In my previous blogs in this four-part blog series I discussed performance management from the deployment perspective and the Cloud consumer view. The third perspective is that of the provider of the cloud service – whether it is the public cloud provider or the private cloud provider.
Start with Part One: Performance Management Challenges for Cloud-Hosted Services
Start with Part Two: Performance Management from the Cloud: The Deployment Perspective
Start with Part Three: Performance Management of the Cloud: The Cloud Consumer View
If you are the IT manager of a cloud service provider, the cloud itself is a service that that you are delivering to users. Your primary concern is to make sure that users of the cloud service are happy. Cloud service users must be able to login at any time, provision new instances as required, be able to start and stop instances and deploy applications in these instances.
For applications deployed in your cloud infrastructure, the performance of these applications should match the performance they would have had if they had been hosted on-premise, on physical machines.
Performance management FOR the cloud helps you, the cloud provider, deliver better cloud performance, maximum service availability, and superior customer satisfaction. The performance management system also helps you right-size your infrastructure, so that you can achieve the necessary returns for your investment in the cloud infrastructure.
To manage your cloud infrastructure, look for a performance management solution with the following characteristics:
Monitors the cloud infrastructure end-to-end
Typically, cloud infrastructures are built on a virtualization platform (e.g., VMware vSphere, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V). There are specialized applications that handle security (e.g., VMware vShield), web applications that enable user self-service and the cloud platform (e.g., VMware vCloud, Citrix CloudStack) that powers your cloud service.
The underlying infrastructure components including Active Directory, SAN, network equipment, etc. also need to be monitored as a failure of any of these components can also impact the cloud service. A performance management solution for the cloud should be capable of handling all of these infrastructure tiers from a central console.
Scalability, to ensure that the management solution can handle the workload as your infrastructure grows, is another key requirement.
A key driving factor for cloud computing is agility – the ability to power-up and power-down instances rapidly, on-demand. To achieve the kind of agility that customers expect, cloud service providers must make their operations fully automated. This covers the management system as well.
When a new cloud instance is provisioned, it should be automatically added to the management system for monitoring. Agent-based or agentless monitoring should be enabled. If required, agents should be installed on the cloud instances automatically. Touch-free provisioning and configuration of the management system is a very key requirement. Likewise, once provisioning and configuration of the monitoring has been done, alerts generated from the management system should be automatically handled.
To support this level of automation, the management system should support open interfaces that can be integrated with toolsets already being used by the cloud service provider. For instance, cloud service providers are already using runbook automation tools like Dynamic Ops, HP Orchestration and others. The performance management system should offer APIs (application programming interfaces) or CLIs (Command Line Interfaces) to allow its integration with the existing automation/orchestration tools.
For alert management, service providers often use trouble ticketing systems such as HEAT, BMC Remedy, and others. The management system must support interfaces that allow trouble tickets to be automatically opened when a problem is detected and automatically closed when a problem is fixed.
Allows cloud service providers to offer monitoring
The right performance management system will not only allow you to oversee the operation of your cloud service, but it can also allow you - the cloud service provider - to offer monitoring as a value-added service to your customers. For this purpose, the management system should support multi-tenancy – i.e., the same management platform can be used to monitor networks, servers and applications for multiple enterprise customers.
In this case, each customer gets a personalized login and when he/she logs into the management system, they only get to see the parts of the infrastructure that they have been configured to access and get reports for. The monitoring service can offer monitoring of the cloud instances that the customer is using. Advanced monitoring can also be offered to customers, providing them in-depth insight into applications like databases, web servers, Java applications, etc. that customers are hosting in the cloud.
The key benefits to service providers from a management solution that monitors the cloud infrastructure are:
- Ensuring that the performance of the cloud infrastructure meets the expectation of users.
- Facilitates effective provisioning of the cloud infrastructure to deliver the expected ROI without compromising on performance.
- Enables the cloud service provider to provide performance metrics of the cloud as a value-added service to their customers.
In summary, cloud performance management needs to be considered from three different perspectives, each of which has unique needs. A comprehensive approach needs to incorporate performance management FROM the cloud, OF the cloud and FOR the cloud. This will provide IT operations management with a new best practice for cloud performance management via a much more holistic view into every tier of the cloud infrastructure than traditional silo-based approaches provide.
This blog is the final in a series of four on cloud management.
Srinivas Ramanathan is CEO and Founder of eG Innovations.
Over the last few decades, IT departments have decreased budgets in part because of recession. As a result, they have are being asked to do more with less. The increase in work has amplified the need for automation ...
Many variables must align for optimum APM, and security is certainly among them. I offer the following APM predictions for 2020, which revolve around the reality that we will definitely begin to see much deeper integration of WAN technology on the security front. Look for this integration to take shape in the following ways ...
When it comes to growing a successful company, research shows it isn't about getting the most out of employees, but delivering an experience that empowers them to be and do their best. And according to Priming a New Era of Digital Wellness, a new study conducted by Quartz Insights in partnership with Citrix Systems, technology is the secret to doing so ...
Only 11% of website decision-makers feel that they have complete insight into the scripts that they use on their websites. However, industry estimates state that about 70% of the code on a website comes from a third-party library or service. Research highlights a clear need to raise awareness of the potential threats associated with the vulnerabilities inherent in third-party code ...
The ever-increasing access and speeds offered by today's modern networks offer many advantages to businesses and consumers, but also make the integrity of their performance and security more paramount than ever before. Organizations are struggling to manage the constant fluctuations in network conditions and security threats. This has prompted many to explore how automation can help to streamline network management and security processes ...
The demand to deliver a consistently positive and innovative customer experience is something that many companies — more specifically, their DevOps teams — are currently grappling with. While the ability to push out multiple features a week may appear as a great accomplishment for DevOps teams, our survey showed that 82% commonly discover bugs in production ...
Ensuring reliable data security is a critical part of Application Performance Management (APM) — or at least it should be. The fact is, as a result of our need for speed, increasingly development teams are confronted with the problem of releasing applications faster without compromising security ...
To effectively deliver a great CX requires that the CX team, which represents the business requirements, and the IT/ digital team, which represents the technological possibilities and can execute on those, collaborate effectively. To better understand this dynamic, Cyara fielded research on the state of collaboration between IT/digital teams and CX professionals in North America ...
In response to noisier and more complex IT environments, operations teams are growing in size and using more monitoring tools. But timely outage detection, investigation and resolution are still a major challenge ...
This year, enterprises that have not yet moved to the cloud will need to take a look at their current strategy and make critical decisions as moving to the cloud is now a business imperative. Embracing a cloud native strategy will create new and exciting business opportunities and insights, however, there are also many complexities and obstacles standing in the way of success. The following are five critical elements needed for long term cloud native transformation success ...