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Zabbix meetup

Zen Networks CEO was part of the panel list for the first Zabbix virtual meetup that took place the 10th of September. Our use case revolved around monitoring and industry 4.0 challenges. We show-cased how we leveraged Zabbix for industry monitoring requirements to ensure operational excellence for our clients. The meetup was a great opportunity to share with the community and learn new insight on how effective Zabbix can be.

Network equipment backups automation using Gitlab & Ansible

Introduction Prerequisites Installation & Configuration Gitlab Installation of Gitlab CE Gitlab Configuration Ansible Ansible installation Ansible configuration Linux server case Network equipment case (Cisco Router) Introduction This article shows how to automate backups of various equipments like Unix machines, switches, routers… using opensource solutions. In fact, we base our solution on Ansible for automation and Gitlab for UI and versioning. The goal is to apply the principles of Git code management for backup management in order to have a platform rich in functionality, flexibility and without breaking the bank. Git is a decentralized version management software. Git aims to allow several people to participate in the development of the same project. GitLab.com offers a SaaS platform based on Git with a web interface above. That said, it's also possible to install your own open-source Gitlab Community Edition platform.. Ansible is a configuration management tool that automates tasks with automation scripts. Prerequisites Before starting, you must have : A machine to install Gitlab. In this case, CentOS 8 A Linux machine for Ansible server. Here, in fact, another CentOS 8 Target machines (Linux, switches, routers, etc.) to retrieve their configurations. Windows machines are also supported. You can use other Git managers like Gogs. Another interesting point to note; backups should ideally not be located in the same site as the target equipment. This is very important to have a more solid Disaster Recovery Plan. A simpler option to avoid managing a Gitlab instance while having an excellent availability rate may simply be to take a paid account at gitlab.com or github.com and create a private repository. Installation & Configuration Gitlab So let's start by installing our own Gitlab repository manager. Installation of Gitlab CE : There are two versions of Gitlab, but we are going to focus on the Community Edition. (Mainly because it’s free ). The installation steps differ depending on the linux distribution used on our instance. Take the case of a CentOS 8 instance, we will need to type the following commands: a. SSH installation and configuration # installation of necessary packages
gitlab:~$ sudo dnf install -y curl policycoreutils openssh-server

# activation and launch of the ssh service
gitlab:~$ sudo systemctl enable sshd
gitlab:~$ sudo systemctl start sshd b. Firewall configuration # Check if the firewall status, to know if you need to execute the commands for the UI (http / https): sudo systemctl status firewalld ansible:~$ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=http
ansible:~$ sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=https

# Loading the new firewall config
ansible:~$ sudo systemctl reload firewalld To enable email notifications, we must configure an email client, Postfix in our case: gitlab:~$ sudo dnf install postfix
gitlab:~$ sudo systemctl enable postfix
gitlab:~$ sudo systemctl start postfix The following command will add the Gitlab repository, useful for repatriating the RPM installation. (For paranoids, you can run the curl without a pipe, view the contents of the script and run it after ensuring no malicious code is there ) gitlab:~$ curl https://packages.gitlab.com/install/repositories/gitlab/gitlab-ee/script.rpm.sh | sudo bash You just have to execute gitlab:~$ sudo EXTERNAL_URL="https://gitlab.example.com" dnf install -y gitlab-ee As a last step, you may want to integrate Gitlab with your LDAP for user management. Gitlab Configuration To be able to automatically authenticate from your ansible server to your Gitlab server, one quick way is to import the SSH key from your ansible server to the Gitlab server. On your client, type : gitlab:~$ cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub Copy the output and point to Gitlab UI> http://myURL/profile/keys [Settings> SSH Keys] Paste the content like this: Then click on Add Key You will now be able to synchronize content without problems. Now, we can create our first project: Fields to fill : name of the project Description Type (public / private) README initialization choice Now that we've created our project, we need to import it to our Ansible server. To do this, just copy the following link: Finally paste the command starting with git clone : ansible:~$ git clone ssh://git@myURL/tools/network-backups.git This command will clone your Gitlab project in a folder in the path where you executed your command /myPath/network-backups. Ansible Ansible installation In your Linux server dedicated to Ansible, type the following command to install Ansible. ansible:~$ sudo yum install ansible Inside your Ansible server : ansible:~$ cd /myPath/network-backups Create two new directories ansible/ and backup/
ansible:~$ mkdir ansible/ backup/ Inside ansible/ create two files : ansible:~$ touch hosts ansible:~$ touch backup.yml If you want to backup a Linux machine, just follow the following steps. For each linux machine to be backed up, execute the following code: ansible:~$ ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub root@ipdemamachine Make sure you can connect to SSH automatically without entering a password : ansible:~$ ssh root@ipdemamachine Ansible configuration Linux server case 1-Put yourself on your Ansible server. 2-Complete the hosts file with : [linux_servers]
LIN-1 ansible_host=myip1 ansible_connection=ssh ansible_user=root
LIN-2 ansible_host=myip2 ansible_connection=ssh ansible_user=root PS: Replace myip1 and myip2 with the corresponding IP addresses of the target Linux machines. 3-remplir le fichier backup.yml avec : -hosts: linux_servers
vars:
root_dir:"myDir"

