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Best practices for your cloud monitoring strategy

Applications Manager

Johannesburg, 30 Sep 2020
Read time 5min 20sec

With the advent of cloud technologies, there has been a major shift in the way organisations handle infrastructure operations and service delivery. The increasing shift towards cloud-based and hybrid cloud ecosystems for business operations has made it necessary for organisations to employ cloud monitoring tools that monitor the performance and efficiency of these cloud-hosted services. This blog details the benefits of comprehensive cloud monitoring and the insights you need to extract maximum performance from your cloud services.

First, why should you install a cloud monitoring tool?

If you use a public cloud service like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure, you likely already use the monitoring service offered by the public cloud vendor, as it integrates seamlessly. However, in a large-scale organisational infrastructure, visibility beyond the basic parameters offered by these services is essential for around-the-clock cloud monitoring. For one, if you have hybrid cloud infrastructure or custom applications built in-house, it’s highly probable that your monitoring process will become further complicated with the introduction of multiple tools for various essential technologies. A cloud monitoring tool that can monitor physical and virtual servers along with cloud services is ideal, as it can help you secure your entire IT application ecosystem against unnoticed performance threats, forecast utilisation, and plan capacity for the future.

Some key parameters among popular cloud monitoring services

1. Compute: Memory, disk and network

Whether you use AWS, Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Compute is one of the first cloud services implemented by organisations that prefer the cloud. Needless to say, the primary aspect of cloud performance monitoring involves tracking fundamental performance parameters, especially memory usage, disk space and network traffic; tracking these metrics is crucial to guarantee resource availability and seamless application performance. Historical performance analysis of these utilisation trends can help plan capacity for the future.

2. Object storage: Total objects, object size, requests/min, and network traffic

Depending on the vendor, your block storage metrics could vary, but these are more or less the same parameters. While objects, object size, requests per minute, network details, and latency are critical cloud monitoring metrics to keep tabs on in AWS, GCP and OCI, blob size and blob requests take their place in Azure. These parameters can help understand the load on your storage service and identify errors in processing requests by pinpointing erroneous areas.

3. Relational database: CPU utilisation, storage space, database connections and network latency

Relational databases have always been popular with developers and are used extensively among enterprises. As with physical setups, cloud databases require monitoring, especially in terms of metrics like CPU utilisation, database session, table space details, and database connections. Deep monitoring with adequate thresholds is paramount while monitoring databases to avoid performance compromising issues like poor response times of end-user-facing applications due to an increased number of user connections or slow query execution.

You can read more about the various important parameters to track for comprehensive cloud monitoring across various services from the links below:

Implementing the right cloud monitoring plan

Monitoring any IT component, from physical servers to cloud services to end-user-facing applications, requires deep visibility. With visibility, many insights come to the surface to reveal underlying performance issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and announced themselves through compromised performance and business downtime.

Monitor the essential elements

The first thing is to ensure you are monitoring all the essential elements of your IT ecosystem, especially fundamentals such as server infrastructure (physical, virtual or cloud) and network and application performance. This can be achieved with a comprehensive monitoring solution that can provide rich insights about performance issues and also facilitate capacity planning through historical trend analysis.

Irrespective of the cloud vendor you use, without detailed visibility into the critical parameters, performance issues will always lurk underneath and seamless business service delivery will remain under threat.

Monitor cloud and on-premises infrastructure from a single dashboard

As modern organisations slowly shift towards a cloud-only or hybrid cloud ecosystem, you should ensure your cloud monitoring tool offers a single dashboard to collect and correlate data from physical, virtual and cloud elements. This flexibility will make the shift easy and also support legacy applications and physical servers, thereby covering your entire IT ecosystem and making the cloud monitoring tool a worthwhile investment.

Automate routine corrective tasks

It is always better to automate routine corrective tasks so you can focus on situations that need human intervention. Automation is a key part of the DevOps process, and proper automation can help you improve productivity in the cloud. For example, you can set up automated actions, such as starting, stopping or restarting cloud instances, when a threshold is violated. This helps you execute scale up actions or shut down unused resources automatically and manage cloud costs better, especially if you are on a pay-as-you-go pricing plan.

Manage your costs

Continuous use of cloud services can often increase your costs. Of course, you would have monthly budgets for your cloud spend. However, an ideal cloud performance monitoring tool should be able to monitor your cloud billing and notify you in case a certain specified threshold amount is reached. This helps stay informed about the usage and corresponding cost trends enabling you to plan the cloud budget accordingly.

ManageEngine Applications Manager offers in-depth hybrid cloud monitoring for everything from physical and virtual servers to popular cloud services within AWS, Azure, GCP, OCI and OpenStack; to SaaS services like Office 365 and over 130 other business applications, ensuring that you gain full visibility into your IT application ecosystem. It enables you to configure automated alerts and remedial actions, better understand overall availability and performance, and plan capacity to deliver seamless services to customers.

If you’re new to Applications Manager, write to us at contact@itrtech.africa or get started with a 30-day free trial!

ManageEngine

ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. 60 percent of the Fortune 500 - rely on our real-time IT management tools to ensure optimal performance of their IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, desktops and more.

ITR Technology

ITR Technology have been the sole distributers of ManageEngine software in South Africa for over 19 years. With certified support engineers, a dedicated sales team and a newly constructed ManageEngine training centre, ITR Technology values making a difference in the lives of South African IT professionals.

Editorial contacts
ITR Technology Sally-Anne Robertson sally@itrtech.co.za
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