Cloud Computing Creates Monitoring Challenges

 In Cloud

Cloud eliminates many IT operations processes, but one thing doesn’t change whether you run your workloads in the cloud or in your data center. You need the ability to monitor your environments to make sure they’re up and providing the performance you need.

In the data center, monitoring is relatively straightforward. You have direct access to the machines running your applications as well as the wires connecting them. You’re able to use network-monitoring tools that have access to routers and switches.

When it comes to monitoring applications in the cloud, however, your visibility is greatly restricted. You don’t have direct access to the underlying hardware. You may not even have direct access to all associated log files. The cloud vendor controls what you’re able to see.

Cloud Visibility Varies With Cloud Models

The visibility limitations vary depending on which cloud model you use.

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the cloud provider’s responsibility is limited to the physical devices and the hypervisor on the server. As a result, you’ll likely have access to tools and logs relating to the network, operating system, containers, middleware, and applications. However, you won’t have access to virtual switch data or the hypervisor. In addition, your choice of tools and your access will be constrained by the capabilities of the cloud and the policies of the cloud provider.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) increases the cloud provider’s responsibility and restricts your visibility to the applications you run and the data they use. You won’t be able to monitor the underlying operating system and may have limited visibility into databases, middleware, and other components.

With Software as a Service (SaaS), the only aspect of your IT that’s truly “yours” and that you’re able to examine is the data. You can’t see anything about the network or the underlying infrastructure, and even your access to performance data is limited to whatever the SaaS vendor exposes.

Coping With Limited Cloud Visibility

These limitations mean that unless you’re running a private cloud, where you act as the cloud provider as well as the cloud user, you have to think about developing new approaches to monitoring your environment’s performance, stability, and security.

In private cloud, you can continue to use your application performance monitoring and IT infrastructure monitoring tools, along with network performance monitoring and diagnostics. These tools are not applicable to SaaS and are limited in their effectiveness in monitoring the other cloud models. You may need to use new methods, such as synthetic monitoring, or focus on endpoint monitoring, to gain a picture of your environment’s behavior.

How have you adapted your monitoring process to cope with the cloud’s blind spots? Prescient Solutions cloud services help ensure you don’t lose sight of your infrastructure when it migrates to the cloud. Contact us to learn more.

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