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Cloud Computing – The Demise of Network Analysis?

Unless you’ve been on another planet, you’ve most likely heard of cloud computing – a computing approach in which the delivery, operation and management of applications, typically those used by corporations, is outsourced to a third party capable of highly scalable operations. In fact, not only has everyone heard of cloud computing, they’re adopting it. Pew Research Center reports that 69 percent of U.S. Internet users are now utilizing some form of Internet-based computing.

This sudden surge to the cloud is leading to the perception that monitoring the network within enterprises is less pertinent in maintaining a functional system since applications and problems are being outsourced. Will cloud computing lead to the demise of network analysis?

We think not. In fact, we believe that network analysis is very important, if not more critical, in cloud computing. Moving to the cloud will surely alter current network analysis processes and priorities, but a solid network is still needed to handle communication between users and applications. The only difference is that the focus of network management shifts from managing infrastructure to managing service availability and performance.

Cloud computing can be thought of as merely a shift of your application servers from your facility to a different location. Common issues within the network remain. Potential bottlenecks, bandwidth hogs and unauthorized protocol usage still adversely affect application traffic. In order to combat these issues, more diligence must be applied in monitoring application performance. It is essential to establish clear, long-term baselines before transitioning the application to the cloud. Additionally,
verifying the performance of transactions that cross multiple applications is
key in a new cloud environment.

As with everything related to the network, security is always an area of concern and transitioning to the cloud is no exception. Concerns with security start the instant the cloud vendor is selected. The relationship with a third party to store and process highly sensitive data and applications needs to be closely monitored. The cloud vendor’s security policies and procedures should be understood and the appropriate test processes should be implemented within your own organization to ensure these policies are not violated.

By utilizing cloud computing, a company is simply moving the location of applications and shouldn’t interpret it as an excuse to forget about the network. The most important matter for companies considering the cloud is to be certain they have their network analysis processes firmly in place before the transition. This will ensure that they are not relying solely on the cloud vendor for advice. Transitioning to the cloud for any business is evolutionary and will be slow and methodical, but sufficient network analysis will further support the company’s success in implementing this new
technology.

For a more in-depth discussion of how cloud computing impacts network analysis watch our free 1 hour OnDemand Webcast.

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