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Monitoring Your Cloudy Network

With more businesses relying on the cloud for their IT infrastructure (or to deliver products to their customers), a troubling misconception has emerged. Many organizations relying on a cloud environment believe monitoring the network is less important in maintaining a functional system because applications and problems are being outsourced.

This line of thinking is in error. In fact, network analysis is very important in cloud computing. While moving to the cloud will certainly alter how you perform network analysis, a solid network is still needed to handle communication between users and applications.

The major change in a cloud environment is that the focus of network management shifts from managing infrastructure to managing service availability and performance. Cloud computing is merely a shift of application servers from one facility to another. Issues like bottlenecks, bandwidth hogs, and unauthorized protocol usage will still adversely affect application traffic. Thus, more diligence must be applied in monitoring application performance. To remain successful in the cloud, it is essential for companies to consider the following:

1. Baseline your network environment.
Baselines should have been established way before you moved to the cloud. It is an essential part of transitioning applications to the cloud. Knowing how your network acts on a regular basis will be instrumental in helping to figure out how to monitor it in the cloud. Additionally, verifying the performance of transactions that cross multiple applications is key in a new cloud environment.

2. Security.
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.

3. Plan your cloud transition
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.

Sufficient network analysis will further support a company’s success in implementing this new technology. Additionally, network speeds are constantly evolving and the arrival of 10G brings a whole new set of challenges for network managers. Proper network analysis and troubleshooting is key in this high-speed world as our networks become even more complex. For a more in-depth discussion of how cloud-computing impacts network analysis watch this free one-hour OnDemand Webcast.

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