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The case for integrating cloud monitoring into IT Management

Valued Contributor ‎11-19-2013 10:56 AM - edited ‎01-31-2015 08:19 PM

ITmgmt4CloudWL.pngDo enterprise IT Management teams need to change their approach to monitoring in order to accommodate workloads in the cloud? Here are four good reasons why you should integrate the management and monitoring of your public cloud applications into your enterprise IT Management solution.


As more companies consume infrastructure from public cloud vendors, IT management of cloud workloads becomes more important.


For me, this new interest in IT management signals that the market is maturing. Automation and security management are clearly the management processes that you want to get under control first with public cloud services, but now the focus is shifting to monitoring.


IT Management for the cloud
For IT teams at small companies and startups, it’s easier to consider SaaS-based management solutions. This is because there is little need to integrate any existing on-premise IT management functions. Luckily these organizations can benefit from several SaaS-based IT management offerings that are now available from both established IT management vendors and new entrants.


Unfortunately for enterprise IT Management teams that are responsible for workloads that are on-premise as well as in the cloud, this is a more complex issue. Do you change your approach to IT Management to accommodate the public cloud? How should you integrate the management and monitoring of your applications that run on public cloud infrastructure?


Getting the whole picture
Forrester Analyst Dave Bartoletti’s blog post about OpenStack's monitoring and orchestration projects, has a couple of good points. First, he notes that you should not get overwhelmed by trying to revamp all of your IT management processes. He goes on to say that you should focus on monitoring what you can control, like the applications that run on public cloud infrastructure services.


The process of instrumenting your own applications should be pretty much the same regardless if the application runs on virtual machines in your data center or on virtual machines in the public cloud.


Does this mean you don't need to consider IaaS vendors’ monitoring services? One of the options you should consider is Amazon CloudWatch, which provides monitoring data for Amazon Web Services cloud resources.


4 reasons for integration
NOCnCloud.pngIn fact, integrating the management data from these Cloud infrastructure services into your enterprise monitoring solution can be important for creating an end-to-end picture of your IT landscape. Here are several benefits to consider:


  1. You get a holistic view of all virtual machines that run your hybrid cloud applications — Your Network Operations Center (NOC) wants to see performance, capacity and availability of all systems in one view. This includes the virtual machines and workloads running in the cloud — especially for hybrid applications. By integrating, you won't lose vision of the public cloud part of your infrastructure.
  2. You don't need to manage the physical layer of the infrastructure services that you consume from cloud vendors — Although challenges with performance, capacity and availability of virtual infrastructure services don't go away. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, you are accountable for the availability and response time of the application.
  3. You can perform better capacity management — Flexing and scaling is one of major advantages when you run your application on cloud services. Proper monitoring of the software infrastructure services will ensure that you neither oversize nor undersize.
  4. It gives you a quick start for initial monitoring coverage — In case you are still undecided how you fully instrument the virtual machines, you can still go ahead and leverage the cloud monitoring data. The monitoring data from the Cloud providers cover a few key metrics, which give you an initial insight about your virtual machines.

Not all public cloud infrastructure service providers offer monitoring data, but I believe it is just a matter of time until many providers follow the Amazon CloudWatch approach. Overall, it is very similar to what we have seen with virtualization. The monitoring data from hypervisors that are well integrated in enterprise monitoring solutions, allowing you to get a full end-to-end picture.


One word of caution, however: nothing is free. This statement also applied to the Cloud monitoring services and the network traffic required to pull the data into your on-premise enterprise monitoring solution. Just remember that the benefits outweigh the costs.


Learn more
If you are interested to finding out how the HP BSM solution can help you create a holistic end-to-end view of your on-premise and Cloud IT landscape, visit our Virtualization Management site to get more information.



Visit the HP Discover the session DF2028 “Managing your cloud environment with BSM” on Dec 10 at 11:20.




About the Author

Stefan Bergstein

Stefan Bergstein is chief architect for HP’s Operations Management & Systems Monitoring products, which are part HP’s business service management solution. His special research interests include virtualization, cloud and software as a service.

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