tasks:
-name: Specifying a path directly
fetch:
src: /etc/hostname
dest:"{{myDir}}network-backups/linux/{{inventory_hostname}}- hostname.txt"
flat: yes

-name: get date
command: date
register: mydate

-hosts: localhost
vars:root_dir:"myDir"

tasks:
-name: Store date as fact
set_fact:myCommitDate:"{{ ansible_date_time.date }}"
-name: sync git
shell:"cd {{root_dir}}network-backups && git add . && git commit -m {{myCommitDate}} && git push origin master" We should have a similar result : PLAY [linux_servers] **************************************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] ************************************************
ok: [LIN-1]
ok: [LIN-2]

TASK [Specifying a path directly] *************************************
changed: [LIN-1]
changed: [LIN-2]

TASK [get date] *******************************************************
changed: [LIN-2]
changed: [LIN-1]

PLAY [localhost] ******************************************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] ************************************************
ok: [localhost]

TASK [Store date as fact] *********************************************
ok: [localhost]

TASK [sync git] ******************************************************* changed: [localhost]

PLAY RECAP ************************************************************
LIN-1 : ok=3 changed=2 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0

LIN-2 : ok=3 changed=2 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0

localhost : ok=3 changed=1 unreachable=0 failed=0 skipped=0 rescued=0 ignored=0 Network equipment case (Cisco Router) Now if we want to save the config of a network device (Let’s take a Cisco router as an example), all we need to do is : 1-complete the hosts file with : [cisco]
ROU-2691-2 ansible_host=myip ansible_user=admin ansible_password=cisco ansible_network_os=ios ansible_ssh_extra_args=-caes256-cbc 2-fill the backup.yml file with : ---
-name: BACKUP ROUTER CONFIGURATIONS
hosts: cisco
connection: network_cli
become_method: enable
gather_facts: no
vars:root_dir: myDir

tasks:
-name: BACKUP THE CONFIG
ios_command:commands: show run
register: config_output
-copy:content:"{{ config_output.stdout[0] }}"
dest:"{{root_dir}}network-backups/cisco/{{ inventory_hostname }}_running.txt"
-hosts: localhost

tasks:
-name: Store date as fact
set_fact:myCommitDate:"{{ ansible_date_time.date }}"
-name: sync git
shell:"cd {{root_dir}}/network-backups && git add . && git commit -m {{myCommitDate}} && git push origin master" Take care to replace myDir with the path where your project is located. 3-We execute the following command to retrieve the configuration and synchronize everything with Gitlab : ansible:~$ ansible-playbook ./maconfig.yml -i hosts -b PLAY [BACKUP ROUTER CONFIGURATIONS] ***********************************

TASK [BACKUP THE CONFIG] **********************************************
ok: [ROU-2691-2]

TASK [copy] ***********************************************************
ok: [ROU-2691-2]

TASK [sync git] *******************************************************
changed: [localhost]

