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Cloud Monitoring Essentials | Part 3: Availability

Three Components to Ensure Availability

While cost brings people to the cloud, agility and availability keep them using. For sophisticated users, AWS (and other public clouds) offers tremendous advantages in terms of availability - need another 100 servers?  We can spin those up instantly.  Unexpected CDN demand? No problem.  Want to test something out? We'll get the resources right away.

The public cloud offers nearly unlimited capacity in a nearly instantaneous manner.


However, using a public cloud is far more complex than it first appears. There are numerous opportunities for missteps. Unfortunately, the errors are rarely obvious and always sacrifice functionality (see a detailed survey of actual user errors).

To avoid common Availability traps and service disruptions, you need to take these 3 steps:

  1. Maintain a Comprehensive Resource History: Regularly assess the state of all resources. You can plan for future usage based on accurate historical and trending reports. Use these plans to ensure that you properly build your deployment to meet your growing business needs.
  2. Perform Regular Utilization Analysis: Review utilization through multiple metric to ensure that over utilized resources are highlighted and flagged. Create and implement provisioning policies. Utilization needs to be adjusted before you encounter an unexpected failure.
  3. Check Configurations on Daily Basis: Configuration errors are surprisingly common and are the most common cause of availability failures. Specific attention should be devoted to auto scaling groups, ELB configurations, and security groupings. Prompt remediation of identified issues is essential.

As with Cost and Security monitoring, Availability monitoring requires significant time and expertise. Rather than committing the man hours, you should employ an automated solution.

For as little as $49 per month, solutions provide full identification scans, customized alerts, and complete mitigation instructions. Plainly, they offer a much better alternative to devoting hundreds of man hours and performing the tasks manually.


Overall Cloud Monitoring Essentials conclusions:


Infrastructure monitoring is critical to enjoy all of the advantages that accrue from public cloud usage. Effective monitoring and mitigation prevents cost sprawl, security vulnerabilities, and service deterioration. Unfortunately, however, the dynamic and fluid nature of the cloud causes manual monitoring to be extremely cumbersome and inefficient. Users are far better served employing an automated solution.

Effective monitoring encompasses utilization analysis, availability checks, security controls, cost allocation features, automated alerts, and more. It should fulfill all of the traditional data center necessities plus include additional cost features tailored to the metered, pay as you go nature of cloud usage.

A strong, automated solution is the best way to ensure proper monitoring. It will reduce the time involved in managing and the cost involved in operating a deployment.

More Stories By Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein is Co-Founder and COO of CloudCheckr Inc. CloudCheckr Inc. provides a comprehensive solution (CloudCheckr Pro) that addresses the infrastructure reporting, monitoring, and control needs of AWS users through automated and customizable reports, alerts, and recommendations. Its cost, security, resource, best practice, and change monitoring analytics and features allow users otherwise unavailable insight into their deployments and usage. CloudCheckr Pro is designed to help users optimize their deployment.

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