What Is Hybrid IT?

As cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure have matured and scaled, enterprises have transitioned increasing volumes of mission-critical computing processes and data to those environments. However, for security and reliability reasons, few organizations have adopted cloud exclusively, and established companies will need to indefinitely maintain legacy IT infrastructure. The resulting environment therefore typically includes a combination of physical, on-premise systems; public cloud such as AWS and Azure; and private cloud.

Several studies on hybrid IT adoption have reached strikingly similar conclusions. A survey of 1,200 IT professionals conducted by ScienceLogic found that 81 percent of enterprises have established hybrid IT environments, while another survey by RightScale reported that 82 percent were pursuing a multi-cloud strategy. These numbers from 2015 all showed significant growth year-over-year, indicating that hybrid IT should be considered a new normal rather than a transitional state.

Why Is Visibility Important?

The same survey by ScienceLogic determined that “62 percent are flying blind, with little visibility into their hybrid IT.” Given the breadth of types of infrastructure available today, this result is not surprising. While monitoring, reporting and troubleshooting solutions exist for physical, virtual and cloud environments, they typically exist separately, with different data structures and levels of detail, and require manual intervention to deliver a comprehensive view of the IT infrastructure.

Enterprises without “single pane of glass” visibility will be unable to head off or respond to issues in real time. Failures can cause losses in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

Introducing Observer SightOps

SightOps is an addition to Viavi’s proven Observer platform, and was developed through the partnership with ScienceLogic announced in November 2015. Viavi is a leader in enterprise IT monitoring and packet capture, and ScienceLogic is a pioneer in cloud visibility, so SightOps brings the best of both worlds to hybrid IT.

SightOps provides complete infrastructure monitoring that extends from existing legacy infrastructure—such as physical routers, switches, load balancers and firewalls—virtualized and private cloud environments, and the public cloud, including Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, and VMware vCloud Air.

SightOps is also integrated with the Observer GigaStor retrospective network analysis (RNA) system, combining hybrid IT monitoring and packet capture for faster, complete troubleshooting by automating network anomaly investigations, and providing direct access to packets during ad-hoc investigations.

Additional key features of SightOps include:

  • automated discovery, visibility and dependency mapping across hybrid IT
  • only system offering real-time discovery, mapping, and visualizing of storage, network, and compute components of public cloud vendors AWS and Microsoft Azure
  • true multi-tenancy delivering secure, partitioned views to multiple stakeholders
  • runbook automation to streamline and automate key IT processes
  • foundation for Software-Defined Networking (SDN) through support of Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

A Visual Tour

Let’s start with a relatively simple task: creating an IT asset list. Each individual environment or service can provide such a list that can then be collated with others to create a comprehensive view. SightOps provides that list seamlessly:

Assets

But beyond mere listing is the visualization:

SightOps Dashboard Image ReplacementNote how each individual vendor is identified uniquely and visually. We think that’s a nifty and helpful touch, if we do say so ourselves.

However, as we move from breadth (across vendors) to depth (dependency mapping), things start to get complicated fast, especially since dependencies can change. Public cloud platforms do not provide dependency mapping. This is where SightOps really starts to shine:

Discovery

Detailed, element-level monitoring is also available:

Web and DB Health

 

And a comprehensive view enables real-time attention and response to critical events. In this view, events have been sorted in priority order from Critical to Healthy.

SightOps Event Management Summary View

With the ability to drill down on individual events:

SightOps Event Management Drill Down

So by now it should be pretty clear (not cloudy) as to why hybrid IT monitoring is vital to an enterprise’s health, and why and how Observer SightOps addresses the critical need for such visibility. In addition to helping organizations more effectively manage their current installations, Viavi and SightOps should give them the confidence they need to accelerate their plans to transition to hybrid IT.

 

About The Author

Amit Malhotra

Amit has spent 20 years (and counting) in the telecommunications industry, at major network operators, network equipment manufacturers, and test, measurement and assurance providers.

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