Managing and Monitoring the Cloud

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For an organization to have more control over their cloud-based solutions, it is essential that they monitor and measure the activities happening on the cloud. This holds true for the service providers especially when they are catering to a large number of clients.

Monitoring and managing the cloud serves two purposes.

[1] Uninterrupted services to the customers that will earn credibility for the service provider in the industry; this will also earn the loyalty of the customers and more business flowing in.

[2] It helps the IT operations manager to have a consolidated view of the network and its performance. In case of network outage or application error, it also helps find out the root cause quickly and work on the solutions.

The network, data center and related infrastructure, applications & services, traffic and dependencies are the vital components of a cloud. Monitoring and managing all of these will ensure smoother operations and ceaseless service. Below is a brief on all of these things.

Network Performance Management helps IT to get real-time insights into internal networks and their performance. This prevents network failure issues by remotely analyzing the strength of the network and the load on connected networks. Based on the analysis data, the IT operations team can do load shedding and route the traffic to other connected networks.

Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) came into limelight last year when Gartner predicted a 60 percent market penetration of DCIM by 2014. Increased power and density, data center consolidation, virtualization and cloud computing will be the major drivers to consider & implement DCIM. DCIM provides a dynamic representation of the data center infrastructure in order to monitor and analyze performance and energy usage. This helps organizations to plan for space, cooling and energy capacity requirements in addition to other traditional IT operations.

Application monitoring is of high importance especially when it caters to millions of consumers directly. When the service provider has hosted more than one application on the cloud for the public, it becomes essential for the IT administrator to have a holistic view of all the apps running at a time, their performance and response rate to individual users in real time.

Network traffic management is essential to understand the traffic to individual applications or services that are hosted on the cloud. Latency is a killer if in case it is an e-commerce based application or service. Popular research reports from Amazon and Aberdeen group have proved that every 100 millisecond to one second of latent period decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, overall page views by 11 percent and drops the sales by 1 percent in that particular hour. Managing traffic to the applications helps reduce the downtime and latency by offloading servers and processing capacity and streamlining the load.

Managing dependencies like physical and virtual storage devices, client database and backups are very important to take swift actions in case of emergencies. By managing dependencies, the IT operations team can understand the issues that arise through dependencies and calculate event correlation or possible chain reactions. This also helps the IT team to do root cause analysis and periodic operational reporting to the senior management.