Cloud computing has been evolving into different technology areas such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). These technology areas are finding increasing adoption in the marketplace.
A recent report published by International Data Corporation (IDC) has indicated that the Cloud Computing market is expected to cross $70 billion in 2015. Ref- https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25797415
The economic drivers for adoption of Cloud Technologies have been well understood in the market.
Lower Investments: Cloud offerings typically have very low upfront costs. All SaaS product offerings are charged on a pay per use monthly subscription basis, which implies lower cost of ownership.
No Infrastructure Costs: Cloud service offerings use cloud based infrastructures such as Amazon or Rackspace or a private cloud. Hence the customer does not have to bear the cost of the infrastructure setup with cloud services.
Outsourced Technology Expertise: With cloud offerings, customers get a ready to use product that can be immediately consumed by the end user. Customer does not need to invest in an in-house IT team having that particular technology expertise.
Simplified Management: With offerings in the cloud, the service provider deals with on-going management, maintenance and upgrades of technology. The customer can focus on his core business needs.
So Why I’m telling this story to you? As infrastructure engineer I believe that this is going to change how we do things in Traditional vs Could Infrastructure. Let us take example of “Monitoring”. Here in this blog, I’m going to talk about monitoring of Infrastructure and applications in Traditional vs Cloud. Adoption of “Cloud computing” is going to change they way we do monitoring of our servers and applications.
Monitoring as a Service (MaaS) in the Cloud! –
What does Monitoring-as-a-Service (MaaS) mean?
Monitoring-as-a-service (MaaS) is one of many cloud delivery models under anything as a service (XaaS). It is a framework that facilitates the deployment of monitoring functionalities for various other services and applications within the cloud. The most common application for MaaS is online state monitoring, which continuously tracks certain states of applications, networks, systems, instances or any element that may be deployable within the cloud. MaaS offerings consist of multiple tools and applications meant to monitor a certain aspect of an application, server, system or any other IT component. There is a need for proper data collection, especially of the performance and real-time statistics of IT components, in order to make proper and informed management possible.
IT infrastructure monitoring should an essential part of the IT Management Policy for an organization that is reliant on IT infrastructure. Proactive monitoring provides business continuity, quicker disaster recovery and easier capacity planning for all mission critical applications.
Monitoring as a Service (MaaS) in the Cloud is a concept that combines the benefits of cloud computing technology and traditional on-premise IT infrastructure monitoring solutions. MaaS is a new delivery model that is suited for organizations looking to adopt a monitoring framework quickly with minimal investments.
Traditional On-Premise Monitoring Framework-
On premise monitoring is the traditional deployment model for monitoring private networks (internal IT infrastructure). This has been a very effective model over the years and works well for organization that can afford to implement this monitoring framework. On-premise monitoring involves purchase of software tools and investing in monitoring infrastructure and skilled IT personnel.
On-Premise monitoring provides the following benefits:
In-House Monitoring Infrastructure:Customers can own the in-house infrastructure for monitoring. This implies more control over the infrastructure with regards to upgrades, maintenance and management
Higher Levels of Security:Since the monitoring infrastructure is located in-house, customer gets better security where the monitoring tool does not need to cross firewall domains and connect over the open internet.
Inherent Connectivity to Internal Assets:Monitoring infrastructure is already a part of the internal network (LAN and MPLS). Hence connecting to all the infrastructure assets is easy.
Real Time Monitoring Data:On-premise monitoring provides real-time data where alerts are generated and shown to the customer immediately. The monitoring dashboard and email servers are all within the customer premise and hence there are no delays.
Customization and Extensions:On-premise monitoring solutions can be heavily customized to meet the exact needs of a specific customer environment. This could be in the form of monitoring of custom applications or personalized dashboards and escalation matrices.
The Adoption of Cloud and Software as a Service Delivery Models
Monitoring as a Service Offering –
The monitoring as a service (MaaS) offering provides a monitoring solution based on a monitoring infrastructure in the cloud. The MaaS vendor invests in the monitoring framework including the hardware, monitoring software and specialized IT personnel on behalf of the customer. The customer just needs to pay for the service he wants to use – on a subscription model similar to any SaaS product offering.
Benefits of Monitoring as a Service (MaaS)
The following are the benefits of a monitoring as a service (MaaS) product:
Ready to Use Monitoring Tool Login: The vendor takes care of setting up the hardware infrastructure, monitoring tool, configuration and alert settings on behalf of the customer. The customer gets a ready to use login to the monitoring dashboard that is accessible using an internet browser. A mobile client is also available for the MaaS dashboard for IT administrators.
Inherently Available 24x7x365: Since MaaS is deployed in the cloud, the monitoring dashboard itself is available 24x7x365 that can be accessed anytime from anywhere. There are no downtimes associated with the monitoring tool.
Easy Integration with Business Processes: MaaS can generate alert based on specific business conditions. MaaS also supports multiple levels of escalation so that different user groups can get different levels of alerts.
Cloud Aware and Cloud Ready: Since MaaS is already in the cloud, MaaS works well with other cloud based products such as PaaS and SaaS. MaaS can monitor Amazon and Rackspace cloud infrastructure. MaaS can monitor any private cloud deployments that a customer might have.
Zero Maintenance Overheads: As a MaaS, customer, you don’t need to invest in a network operations centre. Neither do you need to invest an in-house team of qualified IT engineers to run the monitoring desk since the MaaS vendor is doing that on behalf of the customer.
Price Sensitive Customers: For small and medium enterprises, MaaS provides cost effective pay per use pricing model. Customers don’t need to make any heavy investments neither in capital expenditures (capex) nor in operating expenditures (opex).
Monitoring as a service (MaaS) is an attractive choice for the following scenarios:
Cloud Based SaaS and PaaS offering Add-On: MaaS provides a better technology fit for monitoring cloud based SaaS and PaaS offerings. MaaS can be provided as an add-on product offering along with SaaS and PaaS.
Distributed Infrastructure Assets: In scenarios where the IT infrastructure assets are distributed across different locations and branch offices, MaaS is a good option since the monitoring infrastructure is centralized in the cloud and can easily monitor all distributed infrastructure assets.
Mixture of Cloud and On-Premise Infrastructure: MaaS is already in the cloud. Hence in deployments where customer has a mix of on-premise and cloud infrastructure, MaaS provides good monitoring options for the hybrid environment.
Multitenant Monitoring Requirements: For vendors offering multi-tenant functionality on their hosted services, MaaS provides a strong backend framework for monitoring the multi-tenant services and their availability.