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Organizations making the move to cloud services are well aware of the many benefits like lower startup costs, lower total cost of ownership and on-demand scalability. But many companies fail to take a hard enough look at the corresponding challenges associated with application availability and performance.

For many cloud services deployments, network performance will be the key to application performance. Why? Because every business service accessed over cloud infrastructure is by definition a remote, network-dependent service. Every user becomes a remote user and every office, even the corporate headquarters, becomes a remote office.

Even services-based applications will stumble, freeze and eventually disconnect users when network bandwidth, jitter, latency or packet loss metrics drop below acceptable thresholds. Many of the applications being moved to cloud infrastructure were not originally designed for remote access, making them even more susceptible to changes in network performance.

In short: a successful cloud services deployment depends on your ability to guarantee application performance from the user’s perspective. That means you need to manage network performance.

What are the key steps for managing network performance for cloud service deployments?

One: Network assessment

The first step in ensuring a successful cloud services deployment is to perform a comprehensive baseline assessment of network performance. When rolling out cloud services – or other IP-based services like VoIP, video conferencing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or IP storage – many organizations underestimate the operational and business risk associated with unplanned network impacts.

A network assessment is the only way to accurately know the scope of the project and its costs. It’s also the only way to know if your network is up to the task of carrying the extra traffic

Two: Continuous monitoring

Users need the performance of cloud-based services to be at least as good as what their current infrastructure delivers. To guarantee acceptable performance you need to be aware in real-time of the ever-changing status of the networks connecting remote users to applications. Latency, jitter and other key network performance metrics can fluctuate continuously in response to changes in traffic and other factors

Continuous monitoring capability is also required to give you real-time visibility into service levels. This is the basis for troubleshooting network problems, as well as for ensuring that cloud and other third-party providers are meeting their contractual commitments.

Further, the physical distance that data must take between the cloud and the user has a huge impact on performance, especially for TCP based applications. This parameter will vary among different public cloud providers, making monitoring performance over time an important step in evaluating cloud hosting options.

Three: Proactive troubleshooting

Today’s cloud-based services are business-critical and ensuring their availability is vital. Traditional break-fix approaches to network management are not adequate to meeting many of today’s SLAs.

Network engineers therefore need a way to pinpoint the exact cause and location of performance degradation — even within the virtual network and servers making up the cloud. This makes it possible proactively address network issues before they impact users. Likewise, if cloud services crash and a plethora of service providers start finger-pointing, you need to know, quickly and decisively, who is responsible for what.

Maximizing the business benefits of cloud deployments

How can organizations ensure that the performance of their network enables them to derive maximum benefits from cloud computing? AppNeta’s PathView Cloud technology enables you to guarantee application performance across all cloud, data center, remote office and mobile environments today. In addition to providing unmatched insight into network performance from the perspective of remote users, AppNeta’s cloud-based Pathview Cloud service delivers immediate time-to-value, affordable licensing and on-demand scalability.

Want to learn more? Join AppNeta on Thursday, September 8th, 2pm ET for the Preparing Your Enterprise Network for Cloud Services Deployment Webinar, or start your own free trial today!

What do you need to move to the Cloud?Today, many organizations are contemplating how to harness the power of Cloud Computing in order to streamline their IT processes and make their daily computing lives easier — but how many organizations are actually ready to make the switch from the desktop to the Cloud?

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The many benefits of cloud computing include: the ability to access your data wherever you are; no need for bulky physical storage devices; easy scalability based on the organizations’ size; lower demands on in-house IT professionals’ time. Disadvantages to consider when moving to the cloud are limited, but may include reliance on a third party to ensure information is kept secure and confidential, and concern that when the cloud goes down access to data may also be lost. Despite these points, the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to moving an organization over to the cloud.

The future of the cloud is promising; in fact it looks positively fantastic. Predictions and forecasts suggest that the estimated cloud computing market value for 2015 is approximately $121.1billion. Even more interestingly, the U.S. government has shown that they are willing to invest in cloud computing, and by 2014 the U.S. IT budget is expected to have dedicated $1 billion exclusively to cloud computing. The predictions for the United Kingdom are similarly impressive – in 2011 the cloud computing market in the UK is estimated to be at around $2.4 billion, and by 2014 the predictions suggest it will reach a massive $6.1 billion.

With so many clear benefits, organizations of all sizes are considering transitioning their IT services to the cloud, but many don’t realize that network performance is a critical component to successfully deploying cloud services; there is still a long way to go before many organizations can handle these changes to their network infrastructure.

It is becoming more and more apparent that the future of computing is in the cloud. For this reason, there’s never been a better time to assess your network’s performance in order to assure that your organization is ready to successfully make the big switch.


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