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Fresh Outlook: Monitoring for Infrastructure Diversity

Blog Fresh Outlook: Monitoring for Infrastructure Diversity

Tired of hearing the word “hybrid?” This blog post takes a closer look at what actually hides behind the notion of hybrid infrastructure: a new paradigm of infrastructure (or digital) diversity. Why should you care? IT monitoring and data collecting go beyond thinking in terms of “cloud” and “legacy”.  Here’s a quick look at some interesting trends and what you should expect on the IT infrastructure monitoring front and the readily available tools that let you embrace infrastructure diversity.

Hybrid infrastructure was a good way to describe the transition from legacy infrastructure to cloud infrastructure or to describe various cloud accommodations. This is a transition that is still going strong, as illustrated by the data from SpiceWorks’ 2019 State of IT Report:

  • The need to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure is the biggest driver of IT budget increases in 2019.
  • Small businesses are making significant increases to their hardware budgets while large enterprises are increasing their cloud budgets in 2019.

The key take-away: Expect to monitor a wider range of assets in 2019 and beyond.

When ‘hybrid’ is in fact a permanent state of IT diversity

But what if the “hybrid” state was not transitional but rather a new reality taking form: the reality of infrastructure diversity?  In this new state, we’re expecting more complexity, more dark spots, and more confusion, which will all need to be cleared. But the flip side of this diversity is rosy: as in any ecosystem, natural, human or technological, diversity is what enables resilience and continuity.

Beyond the digital transformation of the IT estate, these interrelated trends are ushering in a world of greater IT infrastructure – and digital diversity:

  • IoT: Let’s face it, you are dealing with more than just servers (physical or virtualized) here. Everything is connected now: from delivery trucks on the road, to PoS terminals in stores, to sophisticated manufacturing equipment … along with an agile workforce that keeps moving around with more connected devices.
  • Edge computing: this increasingly mobile and distributed workforce actually requires more control, and proximity, with digital tools and their data output.
  • Digital diversity management: the modern business IT ecosystem is expanding faster than our physical universe, with the mainstream adoption of new assets and technologies that was not long ago accessible to only the largest of enterprises. Today, the most advanced solutions and technologies are available or will soon be to mid-sized businesses. In fact, they are not just available, they’re crucial for them to create value, compete and grow.

Centreon, hybrid monintoring, IT monitoring

“Around 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud. By 2025, this figure will reach 75%.”

Source: Gartner, What Edge Computing Means for Infrastructure and Operations Leaders, Oct. 2018

Why should you care today?

Most analysts estimate that the crunch years for investing in digital diversity are between now and 2025. If this is promising for the business, you’re facing the additional hurdle of integrating, managing and monitoring these assets. You cannot control the next round of technological adoption within your company but you can certainly prepare for it – with future-friendly help from Centreon.

Stay tuned in the next few months for additional resources that will help you integrate, manage and monitor the newest additions to your IT ecosystem: from time-saving code to relevant webinars, tutorials and training.

In the new paradigm, you should expect your monitoring solution to be able to integrate and poll the full diversity of your infrastructure.

A monitoring solution is only relevant if it can collect data from 100% of the infrastructure elements. Many companies we speak to often admit that up to 50% of their infrastructure remains unmonitored – just because additions and changes happen increasingly faster than they can manage. Developing plugins and connectors in itself can take up weeks to months, especially if it’s for polling a new technology or an in-house application that needs to be integrated with your monitoring system.

Two things help in this instance: a monitoring system that provides ready-to-deploy plugins and connectors spanning a broad spectrum of assets; and one that is open and flexible to develop customized plugins when necessary. This is why our Centreon EMS solution incorporates a catalogue of plugin packs that monitor the most common enterprise hybrid environments in an age of digital transformation. Learn more about Centreon EPP.

For each element to be monitored, a dedicated Plugin Pack automatically configures the list of metrics to be collected and alerting thresholds: no user input required.

Centreon continuously adds newly developed Plugin Packs to the EPP library or updates existing Plugin Packs to keep up with the constantly evolving IT landscape. The Plugin Pack Manager web user interface lets administrators manage and update the Plugin Packs running on their Centreon EMS platform.

Centreon, IT monitoring, Plugin Pack

Plugin Pack Manager

For example, Centreon EMS implements a universal data collection engine called a Poller. The Poller uses a set of connectors called Enterprise Plugin Packs (EPP) to collect the data to be monitored. Centreon EMS data collection is exhaustive: it applies both to legacy IT equipment and to cloud technologies or cloud services and other IT assets. Through Business Activity Monitoring (BAM), the collected data is correlated and turned into entirely customizable reports that you can share with management, end or remote users providing greater visibility into much-needed data.

Our auto-discovery service adds to the convenience of some Plugin Packs by automatically detecting new elements to be monitored: new network interfaces or disk volumes installed on a server or router, for example. It ensures real-time monitoring on your entire infrastructure, covering up blind spots.

Would you like advanced notice on what’s coming up on the plugin pack front? Ask our team!

Or tell us on how you’re coping with digital diversity.

Can’t find the domain you need? We’re supporting the full range of your infrastructure diversity.

The plugin framework enables ITOM teams to quickly develop and customize the monitoring perimeter when they need to – even for the most obscure application or asset.  To include a specific domain or any new applications developed by your DevOps, call our dedicated team of consultants.


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