How Outsourced NOC Services Can Help with Cloud Monitoring

Nearly every organization is taking advantage of cloud resources, but that poses a challenge for the ongoing monitoring of the organization’s overall network environment. As more and more functionality migrates to the cloud, the ability to see the entire networking environment in context becomes more and more difficult.

Your network is a conglomeration of legacy and cloud systems. You are increasingly becoming joined-at-the hip with your cloud services, applications, and data storage. Then there is your website monitoring needs. You need to have your site up and running at peak performance. Unresolved problems can mean lost sales when customers go elsewhere because of disconnects and back-door data glitches.

At times it seems as if the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Is the problem with the cloud server or your VPN? The result is confusion and delays in solving problems—especially when their source is both on premises (hardware/blog//software) and in the cloud.

What you need is a solution that can monitor the entire network environment, and that includes the cloud. Your NOC provider is your resource to solving the aforementioned problems and can help monitor your cloud infrastructure by:

1. Identifying Important Metrics

An experienced NOC partner can help you identify which metrics are most valuable to monitor in a cloud or hybrid environment, as well as how to implement that monitoring. While some cloud metrics, like CPU or Memory utilization, are similar to metrics in an on-premises (physical) network, the ever-changing cloud applications introduce some distinct differences, opportunities, and challenges. The use of technologies like server-less applications, containers, burstable instances and “database as a service” all add to the complexity.

That’s why it’s important to find a NOC partner who is well-versed in monitoring physical networks, cloud environments, and hybrid environments (which span both). That partner will bring the necessary experience and tools to define, measure, and display the metrics you need to monitor your entire network, wherever it may reside, and allow you to make the best business decisions.

2. Using One Platform to Report All the Data

Your cloud monitoring solution should allow you to see data for everything (cloud and physical resources). You need to quickly drill-down to issues and isolate the cause of problems without technology silos. Technology silos, like data silos, are the source of duplication, redundancy, and inefficiency. Having one tool that reports on the ENTIRE networking environment makes troubleshooting faster and easier.

That is what the best NOC provider does for you. While the NOC provider is watching your back, your IT folks can concentrate on your core business functions. You have peace of mind; your IT folks are freed from the onerous drudgery of routine monitoring.

3. Tracking Long-Term Trends

Your monitoring tool should support maintaining data in order to show trends over several months, at least. Understanding long-term network trends can make it easier to run your network more efficiently, saving both time and money. Those performance spikes and dips are more meaningful when seen over time. When the performance dips show up around the same time each day, it could be time to reallocate and readjust network resources and convert them to spikes.

4. Increasing Visibility

Visibility and transparency in the monitoring platform makes it easier to troubleshoot issues. Visibility is what allows IT teams to see issues develop and resolve them proactively before they impact end-users. This also means timely alerting and proactive resolution.

Not only does better visibility make IT teams much more productive, but it also helps them resolve issues before they impact end-users. An ounce of prevention can be worth a ton of time-consuming remediation.

5. Monitoring End-User Experience

Monitoring end-user metrics like response times and frequency of use gives you a complete network and cloud performance picture. The end-user could be your help desk person, your sales rep, or potential customer visiting your web site. End-user experience is really a prime target for network monitoring. Closing the loop between availability and access is the objective measurement of performance. That performance can be anything from detecting bandwidth overload to measuring lag time in loading your cloud apps at each end of the spectrum.

6. Active Synthetic Monitoring

In addition to monitoring the end-user experience, your NOC partner should implement synthetic monitoring to fully exercise the functionality of your applications. Synthetic monitoring simulates the actions of a real user in order to automate the monitoring process, running at regular intervals to exercise websites, validate email flow, verify backups, etc., without the possibility of user input error.

Synthetic monitoring gives your NOC partner better insights so that if a transaction were to fail for any reason, the NOC can pinpoint exactly where and when. In that event, you receive an alert according to your agreed upon escalation plan, and the NOC can begin remediation efforts.

You went to the cloud because it levels the playing field. The cloud frees up your infrastructure and lowers operating costs. You need to leverage the cloud and align your network monitoring to take full advantage of what the cloud has to offer. An outsourced NOC partner like iGLASS can relieve you of the technical burden and help you stay abreast of the latest monitoring technology.

Ready to outsource your NOC monitoring to get the most out of your network and cloud presence? Get our free eBook on what to look for in choosing a NOC partner.

David Nizen

iGLASS helps IT professionals improve the uptime and health of their IT infrastructure, increase productivity, improve the bottom line and enhance the quality of life for themselves and their employees. If you struggle with life/work balance; if you're tired of nuisance alerts from multiple platforms keeping you and your staff up at night; if you need to increase uptime without increasing headcount; if you realize you're not in the Monitoring business and want to focus on Running your business, connect with me today. Let's start a conversation.