Increased application workload visibility can lead to cloud success

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Increased application workload visibility can lead to cloud success

When it comes to moving data and workloads to the cloud, many organizations, especially those in the public sector, are still hampered by fears of losing control of their systems. Plus, government agencies must meet more stringent requirements for security and privacy than traditional enterprises organizations, given the nature of the systems they maintain. A shift to the cloud is imminent, however, because the public sector wants to take advantage of the pay-as-you-go economics cloud services allow.

Besides security constraints, government organizations are facing a number of challenges beyond what many private sector companies face. In many cases, their IT infrastructures are complex environments of multivendor, heterogeneous solutions that have been put together over a period of years. That makes monitoring, analyzing and maintaining performance over the entire infrastructure a difficult proposition.

Given this scenario, government IT departments can struggle to maintain high performance and availability. Without the ability to proactively monitor, analyze and optimize systems in these complex environments, agencies might not be getting the performance and reliability they need.

Additionally, gaining a true understanding of workload performance requirements is critical to successfully moving data and applications to the cloud.  Proactive performance monitoring along with workload profiling and analysis are the essential components to determining “cloud readiness.”

To ensure the greatest likelihood of optimizing cloud services, agencies must have systemwide visibility of their infrastructure performance. Having “20/20 vision” of the entire IT environment is the single biggest predictor of cloud transformation success.

The case for IT infrastructure visibility

Following are five key ways organizations benefit from this strategy and start on the path to the cloud:

1. Consolidate data centers efficiently. Having complete visibility of the environment can help organizations quickly identify consolidation candidates, which speeds up the payback on such a transition.

2. Bring harmony to IT problem-solving. One of the most harmful results of limited visibility is that no one understands the true cause of an infrastructure problem or service degradation. This can lead to finger pointing and hard feelings when things go wrong, with various teams blaming others for outages and slowdowns. Visibility helps to eliminate this scenario, allowing for a more harmonious and innovative culture, which becomes even more critical if IT teams are planning to move data off premise.

3. Enable adoption of the enterprise-wide application model. Although government agencies are moving toward enterprisewide use of business applications, users must be satisfied with how applications are performing for the model to be successful. With workload visibility, agencies can learn how applications are functioning and immediately take steps to resolve issues that might hinder user experience. 

4. Understand workload performance profiles. Knowing how storage and computing systems are performing under various workload conditions and loading scenarios can help organizations locate potential bottlenecks and ensure IT managers understand performance requirements. Workload profiling also provides the clearest indication of how workloads may perform in the cloud. With performance profiling and workload modeling, IT teams don’t need to guess which workloads will work best where -- they have the analysis and insights to show them.

5. Help ensure cloud service providers meet the performance levels outlined in service-level agreements. Having metrics in place is vital to making sure cloud services deliver on the expected benefits. However, without excellent visibility into the overall IT infrastructure, the cloud customer has no true sense of the service level being provided and whether the provider is living up to the conditions of the SLA. With greater visibility, agencies can get insights into performance levels and reliability, and they can quickly identify and address problems.

Systemwide visibility clears the path for cloud transition

Infrastructure performance analytics (IPA) provide the kind of visibility IT teams need to assess how their systems are working and address problems quickly. Via real-time analytics, they can drill down into and resolve issues before they become major problems.

Visibility via IPA becomes all the more critical as agencies move certain applications and workloads into the cloud. The need for performance and availability never changes even if an agency is not quite ready for a cloud migration. In order to maximize the returns of such transitions, organizations would be wise to increase their visibility into their IT infrastructure before, during and after shifts to the cloud.

About the Author

Len Rosenthal is the chief marketing officer of Virtual Instruments.

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