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With SaaS, IT no longer owns responsibility for service levels, right?

Patrick Carey, VP Product Management, Exoprise | Nov. 8, 2013
Six myths that can derail your use of the cloud, all of them grounded in a general belief that once we move to the cloud IT no longer owns direct responsibility for service levels.

On the other end of the spectrum, Web monitoring solutions often either run generic protocol tests or run from the providers' locations rather than within your own network.  None of these solutions can provide active, end-to-end monitoring of service performance and user experience from behind your firewall to the service provider and back.

* "I don't need to monitor.  My users tell you when they are having problems." This may be okay for some less critical applications, but for most organizations these days, communication and collaboration apps like email are mission critical.  If the service is down, so is your company.  So what happens when the users report a problem?  Where do you start to look?  Do you immediately get on the Office 365 support line?  It's probably not even a Microsoft problem.  

Speed to resolution is key.  You want to be notified before users are impacted and when an issue is identified you want to isolate it and get it resolved as quickly as possible.

* "Moving to the cloud means monitoring is someone else's problem, right?"  The cloud provides many CapEx and OpEx benefits for IT; e.g., fewer servers and apps to directly manage and house. It also provides built-in world-class features, service, and security, regardless of budget and staffing. However, local IT is still on the hook for the quality of service realized by users.  When a user has an issue they will call you, not Microsoft.

Moving to the cloud, doesn't mean monitoring goes away, but it does fundamentally change the requirements. You need to monitor these solutions, but you need to look at different approaches, ones that are designed to meet the needs of the cloud.  You have to be able to monitor and troubleshoot infrastructure you cannot touch - the end-to-end service delivery chain from your premises, through the various Internet service providers, to the application provider and back.  

To do this you need to take a global view of the cloud service, tracking performance measurements from multiple access points.  By comparing these measurements, you have the ability to quickly detect, isolate, and resolve issues affecting cloud application performance before they negatively impact your users and your organization. The more monitoring points you have the better your ability to do this.  It's difficult for smaller organizations to accomplish this level of visibility on their own, but as adoption of cloud applications grows, you'll begin to see new solutions that pool resources across multiple customers, and provide this level of visibility to any SaaS consumer.


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