To suggest that IT infrastructure has changed would be an understatement. For many organizations, the once-full server room is now vacant or nearly so. Data centers are joining your servers in the cloud. Where you have local infrastructure, the reasons have more to do with performance than cost or management overhead.
The last several years have seen an explosion of cloud and hybrid infrastructure deployments. From large enterprises with thousands of servers and petabytes (PB) of data to small operations with only five or 10 servers, the economics of easier management, elastic scalability, and low-cost data protection up to and including full-on disaster recovery (DR) can’t be ignored. But, along with a network that spans premises boundaries comes the need for a new breed of management tool. For the hybrid model, this revolves around tracking both on-premises and off-premises resources with equal ease and efficiency.
That means you’ll likely be looking for different capabilities out of a modern management tool. For one, it’ll need breadth. It should cover networking hardware, including routers and switches, firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), and a variety of network appliances, preferably with support for both physical networking and software-defined network (SDN) infrastructure. Add to that the usual details you’ll need from your server systems, including health, CPU status, as well as memory and disk utilization. Software entries should include specific support for key services such as Microsoft Active Directory (AD), Microsoft Exchange (or whatever email server or service the organization employs), and it’ll need to at least recognize other key business applications, especially those running as web services, back-end application servers, and databases.