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Network discovery tools are not newcomers in monitoring platforms. But in recent years, and even more so in 2022, discovery capabilities are being reinforced to better meet needs relating to infrastructure hybridization and the new challenges brought by the agile digital business environment. This article looks at how auto-discovery and IT monitoring combined can supercharge ITOps.

Warding off risks to the digital business

Up until a few years ago, one of the main objectives for IT monitoring was to discover the topology of static or rarely changing physical networks. The idea was to reduce the number of actions required to deploy monitoring on relatively stable systems. But ITOps are now facing a new reality: constantly changing environments. This brave new world is now much tougher to explore. If they’re to truly go beyond basic network discovery, ITOps need to benefit from stronger auto-discovery and monitoring capabilities. And the digital business depends on them to step up.

Business performance, not to mention customer experience, is now defined by the availability and quality of IT service. A blimp on the radar will no longer do to ward off the risks of falling below digital expectations. ITOps must anticipate, go higher, faster to support the business’s value chain. Doing so, they have to go beyond simple network discovery, combining the strengths of advanced auto-discovery and monitoring capabilities to automatically discover and monitor new assets in a broad range of environments such as virtual machines, the cloud, containers, etc. And these powerful capabilities must be revved up multiple times during the day.

In short, we’re in the era of agile deployments, miles away from the traditional production framework, and automatically discovering and configuring monitoring for dynamic infrastructure elements is the only way to go.

Auto-discovery and monitoring: Call the APIs!

So how can ITOps ace auto-discovery and IT monitoring? They call in on their allies: the APIs.  APIs allow various IT assets (cloud environments, virtualization, etc.) to interconnect and combine to create a more streamlined, efficient enterprise ecosystem, with dynamic interactions. Centreon totally adheres to this open philosophy, developing their own set of APIs which query other solutions or equipment APIs, essentially integrating monitoring deep into the IT ecosystem.

This new approach to auto-discovery and monitoring highlights how ITOps are much more concerned with keeping up with infrastructure evolution than simply discovering elements to monitor in a network. Combining advanced auto-discovery and monitoring capabilities and having them work seamlessly is the new focus. Take cloud services, for example. Much unlike a network of traditional virtual machines, if you go looking for an identifiable topology based on routers or clusters of physical machines, you’ll never find anything. To organize and sort resources, DevOps teams rely on tags. It has consequently become an obvious necessity for ITOps to mirror the same tag system in the monitoring tool so it can match the source environment with precision.

What about Infrastructure as Code?

Speaking of DevOps, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is increasingly a preferred process to automatically deploy infrastructure. But can auto-discovery methods described above work just as well with IaC? Thankfully, yes. In the case of IaC, two main approaches can be used and even mixed: auto-discovery or automation tools, the latter configuring the monitoring solution using APIs, ensuring IT assets are monitored as soon as they’re launched. Mixing both approaches would entail, for example, using an orchestration tool for continuous deployment and then running Centreon’s service discovery feature on some sub-components such as file systems or interfaces.

What’s the best way to further explore the possibilities brought by advanced auto-discovery and IT monitoring capabilities? Try them in your actual environment, for free and for as long as you wish—leveraging our robust auto-discovery engine and more than 3,000 ready-to-monitor configuration templates. Download Centreon IT Edition and monitor up to 100 devices for free.

More on the same topic: Olivier Mercier, Product Manager at Centreon discusses auto-discovery and monitoring.  

Happy discoveries!