AWS Monitoring Tools—Bridging the Gap
by February 13, 2018

Filed under: Cloud Computing, Performance Monitoring

When you talk about public cloud in IT today, you’re likely talking about Amazon Web Services (AWS). As noted by CloudPro, it’s not even a contest right now: Second-place Azure has gotten to 7.1% of the market, but AWS dominates with more than 44% market share. What’s the secret? Part of Amazon’s impact comes from being first-to-market. Follow that up with consistent improvements, regular price drops and above-average reliability, and it’s not hard to see why AWS remains the market leader.

For companies considering a switch to public cloud offerings or doubling down on current cloud investments, AWS is the logical choice. The caveat is that “market leader” certainly doesn’t mean perfect. Businesses need the right AWS monitoring tools to help bridge the gap between existing systems, new deployments and overall performance.

AWS-ome Improvements?

Amazon is no slouch when it comes to beefing up their cloud network and delivering value-added services. For example, Tech Genix notes that a new series of i3.metal instances are now available for user preview. These bare-metal offerings allow companies to run operating systems directly on underlying hardware while still providing critical cloud benefits such as agility and scalability. Amazon’s full range of IoT, mobile, analytics and AI services are also available for i3.metal users.

AWS is also expanding its security stack with the recent acquisition of Sqrrl, a cybersecurity startup with roots in the NSA. Sqrrl’s offering uses machine learning to track, analyze and ultimately understand security threats. In other words, it’s a perfect fit for large-scale cloud networks, especially since the Sqrrl solution relies on straightforward visual threat representations, which help reduce overall infosec complexity. Another new features allows users to configure AWS auto scaling for multiple AWS services from a single dashboard and create custom scaling profiles that prioritize cost, performance or a mix of both to maximize corporate resources and reduce time spent micro-managing cloud solutions.

So AWS remains the leader for large, yet intricate workloads. They’ve earned the reputation of enterprise public cloud frontrunner and continue to drive market change.

Clouded Confidence?

With Amazon rolling out new services, cloud costs coming down and companies more willing to embrace the benefits of cloud-first deployments, it should be smooth sailing for any organization adopting the cloud, right? Not quite.

Increasing cloud adoption comes with a natural consequence: Cloud performance issues. In some cases, these issues stem from the cloud itself; problems with legacy integration or complications with deployment could hamper overall performance. In other cases, internal actors are more problematic: As noted by Forbes, for example, 71% of employees are using applications not sanctioned by corporate tech departments. These “shadow IT” users typically aren’t malicious. Instead, they’ve circumventing what they see as restrictive IT rules on applications and services and downloading tools that help complete critical tasks. But unknown and unsanctioned apps on a network can cause large-scale performance problems. Add in burgeoning cloud sprawl as deployments become cheaper and more powerful, and it’s no surprise that expanding AWS instances can shake IT confidence in overall efficacy.

Evolving threats also present a risk. As noted by Business Insider, while the recent Spectre and Meltdown attacks—which could allow hackers to steal passwords even as users type—were quickly addressed by cloud providers, there was concern that security fixes could cause significant CPU power loss and impact total performance. Amazon officials says they “don’t expect meaningful performance impacts for most customer workloads,” but do suggest that specific instances may require direct assistance.

The Strategic AWS Tool Set

So while AWS is powerful, scalable and continually evolving, it’s not perfect. Whenever cloud services interact with local stacks, there’s always the possibility of technology conflicts or performance issues. As a result, companies need AWS monitoring tools capable of detecting issues in real time and pinpointing their source. While moving to cloud infrastructure simplifies IT management, it increases both the physical and logical distance between applications and end users—and the bigger this gap, the greater the chance that stray processes, emerging threats or unapproved applications can wreak havoc with performance.

The ideal solution is AWS monitoring tools that provide granular detail on why apps are slowing down and total visibility into the network hops made by evolving Amazon infrastructure. By going beyond device-centric metrics—which naturally fail in a cloud environment—and using lightweight tools that won’t become the performance bottleneck they’re looking for, it’s possible to avoid the problem of AWS black holes—cloud instances that can’t be closely examined.

Tap the benefits of AWS: Bare metal, evolving security and auto scaling to name a few. Avoid performance pitfalls by bridging the gap between what you see, what you know and what you can control with AppNeta. Request a trial today and get the AWS monitoring tools you need for success.