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Not trying to be controversial with a provocative title, but let’s check the new IT reality and then review the fundamentals behind the traditional management tools:

  • Traditional IT management tools focus on managing silos – applications running on dedicated IT infrastructure. Virtualization breaks these silos, decoupling applications from infrastructure.
  • Virtual infrastructure is shared across various LOB applications, and resource entitlements can be changed real-time – traditional tools are not built to track “entitled” vs. “configured” resources. vSphere optimizations such as page sharing, thin provisioning to improve efficiency require a good understanding and careful approach to monitor and account for resources across different LOB application. Traditional tools are not updated to handle this.
  • Traditional tools are optimized for static environments, carefully tracking smallest changes occurring in the environment to point out any drifts. On the other hand, change is inherent in the vSphere platform, courtesy DRS, vMotion and Storage vMotion.
  • These tools rely on CMDBs that often discover what’s new on a daily or weekly basis – way too slow to keep pace with dynamic nature of cloud infrastructure.
  • These tools also tend to look at various management disciplines independently – performance, capacity, configuration, security etc. This approach does not work in the shared, dynamic cloud environment.
  • Built-in management capabilities in vSphere such as high availability and business continuity has  made certain capabilities of these management tools obsolete.
  • Traditional tools also rely on comprehensive integration strategy – often based on scripting – to manage across various silos – again this is not as relevant anymore or too slow and reactive in the new IT model.
  • Virtualization also calls for new processes and teams to help IT adopt the new self-service model and become more like a service provider. Traditional tools are way too old to help IT in this transition into its new role as broker of IT services – irrespective of where these services are sources from – in-house or outside service providers.

Isn’t it apparent that traditional management tools simply don’t cut it for cloud management? What do you think?

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