Information is Power, But Only If ...
July 28, 2016

Robin Lyon
AppEnsure

Share this

IT has access to an amazing amount of data. Often we collect hundreds of data points on one server such as individual processor load, thread state, disk throughput both in and out etc. We then store this in a bin and use this to create a metric called something similar to server performance. When it comes time to provide reports (weekly, monthly and so on) IT then assigns some poor person the job of collating this information. This is usually done by running a report and importing it into a spread sheet and then combining various servers and metrics into some grouping and calling it an application. Then some numbers are calculated and saved in the spreadsheet to create a performance over time graph. The same is done with database numbers, application performance, network statistics etc. This process is then repeated by levels of management combining more numbers into a single number to represent service performance to allow reporting to more senior levels of management.

Given that IT is all about automating processes, this has struck me as somewhat backwards.

Data Management and IT – Operational Intelligence

IT by and large is staffed by realists – the type that don’t respond well to marketing, want solutions and have little time for repetition.

A second reality is that IT is a fledgling science. While it has a century under its’ belt, it has not developed some niceties like the common taxonomy of biology; every company creates its own rankings and groupings of IT functions. Quite often a great deal of resources are used in creating the custom taxonomy.

To add to the frustration of IT managers everywhere, different off the shelf applications also present data in the taxonomy that is coded specific to that application. It becomes more and more difficult to extract and combine data in a meaningful way.

An IT user friendly application should allow its user base to create rules for the grouping of data for reports. By allowing atomic bits of data, such as unused server capacity for a select group of servers, it now can report on the unused server capacity for an application. Using this application data as a new data point, the well-designed application will allow another ad hoc grouping to provide information on an over-all service.

This process of using groups to create other groups goes on as needed until the application is configured to match the taxonomy the company has designed. Instead of complex calculations each month, a one-time setup is created and automation is achieved.

By allowing different data elements to be members of more than one group, we can avoid a second common pitfall such as the question of factoring the time of DNS queries or a multi-application database server.

IT needs to save time, and its internal applications need to accept the reality of reporting against an ever changing data set that is custom to each company that uses it.

Robin Lyon is Director of Analytics at AppEnsure.

Share this

The Latest

May 27, 2020

Keeping networks operational is critical for businesses to run smoothly. The Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost of an unplanned network outage is $8,850 per minute, a staggering number. In addition to cost, a network failure has a negative effect on application efficiency and user experience ...

May 26, 2020

Nearly 3,700 people told GitLab about their DevOps journeys. Respondents shared that their roles are changing dramatically, no matter where they sit in the organization. The lines surrounding the traditional definitions of dev, sec, ops and test have blurred, and as we enter the second half of 2020, it is perhaps more important than ever for companies to understand how these roles are evolving ...

May 21, 2020

As cloud computing continues to grow, tech pros say they are increasingly prioritizing areas like hybrid infrastructure management, application performance management (APM), and security management to optimize delivery for the organizations they serve, according to SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2020: The Universal Language of IT ...

May 20, 2020

Businesses see digital experience as a growing priority and a key to their success, with execution requiring a more integrated approach across development, IT and business users, according to Digital Experiences: Where the Industry Stands ...

May 19, 2020

Fully 90% of those who use observability tooling say those tools are important to their team's software development success, including 39% who say observability tools are very important ...

May 18, 2020

As our production application systems continuously increase in complexity, the challenges of understanding, debugging, and improving them keep growing by orders of magnitude. The practice of Observability addresses both the social and the technological challenges of wrangling complexity and working toward achieving production excellence. New research shows how observable systems and practices are changing the APM landscape ...

May 14, 2020
Digital technologies have enveloped our lives like never before. Be it on the personal or professional front, we have become dependent on the accurate functioning of digital devices and the software running them. The performance of the software is critical in running the components and levers of the new digital ecosystem. And to ensure our digital ecosystem delivers the required outcomes, a robust performance testing strategy should be instituted ...
May 13, 2020

The enforced change to working from home (WFH) has had a massive impact on businesses, not just in the way they manage their employees and IT systems. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, enterprise IT teams are looking to answer key questions such as: Which applications have become more critical for working from home? ...

May 12, 2020

In ancient times — February 2020 — EMA research found that more than 50% of IT leaders surveyed were considering new ITSM platforms in the near future. The future arrived with a bang as IT organizations turbo-pivoted to deliver and support unprecedented levels and types of services to a global workplace suddenly working from home ...

May 11, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the world. From augmented reality advanced analytics to new consumer solutions, IoT and the cloud are together redefining both how we work and how we engage with our audiences. They are changing how we live, as well ...