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A Smart Approach to Service Assurance in the Hybrid Cloud

Prepared and organized at the point of collection, this smart data is ready and optimized for analytics at the highest speed and quality.

Michael Segal is VP of Strategy for NETSCOUT.

As companies around the globe undergo digital transformation, the cloud is proving invaluable in providing the scale, agility and flexibility they need to stay competitive. Adoption is growing at such a rate that analysts expect spending on the cloud to grow at more than six times the rate of general IT spending by the end of 2020.

As a result of capitalizing on this demand by positioning itself as an integral partner for organizations as they move to the cloud, Microsoft recently reported quarterly revenues of almost $10 billion for its Intelligent Cloud Offering. With a recent analyst report predicting that the hybrid cloud market will more than double from $44.6 billion in 2018 to $97.64 billion in 2023, and with around a quarter of organizations likely to adopt a hybrid multi-cloud approach, this strategy can be seen as a particularly shrewd move. After all, with businesses utilizing a mixture of services from different providers, Microsoft will have access to an ever broader pool of customers.

However, as hybrid cloud adoption becomes more widespread, optimizing this new infrastructure and assuring its services will become increasingly critical, although doing so will present a new set of challenges that organizations will need to address if they are to unlock the cloud’s full potential.

In light of this, a growing number of companies are likely to take a smart data approach to hybrid cloud assurance and continuous monitoring that will enable them to optimize this new infrastructure, mitigate risk, and make more intelligent business decisions.

Achieving Pervasive Visibility

This shift toward a hybrid cloud model has caused enterprise IT infrastructures to grow in size and complexity, which presents its own challenges. It has made it extremely challenging, for example, to detect when and how network or application performance will degrade, impacting user experience. Organizations are, therefore, seeking ways of achieving pervasive visibility across their entire hybrid cloud infrastructure and applications that run on this infrastructure, that will enable them to continuously monitor for performance issues and anomalous network or application behavior.

Complete visibility into cloud infrastructure and application workloads, including linkages and dependencies between the applications, networks, servers, and databases involved in the service delivery process, allows organizations to ensure efficiency and optimize their mean time to repair.

To achieve this holistic visibility requires the traffic and application data traversing the entire service delivery infrastructure to be continuously monitored, from end to end, and subsequently analyzed. In comparison with machine/log data, for example, which will only provide information on discrete events, it is possible, using the right technology, to leverage this "wire data" to create and maintain "smart data" for deep real-time and back-in-time insights.  Prepared and organized at the point of collection, this smart data is ready and optimized for analytics at the highest speed and quality.

By extracting key metrics from smart data and displaying them, along with service inter-dependencies, in dashboards, alerts, and workflows, businesses will enjoy the visibility they need to cut through the complexity.

Ultimately, a smart data approach will allow organizations to implement top-down service assurance, based on a detailed picture of the entire hybrid cloud environment, the applications and services it supports, and their respective dependencies. This approach will enable them to truly understand applications and service availability, reliability and responsiveness, to troubleshoot any service issues in real-time, and conduct forensic analysis of historical data.  

From Utility to Asset

It is expected that, within the next two years, more than four in five enterprise workloads will run in the private, public or hybrid cloud. Indeed, the extent of cloud adoption is such that Microsoft attributed its cloud offering as a significant contributory factor in its record-breaking $100 billion annual revenue for 2018.

Once adopted, however, the issue of service assurance must be addressed if businesses are to unlock the full range of benefits offered by hybrid cloud. Optimizing and assuring the quality of enterprise service delivery infrastructure, the applications that utilize it, and all their interdependencies, is crucial to harnessing the cloud’s potential.

Businesses should take a smart data approach to achieving universal visibility into the entire cloud infrastructure, application workloads and their respective interdependencies. By applying the insight and intelligence that smart data delivers, businesses can capitalize with confidence on the strategic value of the hybrid cloud, and gain the agility, flexibility and scalability they need to successfully compete in an increasingly connected world.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating.


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