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Enterprise Systems
February 13, 2012
- James E. Powell

Why performance management systems aren't meeting IT's need

According to a new global survey of 150 IT operations managers conducted by eG Innovations, IT professionals managing service performance “in transformational IT environments” find it difficult to keep up “with the performance management requirements of virtualized IT infrastructures.”

Transformational IT technologies -- think cloud and virtualization, among others-- offer some great operational and cost benefits, and they're “changing the way IT services are provisioned and delivered,” the company said. They also complicate how IT manages business services; point the finger at infrastructure's dynamic nature.

IT managers working in virtualized environments want management systems “as automated, agile, and easy to use as the virtualized infrastructure itself,” eG Innovations' release points out.

“Management tools designed for physical environments are not only difficult to use, but are also not designed to handle the dynamic inter-dependencies in virtual infrastructures. The eG Innovations 2012 study finds that IT operations are looking for new performance management practices and solutions in order to catch up with the pace of technology change and deal with these new priorities and challenges.”

The survey revealed that getting at the root cause of problems in heterogeneous environments is IT's greatest performance management challenge according to over half (54 percent) of respondents. IT can't determine what's causing “slow” performance -- the network, server, database, or VM?

“Today's manual approach to troubleshooting performance issues is woefully inadequate in dealing with the complexity of transformational IT environments,” eG Innovations reports. Most (67 percent) of those surveyed would like to see performance management solutions help them “automate and accelerate the diagnosis and resolution of performance issues in heterogeneous service environments.”

IT is also struggling to manage virtual and physical machines. No surprise there. Over half (53 percent) are looking for a solution that “can manage performance of both virtual and physical machines, as well as the applications running on them, reflecting the new dynamics and inter-dependencies introduced by virtualization layers of IT environments.”

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (60 percent) report that they are currently working with more than one independent performance monitoring tool -- “one for the network, another for servers, another for the database, and one for the virtualization tier.” No wonder they're struggling -- and why 66 percent report that they're looking for “comprehensive solutions that provide answers to cross-layer performance issues.”

The impact of these challenges will not surprise anyone in IT: customer satisfaction: Over half (53 percent) of respondents put lower customer satisfaction at the top of their “biggest business impact” list, followed by decreased user productivity (at 44 percent) and an increase of IT operations cost (44 percent).

The full survey results are available at

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