Cloud Computing best practice: Always monitor your Cloud services Posted on July 4, 2013 by Tim Burke In order to know whether your Cloud provider is meeting the performance and availability parameters set out in your service-level agreement (SLA), you have to be able to monitor your Cloud services. While you might not need or care to see detailed reports about the performance of your provider’s various infrastructure elements (VMs, storage, etc.), since this information doesn’t really provide a sufficient view into overall Cloud performance, you can and should seek information from your provider regarding application and/or workload performance. Network bandwidth also is a core component of systems using Cloud platforms, so you need to plan for your bandwidth requirements and monitor your bandwidth use. Doing this generally obviates Cloud bandwidth issues. Other metrics to watch include… Patching. Make sure you know who’s doing it and that it’s done as you expect on schedule. Unplanned maintenance. Alerts concerning any system downtime (for whatever reason) gives you a view of the ongoing stability of your provider’s infrastructure. Security incidents. By monitoring performance levels, you’ll also be able to spot anomalies that signal security problems that may compromise your data and/or your applications. Your Cloud provider should be able to report vulnerabilities (identified, remediated, remediation time) and incidents, including incident response time. Cloud service monitoring is the best way to ensure that your provider is living up to your service-level agreement.