Automated cloud discovery is the process of holistically identifying and inventorying all public cloud assets used by an organization across different teams and departments. IT teams can use this information to manage growth, control spend, reduce security risks, and improve operational processes. This article provides six reasons companies are automating cloud discovery with Device42, a leading IT discovery and dependency mapping tool.
By any measure, cloud growth is accelerating fast. Large enterprises aspire to have 60% of their environment in the cloud by 2025. While cloud providers abound, many teams are consolidating workloads with market leaders. Among enterprises, 75% used AWS, 75% Azure, 46% Google Cloud, 29% Oracle Infrastructure Cloud, 24% IBM Public Cloud, and 9% Alibaba Cloud in 2023.
However, greater cloud adoption can increase operational complexity. Each provider offers a cloud console to manage services and offers data, analytics, and reporting on which resources teams consume and how they are used. But it is not enough and contributes to IT management and operational sprawl, at a time when teams are striving to consolidate tools and create a single version of truth on their IT assets.
In surveying our customers, we asked why they choose to use Device42 for their cloud discovery. Here are the top six reasons they gave:
- Using one tool to manage an entire IT environment: With Device42, IT teams can see all of their on-premises and multi-cloud assets in a single view. For example, Device42 auto-discovers enterprise cloud assets across multiple cloud providers in the same platform — AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba, Oracle, Digital Ocean, and Linode, among other providers. It further discovers all of the accounts with each cloud provider, such as those set up by IT operations, DevOps, production teams, and more. And finally, Device42 discovers all of their on-premises resources such as routers, switches, servers, hypervisors, load balancers, and other devices.
With the ability to monitor and manage all hardware, software, public and private cloud, and virtualized data center assets in a single solution, IT teams gain the clarity and control they need to plan business growth and optimize IT operations.
- Consolidating views, data, and stakeholder reporting: IT teams work with other stakeholders who need cloud data and reporting, but may not be authorized users on cloud accounts. These groups include senior leaders, business heads, IT finance, security, regulatory compliance teams, and more.
With Device42, they gain a certain level of transparency. IT teams can provide a consolidated team view, showing each group the data they need to see how the cloud is being used by the organization.
In addition, Device42 automates reporting, so that teams receive regular updates on devices and dependencies they can use to plan business growth, right-size cloud consumption to contain costs, remediate any gaps and vulnerabilities, and audit key processes.
- Cross-checking other tools: Device42 can be used to audit the accuracy and completeness of other tools. For example, security tools may not detect all public cloud workloads, which can create gaps and vulnerabilities. Developers are increasingly copying entire data stores in the cloud. Data can be duplicated, misplaced, and forgotten, increasing security risks. In 2023, 77% of all organizations had their public cloud data accessed by an adversary over the past 12 months. That’s up from 51% the year before.
When IT teams automate discovery with Device42, they identify all public and private cloud workloads they manage. This enables IT and security teams to work together to make changes and configurations that improve the overall security posture of the firm. Being proactive with patches and upgrades can prevent disabling security breaches that harm customer trust — and result in negative media, regulatory fines, lawsuits, customer payouts, and more.
- Tying business applications to resources: Many companies bill business units for their resource consumption.
To do so, IT teams must be able to clearly tie back business applications and services to the resources that are consumed and support them. With Device42, IT teams can identify which applications rely on which workloads and resources in the cloud, accurately and leverage the information Device42 provides to determine chargebacks to each of the business units, for their respective consumption. They also can use this data to identify performance bottlenecks, wastage, determining how to provide shared resources to drive down cost, and workloads that should be decommissioned.
With these processes, businesses pay for what they use — while also benefiting from enhanced performance and lower costs over time.
- Syncing Device42 to ITSM platforms: IT service management (ITSM) teams use the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) methodology and fit-for-purpose platforms to manage the delivery of IT services from their design and development, to their delivery and ongoing support. They strive to improve quality and meet demanding service-level agreements for application uptime and performance.
The underlying activities that drive proper ITSM practices are based on change and incident management. The changes teams make to the IT environment are the #1 cause of IT issues, and incidents can occur because of these changes.
When an incident occurs, ITSM teams need fast access to device details — to see what has changed, diagnose issues and plan work, update business owners on impacts and resolution plans and timeframes, and identify other services that might be impacted. Device42 provides the holistic and granular visibility into hybrid cloud resources that teams need: all multi-cloud services and accounts and on-premises devices, their dependencies, and all changes and configurations.
In addition to on-premises resource discovery, Device42 syncs cloud workload inventory data with popular ITSM platforms such as FreshService, Jira Service Management, ServiceNow, and ZenDesk. It also syncs with supporting tools such as OpsGenie and PagerDuty which provide real-time alerts, so that ITSM teams can accelerate processes to reach mean time for resolution (MTTR) SLAs; and Splunk, which helps improve event correlations.
- Enriching discovered data: Cloud vendors and platforms provide basic discovery data. However, this data needs to be standardized and enriched to provide a true picture of infrastructure status and health. This data also reveals risks, so that teams can plan and execute remediations.
For example, if an IT professional configures a Fortinet firewall on a cloud vendor as a virtual machine, that vendor’s discovery tool will probably show the operating system as “Other/Linux,” which is not accurate. Having miscategorized devices can create operational and security risks that should be addressed.
Using Public Cloud Discovery to Streamline IT Management and Operations
As IT teams accelerate cloud adoption to fuel business growth, it’s important to tame cloud complexity, before it snarls processes and creates service quality, security, and cost issues, among others.
Using Device42 to discover all cloud resources and on-premises technologies provides insights teams can harness for IT planning and management, application migration and modernization, risk mitigation, ITSM, and other strategic priorities.