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Private clouds offer many benefits to organizations. When an organization properly designs, architects and implements one, a private cloud can provide most of the same benefits as public clouds. They'll enjoy user self-service and scalability, the flexibility to change or optimize computing resources on-demand, and the ability to provision and configure virtual machines whenever needed.
None of this matters if IT teams don't have the visibility into their private cloud through regular reporting. Private cloud monitoring can help identify immediate issues as they arise. Still, long-term planning and proactive strategy development can only happen when adequate reporting of the private cloud occurs.
The benefits of private clouds
Many organizations choose to implement private clouds because they can have better control over their cloud environment. It gives them a chance to scale up or down their environment as needed and give their employees access to a highly available cloud dedicated to a single organization.
They're best for organizations that need more direct control over their infrastructure because of security, industry governance or regulatory compliance requirements. A report from Flexera found that security concerns topped the list of challenges faced by organizations using cloud services, with 83% of respondents listing it as their top concern.
Likewise, from a budget perspective, private clouds have a distinct advantage over public clouds because they give organizations a chance to implement chargeback tools at a granular level. They can track computing usage at a finer level, and ensure business units pay for only the resources or services they use.
Why reporting is vital for private clouds
Unless an organization uses a private cloud monitoring tool that offers comprehensive reporting capabilities, admins won't be able to track the metrics required to manage their cloud infrastructure. Without standard performance reports, stakeholders won't know their average usage metrics across individual appliances, applications and storage.
Infrastructure that uses virtualized machines encounters an even more significant challenge to reporting in a private cloud because most of its traffic never touches a physical wire or piece of hardware. Most traditional reporting tools require access to physical machines, and potentially render an entire private cloud invisible or, at the very least, create huge blind spots.
These blind spots can affect budgeting activities. Management teams cannot estimate cost savings or forecast spending because they can only look at historical data or error-prone manually generated data.
Considerations for private cloud reporting
IT professionals can use many software tools to monitor their private clouds, but before they deploy any software, they must consider the following factors:
- What default report options are available in the tool?
- What metrics are available to be tracked and reported on?
- Can they create new reports or customize existing ones?
- Does the tool monitor both physical and virtual machines, often in combination?
- Can the tool export reports in a variety of formats, such as PDFs and spreadsheets?
- Does the tool have role-based dashboards?
- Are reports automatically scheduled or generated? Can these schedules be customized?
Ideally, the reporting tool has an extensive combination of default and customizable reporting that can be implemented quickly and easily for any sized-organization and type of private cloud. Role-based reporting and access would allow several stakeholder groups to view and use the data, including data center admins, IT support teams and business analysts.
Software tools for private cloud monitoring and reporting
Here are a few of the top tools to help organizations monitor and report on their private clouds.
Iland Secure Private Cloud
Secure Private Cloud offers on-demand reporting for its private clouds. It'll monitor system performance, provide basic security reporting for events and user login history, and conduct advanced security reporting such as antivirus and malware events, vulnerability scans and support history reports.
CloudWatch is for private clouds that run on AWS. It tracks metrics on Amazon EC2 instances, EBS volumes and relational database service instances. It can monitor and report automatically on AWS system health and performance without additional software requirements.
Microsoft Cloud Monitoring
Cloud Monitoring is available for Microsoft Azure private clouds and offers insight across the entire private cloud. It monitors and reports on applications, log files and security threats. Microsoft Cloud Monitoring is built into Azure, which saves admins the time and effort of additional software procurement and installation.
For data centers running a combination of private cloud appliances and applications, AppDynamics is a substantial offering. It provides cloud-based monitoring and reporting for combined private clouds and is compatible with Kubernetes, OpenShift and Docker.
New Relic's reporting and monitoring tool gives you real-time visibility into your private cloud and offers useful insights to help you isolate and resolve issues quickly and efficiently. It offers role-based dashboards, making it easy for all stakeholders to view and act on any report for their private cloud.
Created for the virtualized private cloud, SolarWinds monitors and manages everything about your private cloud. It monitors and reports on events and issues while providing predictive recommendations to boost cloud performance. It also integrates with any VMware or Hyper-V setup.
If an organization uses a private cloud or considers a migration to one, IT teams must consider their monitoring and reporting needs. Monitoring software can help identify immediate threats and problems. If a tool doesn't include a variety of reporting options, admins may miss out on forecasting and optimization opportunities.