When CIOs make the decision to move select IT functions to the cloud or to a managed services environment, monitoring the physical infrastructure (servers, storage, network, etc.) becomes the responsibility of the service provider. However, dedicated IT pros are not satisfied with an “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy. That’s why Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, has put together a list of the top tools that CIOs should demand from any prospective cloud or managed services partner.
“CIOs in charge of an enterprise-class infrastructure may easily relinquish the day-to-day management and maintenance tasks that become the responsibility of the cloud or managed services provider, but that doesn’t mean they want to be in the dark,” says Michael Strysik, solution architect for Logicalis. “In fact, when they are selecting their cloud or managed services partners, it’s critical that IT professionals conduct site visits, view the provider’s operations center and find out what toolsets a prospective provider offers that will give them full visibility into the functionality of their cloud.”
Click through for five tools every business should demand from their cloud provider, as identified by Logicalis.
An ITSM toolset is essentially an ERP system for IT — a central repository of information that gives both the provider and the customer a finger on the pulse of the customer’s cloud environment. It’s the customer’s portal to reports for capacity planning, historical trending analysis and tracking information for every end-point or device in that database. The ITSM toolset is a single pane of glass view from which both the provider and customer can see how every device in the environment is functioning.
Systems are running 24/7 these days, making it necessary to have enterprise-class tools or probes that can monitor IT infrastructure around the clock. The right probes have software agents that can gather SNMP data for device polling and are integrated with the ITSM toolset as well. It is the provider’s way of monitoring the client’s environment around the clock and, if something goes bump in the night, being alerted quickly, identifying the problem and remediating within the time specified by the customer’s SLA.
It’s crucial to know who has changed what and when. As a result, CIOs should insist that their providers employ a screen capturing tool that tracks and logs any type of activity or change made to their systems. If there is an incident, an outage or a security concern, every step can be retraced, giving the customer peace of mind and the provider a starting point when looking for answers.
How long does it take to submit, complete and return an application request to a user? End-user response measurement, or synthetic transaction monitoring, can provide the most precise gauge of user experiences. Surprisingly, although synthetic transaction monitoring can offer the best way to pinpoint problems and test the performance of applications in the cloud, it is often the most overlooked tool in a cloud provider’s toolbox.
Certain applications, no matter where they are located, can take significant amounts of time to open and run. An ERP package, for example, could take as long as four to five minutes to open, but using a WAN acceleration tool combined with some up-front configuration work, that time-to-open can be reduced to less than 30 seconds. This kind of tool isn’t right in every circumstance, but when performance improvements are needed, it is definitely a must-have in a cloud provider’s arsenal.