Data center consolidations have been a priority for years, with the objectives of combatting server sprawl, centralizing and standardizing storage, and streamlining application management and establishing shared services across multiple agencies.
But, consolidation has created challenges for federal IT professionals, including:
Managing the consolidation without an increase in IT staff
Adapting to new best practices like shared services and cloud computing
Shifting focus to optimizing IT through more efficient computing platforms
Whether agencies have finished their consolidation or not, federal IT pros have definitely felt the impact of the change. But how do the remaining administrators manage the growing infrastructure and issues while meeting SLAs?
One way data center administrators can stay on top of all the change is to modernize their monitoring system, with the objective of improved visibility, and troubleshooting.
The Value of Implementing Holistic Monitoring
A holistic approach to monitoring provides visibility into how each individual component is running and impacting the environment as a whole. It can bridge the gap that exists between the IT team and the program groups through connected visibility.
Who is responsible for what? Shared services can be hard to navigate.
Even though the data center team now owns the infrastructure and application operations, the application owners still need to ensure application performance. Both teams require visibility into performance with a single point of truth, which streamlines communication and eases the transition to shared services.
Application performance is critical to executing agency missions, so when users provide feedback that an application is slow, it is up to data center administrators to find the problem and fix it—or escalate it—quickly.
Individually checking each component of the IT infrastructure—the application, servers, storage, database or a virtualized environment—can be tedious, time consuming and difficult. End-to-end visibility into how each component is performing, allows for quick identification and remediation of the issues.
Virtualization can introduce complexities and management challenges. In a virtual environment, virtual machines can be cloned and moved around so easily and often that the impact on the entire environment can be missed, especially in a dynamically changing infrastructure.
Consolidated monitoring and comprehensive awareness of the end-to-end virtual environment is the answer to effective change management in the virtualized environment.
Efficiency was a key driver behind consolidations, but this can seem near impossible for the remaining data centers. But with integrated monitoring that provides end-to-end visibility, data center administrators can troubleshoot issues in seconds instead of hours or days and proactively manage their IT. With the right tools, administrators can provide end-users with high service levels.
Consolidation is part of the new reality for data center administrators. Holistic, integrated monitoring and management of the dynamically changing IT environment will help to refine the new responsibilities of being a shared service, ensure mission-critical applications are optimized and improve visibility into virtualized environments.
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