Q

The future of SaaS: What do we need for SaaS monitoring nirvana?

Network Management expert Henry Svendblad explains what is needed to make IT monitoring worry-free in a software-as-a-Service environment.

What do organizations need in order to achieve efficient, worry-free SaaS monitoring?

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The challenge of Software-as-a-Service monitoring is that service delivery is now expected on a real-time basis. It can be distributed across many physical locations. And, within these locations, much of the technology is now virtualized. Servers have been virtualized, desktops have been virtualized, and all of these services are being combined together and delivered across a new range of devices, such as tablets and smartphones and thin client devices.

So what IT really needs for efficient, reliable SaaS monitoring is a single network monitoring tool that can look across all of these disparate physical locations and look into these virtual software constructs, but no single tool really exists. So a set of integrated or modular tools that fit together, or maybe a smaller set of somewhat integrated tools, would be an improvement. But, unfortunately, what we get today is just a number of point solutions that look at solving different parts of this puzzle and are typically not very well integrated and require a lot of human intervention and physical eyes looking at different screens to try to put information together to effectively monitor IT services.

As SaaS proliferates, we’ll need to figure out a way to achieve what I call “IT Nirvana.” That is where services and expectations are clearly defined, where management of these services is proactive, not reactive, and is done with a single-pane view, rather than looking across a number of disparate systems in different locations and being done in a reactive way. We’ll need an enumeration of all the costs that it takes to deliver that service and, in some cases, taken a step further, actually charge that to the business to deliver that service, so that all of the costs for IT are tracked and assigned to services being delivered to the business. We’ll need to understand the business impact or the cost of services being unavailable to the business, or the value that it delivers to the business. And, of course, security. As we deliver services across physical locations, the expectation for security grows day by day.

This was first published in June 2013

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