Corporate IT teams often face problems with cooperation between infrastructure and application teams. Limited visibility, compatibility and performance issues, these are just a few issues at the tip of the iceberg. Nowadays, with the maturity and fast-growing usage of cloud computing technologies, cloud infrastructure is becoming increasingly complex, leading to more complicated problems arising.
Common concerns surrounding cloud infrastructure that corporations face boil down to mainly these three issues: 1. Lack of visibility to their cloud infrastructure 2. Lack of benchmarks on the cloud 3. Lack of expertise with the cloud. Each of these issues affect adoption of public cloud platforms.
Lack of visibility
Unlike traditional IT infrastructure, public cloud emphasizes on shared responsibility which offloads certain maintenance effort from corporations; at the same time, it is harder for corporations to monitor infrastructure performance as well as having limited insights on application performance. This makes applications and workloads on the cloud more invisible.
With such limited visibility, companies may become more passive towards incidents. As IT teams are unable to monitor infrastructure and application performances, they would only be notified after the occurrence of an incident, or when users report faults, which results in the inability to implement preventive measures. The likelihood of incidents occurring more frequently and affecting users will rise.
Lack of benchmarks
The flexibility and agility are well-known benefits of cloud services. However, these benefits also induce problems with cloud architecture, if it has been designed and built well and how to improve on it as there is so much room to freely architect.
From time to time, organizations will face issues of making improvements to their IT infrastructure performance, taking into account financial and efficiency considerations. In a public cloud environment, customers may not have sufficient data and insights to utilize improvement techniques. As a result, spending costs might be kept high and performance may not be improved.
Lack of cloud expertise
Cloud computing is maturing, but new services and technologies are still constantly launched every day on public cloud platforms. With the ever-changing services and updates, it is challenging for corporate IT teams to catch up and refresh on every cloud platform update whilst supporting internal projects at the same time. Inevitably, slower support and implementation on the cloud are to be expected due to the unfamiliar environment.
Basic Requirements for Effective Cloud Infrastructure Management
There are 4 key steps when it comes to managing cloud environment: Monitor, Manage, React, and Optimize. First, resources on cloud should be closely monitored on both application and infrastructure levels, so that whenever there are any incidents, the team would be alerted. Daily operation is also important while changes, updates, and configurations would be needed for daily operation. Whenever there are incidents, the team should react early and troubleshoot, so that impact is minimized. Finally, organizations should review their resource efficiency from the financial and performance perspectives periodically.
To help corporations better adopt the cloud with the above-mentioned steps, and use cloud technology in a more efficient way, Superhub provides managed service on Azure with the following key enablers:
Superhub uses the end-to-end approach to help monitor customers’ resources on Azure, not just their infrastructure. There are a number of applications that are natively integrated with our monitoring platform. By simply installing the monitoring agent, insights could be drawn about various applications and infrastructure resources. Mainstream applications are mostly supported, including but not limited to Windows IIS, Tomcat, MS SQL, MySQL, etc.
After the monitoring platform is set up on the customer’s tenant, alerts would be sent to both customers and the support team at Superhub. This is to ensure immediate notification once there is any incident occurrence, and our support team could provide their soonest support. Below are some screenshots of dashboard monitoring on the Superhub platform.
With help from Superhub’s end-to-end monitoring capability, early stage alerts can be set off when incidents happen, or even before an incident occurs. For instance, our support team would be alerted in the event your web app receives HTTP errors and it is related to highly utilized memory. Following that, our team would follow the agreed upon standard operation procedure to troubleshoot, for example, releasing some processes occupying computing resources. In this way, issues could be solved before users report faults and before it gets more serious.
Other than incident handling and troubleshooting, whenever there are support issues or change configurations required, our support team are at hand to assist. If there are some platform issues which may need Microsoft’s intervention, we have our Premier tier support tickets which comes with its commitment of a much quicker response time.
Benchmarking and optimization
Finally, when it comes to optimization of the cloud environment, we have tools which can help monitor your financial and operational performance. Firstly, help to consolidate on billing information can be done for ease of distinguishing the different uses on the cloud: resources types, internal departments, regions. Also, we would help to identify utilization of your cloud resources, to ascertain if the machines are overprovisioned. Only after that can we decide to downsize those machines to gain better cost effectiveness.
Another optimization area we would help to improve is your operational efficiencies. To do so, we would make recommendations on best practices of security control on the cloud and suggest governance practices, for effortless optimization of every aspect.
There are different challenges to manage and operate your cloud environment. Superhub is willing to onboard customers onto the cloud and manage it in a more efficient way. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to use the cloud with all its enhancements.