Cloud monitoring tools are not a one-size-fits-all affair. They differ from both a functional and architectural point of view. This means that the tools will vary based on the type of cloud service you want to monitor. It also depends on whether you are doing it on a public or private cloud.

If you are looking to monitor performance in your cloud deployment, you need to understand the architectural differences. Doing this can help you clarify where you might experience potential limitations. The difference between a private cloud and a public cloud boils down to who takes responsibility for the underlying infrastructure.

With public clouds, your organization will work with a public cloud service provider. This provider will host and manage the underlying infrastructure. On the flip side, private clouds are either in the service provider’s colocation space or on-premises. Whatever the case, the organization manages the data center and infrastructure using cloud management and orchestration software.

The key difference between private cloud and public cloud monitoring is the flexibility you have when selecting monitoring tools. With a private cloud, you have unlimited options since you have full control over your cloud infrastructure. As such, you can install or use whatever monitoring tool you deem fit.

Public clouds have more restrictions than private clouds. You can only use the tools that the service provider allows or offers.


Public clouds are generally more cost-effective for most businesses. They are also flexible and offer different levels of service. These levels include SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

Below, we will go over how SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS cloud architectures differ. We’ll also give you some insights into helping your organization determine the best cloud service for your needs.


If you’re looking to monitor a SaaS cloud deployment, you’ll notice that there is a limited selection of tools as compared with other cloud models. This is because service providers are in control of everything – from the applications to the infrastructure.

Monitoring a SaaS deployment comes down to tracking the whole experience — from the end-user to the SaaS cloud provider. As such, you need to monitor your path from the Internet service provider (ISP) to the public cloud. Also, keep track of service latency, content delivery network (CDN) responsiveness, and domain name system accessibility and speed.

In addition, you need to monitor security tools, such as cloud-based or client firewalls, secure web gateways, and data loss prevention tools. They can also affect SaaS performance.


PaaS gives you more leeway than the SaaS model. You have more visibility into the cloud, and you can monitor the path from the end-user to the cloud. You can also monitor services within the cloud. IT admins are able to monitor and create baselines for application workload metrics. These metrics include service response times, maximum/minimum service requests, CPU, and memory.

With this data, the monitoring tool can send notifications whenever the metrics are performing above or below the expected levels.


With IaaS, you get the visibility of both PaaS and SaaS cloud models. And that’s not all – it allows for visibility up to the server OS level. You get as much control and visibility as you would with an on-premises deployment.

You can monitor the performance of the OS in real time. This includes memory, storage, and CPU performance. Consequently, IT teams are able to right-size server deployments to meet the performance expectations of your organization.

But IaaS has a shortcoming. You see, the visibility you get into a cloud-provisioned network can be deceiving. The reason for this is that the cloud network that’s visible to you is only a virtual overlay of a larger cloud network that’s managed by the cloud provider.

Now, if there’s a problem with the underlying network that’s causing performance issues on your IaaS deployment, it’s hidden from view. Therefore, you need to remember that even the “most visible” cloud deployments do not provide the same visibility you would get with an on-premises deployment.


It’s now clear that you cannot divorce performance monitoring from the cloud model you choose. This is why you must establish the level of visibility you need before settling on a cloud model. A private cloud will give you the best visibility when it comes to performance monitoring. It is practically limitless.

When you give up control and hand over the management responsibility of your IT infrastructure to a cloud service vendor, you diminish the level of visibility. So, make sure to pick a cloud model that works best for your organization’s visibility needs. Follow this up by selecting cloud monitoring tools that will work with your architecture.