Monitoring Cloud Computing: One City's Story

Denver's use of virtualization, thin clients and cloud computing have created new challenges yet the city has found ways to compensate.
The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) uses 1,050 buses and 125 light rail vehicles to move riders around the 40 municipalities in its six-county service area. To keep its 330,000 daily passengers on the go also requires moving a lot of electrons. To do this, the RTD relies on a network linking more than 2,500 nodes at 20 main facilities and kiosks at another 80. The main locations are joined using private fiber with trunked 1Gbps Ethernet. Others use Metropolitan Optical Ethernet (MOE), bonded T-1, ATM, DSL and ISDN.

It is a big enough job monitoring that type of network when it is using traditional client/server architectures. But the movement toward virtualization, thin desktop clients and cloud computing have added new challenges.

"Virtualization of the server space requires a change in monitoring these systems due to their method of resource allocation to the logical servers contained within the physical host," says Scott Chapiewski, senior consultant at Synamon Corporation, the network consulting and monitoring firm that manages the RTD network. "Many different layers are affected."

For example, with server virtualization, the RTD had to change its approach to monitoring how the host server virtual switching fabric attaches to the core switching equipment and how memory was being allocated to the now-virtual servers. Virtual desktops mean that each user has two machines - the VM in the server room and the workstation - either of which can cause a degraded user experience due to the reliance on remote desktop protocol (RDP).

Read the rest at Enterprise Networking Planet.




Tags: cloud computing, virtualization, virtualization cloud, thin client, Virtualization Management


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