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IT Managers Lack The Infrastructure Performance Management Tools They Need

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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CIOs’ ability to monitor the performance and health of their IT infrastructures is severely hindered

European CIOs and IT managers lack the technical capabilities to administer infrastructure performance management across their datacentres.

This was the finding of a survey by Virtual Instruments, a specialist in Infrastructure Performance Management (IPM) for physical, virtual and cloud computing environments.

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Today, an IT infrastructure is more crucial than ever to a successful business. End users expect access to their applications and data anytime, putting ever-greater pressure on the IT environment to support exponentially increasing and unpredictable workloads.

spannerThis trend is creating a highly complex, multi-vendor, multi-layer data centre that is perpetually evolving; as a result gaining a clear and unbiased understanding of the end-to-end infrastructure is nearly impossible.

This survey of CIOs and senior decision-makers based around the world, was conducted to provide a snapshot of organisations’ ability to monitor the performance and health of their IT infrastructures.

Today’s IT decision makers are looking for ways to optimise and consolidate their data centres, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. Many are turning to virtualisation, cloud computing and software-defined technologies to help them get more value out of their existing assets while improving agility.

The Virtual Instruments survey found that 86 percent of respondents agree that an IPM solution can help improve the IT department’s performance in terms of meeting the needs of the business.

In addition, 79 percent of respondents agree that an IPM solution can improve the agility of the IT department; 70 percent think that it can reduce the risks of IT failures within their businesses; and 59 percent agree that it can reduce the costs of running their IT departments. Nonetheless a significant proportion (two out of five) of respondents feel unhappy with the tools they currently have in place to identify performance issues associated with their IT infrastructures.

Chris James, marketing director EMEA at Virtual Instruments, said: “As CIOs and IT managers grapple with the growing demands placed on their infrastructures, infrastructure performance management is more of a priority than ever before. Clearly, these decision makers recognise that IPM tools are business critical, not just to improve their own working environments, but for the overall success of the organisation.”

There are a number of driving forces contributing to clarity in the monitoring of a data centre today. Additional layers of abstraction and virtualisation that characterise today’s complex enterprise data center make it difficult to see clearly into the underlying infrastructure, and impossible to actually guarantee performance.

While those surveyed recognise the value of IPM, there remains a lack of understanding around its functionality. Only around one third (35 percent) of respondents say they understand how an IPM solution might help them to understand and resolve infrastructure performance issues associated with virtual and cloud/managed service environments.

Just 13 percent of respondents say they have a dedicated IPM team at present. Of those who don’t only 23 per cent currently have plans to create a dedicated IPM team.

Infrastructure Performance Management (IPM) is a new platform in mission-critical IT. The adoption of virtualisation, cloud and now, Software Defined technologies, along with the relentless growth of data, all contribute to the importance of having an end-to-end view of your infrastructure. IPM gives cross-domain IT teams the ability to continuously capture, correlate and analyse system-wide performance, utilisation and health, in real-time.

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