PLAY RECAP ************************************************************
ROU-2691-2 : ok=2 changed=0 unreachable=0 failed=0

localhost : ok=3 changed=1 unreachable=0 failed=0 Now let's go to the Gitlab UI level: On the project page that we created we find our directory (either linux/ or cisco/) : Change directory to linux/ , we should find our backup (In this case, the hostname of our machine). To take advantage of Gitlab's versioning capabilities, click on the button history : Same is done to see the differences between two backups of the same network equipment. We choose the folder cisco > name of file then we click on history. Gitlab offers a chronological view for our projects modifications. Indeed, using Git Blame feature, we can get more details about our file versionning to know exactly at what time each change was made. To see this, let’s choose any backup file. Then we click on Blame. We will get a similar view : Daily execution : To ensure that our script will be executed daily, all we need to do is create a cronjob on the Ansible machine : ansible:~$ crontab -e 0 1 * * * /usr/bin/ansible-playbook /myPath/backup.yml

Zenoss eXperience Tour - Dubai

Zen Networks was a Special Guest during the Zenoss Experience Tour in Dubai ( 19 november 2019), we were invited by our partner Zenoss to intervene during ZXT in Dubai. Zenoss is our privileged vendor with whom we offer high-value monitoring services enabling enhanced proactiveness and reduced downtime. During the event, our CEO show-cased how we use Zenoss to efficiently monitor our clients' mobile networks.

Alcatel-Lucent 7750 (for Zabbix)

We've found interest in monitoring Alcatel-Lucent routers, especially for Alcatel-Lucent 7750 devices. It's goal is to facilitate the monitoring of this device based on the auto-discovery of vprn, routes, interfaces. The plugin automatically populates graphs and statisics for these components.

Forti-elk

Fortigate is one of the most popular NGFW (Next Generation Firewalls) This project's main purpose is to create an open-source log monitoring platform dedicated for Fortigate based on this firewall's logs. It is based on ELK, which stands for ElasticSearch, Logstash and Kibana. This should be considered as a free alternative to FortiAnalyzer from a functional point of view. For more details about this plugin : https://github.com/Zen-Networks/forti-elk

FreeNAS (for Zenoss)

As we all know, FreeNAS is powerful enterprise-grade storage with a comprehensive user interface designed to make ZFS filesystem easier to use. We've answered to a community need to develop a dedicated zenpack for this tool. The goal here is to be able monitor FreeNAS/TrueNAS devices with auto-discovery for pools and datasets. We rely on SNMP to extract the needed performance metrics. For more details about this plugin : https://github.com/N-faycal/ZenPacks.iXsystems.TrueNAS

Zabbix Certification Training Session

Zen Networks is organizing two certification sessions for the Zabbix supervision tool at the Technopark in Casablanca during the week of March 4, 2019. Zabbix is one of the most important supervision tools available today with great versatility and scalability. Thus, it can easily be adapted to networks of all sizes as well as to the different supervised layers (infra, applicative, business...) The sessions will be organized as followed: Zabbix Certified Specialist (3days):Installation and configuration of Zabbix for SMEs and large structures. Zabbix Certified Professional (2days): Management of distributed and highly available installations for large structures. Participants have the choice of taking the first training only or both to achieve the next level of certification. The training courses will be delivered by a renowned Zabbix Certified Trainer. At the end of these trainings, participants will have the opportunity to pass the associated exams in order to be officially certified ZCS or ZCP. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at:
contact@zen-networks.ma To register, please fill out the form by clicking here.

Zabbix partnership

Zen Networks is pleased to announce its partnership with Zabbix SIA. As it is one of the major opensource monitoring solutions there is and certainly one of the most complete ones, we see real value in our collaboration. Zabbix is a successful product providing centralized and efficient monitoring for major corporations. For years, Zabbix successfully competed with proprietary solutions while staying true to its opensource principles. This model was key to building a thriving community that backed up Zabbix development alongside the core company, making it just as good or better than any proprietary solution.


This move comes in the context of Zen Networks strategy for monitoring services. In fact, at Zen Networks, we choose partners that enable high quality solutions for our customers. Our innovative monitoring stack enriched with the expertise of our developers are what empower tailored solutions for our clients to match their unique needs.


