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Top 3 Reasons Why you Need Comprehensive Data Center Visibility by David Davis (Post #26)


The virtual infrastructure is no island. If you treat it like that, you shouldn’t be either.

There’s much more in the datacenter world than the virtual infrastructure, it’s called the software defined datacenter (SDDC). The SDDC is more like a powerful and efficient modern city – kind of like “Tomorrow Land” (I haven’t seen the move but it sounds like a nice concept)

When it come to managing the datacenter of the future, you don’t want a solution designed to manage “the virtual infrastructure”. There are numerous data center management “point solutions” available for a long list of use cases. There are solutions across all of the data center silos – servers, OS, applications, storage, and network. Within each silo, there are multiple management applications available, each to solve a different set of problems. There are virtualization efficiency tools, storage management tools, network monitoring tools, application performance tools, and so many more. But again, these are all “point solutions” for to try to solve different datacenter problems.

IT organizations are less efficient than they should be today because of these silos and because of these silo’ed management tools. Many IT organizations are striving to break down the silos and become more efficient by elevating the skills of theirs teams to do more with new management paradigms like “DevOps”, “NetOps”, and “Infrastructure Admins/Architects ” (or whatever term and higher level grouping you prefer). In many cases, what keeps us from achieving this admirable goal is the design of our infrastructure, our tools, and our MINDSET. Technology Pros can’t get out of the quagmire of their own silo if their mindset, their infrastructure, and their tools are all stuck in a silo. Even if they try to elevate their mindset, they won’t be able to get their if their tools can’t also rise to a higher level by understanding the greater scope in the datacenter and provide them greater ease of use and efficiency.

So while we are rallying around new and higher level IT management paradigms, don’t forget about your data center management tools. Do your data center management tools rise to a higher level and provide comprehensive visibility?

Here are the top 3 reasons, in my humble opinion, why you should ensure that you have a data center management tool that offers you complete visibility, across all the silos and all the stacks:

#1 Break Down the Silos and Gain IT Efficiency

As discussed above, the IT management silos must be eliminated in order to gain IT management efficiency and achieve the “new model of IT”. As in Figure 1 below, this concept of the “new model of IT” has nothing to do with servers, storage, network, or even development. The “new model of IT” is focused on IT outcomes – providing the outcomes for the business that they need. The business doesn’t need servers, storage, or silos. The business needs to do whatever they do better, faster,and cheaper and do it better than the competition.

As the diagram shows, complete visibility and management of all IT infrastructure and applications is essentials for IT to offer the business the higher-level business outcomes that they desire, such as:

  • CapEx and OpEx reduction
  • The ability to deliver new IT services in minutes
  • Delivery of new mobile applications and applications in minutes
  • Native security controls in all that the business does
  • Improved uptime for all applications
  • A new focus on the business, the applications, and technology innovation for the betterment of the business


#2 Complete the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)

We all know it, the hardware designed data center (HDDC) is a thing of the past – at least in our minds – but there is still a ton of hardware in today’s datacenter. So how are we going to break down the IT silos and achieve this “new model of IT” if we can’t complete the software defined data center? It’s only with the SDDC that we will gain data center efficiency and agility. It’s only with the SDDC that we can achieve the new model of IT and a huge part of that is gaining complete visibility.


Some examples of complete visibility in the data center are:

  • Health, performance, and compliance monitoring across all silos
  • Predictive analytics, smart alerts, and guided remediation
  • Real-time log management with log analytics
  • Unified management with complete visibility from application to storage
  • Support across virtual, physical, and cloud
  • Open and extensible platform with third-party integration

#3 Change the IT Budget Equation and Move to Innovation

old vs new IT modelFinally, it is said that 80% of the budget for most IT infrastructure groups is spend on maintenance with only 20% going toward innovation of new technology that could bring positive changes to the company,.

What if you could reverse that equation?

What if you could instead spend just 20% on infrastructure maintenance and 80% on new technology innovations?

Think about it – how would it change your life as an IT Pro? How would it change your company’s data center? How would it affect your company’s bottom line?

What if you could use that money to implement new technology are your company? How would your life as an IT Pro be different?

Action Item for the Day

Everyone agrees that IT groups need to spend more time on business technology innovation and focusing on the technology needs of the business. In order for that to happen, IT groups need to be more  efficient and need to “break down the silos”. In order for that to happen, IT pros need to:

  1. Consider their mindset about how the IT group should function (there is a lot already written about that so I won’t go over it here again). What are you doing to change your mindset?
  2. Consider your datacenter management tools. What their scope? Are they silo’ed tools? What is their vision of the future? How could you improve your tools to help facilitate these changes?

Certainly, I love “living on the island” but we have to see that the IT group and it’s datacenter must be envisioned as “tomorrow land”, or the city of the future. Who’s with me?


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