Blog Feed Post

Taming Your Monitoring Tools Portfolio

Taming Your Monitoring Tools PortfolioThere are many reasons why an organizations’ monitoring tools can proliferate. Taming your portfolio and developing a unified monitoring strategy can be an important element of success for IT service management, DevOps or any IT transformation initiative.

The modern IT stack has become diverse and distributed, and a fragmented monitoring portfolio can make managing heterogeneous platforms and multi-vendor devices an even bigger challenge.

As detailed in the APMdigest two-part article, Monitoring Tool Sprawl, monitoring-toolset bloat can arise due to many factors:

  • Specialized Requirements – Acquiring a tool for each different infrastructure tier (network, database, application, virtualization, server, etc.) and multiple tools within tiers (performance, configuration tracking, traffic analysis, log analysis, etc.)
  • Inheritance – Due to mergers, acquisitions, etc.
  • Bundling – Packaged tools that are included with hardware or software purchases.
  • Freeware – Open-source, cloud/SaaS tools and/or custom scripts developed in-house.

The results can include overlapping functionality, false positives, lack of cross-domain correlation, finger-pointing, longer diagnosis times and higher total costs of ownership.

For a detailed look at these potential outcomes, see the on-demand webinar, Single Pane of Glass Monitoring Tool for IT Infrastructures: Myth or Reality? The webinar also explains and debunks some myths associated with enterprise performance monitoring:

  • Myth #1, debunked – A single do-it-all monitoring tool that can replace all your monitoring tools does not exist.
  • Myth #2, debunked – Aggregating all monitoring data and using “war room” techniques does not facilitate the rapid identification of performance issues or enable optimization of your monitoring portfolio.

Below is a discussion of approaches to taming your portfolio of monitoring tools using eG Enterprise as a single pane of glass monitoring tool.

The Monitoring Portfolio

Just as we build financial portfolios in order to group investments for decision making, we can build a portfolio of monitoring tools in much the same way. This might be a subset of your organization’s overall application portfolio, or it may be as simple as an inventory or spreadsheet listing all the tools you currently have.

The information associated with your monitoring portfolio will vary based on each organization, but might include:

  • Who uses the tool: role(s), skill sets, and perhaps location
  • What the tool is used for – i.e., technical domain or general use
  • Cost – purchase date, maintenance, freeware, etc.

Portfolio Management and Monitoring

Portfolio management has evolved into a broad business discipline[i]. Although different levels of portfolio management use common types of information (people, money, work, deliverables), they are used in different ways.

Many monitoring decisions are driven “bottom-up” by technical requirements structured around specific groups and teams. But developing a “top-down,” strategic monitoring portfolio is better suited to:

  • Assess the current state of monitoring operations and change influences
  • Establish the objectives and strategies of monitoring
  • Allocate financial and resource capacity for monitoring
  • Measure the resulting value from the monitoring investment(s)

The development of your monitoring strategy will be at a “strategic,” or perhaps at an “investment” level, depending on the size of your enterprise. In large organizations, some monitoring strategy may be driven at a business-unit level, but it should still align and communicate top-down decisions across the organization. Monitoring strategy that is driven “bottom-up” often results in fragmenting the overall monitoring portfolio.

When building your monitoring portfolio, it is best to not overcomplicate the component information. The purpose of this list is to aid in decision-making about the overall portfolio, rather than justifying the use of any particular tool. The information you will need for monitoring strategy is, by nature, at a higher level than monitoring at the execution level.

Monitoring Tools Portfolio Levels

Table 1 – Levels of Portfolio Analysis[ii]

For example, your key platforms such as ERP, virtualization or perhaps an ITSM Suite may be included in your strategic application portfolio. From a monitoring and diagnostic perspective, there may be associated monitoring tools bundled with these platforms, freeware that is already in use, or some tools that have been inherited, and these are best viewed at an execution level.

Building Your Monitoring Strategy

It may seem counterintuitive, but announcing a “monitoring consolidation project” to your organization may not be the best way to enlist the support of key stakeholders, many of whom rely heavily on existing monitoring tools.

Instead, a successful monitoring strategy should focus on using a single pane of glass solution as the preferred tool for monitoring and diagnosis, but making sure that domain experts understand that they can continue to use their point solutions for deeper analysis, as needed. The single pane of glass solution will:

  • Provide end-to-end visibility to all stakeholders from a single console
  • Provide insights to pinpoint the root-cause of problems
  • Provide automated discovery, monitoring and script-based actions for self-healing
  • Provide trustworthy alerting
  • Offer a simple user interface that can be used by a wide range of stakeholders

Over time, perform analyses of your monitoring portfolio to find overlapping, unused and redundant tools. As “shelf-ware” is identified, decommission these solutions to optimize the portfolio of monitoring tools.

eG Enterprise: Monitoring ToolsTaming Your Monitoring Portfolio with a Single Pane of Glass

eG Enterprise provides a single pane of glass solution that can help you optimize your portfolio of monitoring tools. Beyond the rapid return on investment that eG Enterprise can provide for many environments at the execution level – such as Citrix, SAP, and VMware and others – organizations can realize greater return from the strategic or investment level of their portfolios.

IT service projects – often beginning with a single customer-facing IT service – offer excellent starting points to realize benefits from a single pane of glass solution. Although these projects may be viewed as successful with the optimization of the service, they will not necessarily tame your monitoring portfolio.

By taking a portfolio approach to your monitoring sprawl, stakeholders can not only have a more transparent view of the IT service environment, but they can also gain a better understanding of how and why monitoring decisions are made. Increased transparency, in turn, enables cross-domain sharing, a critical requirement for any IT transformation.

In addition, a program path can be established that compliments other IT initiatives such as ITSM or DevOps and anticipates emerging stakeholder requirements. In some cases, stakeholders will have already identified opportunities for optimizing monitoring tools.

In fact, achieving maximum value from your investment in eG Enterprise goes beyond optimizing your portfolio of monitoring tools. Intangible benefits include increased collaboration between IT technical domains, greater awareness of business impacts, acceleration of improvement efforts, and cultural change.

These benefits can translate to increased IT innovation and can expand the value of investment far beyond the initial, execution-level ROI.

Learn more about unified monitoring with eG Enterprise »


[i] Adapted from Taming Change with Portfolio Management, Pat Durbin, Terry Doerscher; Greenleaf, 2010 – ISBN 1608320383, 9781608320387

[ii] Adapted from Taming Change with Portfolio Management

The post Taming Your Monitoring Tools Portfolio appeared first on eG Innovations.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By John Worthington

John Worthington is the Director of Product Marketing for eG Innovations, a global provider of unified performance monitoring and root-cause diagnosis solutions for virtual, physical and cloud IT infrastructures. He is an IT veteran with more than 30 years of executive experience in delivering positive user experiences through innovative practices in information technology such as ITSM and ITIL.

As CEO and Principal of MyServiceMonitor, LLC, he assisted clients in effectively adapting service lifecycle processes by leveraging eG Enterprise. He then went on to assignments with ThirdSky and VMware, utilizing industry certifications including ITIL Expert and DevOps.

John has more than a decade of experience helping customers transform IT operations to IT-as-a-Service operating models. He participates in industry forums, client and analyst briefings and provides thought leadership to eG Innovations, customers and partners.

Latest Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.