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Heading into the cloud: Managing network performance across a unified fabric

Pete Cruz, director of product management and marketing, SevOne | July 10, 2012
The adoption of virtualization and cloud-based services is accelerating, but a byproduct enterprises may not have considered is that it has never been more challenging to gain accurate and timely application performance visibility in a uniform way.

IT organizations require highly automated and integrated system management software tools to optimize IT processes and application performance across dynamic hybrid cloud environments that combine on-premise private clouds and off-premise public clouds with traditional and virtualized IT service infrastructures. Many are opting for a phased migration using technology partners and starting with less mission-critical applications and resources, ensuring they have the people, processes and the right tools in place.

Keeping the lights on during transition

Traditional tools employed for managing performance have typically been point solutions supporting a specific technology area. Because cloud services are delivered as one offering, the ability to collect data from different sources, overlay that data in one interface, and view performance metrics as a whole becomes extremely important for identifying and addressing service impacting issues.

But before organizations can identify what applications can or should be run in the cloud, they need to understand how applications perform and the resources they require. By monitoring and baselining performance, organizations can understand the peak utilization hours across resources in order to determine the appropriate services or resource categories that must be defined within the cloud to support the application effectively.

MORE: 8 questions that will dominate enterprise cloud adoption

Once the apps have been migrated, IT needs to continue to monitor the cloud for changes or deviation of baselines to determine if more resources are required. In some cases, resources can be dynamically applied at certain times of the day to keep up with peak demands, then released when those peak times have passed, making those resources available for other applications.

Leveraging virtualization in the cloud enables organizations to dynamically reallocate or move virtual machines (VMs) to resources when needed. However, moving VMs to different resources can present problems for IT in terms of maintaining visibility of the VM and assessing the impact of the move, because some tools will treat a moved VM as new and history can be lost.

Solving the cloud management conundrum

Enterprise IT organizations leveraging private and off-premises public cloud services face several additional performance management challenges:

" Cost containment -- Collecting, monitoring and baselining performance across technologies is critical to allowing IT to right-size environments based on the needs of the services they support and deliver, therefore optimizing or maximizing their infrastructure investments.


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