by: Ashish Aggarwal
The IT infrastructure landscape has seen tremendous changes over last few years due to evolving technologies, newer business models, and ever-changing market demands. Business, market, and consumer demands are pushing such IT advancements as cloud, mobility, and IoT. Specialized IT infrastructure monitoring tools provided by original equipment manufacturers, the adoption of automation, and advanced AIOps tools that break down silos in the observability space are enabling these advancements in modern data centers. We have entered into an era in which tools and automation matter far more than they used to compared to the traditional service-oriented IT environment.
Monitoring that offers visibility and deep insights into IT infrastructure is imperative for any organization. Contemporary enterprises are exploring infrastructure monitoring tools that predict anticipated issues and prescribe the solution to mitigate those issues.
IT infrastructure monitoring has shifted from traditional reactive support to an era of predictive monitoring and support, leveraging tools that predict what’s going to happen in the future. Predictive monitoring is gradually moving towards prescriptive monitoring, a state in which advanced analytics will provide insights into future possibilities and challenges within the IT infrastructure.
Figure 1 : Modern hybrid data center
With ongoing digital transformation projects, IT operations (ITOps) teams must now manage the complex infrastructure stack underpinning business services in the organization, as seen in figure 1. Today’s data center is a mix of traditional infrastructure components and modern cloud assets working together to deliver the digital experience.
SaaS applications like Microsoft Office 365 or web applications hosted on web servers like Apache and IIS comprise this layer of the modern data center. Virtual desktops like Citrix also need to be managed. Synthetic end-to-end (E2E) application monitoring can be used to track the end user experience delivered by application services. Some enterprises have built their data pipelines on the Hadoop 2.0 ecosystem using Cloudera or Hortonworks distribution, and providing data ingestion, processing, and presentation services based on RDBMS or no-SQL data stores.
The infrastructure layer in figure 1 covers multiple technologies suited for different tech stack elements, which support the application infrastructure by providing computing, storage, and memory. This layer delivers computing services through:
PaaS or IaaS cloud computing reduces capital expenditures and provides highly elastic resources for hosting new age applications through subscription-based licensing models. Lately, large enterprises are receiving large bills that impact operating expense budgets. To avoid billing shocks but continue to provide the required resources, large enterprises are shifting to hyperconverged infrastructure software from vendors like Nutanix and VMware.
Another key component of the infrastructure layer is storage, which can be primary or secondary depending on the end customer use case. NetApp, EMC Unity, Cohesity, and Isilon are popular storage systems that provide low-cost persistence.
The network enables communication across application and infrastructure components. Every user can verify the connectivity and availability of network switches, routers, or any other network layer component over SNMP or REST endpoint. For cloud-based deployment, the network layer also has a virtual private cloud (VPC) for connectivity, which needs to be monitored in conjunction with other components in the stack.
The personas supporting the full stack are changing based on evolving roles and responsibilities. Server, storage, and infrastructure administrators are becoming Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) responsible for full stack availability and reliability. To manage the scale of inventory, operations teams are adding specific roles like maintenance engineers, tools administrators, and operation engineers. Because intelligent fault management has led to alarm noise reduction, bots and rules on IT service management (ITSM) tools like ServiceNow or CA Service Desk are replacing L1 support engineers. L2/L3 infrastructure specialists are gaining importance due to their ability to triage infrastructure observability issues.
Figure 2: Roles and personas in the modern data center
With an expanding infrastructure stack and evolving key personas within data centers, there are several key requirements of a unified infrastructure monitoring solution. To provide effective and efficient monitoring in the modern organization’s hybrid estate, teams need a solution to:
Broadcom’s DX Unified Infrastructure Management (DX UIM) meets all of these requirements. DX UIM offers a “single pane of glass” for monitoring across the stack, providing a unified solution for hardware and software management. It serves as a complete solution for monitoring performance, managing alarms, and enabling service quality degradation management. DX UIM offers comprehensive hybrid IT management on par with on-premises capabilities, delivering consistent, top-to-bottom infrastructure observability.
For more information, please visit the DX UIM home page at the Broadcom Enterprise Software Academy.