Is Single Pane of Glass Overemphasized by the Data Center Infrastructure Management Industry?
I believe many seeking the “Holy Grail” of Data Center Management, a Single Pane of Glass to manage and monitor their Data Center and IT infrastructure are about as successful as the archeologists seeking the divine cup. I’ve seen many enterprise Data Centers come to the conclusion that they aren’t ready for a Single Pane of Glass tool after sending out RFI’s seeking such a tool. Is it realistic to think that an enterprise Data Center can get everything it needs to effectively monitor, manage and optimize on a Single Pane of Glass? Does this single pane then become such a crowded screen that the alerts and alarms become lost? Can a single pane be used to monitor, manage and optimize all of the assets and systems that are critical to the success of our Data Center’s performance and availability?
Where I think we first need to focus our attention in the evolution of Data Center monitoring and management is getting all data from systems that are discovering assets, monitoring system conditions and performance into a CMDB so all of our software tools can utilize this important data. IT, Facilities and executive management then are all using the same data to work as a team to address issues and optimize the Data Center and IT infrastructure’s performance. Obtaining this data and verifying that this data is correct before it is entered into a CMDB is a huge challenge and few organizations have accomplished this feat. Many have failed in attempts to gather too much of this data manually. Organizations can typically expect a 10% error rate in manual data entry due to typing and transcribing errors. Can we afford to be making decisions about the capacity, performance and availability of our Data Centers with a 10% error rate? Before we can even think about Single Pane of Glass we have to implement a CMDB strategy that includes real-time data collection and accuracy validation.
I’d be interested in hearing where your organization is at the evolution of your Data Center & IT infrastructure management and whether you agree or disagree with my focal points for success.