|By David Abramowski||
|March 10, 2009 02:42 AM EDT||
Cloud computing is a rather powerful tool that allows even the smallest of businesses to provide an enterprise class environment for web applications. In a nutshell, the cloud is nothing more than the ability to rent computer services on demand from a 3rd party provider. At MioWorks.com we use Amazon Web Services, but there are several other services out there for you to explore.
Mastering the cloud takes a bit of work, a dash of experience and an openness to learn from others. But once you do master it, the benefits are tremendous. You’ll never have to order another server or rent a rack in a data center. You’ll be able to fluidly control your environment by increasing and decreasing the services you need on the fly, saving time and money.
This power, flexibility and potential demands that you pay attention to the details. You must anticipate that the cloud can have hiccups and that as quickly as a server comes to life, that server can disappear. In previous blog posts I’ve already talked about the importance of backups and recovery drills, but let’s take a step back. Today let’s talk about monitoring and how important it is to your survival.
Ok I’ll bite, why is monitoring so important
Let me sum this up in a single sentence: Monitoring can be the difference between “whew that was close” and “holy s$%t we are down”. I lied - I need another sentence… Monitoring can also be the difference between a five minute outage and a five hour outage.
What to monitor
Every web based application environment in the cloud is a jigsaw puzzle of pieces. At the core you have your virtual hardware followed by your operating system. Each of your servers is then configured differently depending on its specific duty. You may have application servers, web servers, search servers, database servers and the list goes on. Each of these servers needs to be monitored from several points of view - both internally and externally.
The big question isn’t “Is the server running?” it should be “Is the server and all of its pieces running correctly? Each virtual server in your setup is a maze of processes, files, directories and file systems. At any given time a hiccup can occur within this delicate environment that will eventually disrupt the end user’s ability to use your service. In our environment we use monit and munin (two open source tools) on the inside to provide us with critical monitoring, recovery & trending capabilities.
Monit provides systems monitoring and error recovery for our Unix systems. In our environment we have configured monit to watch dozens of potential failure points. Monit can start a process if it is not running and can kill/restart a process if it takes too many resources. Monit is also configurable as an intrusion detection system by watching for changes in files, directories and file systems. By spending a little time learning and using Monit your system administrator has a great tool to keep a constant eye on all the pieces of the puzzle.
In addition to the direct monitoring and error recovery system, we also like to see the bigger picture. We use Munin to aggregate information across our server pool. Munin provides a graphical view that allows your team to quickly see what’s different from yesterday. You can quickly determine your resource utlization and plan in ADVANCE any increase of capacity.
From the outside
Keeping track of all the pieces inside the cloud is very important, but you also need to know how your environment in the cloud is performing to the outside world. There are more external monitoring services out there than I can count. But I’ll tell you who we use. Our favorite at the moment is monitis.com. We like them because starting at just $10/month you get on demand fault & performance monitoring for your environment. This external watchdog system helps to keep everyone informed if/when the cloud is having issues. It also provides us with important statistics on response time and application performance that we use to determine how to adjust our infrastructure.
Your monitoring program must become a living, breathing element of your systems administration. As new problems arise or potential problems are identified, the monitoring system must be adjusted to be proactive. The good news is that the more you adjust your monitoring and error recovery system, the less you’ll be surprised in the future. It takes discipline to post mortem each problem and determine how to proactively detect for it in the future. And this discipline will distinguish your application in the frenzy of the cloud.
Real world results of a good monitoring program
In the real world your monitoring system can be the difference between keeping your systems alive and thriving OR having unhappy customers and missed SLAs. It can help you pinpoint exactly what went wrong and reduce the time it takes for the first responders to identify and solve the issue. There are lots of solutions in the marketplace including commerical and open source alternatives. It may seem overwhelming at first, but once you start the process and improve little by little, you’ll be amazed at the positive impact your monitoring program will have on your environment stability and your ability to get some sleep.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Sep. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 481
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
Sep. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 527
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Sep. 30, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,986
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 441
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,478
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,754
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 750
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 553
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Sep. 30, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 231
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Sep. 30, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 238
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,025
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Sep. 30, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,353
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,296
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,751
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,831
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,223
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Sep. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,225
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Sep. 30, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,400
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Sep. 30, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,264
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Sep. 30, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 243