IT Change Management Starts with Visibility

IT Pros get buried in the responsibilities of our jobs. And we get classified accordingly i.e. there goes the virtualization admin, the SQL DBA, the network admin, the storage admin, the server admin, etc. Regardless of your admin discipline, the one common denominator is managing change. Change includes updates to virtualization settings, network configurations, SW apps, OSes, and HW systems. Effectively managing changes to one’s environment is the key to success in IT.

And it starts with visibility. You can’t address changes in the environment’s behavior without visibility. These behaviors usually manifest themselves as the following tickets:

• My application is SLOW!
• The Internet is SLOW!
• My system is SLOW!

Unfortunately, this usually is indicative of the level of details that IT Pros get on a trouble ticket. And the expectation is for the IT admin to root cause and solve the problem ASAP because the user’s issue is effecting their productivity. For virtualization admins, the trouble is doubled because you add in the complexities of the additional hypervisor layer. In these situations, visibility is the beginning to unraveling the issues and pinpointing the root cause. Visibility involves monitoring the environment including all the components – compute, memory, storage, & networking as well as the OS, application & hypervisor stacks. Visibility also includes the logs of what had happened and what is happening.

Ideally, a holistic view of all the interdependencies in the environment regardless of layers and the ability to drill-down through the layers and view the base elements provide the best starting point for successfully dealing with change. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.