What is Cloud Monitoring?

Cloud monitoring is the process of evaluating the health of cloud-based IT infrastructures. Using cloud-monitoring tools, organisations can proactively monitor the availability, performance, and security of their cloud environments to find and fix problems before they impact the end-user experience.

How does cloud monitoring work?

Ideally, cloud monitoring works in real time alongside its on-premises and hybrid counterparts. This helps improve visibility across the entire environment, including storage, networks, and apps. Key capabilities of cloud monitoring tools include tracking the consumption and traffic of cloud-hosted resources, unifying large volumes of data across distributed locations, identifying anomalies and their root causes, and predicting potential risks or production outages.

How do I benefit from cloud monitoring?

  • Holistic: Cloud monitoring goes beyond basic infrastructure health. It optimises application performance all the way down to transaction and code-level metrics.
  • Scalable: Cloud-monitoring tools should grow with your infrastructure. The on-demand provisioning of licenses enables you to add new workstations or servers on a self-serve basis. It is not necessary to engineer for peak loads.
  • Cost-effective: Cloud monitoring is generally subscription-based, which means you pay only for the systems you want to monitor. You should be up and running within minutes with no upfront costs or infrastructural changes to your network.
  • Proactive: Gone are the days of manual checks. Automated monitoring finds patterns in cloud health to predict vulnerabilities before they arise. Faster and more data-driven reporting leads to faster resolution. And by discovering the root cause of these issues, you can better plan for the future.
  • Remote: Cloud monitoring takes a 360-degree snapshot of your environment. It is independent of your own systems, whether or not it is on the corporate network. Most solutions also offer web-based dashboards you can view from any device.
  • Secure: The security and privacy of all customer data should be a solution's number one priority. With that taken care of, you can focus on creating superior customer experiences.

What are cloud monitoring tools?

The cloud has many moving parts. A variety of automated tools track different areas of performance. Some tools are built into cloud services. Others are offered by third-party platforms. Either way, the best cloud-monitoring solutions include custom metrics. You should be able to monitor specific areas of the cloud stack as well as the environment as a whole.

Types of cloud monitoring

Application performance management (APM)

Use APM to monitor distributed cloud-based apps end to end in a single pane of glass. Beyond basic infrastructure health metrics, APM drills down to the business transaction and code level. That way, you can understand the business impact of your applications and more quickly diagnose problems.

Application performance management (APM)

Database monitoring

More than half of application-performance bottlenecks originate in the database. Using database-performance management, you can monitor the queries, availability, usage, and data integrity of the databases your cloud applications rely on. These metrics show the precise moment a database goes down so you are equipped to speed up resolution.

Database monitoring

Virtual infrastructure monitoring

Virtual machines (VMs) are often scaled out in IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) solutions. Via integrations with platforms like OpenStack, a monitoring solution can track real-time metrics on users and traffic, as well as determine whether to add virtual capacity. Think of it as traditional infrastructure monitoring with the added benefit of managing cloud apps.

OpenStack monitoring | Infrastructure monitoring

Cloud-server monitoring

Use this tool to correlate infrastructure performance to application performance, ideally in the context of business transactions. With contextual visibility, you can troubleshoot and diagnose the root cause of server performance issues faster in live production environments. Server monitoring is also designed to introduce little overhead.

Cloud monitoring | Server monitoring

End-user experience monitoring (EUM)

Building cloud services capable of supporting millions of requests is no small feat. EUM helps by capturing critical web and mobile app performance metrics like crashes, pageload details, and rate of network requests. The ideal EUM tool aggregates metrics across all transactions and automatically scales up or down to handle load changes.

End-user monitoring

Unified monitoring

More of a strategy than a type of product, unified monitoring provides complete visibility into your entire IT infrastructure, including components running in the cloud. This one-stop, vendor-neutral toolkit distills your IT infrastructure into a common view, which ops teams can use to triage issues faster.

Unified monitoring