Imagine you’re on the highway, nowhere near a service station, and your car starts making a strange sound—would you rather have an alert tell you there’s a spark plug misfiring or a gauge showing your engine overheating?
Probably both, but if you’re like me and you have no idea what a spark plug misfiring might mean for your car, I’d bet the first thing you’d want to know is that your engine is overheating, so you can turn your car off or go easy on the AC. You need to know what impact an issue is having on your overall process (driving, living, not being eaten by wolves after abandoning your car, etc.) so you can take actions to minimize potential damage. Save the misfiring spark plug for when you get to a service station outside of wolf country.
This is the basic thrust of Business Service Management (BSM) as an IT strategy. BSM assumes that IT exists to drive business and therefore the impact technological issues have on critical business processes should be the starting point for IT Operations. Rather than taking a siloed, techno-centric approach to IT, BSM favors a holistic, business service-centric strategy.
Great idea, right? Simple enough? And yet, this simple idea has proved hard to implement in the past. As I will show, this difficulty has led many early BSM adopters to abandon their attempts after not realizing the results they were promised and many more to never attempt BSM in the first place.
Off to a Rough Start
For BSM to work and accurately reflect the health of the business, performance monitoring must be holistic, extending across all IT assets. Makes sense—if all the technologies used by an organization exist to drive the business, then getting only a partial picture of the technology would necessarily mean getting only a partial picture of the business. Therefore, the first step to implementing BSM is to find a tool that can collect performance data from all your technologies—not just infrastructure and the network.
Not surprisingly, legacy software vendors led the charge in offering the end-to-end monitoring solutions necessary for BSM. They all promised the demise of siloed IT operations, but one after another proved too unwieldy, complex, and expensive. The cost and pain of managing the IT environment became the cost and pain of managing the IT management tool.
Because these legacy solutions comprised tools and functionalities gained through corporate acquisition vs. in-house development, the end-user was presented with a suite of tools to choose from, few of which were purpose-built to work together and all of which required individual installation, integration, and maintenance. Deployments stretched on for months, even years, and once in place, the complexity of using and maintaining the tools required so many dedicated staff members that rising operating expenses eclipsed any savings that might have been realized from implementing BSM in the first place.
Even worse, the complexity of the tools and inability of the various modules to play nicely together made achieving true BSM impossible anyway, as data and alerts from the modules covering each technology layer could not be correlated in real-time, making overall business service status chronically inaccurate.
With these practical barriers to success, it’s no wonder that after the better part of a decade since legacy BSM solutions became available, the majority of adopters have either displaced their legacy solutions altogether or added more tools to cover gaps in functionality, too daunted by the prospect of having to rip out a tool that required so large an investment in time and money to set up in the first place. Neither should it come as any surprise that their experiences have scared off so many from attempting BSM.
Learning from Failure: A New Hope (and a Shameless Plug)
Centerity is pretty much Luke Skywalker [Full Stop]
Just as Luke grew up in the shadow of the Empire, only to rise up and instill hope for a better future in a beleaguered Republic, Centerity uses badass Jedi tricks to bring BSM to IT Ops teams everywhere! And by “Jedi tricks”, I, of course, mean a unified architecture and codeless plugin methodology for integrating with new technologies.
As we’ve learned above, for BSM to succeed in accurately reflecting the overall health of the business, a monitoring solution must satisfy two points: 1.) It must be able to extend to all IT assets leveraged by an organization and 2.) It must be able to correlate data from those assets in real-time for cross-domain impact analysis and alerting.
Centerity was purpose-built as a platform, not an amalgamation of tools, for delivering end-to-end performance monitoring analytics in a single software appliance. This means fast deployments and virtually no maintenance because there is only one piece of software to install and maintain. Say goodbye to tortuous multi-month/quarter deployments and say hello to immediate results and low total cost of ownership (TCO)!
Crucially, Centerity is the most extensible monitoring solution available! Most tools only support agent-based or agentless monitoring. Centerity’s platform supports both because we know that no two IT environments are the same and you need a solution that can meet the varying and exacting demands of today’s dynamic data center environments. Additionally, the platform boasts hundreds of custom scripts, API integrations, and more to make sure there is never a gap in our support. This is why our solution is being used to monitor everything from environmental equipment for the Internet of Things (IoT) to Big Data and In-memory processing solutions like Hadoop and SAP HANA on converged and hyper-converged platforms.
And because all of this functionality is contained in a single appliance, there is no need to correlate data between separate modules, allowing performance analytics to be distributed across the platform immediately and cross-domain analysis to occur in real-time.
This is true BSM. We call it BSM Nirvana: a single dial representing the service availability of your most critical business services. In essence, a single pane of glass for viewing your entire business. Because you don’t just want to know if there’s a discard error on a router—you want to know immediately what that means for your business. It’s time to stop worrying about technology and start growing your business!
Centerity’s an award winning unified enterprise-class IT Performance Analytics Platform that improves Performance and Reliability of business services to ensure availability of critical systems. By delivering a consolidated view across all layers of the technology stack, including, applications, big data, operating systems, database, storage, compute, security, networking, cloud, edge AND IoT/IIoT devices, Centerity provides an early warning of performance issues along with corrective action tools to quickly isolate faults and identify root causes.