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Three Keys to Monitoring IT from a Single Pane of Glass

thayes's picture

“I have too many views, from too many tools, with too many inconsistencies - making it difficult to determine the root cause of an issue or get the information I need to make decisions.” I hear this often from IT teams. You started out with a simple monitoring product to cover a few servers. Then, you add a few more applications, an expanded database, a larger network, new cloud services, and merge with another company – acquiring more monitoring tools along the way. You’ve evolved your way into a challenging situation. It is a common IT story. 

So what next? Can you now evolve to a place where you monitor your IT environment from a single pane of glass - with a single source of truth, delivering valuable information, presented in a meaningful way – so you can resolve issues faster and make more informed decisions? Yes, you can!! Advanced monitoring solutions with the right capabilities will allow you to move from where you are to a much better place. The right capabilities fit into three areas:

1.    Monitor everything:

You first must be able to discover and gather data from everything in your infrastructure, which becomes the single source of truth for the operations team. To capture this data, advanced monitoring solutions should include the following capabilities:

•    Automated discovery to quickly find everything in your environment
•    Built-in plugins and connectors to gather data from everything in your environment (network, servers, databases, applications, cloud services, etc.), maintained with regular new product releases, updates, and community forums.
•    Great APIs to allow you to quickly tailor the solution to capture any additional data you need. 
•    Flexibility to support new technologies and services so you can begin monitoring them on day one. 

 

2.    Obtain Actionable Information:

Actionable Information

Data is only useful if it is turned into actionable information. Advanced monitoring solutions should deliver actionable information in the following ways:

•    Normalizing the data for each technology to provide consistent information.
•    Creating Parent-child relationships to avoid “alert storms” and turn alert data into root cause information. (See “Three Approaches to Reducing IT Alert Storms”.)
•    Analyzing historical data to show performance trends for capacity planning and to learn what led up to an issue.

 

3.    See it Your Way: 

see it your way

Typically, there are many users of the monitoring information, with each user having specific things they need to see. At the highest level, advanced monitoring solutions should show the overall IT infrastructure from a single pane of glass. However, the single source of truth combined with the ability for each user to view the information they need is what’s most important. To help you see it your way, advanced monitoring solutions should provide the following capabilities:

•    Easily configurable, flexible dashboards so users can see the information they need the way they need to see it (charts, graphs, alerts, etc.), and administrators can quickly set it up. 
•    Role-based access to allow administrators to provide information based on roles and responsibilities.
•    Available on mobile devices so that administrators and users can obtain the alerts and information they need while on the move.

Not having any of the three capabilities above results in an ineffective and inefficient solution. For example, if the monitoring solution doesn’t collect and analyze data properly, the information presented will be poor. It will result in the technical team pointing fingers and spending time chasing ghosts. Poor or incorrect information may in fact cause the wrong actions to be taken, disrupting service and costing the company money. It is an unpleasant and risky existence. So don’t live this way!

If you have IT monitoring tools that are not providing the capabilities above, Opsview can help. Using the three methods described above, we are helping our customers view IT from single pane of glass, to resolve issues faster and make more informed decisions. Try Opsview Monitor for free.

For more discussion about moving your IT monitoring forward, read “From the Trenches of IT Monitoring: Five Steps Forward”.