Traditional on-premise computing is kind of like enterprise in which the hardware has limitations on processing power and storage. With cloud computing, however, these limitations virtually eliminated. Cloud computing is enabling companies to recognize the benefits of scalability in ways no one ever imagined.
Let’s say, your company needs more processing power. Traditional configurations would need you to plan, purchase, and allocate those resources, that will take weeks or even months. By then, the requirements might have already been changed. Some enterprises even purchase for future scaling, which causes them to spend before they need it.
Cloud computing reduces that burden of knowing how much processing power will be needed in the future. You simply ask for when you need more power.
Due to its highly scalable facility, monitoring cloud computing is very different from monitoring on-premise servers. The cloud providers may have tools that you can use. However, if they fall short of your monitoring needs, you need to seek alternative solutions. In this article, you will discover the metrics to track and how to select the feasible monitoring tools for your situation.
What Cloud Metrics Should You Track?
There’s a huge number of metrics regarding cloud services that could overwhelm your organization. Therefore, you have to determine which metrics are the most important to track and find the tools that will report required metrics.
Obviously, your requirements will be different from other organizations and perhaps even other departments. However, some common metrics serve as a baseline for your monitoring activities:
While this covers several layers, determining where bottlenecks are occurring in your applications is essential. In many cases, cloud vendors give a minimum acceptable level of performance, which may not be enough when you want to improve the performance of your applications. Luckily, competition for cloud services continues to grows. This is forcing providers to pay more attention to the performance of its applications.
One best practice when tracking performance is to view all the metrics in one central location. Otherwise, you will need to constantly cut-and-paste information to match up your metrics. Further, when dealing with hybrid cloud solutions, the monitoring tools must adjust to provide reliable reports. Automating as much as possible is smart. Identifying slow queries is necessary to performance monitoring. Regarding that, critical metrics to keep track of, per query, are:
- The number of calls to that specific query.
- Average Time. The time it takes, on average, for the specific query to be executed.
- The URLs in the web application that make use of the query.
In general, you should save money when adopting cloud computing, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend like it’s an open checkbook. When you assign more resources on the cloud, you can expect this to cost more money. How much more will depend upon the agreements you have with your cloud providers and what functions you want to include.
One of the best ways to manage costs is to track the usage of your resources. Scale back any resources that are deemed unnecessary or don’t meet the goals of the business.
If some aspects of your architecture are failing, you want to know this as soon as possible. You’ll need a tool that provides detailed information about this will help get to the bottom of the situation quickly. Your tool also needs to help in determining the frequency of failures.
Knowing which metrics to monitor helps you make better decisions for your architecture. Conversely, vanity metrics can lead you to make the wrong decisions. Try to focus on the metrics that impact important aspects of your system.
The above aspects (performance, cost, and uptime) are good places to start when doing an audit of your metrics. Remember, you aren’t bound in this. Add or subtract various metrics as your needs and applications change.
More specifically, you can utilize metrics such as logging rates to help you with uptime monitoring. If you monitor the logging rates for a specific period of time, and there’s a sudden loss of data, that clearly indicates a system outage. You can subtract that period to get the application’s uptime. If you use a tool that gives monitoring alerts, grouped by their severity level, you can also use them to get the app’s uptime.
Finding the Right Metrics and Tools:
To determine specific metrics to monitor, start with the ones you were tracking before your decision to move to the cloud. Then, search for cloud monitoring tools that will report as many of those metrics as possible. If the tools don’t report every metric on your list, you will need to let the less important ones go. Cloud providers are adding features all the time. Ask potential providers how frequently they add new features and whether customers have a say in the process.
When you have a solid understanding of your necessary metrics, you should learn what features cloud monitoring tools will give that will match your criteria. There will be some give-and-take. However, your needs will change, and you’ll revisit the ones you dropped.
I hope you have a better grasp of what is required to select monitoring tools for your cloud solution. Determine what metrics are important for your enterprise and seek out vendors who offer solutions that come close to providing those metrics.
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