Cloud Applications Monitoring and its Challenges

Businesses across the world are more continuously adopting information technology to leverage their revenue. Cloud computing is considered very useful technology to host websites and deploy web applications for end users.  Globally companies are relying on cloud service providers for the uptime of their web applications. But cloud outages are becoming more and more common. Ultimately they are turning into business outages associated with great economic cost even harming the customer relations. One reason is, businesses are solely depending on the cloud service provider and wait for them to resolve the issue. 

The peculiar thing about the cloud outages is that the reasons for the outages are not easy to figure out. Cloud outages in recent times involved some major companies of communication industry, firms in the business of customer relation management and web security services and even the e-commerce industry. To get the correct picture of your web application on the cloud, and identify the components that are causing outage, a third party monitoring service is required.

Monitoring Cloud Applications Pose Challenges Different from On-Premise Enterprise Applications 

Cloud is a new technology. Many believe that cloud will solve all of their technical problems and they will get rid of all the website monitoring hassles. They forget that cloud is a way to host your website and doesn’t eliminate the very requirement of hosting a website. There is a lack of information and interest regarding monitoring of cloud applications which can prove to be very dangerous for the businesses. Its natural for questions to crop up about how monitoring cloud application differs from monitoring on-premise enterprise application. There is no doubt that monitoring of cloud application brings in different challenges to monitoring services. 

1. Lack of visibility: Virtualisation in private and public cloud separates physical infrastructures to create various dedicated resources. Virtualisation makes servers, workstations and other system independent of physical hardware. For an instance hypervisor layer can not be monitored using traditional management tools. Application owners do not have access to hypervisor layer. The layer is managed by some other group and thus posing a challenge for trouble shooting. Virtualization presents a different way for computing and storage and hence methods to monitor their performance are different.

2. Distributed end users: Cloud computing utilises SaaS. Hence end users are distributed across the globe. This set up presents a conflict in identifying performance issues in one geography whether it is due to internet or due to the application. Whereas on-premise applications do not pose such problems.

3. Web scale load testing: On-premise enterprise application scale is definite and limited. But that is not the case with the cloud based application. Web traffic volume experienced by cloud based application is extremely unpredictable. Hence load testing is complex and challenging for cloud based applications.

4.Architecture issues with Cloud: A single instance of software serving multiple group of users is what the term multi-tenancy means. This architecture of multi-tenancy makes it difficult to monitor performance indicators of individual tenant.

5. Cloud shifting to HTML5 clients: HTML5 clients would mean more complex systems with more processing and computing happening on client side. Older SaaS applications were majorly processing at server side, hence IT team could easily monitor them. With more and more adoption of HTML5 clients the older tools to monitor performance would be of no use.

Why Monitoring Service for Cloud Applications?

Cloud should not be considered replacement to hosting. It is another way of hosting, so it also requires monitoring services like any other on-premise website. Some businesses use cloud for hosting their websites while others are deploying web applications on cloud for their customers. As cloud outages are becoming more and more common, the demand for their performance monitoring and uptime keeping has become necessary.
As discussed earlier architecture of cloud, distributed end users, virtualisation and HTML5 clients pose new challenges for monitoring. These challenges are to be addressed by the monitoring service to keep the websites running on the cloud.
Cloud outages comes with economic costs. It paralyses the business and leave them with no option other than waiting for the service providers to come up with solution. Cloud is not immune to downtime issues. If a business deploys multiple things on the cloud like hosting, databases and website application then a minor outage can affect the business from multiple aspects. Those who take the help of a quality monitoring service can avoid such situation and save their businesses from getting paralysed.