Performance & Availability vs. Analytics series
Data Center Automation Blueprint development & discussion
In part one we talked about data collection and basic functionality offered by Performance/Capacity/Availability Management for Data Center Automation. In part two we hit upon how some vendors our taking this collected data and extending it’s effectiveness in the name of proactive, even predictive analysis while attempting to drive false positive issue identification to absolute zero. Now, how do we take this information and apply it back to the Data Center Automation Blueprint we’ve been working on.
We currently have two distinct entities combined together within the current Performance & Availability functional category;
These two distinct areas are both very necessary and I believe with further automation will continue to consolidate together. So I believe they should stay together as one entity and we should continue to push vendors to further pull these together. What we really want is a unified list of events that are 100% accurate and detailed instances of 1) things that will be going wrong very soon and 2) do to unforeseen or controllable circumstance an immediate condition/concern that is upon us. A term I seen used in the past, mostly in the service provider space, is calling these conjoined areas “service assurance.” I really like this term as it’s all about assuring our data center is providing us with the business services we come to expect from it. Maybe I’ll use that in the blueprint going forward.
One other area that I encourage and expect we will see continued convergence into this “service assurance” category are not performance or outage related situations, but security and privacy events. There is no reason when a abnormality caused by a worm equates to an outage or degraded performance situation the metrics should not be correlated together vs. the separate silos of today. But that is a whole other novel.
So with that said, I’m planning to update the Data Center Automation Blueprint to relabel Performance & Availability to Service Assurance (Performance, Capacity & Availability). Now, about analytics? That’s the next topic to tackle in part 4 of this series.
So in part 1 we talked through the collection of performance/capacity/availability data. Next up is focused on where innovations using this collected data are taking us.
The next level of Performance & Availability I previously mentioned are coming from a variety of companies doing cross-metric analysis or even automated behavioral analytics. These vendors are typically classify themselves as Service Level Management, some types of Business Service Management or Analytics. They either leverage a variety of data collection entities or they themselves offer capabilities that span multiple sources to elevate and/or automate results in the hope of proactive (even predictive) identification of issues with minimal (striving for zero) false positives. Here are some more thoughts on each of these areas:
We could probably come up with better names for these higher level performance/capacity/availability areas but Service Level Management, Business Service Management and Performance Analytics are the ones on the marketing being advertised today.
One area of data collection and reporting that does continue to innovate is from the end-user, passive traffic flow perspective. This first popped up on the scene back in the last 1990′s and since then there seems to have been a major resurgence in vendors focusing on specific, mission-critical applications. Since these agents typically reside and monitor from the desktop or mobile device perspective I’ve placed them beyond the scope and control of Data Center Automation. Some vendors are doing the end-to-end monitoring (as mentioned before) from an appliance in the data center making some TCP/IP assumptions (e.g., NetQoS, CA Wily).
So now we’ve discussed Performance/Capacity/Availability management and how it also has analytics occurring within that functional silo. So what does that mean to the Data Center Automation Blueprint from my perspective. Stay tuned for part 3.