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4 Jun

7 Use Cases for Metadata in Digital Infrastructure Monitoring

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We use hashtags on Twitter so others can search for related posts tagged with the similar content. We tag photos on Facebook and Instagram, making it easier to find our friends.

Tagging and grouping social media content is not only vital to its popularity and longevity, but it’s also convenient. So why not apply this to the performance monitoring realm?

Meet metadata. It allows operators to enrich the value of information in reports by associating user-defined data with monitored devices or groups of devices. For instance, you may want to store hardware or software versions or specs with your devices.

Imagine this – you’re viewing performance reports and notice one device is about to overload. Without metadata, you might lose precious minutes trying to pinpoint the location of the device or the appropriate person to contact who can address the issue. Unless you have that information stored in your metadata fields.

Metadata can help operators answer questions on the fly from internal and external customers, so you’re never left saying, “I don’t know.”

Here are seven practical ways you can incorporate metadata into your monitoring platform:

  • System integration – In large organizations that have configuration management databases and asset databases, it might be hard to keep track of the various devices that are deployed. If your monitoring platform detects service degradation, the operator can click on the device to reference metadata from the CMDB and see which services rely on that device. An operator can then click on the device where a hyperlink to the ticketing system is embedded in the metadata. With the ticketing system available on demand, operators can resolve issues more efficiently.
  • Google Maps integration – SevOne can store longitude and latitude in metadata fields. It’s important to know where your monitored devices are located. Metadata can populate a Google map that plots the geographic location of your objects for more rapid identification of the problem device.
  • System contact information – When troubleshooting, it’s essential to have your system location, address, point person and contact information quickly available. You can store these basics as metadata.
  • Data center identifiers – If you’re on a call and you need to locate a piece of equipment in your data center, you’ll be glad you stored the serial number, rack number and row number in the metadata.
  • Associate customers with their devices – Since many performance monitoring teams provide services to others, they may struggle with shared infrastructures and knowing what service is related to which customer. Companies strive to provide better services to their customers. This practical metadata use can help pair users with their data and devices.
  • Customer SLAs– Perhaps you differentiate “normal” customers from “strategic” customers for service priority reasons. Or you provide service to three different tiers of customers. You can store SLA-type data in the metadata to help you differentiate your customers.
  • Interface speeds – Anything that helps add context to your existing data will improve it. Knowing interface speeds helps prioritize troubleshooting activities. If you’re looking at 50 interfaces and 10 are marked “high speed,” while the others are not, it might help you decide what needs to be addressed first.

The SevOne API allows you to harvest data from other sources to populate metadata fields. Operators who use SevOne’s platform are not limited to a static set of data fields; users have the flexibility and freedom to incorporate any and all metadata they wish into their systems.

Looking for ideas on how to increase visibility over your digital infrastructure? Download our free whitepaper on 6 Steps to an Effective Performance Monitoring Strategy.

6 Steps to an Effective Performance Monitoring Strategy

 

Tim Greenside
Written by Tim Greenside
Global Solutions Architect, SevOne

Tim Greenside is a Global Solutions Architect at SevOne. A seasoned sales engineer and solutions advisor, he has more than 18 years of experience in consulting and technical sales roles supporting the sale of network, system and application service assurance, fault and performance management solutions. 

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