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The Organization:  Top 10 Online Retailer

The Organization’s Infrastructure:  VMware vSphere, Citrix XenDesktop, AWS EC2

The Organization’s Performance Monitoring Products: Goliath for Monitoring AWS


The Business Challenge: AWS

The retail organization discussed in this post faced challenges with the influx of web traffic to their online store during the holiday season. Their plan was to move to a hybrid cloud infrastructure during the busy season. This required them to expand their private cloud or on premise to Amazon AWS to leverage Amazon AWS resources during the busy season. Leveraging Amazon AWS allowed them to expand capacity only when needed. The strategy to burst to the AWS cloud made it so they did not have to make a substantial capital investment that would only be leveraged two months per year. However, for the solution to make economic sense they needed an AWS monitoring and AWS troubleshooting solution that would allow them to monitor their existing resource utilization, and their cloud resource consumption simultaneously. It was critical to monitor AWS and the on-premise infrastructure, which included Citrix XenDesktop on VMware vSphere, with the same technology to ensure they were delivering the most efficient and cost effective experience to their customers.

As seen in the image below with Goliath for AWS Monitoring the administrators can separate their on-premise infrastructure in the data center, Amazon AWS and Citrix XenDesktop environment into groups within the same console for a central view of all infrastructure. This heat map allows the administrator to monitor AWS and on-premise infrastructure and have icons register as red if there is an issue.  

 The Solution

The retail organization chose Goliath for AWS Monitoring and AWS Troubleshooting as their Hybrid Cloud monitoring solution. Ease of use, flexibility, real-time alerting and historical reporting made Goliath obvious choice for monitoring AWS, and their internal cloud infrastructure. As depicted above, in addition to monitoring AWS from Goliath provided them with visibility into their cloud infrastructure allowing them to understand the health and resource consumption status of all compute resources.

AWS Monitoring Includes Real-Time Alerting on Resource Consumption

Flexible, real-time alerts were configured as depicted below based on resource location. This provided the flexibility to monitor cloud resources differently than on premise. On premise, resources are monitored to understand the best time to “burst” into the cloud, while Amazon AWS resources are monitored to ensure that consumption costs are understood and controlled. In the image below Goliath for AWS Monitoring enables an administrator to set alerts based on consumption thresholds and consumption duration for example which are triggered when the threshold is breached. This allows the administrator to know exactly what resources are being used and the corresponding cost. This is designed to help IT control costs and increase awareness resource utilization in real-time.

Managing Dynamic Workloads Out-Of-The-Box 

In a hybrid cloud, infrastructure workloads are dynamic and may move from one infrastructure location to another for various reasons including general migration, resource expansion (bursting) or component integration. As previously discussed, monitoring requirements change depending on their location. To support this, monitoring rules must be as dynamic as the workloads themselves. If they are not, resources will not be monitored properly, and the solution will be ineffective. Furthermore, if the solution is not as dynamic as the workloads themselves, there will be a significant amount of administrative overhead manually reassigning rules as workloads move. Goliath for AWS Monitoring provides dynamic flexibility through group-based policy assignments, as depicted below. When workloads move from one location to another, simply changing the workload’s group membership ensures that the appropriate monitoring policies are assigned to the workload instantly. This functionality was a significant requirement for the retailer as their hybrid infrastructure was dynamic by design.

In the below image an administrator can receive real-time alerts from AWS monitoring right to their phone. Importantly, Goliath has out-of-the-box monitoring rules preconfigured to look for resource consumption and other performance metrics. Also, to facilitate AWS troubleshooting the pre-configured monitors look for failure points and can alert in real time if they are detected. This can improve time to resolution.

AWS Monitoring Includes Real-Time Dashboards

Pre-configured and therefore out-of-the-box dashboards provide both a real-time health check and historical trending perspective to the environment. In just a few clicks, the performance of the Amazon AWS infrastructure, the private cloud or both is instantly visible. In the screenshot below, on the left-hand pane, you can just select any set of IT elements from either Amazon AWS or the internal cloud you want to monitor and it will draw the chart on the right. This allows an administrator to proactively, and in real time, identify any concerning trends or assist in AWS troubleshooting.

The Summary of AWS Monitoring and AWS Troubleshooting for Hybrid IT

Many organizations are faced with new challenges when managing hybrid cloud infrastructures, and the retailer discussed today is no different. The metrics gathered, monitored and alerted on provide different value based on whether the workloads are hosted on-premise, or in the Amazon AWS cloud. But, one thing is clear—AWS monitoring and AWS troubleshooting—is important as part of this hybrid infrastructure. If an IT group doesn’t have a single complete view of the entire hybrid infrastructure there is an inherent risk.

Goliath provides the flexibility, visibility and analysis tools needed for modern, dynamic hybrid architectures and it is also flexible enough to deliver the metrics in a way that applies to every scenario—on premise or in the AWS cloud.

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About 

The team members collaborated to bring together this blog post by calling on their past Customer Experiences and Expert Knowledge of Citrix Troubleshooting. Beyond writing technical documents this team supports Goliath Customers and provides product feature/function guidance to development.

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