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5 steps for a modern monitoring framework

By Barry Cooks, Senior Vice President of Products, Engineering and Support –

We hear from a lot of companies that they already monitor their IT performance. They say they already know which data provides the best insights and how to find it. Now, it makes sense that IT execs and staff would have a good understanding of their own infrastructures and how to manage them. However, we hear just as often that more modern technologies such as virtualization and cloud computing have pushed some older monitoring frameworks to obsolescence, meaning even those who understand their infrastructures may not be getting enough out of them. The way we collect and analyze data – and the information we choose to gather in the first place – has to change as we start using new technologies. Effective performance management and monitoring is now about more than just finding problems. It’s about making every process in an IT ecosystem as efficient as possible.

Here are five steps to ensuring your monitoring framework is valuable for today’s heterogeneous data centers and supports the expectations of speed and reliability in modern IT:

Understand which data is relevant

Identifying critical workloads comes with an understanding of the figures most likely to impact them – positively or negatively. Increased latency for a critical application is the kind of thing you need to have a firm grasp on to move forward with improvements. The relevance of a piece of information is largely based on the kind of application that generates it and the way your end users interact with that application.

Develop a method of gathering end-to-end data

Just looking at a few latency periods for an application over the course of a day or a week isn’t going to help you monitor its performance effectively. End-to-end data gives IT workers a better understanding of application performance in virtualized infrastructures because there’s a complete picture of the performance available to them.

Identify real performance metrics and analytics

Data on its own isn’t enough. The next step is creating meaningful analytics, and finding the right metrics on which to act is as important as developing them. Ignore averages and focus on real-time data to ensure that analytics are designed to illustrate successes and failures throughout an application’s lifecycle.

Use those analytics to find real answers

Once you nail down which analytics are most significant for each application, it’s important to have buy-in throughout the organization to act on them. The conclusions reached based on analytics and data have to be trusted to help your company solve problems. In the old days, companies would just overprovision whenever there was a problem. Modern IT demands agility and your performance framework must be designed to integrate conclusions based on your analytics.

Make better decisions faster

The final piece of a modern performance framework is being able to make sound decisions quickly. This agility comes from an integrated infrastructure performance management solution that enables your company to optimize critical workloads by sharing real-time data and using it to make improvements. Once you have answers from your data and analytics, IT managers and CIOs need to act quickly to make decisions as needed to promote IT cost optimization without sacrificing performance.

The digital economy in which we all operate in 2015 demands speed. If not properly managed, IT has the potential to be a laggard, slowing down every process with overprovisioned infrastructures and legacy solutions at every turn. Those days are over, and it’s critical that companies find ways to ensure their modern IT systems have similarly novel performance frameworks to keep them going.

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