SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Dana Gardner

Blog Feed Post

Taming Your Monitoring Tools Portfolio

Taming Your Monitoring Tools PortfolioThere are many reasons why an organizations’ monitoring tools can proliferate. Taming your portfolio and developing a unified monitoring strategy can be an important element of success for IT service management, DevOps or any IT transformation initiative.

The modern IT stack has become diverse and distributed, and a fragmented monitoring portfolio can make managing heterogeneous platforms and multi-vendor devices an even bigger challenge.

As detailed in the APMdigest two-part article, Monitoring Tool Sprawl, monitoring-toolset bloat can arise due to many factors:

  • Specialized Requirements – Acquiring a tool for each different infrastructure tier (network, database, application, virtualization, server, etc.) and multiple tools within tiers (performance, configuration tracking, traffic analysis, log analysis, etc.)
  • Inheritance – Due to mergers, acquisitions, etc.
  • Bundling – Packaged tools that are included with hardware or software purchases.
  • Freeware – Open-source, cloud/SaaS tools and/or custom scripts developed in-house.

The results can include overlapping functionality, false positives, lack of cross-domain correlation, finger-pointing, longer diagnosis times and higher total costs of ownership.

For a detailed look at these potential outcomes, see the on-demand webinar, Single Pane of Glass Monitoring Tool for IT Infrastructures: Myth or Reality? The webinar also explains and debunks some myths associated with enterprise performance monitoring:

  • Myth #1, debunked – A single do-it-all monitoring tool that can replace all your monitoring tools does not exist.
  • Myth #2, debunked – Aggregating all monitoring data and using “war room” techniques does not facilitate the rapid identification of performance issues or enable optimization of your monitoring portfolio.

Below is a discussion of approaches to taming your portfolio of monitoring tools using eG Enterprise as a single pane of glass monitoring tool.

The Monitoring Portfolio

Just as we build financial portfolios in order to group investments for decision making, we can build a portfolio of monitoring tools in much the same way. This might be a subset of your organization’s overall application portfolio, or it may be as simple as an inventory or spreadsheet listing all the tools you currently have.

The information associated with your monitoring portfolio will vary based on each organization, but might include:

  • Who uses the tool: role(s), skill sets, and perhaps location
  • What the tool is used for – i.e., technical domain or general use
  • Cost – purchase date, maintenance, freeware, etc.

Portfolio Management and Monitoring

Portfolio management has evolved into a broad business discipline[i]. Although different levels of portfolio management use common types of information (people, money, work, deliverables), they are used in different ways.

Many monitoring decisions are driven “bottom-up” by technical requirements structured around specific groups and teams. But developing a “top-down,” strategic monitoring portfolio is better suited to:

  • Assess the current state of monitoring operations and change influences
  • Establish the objectives and strategies of monitoring
  • Allocate financial and resource capacity for monitoring
  • Measure the resulting value from the monitoring investment(s)

The development of your monitoring strategy will be at a “strategic,” or perhaps at an “investment” level, depending on the size of your enterprise. In large organizations, some monitoring strategy may be driven at a business-unit level, but it should still align and communicate top-down decisions across the organization. Monitoring strategy that is driven “bottom-up” often results in fragmenting the overall monitoring portfolio.

When building your monitoring portfolio, it is best to not overcomplicate the component information. The purpose of this list is to aid in decision-making about the overall portfolio, rather than justifying the use of any particular tool. The information you will need for monitoring strategy is, by nature, at a higher level than monitoring at the execution level.

Monitoring Tools Portfolio Levels

Table 1 – Levels of Portfolio Analysis[ii]

For example, your key platforms such as ERP, virtualization or perhaps an ITSM Suite may be included in your strategic application portfolio. From a monitoring and diagnostic perspective, there may be associated monitoring tools bundled with these platforms, freeware that is already in use, or some tools that have been inherited, and these are best viewed at an execution level.

Building Your Monitoring Strategy

It may seem counterintuitive, but announcing a “monitoring consolidation project” to your organization may not be the best way to enlist the support of key stakeholders, many of whom rely heavily on existing monitoring tools.

