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You Can Improve Performance Charlie Brown!


You Can Improve Performance Charlie Brown!


What's surprising to see today is how IT operations struggles with sustaining stability and maintaining performance. This state of affairs alone doesn't hit as hard as the fact that many in I&O have just come to accept this situation as a norm and simply bear with this daily struggle. They haven't even considered how to improve or enhance the state of their data center infrastructure management.

Unplanned Changes

The increasingly agile nature of application and infrastructure change requests, has left many in IT operations at a loss. They are inundated by change requests that run the gamut from the critical and high priority to the minor and unimportant. IT operations teams are strained facing the stream of constant change requests, and this is further compounded by increasingly complex environments that need to be kept available and operating at high performance, continuously.

While IT operations teams strive for 100% service availability, change stands to disrupt availability and performance. To avoid problems and downtime, I&O teams need effective change management and configuration management tools to know what is happening in their environments, and manage these changes, where much of the potential risk that change can bring with it.

Maintaining Environment Consistency

With the increased pace of changes streaming into the business system environment, environment management based solely on past performance presents risk. Due to the dynamic nature today's data centers, the many interdependencies and limited visibility into the actual environment configuration, vital information for IT operations drops into the shadows outside the visibility of IT administration. Without this information, planned changes can fail. Unauthorized changes will be detected, but too late. Problem resolutions will take too long to complete and there will be little visibility into whether or not compliance requirements are being met.

Investigating Incidents

When an incident occurs, IT ops needs to identify the cause as fast as possible. However, today's operations just look s at how the system behaves and then tries to infer a reason behind what is happening. It's like how a doctor may treat symptoms, rather than going after the actual trigger of the illness or pain. This makes it a challenge to try and get to the source, and know what happened, and then extrapolate decision making from there.

Same Old Tools

Existing IT management tools have taken a re-engineering approach. They look at past performance and then project (essentially guess) what performance will be. They are using this speculative information for taking decisive steps on stability and performance.

New Solution: IT Operations Analytics

Managing the configuration of multiple environments is still the blight of IT Operations. Between applications, environments, and individual instances, mistakes and unauthorized changes can still happen (with detrimental impact), demanding that IT ops spend time managing configuration values. 

Able to quickly and efficiently discover the root causes of IT system performance problems, the new discipline of IT operations analytics can assess the relative impact from multiple causes, analyzing service cost and anticipating performance impacting events among other IT operations management areas, providing a functional, pragmatic solution, rather than the old mega solutions.

Today IT operations faces new levels of challenges that can no longer be handled with existing approaches alone. This means applying new tools to help deal with the complexity and dynamics of today's IT environments. Evolven's IT Operations Analytics solution brings another perspective to this issue, focusing its approach on change and configuration information. Using changes as a context base for analysis, Evolven succeeds in delivering the intelligence that IT operations organizations crave, allowing them to turn piles of IT change and configuration data into actionable insights. 

Evolven provides a versatile technology for analyzing applications and infrastructure configuration across the entire environment, identifying the changes, differences, inconsistencies and misconfigurations that can threaten environment stability (or already having caused an issue). Offering a consolidated view of the entire environment stack, Evolven allows various IT teams (DevOps, operations, infrastructure etc.) to monitor and control configuration and associated changes over the various layers and siloes of the environment stack.

Your Turn
Are your tools ready to take on the complexity and dynamics of today's data center?

About the Author
Martin Perlin