To learn more on how you can take advantage of our partnership, contact us as contact@zen-networks.ma

Over-The-Air (OTA)

Customer Presentation Sierra Wireless is an Internet-of-Things market leader indexed on NASDAQ with a revenue of over 600M USD. Its device-to-cloud integrated solutions make their offer unique in the market. Sierra Wireless Smart SIM is now used in a wide variety of connected objects leveraging its global connectivity. Customer Critical Challenge Sierra Wireless needs a solution to remotely manage SIM cards deployed by its customers on connected objects over the world. This solution must respect the Over-The-Air standards defined by the 3GPP. Mobile operators need to remotely provision SIM cards as part of their lifecycle management. In fact, having customers return their SIM cards for newer versions is not a viable option. In addition, this process is often part of connectivity and cost optimization. As part of their mobile to cloud solution, the SIM card remote management enables efficient management of devices that are otherwise impossible to reach. This is especially true in Internet of Things deployments where SIM cards are often place in difficult locations. Sierra Wireless innovative Smart SIM offer includes the embedded UICC card (eUICC) which consists of multiple operators’ profiles in the same card. Managing its own profile among the rest is done remotely using an Over-The-Air solution as per the standard. Solution Over-The-Air (OTA) remote provisioning server development following 3GPP telecommunications standards Tight integration between the OTA and the information system (IS) for more agility Custom OTA campaigns adapted to Sierra Wireless Smart SIM requirements OTA solution must come with an API for an orchestration among the different network and IS elements Benefits Remote SIM card lifecycle management Adaptability to the custom requirements of the Smart SIM Efficient integration with both telecommunication nodes and the information system Enhanced connectivity and better cost-efficiency Business Challenge As a mobile operator, Sierra Wireless needs its own platform to provision remotely its SIM cards. This is especially true since its network is that of a virtual mobile operator (MVNO) which poses specific constraints and relies more on an OTA solution due to its ever-changing mobile partner agreements. Off-the-shelf solutions exist and might answer general requirements found in traditional or virtual mobile operators. But, Smart SIM requirements are very specific and require a better integrated solution. Zen Networks Solution As part of our offering, we have an Over-The-Air platform compliant with relevant 3GPP and GSMA requirements. Our solution can easily be integrated in a mobile core network by leveraging its inbound API and information system hooks. Campaign management, retransmission and enhanced reporting are all part of our OTA server. The platform’s technological stack is based on state-of-the-art microservice architecture making it highly scalable and future-proof. Our experts assist our customers in integrating our Over-The-Air server and customizing it per his specific requirements. Results Using our Over-The-Server, Sierra Wireless is able to build efficient SIM card resource management and manage its Smart card lifecycle in an integrated fashion with its information system. Our Over-The-Air API enables integration with the operator’s orchestration platform while providing precise reporting to alleviate the unreliability seen in SMS communications. Being at the core of critical services, OTA deployment has been done using a scalable and highly available architecture.

