By Paul Parker, SolarWinds Federal & National Government Chief Technologist
There may still be a few skeptics out there, but cloud adoption is getting commonplace. Here's an interesting article from my colleague Joe Kim, where he offers suggestions on simplifying the complexity.
The idea of moving IT infrastructure to the cloud may have initially sounded interesting, but this optimism was quickly followed by, “Hold on a minute! What about security? What about compliance?”
Administrators quickly realized that the cloud may not be a panacea, and a complete migration to the cloud may not be the best idea. Organizations still needed to keep at least some things on-premises, while also taking advantage of the benefits of the cloud.
A complex hybrid IT world
Thus, the concept of hybrid IT was born. In a hybrid IT environment, some infrastructure is migrated to the cloud, while other components remain onsite. Agencies can gain the economic and agile benefits of a cloud environment while still keeping a tight rein on security.
However, hybrid IT has introduced a slew of challenges, especially in terms of network complexity. Indeed, respondents to a recent SolarWinds survey of public-sector IT professionals listed increased network complexity as the top challenge created by hybrid IT infrastructures. That survey discovered that nearly two-thirds of IT professionals said their organizations currently use up to three cloud provider environments, and 10% use 10 or more.
Compounding this challenge is the fact that hybrid IT environments are becoming increasingly distributed. Agencies can have multiple applications hosted in different data centers—all managed by separate service providers. Even applications that are managed on-premises will often be located in different offices.
Connecting to these various applications and services requires multiple network paths, which can be difficult to monitor and manage. Even a simple Google® search requires many paths and hops to monitor. Traditional network monitoring tools designed for on-premises monitoring are not built for this complexity.
A single-path approach to simplicity
While administrators cannot actually combine all of their network paths into one, they can—from a monitoring perspective—adopt a single-path analysis approach. This form of monitoring effectively takes those multiple paths and creates a single-path view of the activity taking place across the hybrid IT network. Formulating a single path allows administrators to get a much better perspective on the performance, traffic, and configuration details of devices and applications across hybrid networks. This, in turn, makes it easier to ascertain, pinpoint, and rectify issues.
Single-path analysis can help managers quickly identify issues that can adversely impact quality of service, allowing them to more easily track network outages and slowdowns and tackle these problems before users experience the deleterious effects. Managers can also gain better visibility into connections between end-users and services, as single-path analysis provides a clear view of any network infrastructure that might be in the path and could potentially impede QoS.
IT professionals can take solace in the fact that there is a simpler way to manage complex hybrid IT infrastructures. By following a single-path analysis strategy, managers can greatly reduce the headaches and challenges associated with managing and monitoring the many different applications and services within their hybrid IT infrastructures.
Find the full article on Government Computer News.