Four best practices for monitoring your hybrid cloud environment

June 6, 2017

To drive enhanced innovation, cost control, and agility, businesses of all sizes are migrating their applications to public or hybrid cloud environments. While cloud deployments help organizations realize most of these benefits, the monitoring of cloud environments presents a number of challenges. Workloads must be monitored during development and production, but typical cloud monitoring offerings lack holistic capabilities that administrators need to manage performance and service levels. To complicate matters, most organizations work in hybrid environments and use multiple monitoring tools, reducing flexibility and increasing costs.

The highly popular pay-as-you-go model for cloud services makes it challenging to track exact usage because of the lack of insights and unified metrics. Limited visibility and control over operations makes problem identification, resolution and analysis that much harder. So how can you monitor cloud environments effectively to drive value?

Here are four best practices to ensure that your cloud environment is geared to meet the growing demands of your business.

#1 Use a single platform for monitoring cloud and on-premises applications:

Leveraging existing infrastructure and cloud as a unified whole helps optimize outcomes. Your monitoring platform should be able to combine the metrics from cloud platform’s API with metrics from your existing infrastructure, gathered through the usual protocols. An ideal monitoring platform uses cloud data alongside the traditional metric, flow, and log data your business is working with. This means the platform manages data from cloud and other sources in a similar manner. Uniform data gives comprehensive visibility into your network and applications.

Four best practices for monitoring your hybrid cloud environment

#2 Implement rule-based governance:

Creating a rule-based framework allows you to streamline governance. For example, when a load goes beneath a certain threshold, servers can be automatically shut down to ensure that costs are kept under control.  You can also use rule-based automation to optimize your cloud performance. By continuously monitoring the performance of different providers, you can automatically switch providers in case SLAs are not met

#3 Centralize metrics, flows, logs, and monitoring data:

In a multi-vendor environment,    it’s essential that your monitoring platform centralizes data from different providers to enable comprehensive data visualization and superior analytics. An advanced platform can turn different kinds of data into uniform metrics. Not only can you leverage these uniform metrics to develop baselines, alerts and trends, you can also compare data points related to an event with other data points.

#4 Test if your system can self-heal:

A self-healing, automated approach is important in   any multi-cloud, distributed system. Run regular drill-down tests and simulations, especially if you operate in a multi-cloud, distributed environment, to increase reliability and dependability. Periodic drill down tests can help you evaluate how your organization will react in case of an unexpected outage. By triggering events and simulating loads and events, you can ensure that alerts are generated to prioritize activities.

Hedge against cloud computing risks with an advanced monitoring platform

Proactively maintaining a healthy cloud environment is not an easy task. It requires you to brace your organization for unexpected IT failure, security threats, outages, or even damaged systems. One way to hedge against uncertainty is to invest in a comprehensive cloud monitoring platform that offers the flexibility to monitor a wide variety of applications, including custom applications. Leveraging automation and standardization, in addition to ensuring that the monitoring solution is aligned with your enterprise architecture and strategic objectives, lays the foundations for successful cloud monitoring.