Today, enterprises are increasingly moving their operations and infrastructure to cloud. Cloud computing reduces the infrastructure costs along with bringing more agility and efficiency to organizational processes. To ensure high-availability, scalability, and success of cloud operation, it is important to have a planned and effective cloud monitoring strategy in place.
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An effective cloud monitoring strategy helps boost the performance of your cloud infrastructure and operations as well as proactively maintain its health. However, when it comes to implementing cloud monitoring, there are several challenges that enterprises face in cloud infrastructure monitoring, such as:
- Difficulty monitoring compared to on-premise infrastructure due to complicated architectures of the cloud.
- Lack of complete access to the infrastructure
- No guarantee of direct visibility of infrastructure components
- Challenges in performing load testing on a web-scale compared to enterprise load testing due to unlimited and unpredictable web-traffic
- Lack of end-to-end user experience testing due to distributed end-users across the globe
- Difficulty in monitoring individual tenant performance in a multi-tenant architecture
Due to these challenges, it is important to ensure effective cloud monitoring since it will help gain insights into unexpected IT failures, security threats, outages, or even system damages. There are many cloud monitoring and performance management tools and platforms available in the market that enable flexible and scalable cloud environment. However, apart from tools, there some guided practices that ensure effective cloud monitoring and management:
Here in this blog, we will discuss best practices that you can follow for effective cloud monitoring.
1. Monitor on-premises and cloud applications using a single platform
You must utilize your existing infrastructure with cloud infrastructure in a unified way to optimize outcomes. With the uniform protocols, the monitoring platform should be able to combine the metrics from the cloud platform’s API and existing infrastructure. It is important to get normalized data from the cloud together with traditional metric, flow, and log data from your existing business.
With uniform data, it is easy to monitor, alert, and report on the data regardless of the source, making the correlation of problems much easier. You can have complete visibility over your network and applications when you have uniformity across whatever objects, data, and device you are monitoring.
2. Centralize metrics, flows, logs, and monitoring data for a complete view
It is essential to centralize your data while monitoring from different cloud providers, especially in a multi-vendor network environment. Centralizing data enable a complete data visualization and superior analytics. With a centralized monitoring platform, you can also turn different kinds of data into uniform metrics.
These uniform metrics help compare data points related to an event with other data points. It is very hard to have only one data point to rely on when you are transitioning to the cloud. Your organization needs to have a clear picture with integrated metrics, flows, and logs to get while transitioning to the cloud.
3. Keep an eye on cloud resource consumption
It is not enough to simply measure cloud service availability. Organizations must measure the consumption level alongside cloud service access on the rest of the infrastructure. Billing charges are unique metrics obtained by measuring KPIs used for billings. It provides a record of total estimated monthly charges accrued for the current billing period. These metrics are required to keep the costs under control and provide early warning if estimates differ from reality.
4. Don’t rely on only one cloud service provider
Using services from more than one cloud service vendors provides advantages in terms of security, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and ensuring that it runs 24 hours a day. If all required resources powering your website are on one cloud, a single DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services) attack can easily bring down your business. However, with the multi-vendor approach, you can lower the risk of DDoS by putting your resources on multiple clouds. You can explore different cloud providers to find the best match for each of your business functionality.
If you lock yourself with one cloud vendor, it is very expensive and time consuming to move your system anywhere else. You can avoid this vendor lock-in risk with multi-cloud vendors. You can also diversify your data by putting it in more than one cloud to get an advantage of accurate service for the precise function.
5. Consider the end-user experience for monitoring
Monitoring is more valuable when your cloud monitoring platform synchronizes with your end user experience tool to get the exact idea of your end-user interaction. It provides refined, thorough, and precise response times of user interaction with an application on the cloud. The adapter combines network utilization metrics with other metrics to give a clear picture of digital infrastructure performance. Organizations can use such adapters to get alerts when a user experiences have a slow response time for a critical application while analyzing infrastructure metric, flow, and log data at the same time.
6. Run regular tests on your system
An automated approach is important to monitor key transactions more frequently to identify performance degradation signs earlier. To increase the reliability and dependability of your cloud infrastructure, you need to run regular tests and simulations, especially when you operate in the multi-cloud environment.
Periodic tests can help you evaluate how your organization will react in case of an unexpected outage. Sometimes due to unforeseen scenarios, you may see some violations, which may not affect system workflow, but still, your system categorizes it as a threat being a false negative. You can configure the system for violations per time range to eliminate such metrics. For example, you can continuously monitor the response time metric and set the threshold to trigger a response time violation. Also, configure the system for a number of such violations per particular period, e.g. an hour, to eliminate false positives. You can gain visibility and signs of any failure and outage before it occurs.
Monitoring is a mandatory activity for any organization leveraging the cloud in terms of security and performance. By following the above cloud-monitoring practices, you will be able to choose the right application performance monitoring solution to find a solution for mitigating risks while getting the benefits of clouds. You will always have access to the information you need to successfully migrate your existing applications, troubleshoot your applications and infrastructure in the cloud, and continue improving your business with modern monitoring solutions.
While you are busy making your cloud monitoring effective, don’t forget to consider above industry best practices.
eInfochips’ Cloud & DevOps consulting service include cloud enablement and consulting services to sustenance and cloud management services. We provide practice references to improve scalability, reliability, and availability of your cloud infrastructure. Check out our whitepaper on Applying DevOps Strategy to Manage Cloud Infrastructure.