By Michael Halperin
In the first and second installments of this series, we introduced the idea of Quality of Experience (QoE) Management and explored how traditional IT Monitoring tools are excellent at providing visibility into an IT environment, but lack context – the critical difference between traditional IT monitoring and QoE Management. We explored exactly what constitutes context and broke it down into three components: Business Services, Infrastructure Mapping, and Benchmarking. So the question becomes, why isn’t everyone doing this?
The answer lies within the complexity of those three components of context. To implement QoE Management, the first thing we must do is answer the question “what are our Business Services?” This would require an intensive investigation and analysis that would be extremely time consuming. Mapping those Business Services would be even more difficult and time-consuming. In fact, this task would be impossible in most IT environments because of the rapid rate of change characteristic of most IT environments – by the time the map is complete, it would be out of date. In other words, QoE Management using manual methods is essentially impossible.
However, emerging tools bring QoE monitoring into the realm of the possible. New auto-discovery tools not only identify infrastructure components but also can identify specific data flows – Business Services – that run on the infrastructure. These tools are unobtrusive and therefore can run all the time, making our Infrastructure Mapping a real-time function. It also enables Benchmarking, ongoing monitoring, and identification of impacted users when an event occurs.
With the right tools in place, Quality of Experience Management becomes possible. Ironically, it doesn’t necessarily require a dramatic change in traditional monitoring. Today, many IT shops carefully watch the discrete components of the IT environment. But with monitor sets driven by Benchmarking, IT can act, not just when things break, but also when performance goes out of normal parameters just enough for users to notice. Because of Infrastructure Mapping, IT can quickly identify which Business Services are impacted, and act to protect users accordingly. The power of this approach is apparent, and we predict that QoE Management will soon emerge as the new Holy Grail of IT Management.
So what should organizations who are interested in QoE Management do next? Stay tuned….