ESM: It’s never worked for me!

I was an early adopter installing Tivoli way back in the mid-90’s.

I have to say that after lots of effort the promise of enterprise systems management was never achieved and while ESM is engrained in most enterprises I wonder how many have achieved the goals that they established.

Even with advances in products from HP and IBM and the change from scripts and thresholds (including dynamic) the space has moved on little and success if still painfully elusive.

With the coming of the Cloud can a static and largely human-driven approach to monitoring ever be successful? Obviously it cannot – so what is the answer?

Does the Cloud and/or virtualisation change the game and is monitoring actually necessary and if it is can an analytics-based approach solve problem?

Perhaps the answer we are looking for it mixed into the DevOps scene; all too often IT management (monitoring) is an after-thought that is dealt with by the operations guys.

I will be focusing on an approach and techniques to build management into the design and delivery processes to see if we can actually move away from the old modes of operation and create intelligent systems in future projects.

Watch this space to see if this is successful or not!

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So have you got your Cloud running? Really?

Along with every other enterprise and many medium-sized businesses you have decided your future lies in the Cloud.

Like many before you perhaps the first stop is Amazon EC2; you will not be faulted for using this platform and I have certainly used it too. Amazon are undeniably the lead in this space but there are also many other contenders including Salesforce to name just one.

If your business relies on IT or you are in the service provider space it is likely that your tenure on EC2 will be short-lived, afterall it is not as cost-effective as it appears at first and performance can be a bit of a gamble.

You decide to build your own cloud – great!

Do you build it for any one of the IaaS, PaaS models that is out there? How about a Private cloud? Does the cloud also commit you to massive virtualisation? How about incorporating those critical systems that you run your business on into your cloud; making it a hybrid cloud.

Does your cloud platform need to co-exist with existing IT management capabilities like ITIL or are there industry specific audit requirements like PCI that might affect you?

This is rapidly becoming really complex so let’s try and take this in stages….

Your goal is to create an efficient, flexible platform that is as easy to manage and change as it was to build, essentially an IaaS platform for now.

How are your plans progressing, are you on track? Has VMware or Microsoft promised you agile, dynamic and maybe even autonomic computing? Did one of your hardware suppliers tell you that the only approach was Flexpod or Vblock or perhaps you decided that a ‘converged infrastructure’ was what you needed.

Perhaps it is not surprising that the most successful deployments share some common characteristics and these are probably not on your suppliers agenda:

  • Tight control on the services that the client wants to deliver; based upon areas that they already have packaged and a solid process for delivering
  • They have driven their suppliers & selected only the components they need and already know how to use
  • They are happy, even determined, to start small and simple
  • Implement on top of known hardware rather than a rip and replace
  • A strong, considered leader