As part of our series of interviews with thought leaders speaking at this year's CIO Summit 2013, we spoke to infrastructure performance management solutions vendor Virtual Instruments' Regional Vice President-Asia Pacific, Todd Osborne, on the changing state of enterprise infrastructures in this part of the world.
How is the constantly evolving enterprise ICT infrastructure we all work with today making effective infrastructure performance management nearly impossible?
IT infrastructures today are expected to perform better, faster and more consistently than at any other time in history, while at the same time adapting to an exponentially increasing rate of change. End users expect business applications to be fast and 100 percent available. The cost of downtime or performance slowdowns is often so high that IT ends up having to invest in extra resources, such as staff, servers or storage, and spend more money to try to mitigate the business risk.
IT is more complex than ever before. Data centers are doubling or tripling in size as IT is dealing with growing data volumes and managing a larger number of devices than ever before. IT organisations are turning to virtualisation and cloud computing to gain flexibility, efficiency and speed. Virtualisation further increases the utilisation of existing assets and adds an additional layer of management to the stack. The higher utilisation and decreased visibility into the underlying infrastructure makes it even harder to plan for impending change and growth. Improved solutions for Infrastructure Performance Management are required or the plans for virtualisation and cloud can become too risky for the business.
How have CIOs and their IS divisions typically broached this issue?
Historically, companies have relied on device-specific tools to report on the health of the infrastructure from the perspective of each of the devices. They have installed Storage Resource Management (SRM) or Application Performance Management (APM) solutions to provide a view into the various parts of the infrastructure (i.e. storage and applications) by polling devices occasionally. Neither of these solutions provides the depth, granularity, and frequency of data required for today's transforming data centers. Furthermore, CIOs have often relied on teams of people to manually piece the information together from various sources in disparate organisations, making system-wide correlation difficult, and introducing the opportunity for manual interpretation of the data.
Describe the ideal infrastructure performance management solution that organisations can depend on not just for today but for the long term.
It is now critical for enterprises to have a purpose-built Infrastructure Performance Management (IPM) solution. Such a solution should be specifically designed for granular, real-time monitoring of performance throughout the infrastructure supporting mission-critical applications.
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