Enterprise Cloud: An Admin’s Perspective

Ring!! Ring!!


“John, our customers have been unable to access the website for the last few hours. What’s the issue and how come we haven’t addressed it yet?”

Receiving such a call from your CEO at 3 in the morning is every admin’s nightmare. You had been given the directive to move all the enterprise infrastructure to the cloud. After tons of research, you narrowed your selection down to a single public cloud provider and started the migration process. After trial and error, now that you are finally up and running in the cloud, you just don’t feel in control and lack the visibility into your cloud environment that you have been used to.

You have also thought about configuring your own monitoring tools such as Nagios, Cacti and Mrtg, but configuration and management of these tools is a nightmare and you have not been able to configure it to your satisfaction. In addition, you were used to logging into your own vCenter and not having the same level of control has been a challenge to say the least.

Was this move to go to public cloud a bad management decision? And is the cloud really mature enough to support workloads that require close monitoring and babysitting?

If this is something that is troubling you, you are not alone. Sure, public cloud is great for ease of scalability and avoiding capital expense, but not having the same level of control and visibility in your public cloud environment is still something that raises eyebrows.

Here at iland, we took this concern very seriously and took the task to fill the gap. Now all our customers have access to an easy-to-navigate portal which integrates all the reporting and alerting that you were used to in your own environment. In addition, it also serves as a provisioning and billing portal which really means that you can avoid having to log into multiple interfaces to configure and see the details related to your environment.

In my role, I get to talk to customers every day, and it’s always rewarding to see those “aha moments” when they see what our portal can do for them.

What triggers those moments the most? Here’s what I see:

• As an iland Portal Administrator, you are able to set usage alerts for all the most concerning metrics such as cpu, memory, disk and network, which in most cases can save time and heartache related to configuration and management of an infrastructure reporting and monitoring tool. Usage and performance based alerts can also be set on these metrics. (check out the screenshot below)

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• Many of our customers use our public cloud for testing and development purposes as well as I/O intensive production workloads. Having insight into the storage performance and defining the appropriate tier for a particular workload can not only be beneficial from a performance standpoint but can also have huge financial implications. The screenshot below shows some of the storage related performance data available to you in the portal.

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• At the end of the day, customers want to make sure that the cloud not only makes sense technically but also financially. At times, convincing your CFO or CEO to take the leap into the cloud can be challenging. If you are in an elastic pricing and provisioning model, not knowing what your bill is going to be at the end of the month and basically flying “BLIND” can certainly mean the demise of a cloud initiative. Therefore, customers benefit greatly from the portal’s predictive billing feature. This artificial intelligence engine looks at your resource consumption for the month and is able to give you a good idea of where the bill is going to end up. Obviously it assumes consistent usage throughout the month but the point is to have some visibility in the traditional cloud billing “Black Box.” It will even show you billing details around a certain application you may be running in the cloud, a virtual machine or even as detailed as each resource (e.g. memory). (see screenshot below)

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In summary, cloud has come long way in the last few years. Innovative cloud providers such as iland have really taken on some of the toughest cloud challenges with creative and innovative solutions that make sense. Now you can feel comfortable and secure to take the leap into the cloud. So, why wait? Schedule your enterprise cloud test drive today. I look forward to hearing about your aha moment!