What Visibility In The Cloud Means, And Why It’s So Important

CloudHealth Tech Staff
Published:
Jan. 9, 2020
4 minute read

Visibility in the cloud means eliminating the blind spots that can lead to overspends, performance inefficiencies, and security issues. Whereas in an on-premises IT infrastructure, obtaining total visibility is relatively easy; when your business operates in the cloud, it’s that much harder. 

When your business operates in an exclusively on-premises IT infrastructure, it has complete control over every element of its IT environment and total responsibility for costs, performance, and security. When workloads are migrated to the public cloud, some of the control—and some of the responsibility—is relinquished to the Cloud Service Provider depending on the level of abstraction.

For example, based on the simplified image below, if your business provisions a VM in the Azure Cloud, Microsoft has responsibility for everything below the operating system. This means it has control of the physical data center, control of data traveling through its network, and control of applications hosted on its physical servers. This can lead to a loss of visibility over data and applications.

Why visibility in the cloud is so important

If your business loses visibility in the cloud, it can result in a loss of control over IT management and data security. One example of how a business loses control when it loses visibility is when individual departments set up their own Line of Business “shadow” IT environments. The departments can launch unapproved applications—sometimes duplicating the cost and capabilities of existing approved applications—and generate data that may go into the cloud and never come back.

Shadow IT creates disparate environments that are difficult to administer, optimize, and govern. Furthermore, in addition to the compliance issues, a potential lack of data security can create, shadow IT environments aren’t included in disaster recovery or business continuity plans. If a disaster were to occur, it would be that much more difficult for the business to recover—if it ever did. Consequently, total visibility in the cloud is important because you can’t control what you can’t see.

Why obtaining cloud visibility is so difficult 

In a recent survey of IT professionals whose businesses operate in the public cloud, fewer than 20% of respondents felt they had adequate visibility in the cloud. Many said this lack of visibility resulted in an inability to diagnose and resolve application performance issues, while others commented that the lack of visibility in the cloud resulted in delays in detecting security vulnerabilities and exploits. Practically every respondent acknowledged the importance of cloud visibility for data security.

According to the survey’s authors, the reason businesses find it difficult to obtain total visibility in the cloud is because visibility tools provided by Cloud Service Providers are most often host-centric, rather than service-centric or role-centric. Although more advanced visibility tools exist that give the range of visibility required, it was reported that businesses don’t prioritize finding the best cloud visibility tools because of the work involved evaluating each tool and training DevOps teams on how to use them.

Visibility from CloudHealth: easy to evaluate, learn, and use

Bearing in mind these “objections” to improving visibility in the cloud, we’ve designed the CloudHealth cloud management platform to be easy to evaluate, learn, and use. Simply, get in touch to discuss your business’s requirements and our team of cloud experts will tailor a free demonstration of CloudHealth to match your business’s requirements.