Website Monitoring in the Cloud

It’s the new buzz phrase in IT.

“The Cloud.”

Sounds heavenly, or at least ethereal. But it means that your IT applications, infrastructure, and data are out there… somewhere.

Hosted cloud computing offers significant cost savings in hardware, software and labor for many companies. And while it is true that the cloud hosing company is responsible for the hardware, and possibly software (depending on the contract and type of service) your company still holds the responsibility for the overall accessibility of any websites running in the cloud.

Just like an ISP that monitors their hardware and connectivity, cloud hosting providers do the same – but neither will keep track of your internal processes, protocols or website availability. This can be confusing because cloud providers use similar terms to describe their benefits:

  • Uptime – But this is the uptime of their resources – servers, storage, applications – not your website
  • Performance – Basically means that they will not overload shared computing resources and impact your ability to run applications (level of performance will vary based on contracted service level agreements)
  • Availability – They ensure their resources are available via Internet or network connections – not your website

To make matters more confusing (better, but confusing), last year new standards were released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants specifically addressing organizations like cloud providers or data centers. The standards allow the provider to demonstrate they have the proper procedures in place to protect the data being stored or processed at their facilities. Generally focused at organizations that store or process financial information, the standards include issues specific to IT organizations such as security, performance availability, confidentiality, and privacy (of data).

Cloud providers are just beginning to become compliant with the new standards. But if you are investigating moving to the cloud, or looking for a provider that meets your own need to be compliant with federal law (generally any business that processes or stores personal information of any type – health, payroll, credit card, etc.), you will begin seeing claims of having a SOC 2 report, or an SOC 3 seal certifying trust on a provider’s website. There are many variations of these reports and seals but basically it means the cloud provider is taking steps to be the most secure, and trusted resource for your business.

Compliance to standards and certifications is important in choosing a cloud provider, but none of it will guarantee your website will be available to your customers. That job still falls to you and your IT team.

Website monitoring isn’t a difficult task. In fact Alertra’s service makes it easy to set up and respond to any issues using its alert and escalation system. With a free 30-day trial, and no software to install, it’s an easy decision to get started too. Isn’t it?

So whether you use an ISP, cloud provider, or internal hosting Alertra can help keep your website available to your customers, no matter where they are. Get started here.