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“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  As I was thinking about some of the recent cloud-related news from the last several weeks, these words from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (still one of my favorites) popped into my head.  Okay, it probably didn’t hurt that this year is the 30th anniversary of the movie, and Ferris Bueller had entered my mind while watching the Cubs playing in the World Series at Wrigley Field (“Hey batta batta batta hey batta batta batta S-WING batta!”), but I digress. 

 

First, life seems to move even faster these days, and the cloud is one of the things that brings that accelerated pace to all we do.  But after seeing the latest quarterly results from Amazon and Microsoft, it occurred to me the only thing faster might be the rate at which IT services are being moved to the cloud.  First up was Microsoft’s release of numbers for Q1 FY17.  Microsoft’s stock price hit an all-time high, surpassing its peak from the 1999 tech bubble, due in large part to their success in shifting to the cloud.  Examples include Office 365 commercial revenues up 51% year over year, and Azure still growing in triple digits at 116% year over year growth.  Not to be outdone was Amazon. While some found Amazon’s overall Q3 numbers a little disappointing, everyone seemed to agree that AWS is still solid.  AWS had its first $3+ billion quarter, with revenues up nearly 55% year over year.  That’s pretty good growth for a business with revenues at $11 billon in the trailing four quarters.  So based on this data I think it’s fair to say “workloads are moving to the cloud pretty fast”.

 

Now what about the second part of that famous Ferris quote?  Other recent news reminds us that as we depend more and more on these cloud providers, the cloud is not without issues.  While some cloud service disruptions are outages in the cloud provider’s own datacenter, they are also susceptible to disruptions from the outside, such as the major DDoS attack on October 21 that impacted many cloud services and cloud providers.  It turns out the cloud may not take an entire day to play hooky like Ferris did, but can take some time off. If you don’t look at how your cloud services are doing once in a while, you might miss the fact that your cloud infrastructure and applications aren’t working like they should.

 

So as you move to the cloud, don’t forget that cloud monitoring is just as important, if not more so, than monitoring your traditional IT services.  Are your cloud services available?  How are they performing?  What are your usage trends?  Do you have idle instances running that are costing you money?  These are the kinds of questions you need to think about.  You could use the cloud provided tools, but they are often limited, and now you need to visit one console for cloud and a different one for your existing infrastructure.  But good news!  You don’t need to invest in two sets of monitoring tools – one for your cloud services and one for your on-premise IT.  You can do both with CA Unified Infrastructure Management (CA UIM).  CA UIM offers a comprehensive solution for monitoring both cloud services such as AWS and Azure and on-premise technologies from a single console.

 

Azure Dashboard

 

Are you moving to the cloud?   Visit CA UIM for Cloud monitoring to learn more about how CA UIM can help. We also have an AWS monitoring page now, please check it out.

Remember, the cloud moves pretty fast, so make sure your cloud monitoring strategy is not “absent”. Bueller?...Bueller?...Bueller?

It seems you can’t turn around without seeing the signs of the growth of containers in general and Docker in particular. At Red Hat Summit in June, Red Hat renamed their Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise solution, based on Kubernetes, to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.  At VMworld in August, VMware allocated quite a bit of keynote time and sessions to their vSphere Integrated Container and VMware Photon Platform.  And not to be left out, Microsoft and Docker just announced at Microsoft Ignite event they will make the Commercially Supported Docker Engine (aka CS Docker Engine) available to all customers of Windows Server 2016 at no additional cost.

While Docker containers have seen rapid adoption for development and QA aspects of devops, they have seen slower adoption rolling out into production. One reason for this is the challenges associated with monitoring Docker container environments, as traditional infrastructure management tools often don’t have visibility of containers.  Some key questions that pose a monitoring challenge are - Which containers are utilizing all my resources?  Are my containers available? Do I have more capacity on my Docker Engine nodes?  Am I losing disk space to dangling volumes?  These are the kinds of questions we enable you to answer with the Docker monitoring probe for CA Unified Infrastructure Management (UIM), introduced as part of our Hybrid Cloud monitoring solution in June.

We followed up the June release with a recent update to the Docker probe including a new dashboard based on CA Business Intelligence (CABI), released with CA UIM 8.47, that brings you an at-a-glance view of Docker Key Performance Indicators.

Docker Monitoring Dashboard

This is a rapidly evolving space, so as we look to further enhance our Docker probe and related container management solutions, we want to hear from you! Are containers part of your devops strategy?  What container orchestration tools are you using?  What is your platform of choice for containers – Red Hat, Microsoft, VMware, AWS?  What KPIs would be on your Docker dashboard?

For more information, visit CA UIM for Cloud monitoring.