Hybrid cloud visibility is a hot topic. No surprises here. After all, the hybrid cloud model is becoming increasingly popular with the modern enterprise. And why is this? Hybrid computing allows enterprises to keep critical elements of their IT environments on-premises while utilizing the public cloud.
The key to success in a hybrid environment is visibility. But what kind of visibility do you need to get the most out of your deployments? Here’s a list of key qualities IT teams should look for in a hybrid monitoring tool to go beyond performance charts.
Most monitoring tools use an SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) sweep to discover physical compute, network, and storage infrastructures. Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) or Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) aides these tools in their sweeps. In most cases, the tools also discover some virtual components (Logical network, VMs, VxLAN, VNFs) or overlay topology.
All these components are present in data centers. They give you full control and visibility. What happens, though, if you move to a cloud provider and connect to them via AWS DirectConnect or VPN? You won’t have as much visibility or control.
With this in mind, you must use a hybrid monitoring tool that allows you to collect data from the cloud provider network. The tool should be able to combine cloud and on-premises data in a seamless way to provide end-to-end topology.
Your hybrid cloud management tool should have the capacity and intelligence for event and alarm processing. Most tools used to monitor the hybrid cloud show too many events or alarms. Consequently, IT personnel have to figure out which alarms are important and which ones they should discard as low priority.
In a hybrid IT environment, you need root cause analysis to highlight important alarms and suppress the rest. This is a complicated process that requires a tool that can process data from various sources.
Auditing and Configuration Management
When moving workloads to the cloud, you must consider security and compliance. Modern hybrid cloud visibility tools should help reduce security concerns by keeping track of vulnerabilities and configuration changes.
If you’re using an advanced monitoring tool, it should support the proactive auditing of ACLs and route tables. It should compare it with flow logs and give alerts when there’s abnormal behavior. You can also extend this feature to the validation of user-defined policies and to guarantee the security of your cloud.
Cost Analysis and Optimization
Many organizations struggle with hybrid cloud cost analysis. Normally, you’d get a hybrid cloud visibility tool that does reactive cost analysis. The workload runs for some time, and the tool analyzes the cost of each service.
An advanced tool should perform proactive cost analysis and give recommendations based on the usage patterns without compromising performance. Essentially, you save money while keeping the level of performance the same.
Finally, you want a tool that will monitor and test the connection between your branch offices and cloud provider. This can be via a VPN or Internet link or even Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). This adds tons of value to organizations looking to implement deep path visibility and latency metrics.