Automation

Customer Critical Challenge Our client provides innovative automation solutions. For that it needs a state-of-the-art software solution that can be both scalable and extensible. This solution is aimed at very large networks where the need for automation is most present. The automated devices are mostly network elements such as routers, switches, firewalls and mobile network elements. These targeted devices benefit less from known automation solutions such as Ansible since the latter are mostly focused on servers. As any automation software, it must provide massive campaign management and compliance reporting. Security is the other important requirement as automation solutions often have access to a large number of critical network elements. Also, to accommodate smaller networks, the automation solution’s architecture must be adaptable to become a cloud-based one following the Software-as-a-Service model. Solution Highly scalable automation solution Multiple automation modules and their easy creation Micro-service container-based architecture Enhanced and customizable reporting Benefits High throughput and secure solution Enhanced network automation features Future-proof software with efficient maintainability and fault-tolerance Business Challenge Automation is one of the fields shaping the IT world. IT managers nowadays are willing to take a chance at automating at least some parts of their network system to reduce errors and maximize productivity. However, others are arguing about the increased risks of data theft as automation often requires providing privileges and accesses to centralized software. Presenting businesses with the greatest benefit: lower operational expense (OPEX), network automation eliminates tedious tasks requiring manual processing, helps extend the network’s capabilities, and promises a faster ROI. Our client is addressing this automation need by building innovative solutions. Its flagship product called Optima automates network management tasks such mass configuration change, parsing and mass operating system update. In addition, it supports workflow-based automation with rollback conditions. Zen Networks Solution Our DevOps experts build state-of-the-art solutions providing both elasticity and scalability to our customers. By leveraging container and cloud technologies, they’re able to deploy innovative software. Zen Networks offers automation services to its clients by integrating automation software and adapting it to the customer specific environment. This service is often coupled with the monitoring service to enable high efficiency and control for our clients. Results Our client's automation solution is disrupting in the automation market where it answers a niche market where there is a wide room for improvement. In fact, network automation has many facets and mostly partial responses to it. Optima proposes a holistic and vendor-independent approach to network automation challenges. The software modular architecture makes it efficient and evolutive. In addition, the solution can easily be integrated with external orchestration software by leveraging its Application Programming Interface (API). Lastly, having a microservice, cloud-ready solution enables migration to a new service model with a minimal effort. Thus, making the software evolution a breeze.

Monitoring

Customer Presentation Sierra Wireless is an Internet-of-Things market leader indexed on NASDAQ with a revenue of over 600M USD. Its device-to-cloud integrated solutions make their offer unique in the market. Sierra Wireless Smart SIM is now used in a wide variety of connected objects leveraging its global connectivity. Customer Critical Challenge Sierra Wireless needs a robust and global monitoring platform for its mobile core networks. Main challenges: Gain visibility on the network health and partners’ incident impact Be proactive for incident management Have a single pane of glass view for the different networks Solution Central monitoring solution for the network infrastructure and related applications Distributed setup for remote data collection involving multiple datacenters in two continents Custom monitoring modules to extract and present Key Performance Indicators from the core network nodes Benefits Sierra Wireless’ IoT network services are reliable Dimensioning and capacity management is based on real data observations Incident management and provider SLA enforcing is efficient Business Challenge Sierra Wireless has a set of Mobile Virtual Networks (MVNO) as part of their horizontal solutions for the IoT market. These disparate networks, having similarities and being managed by the same teams need a centralized platform for its monitoring. The latter should act as a source for SLA and management reporting needs. As part of providing better quality of service and enabling efficient incident management processes, Sierra Wireless needs to be proactive about its network health and have it monitored tightly in 24/7 by a Network Operations Center (NOC). The telco world is a closed one with each vendor providing less than optimal monitoring interfaces to ensure that its respective management solution is the best suited for its own equipment. For the mobile operations, this creates an incomplete view with the inability to aggregate and correlate incidents seen from the different nodes. In the end, the NOC technician simply does not know which dashboard to look at. With the current virtualization trends on both telco and IP worlds, the network infrastructure becomes relies more on off-the-shelf servers and IT virtualization solutions such as VMware or Openstack. This means that for an efficient and global visibility should include all the different levels that the business relies upon. On top of this complexity, leveraging public clouds while keeping private ones in owned datacenters adds more complexity as applications assurance must consider both parts. Zen Networks Solution As part of our offering, we have a modular monitoring architecture that can be adapted to the exact needs of our clients. These solutions provide the required visibility and enables ITIL-compliant processes. As a matter of fact, our architecture includes Different monitoring solutions adaptable to the size and complexity of the target infrastructure Developed monitoring modules to enable automatic discovery and monitoring of customer application components Reporting solutions to build KPI dashboards based on the monitoring data Ticketing systems for event management (incident, problem, change…) Integrating inhouse or off-the-self solutions is never enough to provide real insight about an IT infrastructure. For this reason, our solution is two-fold. In addition to building the right architectural blocks, we assess the specific needs of our clients and have our developers work in tandem with our monitoring experts to provide a better experience with solutions developed specifically to adapt to the customer’s applications. Result By leveraging our monitoring stack and our development expertise, Sierra Wireless has been able to build a scalable and global platform used by both technical and non-technical users. The platform is fully adapted to Sierra Wireless network and its technical needs where new services are automatically discovered and monitored. This agility enables fast service deployment and validation by ensuring the service key performance indicators are green. The platform is also instrumental to managing vendors by keeping track of their quality of service and providing proof of their digression as part of support and SLA management. By having different threshold sensitivities, the telecom operator can be proactive about critical issues and take action before any customer impact. Lastly, many dashboards are built for the different usages and teams. In fact, these dashboards answer different needs such as SLA reporting, NOC view, capacity planning, IP weather map, Telco signaling KPI…

