Business Service Management and Virtualization Monitoring Technology

Given the rapid adoption of shared and virtualized infrastructure in the data center environment, a new approach is needed to ensure the effective performance of the IT infrastructure. Rather than monitoring individual nodes and components in the data center in a piecemeal manner, organizations need to monitor the performance of supported services instead – by correlating all the underlying components of the service. The monitoring approach for applications and services has to account for inter-dependencies and impacts of the shared and virtual infrastructure, and has to account for all the dimensions that can impact a service. Traditional tools that display performance indicators in isolation are no longer adequate in meeting the needs of today’s complex data center.

A monitoring approach centered around BSM (Business Service Management) starts by first looking at the performance and availability of the business services, and then the underlying technology components within the data center. A mapping is created between business services and the underlying infrastructure through the use of Business Service Containers. These are flexible, automated objects which represent business services in an organization. They allow an organization to create logical, business-oriented views of the overall physical and virtualized infrastructure in the data center. Users can define different SLAs for different containers, create fault-tolerant redundant models within a container, and have nested containers with cascading alarms.

Through using a BSM solution like Zyrion’s Traverse software system, data center and IT managers are able to have access to real-time or near-real time information on the availability and performance of business services. The system identifies the affected business services when problems occur in the complex, distributed and virtualized data center environment. Once alerted of a service-impacting problem, users are able to drill down from a BSM dashboard to a device-level view, and then all the way down to the packet flow to isolate the root cause impacting a given business service.

The cost and agility benefits of virtualized and shared infrastructure environments are evident. Some degree of private and public cloud infrastructure will also be part of the mix in a modern data center environment. If this is the situation you are either in or moving towards, BSM solutions will become a must-have capability. Senior managers tend to understand the value of service-oriented IT monitoring. In a Zyrion customer survey, over 80% of our customers use the BSM features in our product, and in almost all cases, senior managers were using the BSM technology and dashboards on a regular basis. So, this is something that is being driven down from the top and is starting to become part of the corporate culture. Additionally, solutions such as Zyrion Traverse can be evaluated at no cost. A fully-functional, 30-day, trial version can be downloaded at http://www.zyrion.com/download/. Although the system has a myriad of advanced capabilities, the solution can be deployed and made operational within days with minimal support from Zyrion.

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