Systems Monitoring from the Cloud: What’s In It for Me?

When you think of “the cloud” in IT, what benefits to your organization come to mind? With this “outsourced virtualization”, it certainly makes IT operations greener and prevents bottlenecks; it also helps organizations concentrate less on IT operations and more on their core functions. Analysts agree that going “to the cloud” is the first step towards the IT infrastructure of the future. Compared to traditional operations, moving your IT infrastructure into “the cloud” helps you deliver computing power within your organization in a much more efficient way, both financially and logistically – not to mention the benefits of not being responsible for upgrading outdated hardware and software on a regular basis.

Previously we talked about Cloud/SaaS apps advantages for clients, but what Cloud will mean regarding systems management and monitoring is as follows: Small and mid size businesses are looking for two sorts of services regarding systems management: performance and external end to end uptime, led by such companies as Gomez and Keynote; and network monitoring and servers, minus the big four with big enterprise focus-for this space, clients usually think of Adventnet (now Zoho), Solarwinds, and open sources vendors such as Zabbix, Nagios, and Zenoss. Though the first category is natural for Cloud apps since they have to be out of a corporate firewall, the second one is usually conventional software.

Our customers have told us that they have two primary needs. First, they need easy and quick way to monitor their networks and servers through a centralized application utilizing all benefits of multiple tenant architecture, benefits we’ve described in past posts. Some vendors generate an instance of each application from the cloud infrastructure, from Amazon or some other vendor. However, these are not true cloud applications, comparable to those operated by IT engineers and managers will benefit from faster deployment, lower initial capital requirements, and easily scalable architectures that will allow them to grow a little bit at a time.

Secondly, internal servers and network monitoring needs to be merged with external end-to-end monitoring. This should be done in a single product which delivers a consolidated view of overall system performance. External monitoring is focused on business transactions and end-user experience tied to service level agreements provided to third parties whilst IT Staff were responsible for the internal functions of server and network monitoring. The role of IT in business is gaining more importance with time as IT goals become more aligned with overall business goals.

System administrators may wonder what benefits they will reap from a changeover to centralized systems monitoring in the cloud. We tell them they will have better speed of deployment and more control and visibility. They can take advantage of proactive monitoring and early notification. Some technologies and administrators would have liked but couldn’t have considered because of high cost and complexity will now be available. It is safe to say that the control over end-user experience administrators will have with consolidated monitoring will ease a lot of their workload. In short, they can put their efforts where their skills are best used and gain recognition and admiration from their supervisors.