Posted by: Ryan Shopp
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve taken a pass at the Data Center Automation Blueprint, so it was time for some additions and clean-up.First up I added descriptions for some of the categories and made sure the known vendor list was up to date (e.g., BladeLogic acquired by BMC).
Description – Automation that captures a complete view of all IT resources, assets, services, etc. and their relationships, layers 1 through 7. This comprehensive view of all IT resources is the “record of truth” and needs to always be 100% accurate. Once in place, this is the hub of information that keeps all other monitoring and management solutions on the same page so nothing is missed or overlooked.
Description – Cross-silo automation for mundane manual or high occurrence tasks. The capabilities are focused around helping individual technology domains (e.g., network, windows, unix, database, etc) communicate and collaborate to automate tasks that before required numerous people and passing around a trouble ticket.
Configuration & Change
Description – Automation around making configuration or software changes in mass or in a more controlled, systematic way even if at an individual level. Understanding what the potential impact or risks are associated with making that change and keeping tabs on what is changing and if it is authorized or in line with established standards.
1) Making changes easier through a simplified user interface – enables more junior administrators to make traditionally more complex changes that required senior individuals.
2) Abstraction layer that enables the same change to be applied to a numerous resources, which includes spanning multiple vendors.
3) Ability to recommend when a change is not recommended or even unauthorized…understanding the interdependencies and risks associated with a change.
One area I’m still pondering back and forth is Analytics. The more I research and dig into things, I’m seeing that analytics automation is functional category specific (e.g., Config, Performance or Availability) with only a hint of cross DCAB category integration today. Examples include:
- Configuration & Change Management vendors offering analytics for servers/applications, integrates in details from help desk solutions around the changes tickets but does offer a hint of cross-functional with applicable incidents from an availability solution
- Performance & Capacity Management vendors offering analytics for end-to-end applications/services with a hint of configuration & change specifics so they know what change and if it has an impact.
- Performance & Capacity Management vendors offering analytics through real-time algorithms that perform dynamic thresholding and problem fingerprinting based on performance and availability conditions.
It seems the point it goes serious cross-functional, we find it discussed in terms of Business Intelligence, Business Service Management or Dashboards.So my gut is telling me to go back to these 6 areas of the Data Center Automation Blueprint where analytics is a key area of capabilities within each functional area…not it’s own stand alone category:
Any thoughts on this please speak up!