Magazine / Operations Management
Dec 18, 2020 11:15:00 AM

The 5 challenges of IT infrastructure monitoring

In recent years, the importance of IT infrastructure monitoring has grown along with the complexity of the environments to be monitored.

A complexity that needs to be managed so that applications and infrastructures guarantee an optimal user experience. From this point of view, the challenges of IT infrastructure monitoring are not limited to verifying that servers, systems and networks are functioning correctly, but aim to prevent critical issues that can affect the integral quality of performance. It follows that these challenges must focus on a few key elements and, in particular, on five:

 

  • awareness of the objectives

  •  identification of the typology

  • involvement of C-levels

  • identification of data sources

  • lack of skills and / or resources

 

What exactly do you need IT infrastructure monitoring for

IT monitoring, of which IT infrastructure monitoring is a part, embraces various disciplines that are integrated in various ways, ranging, just to name a few, from IT operations management (ITOM) to application performance management (APM), from security information and event management (SIEM) to security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR). It is good to have a clear hypothesis of the objectives you intend to achieve, since it is one thing to want to be notified if a server goes down, another is to want to have visibility on containers, microservices and IoT architecture. The answers to these questions represent the first challenge that IT infrastructure monitoring is called upon to face, given the choice of monitoring tools will be based on the right premises.

 

Choose the IT infrastructure monitoring that suits your company best

Usually the tools used in IT infrastructure monitoring are divided into three types: observational, analysis, engagement. The former are used to observe hardware, software or services and to give indications on their operational effectiveness. The latter perform deeper analysis, as they examine the data to determine the source of problems or, in the case of AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) systems, they can predict where problems are likely to occur based on trends and historical models. Finally, the engagement tools are designed to act on the information created by the previous tools both by generating alerts for the analyst or manager involved, and by automatically activating additional services such as restarting hardware or software, performing backups and so on.

 

The business impacts of IT infrastructure monitoring

The involvement of the top management of the company is another of the challenges of IT infrastructure monitoring. If the fundamental role of executives with technical skills such as CIO, CTO, COO and IT Manager may appear evident, we must not overlook the contribution that others such as the CEO, CFO or CMO can bring in highlighting needs to which the IT infrastructure monitoring must cope. Effective monitoring of systems, in fact, has an impact on the business in terms of cost savings, because it shortens the time in solving problems, or from the point of view of the customer experience, since it offers performance on sites and apps in line with customers’ expectations. Not to mention that performance monitoring already in the application development phase greatly reduces the unexpected after release.

 

Data source: log management, agent software, agentless

Identifying the data sources to be used for IT infrastructure monitoring coincides with a series of activities that can be carried out for this purpose. For example, the use of log management tools allows full traceability of all events affecting IT, with the ability to aggregate and analyze information for security and compliance reasons or to monitor business processes. Even the installation of software agents on servers to collect performance metrics is the classic method for tapping into the source of the data you want to screen, but the fact remains that IT infrastructure monitoring can be done with agentless models. The challenge is to find the most appropriate method for the real needs of the company.

 

Why you need a partner to choose your solution

One of the classic objections of companies with respect to IT infrastructure monitoring is that there are no internal skills that can deal with these systems or, if there are, they already have a lot of work that would prevent them from following a further task. This is a concern that has no reason to exist as most of the modern IT infrastructure monitoring services are offered in SaaS (Software as a Service) and therefore do not require special knowledge or an onerous commitment by dedicated resources. In any case, identifying a partner with whom to choose the most suitable solution may be the easiest way to respond to this challenge.

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