According to research firm Gartner, global public cloud spending will grow from less than 17 percent of enterprise IT spending in 2021 to more than 45 percent in 2026. Access to network data, especially packet data, from business applications in the cloud is an important proactive troubleshooting mechanism for IT teams performing these migrations. During the migration of an application or service to the cloud, network packet data can help IT teams understand how the migration affects application performance and how to adjust those applications to achieve the desired user experience. After cloud migration is complete, network packet data allows the IT team to continue to monitor these applications in the cloud, proactively discover the root cause of poor application performance and, if necessary, demonstrate non-compliance with service Level agreements (SLAs) with cloud computing providers.
Ensuring the required application performance throughout the cloud migration process is critical because customer satisfaction, competitiveness, operational efficiency, and profitability all depend on secure and responsive applications. Let's see how this works.
Network packet data can help IT teams troubleshoot application performance during cloud migration in a number of ways:
Benchmark application performance. When planning application migration, packet data allows IT to benchmark the performance of applications while they are still in local production. This gives them an idea of the level of experience that users expect so they can maintain it throughout the migration process.
Troubleshoot during migration. As part of the application migration, the IT team will need to rebuild a complex set of application dependencies and connections, such as network, computing, memory, storage, services, and so on. There may be some problems along the way. The visibility of package-based data enables IT teams to understand these dependencies, rebuild them, and test them after migration.
Benchmark the application in the new environment. Applications and the corresponding user experience have bandwidth, latency, and other requirements that must also be maintained in the cloud. Paying close attention to the packet data coming from these applications will show the IT team how these variables affect application performance and experience. For example, is the delay in moving data from a cloud computing application to an internally deployed database sufficient to affect the user experience? Without packets, the IT team couldn't answer the question until users complained.
Cloud migration is the beginning of a business process, not the end. Once the application has been promoted and moved to the cloud, packet data still plays a vital role:
Allows continuous monitoring. Cloud computing differs from an in-house deployed data center in many ways -- applications and their dependencies interact differently, and the experience can be different. Accessing network packet data in the cloud helps to replicate successful and time-tested mechanisms locally to tune application behavior. It can also help eliminate bottlenecks by providing a deeper understanding of how applications connect to the outside world and across different private networks (VPCS).
Determine the root cause. Tracing the cause of application performance problems in the cloud is more complex than deploying them in-house, because IT no longer controls the entire infrastructure -- IT can't walk into an AWS, Azure, or Google data center and start restarting servers. A single application performance management (APM) tool is not sufficient to find and fix all types of application problems. Access to packet data allows application and network teams to collaborate and understand deeper problems and their root causes before users complain.
Speed up resolution without worrying about SLA issues. Access to packet data not only allows IT teams to track whether their cloud providers are meeting their Service level agreements (SLAs) in terms of expected resources and experiences, but also helps speed up troubleshooting and resolution processes. Even if the IT team is convinced IT is a service Level agreement (SLA) issue, submitting the ticket and waiting for the cloud service provider to resolve IT can be a slow process. IT teams need to have their own visibility mechanisms to find and fix problems more quickly to prevent business from being affected.
Obtain network packet data in the cloud
Access to high-quality packet data from public or private clouds requires a mix of physical and/or virtual network TAP, packet proxy and packet capture device, as well as traffic mirroring and load balancing categories. Prior to 2019, the three public cloud providers were not transparent in terms of visibility, but that has changed in recent years. AWS and Google Loud now offer traffic/packet mirroring capabilities that mirror related traffic to virtual packet agents that process and route it to performance monitoring and security tools, packet capture devices, and any other tools that require it. In MicrosoftAzure, built-in features send packets in "inline" mode to a virtual packet agent, which replicates the packets before sending the original data to the destination.
Most public clouds have native monitoring services that measure different types of data, but currently, they provide only partial visibility and are very expensive to use at scale. Most of these services do a reasonable job of providing visibility and analysis based on logging or streaming data. But when it comes to packet data, they just provide a raw packet stream that has little value. Therefore, as mentioned above, IT needs third-party tools to consume packet data, analyze IT, and create value from IT.
The IT team needs to decide whether the benefits of a more robust monitoring infrastructure outweigh the cost and time to set IT up. But as enterprises continue to move to cloud-first or cloud intelligence models, the need for hybrid cloud monitoring business applications will only grow. Therefore, the benefits of complete packets during and after migration cannot be denied.