How to Choose the Best IT Monitoring Solution for Cloud Infrastructures

By Gary Read  |  Posted 2010-06-15 Print this article Print

Outsourcing, software as a service, virtualization and cloud computing are ushering in an era in which enterprises distribute increasingly critical IT assets and applications across multiple service providers and platforms. These changes are rendering legacy monitoring tools virtually useless. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Gary Read provides a list of seven criteria enterprises should consider when evaluating IT monitoring solutions that will enable them to extend monitoring from their data center to the cloud.

Economic pressures, scalability demands, advances in innovation, and the need to squeeze every bit of value available out of IT resources are all driving an enterprise computing paradigm shift. This shift centers around cloud computing and its promise to provide organizations with the ability to expand their IT infrastructures and increase their computing power without having to invest in costly data center improvements or additional IT staff.

Media, analysts and various pundit communities are paying special attention to the cloud; however, interested companies are approaching it with caution. Prior to making cloud investments, they are asking whether or not there are actual economic and efficiency advantages available, if security and compliance is adequate, and if it's possible to manage, monitor and control cloud-based business applications and services.

The answer to these questions is a resounding yes. As early as December 2009, it was reported that vendors providing technologies enabling comprehensive monitoring and management of cloud-based IT resources have emerged. Cloud providers are producing tangible ROI case studies. And in March 2010, at the RSA Conference, many companies announced security advancements supporting the fact that the cloud is secure and compliant.

While there are many resources addressing cloud security, compliance and efficiency concerns, there are relatively few that can provide a how-to guide to monitoring and management. In this article, I'll discuss the challenges inherent in legacy monitoring technologies. I'll also discuss the distinct advantages that today's leading-edge monitoring solutions provide and offer a how-to guide for choosing a monitoring solution.

Gary Read is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Nimsoft business unit at CA. Gary took on these roles following the March 2010 acquisition of Nimsoft. Previously, Gary was president and CEO at Nimsoft. A high-tech industry veteran for over 20 years, Gary has a track record of building organizations that have achieved and sustained long-term growth and profitability. Under his leadership, Nimsoft realized sustained growth, both in prosperous economic times and during the global recession of recent years. He navigated the cultural challenges of managing a distributed team with offices in the United States, the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and Australia. Prior to Nimsoft, Gary was VP of sales and marketing at RiverSoft. While there, he was a key member of the executive team that led the company to a successful IPO and its eventual acquisition by Micromuse. With a long tenure in monitoring and systems management, Gary served as VP of marketing at BMC Software. While there, he oversaw product strategy, definition and execution, as well as go-to-market plans for all distributed systems management products. Gary has also held sales and marketing leadership roles at Boole & Babbage and MAXM Systems. He can be reached at

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