How To Monitor Hybrid Clouds

Due to its sheer size and the huge number of platforms, monitoring the hybrid cloud can be a daunting task, especially if it is not given preference in the planning process. A well-devised strategy for hybrid cloud monitoring should include the elements and layers you would like to monitor, in addition to the more traditional memory, networking, CPU, and disk I/O. Depending on the type of solutions your business has opted for, the strategy could include different layers as well as give an importance to the monitoring of end-user experience. Also, tight coupling to public cloud performance and newly acquired service elasticity bring their own share of complexity. What is a Hybrid Cloud? A cloud computing solution in which applications and their services are running in your on-premise data center, private cloud, and a public cloud, such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, or Microsoft Azure, is called a hybrid cloud. A survey, ran by Gartner on 2017 revealed that, by 2020, 90 percent of organizations will be leveraging hybrid clouds’ capabilities. Even though a large portion of businesses have adopted the public cloud, most have not yet abandoned their on-premise data centers to move their entire workload to a public cloud solution. Rather than depending solely on the public cloud, businesses seem to be keen on taking a more hybrid approach: using on-premise data centers for certain tasks and the public cloud for others. As an example, some businesses transfer peak usages to the public cloud leveraging its elasticity on busy hours while still relying on their private cloud. This article will study the advantages and challenges that an enterprise typically faces when migrating to a public cloud through a hybrid cloud, and how you can find a monitoring solution to help your business. Advantages of Using Hybrid Cloud Undeniably, the hybrid cloud is a true game changer. By minimizing trade-offs, breaking down several technical barriers, and enabling customized resource utilization. When configured optimally, it achieves improved performance and maximum benefits from both sides of the coin. Because hybrid clouds can take best of both worlds, they are much more cost effective than using dedicated on-premise data centers. The overall cost of ownership is significantly reduced and cost efficiency is improved as the optimal choice can be made for each and every service. You can also use this to analyze your cost pattern in contrast with your demand/revenue pattern and if needs be, shift your enterprise to an OPEX-based model from a more capital-intensive cost model. Furthermore, the hybrid cloud offers your business a secure environment to place data on a dedicated server and enjoy the perks of high performance combined with seamless browsing. Challenges Nothing real can ever be accomplished without its own set of challenges; migrating to the cloud can also be quite challenging and presents both time and cost implications. Here are a few challenges that businesses face when deploying the hybrid cloud: 1. Scalability mismatches Moving applications to the cloud can result in scalability mismatches between the private and the public cloud services. On one hand, public cloud based services benefit from a high scalability infrastructure if configured correctly. On the other hand, private cloud based services need more efforts to achieve the same throughput and availability. The result is that, sometimes, services that have been migrated tend to saturate their counter-part. 2. Diagnosing issues Diagnosing issues across your various domains and servers might require you to look at different dashboards all at once instead of offering a centralized monitoring location. Tracking the communication flows between these heterogenous environments is often a challenge 3. Cost efficiency While hybrid cloud deployment promises to help businesses manage their costs by promoting workload efficiency, it can often be quite difficult keep track of costs associated with deploying to the cloud. Especially when dealing with more than one provider, it can become essential for your firm’s IT team to coordinate with your service provider to ensure that the costs remain under control. In fact, public clouds, at first, have confusing cost plans that have to be integrated in the costing tools. 4. Security and compliance Perhaps the greatest challenge that hybrid cloud deployments continue to face are security and compliance concerns. According to a report commissioned by HPE, the primary security challenges concerning the hybrid cloud revolve around maintaining controls for secure access, granting authorization, and ensuring that the data on the cloud remains secure. Despite these challenges, the report further highlighted that out of 250 IT executives surveyed, 16 percent said their organizations were in a preliminary investigation phase, 42 percent were testing the system, 23 percent had their workload subset running exclusively in the cloud, and 19 percent were already operating in a hybrid architecture environment. Some real cases where non-compliance is a blocking issue involve defense/army solutions that are too sensible to