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The Right Time for End-to-End Management

August 18, 2014

This is the first of a series of posts on end-to-end monitoring and management. End-to-end management is about visibility to all aspects of an application including OS, network, middleware, database and the application itself. This visibility makes management effective, otherwise you are constrained when problems occur. History has shown this quest to be a tough challenge.

Every application runs on a system with an OS like z/OS or Linux or Windows. Many applications have components running on more than one OS at the same time—i.e., the database running on z/OS and the application running on Linux. Needless to say, the application system is dependent on that OS being available and reliably providing services.

That is not the only dependency. Applications also depend on network services. Today’s applications, more than ever, rely on the network to connect components of the application as this is a common architectural characteristic of distributed applications. Distributing the types of work over multiple images like database, application and web became a way to handle the scaling of workloads but it introduced additional points of failure.

Since the mid-1990s applications themselves have been the focus of their own management discipline called application management. Application management came about because the complexity of client server computing requires special tools to monitor and manage this application and their middleware-supported infrastructure.

These three areas—systems management, network management and application management, have matured and grown together, providing considerable depth in each of their areas.

Despite their maturity, there are challenges. Many organizations have realized that the practitioners supporting each of the three areas must work together to provide a level of human integration. This is a challenge that some organizations have yet to fully address. Have you seen this challenge in your work experience?

Another challenge area is the software toolset. Different tools can have different consoles, message formats and conventions and, without integration at the software level, effectiveness can be hampered. It is possible to get by without one integrated toolset, but it is not ideal. This shortcoming can be addressed with software that provides at least a rudimentary level of integration. Do you have any experience integrating tools?

Posted August 18, 2014 | Permalink

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