The Key to IT Operations (part 2) - Awareness

Yes, I am aware that the concept of being aware is not new. The question has become how aware is your organization when it comes to operating your IT infrastructure?

  • Do you need to check seven different management tools (or more) when it comes to debugging an issue?
  • Do you know what devices are delivering what services?
  • Can you connect your virtual layer to the physical devices supporting it?

Thanks to the challenges of virtualization and Cloud Computing, IT operations cannot be effective without being aware of the application and services being deployed and their dependencies. Now, more than ever, operations and development must partner together and collaborate if overall operational effectiveness is to be a priority. The old approach of everyone working in their silo doesn't work in a highly-connected, rapidly-changing virtual world.

To be a true collaboration, operations and development must have a shared view into the end-to-end infrastructure. Matthias Marschall, on the Dzone Agile blog, writes about the need for awareness to help the collaboration between operations and development,

It’s mandatory that developers and operations both have a common set of tools e.g. for monitoring, version control, or ticket management. Only by sharing information about “What’s going on?” can collaboration emerge. You could start by giving developers access to operation’s monitoring tools and give them read-only access to the production servers to enable them to debug problems on the live systems.

To drive operational effectiveness in a dynamic data center requires a new level awareness that can answer the question of "What's going on" at a moment notice. Having IT operations and development on the same page will rapidly reduce the amount of time it takes to find the problem when there is an issue. This way the team can focus on fixing and maintain productivity.

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