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Observability: Enterprises' Secret Weapon in the Age of Hybrid IT

Whether an organization's data resides in the cloud, on-prem, or both, observability tools enable it to take preemptive action rather than reacting to issues as they arise.

4 Min Read
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Doing more with less is the most pressing challenge facing IT teams today. As organizations modernize their technology and adopt new business strategies, their digital environments become exponentially more complex and difficult to manage. They also face increased monitoring and issue resolution challenges associated with digital transformation efforts, from cloud migration to the adoption of SDN networks and 5G and modern app frameworks. Meanwhile, uptime and service-level requirements continue to become more stringent while budgets and staffing levels remain static.

While cloud migration continues to accelerate, enterprises have recognized that on-prem infrastructure is crucial to controlling cloud spend and adhering to data regulations. This is partly driven by the rise of AI, as AI solutions are often accompanied by increasing cloud costs and massive workloads that cannot all be on the cloud. Additionally, on-prem systems often house applications that enterprises aren't quite ready to move to the cloud but remain vital to their business processes. Recent Gartner research suggests that through 2027, up to 50% of critical applications will reside outside of centralized public clouds. As a result, there is a growing movement to return some workloads and data to private data centers while continuing to distribute environments across both public and private clouds. Consequently, it's critical that IT teams are armed with solutions that account for both on-prem and cloud infrastructure.

Related:Enterprise Guide to Hybrid Cloud Adoption and Management

Hybrid on-prem and cloud environments offer vital benefits, from robust security and greater data control to easier compliance management and more flexible customization options. However, they are also notoriously difficult to manage and monitor due to unique challenges ranging from immiscible tools to limited visibility into system interdependencies.

In the face of this complexity, it's no longer enough to solely use the conventional monitoring tools our industry has long relied on for security, efficiency, performance, and resource allocation in isolation. As organizations evolve from monitoring to observability, the adoption of more sophisticated and holistic tools enables them to proactively manage hybrid technology environments, mitigate the heightened risks of downtime, improve team productivity, safeguard service delivery, and strengthen business performance.

By providing comprehensive, single-path insights into every facet of the IT ecosystem — from applications, networks, and databases to multi-cloud, on-prem data centers, and other devices — observability solutions reduce complexity and help IT teams understand residual impacts across the full stack. In contrast to traditional monitoring, observability is proactive and holistic. It provides teams with explanations, not just alarms.

Related:SolarWinds IT Trends Report Reveals Observability Advancing Automation

Whether an organization's data resides in the cloud, on-prem, or a blend of both, observability tools not only provide an eagle-eye view of system health but can also anticipate future problems. This enables businesses to take preemptive action rather than reacting to issues as they arise. The result? A smoother, more reliable service for customers and less need for constant troubleshooting.

As the tech world is increasingly hybridizing, purely cloud-based operations may soon be the exception rather than the rule. A holistic tool that offers a panoramic view of your technology stack is not an option anymore — it's a necessity.

To put it simply, any observability solution that doesn't account for on-prem is incomplete.

For businesses to thrive in today's digital world, understanding and managing on-prem, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures will be key. While cloud migration is likely to remain an IT priority, enterprises should be wary of trading short-term innovation for long-term, scalable solutions. Remember, where your enterprise is today is not where it will be in 10 years. Therefore, it's vital to choose an observability solution that can keep up with modern, distributed environments as they (and the organization) evolve.

As more companies adopt or opt to stick with a hybrid model, there is a growing need for a holistic approach to observability, one capable of handling fulsome visibility. Merely observing the cloud is insufficient; it is a necessity, not a convenience, to be able to monitor and manage both cloud and on-prem environments seamlessly from anywhere.

Enterprises aren't ignoring the evergreen benefits of on-prem systems — and they shouldn't ignore the importance of full, continuous visibility into them, either.

Keep this in mind as you find your way through the complexities of technology's future. Yes, the future is hybrid cloud, so on-prem infrastructure and the tools to manage it remain fundamentally important. Observability tools can be your enterprise's secret weapon for driving efficiency and innovation — without missing a beat.

Cullen Childress is Senior Vice President of Product at SolarWinds.

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