Beyond the "Single Pane of Glass"
Single Pane of Glass for Monitoring IT Performance is Not the Means to an End
June 29, 2010
Bojan Simic
Share this

End-user organizations are looking to take more of a service-centric approach when managing IT performance, and management vendors, for the most part, have done a good job of adjusting to this trend. Recently, I had the chance to see a number of demos of IT performance monitoring products that are based on different underlining technologies for collecting performance data, are being sold to different job roles within the organization, and even competing in different markets, but they all had something in common. The first screen of their performance dashboards looks almost identical. And products that are based on network monitoring technologies, data center management or application monitoring all of a sudden have the same look and feel:

• Green, yellow/orange and red markers for performance of your key IT services - typically in the top right corner

•Some kind of mash-up (mostly Google Maps) to show where these services are being delivered to and how their performance varies – typically in top left corner

• Icons representing different infrastructure parts that can be monitored for performance – typically in the bottom row

It is very encouraging that technology vendors are realizing that the days of infrastructure bias to performance monitoring are over and they are adjusting the way they are presenting performance data to end-users to reflect more of a service centric approach. It is also encouraging to see that the vendors are getting the message that a “single pane of glass” is the best approach to present network, application, server and database performance data to end-users. The key question is: What does it take to turn pretty icons, maps and links from a high level overview of performance of IT services to information needed for problem resolution?

Using a single platform to monitor the health of IT services is not much of a competitive differentiator, as the range of companies that are providing dashboards for monitoring the overall health of IT services goes across different technology classes – from networking vendors such as NetScout and Network Instruments over BTM vendors such as Nastel and Correlsense, APM platforms such as Foglight and Vantage and BSM solutions such as Zyrion, Netuitive or AccelOps. However, the depth of data that these tools can collect is very dissimilar, and they are using a different approach for collecting this data.

“A single pane of glass” solutions for monitoring the health of IT services has true value for the end-user only if it delivers all of the capabilities that they need to monitor each part of their infrastructure. However, many BSM products are still lacking major network monitoring capabilities, such as NetFlow capture and analysis, network behavior analysis (NBA), ability to recreate network behavior and others. AccelOps is one of the few BSM vendors that have NBA capabilities, while Uptime Software recently added NetFlow capabilities to their portfolio. It is a similar story with key application monitoring capabilities, such as response times measuring, end-user experience monitoring and Layer 7 analysis, as not all BSM products are offering these capabilities.

Ease of use, implementation and management is very important for end-user organizations, as they are increasingly looking to consolidate their IT management tools. Organizations are definitely becoming more interested in seeing across IT ‘silos’ and taking a service-centric approach for monitoring the health of their IT infrastructure. However, starting with monitoring the health of IT services (as opposed to monitoring the performance of infrastructure parts) is not the means to an end. In order for organizations to move away from using dozens of point solutions to monitor IT performance, vendors need to start offering platforms that would include all of the capabilities of networking, application, datacenter and database products.

About Bojan Simic

Bojan Simic is the founder and Principal Analyst at TRAC Research, a market research and analyst firm that specializes in IT performance management. As an industry analyst, Bojan interviewed more than 2,000 IT and business professionals from end-user organizations and published more than 50 research reports. Bojan's coverage area at TRAC Research includes application and network monitoring, WAN management and acceleration, cloud and virtualization management, BSM and managed services.

Share this

The Latest

July 09, 2020

Enterprises that halted their cloud migration journey during the current global pandemic are two and a half times more likely than those that continued their move to the cloud to have experienced IT outages that negatively impacted their SLAs, according to Virtana's latest survey report The Current State of Hybrid Cloud and IT ...

July 08, 2020

Every business has the responsibility to do their part against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint while increasing sustainability and efficiency. Harnessing optimization of IT infrastructure is one method companies can use to reduce carbon footprint, improve sustainability and increase business efficiency, while also keeping costs down ...

July 07, 2020

While the adoption of continuous integration (CI) is on the rise, software engineering teams are unable to take a zero-tolerance approach to software failures, costing enterprise organizations billions annually, according to a quantitative study conducted by Undo and a Cambridge Judge Business School MBA project ...

June 25, 2020

I've had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations embarking on their AIOps journey. I always advise them to start by evaluating their needs and the possibilities AIOps can bring to them through five different levels of AIOps maturity. This is a strategic approach that allows enterprises to achieve complete automation for long-term success ...

June 24, 2020

Sumo Logic recently commissioned an independent market research study to understand the industry momentum behind continuous intelligence — and the necessity for digital organizations to embrace a cloud-native, real-time continuous intelligence platform to support the speed and agility of business for faster decision-making, optimizing security, driving new innovation and delivering world-class customer experiences. Some of the key findings include ...

June 23, 2020

When it comes to viruses, it's typically those of the computer/digital variety that IT is concerned about. But with the ongoing pandemic, IT operations teams are on the hook to maintain business functions in the midst of rapid and massive change. One of the biggest challenges for businesses is the shift to remote work at scale. Ensuring that they can continue to provide products and services — and satisfy their customers — against this backdrop is challenging for many ...

June 22, 2020

Teams tasked with developing and delivering software are under pressure to balance the business imperative for speed with high customer expectations for quality. In the course of trying to achieve this balance, engineering organizations rely on a variety of tools, techniques and processes. The 2020 State of Software Quality report provides a snapshot of the key challenges organizations encounter when it comes to delivering quality software at speed, as well as how they are approaching these hurdles. This blog introduces its key findings ...

June 18, 2020

For IT teams, run-the-business, commodity areas such as employee help desks, device support and communication platforms are regularly placed in the crosshairs for cost takeout, but these areas are also highly visible to employees. Organizations can improve employee satisfaction and business performance by building unified functions that are measured by employee experience rather than price. This approach will ultimately fund transformation, as well as increase productivity and innovation ...

June 17, 2020

In the agile DevOps framework, there is a vital piece missing; something that previous approaches to application development did well, but has since fallen by the wayside. That is, the post-delivery portion of the toolchain. Without continuous cloud optimization, the CI/CD toolchain still produces massive inefficiencies and overspend ...

June 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially accelerated digital transformation projects. To better understand where IT professionals are turning for help, we analyzed the online behaviors of IT decision-makers. Our research found an increase in demand for resources related to APM, microservices and dependence on cloud services ...