Signs your IT Department needs an upgrade

Posted on 30 November 2011

Here are a few topics around monitoring the Enterprise that are common problem areas for IT.   While this is not the entire list, it is a common problem area I hear about often.  Do you have more, please let me know.

1) You have many tools monitoring your infrastructure. While you may be feeding events from many tools into your favorite management tool (AKA: Manager of Managers), you still rely on the underlying consoles for day to day management (IE: while events are able to come in, you are not able to access other features of the underlying management tool to look at performance charts, issues actions against alarms, seeing topology maps, etc).

 

2) While looking at a sea or red, it is not quickly obvious which outages or performance problems should be worked on first. Is it easy for Level 1 operators to know that server1.mycompany.com is a critical component of three different important company Services (IE: EMail, Purchasing, etc) and server2.mycompany.com is a single node is a cluster of ten and not as critical.

 

3) The IT Department is graded on the availability of the Services (and/or systems) and you have to manually update spreadsheets at the end of the period (monthly, quarterly, etc) to determine your grade. You have no way realtime to see where you are at within an active Service Level period. You are not able to map current outages to key/important SLA’s.

 

4) It is not clear that help desk tickets have been opened for a problem identified by one of your management tools… or the current status of the ticket… or if change requests has been opened to address the problem.

 

When looking for your next upgrade, one stop shopping to a single vendor is not always ideal. The Enterprise has many tools from many vendors and while the one particular management tool has ways to integrate with third parties, it was not designed to do full fledge bi-directional integration. Most tools report on how you did for an SLA and ignore how you are currently doing.  Mapping of critical business processes and/or services is typically within a silo (IE: just that management tool, it might have some additional feeds, but not a true end to end view of the service and components supporting the Service). Many tools open tickets, but very few allow you to visualize all aspects of the total health of the device (think all the ITIL practices here).   Use a product that was designed from the ground up to integrate, correlate and visualize vasts amounts of data from several underlying management tools.

- Tobin

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