Creating Multi-dimensional Monitoring of Your Cloud Environments

This blog post is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Taking Government Cloud Adoption to the Next Level.”

Cloud services has long been gaining traction amongst agencies looking to create a more efficient government with cost-effective storage and data management solutions that let those agencies do more with less. Agencies know that with a secure cloud solution, they can deploy a cloud infrastructure that accelerates time-to-market with innovative public services and increases operational efficiency and flexibility while optimizing costs.

But as use of cloud services mature across government, more and more agencies are using multi-vendor solutions for their cloud technology. This makes perfect sense – there are often different requirements and use cases for the kind of technology and cloud required across organizations, and one vendor may not fit all needs.

However, the increasing use of multi-vendor solutions across an agency can create challenges, particularly in the holistic monitoring of all platforms. To discuss how agencies can overcome these issues, GovLoop sat down with Shiva Raja, U.S. Public Sector OnCommand Insight Consulting Systems Engineer at NetApp, a company who helps service providers envision, deploy, and evolve their IT environments.

“There might be certain agencies that really don’t want to be dependent on a single vendor, and they want to be vendor agnostic,” Raja explained. “Because while they might appreciate the features of a particular vendor, they don’t want to be tied to just one. So, for more flexibility, they might take a multiple vendor approach for their cloud solutions.”

But with this approach, Raja explained that the growing diversity of platforms, vendors, and protocols in large data centers makes managing and monitoring the enterprise data center infrastructure difficult. At the same time, IT leaders are feeling the added pressure of delivering information technology as a service by using their own private clouds, which need to be competitive with public cloud offerings. The issues that IT professionals face today go beyond optimizing cost, increasing efficiency, and mitigating risk. Government IT professionals have to address a new set of challenges from securing data to offering seamless data services – challenges that are forcing IT teams to respond more quickly to business- and mission-critical demands with multiple clouds environments.

The solution is to invest in a multi-dimensional monitoring capability of private and hybrid cloud environments. Having access to in-depth analysis, characterization and metering of workloads on all layers of the datacenter will constantly help and guide agencies in an iterative process of cost-optimization, risk- mitigation and quick-adoption of existing and new technologies.

“Multi-dimensional monitoring gives you an end-to-end view from your compute, to your storage, and beyond,” Raja said. “This insures that if there are any performance issues, you’ll have the ability to track who’s the culprit and take the appropriate steps to remediate the issue.”

NetApp’s OnCommand Insight is one such tool agencies should consider adopting. The tool manages and analyzes physical and virtual IT environments with heterogeneous compute, network, and storage solutions across the domain from multiple vendors. It allows agencies to monitor and manage multivendor hybrid cloud IT infrastructure to gain better insights across the data center. It also takes the risk out of complex technology migrations, such as moving to a hybrid cloud, by identifying which workloads are candidates for cloud migration.

Additionally, OnCommand Insight offers reporting capabilities that deliver information about compute and storage resource allocation trends and capacity consumption trends that accurately forecast the overall utilization trends, all of which helps agencies better understand their data centers’ ecosystems. In turn, this allows them to better predict the usage they will need to more efficiently deliver services to citizens.

“OnCommand Insight actually has the ability to monitor your compute and storage resources, regardless of where it resides,” Raja said. “This lets you look at your resources no matter where it is – on premise, off premise, or both. Plus, you also have the ability to manage your business data through NetApp’s crown jewel offering “Clustered Data ONTAP, on-premises, off-premises or both, and that ability really is something unique.”

OnCommand Insight provides flexible, efficient management for heterogeneous environments. Because it requires no agents, installation is straightforward and nondisruptive. Installed storage and SAN devices are continually monitored, and detailed information is collected for full visibility of your entire storage environment.

Cloud services is undergoing rapid adoption and evolution by government agencies. By evolving existing IT infrastructures to include cloud capabilities, agencies are positioned to achieve significant operational and cost benefits in the delivery of agency services. To successfully make the transition to this new computing model, NetApp enables agencies to achieve their mission goals and supports their choices of vendor specific technologies in storage, and compute.

For more information about taking cloud to the next level, you can find the full guide here.

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