European cloud costs are soaring, with analysts predicting an increase of almost a quarter this year alone. As a result, enterprises are adjusting cloud strategies to ensure greater efficiency and control. That includes more effective use of network monitoring – now part and parcel of many enterprise IT strategies, being the always-on eyes and ears of the network. However, in a time of expanding cloud prices, optimised network monitoring not only delivers vital oversight but can help identify money-saving opportunities.
Here we explore ways in which IT admins can leverage network monitoring that delivers not only resilience but also ensures budget-cutting efficiency.
1. Stay alert to creeping cloud costs
One of the benefits of public clouds is scalability. However, this can also lead to creeping hidden costs. The common cloud service providers (CSPs) include tools such as Amazon CloudWatch and Microsoft Azure Monitor that help monitor the costs of use aligned to their subscription modesl. Such CSP monitoring solutions can appear to be a cost-effective option. However, these in-built solutions have a variety of limitations that do not always help admins proactively address creeping costs.
For example, fluctuation can lead to difficulties in budget planning, especially where there may be uncertain requirements for high-performance workloads. Not only that but with the potential for multiple CSPs with multiple accounts across an organisation, monitoring cloud costs through these native tools can become an administrative nightmare.
With Amazon CloudWatch, for example, it is possible to set up an alert when your subscription account reaches certain thresholds. However, for complex enterprises running multiple accounts, admins are forced to set up alerts for each account or use rather poorly-designed tools to extract historical cost data to analyse spending.
However, by using a single network monitoring platform it is possible to harmonise insight across multiple clouds, enabling admins to easily forecast monthly and yearly costs. Using a central management console it is possible to monitor systems, devices, applications, and traffic in a single pane of glass, with the ability to easily forecast costs and adjust strategies accordingly.
2. Analyse costs beyond the obvious
Understanding TCO (total cost of ownership) across the cloud can be a difficult task, especially in today’s multi-cloud environment. For example, to analyse total cloud cost, IT leaders must be able to factor in internal resources such as daily network maintenance tasks such as security patching, which are not often costed and remain hidden. Outsourcing routine network management tasks within a holistic network management solution is an easy win, handing back precious time to internal talent to progress more transformative projects.
For example, the cost of delayed or unfinished digital projects due to a lack of internal expertise or capacity can be eye-watering. One way in which this often manifests itself is within over-speccing cloud provision, when an IT team will choose the highest-performing solution possible, only to find it excessive for business needs, resulting in wastage. By using solutions that provide only for what is required, this is alleviated.
3. Hardware running hot and cold
Cost is usually one of the driving factors behind the transition from private, on-premises cloud infrastructure to public cloud services. However, many enterprises still rely on on-premises, private cloud provision for benefits such as enhanced security and full control of resources. However, with public cloud costs rising, the promise of lower off-premises costs is waning. So how can private cloud infrastructure be made as cost-effective as possible?
One often-overlooked factor is temperature and environmental monitoring – a fundamental part of a cost-conscious cloud monitoring strategy. Excessive server room temperatures and humidity can cause serious damage to hardware, send costs soaring and interrupt business flow. Extreme weather, alongside energy and power uncertainties, can cause major issues for essential network hardware; for example, servers stop working properly as soon as the server room reaches a temperature of 35°C (95°F). Operating hardware at excessive temperatures increases wear and tear, while excessive cooling causes high energy costs.
Monitoring temperatures in the data centre alongside hardware temperature can help organisations reduce costs associated with downtime, repairs, and replacement of failed equipment, extend the lifespan
of hardware devices, improve energy efficiency, and ensure regulatory compliance. This requires the use of network monitoring tools so that IT teams can proactively address issues and optimise their IT infrastructure to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
4. Scale network monitoring seamlessly
Networks often start small, but grow over time as new systems, functionality, devices, applications, and new geographic locations are added. As a general rule, each device in a network will need an average of ten sensors to monitor it. Also consider that large environments are heterogeneous, with devices and systems from many different vendors.
Enterprise infrastructure is becoming more complex every day, with multiple layers, myriad devices and technologies needing to integrate seamlessly. When considering network monitoring requirements, it is essential not only to consider present needs but also the potential for future growth. A monitoring solution that may seem like a perfectly acceptable steal right now could end up costing you dearly in the long run when it fails to adequately scale with growing needs.
Assuring tools can easily scale with the organisation is imperative. For example, a single-view solution that monitors multiple distributed locations is essential, as is the ability to horizontally scale monitoring requirements. As such, organisations can reduce the costs associated with network monitoring by centralising their efforts, proactively addressing issues, automating routine tasks, and implementing predictive maintenance – now and in the future.
With European cloud costs rising, it is crucial for enterprises to adopt a cost-effective cloud strategy. Network monitoring has become an essential part of IT strategies, providing constant oversight and identifying opportunities for cost savings. IT admins can leverage network monitoring to stay alert to creeping cloud costs, analyse costs beyond the obvious, monitor temperature and environmental factors, and seamlessly scale network monitoring as the organisation grows. By centralising efforts, automating routine tasks, and implementing predictive maintenance, enterprises can reduce the costs associated with network monitoring and optimize their IT infrastructure. With an effective cloud strategy that utilizes network monitoring, enterprises can achieve greater efficiency and control while mitigating the impact of rising cloud costs.