delocalize or telco databases (HLR/HSS) that the regulator often forces to be in national soil. There are other technical challenges that some companies might encounter. But, public clouds often release their solutions after a while. Some examples are Network Virtualized Functions (NFV) components that require specific BIOS configuration or even development on FPGA boards. Devising a Monitoring Strategy Effective deployment of a hybrid cloud is all about having a clear understanding of the needs of your business and devising the right monitoring strategy. Most businesses often overlook the unique requirements of hybrid clouds and often realize during the transition period and sometimes even after that the system of their choice fails to match the monitoring needs of their firm. Here are five tips to help you select the right monitoring system: 1. Understand the unique needs of your environment Analyze your environment and highlight applications that your business uses the most. Define the requirements of your business. Create a list of existing and future monitoring requirements and use it to develop the right monitoring strategy for your business. Going to the hybrid cloud involves adding new needs such as monitoring the billing on the public cloud part or tracking rapidly moving services that may be spun up depending on the load. 2. Review your budget Whether you opt for Open Source or proprietary software, you need to allocate a budget for the monitoring. Open Source monitoring tools are mature and enterprise-grade when used properly. But, their expertise comes with a price. Adding support on top of that makes the Open Source option almost as expensive as the proprietary one. Also, a monitoring solution isn’t worth anything without proper customization and scripting. In fact, to have an efficient monitoring system, one should allocate enough time for customization and interfacing with the different applications. Finally, once the solutions are deployed and integrated, you need a team to exploit the tools. 3. Choose the right monitoring systems When choosing the right monitoring solutions, it is important to pay attention to the following five questions: Does your monitoring solution support a multiple cloud platforms and various technologies? A good monitoring system should be able to allow customizations and should be able to work with multiple technologies and platforms at the same time. Does your monitoring solution offer deep insights into your cloud environment and the services supporting them? An effective monitoring solution should be able to oversee the database and applications in great depth. Does it provide unified analytics throughout your hybrid IT infrastructures? A unified monitoring solution helps in improving service levels by offering a unified view of areas all-across your business. Can your solution keep up with the changing needs of your business? It is important for businesses to understand that as the hybrid cloud continues to grow and increase in both size and complexity, it becomes vital for businesses to choose a monitoring solution that easily deals with any cloud related challenges that may arrive in the future. Does it offer insights to cloud utilization? Your ideal monitoring system should be able to review and analyze performance across your cloud and allow you to plan for future. 4. Choose the right deployment option Having both public and private cloud parts, you can choose where to deploy your monitoring solution. One preferred architecture that answer most deployment needs consists of having a HA master pair deployed on the public cloud and as many remote collectors as needed. On one hand, the master would host the database, process events and expose the GUI. On the other, the collector would stay as close as possible to its monitored elements and only take care of metrics and event collection. This architecture leverages the easy evolutivity and high availability of the public cloud while maintaining your solution as close as possible to every monitored datacenter (or public cloud). Some solutions can even provide buffering on the collector in case the link to the master is lost. 5. Perform a pilot Take the time to evaluate your choices. Fact is, there is so much marketing buzz around monitoring features that one can easily be tricked into the wrong choices. Performing a pilot reduces the project risks and helps your teams get used to the tools. Remember that customization ease of use is often hard to evaluate without getting your hands dirty. Conclusion In the coming years, it is expected that enterprises of all sizes and scale of operations will look to migrate to the hybrid cloud. Affordable solutions are anticipated to offer more features and businesses will also be actively looking for the ones that are cost efficient, reliable, and provide a long-term solution. Having the correct KPIs to track your migration and hybrid services is a critical prerequisite to keep your service performance and availability to the highest. For that, we, at Zen Networks, are happy to bring our expertise and help you make the wisest decisions for your business.

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