HelpSystems Blog

Network Monitoring Tips for Hybrid IT Environments

Intro

These days, cloud computing is all anyone is talking about. If your organization’s not launching a cloud initiative now, they probably will be soon. (71% of organizations will use a cloud service this year, and 88% are thinking cloud-first when deploying new technology, according to Gartner). Considering the time and effort a cloud migration takes, many organizations are opting for a hybrid IT model. 

The beauty of hybrid IT is that it lets organizations try out the cloud where it makes sense. But it also adds complexity to your day-to-day network operations. You still need all your physical and virtual equipment to run smoothly 24/7. What does hybrid IT mean for network monitoring?

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What is hybrid IT?

Hybrid IT is a flexible approach that’s growing and is already predicted to hit $150 billion in 2017, according to a report by Technology Business Resource. In a hybrid IT model, you move some applications and workloads to the cloud, while keeping others on-premises. What you host where depends on the nature of your business. If you’re a financial institution, you’ll probably want to keep your trading applications on-site because of their low latency requirements, but you might choose to host ERP, CRM, or development resources in the cloud.

Hybrid IT gives you the best of both worlds. You can take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing like:

  • Lower costs without the need to purchase hardware and pay people to maintain it
  • Efficiency to compile more computing resources as needed
  • Fast bandwidth and easy access to cloud resources/services
  • Increasing security as major cloud players like Amazon and Azure become PCI and HIPAA-certified

Not all technology has cloud potential, so a hybrid IT environment allows you to keep some things on-premises. This is helpful because:

  • You can maintain control of critical data and applications, especially those that fit within security, privacy, and compliance constraints.
  • Some technology will take more time and planning to migrate, and you may not be ready.
  • You can be protected against overreliance on cloud providers whose price increase or downtime could impact you negatively.

What are the challenges of hybrid IT?

Planning a course of action for your hybrid IT environment can be a complex process. The main choice you must make is which applications and services will be hosted where—and of those that move to the cloud, whether a public or private cloud is a better fit.

The choices you make will depend on a few things:

  • How transactional is your organization?
  • Does your organization have a geological footprint which would be better served by moving certain operations into the cloud?
  • How important is it to your organization to have control over resources?

Managing hybrid IT environments can also be a challenge. For resources that move, your processes and procedures will likely change. To maintain smooth network performance, you’ll want to make sure you have tools in place to manage all your resources, regardless of where they’re hosted.

Tips for better hybrid IT monitoring

Just because you’ve moved your equipment or applications to the cloud doesn’t mean it’s automatically more secure, or even reliable. You’ll want to continue monitoring all your physical and virtual resources to ensure optimal performance. Here are a few tips to help you do so:  

  1. Choose the right cloud providers. Finding a reputable, trusted cloud provider will ensure your virtual applications, appliances, or services will have as much security and as little downtime as possible. Also, you’ll need to identify whether a public or private cloud provider will better suit your needs and requirements.
  2. Go through the network discovery process. Before you can monitor anything, you need a good visual of everything that’s going on across your entire hybrid network.  
  3. Map your network. A network topology that provides real-time visibility will help you stay on top of all your hybrid IT infrastructure. Flexible network mapping and monitoring software will be able to discover any network element, whether it’s physical or virtual, and bring back any data that the vendor allows you to monitor. 
  4. Set up real-time alerts. Automated alerts when performance thresholds are exceeded for any of your devices, applications, or services will get your attention right away.  
  5. Fix possible problems right away. Identifying problems is only half of the problem. Make sure you’re using tools that help you remediate issues easily and quickly.
  6. Automate where necessary. As your network grows in size and complexity, automating network activities helps you scale.
  7. Find enterprise cloud solutions. To monitor all your on-premises and cloud resources, you’ll need hybrid IT solutions that can handle the complexity of hybrid environments. Free tools from cloud providers, open source vendors, or even cloud-only vendors simply can’t deal with the complexity of distributed environments. Look for a single platform of management tools with the depth to handle both on-premises and cloud network monitoring.
Monitor Hybrid IT with Intermapper

Intermapper is network mapping and monitoring software for all your physical or virtual equipment. Powerful, reliable, and user-friendly, Intermapper gives you the visibility you need into your whole hybrid environment. Get started with a 30-day trial or download our free 10-device version.