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11 Apr

Foundations of Performance Visibility for Cloud Computing

With the emergence of cloud computing, networks and the services they provide are increasingly virtualized.  This transformation presents an opportunity for network operations and management teams to evolve from more traditional manual provisioning of network devices and services to agile orchestration, operations and management processes to meet their business needs. Whether you are an enterprise building out a private cloud, automating the provisioning of virtual machines, a service provider building a public cloud offering or an enterprise looking at migrating your enterprise applications to a hybrid cloud environment, your performance visibility strategy should follow you on your journey to the cloud.   Below are some common characteristics of cloud computing. How does your performance visibility strategy measure up to these challenges?

  • Rapid Elasticity - Clouds are self-service portal-based systems, with automation scripts for rapid turning up and down of services. To provide effective performance visibility for public, private or hybrid clouds, performance management systems must integrate with automation systems for device and network configuration change management so the proper performance management collection initiates as part of the service provisioning process.
  • Broad Network Access - Clouds are traditionally accessed by a variety of devices and locations.  Providing performance visibility for the range of cloud environments requires a performance management platform capable of integrating a variety of data types across of range of infrastructures.  Traditional SNMP polling techniques alone can leave performance visibility gaps.
  • Resource Pooling - Clouds pool network, compute and storage resources, shared across a range of users, including multi-tenant environments.  Enabling performance visibility for multi-tenant cloud environments requires tenant-by-tenant isolation, with careful attention to user and data access permissions.

How does SevOne address each of these pillars?

  • Rapid Elasticity – SevOne has robust APIs to interface directly with network and service management automation systems for notification of the full lifecycle of new device/service creation, migration, updates and retirement.   Through integration with a customer’s chosen automation system or systems, SevOne can immediately provide performance visibility for these rapidly changing environments.
  • Broad Network Access – The variability of defining “end-to-end” between cloud use cases, requires a performance management solution capable of acquiring and correlating a wide set of data.  SevOne extends the traditional methods of collection performance data such as SNMP, NetFlow, IP SLA and JMX to include metrics from any third party source with time-stamped data such as network probes, proprietary business applications or element management systems from network equipment vendors that provide functions for 4G LTE, IMS and Ethernet backhaul components.
  • Resource Pooling – Whether you are an enterprise supporting multiple business units, or service provider offering services to different customers, you will likely want options to share the network, compute and storage resources across each of your “customers” in a multi-tenant environment.  SevOne gives IT organizations and services providers the flexibility needed to report segregated experiences for their end-users in a controlled manner, securing visibility of relevant devices and objects.  With SevOne, you can define policies that automatically group and classify discovered devices, and ensure restricted access via authentication.

Moving forward we will continue to explore the range of impacts the movement to cloud computing presents to existing orchestration, operations and management processes.   I look forward to the conversation.

Brian Promes is Senior Manager of Product Marketing for SevOne. 

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