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A Glance at Cloud Monitoring: Strategy, Types and Benefits

DZone 's Guide to

A Glance at Cloud Monitoring: Strategy, Types and Benefits

Keep an eye on your cloud infrastructure by implementing a best-practices monitoring strategy.

· Cloud Zone ·
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Monitoring forms the core aspect of any process or technology within an organization.

The same is the case with cloud monitoring for successful implementation of the cloud computing technology. Cloud monitoring is basically defined as the process of reviewing and detailed monitoring of the resources and processes within a Cloud-based IT environment to ensure effective workflow.

The cloud monitoring strategy typically involves use of manual or automation techniques to monitor the performance cloud computing components and evaluates resources utilization, server response times, availability and operating speeds to ensure possible issues are addressed well in advance.

The Structure of Cloud Monitoring

A cloud monitoring strategy can be explained in two different ways:

  • By Infrastructure Management: Cloud monitoring process by infrastructure management involves functions that track hardware utilization, switches functioning and processor performance.
  • By Configuration Management: Cloud monitoring process by configuration management typically deals with user controls including group policies and security protocols.

A cloud monitoring mechanism drives its advantages from the concept of virtualization to address many of the critical challenges such as delayed responses, among others.

As majority cloud functions run as software in a virtual environment. Cloud monitoring functions including application, resource management, and security naturally become part of this environment.

Types of Cloud-Based Monitoring

While the traditional infrastructure monitoring on a Local Area Network (LAN) tracks network traffic, hard drives and network switches, a monitoring app deployed in a cloud environment tracks resources across multiple devices and locations.

Cloud monitoring makes a lot of difference over traditional infrastructure monitors because of its additional access and reporting capabilities.

Here we will see cloud-based monitoring across different servers and their benefits to respective platforms:

1) Website Monitoring

A website is typically a set of files stored on a host computer that shares the same to other computers over the network. Here, the host can be a local computer on a specific network or the one operated by a cloud service provider. Considering the important metrics of website monitoring such as traffic, availability and resource usage, a website-based cloud monitoring solution tracks user experience, search availability and time on website pages. This monitoring helps website owners alter their content or SEO strategies in the real-time to serve the customer better than before.

2) Virtual Machine (VM) Monitoring

Mostly in an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model where a virtual server hosts several virtual desktops, a VM-based cloud monitoring model tracks user, traffic, infrastructure and every single machine part of the process. This reflects the combination of cloud monitoring with the traditional IT infrastructure monitoring.

3) Database Monitoring

A database cloud monitor typically tracks the queries, access requests, data integrity, and any connections that reflect in real-time data usage. These functions help in timely upgrades and updates to avoid future challenges and ensure high responsiveness.

4) Virtual Network Monitoring

Cloud monitoring plays a very crucial role here that presents key network elements such as routers, firewalls, and load balances as software. Integrating cloud monitoring tools in a virtual network environment can help track the performance of such network elements in the real-time. Moreover, these tools analyze user behavior and make necessary recommendations for required replacements or upgrades.

5) Cloud Storage Monitoring

A cloud storage typically involves multiple storage devices in a single virtual storage space. So, cloud monitoring makes a big difference here by monitoring multiple analytics simultaneously. Moreover, when cloud storage is used to host SaaS or IaaS apps, cloud monitoring can help track users, databases, processes, existing storage and performance metrics. This data helps fix bugs or any possible vulnerabilities to functionality, well in advance.

Steps to Successful Cloud Monitoring

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Best practices for implementing any process are solely dependent on the requirements they are chosen for.

These factors decide the success of a cloud monitoring mechanism:

1) Key Metrics

The first step to implementing any process is identifying the key metrics. Take the inventory of assets and sort out the required data. This helps you make informed decisions through the use of cloud monitoring software and also assists in implementing any monitoring plan.

2) Automate

Given the virtual nature of cloud operations, many cloud monitoring activities can be automated. Monitoring, reporting, logging, and red-flaggin events can be automated to generate timely system alerts/notifications in case of any issues such as undetermined access, exceeding resources usage, etc.

3) Security

The most common argument is the security aspect of the applications running on the cloud. Though data on the cloud is considered less secure compared to local devices, modern data centers are coming up with highly-secure technology and supporting personnel.

While datacenters can protect hardware and infrastructure, it’s important to be careful about security at the end-user side. Security protocols like two-factor authentication can offer the first line of defense and monitoring can enhance security check by tracking usage. This level of monitoring can help understand user behavior patterns and take necessary measures to resolve possible threats.

The Conclusion

Wait no more! It’s time to add a cloud monitoring mechanism to your applications running on a cloud environment. Get it done!

Topics:
cloud monitoring ,cloud ,storage monitoring ,cloud infrastructure ,automation ,security

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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