Cloud Asset Management and DDI

If anything cloud asset management is even more necessary than on-premises because of the cost model cloud uses and the way engineers will eat up resources.

May 26th, 2022

Do we need to worry about cloud asset management as we do on-premises and where does DDI come into play? The Tl;dr is yes, in fact cloud asset management may be even more important depending on your spending priorities.

What is Asset Management?

Asset management is something that's been around for decades. Traditionally it's documentation of inventory of hardware, software, purchase date, and licensing information for every physical device connected (or sometimes no longer connected) to your network. In some cases asset management helps you just understand what needs to be refreshed and when, but in other cases asset management is a proof requirement of compliance. Often government entities need to prove what they have and what they use, or large enterprises may need to prove what they need.

This is all very tangible when we're thinking about resource located on-premises or at a colocation. There will literally be individuals or teams whose jobs are to track objects down, scan them in, and maintain a spreadsheet (or in some cases a specific asset management solution). When we enter the realm of public cloud, especially in a multicloud scenario, this gets a little more complicated.

Do We Need Asset Management in the Cloud?

If anything cloud asset management is even more necessary than on-premises because of the cost model cloud uses and the way engineers will eat up resources. However, we need to evolve the way we think of asset management now. Now only part of it is about cloud service inventory. This begins to answer the questions: what am I paying for and how much is it going to cost?

Now, we may not be able to physically touch the racks or the servers on the racks, we can’t really touch the electricity that comes into our houses either, but we still have to pay for it and we can regulate it to some degree to control costs. But, even as compared to utilities like electricity, inventory is even more important, because it usually involves teams of people deploying and using these resources. Teams of people who may or may not be siloed.  So, documentation or asset management becomes very important, but also the least prioritized part of the job in most cases.

Going beyond inventory, we have to be able to look at why we need resources and if we even need the resources. We can’t make an informed design decision if we don’t know what we’re working with. One of the hardest parts any job is not just giving everyone visibility but also providing context. Asset management in the cloud can’t just be a list of things we use and their IP addresses. It has to provide that context to be useful for things like automation and security as well.

And then, especially, when automation and security come into play. Are people just onboarding services in an automated way and also ensuring that everything is documented and protected? How would we know, or how would we easily know, without asset management?

Where Does DDI Come In?

Moving forward asset management will need to truly become a system. The definition of a system is a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network. To provide the kind of context necessary, the solutions involved will need to have visibility in all cloud instances and on-premises sites, because the data will need to be consistent in order to create reliable information.

A DDI solution, especially a DDI overlay solution which likely touches not only all parts of your multicloud infrastructure, but also literally every app/service/device, is an integral part of your asset management. With a solution like Micetro, you can also go on to provide even more context to your objects to feed your asset management engine, through the use of custom properties.

Custom properties in Micetro are indexed, so they're searchable and accessible through the open APIs. Now, armed with contextual DNS, DHCP, and IP information, as well as identity information, for your entire enterprise, you can more confidently prove compliance, save on cost, and migrate more easily when it's time to refresh.

Built-In Documentation

One of the best parts, depending on your feelings of having to document thoroughly, is that the documentation is built-in. Everything is recorded in history for you, and building identity information requirements becomes a part of the process no matter which team is making modifications or how they are making modifications (through the GUI, automation workflows, or self-service portals).

If you'd like more information on how Micetro can improve your asset management efforts and to see a personalized demo, just click here.