7 Tips for Transitioning to Cloud and Monitoring Hybrid Infrastructure

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7 Tips for Transitioning to Cloud and Monitoring Hybrid Infrastructure

Enterprises typically have large and complex critical infrastructures that seem to be constantly undergoing many architectural shifts, including migrations to the cloud. For these organizations, comprehensive monitoring of their entire environment is a must, but it can be costly. If it's done wrong, it can increase the risk of downtime and result in the loss of revenue and employee and/or consumer confidence. Here are seven tips for setting a comprehensive strategy when transitioning infrastructure to the cloud and for ongoing monitoring of the complete environment, from bare metal to cloud to hybrid. This eWEEK slide show is based on industry information from Steve Francis, founder and chief evangelist at LogicMonitor, which provides software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based application monitoring for cloud apps.

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Obtain an Understanding of Cloud Provider Performance

As companies migrate to the cloud, they are looking for ways to optimize their cloud investments and minimize the impact on their businesses. Having accurate knowledge of your providers' network performance is extremely important in understanding why and when network errors may occur and in being able to proactively prevent downtime of critical applications and processes. Many monitoring solutions merely report on cloud provider performance based on data that the provider chooses to disclose, and it may not be 100 percent accurate.

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Get Alerts Before Hitting Service Limit Capacity, Scheduled Maintenance

As enterprises migrate to cloud architectures, they must monitor their service limit capacity and their providers' scheduled maintenance to ensure that business-critical applications experience little or no downtime. With many solutions, alerts are sent once the threshold has been met, if at all, and at that point action has to be taken. This can take valuable time. For scheduled maintenance, if an alert doesn't come until a server is taken offline or when downtime occurs, it's too late to be proactive. Find a solution that monitors and sends alerts before an issue occurs. 

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Initiate Enhanced Visibility Into Cloud Resources, Application Performance

Comprehensive visibility into cloud resources and application performance is imperative to troubleshooting quickly.  Many solutions offer at-a-glance reporting on the health of cloud resources, but that typically doesn't extend to application performance metrics, operating system-level metrics or monitoring for more traditional data center device types. Enhanced visibility into cloud and hybrid environments will result in more control during cloud migrations. In this spirit, enterprises should look for a monitoring solution that provides automated monitoring and alerting for any of the data center components available today.

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Correlate Events and Performance Changes

Service configuration changes can make or break an application. Knowing what these changes are and when they happen in the context of application performance will reduce issue-to-resolution time. By overlaying events against performance graphs as they occur, users can immediately identify the root cause of a performance issue and set about its repair. Enterprises should look for solutions that automate correlation of events against performance changes to achieve a more tactical approach to IT management. 

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Increase Predictability by Using Historical Data to Forecast the Future

It is often said that we can tell the future by what we have seen in the past. This is also applicable to network performance data and patterns. It is absolutely critical to use a monitoring solution that will track and provide information on historical data in order to stay agile and also optimize costs moving forward. Enterprises should look for solutions that not only report on real-time data, but also track and report on historical data and patterns.

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Evaluate Solutions That Won't Tax Existing IT Environments

Organizations eager to rapidly scale up their operations should beware that manually building out monitoring capabilities could lead to delays in growth. With this in mind, evaluate solutions that deploy quickly and automatically. SaaS-based solutions require less configuration and ongoing maintenance than on premises-based options, which require significant heavy lifting and ongoing development resources.

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Isolate Monitoring From Systems Being Monitored

When facing an outage situation, IT teams need to be able to access their monitoring tool to assess the situation and help restore operations. If the monitoring solution is premises-based, it can't alert the staff of an outage. Conversely, SaaS solutions do not rely on local hardware, and monitoring data is processed and stored offsite. Moreover, consider enterprise-class monitoring solutions wherein data from all collection methods can be alerted on, displayed on rich, ideally customizable dashboards, and disseminated through detailed reports.

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In Summary …

The technical frameworks supporting today's organizations are dynamic and distributed, yet monitoring platforms do provide organizations with a number of strategic advantages. Moreover, as IT infrastructure continues to evolve and scale at an exponential pace, enterprise organizations undoubtedly need more visibility than ever before into today's dynamic infrastructures, coupled with flexible monitoring solutions that can ultimately keep up with the demands of the modern enterprise.

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