Network applications are the lifeblood of a business. Any interruption to the performance of applications as they travel over the corporate network can damage productivity, as well as the bottom line.
In the traditional IT environment, where systems are kept on-premise and the IT manager has a full view of the applications running over the network, there is inherent control of how these applications perform.
If the right application performance management tools are in place, the IT manager can discover quickly if there is a pinch point on the network, understand the fault, and have it repaired. This is a system that works well and keeps network disruption to a minimum.
This situation is changing, however. Cloud implementations are happening every day, with SaaS and IaaS leading the way.
Businesses understand what cloud really is, what benefits it can deliver, and how to integrate cloud with the wider IT infrastructure.
However, IT managers are coming to understand that a move to the cloud means a loss of control. If a business subscribes to IaaS, what happens when the applications running over that network run into trouble?
Lost visibility here could mean faults take longer to repair, and operational effectiveness is impaired for longer periods. To overcome this, IT managers and cloud providers must find a new way of working together.
First, businesses must establish clear SLAs with their cloud provider from the outset. They need to understand exactly what they can expect in terms of service quality, and what happens if applications underperform.
It is also necessary to establish who has overall control of fault resolution, and how quickly faults will be resolved if they occur. IT managers must treat IaaS as they would any IT service, and this means negotiating with the vendor to get the right levels of performance and functionality for their business, applying best practices learned from procuring on-premises equipment.
Roger Holder is EMEA marketing manager at Visual Network Systems
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