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Cloud and IT supervision of your IAAS and PAAS servers

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Bruno RICHOUX
Product and Service Director

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The Cloud, a fad?

A fashionable term for several years now, the Cloud has become an essential component of any IT infrastructure. The promises are numerous: performance gains, high availability, accessibility, flexibility, cost reduction, scalability, security...

Carried by giants such as Microsoft, Google or Amazon, cloud platforms are coming of age and allow for use in production.
Indeed, companies are turning more and more towards architectures hybrids (one part of the applications in the cloud and the other one in-house) and multi-cloud (part of their applications are hosted in a public cloud while others remain on internally managed servers and are delivered via the corporate network).
Platforms such as Azure or AWS make available a wide range of resources in IaaS or PaaS mode that it is essential to supervise.

PaaS/IaaaS, what are the differences?

Let us take a concrete example.
A company wants to create an application to collect data sent by connected objects (IoTs), process it, store it, and then display it on a web application.

In the environments Azure  AWS2 paradigms coexist: the IaaS and the PaaS.

The IaaSfor Infrastructure as a ServiceThe Virtual Server Rental Service, allows you to rent virtual servers in the same way as with any other hosting provider.
The machines are accessible via a console or a remote desktop and their administration (update, configuration, installation of services) is done like a classic virtual machine.
To create its IoT application, the company may decide to rent 2 servers in IaaS mode.

In addition to managing the OS and the libraries of the machine, care must also be taken to keep each service individually up to date.
The services will be set up from the servers via their respective configuration files.

The PaaSfor Platform as a ServiceThe new "Application Architecture" tool, presents a new way of designing and administering an application architecture.
This type of cloud computing allows companies to focus solely on application development and configuration, freeing them from infrastructure deployment and maintenance.

The resources made available by these environments are not virtual machines but micro-services.
Let's go back to our IoT application.
In PaaS mode, the company does not use virtual servers but PaaS resources.

The different functionalities of the application are no longer shared on 2 servers but are split into several micro-services, each rendered by a PaaS resource.
Each service can be configured via the web interface of the cloud platform. The underlying infrastructure is totally abstract, we no longer take care of the physical machines, OSes, libraries, updates but only the configuration of each resource.

This example shows an architecture under Azure, but AWS allows the same type of application.

What about supervision?

Let's continue with our IoT application and add LAN monitoring.

Effective supervision will be necessary in order to avoid any unavailability and to keep a maximum of visibility on the whole information system.
It will be based on two needs:

  • Supervision of classic servers in the local network with SNMP and/or WMI protocols.
  • Monitoring PaaS resources using APIs.

ServiceNav allows you to monitor both environments and aggregate the results on a single web interface.

Supervision PaaS Azure and AWS

The use of PaaS resources allows you to free yourself from the system part to concentrate on the configuration and development of the application. However, whether it is for AWS or Azure, it remains essential to collect metrics to measure usage and application performance.

Azure and AWS have their own monitoring solution: Azure Monitor for Microsoft and Amazon Cloudwatch for AWS.
Directly integrated in the administration web interface, they have the advantage of being very complete but may not be adapted to all users.
They will keep developers happy with a multitude of technical dashboards and general application performance metrics, but can be difficult for support teams to use, especially in a multi-client, multi-cloud environment.

Our plugins (MS-Azure-PaaS-Metrics_v2 and AWS-Paas-cloudwatch) are based on the APIs provided by Amazon CloudWatch and Azure Monitor to upload data to ServiceNav.
Despite the PaaS/cloud dimension, the information will be treated as "classic" supervision data and will benefit from all the advantages offered by ServiceNav: comparison with thresholds, maintenance, acknowledgements, ITSM integration, time slots, alerts, data historization, calculation of average and peak hour averages, display in Dataviz and soon forecasting.

By monitoring accurate metrics integrated into service weatherServiceNav makes it easy to track and resolve an incident by directly pointing out the impact of an alert on the entire application.

The Dataviz display will also give a complete view of the application:

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