Top level executives don’t have time to waste and therefore need the ability to see critical information in an efficient format. Their challenges are compounded in the cloud. Unlike traditional IT, the cloud is extremely dynamic and its complexity poses a great challenge when it comes to helping senior executives understand the current state of their organization’s cloud.
CXOs need a cloud dashboard to be a central point that concentrates all critical information regarding cloud deployment. It should be personalized, so executives can decide what they want to see and in which format. With better and more timely information, top executives can exercise better control over their cloud, making sure it serves their business goals. In this article we will examine three use cases: financial, operational and MSP.
CFOs want to see financial information such as current expenses, trends over time and cost projections. This information aids in spotting inefficiencies and potential savings, such as buying reserved compute capacity and in future budget planning. In addition, CFOs want to see cloud cost distribution within the enterprise. IT structure in an enterprise can be very complex; there may be different units, departments, products and teams. Executives want to see expense distribution in multiple dimensions such as by business units, different applications or even based on each cloud vendor.
An operational view is useful for CTOs, CIOs or IT managers who want to get a complete view of cloud inventory. The dashboard needs to show inventory distribution based on departments, applications and development stacks or teams. For example, CIOs need to see the distribution of AWS storage resources by type such as between S3 and RRS or Glacier, or even between cloud vendors. Executives need to understand long term trends as well as local spikes in resource provisioning in order to be able to spot anomalies that can lead to cloud sprawl and an uncontrolled environment.
The operational dashboard needs to show cloud usage and utilization, as well as overall performance. Inefficiencies such as underutilized compute capacity need to be detected quickly for the operations team to swiftly make decisions and take action. Cloud operations leaders share the task of cloud cost optimization with their financial colleagues. It is important to be able to quickly understand optimization opportunities and be able to confidently take actions such as resizing or purchasing reserved capacity.
The MSP’s Cloud Dashboard
Typically, enterprise IT is a cost center that creates a need for the dashboards we covered above. However, cloud managed service providers (MSP) need to consider costs, revenues as well as margins. MSP leaders want to see how they can lower expenses by reducing inefficiencies, but they also want to see the profit that was generated from each customer.
MSPs manage what we call an N-Level cloud and need to have a deeper level of visibility into each of their customers. MSP customers (especially large enterprises) often have their own hierarchical structure that increases the complexity of management. This should be summarized in one dashboard, emphasizing high priority issues. MSP dashboards need to include inventory distribution, costs, revenues and margins. With this dashboard in particular, distribution needs to be sorted by customer so the MSP is able to drill down to every customer’s performance.
While cloud dashboards need to be bookmarked, chances are a user notification will be your trigger to enter. The cloud dashboard needs to be flexible and customizable so executives can build their own charts and reports. In addition, like in every rich environment, a dashboard is the starting point for deeper analysis via drill down reports and information sharing capabilities. Cloudyn now supports creation of multiple tabbed custom dashboards. If you are looking to control and get complete transparency of your cloud, we invite you to try Cloudyn or request a one-on-one demo with us.