From Server Monitoring to Service Management
Distributed computing has dominated IT architecture for nearly 20 years. From early notions of client server computing, IT has needed to implement significant changes in the infrastructure required to support the way that users access applications, which have been rapidly growing in complexity. The most dramatic changes, however, are yet to come. The real revolution in distributed computing starts with the adoption of hosted virtual desktops. In a hosted desktop scenario, IT centralizes the running of PC operating systems and applications on virtual machines (VMs) hosted on servers in the data center while streaming a display protocol to a light-weight client application that can be run on various devices on the network.
For CIOs, today’s foremost issue is how to demonstrate that IT is functioning as effectively as the other lines of business. IT credibility is the cornerstone on which every IT initiative, from operational cost cutting to strategic Line-of-Business (LoB) development, will rise or fall. Unfortunately, IT credibility remains shrouded by the age-old problem that many business managers see IT only as a cost-generating black box.
The problem for IT is that no matter how well resources are managed as isolated assets—now often virtual as well as physical—only a limited value can be derived from the devices. Resource properties are not sufficient to address the challenge of delivering IT support as a business service. Worse yet, this leaves IT, especially at small to midsize enterprise (SME) sites, lacking clear links connecting resources to applications and business value.
The problem gets worse in a Virtual Operating Environment (VOE), such as that created by VMware vSphere. Multiple levels of logical indirection can often seem chaotic to an administrator without the right tools. The lack of clear links also leaves CIOs facing a broad gulf separating them from other corporate executives.
Corporate executives think in terms of LoB processes. When it comes to services needed to support those processes, they expect IT to go beyond device performance metrics and address higher level process concerns, such as availability and business continuity. To bridge that gulf between CIOs and LoB executives, uptime software provides a comprehensive server monitoring and service management package dubbed “up.time,” which is important in any environment a crucial in a VOE.
Savvy CIOs understand that assuring critical business processes, services, and transactions starts with the comprehensive monitoring and management of all IT resource infrastructure, including servers, storage, networks, and applications. Nonetheless, the complexity of many comprehensive datacenter management tools makes the out-of-box experience for IT—especially at SME sites with little experience using datacenter class software—a daunting endeavor. To resolve this problem, up.time presents administrators with a robust collection of fully functional monitoring services, which can be combined and grouped into very sophisticated hierarchies. As a result, up.time empowers IT organizations to monitor, maintain, and optimize a comprehensive array of network resources ranging from storage arrays to applications, beginning on the first day of use.
The real weapon in the battle to reduce burgeoning IT operational expense (OpEx) costs, however, is found in the automation of standard administrator responses to problems. The ability to respond to common problem situations by automatically triggering standard site procedures is critical to implementing IT Service Management (ITSM), which is precisely what up.time allows IT to do via the linking of service monitors to basic response actions.