I'm a firm believer that the cloud has many advantages over on-premises solutions when it comes to managing your enterprise infrastructure: they're more efficient and less expensive, they're more reliable, and they take advantage of the latest technological innovations like machine learning. Still, there's a right way and a wrong way to manage your cloud infrastructure, and too often I see companies make horrible mistakes that lead to unexpected costs and unreliable performance. To help you avoid these pitfalls, I've compiled this list of common mistakes (and how to correct them) that are all too easy to make when managing your enterprise applications and workloads in the cloud.
1. Not Identifying Your Internal Cloud Infrastructure Requirements First
It's important to understand your specific requirements before you choose a cloud service, a cloud provider, or a management tool.
A one-size-fits-all solution is not going to be the right fit for everyone; instead, you should be aware of how your company's unique infrastructure and needs will affect how these three elements work together.
Understanding your requirements will help ensure that when it comes time to make decisions about cloud infrastructure management tools and services, those decisions are well-informed ones.
If you need expert consultation you can always reach out to our certified Cloud computing team here.
2. Not Taking the Time to Understand the Security Features of a Cloud Service
Cloud providers are not all created equal. Some provide you with a single layer of security while others offer multiple layers of protection.
It's important to understand the security features that come with your cloud services, as well as what additional steps must be taken in order to ensure that these features are working properly.
To start, make sure you understand the basics:
- What type of encryption is used by your provider? Is it provided by an outside firm or does it come from within?
- Do they have a digital certificate? If so, who issued it and how do I know whether or not it's valid?
- What kind of authentication protocols are used during login processes (if any), and do they meet my needs?
- How frequently does my data get updated in storage after each change has been made, and can I control this setting if needed?
- What happens when someone reports a violation? Will it be handled quickly enough?
3. Failing to Monitor your Cloud Services
Monitoring your cloud services is a critical part of cloud infrastructure management. It's not enough to just have access to your data—you need to know if it's safe and secure, too.
Monitoring tools can alert you when there's a problem on a critical server or if there are vulnerabilities in the code running on that server. This will ensure that your business stays up and running at all times, even when something goes wrong.
Once you start monitoring your cloud infrastructure, you'll begin to see ways in which it could be improved.
Your monitoring software will provide valuable real-time data about how well each component is working, including resource usage patterns across the board (or across specific applications). This information can help inform decisions about deployment—such as whether additional servers are needed based on current usage patterns—and therefore improve overall efficiency.
While cloud computing provides unparalleled scalability and agility, it also results in IT losing direct control and visibility. Measuring cloud service availability alone is insufficient.
Organizations must track consumption levels (particularly key performance indicators used for billing) as well as the impact of cloud service access on the rest of the infrastructure. They must also ensure that their cloud-based resources are evolving in tandem with the needs of the business.
Another unique metric obtained by monitoring is billing charges. Businesses should track of the estimated EC2 charges, data transfers, and total monthly charges for any given month.
For example, AWS adapter KPIs can provide users with information such as the estimated credit balance for the current billing period at the time of last collection, the estimated credit usage for the current billing period at the time of last collection, and the estimated charges accrued for the current billing period at the time of last collection.
This is important if they need alerts on such metrics to keep costs under control. Furthermore, when a company has planned capacity and estimated charges, these metrics would provide an early warning if their estimates differed from reality.
Because all metric and flow data is treated the same in a sophisticated monitoring platform, businesses can baseline and set alerts to be ready for any type of spike or drop in services required.
4. Not Understanding the Specifics of Your Billing Model
It's important to understand the specifics of your billing model. You should know:
- How you will be billed
- How you will be charged
- How you will be invoiced and paid for usage
- How your cloud provider will audit, charge for inefficiencies and waste on a per-instance basis
If you feel you are paying more than you should be; then you're doing this wrong. The whole point behind having a Cloud infrastructure is to ensure optimal performance, results, and costs.
Our team can help you control your Cloud infrastructure management costs. Contact us.
5. Not Integrating Metrics and Flows Data for a Complete Picture
When your network is multi-vendor, it's critical that your monitoring platform treats data from different vendors and locations equally.
You are not only receiving cloud metrics or flow data. All of this information is required for the system to function properly. The value of a sophisticated monitoring platform is its ability to convert all of this disparate data into consistent metrics on which to baseline, alert, and trend. These standardized metrics can provide a data point about an event that can be compared to other data points.
Transitioning to the cloud is a significant step, and your company requires a complete data picture - complete with integrated metrics and flows - to tell the story of your journey from the datacenter to the cloud.
Cloud Monitoring Use Case
Consider the following scenario: your company hosts a document repository application that it wishes to deploy to the hybrid cloud. What components should you monitor to ensure consistent application delivery, keeping in mind that an employee may access the application from the office headquarters or from a remote location?
- Application deployment: You host the application as an internal wiki solution, but you also make some parts of it available to your customers. You host a local version in your Riyadh datacenter, which internal employees who work in the local offices can access.
- Datacenter deployment: Your primary datacenter is in Riyadh, but you have a full disaster recovery site in Jeddah. This enables you to maintain business operations in the event of a disaster at the primary site. The application is continuously replicated from Riyadh to Jeddah.
- Network: This is the infrastructure that allows users and applications to communicate with one another. Laptops and other wireless-enabled devices are used for wireless; the physical network infrastructure provides wireless infrastructure connectivity for those using desktops and hardwired solutions.
- Internet / Gateway connections: You'll see the gatekeeper or Internet firewall, and from there, you'll monitor additional nodes that are linked to synthetic tests and each provider's first hop. The links between the hops are individual firewall interfaces that provide physical connectivity. The final indicator provides data from synthetic tests to the internal application server's border, as well as external instances of the application. This enables troubleshooting issues and pinpointing their location within the environment.
- Two alert summaries: Alert summaries are divided into on-premises and cloud deployments. In order to force a user to use a monitoring report as part of a troubleshooting workflow, a sophisticated monitoring platform will aggregate on device rather than show detail. Your monitoring platform should be more than just an alerting engine; it should also be a powerful reporting platform.
When monitoring cloud deployments, you must be able to rely on the data to ensure the application and service delivery of your business. An advanced monitoring platform will normalize data from both the datacenter and the cloud, providing your IT department with a unified view.
You have a complete, end-to-end view of your network when your monitoring platform can connect to cloud platform performance metrics and end user experience data. And that's what you'll need to run your business successfully as you migrate from your on-premises datacenter to the hybrid cloud.
6. Trying to Manage It All Yourself
Many companies try to manage their own infrastructure, but too few of them take into account the cost of hiring and training staff, the time required to manage it all yourself, and the risk of losing control over your infrastructure.
There are also risks associated with not having a dedicated team managing your infrastructure:
- You may lose control over your data privacy and security practices.
- You may lose control over compliance with regulations such as HIPAA or PCI DSS.
- You could end up paying more than you need for cloud services because you're unsure how much capacity you need at any given time.
Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your Cloud Infrastructure Management
Avoid these missteps and you'll be on the fast track to a successful cloud infrastructure management project.
When you're working on a project, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the things that could go wrong. If this happens, don't be afraid to ask for help! You're not alone in your struggle against bad documentation and poor planning; there are plenty of resources out there for people who want to learn more about cloud infrastructure management software or who need advice from experts in this field. By taking advantage of these resources (and avoiding common mistakes), you'll quickly become an expert yourself.
At this point you should have a better understanding of the benefits that can be derived from using Cloud Infrastructure Management.
If you're interested in learning more about what we have to offer, then please contact us today for more information or to schedule an introductory consultation with one of our expert representatives.