Cloud Monitoring: What and How Much Information to Collect

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, September 13th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

Network and system utilization monitoring are essential pieces of any cloud environment, helping engineers ensure consistent performance and spotting threats to availability, whether they be resource or security related, before they impact users.

There are a variety of platforms to collect data on your cloud environment. Depending on your cloud provider, some of them might be included in your contract. If you require specific features or integrations, you might add a third party monitoring platform. Some can even monitor across different public and hybrid clouds on different virtualization platforms.

Once you’ve settled on a monitoring tool, you have to decide what data to collect and how much of it to store and review. If you have a very large scale environment, this may even be a dedicated role for an employee. Some cloud environments will generate constant data that must be reviewed in order to meet internal SLAs or guarantee availability of your platform to the public. Other environments will only generate data rarely. In either case, the more information you can afford to store and review, the better you’ll be able to prevent and troubleshoot any problems with your virtual machines.

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Planning for Your Multicloud Future

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, September 7th 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

By all major accounts, most organizations are heading towards a future IT environment that mixes and matches from a variety of cloud services and providers. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for your multicloud future, by documenting a strategy for multicloud management and adopting new technologies for single-pane visibility.

Fighting shadow cloud and getting all of your organization’s disparate cloud resources under a single roof is an uphill battle. The modern IT reality is that users are far more technologically savvy than in the past and they aren’t afraid to go around IT to get the tools they want to use right now, today. That means multicloud is here today and it’s going to be a big part of the future, too.

IDC found that 47% of DevOps focused organizations plan to have five or more clouds by 2020. Even if you aren’t using DevOps methodology, embracing the cloud often leads to an agile mindset where it’s easy to slip into information silos stranded on one cloud provider or another. As you deploy applications in the cloud that makes the most sense, you can end up with stranded data and interoperability issues.

A carefully designed hybrid cloud environment can accommodate data across workloads, availability zones/locations, and access points. It can also enable repeatable, automated, and granular security and monitoring.

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MSPs Are Letting Cloud Opportunity Float By

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, September 1st 2016 — Categories: Cloud Hosting

It’s time for MSPs to go all-in on cloud. A recent Techtarget survey found that over half of surveyed managed service providers were not offering any cloud services. No backup in the cloud, no managed cloud migrations, nothing. CompTIA discovered 44% only provide cloud services upon request.

Why are most MSPs holding out on cloud? One reason could be that reselling cloud isn’t always as profitable as providing consultation or hardware sales. But that reasoning won’t hold up as hardware sales continue to decline and more companies understand the value of cloud. Some surveys claim that 90% or more of companies are using or plan to use the cloud in some manner. But 32% also report that a lack of resources and expertise is stopping them from taking the plunge.

Managing cloud infrastructure and guiding customers in their cloud journey are both strong opportunities for MSPs. Those holding out on implementing cloud services risk missing out on the future paradigm.

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5 Steps to Overcome Resistance to Organizational Changes in IT

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, August 30th 2016

Whether you’re launching a cloud-first initiative or migrating to a new platform, change in the daily operations of your IT department can be difficult for everyone involved. Outside of the actual work at hand, you need to overcome the cultural challenges — and resistance can sometimes be fierce.

Your IT staff and other departments who use your infrastructure and applications on a daily basis may not see the strategy behind the changes. They might wonder why you’re removing or changing a working system. They might assume a hardware upgrade can solve aging infrastructure and the outdated business processes that go along with it. They might worry about costs, potential layoffs, or competition stemming from automation or a lack of skills to manage the new initiative.

These concerns and others must be addressed before they become a drag on morale or a hindrance to operations. Here are five steps to overcome resistance to a new IT initiative in your organization.

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Managing and Securing vSphere Integrated Containers

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 25th 2016

Containers are here to stay, but instead of being the virtual machine killer some touted them to be, they’re turning out to work in concert with legacy virtualization technologies. Seeing the writing on the wall, last fall VMware introduced Photon OS, a new spinoff of ESX that included management for container technology like Docker.

Now vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) can be used in your existing vSphere environment, allowing the development advantages of containerization with the rapid provisioning, automation features, and management tools your administrators are already accustomed to.

Here are some key features for managing and securing your vSphere Integrated Containers.

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