Today’s federal IT infrastructure is built in layers of integrated blocks, and users have developed a heavy reliance on well-functioning application stacks. App stacks are composed of application code and all of the software and hardware components needed to effectively and reliably run the applications. These components are very tightly integrated. If one area has a problem, the whole stack if effected.
It’s enough to frustrate even the most hardened federal IT manager. But don’t lose your cool. Instead, take heart, because there are better ways to manage this complexity. Here are areas to focus on, along with suggested methodologies and tools:
1. Knock down silos and embrace a holistic viewpoint.
Thanks to app stacks, the siloed approach to IT is quickly becoming irrelevant. Instead, managing app stacks requires realizing that each application serves to support the entire IT foundation.
That being said, you’ll still need to be able to identify and address specific problems when they come up. But you don’t have to go it alone; there are tools that, together, can help you get a grasp on your app stack.
2. Dig through the code and use performance monitoring tools to identify problems.
There are many reasons an app might fail. Your job is to identify the cause of the failure. To do that you’ll need to look closely at the application layer and keep a close eye on key performance metrics using performance monitoring tools. These tools can help you identify potential problems, including memory leaks, service failures and other seemingly minor issues that can cause an app to nosedive and take the rest of the stack with it.
3. Stop manually digging through your virtualization layers.
It’s likely that you have virtualization layers buried deep in your app stack. These layers probably consist of virtual machines that are frequently migrated from one physical server to another and storage that needs to be reprovisioned, reallocated and presented to servers.
Handling this manually can be extremely daunting, and identifying a problem in this can seem impossible. Consider integrating an automated VM management approach with the aforementioned performance monitoring tools to gain complete visibility of these key app stack components.
4. Maximize and monitor storage capabilities.
Storage is the number one catalyst behind application failures. The best approach here is to ensure that your storage management system helps monitor performance, automate storage capacity and regularly reports so you can ensure applications continue to run smoothly.
You’ll be able to maintain uptime, leading to consistent and perhaps increased productivity throughout the organization. And you’ll be able to keep building your app stack – without the fear of it all tumbling down.
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