As data volumes and larger workloads continue to increase, virtualization has become the standard environment and cloud computing is a go-to approach for many functions. As the result of all these additional IT layers, the complexity and scale of IT application infrastructures necessarily rise. There are more powerful servers, more capacious storage arrays, faster networking equipment, bigger pipes for connecting it all and a lot more apps running outside the firewall serving the enterprise. IT needs to plan for and manage these changes carefully and provide accessibility, flexibility and privacy for their employees and customers without adding significant dollars to their IT budgets. Thus, clear visibility into the entire environment is a must. To effectively take stock of data center infrastructure and the performance impact of disparate components, companies should consider the steps outlined in this slide show, put together using eWEEK reporting and professional expertise from John Gentry, vice president of marketing and alliances at Virtual Instruments.