End to End System Monitoring and Migration to the Cloud

In most cases migrating to the cloud lowers costs and enables new services to be developed more rapidly, but migrating to the cloud also has risks – at the system discovery and system performance levels.

When applications are moved to the cloud they are physically relocated. This results in the cloud enabled services potentially having to reach across both a Wide Area Network and the Internet to deliver results. The can impact performance, but it unknown exactly where the bottlenecks may lie.

In order to identify the potential impact on performance and the exact location of the causes of any system retardation, complete system visibility is needed. This requires continuous end-to-end system monitoring; a solution able to track application performance not only in the cloud, but also across network segments, security boundaries, all the way to the end user device.

Rich performance visibility of this type provides the ability to correlate performance across the complete architecture, regardless of system complexity and in turn delivers:

  • Improved system operational statistics
  • Optimised productivity
  • Quantifiable measurements of the overall impact of IT on business delivery

Access to granular performance information also enables comparisons across cloud implementations, sites and users. Analysing transaction times, errors and failures are a key input for optimising system efficiency and effectiveness.

However, this visibility is difficult to secure when the underlying architecture is fragmented. Coupled with this fragmentation are the complexities in migrating to the cloud in the first instance.

Invariably, legacy architectures have application dependencies that only become apparent on migration. Often applications depend on an old server that very few, if anyone, knows anything about. Alternatively, it might be the case that older applications were implemented using metrics driven more by the lowest possible price than the best possible outcome. Such implementations typically display shortened testing/QA and other cost saving measures.

Only by tracking live production messages across the entire environment can a near-seamless migration to the cloud be achieved. This requires the extraction of a complete and unambiguous description of all dependencies relating to every application. This cannot be secured using clipboards, whiteboards and flip-charts typically favoured by consultants.

Once the system dependency map has been extracted, end-to-end system visibility can be used to deliver end-to-end system optimisation. System administration teams, armed with granular operational statistics, can correlate formerly siloed data-points to deliver continuous process and system performance.

Migrating an existing infrastructure to the cloud involves some elements of risk. These risks can be contained and managed by firstly ensuring end-to-end visibility of the entire infrastructure is secured.

Securing this visibility is difficult using error-prone, resource hungry manual procedures. Hat Trick Software’s HELIXsystem Process Assembler automates this task. The Process Assembler monitors every service interaction between exchanged between every co-operating application and assembles a complete and unambiguous end-to-end representation of the production environment, regardless of the complexity and fragmentation of the underlying implementation.

The Process Assembler’s real-time visibility of the executing business logic enables system performance to be continuously monitored, processing bottlenecks to be identified and isolated, and continuous optimisation to be introduced. This is delivered without altering the messages, installing agents on datastore, changing the applications, introducing a point of system failure or impacting system performance in any statistically significant manner.

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