When Cloudy is a Good Thing—The Role of Analytics in Hybrid Datacenters
IT Departments have a much more challenging job than they did a few years ago. Gone are the days where one application or two ran on a server and IT’s customers all resided in the office. But aside from the challenges of a mobile workforce, virtualized devices, and more data (from more sources!) IT also has to reconcile the challenges of the cloud.
Cloud offerings, whether software-as-a-service (SaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service offload some of IT’s workload, but they also cause concerns around ballooning costs and maintaining control.
I wanted to talk about a few scenarios I’ve seen ITOA customers adopt to help get the most out of their hybrid environments.
Understanding Useage and Costs of IaaS & SaaS
At SAP we had the issue of many “shadow” IT accounts…people signed up for AWS accounts with their personal credit cards. We were able to use ITOA to understand how many accounts existed—and reconcile them into one.
But this had the impact of making it challenging to charge back to the appropriate group. So we are using SAP ITOA to understand AWS usage—and to charge back to the correct cost center.
Track cloud costs by account and over time
The predictive functionality in SAP ITOA lets us anticipate Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) costs, and react accordingly if they spike more than anticipated. For example, we may spin down or spin up some instances.
Using ITOA to predict cloud costs
For Performance Monitoring
In the case of IaaS, typically the service level agreements (SLAs) are only below the OS layer. If you are hosting applications or other technologies above the OS layer a tool like SAP ITOA can help you monitor everything else you’re running—and put it in context of your on-premises datacenter.
One BI customer I worked with outsources their entire Windows and Linux environments to a hosting provider. But they were continually working to solve application issues caused by the underlying infrastructure. They have asked their hosting partner to implement ITOA and expose it to them so when they detect an application issue they can understand the root cause and not waste time remedying it if it’s out of their span of control.
Optimizing the Datacenters that Power the Cloud
With all the excitement around the cloud this sort of feels like saying there’s no Santa…but at some point there is a physical datacenter somewhere!
SAP’s Managed Cloud Delivery team manages the datacenters that host our cloud offerings. When we couldn’t find anything commercially available to meet our needs we built ITOA.
SaaS vendors have very high SLAs to meet…something like 99.998% uptime. So traditional log analytics tools that took 15-30minutes to index the data didn’t pass muster. Since our customer satisfaction and brand reputation rely on us being up we wanted something proactive—not just reactive. By building SAP ITOA on HANA we were able to achieve realtime, holistic analytics on our datacenters. And even cooler, we can anticipate issues before they happen. You can watch Martin Heisig explain it here.
A number of other managed service providers (MSPs) have adopted SAP ITOA to deliver on their SLA commitments—some are even building customer-facing dashboards.