3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Big 4 Frameworks for Monitoring Converged Infrastructure


Converged infrastructures — preconfigured systems that include compute, network, and storage resources — present a faster way to get IT services up and running. Assimilating new converged infrastructure technologies into standard IT monitoring processes is essential to efficiently deliver end-to-end service reliability. However, monitoring a converged infrastructure stack as an integrated part of your IT infrastructure is a big challenge.

The converged infrastructure “bottom line”? Buying one is a lot more converged than actually running one!

Converged infrastructure vendors – Cisco, EMC, NetApp, and VCE – give you a lot of great tools for configuration and administration. However, what they don’t provide are comprehensive monitoring tools that help ensure newly delivered services are meeting customer expectations.

Unfortunately, even if you have done all the work needed to put a strong converged infrastructure service delivery strategy in place, you are going to find you have limited options when it comes to monitoring your converged infrastructure – particularly if you are still relying on one of the Big 4 legacy monitoring frameworks from BMC, CA, HP, or IBM.

In order to monitor service delivery in your converged infrastructure environment, you need to know that all the parts in your converged infrastructure are working together to move you toward your specific service goals. Unfortunately, Big 4 legacy monitoring frameworks from BMC, CA, HP, or IBM just can’t make that happen.

Big 4 legacy monitoring frameworks are expensive and difficult to implement – that has been well documented in countless analyst reports and media publications. When it comes to converged infrastructure however, the limitations of Big 4 legacy monitoring frameworks extends well beyond price or implementation costs. Here are three important reasons why you should never choose Big 4 legacy monitoring frameworks from BMC, CA, HP, or IBM for monitoring converged infrastructure:

  1. They can’t keep up with dynamic environments
  2. They can’t give you the end-to-end view you need
  3. Licensing is really complicated

#1 -- They can’t keep up with dynamic environments

The whole reason you put converged infrastructure in place is to dynamically allocate resources to deliver great service quality. If you have to update a CMDB for every one of hundreds of moment to moment changes, you’re going to fall way behind, monitoring the fossilized remains of an infrastructure that no longer exists.

#2 -- They can’t give you the end-to-end view you need

With converged infrastructure, you need to be able to tie any infrastructure incident to its impact on overall service delivery so that you can take appropriate action. You’ll need to monitor your entire infrastructure and understand the relationships and dependencies between each component. After all, the foot bone (storage) is connected to the shin bone (VMware/virtualization). The shin bone (VMware/virtualization) is connected to the knee bone (compute). The knee bone (compute) is connected to the thigh bone (network), and on and on. Since Big 4 legacy monitoring frameworks are built from separate tools that only come together in a “monster” event console – held together with more stitches than Mary Shelley’s poor Frankenstein -- you’ll have to choose between reading through thousands of events of unknown relevance or jumping from one tool to another, hoping that somehow you’ll be able to figure out what is really going on.

#3 -- They make licensing really complicated.

On top of inherent product limitations, Big 4 legacy monitoring framework licensing models are extremely complicated. They typically charge based on the volume of monitored devices or components. However, with the accelerated rate of change in converged infrastructure environments, you might have 100 VMs running today and 50 tomorrow. Or 50 VMs running today and 100 tomorrow. Just knowing what to count takes an inordinately large amount of administrator time, so not only is the solution expensive, it’s going to cause a high level of frustration and eat away at administrator productivity.

Zenoss and Converged Infrastructure Monitoring

Zenoss Service Dynamics was built from the ground up to unify the monitoring of dynamic converged infrastructures and traditional data center resources. Zenoss gives IT Operations teams a single, service-centric unified view into the performance and availability of converged infrastructure server virtualization, network, and storage components. On top of that, we’ve been validated by Cisco for our support of Cisco UCS, VCE Vblock, and NetApp Flexpod.
Zenoss supports the following converged infrastructures:

  • Cisco UCS – Initial discovery and periodic remodeling of Cisco Unified Computing Systems (UCS) components, along with performance monitoring, event management, and service impact and root cause analysis.
    Learn more about Cisco UCS Monitoring.
  • NetApp FlexPod – Out-of-the-box monitoring for Cisco UCS compute, Nexus networking, VMware virtualization, and NetApp storage resources.
    Learn more about NetApp FlexPod Monitoring.
  • VCE Vblock – Out-of-the box monitoring for Cisco UCS compute, VMware virtualization, and EMC storage. Visualize workloads across the entire converged infrastructure, track service dependencies among components and the underlying dynamic infrastructure, and use a quantitatively ranked root cause triage list.
    Learn more about VCE Vblock Monitoring.

2014 State of Converged Infrastructure Webinar

Last month, we published the eye-opening results from our 2014 survey on the State of ConvergedInfrastructure. To sum it up, rapid adoption of Converged Infrastructure is no longer just a rally cry from the press and early adopters – it’s a mainstream reality that can’t be ignored.

Join us on Thursday, July 24th as we dive deeper into the full survey results and host a live Q&A to provide expert analysis around what it could all really mean for you. You’ll learn:

  • Which industries are driving adoption
  • The real-world value businesses are actually realizing from converged infrastructure deployments
  • The key drivers for a converged infrastructure purchase
  • Which organizations are saying ‘No’ to converged infrastructure(and why)
  • Insider advice from current converged infrastructureusers for those considering adoption

Click here to register!

Learn More!

Also, to learn more about how Zenoss can help improve service quality and operational efficiency in converged infrastructures, check out the following resources:

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