Cloud computing has become a mainstream technology, and it's now easier to get started with the cloud than ever before. However, while the benefits of the cloud are undeniable, there are still challenges that you will have to face when using cloud services. One of these challenges is how difficult it can be to monitor an app or infrastructure.
Cloud computing is a complex environment, so monitoring everything in it is challenging. Many tools are available, but they often don't work well together or provide only partial coverage.
As an IT infrastructure architect or engineer, you likely know the importance of monitoring and observability in today's businesses. With heavy reliance on cloud computing to operate certain parts of their business, such as data analytics/AI, SaaS solutions, and so on, companies need to focus on these services' performance, reliability, and availability.
Monitoring covers the full spectrum of observations from application availability, end-user experience (UX), performance, and overall environmental health.
To ensure maximum uptime and prevent outages from happening again in the future, we need better observability in our cloud architecture. This article will cover some ways to introduce observability into your cloud monitoring strategy.
What Is Cloud Monitoring?
Cloud monitoring collects, analyses, and reports data from cloud applications and infrastructure. This can identify performance issues, security breaches, or other problems in your cloud environment.
Cloud monitoring aims to ensure your cloud environment operates as expected. With this information, you can identify problems before they impact your business and take action to resolve them. The benefits of cloud monitoring are numerous. It can help you prevent downtime, improve the performance of applications and infrastructure, reduce security risks, and more.
What is Observability?
Observability is observing and understanding what's happening inside your application, infrastructure, and system. You can use it for debugging problems (e.g., finding a bug's root cause) or measuring performance metrics (e.g., monitoring CPU usage). In cloud monitoring, observability refers to the collection of metrics and logs. It enables you to gain insight into how your applications behave over time.
Monitoring Services Improve Reliability
Monitoring services can help you catch issues before they become significant problems. Ignoring applications can leave you ignorant of software problems, costing the business in many ways, such as potential loss of revenue and company reputation. Monitoring services can also help you identify trends in the app.
Even in internal business applications, you cannot assume your users are feeding back the issues they encounter daily to IT departments. Monitoring services can help you understand how your app is performing, whether it's an internal business tool or an external customer-facing application that serves millions of people every day.
Challenges of Cloud Computing Observability
As cloud computing has become more pervasive, the need for observability has increased. Cloud computing is a lot more complicated than traditional on-premises systems. For example, monitoring has become more complex as application complexity has grown.
Monitoring has also become more challenging as the number of components involved in deploying and running an application has increased. Monitoring can be complex because it requires a lot of manual input from IT teams, leading to gaps in visibility over time.
The concept of observability encapsulates the problem of monitoring these applications. For example, do you know how many transactions per second your app is processing? Do you know what services are in every transaction's lifecycle?
In other words, observability knows what the system will do in response to an input. Measuring observability helps you understand the health of your IT infrastructure and take action if needed.
Addressing Complexity in Observability
The characteristics of web applications that make them so easy to use also make them difficult to test and monitor. They are always online, run on different platforms with varying configurations, and they need to be able to scale with the cloud. These characteristics make it difficult to observe what is happening in real time. Without observability, you will not know why the application is behaving as it does or how to troubleshoot an issue when it arises.
Monitoring tools also need to scale with the cloud, which presents unique challenges for developers trying to build these solutions. Web applications are difficult to test and monitor because their environment is dynamic, their configurations vary widely, and they are always online.
Mobile applications can pose multiple challenges to monitoring and management, including locked-down operating systems that are difficult to restore. In response to the growing mobile device market, several products use lifecycle management software capabilities like provisioning (adding devices), software distribution (push or pull), and tracking/assessment reporting. Remote wipe is also available on many of these solutions.
Mobile devices are difficult to test and monitor because they run on different platforms with varying configurations. They need to be able to scale with the cloud, which presents unique challenges for developers trying to build these solutions.
Achieving observability requires more than just monitoring the system. A monitoring tool must also provide insights into why the application behaves as it does so that you can take action when an incident occurs. This requires a combination of tools and processes to help developers understand what happened in real-time.
Unfortunately, many legacy applications are not designed with automation in mind. This makes them difficult to control and costly for a business enterprise.
One way to address this challenge is by using an observability platform like 2 Steps which provides visibility into your entire environment to identify potential issues before they affect your business operations or customers.
How 2 Steps can Help you Improve observability in Cloud Computing
2Steps is an all-in-one tool that makes it easy to build, maintain and analyse synthetic monitoring tests for your cloud applications. It has a "single pane of glass" model that makes things simple: you don't have to constantly switch between applications, massage your output into a Splunk-friendly format or worry about how to display your data.
With 2 Steps, you can monitor your infrastructure and synthetic monitoring data in one place—making it easy to perform root cause analyses when something breaks. When your system metrics are all in one place, you can more easily spot correlations between them and make better decisions about how to improve your systems.
Cloud computing is an integral part of the future of IT. It offers flexibility and a chance to be more cost-effective, but growing complexity means monitoring your cloud-based apps and infrastructure is more complex than ever.
But that's changing! Now it's easier than ever to see what's happening with your cloud resources and measure observability, helping you understand the health of your IT infrastructure so you can take action if needed. You can make arrangements for real-time information about the performance of your cloud resources by contacting us today.