Business-Oriented Monitoring Strategy

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The modern enterprise is becoming complex. A majority of the organizations I work with are embracing cloud platforms while still retaining on-premise infrastructures. By keeping some workloads on-premise and others in private clouds, they are creating complex hybrid IT environments. The challenge for these businesses is how to monitor this new hybrid environment. Public cloud providers offer built-in cloud monitoring tools, such as Amazon CloudWatch, Azure Monitor, Stackdriver, by Google and others. However, they do not provide end-to-end visibility of business-critical applications running on private, public and hybrid cloud environments.

Adding to this complexity — the rise of microservices and containers
Microservices and containers are rapidly gaining traction as they address scalability, make continuous delivery easier, isolate failures and allow developers to work on a smaller codebase. However, as the number of microservices rises, it can be hard to keep track of them. Since containers are ephemeral, most of the performance data produced lose their value quickly, making monitoring difficult with a traditional infrastructure monitoring tool.

In the hybrid cloud environment, applications might be divided between several data centers and cloud providers, making observability into your applications, infrastructure, and network challenging. Without a more in-depth understanding of your workload and network performance, you’ll not be able to evaluate and optimize your infrastructure.

Event noise has also increased, making it harder for IT Ops teams to prioritize business-critical issues and distracting them to the point of hindering the very people they are supposed to help. Event noise refers to the notifications and alarms (e.g., CPU utilization, memory utilization, end-user response time), delivered by monitoring systems to IT Ops teams showing the health and performance of infrastructure and applications across their IT environment. Organizations require a process and the technology maturity to apply correlation, predictive intelligence, and machine learning, using advanced analytics of events, performance metrics, logs, and knowledgeable resources to reduce the noise and find the root cause.

With increase in breaches, an organization needs to have a strong event tracking and tracing capability to analyze vast amounts of data from on-premise and cloud sources to detect threats, generate prioritized data breach alerts, ensure compliance and optimize security investment.

The need for a business-oriented monitoring approach
Today’s hybrid and multi-cloud IT requires a combination of monitoring techniques to create a modern, full-stack, cloud monitoring capability. To remain ahead, I&O leaders must consider a business-oriented strategy — focusing not only on the server uptime but also on how to manage and measure the performance of business applications. End-user experience of on-premise or cloud-hosted applications is now a high priority. End-user transactions should be visible in real-time; the capacity to monitor actual user usage and KPIs becomes vital to improving monitoring, costs and delivery.

There are a plethora of monitoring solutions available in the market. Implementing a holistic monitoring solution will help your enterprise move towards Artificial Intelligence Operations (AIOps).

AIOps enables IT teams to be more efficient and effective, reducing human errors, and cutting Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR). Some of the most essential capabilities of AIOPs are:Big data managementRoot cause determination and faster resolution time of issuesPredictive analytics used with continuous Machine Learning

However, deployments are often tricky and must be approached gradually. To stay competitive, companies need to understand and implement technologies not just because they are new but because they will work in the best interest of the organization. The most important thing is to know where the company stands today and where they want to be. The approaches are different when a company doesn’t have monitoring in place, if they already have a robust platform, or if they are trying to get to the next level.

Getting started
Before identifying an appropriate business-oriented monitoring solution, companies must look at the big picture of their environment (…)

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