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Measuring Cloud Performance Is Like Flying Blind
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pscarey
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pscarey,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/20/2014 | 3:07:02 PM
Re: Cloud performance
Hi, Susan.  Those are all common misconceptions organizations have with the cloud.  Yes, the cloud service provider monitors their infrastructure for you but only that.  They don't monitor any of the other networks and servers that sit between your users and them.

The reality is that the major providers all operate their services at nearly %99.999 availability; a far higher level than most customerers operate their environments.  The service level the user realizes is dependent on the health of the end-to-end chain of infstrastructure that connects them to the cloud app servers.  To effectively monitor and manage the service level, IT teams need to look holistically across this chain.

You're right that as an IT admin I can't directly "fix" infrastructure that's outside my organization.  But this is precisely the reason why it's so important to be able to pinpoint the source of service delivery problems.  When there's an issue I have to decide whether to escalate to a) the cloud app provider, b) my ISP, or c) my internal network/ops team.  Picking the wrong path can mean the difference between restoring service in a few minutes v. several hours or even days (if you've ever gone through a support incident cycle with one of these cloud app providers you'll know that's not an exageration). 

Monitoring doesn't go away in the cloud.  It just changes...and becomes more challenging.
Susan Fogarty
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Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2014 | 2:35:19 PM
Cloud performance
To play the devil's advocate here, isn't part of the point of using cloud services in general that you don't have to monitor the performance -- the cloud provider does that for you, and ramps up the resources when things are slow or congested? If you're using cloud apps, then you would be monitoring them just to ensure you're not getting ripped off by your provider, right? And you can't react if you see a problem with the service anyway, because it's not your infrastructure.
pscarey
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pscarey,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/4/2014 | 2:49:04 PM
Re: Tried Amazon custom metrics? Compuware? Cedexis?
Your questions highlight the differences between monitoring of apps you host on IaaS (e.g. Amazon Web Service, Azure, etc.) v. monitoring of 3rd party SaaS apps like Salesforce.com, Dropbox, or Office 365 (full disclosure up front - my company is working to address these cloud visibility gaps).

If an app I manage is on AWS, their data feeds will give me some useful data, at least on the health of the VM's and their infrastructure.  If it's a custom app, I may want to also use something like New Relic and/or some external synthetic solution like Compuware to give me more insight into my app's performance and user experience.

The challenge for IT teams consuming 3rd party cloud applications, like Salesforce, is that the service level they receive depends on the health of all the infrastructure between the users and the service providers.  Just getting a feed from the application service provider isn't enough.  IT needs to be able to test and monitor the end-to-end service delivery chain.
AbeG
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AbeG,
User Rank: Black Belt
7/31/2014 | 11:00:32 PM
Re: Superficial Metrics
I think this here is one good reason for maintaining a hybrid public/private hosted solution.  At least for the time being.
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/31/2014 | 6:57:49 PM
Superficial Metrics
Patrick, yes you are right. Being in the performance area myself, I have always thought that this was a weak link in the cloud. Traditionally as an enterprise wide performance person, I would be able to get indepth metrics from Web, network, database and OS layers. With the cloud I am restricted to only a few levels of metrics and would have to take an approach on analysing the before and after metrics to get an idea on my application performance.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/30/2014 | 4:40:39 PM
Tried Amazon custom metrics? Compuware? Cedexis?
Patrick, you can sign up for more performance metrics than are routinely provided by AWS, if you pay a fee for them. I'm curious what they show or don't show, from your point of view? Also Cedexis and Compuware offer metrics derived from synthetic testing for various services, and Compuware will test your application running on Amazon or elsewhere, for a fee. Have you tried them? Interested in how effective some of these services are.


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