We’ve comprehensively covered cloud migration key performance indicators (KPIs), from what they are to how and when they are used, and why they are essential. Our experts have cloud migration KPI selection down to a science to help you properly assess each phase of your cloud migration journey. We aim to help you focus on measuring what matters and selecting which KPIs will provide the insights you need. Today we dig even deeper.
As we’ve said before, there are several ways to assess cloud performance with more than 50 possible KPIs at your disposal to track, measure, and assess your cloud migration project. To make sure you’re covering your bases, it can help to examine these by category. Below are five focus areas you might want to consider when setting cloud performance KPIs, keeping the completion of your migration in mind. Cloud transformation doesn’t end after a migration. Once your production environment is complete, it’s time to monitor the performance KPIs set during your migration planning.
Even if you’re running your workloads in the cloud, your applications and data are sitting on hardware somewhere. The health of this hardware can impact cloud performance, which in turn impacts the user experience. One of the key leading indicators to look at is hardware capacity. Systems that are reaching capacity tend to be slower to respond.
That said, having too much hardware capacity isn’t ideal either because you’re paying for the capacity you’re not using. If you’re managing your cloud resources yourself, you might have to keep a close eye on this to determine capacity targets that best balance performance against costs.
This is also where choosing an experienced managed cloud provider, like Connectria, helps. We can make recommendations for your various resources based on our work with hundreds of other customers who’ve all faced similar decisions.
2 Application Performance
Hardware isn’t the only contributor to workload performance. How your applications are designed and built can also be a vital factor. Application performance monitoring tools can help you keep an eye on how quickly your cloud-based applications respond to user requests.
3 User Experience
Both infrastructure and application performance monitoring provide data-driven insights into the user experience. However, to borrow an old idiom, performance is in the eye of the user. Gathering anecdotal input from your users can also help you obtain an actionable assessment of the user experience.
4 Cost/Time Savings
While cost-cutting seems to be less and less of a reason for businesses to move to the cloud, a cloud migration can have a meaningful impact on cost structure. At the beginning of your cloud journey, you’re probably looking at the overall costs of managing your on-premises data center compared to maintaining cloud-based resources. Once your migration is complete, this month-to-month cost savings can be substantial.
Longer-term, you’ll want to ensure you’re using those resources as cost-effectively as you can. In Flexera’s latest State of the Cloud study, cost-optimization of existing cloud resources was the number one priority cited by respondents for the third year in a row. In 2018, just 58 percent said it was their number one priority. That rose to 64 percent in 2019 and to 73 percent in 2020.
That’s not a surprise to us. As more workloads are migrated to the cloud, costs can stack up. Unfortunately, many businesses lack the visibility they need to manage their cloud costs. Our customers tell us that the cloud Spend Optimization tool in TRIA is one of their favorite resources. It not only gives them visibility into what they’re spending but also shows them how they can cut expenses without sacrificing performance.
Remember to consider time savings, too. Modernizing IT infrastructure and using the latest tools to manage it can increase IT’s productivity, help you do more with your existing talent, and reduce the need to add additional staff resources.
5 Business Impact
Finally, it’s helpful to take a step back and look at the big picture. In a recent post, Cloud Migration KPIs: Manage What Matters, we discussed the importance of meeting with key stakeholders to get their perspectives on what success looks like. Returning to those objectives and assessing how well your cloud migration supports them can help you realign your cloud-based resources to the business and earn support for future cloud migrations.
Finding the Right Cloud Monitoring Tools
Some of these cloud migration KPIs, such as those involving the user experience and business impact, can lean toward the subjective. Others, such as cloud and application performance, are highly quantifiable, but lack of visibility can impact your ability to monitor them. There are lots of tools on the market that can help monitor cloud performance.
The major platform providers offer tools aligned to their specific platform. These are good tools, and if your cloud environment is homogenous, they may provide everything you need. The challenge is that most cloud environments aren’t homogenous. In Flexera’s 2020 study, 93 percent of enterprises said they had a multi-cloud strategy and 87 percent leveraged a hybrid cloud. To manage multi- and hybrid-cloud environments using vendor-provided resources often requires constant switching between applications.
The other option is to use third-party tools, but many of these solutions are targeted at one aspect of performance (e.g., security) and don’t provide a comprehensive view of all your KPIs in one place. Once again, to get a complete view of your cloud environment, you need to spend time switching between tools. Frustrated with the lack of a comprehensive tool that provided an all-up view across our clients’ multiple cloud environments and KPIs, we developed our own solution. We call this tool TRIA, both as a play on our company name, but also as a reflection of its ability to monitor the three core cloud KPI categories: performance, security/compliance, and costs, all from a single pane of glass.
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