I have been unofficially resisting the Cloud since the beginning and I am willing to admit the major reason why.

I am comfortable with my on-premises servers and applications. I am deeply familiar with the approaches used to provide monitoring, management, automation and recoverability for these systems. I have built my career and brand by digging deep into these technologies to become a SME. The Cloud has the potential to make fundamental changes to these technologies and to monitoring will be done in the future. This change is one of the major reasons why I have been resisting the Cloud.

Over the last eight years Operations Manager has shifted from being a product, to being a component in a product (System Center). Based on where the industry is going I see monitoring appears to be ready to take its next big shift. One of the benefits of not knowing what is coming up on Microsoft’s roadmap is that I can make educated guesses based on publicly available information. Here are a few relevant points that I’m seeing:

  • Azure functionality continues to evolve and to quickly add new features and functions.
  • Microsoft is continuing to invest and improve Cloud based application such as Office 365 and Intune. These solutions continue to develop quickly and add features and functions.
  • Microsoft is introducing new Cloud based functionality through both Application Insights and the new version of Application Advisor.
  • Microsoft is showing a commitment to on-premises functionality like Azure through the release of the Windows Azure Pack (WAP).
  • New user interface solutions which are being developed appear to consistently be built using HTML5.
  • The Cloud is being integrated into many areas that we work with on a daily basis and is augmenting the System Center stack in many ways already.

In the above scenarios, monitoring may be being done in Operations Manager, Application Insights, Application Advisor, Azure or WAP depending on the type of monitoring which is required.

I believe that the tools which we use to accomplish monitoring will be significantly different from what we have been using for the last decade. I believe that the next big shift for monitoring will be how it can span multiple components/products and span both on-premises/Cloud based environments.

To better understand this industry shift I took on a project to write a webinar/whitepaper combination with Savision called "The Road to the Cloud".

This whitepaper and webinar combination has been a unique experience in my career. To write this whitepaper I had to really ask and answer the question – What is the Cloud and why should we care? The answer to that question will determine whether it is time to retool or time to retire. Answering that question was my underlying goal for the whitepaper which is now available at: http://www.savision.com/whitepaper-road-cloud.

P.S. Check out the upcoming webinar where we will go deeper into these technologies and showcase how the Cloud currently augments System Center and what is on the horizon to change how we look at monitoring.