Will you be a Cloud Producer or Consumer?
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We just can’t hear enough about the transformations taking place with Cloud technologies. This should not be surprising since many of us stumbled through similar transformations with client/server, distributed computing, the Web, and we all lived to tell about it. Just like the other transformations, Cloud presents its own unique challenges, specifically around performance and monitoring, and that challenge might have implications on IT Operations as well as the lines-of-business that have traditionally engaged IT to help them.
In the classic sense, IT Operations rode shotgun over the platforms used by the applications but owned by the line-of-businesses. With a tool bag full of monitors, IT’s job was to keep a close eye on those platforms doing what was needed to keep them healthy. With the Cloud transformation arriving, IT is still positioned to ride shotgun over the Cloud and its provisioned Cloud images much in the same way they did for non-Cloud environments. But, is IT still required to monitor application workloads within those Cloud Images? That is one of the uncertainties that Cloud introduces and is an issue that needs a closer look to understand.
A new concept was introduced with
Cloud and that is the Cloud Consumer.
Where IT Operations is historically positioned to be the Cloud Provider with responsibilities around keeping the overall
Cloud healthy, the lines-of-business, by design, are positioned to be the Cloud
Consumers because it is the lines-of-business that decide, via provisioning,
the images and software that are needed to enable their applications.
The obvious question then is, who
monitors the Cloud Consumer’s applications? The answer may not be as clear cut
as one thinks. For Cloud Consumers with workloads designed to run indefinitely
it might make the most sense to engage IT Operations with their watchful
eye. After all, that is what they have
been doing faithfully for the last 15 years. However, many of the Cloud
workloads, by nature, are lifecycle sensitive (hours or days) and not conducive
to engaging a formal organization, like IT Operations, for such a short
timeframe. For example, a line-of-business might sponsor a charity golf
tournament in the next 30 days and quickly put up a Cloud-based application to
register participants. Certainly, it
would be important that the registration workloads stay healthy. For such a short lifecycle it might make the
most sense for the lines-of-business, using a Cloud Consumer monitoring tool,
to do their own monitoring.
Therefore, as the Cloud transformation takes place, two Cloud-monitoring disciplines begin to appear with very different audiences. For Cloud Producers, it’s more about the health of provisioning and the health of Operating Systems that make up the Cloud. By no means is that trivial, and it’s a 24x7 task. For the Cloud Consumers it’s about the application workloads and how the lines-of-business can best keep them healthy while they are in their short lifecycle. If the Cloud is used as optimally as predicted, Cloud Consumers might be in abundant numbers with abundant needs for monitoring.
Therefore, watch for the Cloud
Consumer tools to emerge as the next transformation in the Cloud monitoring
space. Will you be a Producer or a Consumer? If you are a Producer, watch for
new tools to augment your existing set.
If you are a Consumer, welcome aboard, get to know your IT friends, and
check out the emerging tools carrying the “Cloud Consumer Monitoring” logo just