The Real Quest for IT Management

Michael Vizard

What started out as a movement to simplify the management of IT by leveraging virtualization to consolidate physical servers is turning out to be anything but that.

Instead, the new IT reality is that there are more servers than ever to be managed. Just because those servers are virtual doesn't mean they are any easier to manage. IT organizations are still left with database servers, application servers and Web servers that may or may nor be running on virtual or physical servers.

According to Carl Eberling, general manager and vice president of virtualization management for Quest Software, this proliferation of servers means IT organizations need a holistic approach to IT management because mastering management tools for each type of server environment is not financially viable over the long haul.

Unfortunately, Eberling says it may take IT organizations another few years to get to that state. Far too many IT organizations are still wrestling with the fundamentals of IT process management as defined by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) specification. Without any real IT management process in place, it becomes difficult to automate what doesn't exist. So in the absence of a process, IT organizations rely on a range of tools to manage specific types of products versus a common framework from which to manage them all.

The end game that IT organizations need to achieve, says Eberling, is to get to the point where IT services are made available to end users via self-service portals. In the case of Quest Software, that means investing hundreds of millions of dollars in developing a Foglight platform for managing IT services, said Eberling.

In the meantime, IT organizations need to come to terms with the fact that IT management is going to be a lot harder until they start putting processes in place that move them toward reducing the operating expense of managing IT.

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