Insight and analysis on the data center space from industry thought leaders.

How to Move Beyond Data Center Monitoring and Alerts

Smart analytics is the key to ensuring that your monitoring systems spot problems before they happen.

Industry Perspectives

November 5, 2015

3 Min Read
How to Move Beyond Data Center Monitoring and Alerts

Per Bauer is the Director of Global Services at TeamQuest.

For businesses looking to get out in front of problems before they appear, smart analytics can take your system monitoring to a whole new level.

Today, proper capacity planning is crucial to an IT department’s ability to keep running smoothly. In addition to making both IT and business objectives achievable, it can help sustain your IT infrastructure when systemic problems crop up.

For those critical, reactionary moments, it’s imperative that you have a sound Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) strategy that allows you to act quickly in preventing system downtime, which can have a deeply negative impact on your reputation and revenue stream. But how do you change your approach from reactive to proactive, thereby lessening the chance of costly errors and crashes before they have a chance to crop up? The solution requires a fundamental change in mindset and the right tools in place when it comes to capacity planning.

Understanding the Building Blocks of Monitoring

If you want to improve your monitoring practices, it’s best to start with the basics. IT infrastructures are complex systems that require performance data measurements at the granular level. Thus, you really should expect a great deal out of your performance monitoring platform. It should be data agnostic and equipped to collect information regardless of the source, and also allow high frequency polling and offer sufficient data retention to meet its requirements. In this age of large-scale data processing, your monitoring platform should also be able to manage the breadth of your data with room to spare. The last thing you want is to be forced to choose between monitoring one area over another. Your platform should be able to keep up with all of your data without breaking a sweat.

Finally, figure out what normal performance looks like in your environment; your management system should do this automatically as it collects data. This will provide a baseline for comparison as you move forward, which will help you react quickly to future changes in capacity requirements and keep your system optimized.

Proactive Transitions

Once you master the fundamentals, opportunities to stay ahead of potential problems will begin to appear. Powerful capacity planning tools offer automated and insightful reports that can predict errors, help you manage your resources more effectively, and reduce the overall cost of your operation.

However, any proactive capacity planner will tell you that volume isn’t the only important consideration. In addition to determining your IT system’s normal activity levels, it’s important that you understand where the activity is coming from. Numbers are key, but without proper context, they’re largely meaningless. The ability to monitor data, extract meaningful information, and then apply it in a business-minded way is the essence of smart capacity planning.

A Better Future

Companies should be looking into better capacity management information system and standardized optimization reports which can help struggling IT departments improve their data measurement techniques and manage their resources more effectively. Having comprehensive, real-time dashboards make it easy to react to issues quickly before they have time to snowball and get out of hand.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.

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