As businesses move to the cloud, the task of managing IT infrastructure shifts to the cloud providers. While it takes off the burden of managing cloud infrastructure from organizations, it also takes away precious control over their system and visibility. In a hybrid setup, losing visibility of the cloud infrastructure opens up possibilities of security breaches, unmonitored performance, and month-end bill shocks. And all these possibilities can take a serious toll on business continuity, efficiency, and reputation, something that businesses can’t risk in today’s market condition.
The biggest benefit of cloud computing is its scalability. This can be a boon or a bane depending on the visibility. Within minutes, one can fire up resources for temporary requirements without being aware of the consequences. Every open resource comes at a cost, and every opened-but-not-in-use resource means double the cost, security threats, and more. Such unmonitored open resources are free entry passes for hackers to obtain access to cloud accounts and databases, and put the confidential information up for sale on the dark web. In the last couple of years, such security breaches have cost enterprises millions of dollars besides damaging their goodwill and sending shockwaves across the world. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial for enterprises to have day-to-day visibility into their cloud usage and performance.
Higher visibility allows organizations to identify unused or under-provisioned resources. By eliminating unused resources, organizations can save a significant amount of money that does not contribute to organizational growth. So, how do you gain greater visibility of the services, infrastructure, and applications in a complex hybrid environment to optimize costs and gain speed and agility?
When it is about increasing visibility on cloud, enterprises adopt a number of best practices and tools. AWS, Azure, GCP, and other public cloud providers offer a number of monitoring services/tools for applications, infrastructure, traces, and business transactions. These tools allow organizations to feed their business units with actionable insights such as data transfers, instances, workloads, Reserved Instances, etc.
Application and Infrastructure Monitoring Services
Amazon Web Services(AWS) - Amazon CloudWatch
Amazon CloudWatch is an essential tool to monitor and observe AWS resources on both AWS cloud and on-premises. By leveraging its data, collected from metrics, logs and events, and insights, organizations can effectively monitor the applications in use, respond to any changes in the performance, optimize resource utilization, and, most importantly, get a holistic view of the overall operational health. CloudWatch can also help organizations in detecting anomalies in the environment, setting alarms, parallelly visualizing logs and metrics, and taking automated actions.
Amazon Web Services - AWS X-Ray
For organizations using microservices or serverless architecture for development modernization, having trace monitoring tools in place is critical. Trace monitoring tools allow developers to easily analyze and debug any error. AWS X-Ray enables developments to understand how the application and other services are performing. It also offers a complete view of requests and a visual map of underlying components.
Microsoft Azure - Azure Monitor and Azure Advisor
In 2017, Azure brought all its monitoring and analyzing capabilities under Azure Monitor, creating a unified end-to-end solution range of solutions to optimize user experience and enhance visibility. Azure Monitor offers an overview of the health and performance of all the enterprise resources on the Azure environment starting from applications, infrastructure to network. It also offers near real-time alerts and new metrics and logs.
Apart from Azure Monitor, Microsoft also offers Azure Advisor to monitor resource configurations and optimize their deployments, Azure Automation to automate cloud management tasks, Azure Cost Management plus Billing to monitor the cloud spend, Azure Service Health to monitor service and health issues, Azure Network Watcher to monitor network performance, and Azure Resource Health to troubleshoot service problems.
Google Cloud Platform - Cloud Monitoring
Cloud Monitoring is Google Cloud Platform’s application and infrastructure monitoring tools designed to offer health, availability, and performance visibility. With Cloud Mounting, organizations can also monitor their hybrid and multi-cloud environments, identify patterns and prevent issues, and significantly bring down operation overheads.
Cloud Trace - Google Cloud Platform
Cloud Trace from GCP is the distributed tracing system from Google that helps developers find performance bottlenecks by collecting latency data and displaying it in the GCP console. As a result, the organizations get near real-time performance insights and fast and automatic detection of issues.
Besides the above-mentioned services from CSPs, many other third parties also offer thousands of other monitoring services/tools to gain visibility, manage costs and to enhance the performance of your cloud infrastructure. Cloud4C has been assisting global organizations including Fortune 500 companies gain greater visibility into their cloud environments and dramatically reduce their IT spends by offering and recommending the right tools, solutions and services. With Cloud4C, it becomes easier to measure peak and off-peak usage and costs, get visibility over resource allocation, monitor infrastructure coverage, utilization, spot usage, and more.
You can learn more about Cloud4C’s cost optimization strategies, techniques, and more here.