Cloud Success-The Office of Management and Budget’s Cloud Smart proposal signals both the end of an era and the beginning of new opportunities. The focus has shifted from ramping up cloud technologies to maximizing cloud deployments to achieve the desired mission outcomes.
Certainly, agencies are investing heavily in these deployments. Bloomberg Government estimates that federal cloud spending will reach $6.5 billion in fiscal year 2018, a 32% increase over last year. However, all that investment and potential could be for naught if agencies don’t take a few necessary steps toward monitoring and troubleshooting distributed cloud networks.
1. Match the monitoring to the cloud. Different agencies use a variety of cloud deployments: on-premises, off-premises, and hybrid. Monitoring strategies should match the type of infrastructure in place. A hybrid IT infrastructure, for example, will require monitoring that allows administrators to visualize applications and data housed both in the cloud and on-premises. It requires a much different and more robust approach than a network-based or a private on-premises cloud.
2. Gain visibility into the entire network. It can be difficult for administrators to accurately visualize what’s happening within complex cloud-based networks. For instance, in a hybrid IT environment data passes between the cloud provider and on-premises operations. It can be tough to see what’s happening when that data is being managed outside of the organization.
Administrators must be able to visualize the entire network so they can accurately pinpoint the root cause of problems. Are they occurring within the network or the system? Are they related to a particular on-premises connection, or are they the result of a service provider issue? These questions need to be answered to maintain a functioning and well-optimized distributed network.
3. Reduce mean time to resolution. MTTR describes how long it takes an administrator to fix a problem from the time the issue is identified to when it’s resolved. A lower MTTR means more uptime, efficiency and productivity.
Data visualization and aggregation can be useful in minimizing MTTR when a problem arises. Administrators with rapid access to network, system and user information can easily and quickly correlate the relevant data , overlay it and accurately determine the issue. That’s much better spending the time to go to three different teams to solicit the same information, which may or may not be readily available.