The majority of 21st Century businesses rely heavily on their IT infrastructure to generate income, keep track of customers and employees, and maintain operational efficiency throughout the organization. Many companies would quickly fail if they lost their computing environment for any substantial length of time. Data of all kinds is the main currency in circulation these days, and to be competitive an enterprise needs the capacity to store and process it effectively.
Why Monitoring is Important
The complexity of modern computing environments, which can encompass numerous different systems located in-house and with multiple cloud providers, has made it extremely challenging to ensure that all the moving parts are working as intended. A failure in any one of the thousands of interconnected components that comprise an IT infrastructure can ripple through the surrounding systems and bring a company’s web presence or eCommerce site down suddenly and unexpectedly. Most company execs would agree that this is a situation that needs to be avoided.
IT infrastructure monitoring has a number of benefits when employed in a coherent manner. Some of the ways it can help keep an organization’s computing resources healthy and happy include:
- Identifying security breaches – Infrastructure monitoring can be instrumental in discovering unauthorized intrusion that can lead to a security breach. In today’s heightened regulatory climate, protecting the sensitive information that hackers are after is an essential ingredient to business success. Through the use of monitoring, breaches can be identified before they lead to irreparable harm.
- Finding network bottlenecks – Network performance is a critical component of an IT infrastructure. Systems need to be able to interact seamlessly and customers should be provided with the best user experience possible. This implies a fast and reliable network. Monitoring can find parts of your network that can benefit from an upgrade or that can be better served with some routing modifications.
- Automating inventory control – It’s impossible for an individual to keep track of the changes in a dynamic IT infrastructure. Even “that guy”, the sysadmin who has memorized the serial numbers of the network switches, cannot be expected to maintain an accurate inventory of the complete environment. A monitoring tool can assist in keeping control of the sprawl that is part of modern computing infrastructures.
- Proactively addressing potential issues – Without a holistic view of a computing environment, it is impossible to find areas that need improvement before an outage or problem rears its ugly head. Analyzing historical data captured by a monitoring tool can provide insight into changes that will be required to maintain a high level of performance.
Risks of Poor Infrastructure Monitoring
Lack of a viable monitoring policy or using outdated tools and procedures can result in several negative business impacts.
- Failure to meet customer service level agreements (SLA) is a huge problem that can result from inadequate IT infrastructure monitoring. In addition to the financial penalties that often accompany failed SLAs, there can be severe damage to an organization’s reputation and their ability to engage the impacted customer for further business.
- Increased downtime can affect internal processes as well as a company’s customers. Downtime directly leads to decreased productivity and can often result in lower morale throughout the company. Without proper monitoring in place to quickly identify problems, outages can linger and recur at an unacceptable rate.
- Capacity planning is an important outgrowth of infrastructure monitoring. The historical trends available from a quality monitoring tool can help pinpoint the parts of the infrastructure that need to be upgraded before system performance is impacted. Ineffective monitoring will not provide this information, leaving an organization to realize they are out of capacity when it has already become a major problem.
Choosing the Right Monitoring Tool
By now, you should be convinced that you need an effective monitoring policy to keep your IT environment operating efficiently. The benefits of infrastructure monitoring far outweigh the software costs or personnel resources needed to implement it successfully. Choosing the correct tool can pose another challenge for the IT department to resolve.
One of the impediments to successfully monitoring IT infrastructure is the difficulty of coordinating the information gathered from a diverse set of tools.
IDERA’s Uptime Infrastructure Monitor is a comprehensive monitoring tool that gives you visibility into your entire infrastructure from a unified platform. No need to bounce around among multiple tools to see how your network, servers, and applications are performing.
Customizable dashboards let you tailor monitoring displays to your liking. Uptime provides additional functionality as an SLA manager and capacity planning tool to help you identify issues that impact your ability to maintain acceptable performance levels. The application is aptly named, and Uptime will definitely help you reduce your downtime.