Growing up, my Mom was the pillar in the family. She was the family “single pane of glass”, watching over us continuously.
Mom was always the first to detect when something was going awry and then orchestrating us in order to fix it. My siblings and I would often have a narrow, limited view. But Mom always had a broader perspective, situation awareness if you like, seeing what her children’s narrow view could not. In short, she managed to keep us on the right path; growing up without her was unimaginable.
Later in life as I focused my career in IT operations management, I recognized that the family of tools used to assure service quality is just as incomplete without a manager of managers (MoM) platform offering a single pane of glass over all of operations in order to orchestrate resources and ensure situational awareness. In the 1990s, managing and operating an IT shop without a MoM was unimaginable. First generation MoMs like Netcool, Smarts, and Spectrum proliferated, starting with event aggregation and dashboard functionality, then innovating with rules-based filtering and correlation, and eventually the “sexy” impact and root cause analysis. Later, these platforms were scooped up by the likes of IBM, EMC, and CA, the markets matured and stagnated, and the MoM product category got very quiet.
But now the MoM is riding a wave in popularity and resurgence. In this “new” era of IT – reset by virtualized and software defined infrastructures, mobile enablement overlays, hybrid cloud architectures, and continuous application delivery – the MoM is back again at the center of the service assurance tool family of the most progressive and highest performing IT shops.
Why so? Simply put, IT operations (and DevOps) teams need an “intelligent” single pane of glass to identify service-affecting situations before customers do. Legacy MoMs simply can’t keep up, and other tools have a narrow, limited view (not the broad, proactive perspective that only a MoM can have). Unlike the 1990’s, enterprises no longer own and operate their entire applications delivery platform; they outsource support and the underlying infrastructure with clouds and hybrid-clouds. Existing MoM technologies are unable to deliver the single pane of glass necessary to support modern application and compute infrastructures.
The next-generation MoM; it leverages 21st century technologies to solve 21st century IT problems. Open interfaces to simplify event data ingestion, machine learning to automate incident detection across a “Big Event” stream in real-time, and collaborative UIs to facilitate situation awareness and social engagement across the IT and customer stakeholders affected by an incident – these are some of new technologies that define the next-gen MoM.
Next-gen MoMs are well suited to help manage the transformative initiatives happening now in IT, including: software-defined everything; the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data volumes resulting; and the implementation of DevOps methodologies. In future blog posts, I will discuss how Moogsoft customers are using a next-gen MoM like Incident.MOOG to solve real operational problems, ultimately helping their business win.
Modern IT environments require a family of tools to keep service availability and performance high. To make this all scale (particularly when your business is growing 2x or more), you need to leverage machine automation, real-time predictive analysis, and socialization technologies in your IT operations. This is what a next-gen MoM does. It’s time to welcome the MoM back into your family.