The Cool New World of Performance Management 3.0
Over the past several years, a sea change has occurred in the technologies we use to monitor and manage our networks. While not as high profile as other technological advances like the cloud or virtualized networking, it’s a critical component of these next-gen infrastructures and it’s facilitating the truly amazing things CSPs, MSPs and enterprises are doing with them.
Welcome to the cool new world of Performance Management 3.0 (PM 3.0).
It’s where cloud-based architectures and virtualized networking, along with equally flexible and scalable monitoring, are transforming the business landscape and changing what it takes to stay competitive.
To understand the key role PM 3.0 will play going forward, it’s helpful to take a look back at the history of this ‘geeky’ technology.
The Old Days (PM 1.0)
PM systems first emerged back in the 1980’s when client-server architectures went mainstream. From then until around the mid-2000’s, most of these systems were comprised of element management software add-ons that hardware vendors bundled with their gear. This first generation of PM tools provided only basic network monitoring, tracking things like server availability, used and unused CPU and storage capacity, and network throughput.
Those systems were good at helping teams spot problems like network slowdowns and SLA violations. But they weren’t very good at helping them figure out why those things were happening because the stacks in back in those days were pretty well cordoned off from one another
That meant IT and NetOps teams had very little context for what was happening across stacks. So, they had to resort to “swivel chair monitoring,” which involved multiple teams monitoring different systems, correlating data by hand, and doing manual remediation. In short, PM 1.0 was largely ineffective.
The Middle Ages (PM 2.0)
Fast forward to around 2010 when the second big wave of evolution began for PM systems. During this PM 2.0 era, which lasted until around 2017, performance monitoring tools got smarter. While the technology stacks they were looking at were still mostly siloed, PM systems started to feature more unified monitoring capabilities.
Completely separate element management systems and the swivel-chair approach gave way to more unified performance monitoring and management via a “single pane of glass.” That enabled PM systems to provide their watchers with more operational context for network infrastructure and application behavior across both on-premise and cloud-based resources, and SaaS domains.
Even with these improvements, however, IT and NetOps teams were still grappling with inefficient processes. They had no real-time visibility into performance, for example, and all remediation efforts still had to be done manually.
Today and the Into the Future (PM 3.0)
During the latter half of 2017 and into the beginning of this year, we’ve seen a definite third wave of evolution building in the performance management space. The era of Performance Management 3.0 has arrived.
The advances in PM 3.0 have largely been made possible by two things: virtualized networking and cloud-based architectures. On the virtualization side, we’ve learned from the success we had virtualizing servers, and aimed the technology at the provisioning of network resources and services. Thanks to companies like Cisco, Red Hat and VMWare, we’re able to use abstraction to make software look and act just like hardware. That, along with the scalability and flexibility of cloud-based architectures, have fundamentally changed our technology stacks. And the cloud adds great flexibility and endless scalability.
PM 3.0 systems provide the capabilities we now need to monitor and manage our software-defined networks and the dynamic, virtual network functions and applications that run on them. They are delivering unified, end-to-end network and infrastructure views that give IT and NetOps teams far more operational context than they’ve ever had before.
PM 3.0 systems also provide real-time visibility and automation, which is enabling remarkable operational advances. Among them are machine learning and AI capabilities that are paving the way to self-healing and self-optimizing networks, and automated remediation.
The cloud, virtualized network services and PM 3.0 is a combo-pack that is delivering tremendous benefits for CSPs, MSPs and enterprises alike. With these technologies, organizations are seeing amazing gains in areas including flexibility, cost containment, scalability, reliability, and overall network performance.
I’m proud that SevOne is squarely at the forefront of Performance Management 3.0, and all of us here are excited about what its possibilities mean for customers.
If you’d like to learn more about PM 3.0 and how it could help your organization, drop me a line. I’d love to talk with you about it.