Are you sure your network can handle cloud services?

The stampede to cloud computing is rapidly altering the design and delivery of IT services. From lower startup costs to lower total cost of ownership to scalability on demand, cloud-based deployments are increasingly considered the most cost- and time-effective approach to rolling out new IT services.

But the move to the cloud is not without its challenges, particularly from the standpoint of the network. When your business services are in the cloud, every user is a remote user and every office – including data centers and the corporate headquarters – is a remote office.

By definition, every cloud-based application is a network-dependent, remote application. So is any other IP-based service, from VoIP to virtual desktops to virtual storage. Therefore, to reap the benefits of cloud computing you need be able to predictably and efficiently manage network performance.

As Debra Curtis, IT Operations Management Analyst at Gartner, Inc. noted: “The transition to cloud-based services is raising the importance of network performance management. Today, it is imperative to monitor the end-to-end network performance from the business user’s perspective, as well as have visibility into whether cloud providers are satisfying their service level commitments.”

Your ability to conduct business from the cloud depends entirely on whether you can guarantee acceptable levels of application performance and uptime from the perspective of all those “new” remote users. In order to do this well, you need to:

  • Continuously ensure the real-time, end-to-end performance of the delivery path from the cloud service environment (whether it’s managed by you or a third party) to your users and back – even over networks you don’t own.
  • Rapidly pinpoint the exact location and cause of performance degradation — even within the virtualized cloud infrastructure itself.
  • Verify that a cloud service provider is meeting service level commitments, and/or compare performance at your location(s) across multiple cloud providers to determine where to host your critical applications.

Jim Melvin is currently the President & Chief Executive Officer at AppNeta. Prior to AppNeta, Jim was the vice president of marketing and security solutions at RSA, The Security Division of EMC. In this role, he was responsible for corporate, field, solutions, channel, and partner marketing; corporate and marketing communications; interactive and web programs; press and industry analyst relations; and RSA Conference events worldwide. Jim has been awarded three US patents in fault tolerant systems design. He holds a B.S. in computer engineering and an M.S. in management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and sits on the board of directors at Fortisphere, and Cape Cod Beer.

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