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Cloud Monitoring for Performance and Security

As more and more workloads are migrated to the cloud, evaluating, monitoring, and managing cloud-based services, applications, and infrastructure have become increasingly important. It is also essential to see the entire networking environment (physical and cloud) in context to ensure the health of your systems.

Cloud monitoring requires monitoring and analysis of KPIs at every layer of infrastructure. Key metrics can include system or service availability, latency, throughput, response time, scalability, security, and cost per customer. Proper tracking and usage optimization are also essential to regulate costs and avoid cloud sprawl.

Performance Monitoring

Performance Monitoring

Monitoring provides feedback from production on application performance and usage patterns, which can be used to ensure high availability by reducing time to detect (TTD) and time to mitigate (TTM) issues. Application performance management tools can be used to monitor, analyze, and manage both applications and the IT infrastructure. These automated tools will send rich diagnostic data to the DevOps teams as soon as issues arise. Teams can then act on the information and resolve issues immediately so that not many users, if any, are affected. Effective monitoring will allow your teams to quickly respond to feedback from production and improve user satisfaction. Tools such as AppDynamics and New Relic APM are typical application performance monitoring tools.

Security Monitoring

Security Monitoring

Security is a key concern for enterprises on the cloud; especially when mission-critical applications or customer data reside on cloud platforms. Risk and complexity increase with hybrid, multi-cloud deployments. You will need to support your security implementation with a robust monitoring mechanism to keep the cloud resources safe. Automated real-time monitoring using tools and scanners allows you to continuously assess application and infrastructure behavior, identify patterns, and pinpoint potential security vulnerabilities.

Cloud Monitoring Through Logs and Alerts

Log Monitoring and Analysis

Log Monitoring and Analysis

Logging has been an essential part of resolving application and infrastructure problems. It generates a detailed list of events occurring in your application and can help trace the cause of a problem providing the context in which it happened. The more relevant data you log, the better you can troubleshoot when a problem arises.

As log files grow in size, it can become difficult to search through all of them. Commercial tools such as Splunk or open-source options like the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) can be used to collect, search, and visualize log data. Analyzing log data in the light of information from external monitoring adds to its value and significance.

Alert Management

Alert Management

Reporting problems is the core competency of a monitoring solution. By automating alerts, your team can quickly respond to such reported events.

However, not all alerts carry the same degree of urgency. Low severity alerts need not interrupt anyone’s work but can be recorded in the monitoring system for reference or investigation at a later time. Events such as a delay in application response time need immediate attention and can be configured to trigger high severity alerts that receive special treatment. An important step in cloud monitoring, therefore, is setting up alerting thresholds correctly.

Monitoring in DevOps Lifecycle

Continuous monitoring is as much an integral part of DevOps implementation as continuous integration and delivery. Monitoring both pre-production and production environments enable teams to build faster, test earlier, and release frequently while improving quality and reducing costs.

Proactive monitoring, also known as synthetic monitoring, involves stimulating user interaction with applications, APIs, or web services to study what a real user would face in reality. Monitors can be run from different geographic locations, browsers, or devices to collect performance feedback.

Real-time user monitoring (RUM), on the other hand, captures the actual transaction between the user and the application. It is a passive monitoring technique to observe systems in the background, tracking responsiveness, functionality, and availability.

Agile teams wanting to shift their focus to prevention rather than detection, use synthetic monitoring tools to identify and fix performance deviations before real users experience them. Log and event management in the CI/CD pipeline will enable your team to monitor application behavior before releasing it to production. Clubbing data from synthetic monitoring with RUM data provides full visibility into the user experience.

Cloud Monitoring Tools

Cloud monitoring tools can be of two types:

  • Tools provided by the cloud platform such as CloudWatch to monitor resources on the AWS platform.
  • Third-party tools from independent providers. These can be a SaaS offering like NewRelic or open-source options such as Prometheus or Nagios.

At QBurst, we employ third-party tools in combination with platform-provided ones for comprehensive cloud monitoring. Third-party tools include Nagios, Zabbix, NewRelic, ELK, GrayLog, Loggly, PRTG, Icinga, and many others along with our custom infrastructure monitoring tool, WebWatch24x7.


Cloud Monitoring Best Practices

  • Integrate metrics, flow, and log for a complete view
  • Monitor cloud service usage and cost
  • Set up automated alerts and proactive measures
  • Use a single platform to report all the data
  • Identify and define key metrics
  • Monitor end-user experience with APM tools
  • Automate monitoring tasks

Highlights of QBurst Monitoring Services

  • 24x7 support team
  • Custom monitoring solutions created based on the application
  • Experience with multiple tools and cloud services
  • Continuous troubleshooting to identify bottlenecks and improve the performance of the infrastructure
  • Resolution time based on Service Level Agreement (SLA)
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