Instead, a successful monitoring strategy should focus on using a single pane of glass solution as the preferred tool for monitoring and diagnosis, but making sure that domain experts understand that they can continue to use their point solutions for deeper analysis, as needed. The single pane of glass solution will:

  • Provide end-to-end visibility to all stakeholders from a single console
  • Provide insights to pinpoint the root-cause of problems
  • Provide automated discovery, monitoring and script-based actions for self-healing
  • Provide trustworthy alerting
  • Offer a simple user interface that can be used by a wide range of stakeholders

Over time, perform analyses of your monitoring portfolio to find overlapping, unused and redundant tools. As “shelf-ware” is identified, decommission these solutions to optimize the portfolio of monitoring tools.

eG Enterprise: Monitoring ToolsTaming Your Monitoring Portfolio with a Single Pane of Glass

eG Enterprise provides a single pane of glass solution that can help you optimize your portfolio of monitoring tools. Beyond the rapid return on investment that eG Enterprise can provide for many environments at the execution level – such as Citrix, SAP, and VMware and others – organizations can realize greater return from the strategic or investment level of their portfolios.

IT service projects – often beginning with a single customer-facing IT service – offer excellent starting points to realize benefits from a single pane of glass solution. Although these projects may be viewed as successful with the optimization of the service, they will not necessarily tame your monitoring portfolio.

By taking a portfolio approach to your monitoring sprawl, stakeholders can not only have a more transparent view of the IT service environment, but they can also gain a better understanding of how and why monitoring decisions are made. Increased transparency, in turn, enables cross-domain sharing, a critical requirement for any IT transformation.

In addition, a program path can be established that compliments other IT initiatives such as ITSM or DevOps and anticipates emerging stakeholder requirements. In some cases, stakeholders will have already identified opportunities for optimizing monitoring tools.

In fact, achieving maximum value from your investment in eG Enterprise goes beyond optimizing your portfolio of monitoring tools. Intangible benefits include increased collaboration between IT technical domains, greater awareness of business impacts, acceleration of improvement efforts, and cultural change.

These benefits can translate to increased IT innovation and can expand the value of investment far beyond the initial, execution-level ROI.

Learn more about unified monitoring with eG Enterprise »


 

[i] Adapted from Taming Change with Portfolio Management, Pat Durbin, Terry Doerscher; Greenleaf, 2010 – ISBN 1608320383, 9781608320387

[ii] Adapted from Taming Change with Portfolio Management

The post Taming Your Monitoring Tools Portfolio appeared first on eG Innovations.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By John Worthington

John Worthington is the Director of Product Marketing for eG Innovations, a global provider of unified performance monitoring and root-cause diagnosis solutions for virtual, physical and cloud IT infrastructures. He is an IT veteran with more than 30 years of executive experience in delivering positive user experiences through innovative practices in information technology such as ITSM and ITIL.

As CEO and Principal of MyServiceMonitor, LLC, he assisted clients in effectively adapting service lifecycle processes by leveraging eG Enterprise. He then went on to assignments with ThirdSky and VMware, utilizing industry certifications including ITIL Expert and DevOps.

John has more than a decade of experience helping customers transform IT operations to IT-as-a-Service operating models. He participates in industry forums, client and analyst briefings and provides thought leadership to eG Innovations, customers and partners.

Latest Stories
Despite being the market leader, we recognized the need to transform and reinvent our business at Dynatrace, before someone else disrupted the market. Over the course of three years, we changed everything - our technology, our culture and our brand image. In this session we'll discuss how we navigated through our own innovator's dilemma, and share takeaways from our experience that you can apply to your own organization.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, softwar...
Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine ...
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve fu...
Wasabi is the hot cloud storage company delivering low-cost, fast, and reliable cloud storage. Wasabi is 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, with 100% data immutability protection and no data egress fees. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi is on a mission to commoditize the storage industry. Wasabi is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. Follow and connect with Wasabi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Wasabi blog...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Inzata is a powerful, revolutionary data analytics platform for integrating, exploring, and analyzing data of any kind, from any source, at massive scale. Powerful AI-assisted Modeling and a patented analytics engine help users quickly load, blend and model raw and unstructured data into powerful enterprise data models, actionable real-time analytics and engaging visualizations. Go beyond spreadsheets and slides and compose a powerful narrative about how your business is performing, and how y...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail. As ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereum.
In today's always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn't some far off goal; it's methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundat...
Big Switch's mission is to disrupt the status quo of networking with order of magnitude improvements in network e ciency, intelligence and agility by delivering Next-Generation Data Center Networking. We enable data center transformation and accelerate business velocity by delivering a responsive, automated, and programmable software-dened networking (SDN) fabric-based networking solution. Traditionally, the network has been viewed as the barrier to data center transformation as legacy networkin...
For far too long technology teams have lived in siloes. Not only physical siloes, but cultural siloes pushed by competing objectives. This includes informational siloes where business users require one set of data and tech teams require different data. DevOps intends to bridge these gaps to make tech driven operations more aligned and efficient.