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Why Monitoring Is Important (and How to Fly Home Safely)

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While many of you already know exactly why monitoring is crucial to a successful enterprise, I also bet that many of you have to explain it to others on a regular basis. Perhaps you get questions from finance, the C-suite, and peers asking why you have to invest the time and resources into monitoring. Perhaps you've been asked, “Why can’t we just get by with 'good enough' or point tools?”

It's a fair question that doesn't often have a succinct answer--until now, thanks to a client I visited last week. I met with one of our largest financial clients to review how Zenoss is working for them, to tour their ops center (always impressive!), and to learn what their enterprise-wide monitoring goals were.

We got into a fascinating discussion about the importance of monitoring. This client also had to defend their monitoring requirement, but instead of launching into a technical discussion, their reply was simple: “Look, would you fly a 747 across the country without a speedometer, altimeter, GPS or a fuel gauge? Because what all those instruments are doing is just monitoring.” Wow, did that hit home!

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Today's IT provides the infrastructure upon which each of our organizations is driving forward. But if IT can’t provide a view into the health, performance, and availability of this infrastructure, then how can anyone expect our organizations to achieve the business goals demanded by the markets?

As I fly later today, I will, of course, be hoping that the pilot will get me home safely. But just as much as the pilot, I will also be thinking about the mechanics, the engineers, the assembly line workers and all the technology that went into building and maintaining the plane before we even take off. And finally, I will be glad that there are solid instruments to provide the crew with an accurate and real-time view of the status of the plane as we cross the country. The pilot might get to wear the cool uniform and get the glory, but s/he depends on many others to get me home.

So remember that you, as the IT monitoring team member, lead or user, are the eyes of your organization. Without you, the enterprise flies blind. Without cutting edge, well-performing technology like Zenoss, your organization might just crash. So tonight, I am also thinking about you, wishing you blue skies and clear event consoles!

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