Is Hybrid Cloud NPM the Right Choice for You?

In this week’s blog, we’re exploring the second topic in our mini series of 2018 predictions for the networking industry: Hybrid Cloud Network Performance Monitoring.

As you may recall, we started to introduce this idea in an October blog where we briefly discussed how taking advantage of cloud infrastructure scaling means rewriting applications for the cloud, and how applications will break during this process, causing them to be reverted to private clouds as issues are encountered in the public cloud environment—a costly, time-intensive, and generally not worth it process to invest in.

The idea behind Hybrid Cloud NPM is to curb the incessant oscillation of applications between public and private clouds and the issues that result from this, as Hybrid Network Monitoring offers greater cost efficiencies, improved security (especially for regulatory environments), and greater accessibility, among other benefits.

Let’s dive in…

Choosing the right cloud environment for your NPM application requires critical decision-making and is also vital to creating a strong IT strategy that will set you apart from the competition. Determining the appropriate balance between public and private cloud, and aligning the proper cloud infrastructure for your business use cases can be challenging.

Public vs. private cloud

While both types of infrastructures offer their distinct benefits, they also have pitfalls. Let’s quickly compare.

Public cloud offers increased scalability and elasticity at a lower cost than private cloud, and is maintained/managed by a service provider, whereas private cloud provides greater control and customization, as well increased security through dedicated servers.

Today’s enterprises require a combination of flexibility and cost savings, along with enhanced security and control over their data offered by both. In the case of NPM, a hybrid cloud makes for the most ideal solution due to its ability to leverage the combined advantages of public and private cloud.

More specifically, a hybrid cloud environment allows you to migrate and test data and applications on the public cloud, while keeping confidential information in a private environment. As an example, website content could reside in the public cloud while customer account information would remain on-premises in a secure environment.

Now come the challenges…

As the cloud is increasingly adopted as an industry standard, there are several important factors that one should consider before diving head first into any cloud environment—particularly a hybrid one.

Security of one’s data – when data resides in the public cloud, users lack control over it. When moving to a hybrid cloud environment, issues such as data protection and compliance become increasingly important factors to consider.

  • Scaling issues – when a hybrid cloud leverages an enterprise’s existing infrastructure, it can be difficult to maintain an accurate track of the scaling of systems, especially without the right monitoring capabilities. For example, if you utilize different monitoring tools based on the location of your app(s), you may struggle to diagnose problems across all the domains, as you’ll have to look at various, disparate dashboards vs. leveraging one centralized monitoring solution.
  • Beware of costs – most enterprises underestimate the cost of migrating to the hybrid cloud. Infrastructure handling, maintenance, and time must all be key considerations. If you don’t plan, you will overspend. A private cloud is costly to maintain, and can become quite expensive very quickly due to the physical hardware, maintenance, and potentially heavy usage needs.
  • Traditional architecture of the private cloud – to benefit from hybrid cloud agility, the seamless exchange of applications between private and public clouds is necessary. The issue lies in the difficulty of moving these applications from the private cloud to a hybrid cloud environment due to their unknown/aging architecture, which is not designed to meet a hybrid environment. Furthermore, some applications aren’t candidates for the cloud. In other words, legacy apps may not be suitable for a cloud environment as they may need to be rewritten depending on the infrastructure. Most importantly, monitoring infrastructure in the public cloud is built upon assumptions of a limited number of standard instances and hence scales with compute in the cloud. The private cloud, however, has been built on many different platforms and lacks the scalability and access to accurate data – this is keenly represented in the multitude of independent and overlapping software tools (with their performance limitations) that make up network monitoring the private cloud environment.
  • Compatibility – there are two different levels of infrastructure: a public cloud that the enterprise does not control, and a private cloud they can control. Chances are, you will be running different stacks. So, the challenge remains: can both be managed using the same tools?

Choosing the right cloud environment for your NPM needs can be a life and death decision for the future of your business. If you’re struggling with making the right choice, feel free to reach out to us via our contact us page and we’d be happy to share some insight into the capabilities that cPacket’s industry leading, next generation NPM solutions can provide within a hybrid cloud environment.