There are countless benefits that you can leverage as a service provider by implementing cloud monitoring techniques in your environment. All service providers need cloud monitoring in order to enhance cloud security, streamline management and provisioning of virtual machines, and reduce associated business costs.
Keys for Cloud Monitoring
Several cloud monitoring techniques exist that should be implemented in tandem in order to create a cohesive monitoring plan for the overall cloud environment. This list of things you should continually monitor include:
- IOPS: the amount read and write operations per second within your cloud storage.
- Patching: allows you to fix issues or update your environment.
- Expansion: adding datacenters or other infrastructure zones. Capacity planning for your company will provide a means to keep your overall environment running at full optimization and give your end users a better experience.
Ensuring that environment uptime and responsiveness are two of the most important functions of the cloud you can monitor. While these two functions may seem like one and the same, they are actually unique from one another. Establishing whether the environment is up means monitoring a baseline of whether it is capable of responding. A measurement of responsiveness in your cloud environment determines if it is acting as it should in a timely fashion. These are components of your cloud monitoring solution are important because they give you a baseline to work with. It shows you what your environment actually looks like as opposed to what it should look like.
Enhanced Cloud Security
Security is one of the biggest issues cloud providers face as they begin selling resources to end users. A May 2013 study by PEER 1 Hosting found that security is the reason 92 percent of IT decision makers do not adopt cloud services. By implementing monitoring techniques, you can enhance the overall security of your cloud. You should consider monitoring:
- Security patches: help you fix bugs in your system and keep security at its peak.
- Password management: keep your passwords secure and allow your end users access to only their systems. Consider implementing password policy requirements to enhance security.
- VPNs: virtual private networks can be used to securely transport data from one location to another. These allow you to keep your network isolated from others while sending and receiving data.
Cloud monitoring will facilitate cloud management for your overall environment by employing cloud automation. Cloud automation allows you to automate rote manual processes to optimize your cloud environment and make it more efficient. Removing some of these manual processes allows your technical team to continue working on other tasks that cannot be done manually. Approaching your management technique in this way saves you time and money, and also provides a cleaner, more efficient method to perform tasks for end users.
On Demand Provisioning
This is a feature of cloud that your end users are looking for and monitoring allows your system to facilitate this kind of use by responding to requests for new servers and alerting your technical staff if issues arise, for example a virtual machine has reached SAN capacity. On demand provisioning affects both your end users and your administrative team members. Automating processes that allow for true on demand provisioning is the first step you can take to provide this service. True on demand provisioning means that end users can spin up a server whenever they please, wherever they are, without any assistance from a technical team member on their end or the administrative end. On demand provisioning can be completed in a matter of minutes, whereas traditional provisioning will take hours or days.
As mentioned before, utilizing cloud automation will help you maintain a high performing environment by streamlining your monitoring and management systems. This allows your technical staff to perform other mission-critical duties rather than waiting for a server request so it can be provisioned manually. In addition to auto-provisioning, automation can also streamline your support system, further relinquishing your IT staff. Systems can be created that allow your end users to submit support tickets that are answered by IT staff once they reach proper personnel. Further, an integrated billing system will automatically populate usage based on the cost you set and send invoices to end users.
Implementing cloud monitoring into your cloud environment is a necessary means to ensuring that your product is highly functioning and responsive to end user needs. Continually utilizing personnel for rote tasks is a waste of talent and money. Implementing cloud automation to augment your cloud monitoring system is the solution for any service provider as they continue selling cloud services in their market.