No one can argue with that fact that monitoring is critical to efficient data center operation, but it appears that the future holds applications that extend beyond the datacenter. This means that your long-term monitoring strategy needs to deal not just with traditional datacenter operations management but also with end-to-end application management.
Unfortunately, this is not a simple process. You’ll want to not only be able to monitor and manage the processes not under your direct control, but also the security of those processes, their availability, and their performance. if there is anything that makes IT doubt the viability of building enterprises around cloud applications, this would be it.
Beyond all of the issues of data security and control that raises doubts in the minds of IT folks about utilizing the cloud, there is the issue of dealing with multiple cloud vendors providing services in your enterprise. After 30 years of moving towards centralized monitoring and control, what happens when you try to build a production environment from service offerings from multiple cloud vendors?
I don’t have an answer to this question yet, and right now, I don’t think that anyone does. Integrating a specific cloud service will be a major undertaking for any existing enterprise, adding that second or third cloud service vendor into the mix may not be as hard has the entire adoption process for the first move to SaaS, but the management complexity would seem to grow exponentially. In 2011, I’ll expect to see vendor really begin to address this issue.