The Emergence of the Service Operations Center

Increased adoption of modern computing technologies and techniques (e.g. virtualization, web services, SOA, SaaS, Cloud and Mobile Devices) are driving traditional Network/Infrastructure Operations Centers (NOC) to evolve into a modern Service Operations Center (SOC).

 

The SOC is a more natural way to focus IT Operations onto the critical services and applications that matter to the business; allowing production support staff to see the traditional alerts and data about IT infrastructure and components but always in context of the application or service they support. This greatly simplifies the prioritization of incidents and reduces mean-time-to-resolution. The SOC is a great idea whose time has come—if you have the right monitoring tools for the job.

 

IT organizations must now come to grips with the fact that traditional IT production operations techniques and, most importantly, tooling from mega-vendors saddled with heavy investment in legacy products no longer provide sufficient capability to support the modern Service Operations Center. Fortunately, a new generation of system management solutions—most notably Application Performance Monitoring (APM), and User Experience Monitoring (UEM) —exist today. Created specifically to support the service operations center, these adaptive solutions enable unprecedented visibility into and traceability of service levels from the very top of business services all the way down through the underlying application infrastructure and eventually the cloud fabric itself.


My prediction: Within a few short years the typical daily/weekly three hour IT war-room scenario related to a business service disruption will be deemed 100% unacceptable by CIOs. And with next generation monitoring solutions in the market today, there is no fundamental reason why you can’t radically reduce or eliminate this scenario today—just as these two Quest Foglight customers have done.

 

The first customer recently showed me an impressive looking NOC facility that was reminiscent of the Houston Space Center, with a spinning globe and flashing status indicators on the big screen, and numerous staff members dispersed across a three tiered floor all working diligently. Interestingly, when I asked what management software they use to do all of this, the NOC manager pulled me aside and whispered "it's really just for show, and nothing more than a bunch of synthetic robots that are a pain in the ... to maintain".

 

Another customer owns 37 different production monitors, including nearly every mega-vendor solution on the planet that essentially all deliver unrelated alarms about thousands of individual devices.

 

Both customers were experiencing regular 3+ hour war-room sessions. They have both since employed Foglight for next generation APM to drastically reduce the frequency and length of their war room sessions.

 

Does your monitoring solution support the wave of new computing technologies and techniques that are moving to the mainstream? Only one has been designed specifically to provide unprecedented depth and breadth of coverage coupled with the fastest time-to-value in the industry—Foglight. We challenge any competitor to prove otherwise in your environment. Any takers? I didn’t think so.

Anonymous