Cloud Monitoring Best Practices in 2021

September, 2021

There are a plethora of things to watch on your cloud infrastructure. Therefore establishing a prioritised cloud monitoring plan is essential for a business to be successful.

It's no secret that cloud infrastructure generates a massive amount of data in real-time. Moreover, the amount of activity by users varies. As a result, it is common for performance measurements to shift abruptly. So how can a company expect to obtain the insights essential to optimise its information technology systems when confronted with such constant change?

It is a serious challenge to find and increase transparency, but there are ways to better develop stronger understanding of the activities happening within a business information technology ecosystem. An efficient cloud monitoring approach can aid in the deciphering of the mysteries surrounding your services.

Why do you need cloud monitoring in 2021?

Cloud monitoring brings up a lot of doors that enable you cloud services' true functionality. The ability to access your cloud anytime, whether it's SaaS, IaaS, or any other cloud-hosting service, empowers your teams with better visibility. 

With complete transparency of your cloud key performance activity, members of your team can easily identify any points of improvements that's required, making room for improvement. You'd need the ability to keep track of your cloud's performance, reliability, security, as well as costs and billing.

Overseeing all of these items may be overwhelming without the right tools and approach. However, monitoring tools enable you to pool application data into a centralised space, where numerous stakeholders' information is organised and discoverable.

7 cloud monitoring practices to try

Here are some common recommendations to handle cloud monitoring cases:

1. Choosing the right metrics

Decide which metrics are most important to your organisation and how to measure them. What would you like to accomplish the most with monitoring? Performance, security, and dependability may take precedence over other considerations in a given situation.

Many businesses make improvements to their services depending on the preferences of their clients. For example, multiplayer gaming services may prioritise low latency and high capacity over security to maximise revenue. 

2. Selecting your tooling based on core metrics

Selecting tooling should be based on core metrics. Occasionally, a company gets ahead and purchases a monitoring tool before determining its whole strategy — which metrics to prioritise, which services to watch, and which suppliers to utilise — and then regrets it. Take into account your budget and technology stacks.

For example, teams that manage Docker-based applications have a distinct set of requirements than teams that handle e-commerce transactions. Tools, on the other hand, cannot be everything to all groups. Every tool has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Users may just prefer one interface over another, regardless of whether or not everything else is equal. Also, keep in mind that there isn't a perfect monitoring tool out there.

3. Establishing performance baseline

Numbers are meaningless until they are placed in context. Establish a performance baseline to determine whether or not your system is behaving abnormally (or to spec). This sets a solid foundation allowing you to create comparisons as well as a usual operating range.

4. Testing, testing, testing

Make use of your monitoring tool to make improvements to your testing operations. Failures will occur at some point in your career. Chaos testing for high-traffic apps and web services is made possible by cloud monitoring, which is done continually.

5. Paying attention to user's experience

Keep an eye on the user's experience. Users are everything, and services should be available to help them achieve better outcomes. Enterprises frequently measure user experience in terms of features, but most of the time, it is estimated to minimise friction, such as annoyance caused by crashes, service outages, errors, or bottlenecks.

Through dashboards that provide a real-time picture of satisfaction, application performance monitoring (APM) tools can demonstrate how well an application acts on user devices. This is often done using an indexed or alternative measure derived by the tool itself. For example, an organisation can track the impact of service-based events on customer satisfaction ratings.

6. Creating alerts

Create alerts that are specific to your needs. For example, alerts delivered to the appropriate team members are pretty beneficial in the resolution of issues. Monitoring solutions can send messages by text message, email, or even social media platforms like Slack, among other methods.

7. Process automation

When it is possible, automate the process. In information technology, an aphorism says if you execute a task more than once, automate it. For example, using a monitoring tool, teams can delegate essential responsibilities such as event-based responses, configuration changes, periodic health checks, and time reporting to the monitoring tool. Likewise, administrative work should be automated whenever possible to save up time for more vital activities.

Using cloud monitoring tools

Real-time monitoring is instrumental, but it can place a significant strain on IT employees. Cloud service providers provide tools to aid in the monitoring of your cloud computing environment. For example, the monitoring features of Microsoft Azure are focused on some regions of interest like resource use, cost optimisation, and network performance, among others. AWS and Google Cloud both have management and monitoring tools that are similar to each other.

The use of a cloud-based monitoring service brings several oddities into your monitoring procedure. Because of the lockdown, some tools cannot access specific performance measurements or sensitive data, but others can access particular performance metrics without being locked down.

Some monitoring technologies are throttled, meaning they only record monitoring statistics at specific intervals rather than in real-time. However, because containers and pods might terminate or replicate at any time, this approach may be insufficient, particularly in containerised systems. Furthermore, abrupt increases in user activity impact resource use, necessitating the need for rapid data collection.

Check out our previous blog: Windows 365 vs. Azure Virtual Desktop: What Are the Differences?