How to manage large IT infrastructure

When you manage a large IT infrastructure keeping an overview is vital. In such a large IT environment you usually have multiple monitoring servers that collect data from different parts of the infrastructure. This could lead to an overdose of alerts or different monitoring software.

The biggest issue is that you lose the overview. When that happens, the health of your entire infrastructure can no longer be managed. How do you bring data from all those different devices and sources in different locations into one central overview?

You want one dashboard with an overview of the infrastructure, so that you can immediately determine whether there are potential and current problems and what the cause is. But how do you achieve this? Which aspects should you take into account when you want to get started with a central monitoring overview?

Organising your IT infrastructure

It starts with segmenting your infrastructure. For example, you can organise it by region, by functional area or department to name a few.

You may be managing everything from one location, where it makes sense to see a summary on a central dashboard. You may have separate locations with their own dashboards. In that case it is useful to also have a central high-level dashboard where you can see all segments.

Creating an overview of your business services

The central dashboard should be super-high level. What does that mean? Of course it depends on how you segment your network but you can do it by linking parts of your infrastructure to business services. For example, email service, licensing system, or software-based processes are all IT services powered by various connected pieces of hardware and connectivity.

Once you have defined your business services, you can assign the relevant parts of the infrastructure to them. Let’s take the email service example. The mail server, the storage servers, the switches and the internet connection are the parts of your network and infrastructure that you connect to the email service business service. On your dashboard you only see the status of the email service.

If a minor problem occurs the email service itself is not compromised because there are backup mail servers. A notification is sent to the relevant person or department. The service remains as fully working on the central dashboard.

If there is a critical problem the dashboard sends an alert to the entire team and the email service turns red on the central dashboard. When this happens, click through to the underlying components to see which part of the infrastructure is causing the problem.

How to manage large IT infrastructure

Service Level Agreements

Setting up your infrastructure as business services not only makes it easy to get an overview but it also makes it easier to manage service level agreements (SLA).

Large companies often have many such agreements in place. There are internal SLAs to ensure that the IT teams meet certain requirements. And there are the external, or customer-facing, SLAs for organisations that provide services to external stakeholders. For example have an uptime agreement for a particular service. You will have to constantly check connectivity to that service and give a warning if the service is not available. Or if you have an agreement that a certain amount of bandwidth is available, you should continuously measure the available bandwidth and warn if it gets too low.

By structuring your business services based on the SLAs you need to follow, you get a better overview of the status of the services you provide. If there is a problem, you can dig deeper to discover the root cause of the problem and fix it before the SLAs are breached and your staff has to be notified.

Tech-Wales for your IT infrastructure

At Tech-Wales we are experts in setting up a perfect IT infrastructure for your organisation. We can make your IT environment tailor made for your business to take full advantage of its functionality. Combined with our excellent Cloud Computing Services, Business IT consultancy and Business IT Support we can provide the complete package for your organisation. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.