Yet, in this case, the small problem was actually much more important than the server being down. The batch job was responsible for delivering weather reports for the airline across the global scope of its operations. Weather reports are essential for airlines because they provide insight into how much gas must be put into the airplanes before they take off. If the weather will be bad, more fuel must be on board because more air time may be required. Without awareness of weather conditions of the various areas in which this airline operated, all planes had to take off with a full gas tank.
Since you can't land with much gas in the tank, some pilots had to dump their fuel over the ocean. This wasted fuel and incurred extra fuel costs, not to mention the environmental impact. So, here, a small problem was actually large. That’s why understanding how work processes in an IT organization tie into a particular business. That understanding provides great value—financial value in this case.
Considering Vision and Expanding Coverage
Applications have become increasingly complex. The tooling—whether it's capacity or workload automation, or performance or transaction monitoring—needs to accommodate all forms and aspects of all applications, wherever they exist.
So, how do you best address a specific type of problem, taking into account the complexity of the infrastructure? One way is to recognize and understand the vision a particular vendor has with the tools that are available. Is it a set of products that are somehow integrated to provide the appearance of broad or enterprisewide coverage? Or, is there a vision with products that let you join into a cross-platform initiative with the understanding that the vendor can carry that strategy forward over time, even as technology changes? It’s important to look at deliveries of features and functions and how a particular solution set and product fit into the vision of the technology.
Because the processes, applications, and business services flow across platforms, the tools should facilitate as much coverage across those stacks as possible. It’s not necessary to provide deep knowledge, but for the purposes of working across platforms, breadth of coverage should be considered first.
The tools should also offer an agnostic view of IT as it relates to the business. If you examine capabilities provided based on business service management, the tools should provide a top-end or high-level view of access to knowledge and understanding about the behavior of business services or applications as they exist in the infrastructure. The underlying technologies and the IT infrastructure are aspects of IT operations that require support. The vendor should focus on management as a platform itself.
Because of the complexities of the IT and business environments, no perfect unified tool exists today that can answer all the problems you may have, or predict the future, or diagnose the past with 100 percent certainty. So it's important to look for vendors with complete vision. Ask these questions: What is the vendor’s vision? How has this vendor begun to deliver on that vision with the products and solutions offered?
Overcoming Issues As Your Data Center Evolves
As workloads evolve, new ones can be created, and existing ones can evolve in ways that were difficult to manage in the past. Data centers must also evolve to accommodate the new increased business requirements and new workloads. So the transformation of data centers over time provides a data center automation view of IT that accommodates these new and increased business requirements.