I used to talk to a number of universities about business intelligence, balanced scorecards et al. I could see that lights were coming on and that this basic use of information to drive decision making was both new and a good idea.   This might not seem to be odd until you realise that these same universities all had business schools and were usually running MBAs. So they were teaching performance management, scorecards and so on but not actually using the same techniques to improve the performance and efficiency of the university itself!

IT Pros could learn something from this example – The BI tools & techniques that are in your organisation to improve its performance can be applied to the management of the data centre and network infrastructure.  The problem is how to do that and there are two parts:

  • Collecting the right information, in this case telemetry about usage patterns stored over a period of time and inventories of hardware and software on each machine.  This is further complicated by physical and virtual machines, whether servers or running VM’s offering VDI.
  • Having a set of tools to quickly show not only what’s going on but aggregate information  and show trends.

System Center does a very good job of capturing all the telemetry and does have an extensive list of reports showing what’s going on.  However there is no in built analytic capability to show trends and patterns.  So if this stuff isn’t there is it important?

As virtualisation becomes as common as smartphones you need to consistently monitor and tune your data centre to balance the physical capacity you have to meet the demands of the services on it.  It’s all too easy to create vm sprawl and loose the advantage of consolidation you had when you first went virtual.  You need to understand where best to deploy new services and gradually especially if you plan to create a private cloud in your organisation because you can’t, for whatever, reason use public cloud services.  Of course all of this management intelligence can also really help you to manage costs and move to the sort of service charging model that is so attractive with public cloud services.

I mention all this because Inframon have cracked how to tune System Center to do exactly this sort of thing whether or not you’re on Hyper-V.  They style their approach as War on Cost and have chosen the Cabinet War Rooms in London to present this on 5th November.  They have got a great group of Microsoft speakers together including Jason Buffington form the System Center Product team in Redmond, and I’ll be standing at the back as all this stuff fascinates me as a BI specialist trying to break back into the world of system management.

To find out more and register please visit the event site here – hopefully I’ll see you there.