How many SPOGs?

Seems like every vendor is preaching the value of the Single Pane of Glass ( SPOG ) to their customers. For those of you who have been operations folks, the fragmented nature of xMS ( NMS, SMS (security), SMS ( server ), BSM, APM, etc.) has been a nightmare for most organizations. The data is more silo’d than the IT departments and it really doesn’t scale because of the lack of interaction between the data in the management domain.

So the industry lately has really zoomed in around the idea of the single pane of glass management system. And it got me to thinking

Does anyone really want a single pane of glass?

I think a lot of people are looking for a way to manage complex environments and the idea of having a SPOG that lets you see everything in one console is such a tempting idea. But is it realistic? And even if it was, would it even be useful?

I don’t think anyone would try to argue that convergence in the data center isn’t a reality. The network is virtual, storage is distributed. Applications are federated. Everything is built on a stack of lies and no one in the operations group has any idea where their particular domain of responsibility ends anymore.

But in meeting with many different organizations, it seems that although people want (and NEED ) the SPOG. They also seem to want to continue with the seperation of the seperate silos of servers, storage, and networking.

I’m still thinking this through, but it seems to be that the network guys ( and gals ) want to see things from a network-centric point of view. The servers want to see this through a server-centric point of view, and the storage wants to see this through a storage-centric point of view.

What’s interesting though, is that in smaller shops where the Ops team is actually one or two people who do everything, they still seem to prefer a SPOG per IT domain.

Functionaly Dysfunctional if you will.

There are some solutions out there, like Cisco UCS Manager that does have some great stuff going for it and seems to bring together the Data Center networ and the Servers. I haven’t had a lot of hands on, but it does seem to bring the data center into a SPOG, and I can see the value in that.

But I wonder about the rest of the network. What about the end-users? The data center only exists to offer services to end-users and a solution that seems to completely discount the users it is supposed to serve just seems like it’s missing something to me.

What do you guys think? Would you rather have a NMS tool that allows you to see into the networking centric portions of the virtual environment and gives you full visibility to the end-user? Full visibility into the end-to-end transaction, at least from the network perspective?

Still thinking this one through…