Application performance monitoring (APM) solutions are continually evolving and changing. Current technological advances are doing just that, advancing with the current times. One aspect of technology that more organizations are utilizing these days comes in the form of “the cloud.” The cloud or cloud technology is the use of computing resources (hardware & software) that are delivered over a network.
Organizations are adopting virtualization and cloud computing for a variety of reasons, including: more cost-effective hardware utilization, reduced power consumption, simpler disaster recovery, and faster, more flexible provisioning. While this trend holds great promise, it also leaves many information technology (IT) organizations scrambling to ensure – and document – that end users continue to receive the expected levels of service from critical applications once they have “gone virtual” or “moved into the cloud.”
What does this mean for IT professionals tasked with continually ensuring the optimal response time, availability and the performance of the mission critical applications within the cloud? Below are 3 areas in which an organization can benefit from monitoring their cloud environment:
1) End user experience: by monitoring the cloud environment, the end business user will be able to increase productivity. How is this accomplished? The ability to be pro-active and create IT initiatives instead of being reactive, putting out fires is one of the many benefits of monitoring the cloud environment.
2) Key performance & infrastructure metrics: A single server (host) could host several operating system instances (guests or VMs), each running its own OS and application workload; furthermore, guests may be migrated automatically among hosts in order to maintain optimal load balancing among the available resources. Additionally, resources are grouped in datastores, clusters, resource pools and data centers, and dynamically allocated according to workload. Therefore, monitoring software must look at virtual resource utilization and user response, as well as physical resource utilization, in order to gauge application performance.
3) Ensuring service levels: SLAs are particularly useful for correlating user experience metrics with the underlying infrastructure components that support the associated business service.
Visibility into the cloud environment is critical for business optimization. Without the ability to assess the performance of a single physical or virtual entity, a multi-tiered application or business service productivity will reduce. IT managers will become reactive, not the proactive state which is so imperative for peak efficiency.