The development of IT environments have naturally led to complexity. Put it down to the very nature of capitalism. Different vendors working together to achieve a common goal isn't a common occurrence. Each vendor has over the years developed its own monitoring and reporting systems. This is all well and good for each specific application or system. It doesn't work effectively when applications are executing across an IT enterprise comprised of everything from mainframe to cloud.
I had to fix a loose railing on the deck, so I took out my trusty cordless drill/driver and a couple of screws, and presto, tested and fixed. The following week I had to fix a loose section of fence in my yard, so I took out the same gadget, along with longer screws that required a different driver bit. Now I could have went out and bought another drill/driver because I needed to use a different bit, but why do that when I had one that already works, all I needed to do was change the bit, right?
Recently, I was at a drug store that offers free blood pressure screening at a self-service kiosk. Being somewhat curious, I took the opportunity to play with the machine and see what it was all about.
The second quarter has passed and with it Nastel has witnessed an exceptional period of growth over the first half of 2011. The growth not only is being seen in dollars and cents, but in personnel, products and customer wins.
There is, however, a hidden cost to the ease of use and elasticity of the cloud. The user’s simplicity becomes IT’s complexity. Often left out of the excitement associated with the cloud is the issue of monitoring. Using the cloud, applications, middleware and transactions can now dynamically be relocated to many more places; thus, the need for visibility in the ITIL process of problem management becomes far greater. And monitoring provides visibility.
Business critical applications are increasingly being moved to the cloud as traditional barriers are overcome. But what does this mean? How can we simplify our understanding of this shift and the technology that plays a major role in accomplishing this task?
Ofttimes, on Long Island the fog can be so thick you can barely see your hood ornament, much less the road or even the car in front of you. As in the Sherlock Holmes tale, the Hound of the Baskervilles with wild dogs howling at the moon, the fog rolls in and objects transition from ordinary to mysterious. Navigating through this fog on Long Island's twisty roads can be challenging. Many of today’s cars try to help and are outfitted with fog lamps, yet they fail to deliver the value they are designed to provide. They either increase the danger by blinding oncoming drivers, or they create so much glare a crash becomes inevitable. The same thing happens in IT departments. There are numerous "lamps" installed to provide visibility into the different application stacks, yet there is so much "fog" that these monitoring "lamps" blind IT as the symptoms roll in like the fog, the mystery deepens and the likelihood of an accident up ahead becomes certain.
Even the Enterprise used reactive intervention to solve a problem when the solution was obvious. In this case a Klingon Bird of Prey entering the event storm... Most of us don't deal with Klingons on a regular basis, but we respond reactively to problems. Just as in the case of raising the shields, we use canned scenarios to diagnose and resolve regular problem situations. Rather than taking the time and introducing a proactive and automatic solution to a problem, we deal with regular interruptions, sometimes in the middle of the night. Why do we do this?
Most kids understand the topology of an Oreo. What’s that? I mean they can tell you that an Oreo cookie has three layers. And they include: two chocolaty cookies and a creamy layer connecting them. And of course, most IT middleware managers can tell you that the typical application architecture often has three layers, as well. An application layer and an operating system layer with a middleware layer connecting them. So, how did we get here? Well, a few weeks ago someone asked me, “What is middleware”. I explained that there are applications that perform tasks -- like process an order or update a bank balance. Then, there are operating systems which run the computer hardware; ensuring it is functioning and that resources are available for use. Middleware is the layer in between that lets the operating system and the applications work together smoothly. My questioner had a eureka moment and said, “I get it! Middleware is the crème in the Oreo. ”
When you think of superior customer support do you think primarily of well-trained personnel who know all the right answers to help your customers? If you do, you aren’t home alone.