The Self Service Portal allows delivery of Monitoring faster and smarter
Self-Service for Enterprise Monitoring
The Self-Service Portal (SSP) from Orb Data provides a new way to deliver Enterprise Monitoring services to your business. Including plugins for popular montitoring tools such as IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) it is eay to establish a Self-Service approach to monitoring your Enterprise that allows you to:
- Define and maintain consistent monitoring standards
- Improve service quality and agility
- Meet security and audit requirements
When deploying Enterprise System Management (ESM) solutions the bulk of the work ends up concentrated with a small ESM team who quickly become a bottleneck, reducing the value provided by the new tools. The problem is that tasks are often impossible to delegate as management tools expect every user to be a trusted expert and so sharing them more widely means placing powerful but unaudited tools in the hands of every operator.
SSP lets you delegate and collaborate between the Systems Management (ESM) team, their customers, operations and subject-matter experts. Application and system owners can select and configure monitoring directly, without specialist knowledge and without involving the ESM team. Operations groups can dynamically reconfigure server monitoring on demand. Common configurations can be deployed and removed automatically.
Devolving responsibilities in this way improves the richness, relevance and accuracy of monitoring configuration, increases end-user awareness and involvement, and releases the ESM team to focus on service quality.
Best Practices and Standards
SSP provides smart organisation of monitoring agent thresholds. Define, deploy and maintain consistent monitoring across all the hardware, middleware and applications in your Enterprise.
Best practices are established and shared, based on expert knowledge. Suggested values are provided and common configurations made re-usable. Collaboration is encouraged while maintaining consistency. Standards are pre-defined for particular capabilities, containing common configurations, to act as a starting point for users to take control from there.
Why Use Standards?
In SSP, Standards define a set of approved values for a particular type of configuration. For example, this could be a common set of processes to monitor, or a recommended set of alert thresholds for OS components. Users browse and select from the Standards available to them. When multiple Standards are selected SSP is smart enough to know how to merge them together.
Standard offer a number of significant benefits:
- Give users a quick start in building Profiles
- Encourage best practices
- Act as a baseline for change and exception reporting
- Maintain consistency between different users with different objectives
- Encourage the reuse of common settings
- Allow collaboration and role distribution
- Exploit Expert knowledge
Why Self Service?
Implementing a successful Enterprise Monitoring solution presents a number of challenges. This begins with establishing the infrastructure and deploying agents. These tasks are quite rightly best left in the hands of the Systems Management team themselves.
However, this is just the start. What about deciding what should actually be monitored? This issue of service quality and granularity is perhaps the biggest challenge of all. This complex problem is often reduced to one of three approaches:
- Monitor key components only
- Deploy one-size fits all standards
- Monitor everything with out of the box settings
All these approaches may quickly lead to a lack of trust in the solution because they can result in irrelevant alarms, missed alarms or false alarms.
Redistribution of Roles
Orb Data’s self-service approach solves this problem through the redistribution of roles between the Systems Management (ESM) team, their customers, operations and subject matter experts. Devolving responsibilities in this way improves the richness, relevance and accuracy of monitoring configuration, increases end-user awareness and involvement, and releases the ESM team to focus on service quality.
If a self-service solution is implemented well many other significant benefits can be realised. ESM frontends are traditionally too heavyweight and esoteric for exposure to typical end-users. Orb Data SSP adds a presentation layer between the end-users and the ESM technology.
Some immediate benefits can be achieved with this presentation layer:
- Access control
Separating the presentation layer also provides the opportunity to add some deeper and more fundamental benefits:
- Independence from underlying technology
- Central database of configuration
- Comprehensive auditing
- Version control
- Rich reporting