Without the proper expertise and tools in place to quickly isolate, diagnose, and resolve an incident, a quick routine error can result in hours of downtime – causing significant interruption in business operations that can impact both business revenue and employee productivity. How can we stop these little instances from turning into major fallouts? Major companies and organizations, take heed:
1. Identify the correlation between issues to expedite time to notify and time to resolve
Not understanding the correlation between issues is detrimental to timely resolutions. With a network monitoring solution in place, lack of automated correlation can generate excess "noise." This then requires support teams to act on numerous individualized alerts, rather than a single ticket that has all relevant events and information for the support end-user.
The correlated monitoring approach provides a holistic view into the network failure for support teams. Enabling support teams to analyze the network failure by utilizing the correlated events to efficiently identify the root cause will provide them the opportunity to promptly execute the corrective action to resolve the issue at hand.
Correlation consolidates all relevant information into a single ticket allowing support teams to largely reduce their staffing models, with only one support engineer needed to act on the incident as opposed to numerous resources engaging on individualized alerts.
2. Constantly analyzing raw data for trends helps IT teams proactively spot and prevent recurring issues
Aside from the standard reactive response of a support team, there is substantial benefit in the proactive analysis of raw data from your environment. By being proactive, trends and failures can be identified, followed by corrective and preventative actions taken to ensure support teams are not spending time investigating repeat issues. This approach not only creates a more stable environment with fewer failures, but also allows support teams to reduce manual hours and cost by avoiding "wasted" investigation on known and reoccurring issues.
Within a support organization, a Problem Management Group (PMG) is often implemented to fulfill the role of proactive analysis on raw data. In such instances, a PMG will create various scripts and calculation that will turn the raw data into a meaningful representation of the data set, to identify areas of concern such as:
■ Common types of failures
■ Failures within a specific region or location
■ Issues with a specific end-device type or model
■ Reoccurring issues at a specific time/day
■ Any trends in software or firmware revisions.
Once the raw data is analyzed by the PMG, the results can be relayed to the support team for review so a plan can be formalized to take the appropriate preventative action. The support team will work to present the data and their proposed solution, and seek approval to execute the corrective/preventative steps.
3. Present data in interactive dashboards and business intelligence reports to ensure proper understanding
Not every support team has the benefit of a PMG. In this specific circumstance, it's important that the system monitoring tools are fulfilling the role of the PMG analysis, and presenting the data in an easy-to-understand format for the end-user. From a tools perspective, the data analysis can be approached from both an interactive dashboard perspective, as well as through the use of business intelligence reports.
Interactive dashboards are a great way of presenting data in a format that caters to all audiences, from administrative and management level, and technical engineers. A combination of both graphs (i.e. pie charts, line graphs, etc.) and summarized metrics (i.e. Today, This Week, Last 30 days, etc.) are utilized to display the analyzed data, with the ability to filter capabilities to allow the end-user to view only desired information without the interference of all analyzed data which may not be applicable to their investigation.
In fact, a more "customizable" approach to raw data analysis would be a Business Intelligence Reporting Solution (BIRS). Essentially, the BIRS collects the raw data for the end-user, and provides drag and drop reporting, so that any desired data elements of interest can be incorporated into a customized on-demand report. What is particularly helpful for the user is the easy ability to save "filtering criteria" that would be beneficial to utilize repeatedly (i.e. Monthly Business Review Reports).
With routine errors, the main goal is to stay ahead of them by using data to identify correlations. Through effective event correlation, and by empowering teams with raw data, you can ensure that issues are quickly mitigated and don't pose the risk of impacting company ROI and system availability.
Collin Firenze is Associate Director at Optanix.
In the spirit of Earth Day, which is Saturday, April 22, we recently asked IT professionals for the tips and tricks they're using to help keep their data centers as green as possible. Here are a few ideas inspired by the responses we got ...
A majority of senior IT leaders and decision-making managers of large companies surveyed around the world indicate their organizations have yet to fully embrace the aspects of IT Transformation needed to remain competitive, according to a new study conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) ...
The move to cloud-based solutions like Office 365, Google Apps and others is one of the biggest fundamental changes IT professionals will undertake in the history of computing. The cost savings and productivity enhancements available to organizations are huge. But these savings and benefits can't be reaped without careful planning, network assessment, change management and continuous monitoring. Read on for things that you shouldn't do with your network in preparation for a move to one of these cloud providers ...
One of the most ubiquitous words in the development and DevOps vocabularies is "Agile." It is that shining, valued, and sometimes elusive goal that all enterprises strive for. But how do you get there? How does your organization become truly Agile? With these questions in mind, DEVOPSdigest asked experts across the industry — including analysts, consultants and vendors — for their opinions on the best way for a development or DevOps team to become more Agile ...
Is composable infrastructure the right choice for your IT environment? The following are 5 key questions that can help you begin to explore the capabilities of composable infrastructure and its applicability within your own IT environment ...
What is composable infrastructure, and is it the right choice for your IT environment? That's the question on many CIOs' minds today as they work to position their organizations as "digitally driven," delivering better, deeper, faster user experiences and a more agile response to change in whatever vertical market you do business in today ...
As companies adopt new hardware and applications, their networks grow larger and become harder to manage. For network engineers and administrators, the continued emergence of integrated technology has forced them to reconfigure and manage networks in a more dynamic way ...
The complexity of data in motion is growing and risks undermining the success of the modern data-driven enterprise. A recent survey of data engineers and architects, conducted by StreamSets, sought to bring some perspective to the new reality in the enterprise, leading to some interesting insights about the enterprise data landscape ...
The biggest factor driving happiness is the quality of relationships IT professionals have with their coworkers, including users, peers, and managers, according to the 2017 IT Job Satisfaction report from Spiceworks ...