Server Monitoring Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Ken Schwaber, JP Morgenthal, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Symbian, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, PowerBuilder, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Log Management, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo, Apache

Symbian: Article

Will Cloud Computing Confuse Network Management?

Traditional network management systems focus on measuring and monitoring technical metrics

Network Management at Cloud Expo

In today’s technology-dependent enterprise environment, the efficiency of most business processes depends directly on the effective performance of the IT infrastructure. Almost every single activity - from servicing a customer to shipping purchased products - is dependent upon one or more software applications and the underlying computing/network infrastructure.

This demand is already stretching traditional network management tools to the limit, given the universal adoption of multi-tier applications, distributed computing and web technologies in the last decade. The advent of cloud computing, the latest evolution in IT, creates a new set of challenges that require innovative tools to help businesses leverage the cost and efficiency benefits of cloud computing, while mitigating the risks.

Simply described, cloud computing uses virtualization, grid architectures and Software as a Service application delivery, both inside and outside the boundaries of the enterprise network. It promises significant cost savings and business agility compared with traditional computing approaches. In a cloud environment, a business application, for example, may leverage a combination of in-house bare virtual machines, pre-built storefront virtual machines from an external cloud vendor (e.g. Amazon), and an external application service (e.g. Salesforce.com). Additionally, a variety of network nodes and links are also part of the required infrastructure mix to ensure the proper function of the application. How will network management keep up in such a complicated environment?

Traditional network management systems focus on measuring and monitoring technical metrics and trends of individual nodes and components in the infrastructure. Although an isolated issue in the complex web of new technologies may impact one or more user-facing tasks in a business process, the current monitoring approaches are incapable of determining the business impact of such a problem.

In order to ensure the smooth running of business operations in a cloud environment, network management must move away from point monitoring of IT infrastructure to instead monitor business service availability and performance. Network management must go beyond just looking at the performance of individual nodes or components to include a holistic service-oriented view.

To ensure greater reliability of essential processes and systems in a virtual environment, Business Service Management (BSM) systems can help enterprises connect business processes with IT operations to achieve a more holistic perspective. By connecting the worlds of IT and business, BSM solutions are able to identify the affected business processes or services when problems occur in the complex, distributed and virtual IT infrastructure. BSM solutions enable preemptive and rapid identification of business issues, accurate identification of root causes and quick resolution of problems.

Traditional network monitoring products have made the implementation of BSM solutions a challenge. Older generation network monitoring products are unable to integrate fault/event, performance management and BSM within a unified system, and thus businesses are forced to deploy and integrate multiple systems to get an end-to-end view. This cumbersome approach involves linking multiple disparate applications across different layers and domains of infrastructure and business services. These solutions contain a confusing array of complicated features, require specialized application-specific expertise to install, integrate and manage, and involve execution of complex projects to complete an implementation.

All of this adds up to a significant investment in the initial deployment and ongoing administrative support, resulting in extremely high total cost of ownership.

Fortunately, innovative solutions have emerged to deliver the advanced BSM capabilities required by the enterprise, pre-integrated with the necessary underlying fault/event and performance management capabilities. These next-generation BSM systems leverage two key technical advantages that enable them to effectively support cloud computing environments.

The first, open and extensible APIs or data-capture plug-ins for integrating with external systems, allows for the easy addition of custom monitors to capture availability and performance data from any element within the cloud computing infrastructure, whether it’s a new external web service or a virtual machine.

The second, sometimes referred to as creating ‘service containers,’ involves grouping an organization’s IT infrastructure to create logical, business-oriented views of the overall physical and virtualized computing network. The ability to link applications and the cloud computing infrastructure with business services creates service containers that allow enterprise network administrators to monitor for multiple elements of the infrastructure, generate reports on service containers, get uptime information and real-time status for services, and receive alerts if services fail or exceed defined thresholds.

Next-generation BSM systems provide the ability to define container severities to support varying business needs and objectives. Users can specify rules to indicate when a container is identified as being in an undesirable state. For example, if there are two redundant network paths between two end points, this can be specified in a business container. If there is a virtual server farm behind a load balancer and an outage of some of the virtual servers does not affect the supported business service, this can also be specified in a business container. Similarly, if there is a single SaaS application that supports the same business service, the business container can be defined to indicate the status of the business service as being ‘critical’ if the synthetic test transaction with SaaS application fails.

As mentioned earlier, business processes are increasingly dependent on a complex mix of IT infrastructure and applications that that extend beyond the boundaries of the enterprise network. A new set IT management challenges have emerged in light of the rapid adoption of cloud computing technologies, such as virtualization, grid architectures and SaaS. To ensure smooth business operations, organizations need to deploy advanced BSM solutions that overcome the limitations of legacy network management tools by providing real-time visibility into the availability and performance of business services

More Stories By Vikas Aggarwal

Vikas Aggarwal is founder and CEO of Zyrion Inc., a provider of BSM & IT infrastructure monitoring software solutions. Vikas Aggarwal has been an entrepreneur and senior executive at multiple technology startups over the past 20 years. He was the founder and CEO of Fidelia, a venture-backed IT infrastructure management software company, where he led the company's growth to about 100 customers before their acquisition by Network General. At Network General, he was the VP of Product Management where he oversaw product strategy through their acquisition by Netscout in late 2007.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
VigilantJon 12/01/09 09:54:00 AM EST

2 points on this:
1) Depending on the organization, why buy and go through that risk? Outsourcing this level of support and technology reduces organizational strain enabling IT to focus on improving business integration and innovation. This is not just an infrastructure monitoring problem, so picking a company who understands service management and service warranty is a must.
2) While grouping services, it is imperative that organizations look at their services and determine - what are those that can be outsourced (to a SaaS or other model) versus those that are key and differentiating. Grouping then leads to focus. We in IT tend to suffer from ADD, so anything that helps us focus is a win!

The points about managing cloud or federated computing models are spot-on. It's a straightforward process to implement management of these environments:
1) GetAware - who's doing what, where, how fast, how often, at what error rate, with what security, etc.
2) GetControl - gather the metrics that matter and put the right governance in place to manage to those KPI's.
3) GetResults - what policies and processes are needed to predictably manage to the service levels your business needs.

Of course its the details that matter and the plans that are developed and executed that matter.

As Mr. Aggarwal alludes to, the better IT integrates with business, the better IT can manage and report on the value IT services provides.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...