According to a survey of IT specialists, a surprising 70 percent of professionals do not have confidence in the cloud. This article takes a look at why this is so, and suggests some solutions for measuring cloud service performance.
Results of the ScienceLogic Survey
The survey, conducted by IT operations and cloud management solutions provider ScienceLogic Inc. involved 150 attendees of Interop Las Vegas 2011. Some of the findings of this survey are summarized below:
- Almost 70 percent of respondents reported that they have already deployed or planned to deploy cloud computing in their organizations.
- About 70 percent of those surveyed responded that they did not have confidence in their management strategy concerning the performance of cloud computing resources.
- Of the 70 percent who were involved with cloud computing solutions, more than half were looking at private clouds (33 percent of all polled) or public clouds (25 percent of all polled). Very few respondents (only 12 percent of all polled) said they were considering hybrid clouds.
- At the same time, the survey found that approximately 14 percent of respondents have no plans to go ahead with cloud computing strategies in the near future.
Since its partnership with the Cloud Industry Forum in February 2011, ScienceLogic has demonstrated its commitment to the promotion of trust, security and transparency within the IT sector. The Cloud Industry Forum offers transparency through certification to a Code of Practice.
Regarding the lack of perceived reliability in cloud services, CEO of ScienceLogic, David Link, says:
“Cloud computing is growing fast and has become pervasive, but most businesses have great difficulty managing it along with their virtual and physical on-premises resources. It’s in vogue in some circles to downplay the need for IT operations with the advent of public cloud services, but few mid-to-large size organizations are relying exclusively on public clouds. Underestimating the need for IT operations can be a critical mistake. It has never been more important to have centralized, dynamic management for IT service delivery across distributed computing resources no matter where they reside.”
Committing to a systematic way to measure performance can be one way to foster confidence in cloud services. The level of IT performance that organizations will realistically see from their cloud vendors is often a big unknown for decision makers. According to the ScienceLogic poll, over 33 percent of businesses admitted they were unsure on how to measure cloud performance.
However, there are a number of tools that can measure availability and make performance metrics of cloud computing services open to the public. Some of these tools are discussed in the remainder of this article.
Solution: Apparent Networks
Apparent Networks offers a free Cloud Performance Center service for its customers. This relies on its network monitoring tools to track the performance of network services between public cloud computing platforms and major cities. The majority of networks that link customers to the cloud service providers are not owned by customer or provider. Apparent sets itself up as a customer of these third-party ISPs in order to provide visibility into these networks.
Another resource is CloudSleuth, which utilizes application performance technology to gather performance information. Currently, it gathers data from over 140,000 points of presence on the Web. CloudSleuth brings together a varied network of cloud customers, partners and application developers. Users of the service have access to the following:
- Access to the latest functionality and innovations of cloud technologies
- Database of historical performance and availability issues
- Information on the collection of performance metrics
- Best practices for application development and rollout
- Source code for the collection of performance metrics and other performance management-related projects
A recent ScienceLogic survey revealed that the majority of organizations do not have confidence in cloud computing systems. This does not mean that organizations are shying away from cloud services, but rather that they are going ahead, despite gaps in knowledge. Measuring cloud performance is often a huge unknown for organizations. A number of performance management and reporting tools are being developed in order to remedy this situation. Such tools include Apparent Networks’ Cloud Performance Center and the CloudSleuth, both of which are introduced in this article.
CCSK Exam Preparation
In preparation for the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), a security professional should be comfortable with topics related to this post, including:
- Enterprise and Information Risk Management (Domain 3)
- Third Party Management Recommendations (Domain 3)
- Provider Selection (Domain 8)
- Recommended Provider Tools and Capabilities (Domain 9)
- Key Management Standards (Domain 11)