My daughter is nearing driving age, wow, I’m getting old. We were driving down the road and at some point the conversation turned towards driving and her pending drivers permit. The types of questions they have on driving tests now is crazy, she gets mad when I tell her how easy mine was. It’s pretty common for teenagers to fail their drivers tests which surprised me at first, then I saw what they had to study. Anyways, she likes to quiz me on stuff and there are many times I have no idea what the answer is, she gets a good laugh out of it. “How long must you remain at a complete stop at a stop sign before proceeding?”. You mean you have to come to a complete stop??? The answer: 3 seconds. I’m sorry, that is way past the wait time for the person behind you, the horn starts going off at 1.5 seconds, in New York it is more like .3 seconds.
Later we were talking about some situations like driving along and getting a flat tire or the Service Engine Soon light turning on, this caused questions around what would make that light turn on. I gave her some examples, but the next day I started thinking about it a bit more. Cars have evolved over the years, the dashboard only had a few indicators such as oil, water and gas. Cars now have more advanced feedback for the driver such as tire pressure, inside/outside temp, fluid levels and a bunch more of things. Hang on, here we go, transition time… IT today has the same need. Indicators of yester-year are not enough. Implementing a performance management tool and looking at the results is interesting, it provides a critical piece of information, but not the whole picture, for example; my tank is full of gas, water and oil is fine, no warning lights on, why are these cars pulling up beside me honking the horn and pointing at the front of my car… oh, I have a flat tire.
Dashboards today need to have more and more inputs of key performance indicators (KPI’s). If you really want to know that the service is up, running and the end users are happy, you must have measurements from many different aspects along with the standard monitoring. Just hitting the service with a performance exercising tool is not enough, monitoring the CPU, memory and NIC is not enough, there are many factors to take into account on top of the standard KPI’s. In the end, all of this information needs to be simplified down into an easy to read, quick feedback on the overall health of an the service.
Novell Operations Center (NOC) is the solution to the problem. NOC has many out of the box adapters to integrate to underlying management tools and databases, along with the ability to correlate the inbound data in a manner to build and maintain end to end views of the Services within your enterprise and then finally present it within a Dashboard for operators, management or an end customer. Recently a 5 minute video was put together of an example dashboard, use this link to watch it