When Managing the Network Infrastructure, Monitor Assets Equally
Over the past few decades, digital transformation has rewired enterprises and created great value. Organizations are incorporating new technological innovations and learning to deploy them at scale.
This has led to an increase in the complexity of the infrastructure delivering the business services and applications that customers and end-users depend upon. To keep pace with this growth in complexity, the management and upkeep of the network infrastructure has become more specialized and sophisticated. It has become critical to the success of the overall business.
Today Infrastructure & Operations owners face a choice when it comes to managing the network infrastructure. They can go it themselves with a DIY approach. This includes significant investment in staffing and tooling. Or they can utilize a managed network service (MNS) provider to offload the responsibility of managing the infrastructure.
Either way, the goal remains the same: To deliver services and applications to the user community reliably and with high degree of availability.
The Application Landscape
In the not-so-distant past, most enterprise organizations hosted their applications in a data center. They managed the full-stack of services from within their facility. As more and more applications shift to the cloud, this model has largely been replaced with some applications and services being delivered by the cloud while others remain in-house.
Let’s take an example to describe the situation many companies find themselves in. Let’s look at, say, a manufacturing organization with a large dependency on SAP. Due to the many systems and processes associated with SAP they host it internally within their data center. At the same time, they use SalesForce.com and Outlook 365, both of which are hosted in the cloud.
The Problem Domain
From a usage perspective, some of their employees are on premise and some are remote. They access all of these resources and when they face a problem, they come back to the corporate help-desk looking for assistance. If the problem is around SAP, the network infrastructure team has the ability monitor the full stack. The have visibility into application performance and the entire service delivery supply chain.
However, when it comes to issues with the cloud-hosted service such as O365, they do not have this advantage. Their visibility is limited to the edge where they connect with the service provider. The challenge then becomes determining if the problem is on the enterprise side with the network delivery infrastructure, or if it is at the provider’s end with the application itself.
Monitoring Assets Equally
Whether the enterprise or the MNS provider is managing the infrastructure, they need to be able to determine which side the problem is on. So how do today’s MNS providers overcome this challenge?
Layering experience monitoring on top of infrastructure monitoring is the answer. With experience monitoring, you get a clear view of the performance users receive when accessing business services and applications. Make sure your MNS provider offers experience monitoring via innovative solutions such as synthetic transactions and tracing techniques – these serve as powerful tools to monitor user experience.
Observability is the ability to understand what is happening inside a system based on the external data released by that system. Observability requires that actionable data from multiple sources is appropriately connected, optimized, and enhanced for context.
The ability to drive greater adoption of cloud services and not necessarily moving everything into the cloud creates a hybrid operating model for most enterprises. This drives the need to monitor all assets equally – whether they are hosted in-house or in the cloud.