|By Greg Schulz||
|March 3, 2017 11:00 AM EST||
Six (or More) Data Center and Software Defined Management Dashboards
Recently I found in my inbox a link to a piece 6 Dashboards for Managing Every Modern Data Center that caught my attention. I was hoping to see who the six different dashboard solutions were instead of finding list of dashboard considerations for modern data centers and data infrastructures.
Turns out the piece was nothing more than a list of six items featured as part of the vendors (Sunbird) piece about what to look for in a dashboard (e.g. their product). Sure there were some of the usual key performance indicator (KPI) associated with or related to IT Service Management (ITSM), Data Center Infrastructure (Insight/Information) Management (DCIM), Configuration and Change management databases (CMDB), availability, capacity and Performance Management Databases (PMDB) among others.
Keep in mind however that there are many different types of dashboards (and consoles), some are active along with analytics including correlation, others are passive simply displaying. The focus area also various from physical data center facilities, to applications, to data infrastructures or components such as servers, storage, I/O networks, clouds, virtual, containers among others modern data centers.
Data Infrastructures (hardware, software, services, servers, storage, I/O and networks)
This is where some context comes into play as there are different types of dashboards for various audience, technology and focus areas (e.g. domains) across data infrastructure (and other entities). For example do a google search of “dashboard” and see what appears, or “IT dashboard”, “data center dashboard” vs. “datacenter dashboard” among others.
Additional KPIs include:
- Performance, availability, Capacity and Economic (PACE) attributes
- Service Level Objectives (SLO), Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
- Recovery Time Objectives (RTO), Recovery Point Objectives (SLO)
- IT Service Management (ITSM) and Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)
- Configuration and Change Management (e.g. things part of CMDB)
- Performance, availability and capacity (e.g. things part of PMDB)
- Various focus and layers, cross domain functionality views
- Costs management including subscriptions, licenses and others
IT Data Center and Data Infrastructure Dashboard Options
For those of you who have made it this far, while not a comprehensive list, the following are some examples of vendors, services or solutions that either are, or have an association with data center, as well as data infrastructure management. Some dashboards or tools are homogenous in that they only work within a given area of focus such as particular cloud, service provider, vendor or solution set. Others are heterogeneous or federated working across different services, solutions, vendors and domain focus areas. Think of these as software defined management (SDM), or, software defined data infrastructure (SDDI) management, software defined data center (SDDC) management among other variations for the modern information factory.
There is a mix of tools that run on site (e.g. on premise) or via cloud services (e.g. manager your on site from the cloud). Likewise, some are for fee, others subscription and some are open source. In addition some of the tools are turnkey while others are do it yourself (DiY) or allow you to customize. Also keep in mind that depending on what your tradecraft (skills, experience, expertise) interest area is, these may or may not be applicable to you, while relevant to others. For example some such as Spiceworks tend to be more helpdesk focused while others on other data center or data infrastructure areas.
There are dashboards for or from AWS, Canonical (Ubuntu), Dell including EMC, Google, HPE, IBM, Microsoft System Center and Azure, NetApp, OpenStack, Oracle, Rackspace, Redhat, Rightscale, Servicenow, Softlayer, Suse and VMware among others.
- Blue Medora (various data infrastructure monitoring)
- Cloudkitty (open source cloud rating and chargeback)
- Collectd (data infrastructure collection and monitoring)
- cPanel and whm (web and hosting dashboards)
- Dashbuilder (customize your dashboard)
- Datadog (super easy to get access, download, install, configure and use)
- Domo (various data infrastructure monitoring tools)
- Extrahop (still waiting to be able to download and try their bits vs. watching a demo)
- Firescope (data infrastructure insight and awareness)
- Freezer (open source dashboard tools)
- Komprise (interesting solution, would like try, however lots of gated material)
- Nagios (data infrastructure monitoring)
- Openit (data infrastructure tracking, report, monitoring)
- Opvizor (data infrastructure monitoring and reporting)
- Panorama9 (various data infrastructure monitoring and reporting)
- Quest (various tools)
- Redhat Cloudforms (openstack and cloud management)
- Rrdtools (data collection, logging and display)
- Sisense (insight and awareness tools)
- Solarwinds Server Application Monitor (SAM) among other tools
- Teamquest (various monitoring, management, capacity planning tools)
- Turbomomic (software defined data infrastructure insight tools)
- Virtual Instruments (various monitoring and insight awareness along with analytics)
In addition to the above, there are tools such as Splunk among others that also provide insight and awareness to help avoid flying blind while managing your data center or data infrastructure.
Where to learn more
Learn more via the following links.
- Data Infrastructure Primer and Overview (Its Whats Inside The Data Center)
- E2E Awareness and insight for IT environments
- Server and Storage I/O Benchmarking and Performance Resources
- Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) and IRM
- The Value of Infrastructure Insight – Enabling Informed Decision Making
- More storage and IO metrics that matter
- Whats a data infrastructure?
What this all means
Without insight and awareness you are flying blind, how can you make informed decisions about your information factory, data infrastructures, data center along with applications. There are different focus areas for various audiences up and down the stack layers in data infrastructures and data centers. Key is having insight and awareness including knowing what are some different tool options.
Ok, nuff said for now…
Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, vSAN and VMware vExpert. Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Watch for the spring 2017 release of his new book "Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials" (CRC Press).
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