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Cloud Monitoring Best Practices: Learn about Cloud Monitoring

by | Dec 3, 2020 | Best Practices, Cloud

Have you recently moved to the cloud and are wondering about cloud monitoring best practices? Monitoring your cloud is simply the practice of observing, managing, and reviewing the workflow performance of your servers and other infrastructure. 

While it’s true that a cloud services provider will handle the maintenance and upgrades to your cloud-based infrastructure, you are responsible for ensuring the overall security and performance of the resources your business uses. We’re going to take a look at a few cloud monitoring best practices and how you might choose to enact them. 

Keep reading for more details. 

Identify Important Activities and Metrics

Some metrics are critical to the workflow of your cloud infrastructure – some aren’t. In order to monitor your cloud effectively, you’ll need to identify exactly which events, activities, and metrics are important. 

You may wish to focus your monitoring efforts on speed, costs, management time, responsiveness, or your ability to automate different processes. You might choose to focus on completely different metrics or a combination of the ones listed above. 

Every business will have various requirements and needs for how their cloud-based infrastructure operates; it is up to each one to identify which metrics are important. Consulting with your cloud service provider or a managed IT support company specializing in cloud services can help you further narrow the metrics and events you should monitor.

Monitor the Security of Your Cloud

To protect your cloud infrastructure and the data stored within it, you must monitor access and endpoints. In addition, you should understand what parts of cybersecurity your organization is responsible for handling and the types of security your cloud provider will manage. 

You may wish to make use of device access controls to block unauthorized users from accessing your data and cloud. Your cloud monitoring tools should include the use of firewalls and antivirus software to ensure the overall security of your platform, applications, and software. 

When you protect your organization’s cloud, you protect the integrity of your data. 

Manage Cloud Fees By Monitoring Usage

Depending on how your cloud services provider chooses to bill, you may be paying a flat monthly subscription fee. You could also be paying fees in relation to the total number of cloud resources you use. 

If you happen to be billed based on your total usage, you should monitor when and how your cloud is used in order to avoid unnecessary fees for excess consumption. It’s natural for your cloud usage to somewhat ebb and flow – however, you should be aware of the activities that can cause your usage to spike as well as any inefficiencies that can increase your consumption.

User Experience Matters

Cloud monitoring focuses on many important aspects, all of which can affect your business and its clients. This specific cloud monitoring practice focuses on how well the cloud infrastructure performs for users – whether the users are employees or clients. 

Your cloud monitoring strategy should consider how quickly information and webpages load, response times, and the frequency of access. You’ll also want to know any and all applications needed to run your business are available and accessible at all times. You’ll also want to know that any applications needed to run your business or that you provide to clients are available and accessible when needed.

If you happen to be using cloud services as a platform to host an application, you’ll need to be sure that the application is responsive, monitor any failures (especially those relating to your cloud services), and note any recovery time from your end.

Monitoring the Cloud From One Platform

Chances are, your business has certain operations and networking infrastructure it has to monitor outside of the cloud services you use. When this is the case, choosing a platform that has the capability of monitoring every metric is not only ideal, it’s critical. 

Using a single platform for all of your network, infrastructure, and cloud monitoring purposes will mean that you have ready-to-use, understandable data at your fingertips. Additionally, platforms that integrate with your cloud services and the existing infrastructure of your business will allow IT personnel to quickly respond to service tickets and be more productive overall. 

When searching for a monitoring platform, look for those that can track performance indicators such as usage and costs, data backups, security, and any chosen metrics for the end-user experience. Toolsets like these types of platforms can be out of reach for many small and mid-sized businesses, which makes using an IT partner that deals with cloud services regularly really appealing.  

Alerting IT Staff and Automating Responses

Even the most knowledgeable IT staff needs a bit of help from time to time. To help further your IT staff’s productivity and minimize unnecessary service tickets, it’s wise to set alerts for certain events in your cloud and enable automated responses.

You may choose to set alerts for when network activity exceeds or falls below certain thresholds which can allow a proactive response from your IT department. Additionally, certain events may not need attention from your personnel but instead can be managed with automated responses or actions. 

Alerts and automated actions can help you with the process of cloud monitoring with minimal effort and help to ensure all other important metrics are on target. 

Find Possible Failures

Testing your company’s cloud infrastructure will allow you to learn of any weak spots in your cloud environment that can lead to data breaches or outages. You’ll also learn how your business might be affected during these events or other types of disasters. 

By testing for failure early-on, you can make adjustments to automated responses, proactively address would-be issues, and minimize downtime – all of which can help you to manage your IT and cloud computing costs. 

Cloud Monitoring Best Practices: The Takeaway

Utilizing these cloud monitoring best practices can help to ensure that your overall user experience, usage, security, and service costs are managed efficiently. These practices will also help to minimize any struggles with your cloud computing and proactively address issues as they arise. 

If you’d like to better understand cloud monitoring or would prefer to outsource this task to a qualified third-party, Spot Migration can help. 

Book a call with us today to see how we can manage and monitor your cloud.

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