Don’t Give Up on Network Monitoring in the Cloud

 In Network

Network monitoring for security and performance is vital, even when infrastructure is in the cloud. Issues can arise both between external systems and the cloud, and between systems within the cloud.

In the data center, network monitoring relies on tools that capture and filter traffic, examining packets before passing them on. This lets operations teams know who is in the network, where they’re connecting from, and the ports that are open to connections. Normal network behavior is easily distinguished from abnormal behavior and unexpected spikes. Infrastructure changes are slow and methodically planned, allowing traffic capturing devices to be placed as the network changes. But in the cloud, businesses don’t have direct access to the network and need to rely on information passed to them by the cloud provider.

Network Monitoring in Microsoft Azure

In Microsoft Azure, the network monitoring challenge can be addressed with Traffic Analytics, which leverages information captured in network security group flow logs. This data is aggregated and consolidated based on source IP, destination IP, and the port and protocol used. The data presented in Traffic Analytics allows businesses to address three concerns:

1. Network visibility.

With traffic analytics, businesses can review traffic flows between networks and applications, as well as identify the applications and protocols on the network.

2. Network security.

Traffic analytics identifies flows between virtual machines, ports open to the public internet, applications accessing the internet, and unusual behavior patterns.

3. Network performance.

Inbound and outbound flows, application access patterns, and hotspots and bottlenecks can be identified and addressed through capacity planning.

With the data presented in Traffic Analytics, businesses can monitor:

Traffic hotspots.

Data helps you spot the hosts, subnets, and virtual networks that process the most traffic; which host pairs converse the most; and which protocols are most heavily used. These can be further reviewed to make sure it’s normal usage and the applications are allowed.

Traffic distribution.

It isn’t just the volume of traffic that matters; where it’s coming from is also important. Traffic Analytics identifies the biggest generators of traffic by location and by virtual network. Among other uses, this helps ensure load balancers are working as expected.

Internet connectivity.

Traffic analytics reports which ports are open and receiving connections from the public internet, helping identify malicious usage.

The use of Traffic Analytics in Azure provides the kind of visibility into cloud networks teams are used to in their data centers, offering the same ability to monitor, manage, and prevent network issues from impacting end users.

Prescient Solutions network services ensure networks provide secure connectivity to IT resources on premises and in the cloud. Contact us to learn more about how Prescient Solutions IT consulting services and managed services help businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg gain visibility into their networks and all their IT needs.

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