Line of Business IT Projects Drive the Need for Strategic Storage Monitoring

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The LOB (line of business) is gaining a lot of power in IT decision making. Projects funded by non-IT technology owners reached 58.2% in North America in 2015 according to a recent IDC survey– eclipsing IT projects funded by IT itself. This trend has created a lot of organizational fear about Shadow IT – the LOB purchasing technology assets outside the watchful eye of centralized IT and then throwing them over the wall to manage when it becomes too complex or too costly.

For every LOB business case a special blend of best-of-breed exists (whether that be traditional stack components, modern stack technologies or a blend of both). IT has to be ready to support and integrate. To do that, they need a single source of truth. They need E2E monitoring of the technology stack that aggregates data from all of the best of breed solutions defined by the LOB. This gives them that single source of truth about the performance, availability and health all their IT resources.

Storage is no exception and is particularly worrisome for IT operations.

TrueSight for storage management

The modularization of storage brought on by the LOB-driven best-of-breed approach is contributing to new levels of resource contention. TrueSight takes a unique view of storage monitoring – we start with the traditional capacity management considerations at the device level, and then extend that insight to the rest of the affected infrastructure components (network, server and database layers) all the way to the health and performance of the applications consuming those resources.

Storage monitoring with TrueSight Operations

In keeping with the agnostic nature of TrueSight we are able to monitor multi-vendor SANs for every layer of the storage device (controllers, storage pools, volumes, etc.) So, whether you have NetApp, IBM, CA, Dell, HP, 3Par, Hitachi or EMC – TrueSight can monitor any combination of solutions. We are even able to monitor cloud infrastructure resources for a holistic view of hybrid environments in a single dashboard.  This frees IT Ops from the time consuming task of manually aggregating events for correlation and analytics.

By including storage resources in your infrastructure monitoring you are able to pinpoint where performance issues reside and take proactive steps to optimize the performance of storage assets. This gives you insight into SAN-related performance degradation with the ability to understand the normal behavior of KPIs, generate abnormality events and hone in on probable cause.

These capabilities also extend to backup and restore activities. Users can identify peaks and valleys in the performance of backup resources and get early warning when a backup or restore error is about to breach a dynamic threshold. This view of infrastructure KPIs coupled with the APM capabilities in TrueSight Operations allow customers to examine the performance of both the workload and the associated infrastructure against SLAs for more intelligent disaster recovery planning.

TrueSight Operations Management also provides service-centricity. Using service impact models we are able to map the entire business service from the application all the way to the storage device and everything in-between.

Dependency maps, along with topology views, serve multiple purposes: reducing time for troubleshooting through causal analysis insights and pointing to the probable cause of error, thus shortening the time needed to identify the root cause.

Gartner – Storage Monitoring: Move From a Fragmented Visibility Toward an Integrated Approach

This helps IT see impact and the effect on upstream components – this is especially interesting as applications are likely spread over a number of storage resources. Dedicated storage vendor monitoring tools can’t give you an application-first view when multiple vendor storage solutions are present.

Capacity planning with TrueSight Capacity

TrueSight Capacity brings AIOps (Algorithmic IT operations) to the storage monitoring and management equation. Gartner identifies the value of AIOPs as the ability to,

Detect changes in utilization patterns over time, such as increasing latencies in data read/write rates, or type and amount of storage consumed by each application.

Gartner – Storage Monitoring: Move From a Fragmented Visibility Toward an Integrated Approach

TrueSight Capacity does this for heterogeneous storage resources, providing insight into storage consumption and capacity. Users can get in-depth views of current state and project future capacity needs. This reliable forecasting and modeling makes it easy for IT to anticipate and meet changing business demands. Advanced chargeback and showback reporting support the new LOB-driven project orientation ensuring IT resources are assigned to the business owners who own the application or services.

TrueSight gives IT operations the end-to-end insight and analytics capabilities required to support the best-of-breed complexity inherent in LOB-driven IT projects.

 

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 Check out the Gartner report: Storage Monitoring: Move From a Fragmented Visibility Toward an Integrated Approach

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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Kristin Baskett

Kristin Baskett

Kristin is a Solutions Marketing Manager for the Performance and Analytics team at BMC. Before BMC, Kristin worked for startups in the storage industry. Her scrappy startup mentality coupled with the world class product portfolio at BMC make her an energetic go-to-market strategist in the IT infrastructure monitoring (ITIM) space. IT Ops enthusiast by day and Mom by night, she is passionate about how data drives the evolution of the digital enterprise. Kristin holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the Monfort School of Business at the University of Northern Colorado. Go Bears!