missing links inevitably threaten the user experience. Today, no company can afford to have unproductive employees or unhappy customers.
Since you can only monitor the cloud from the cloud, you will need a cloud-based monitoring tool that also can oversee your on-premise servers, storage, SAN and applications.
Monitor Throughout the Contract
If you want to keep service providers honest, you cannot rely on them to watch themselves. You need a vendor-agnostic tool that enables you to validate consumption and performance, ensuring you receive the value the cloud provider promised in your SLA.
When they are doing an initial trial of cloud service providers, many IT managers understand the importance of monitoring the performance of cloud providers. The problem they run into, however, is assuming that the performance they receive during the trial will remain constant. They do not anticipate, for example, that it will degrade six months into the contract. But in the world of technology, change is rampant and rapid. As your cloud provider becomes more popular and adds more customers, I/OPS, for example, may decline. So, to ensure your vendor meets their SLA, you have to keep your eye on their performance at all times.
If you have your own monitoring data at your fingertips that monitors each cloud service provider the same way, it enables you to make an objective decision at the end of the contract as to whether to continue with a vendor or move your assets. If you’re working with several cloud providers and there’s a problem, you can shift to one of those that offers superior service.
Compare Cloud vs. Internal Performance
Before moving applications to the cloud, you should have measured your data center’s performance on them. This data becomes your benchmark for cloud performance, enabling you to determine if it’s improving or degrading versus what users have come to expect.
By monitoring your entire infrastructure in this consistent way, you’ll also have the data you need to forecast for future technology needs and to allocate resources in an optimal way. If business demands increase or decrease, you can adjust as necessary, making sure that you don’t over-provision or fail to serve your end users’ needs. In this way, you’ll be able to achieve the best return on technology.