Most enterprises have taken to a cloud-first deployment strategy. This approach leaves administrators with infrastructure on-premises, workloads in the cloud, and applications deployed in a hybrid cloud fashion. Though cloud deployments simplify many elements of business, enterprises find monitoring is an area where there are many gaps to fill. Today, let’s unveil the monitoring reality for hybrid cloud deployments by diving into some of the challenges enterprises face with their configurations, and what’s required to successfully monitor these environments.
Challenges of Monitoring Hybrid Cloud
As enterprises actively pursue cloud, administrators find they don’t always have the insights they require to proactively monitor their deployments. Administrators are left with tool sets segregated between on-premises and cloud, which can force teams to scramble when issues arise.
From my experience, here are the major challenges:
- Lack of Single Pane of Glass: Traditional deployments have separate monitoring tools for on-premises and cloud.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) Applications: Separate tools are typically required to monitor SaaS-based workloads and are often dependent on what the SaaS application provider offers.
- Monitoring Hybrid Cloud Workloads: It can be incredibly difficult to monitor hybrid cloud applications. The challenge is tracking down whether the issue is on-premises, in the cloud, or between the environments. Most metrics provided by cloud providers are standard up/down with little detail.
When considering these challenges, think about the potential impact. For example, when administrators are unable to troubleshoot from a single pane of glass and must use multiple tools instead, time is lost in troubleshooting. And when there’s downtime, every minute can lead to significant business dollars lost.
Monitoring Reality Firsthand
Let’s now take a closer look at a real-world enterprise configuration and the firsthand challenges associated with its existing monitoring deployment.
- High-Level Configuration: With cloud-first initiatives, this enterprise still had to maintain much of their on-premises infrastructure, monitor specific workflows in their SaaS subscription of Salesforce, and monitor their custom financial application. This custom application ran in a hybrid configuration between on-premises and a third-party cloud provider.
- The Challenges: The existing monitoring configuration allowed for full-featured monitoring of everything on-premises in a generally successful way, required use of the separate monitoring provided in the SaaS Salesforce® application, and offered only infrastructure-level monitors and some log-level recording of issues for the custom financial application. This solution didn’t have a single pane of glass for all workflows, relied on monitoring provided by separate vendors for their SaaS applications, and had a customized minimalist form of infrastructure-centric monitoring for its custom application.
With some difficult moments of severe downtime, the team learned the hard way that the current monitoring configuration had its pros and cons. They found they were proactive and had minimal downtime for their on-premises setup, which was good. However, when it came to their SaaS application, they had to rely almost solely on Salesforce to be aware of any problems/downtime. Additionally, their hybrid cloud custom application also had segregated monitoring across multiple consoles and even required log file scavenging to identify the root cause of a problem. When it came to SaaS and hybrid cloud, they agreed they could be doing a better job at being proactive, improving troubleshooting times, and reducing the cost of downtime by simply monitoring in a better way.
In many ways, cloud was introduced to create simplicities and efficiencies from the infrastructure side. In a hybrid cloud deployment, however, it typically creates inefficiencies in troubleshooting/monitoring, and these problems can only be solved by deploying a monitoring solution capable of providing insights into your entire hybrid cloud infrastructure and applications.
SolarWinds is uniquely able to help IT professionals manage the full app stack, from commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), SaaS-delivered, and custom applications (monolithic, n-tier, and microservices architectures) to the environments where the apps are deployed and managed—on-premises, hybrid, or cloud. SolarWinds covers your organization and apps at a price point offering the freedom and flexibility to monitor all your apps, all the time. Because every app counts.
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