When you are running cloud-based services as part of your overall business operations, it becomes necessary to monitor your cloud operations for evaluating the usage and efficiency of the cloud services, applications, and infrastructure. Cloud monitoring also lets you watch for threats and be mindful of cyber-attacks.
Here is a brief rundown on how best to monitor cloud services and some tips to make it more efficient and useful.
In essence, the cloud is a set of web-hosted applications that allow you to store and work with data over the internet. Based on the type of services provided, a cloud environment can be classified as Saas, PaaS, and IaaS. Most of these services can be monitored with application performance monitoring tools.
But such traditional monitoring tools provide limited functionality and will not be able to account for the unique requirements of each cloud deployment. Here are some types of cloud monitoring tools that help monitor various types of cloud services effectively:
- Website monitoring
- Virtual machine monitoring
- Database monitoring
- Virtual network monitoring
- Cloud storage monitoring
Hence, most service providers provide a set of in-house tools to monitor server usage and application performance. While offering an overall monitoring solution, these in-house tools often lack in providing granular control over application management for each service subscription. They also cannot ensure better security.
Tools for independent third-party vendors or SaaS providers can fill this gap by providing better application management, checking for performance bottlenecks, monitoring the network for suspicious activities, and so on. Some advantages that these tools from SaaS providers offer over traditional cloud server monitoring tools include:
Cloud network monitoring tools allow for unified dashboard views that can quickly view the server performance with visualizations, easy reports, and more.
Regular testing capabilities allow you to detect errors early on and minimize downtimes and efficiently perform damage control.
Monitoring tools allow you to detect data breaches and detect vulnerabilities early.
Provide readily usable infrastructure and installation that can be quickly integrated on multiple devices and platforms. Also, it helps you optimize costs for your monthly subscriptions.
Helps better management of dedicated tools and be able to track metrics and events efficiently.
Best Cloud Monitoring Practices
The benefits of cloud monitoring services are too many to ignore. Besides, without cloud monitoring, you stand the risk of encountering high costs, poor metrics tracking, and security risks. But not all monitoring tools are made the same, and not every service requires the same set of monitoring services.
You need to identify your unique needs and make the best use of monitoring tools for better utilization and improved performance. Here are some tips you will find useful.
Identify The Metrics And Events To Be Tracked
To evaluate the performance and utilization of your cloud services, you will need the right metrics that can give you the information. Identify the events and activities that need to be monitored and figure out the metrics that matter. This will help you choose the right tools that can help you measure these metrics efficiently.
Unified Platform For All Types Of Data Reporting
Isolated platforms, each having their own data report formats and data sources, can cause further confusion and give you an inaccurate picture. When you use multiple tools and your own infrastructure in addition to cloud services, try to integrate them under a single unified platform to help you keep track of uniform metrics and get a comprehensive look at your overall performance.
Monitor Usage And Subscription Costs
Many organizations tend to spend a lot more than they need to auto-renew their subscriptions to many services that they have long since stopped using. While cloud services provide the flexibility of scaling up and scaling down as required, many organizations will not evaluate the usage as to when they have to scale down.
Proper monitoring solutions can help you identify the services you no longer need or need to be scaled down. Thus you can easily monitor cloud service use and fees and track optimize your spending on cloud usage.
Monitor User Experience
Metrics like response times and frequency of use can be used to track both your application performance and the level of user experience your applications provide. User experience is a deciding factor that makes you stand apart from the competition. Tracking the number of requests you get and the response time for each request lets you evaluate user experience and take the necessary steps to improve.
Data Classification And Centralization
By maintaining monitoring data to be its own kind, you can easily organize it and use it to derive better solutions that impact the overall performance and service delivery. You should also make the data available and accessible via a centralized platform that allows all key stakeholders to be able to make the right decisions quickly.
Automate Monitoring With Data Thresholds
Set thresholds for activity and event data that can help you identify when activity exceeds or falls below the defined threshold values. You can set alerts and trigger reports to be generated when threshold values are reached to take timely actions and ensure better performance. Automate cloud monitoring activities to create timely alerts and notifications.
Test Your Tools
Ensure your tools work properly by testing them on mock scenarios of data breach and data threshold scenarios. This can help you be prepared for an actual event and check if your alert systems work correctly.
Best Cloud Monitoring Tool
VirtualMetric is a cloud monitoring platform that helps you to check performance, log data, security, application, and database.
VirtualMetric provides specialized server monitoring, virtualization monitoring, application monitoring, database monitoring along with analytical capabilities to help keep track of your performance effectively.