I really liked this piece by my SolarWinds® associate Brandon Shopp discussing how to prepare for a move to Azure, how to monitor performance, and how to control costs.
Though government agencies continue to move to the cloud to accelerate their digital transformation plans, the majority have embraced a hybrid IT environment. This mix of on-premises and cloud implementations highlights the need for comprehensive, full-stack visibility across the entire hybrid IT environment.
Without a broad view, agencies may not be able to see their cloud environment as clearly as they see what’s in the data center. Additionally, agencies may be less aware of how much they’re spending, and current tools may not provide full coverage all the way from the data center to the cloud.
Though agencies are choosing various cloud partners, we’re focusing this article on what federal IT pros need to know about migrating to and monitoring Microsoft Azure deployments.
When migrating to a cloud environment, it’s best to take an “improve then move” approach designed to prompt the agency to identify and clean out under-provisioned assets that will never perform as needed and over-provisioned or abandoned virtual machines.
This is particularly important in an Azure environment. Azure uses a VM fail-safe measure: if a customer deletes a VM, Azure doesn’t automatically delete the associated disks in case the deletion was in error or the customer needs to reinitiate the VM. As a result, there’s the potential for rogue disks, which can take up gigabytes (or more) of unnecessary storage space.
Monitoring and Cost Management
Within Azure, Microsoft charges by resource consumption, and controlling the agency’s cloud spend may be a challenge. The key is to find a tool, or set of tools, to provide a direct connection between costs and associated usage, hardware, etc. This strategy will help agencies concerned with not knowing how much they’re spending on cloud operations.
IT pros should also keep in mind while Microsoft assures availability of the Azure platform, it’s up to the customer to ensure applications hosted within Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) environments are available and performing as expected. This requires end-to-end visibility across the entire hybrid IT infrastructure.
Agencies should look for a tool they can use to monitor Azure Services, Azure App Service, and custom applications through transaction tracing, code profiling, and exception tracking. Additionally, they should consider a tool to help ensure the agency’s IaaS-deployed or Azure PaaS databases are performing optimally with cross-platform database performance optimization and tuning.
It’s also important for end users to be able to successfully access Azure-based applications. IT pros can better understand user concerns by automatically testing end-user experience from inside the organization and outside the firewall and assess the health of network paths between Azure-deployed applications and end users.
Moving to an Azure cloud environment is a sound investment for any agency. The key is to ensure the agency is being efficient in its move and saving money rather than simply moving what’s already in place and paying for unnecessary or unused resources. Agencies tracking resources and costs should see smooth sailing—and money saved.
Find the full article on Government Computer News.
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