Survey finds concerns related to cloud monitoring
This week Ixia, a Keysight business, released the results of a survey we conducted in December 2018 on the challenges of cloud management. Research on The State of Cloud Monitoring revealed that less than 20 percent of cloud IT managers have the data they need to monitor clouds properly.
The survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, polled 338 IT professionals at organizations representing a range of sizes and industries. Respondents were qualified if they had responsibility for some aspect of cloud infrastructure or operations. Overall, 84 percent of respondents confirmed their organizations had increased their use of public cloud in the past year, including 21 percent who indicated they had significantly increased usage. With so many workloads running in the cloud, our survey explored the concerns and challenges of cloud professionals.
Traffic visibility is a key concern in the cloud
We asked respondents to indicate what concerns they had for the applications they deployed in the cloud. ‘Visibility into data and application traffic’ was the top response at 65%. The next two concerns were ‘Secure delivery of cloud traffic to on-premises monitoring tools’ at 61% and ‘Ability to filter cloud traffic before backhauling to data center’ at 34%. Clearly a network visibility platform for clouds was indicated.
Network packets are preferred for cloud monitoring
With most cloud providers offering only log files to their clients, we asked respondents how important network packets were for operational purposes. Respondents confirmed the desire for network packets with 86 percent indicating their importance for application performance monitoring and 93 percent for security monitoring. Unfortunately, obtaining access to packet data from public clouds was considered more difficult than in the physical data center by 68 percent.
Less than 20 percent are adequately monitoring clouds
While 76 percent of respondents said monitoring public cloud infrastructure was important, few currently have the data they need to monitor properly. Only 15% of respondents reported having complete and timely access to network packets in their public clouds and 19% reported having adequate access in hybrid environments. Only 45 percent believe their public cloud provider supplies sufficient data for monitoring.
Operational issues result from lack of cloud visibility
We wanted to identify the issues most associated with lack of cloud visibility. Among the top operational concerns:
- 87 percent find it difficult to predict application performance prior to deployment
- 87 percent fear security threats are hidden in their clouds
Nearly half of respondents had experienced a negative operational outcome from lack of visibility. The most common issues were ‘Delays troubleshooting application performance ’ (48 percent), ‘Delays troubleshooting network performance’ (40 percent), and ‘Application outage’ (38 percent). Only 5 percent of respondents indicated they had not experienced any issues from lack of visibility.
Cloud monitoring has value
We were also interested to find out if respondents recognized value from cloud monitoring. Was it straightforward for them to justify an investment in packet access and brokering technology? The results confirmed that cloud monitoring has business value. Nearly all respondents (99 percent) indicated there was specific value from cloud monitoring. The top four answers were:
- Helps identify performance degradation (60 percent)
- Enables identify malicious traffic by source (59 percent)
- Allows security monitoring to detect “indicators of compromise” (57 percent)
- Allows us to monitor every link in our network (56 percent
Cloud adopters need new technologies to access the network packets they need for security and performance monitoring. The survey reveals that data supplied by cloud providers is insufficient. Lack of visibility has numerous ramifications, from the inability to track network performance to lengthening the time it takes to identify and resolve security threats. Ixia CloudLens offers a solution to address the challenges of monitoring cloud environments.